From Usenet Big-8 Management Board
Subject: RFD: remove comp.patents moderated
From: Jim Riley <>
Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2007 15:52:32 +0000 (UTC)
Message-ID: <nan.20070305155231$>

                      REQUEST FOR DISCUSSION (RFD)
                          remove comp.patents

This is a formal Request For Discussion (RFD) to remove the moderated
newsgroup comp.patents.

RATIONALE: remove comp.patents

The last approved message was in September 1999 after a brief
attempted revival (2 months).  The period of primary activity lasted
for 2 years from October 1991 to November 1993.

Alternatives include:

(1) Assigning a new moderator.

(2) Converting the group to unmoderated status.  As a discussion
group, it may be appropriate for conversion to an unmoderated status.
However, it is unlikely that discussion would be limited to computer
patents, and the group would simply be a misnamed cousin of and

When the group was created, suggestions were made to place the group
in the misc.* hierarchy.  One counterargument made at that time (1991)
was that misc.* was not a widely distributed as comp.*.  This is no
longer the case.

In addition, users of news servers where the group is configured as
moderated will not see articles from servers where the group is
configured as unmoderated and vice versa.  A better course of action
if there is interest in discussion of this specific sub-topic could be
to create a sub-group of or

(3) Remove the group.  Discussion of computer patents could continue
to occur in,, and, as well in computer groups for fields where a
patent might apply (eg comp.compression.research and


The newsgroup comp.patents was created in October 1991, as part of a
proposal that also created the unmoderated newsgroups and

Approvals were fairly steady, roughly 3 threads per week, from October
1991 until November 1993, when they abruptly stopped.  The stoppage
was coincident with the creation of, but I could
find no evidence of any deliberate connection between the two events.

Over the next couple of years, there were occasional comments about
comp.patents, and discussion about finding a new moderator, or
converting the group to an unmoderated status.  There were a few
threads in comp.patents cross-posted from

In October 1998 there was an attempt to revive the group with a new
moderator, and a few articles were approved.  In November 1998, the
new moderator posted that the robomoderator wasn't working yet.  In
July 1999, the robomoderator began operating and a few articles were

It doesn't appear that those posting had a clue that the "comp" in
'comp.patents' stood for computers.  In September 1999, the moderator
wrote, "the current moderator of comp.patents will give the
comp.patents newsgroup to someone worthy.  (I am no longer able to
take this forum where I had intended."  The next day he announced that
the group was closed pending appointment of a new moderator.  It has
remained closed since then.


The newsgroup line is:

comp.patents		Discussing patents of computer technology.

The charter (from the CFV):

A group for the discussion of issues relating to patents and their
relationship to computer technology (hardware & software)

(although it is envisaged that the the nature of the subject would
allow discussions that are not necessarily restricted to computer
technology nor strictly to patents, but rather to be centered around
these topics.)

Examples include:

   -The provision of FAQ relating to basics of patent laws.
   -The social usefulness of software patents.
   -The patentability or patent status of a particular algorithm.
   -The international patent laws.
   -business transactions that involve the exchange of patent
    information, such as cross-licensing or litigation of patents.
   -recent court cases where companies or individuals have run into
    patent troubles.
   -other legal aspect of computers and technology


The full group removal procedure is documented here:

Those who wish to comment on this request to remove this newsgroup should
subscribe to news.groups.proposals and participate in the relevant threads 
in that newsgroup.

To this end, the followup header of this RFD has been set to 

All discussion of active proposals should be posted to news.groups.proposals.

If desired by the readership of closely affected groups, the discussion
may be crossposted to those groups, but care must be taken to ensure that
all discussion appears in news.groups.proposals as well.


This document has been posted to the following newsgroups:


The proponent will also post pointers to: (moderated)


Jim Riley <>


2007-03-05     1st RFD