Flash: EU Software Patent Legislation: a real threat for Linux and Open Source
Jeudi 13 mai 2004
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 is the publisher of the popular Mandrakelinux operating system, one of the most full-featured and easy to use Linux systems available. The company offers its enterprise, government and educational customers a complete range of GNU/Linux and Open Source software and related services. Mandrakesoft products are available in more than 120 countries through dedicated channels and also from Mandrakestore.com, the company's online store. Number 1 in several countries, Mandrakesoft has won many awards for quality and technical innovation. "Born on the Internet" in late 1998, Mandrakesoft has offices in the United States and France. Mandrakesoft is traded on Paris Euronext Marché Libre (ISIN Code: FR0004159382/MLMAN; Reuters code: MAKE.PA) and the US OTC market (stock symbol MDKFF).