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EU Software Patent Legislation

EU Software Patent Legislation: a real threat for Linux and Open Source

Mandrakesoft would like to alert all users and the software community at large about a recent clandestine attack by proprietary interest through covert adoption of EU Software Patent Legislation.

In direct contravention of the recent vote by the European Parliament to curtail Software Patents, the Irish Presidency of the European Union has surreptitiously reinstated unlimited software patent language into the text of a statement to be adopted by the European Council of Ministers on Monday May, 17th, without further debate!

The new text, if adopted, will extend Software Patents to every piece of software, including computer programs, data structures, and process descriptions. This will directly harm most software firms and all Open Source projects unable to pay patent licensing tribute, and amounts to an appropriation of the public domain by proprietary interests. A direct beneficiary will be a new class of pure patent companies without any real business or contribution to employment, which will use the threat of litigation to extort payments. Of note is that a sponsor of the Irish Presidency is Microsoft, currently building a large patent portfolio. If the Software Patent text is adopted, Microsoft may use this patent portfolio against Linux and other Open Source projects.

Mandrakesoft would like to forewarn and mobilize its users and the software community about the very real threat of such a law. Please contact the media, your political representatives, and your government, and urge them to vote against unlimited Software Patents and to revert to the previous European Parliament position.

For further information please see the following links:

Mandrakesoft Online

One Response to EU Software Patent Legislation

  1. petef May 14, 2004 at 5:48 pm #

    And closely related from NTK:
    Next Monday’s meeting of the EU Council of Ministers
    (who, we like to think, gather in large cloaks around a huge
    glowing orb) looks likely to decree that EU software patents
    *will* go ahead, despite the EU parliament sticking in
    amendments to the new European law saying the opposite. What
    happens now? Not, unfortunately, civil war on the streets of
    Brussels, but the formation of a "conciliation committee".
    Fifteen MEPs and reps of the Council of Ministers will do
    battle over the bill, and present a compromise bill to the
    EU parliament in the Autumn. Just who will be on this
    committee is undecided; and just how the Parliament will
    vote is still up in the air. So, despite all the complaints
    about the undemocratic nature of the EU, you can still
    complain to your MEP and get a result.
    – how to lobby your MEP
    – the URL to watch for new developments
    – the decision-making process, coded in java. no, really.
    – getting the Lib/Dem MEPs to vote the party line would be a big step