KDE can help FFII fight threat software patents
vitanova2 at softhome.net
Tue Jul 27 12:11:01 BST 2004
As we all know, softwarepatents can hurt open source projects enormously. If
you only have 20 seconds, http://webshop.ffii.org will convince you. About
anything can be patented. Open Source projects do not have the resources to
fight softwarepatent infringement claims. One absurd claim can kill a
project. KDE makes a wonderful product. KDE has come so far, it is
intolerable to see it threatened. The time has come to defend what this
community has made. Through my involvement with KDE I ended up at the FFII
The FFII has had a major influence on the European Parliament. The influence
on the Council of Ministers was less strong, may 18 it reached a political
agreement pro softwarepatents. Still, that first round isn't over. The vote
has to be formalized. In the Netherlands a motion was adopted, urging the
minister to withdraw the vote. In Germany, the Deutsche Bank has published a
report that says softwarepatents are bad for innovation, they ask the
government to oppose softwarepatents. More things will happen. These things
often happen at the national level. The coming months will be crucial. In my
opinion, prior to the Council meeting in which the vote will be formalized,
the FFII needs to be a fast moving organisation that can get a message from
the center to all the capitals. Unfortunately, the FFII isn't as strong in
some countries as it is in others. KDE is better localized in Europe.
And now, well, I have a Dream. My dream is that the FFII can sometimes tap
into some of that (wo)manpower KDE has in Europe. Sometimes texts need to be
translated, a letter to a parliament send. It would be great if some KDE
contributors and users would join the national lists of the FFII:
http://swpat.ffii.org/group/todo/ , pl-parl, fr-parl, etc. It would be great
if the aKademy would pay attention to softwarepatents.
"Everything of worth is vulnerable" the Dutch poet Lucebert wrote. IMHO, we
have to stand up to defend it. It may be one of the last summers we can enjoy
KDE as it is. Why not issue a KDE call to arms? If the Deutsche Bank moves,
KDE can march.
The only thing we have to fear is the future, if we do not shape it ourselves.
Together we can do it,
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