2005-07-05

STOP software patents!

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We are asking our representatives in the European Parliament to save Europe from software patents by following the Buzek-Rocard-Duff amendments.

The Software Patents Directive, as approved by the European Council of Ministers, would legalise US-style Software Patents in the European Union.

How you can help
If that happens, software developers will no longer own what they write and can be sued for selling or distributing their own software. This would not only endanger your job, but the entire European software sector.

On Wed the 6th of July, the European Parliament will have the last chance to prevent this. To do so, 367 of the 732 members must be present and vote for the right amendments.

3 comments:

Excalibor said...

Goal reached :-)

We are free (from now) of software patents.

Add 1 to the EU Parliament (for a change).

Musmanno said...

I think "software developers will no longer own what they write" is a bit misleading. Software developers working for companies tend not to own what they write to begin with, usually by way of contractual obligations to assign. The only way a software developer will be successfully sued for selling software they have written is if they have already assigned the rights to someone else (or some other entity), who then patents it. In the EU companies can apply for patents, in the U.S. only individuals can do so.

Excalibor said...

That's only true if you think on a traditional programming model.

But, for example, Free Software or Open Source Software, is written by individuals, and using the common scientific Corpus, you can develop
algorithms, techniques and other results for your programs (many
FS/OSS developers are really brilliant programmers, they are perfectly
able to do so), in a completely independent way (after all it's only
natural to arrive there, sooner or later), and suddenly a big
enterprise has patented it, and own it (even if it's also your hard
work, based on the same, common, free, gratis, sources as they did)
and sue you. If you are a small enterprise, or an independant
consultant, or a FS/OSS developer, you are screwed.

Besides, the patent laws would also cover algorithms, chemical and
biological formulae, physical results beyond the mere invention: they
could patents Fundamental Pronciples of the Universe!!!

no sir, not with my consent...

take care!