Closed because of "Software-Patents"
In the next few days, the European Parliament will decide about the legalisation and adoption of so-called "software patents" in Europe, which are already used by large companies in other countries to put competitors out of business. This can lead to the termination of many software projects such as KNOPPIX, at least within Europe, because the holders of the over 30,000 already granted "software patents" (currently without a legal foundation) can claim exclusive rights and collect license fees for trivial things like "progress bars", "mouseclicks on online order forms", "scrolling within a window" and similar. That way, software developers will have to pay the "software-patentholders" for using these features, even in their own, completely self-developed applications, which can completely stall the development of innovative software for small and medium companies. Apart from this, the expense for patent inquiries and legal assistence is high, for even trying to find out if the self-developed software is possibly violating "software-patents", if you want to continue to market your software. Contrary to real patents, "software-patents" are, in the current draft, monopolization of business ideas and methods, even without any tangible technical implementation.
Protest against software patents
Citizens whose nations are part of the European Parliament -- please sign the Petition for a Software Patent Free Europe.
In the Headlines
Say NO to software patents in Europe! The GNOME website is participating in an online demonstration against the acceptance of software patents in Europe. This change in law threatens many GNOME contributors living and working in Europe, and is a detriment to the progress of our industry as a whole.