According to Eurolinux, on Thursday Feb. 20th, the European Commission
published a draft for enacting software patents in Europe similar to
the U.S. system. The draft was authored by a director of the B.S.A.
(the Business Software Alliance is an anti-piracy alliance dominated
- Introduces unlimited patentability on *all* abstract ideas, especially
those of the Amazon "One Click" and BT "Hyperlink" type
- Legalizes 30000 patents on "computer-implementable inventions"
(i.e. abstract rules disguised in computing jargon)
- Undermines the copyright property on which the European software
industry has been thriving
- Allows standards to be monopolized, denying Open Source software,
shareware and SMEs entry to markets, charging "per-use" fees even from
creators and users of multimedia content (MPEG 4 will cost 0.02 EUR
- Erodes software innovation in Europe
- Transfers several billion euros from the software industry to the
people in charge of the directive proposal in Brussels
- Weakens elementary rights of citizens in the information society
This far reaching maneuver in Brussels deserves everyone's attention.
Please take a moment to sign EuroLinux's "Petition for a Software
Patent-Free Europe", and also warn your local government, elected
politicians, and journalists about this dangerous proposal.
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