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A software against software patents

Tuesday, June 26, Richard M. Stallman (President of the FSF) suggested that a detailed information about the dangers of software patents be displayed to every user of a GNU/Linux distribution. The user would then be given the choice to declare readiness to take part in some actions against software patents.

Richard M. Stallman describes the software as follows. During the installation of GNU/Linux on a new computer, a specific screen displaying an informational text about the dangers of software patents will be inserted. Emphasis will be put on the fact that Free Software is endangered by software patents. A GNU/Linux distribution such as Debian could disappear if the biggest software patents owners decided to fight using that weapon. Richard M. Stallman insisted on the need for staying aware of the implications caused by modifications from the Hague treaty. This treaty could allow court decisions made in the United States (where software patents are legal) to be applied in Europe (where software patents are not legal).

During this installation step of the GNU/Linux distribution, the operator will be able to choose whether this page will be displayed to every subsequent new user whenever he logs in to the system for the first time. In order to gather sensibilized people, it will be possible to subscribe to a notification system (either anonymously or visible by everyone) that sends action proposals or invitations to events aiming at fighting software patents. The EuroLinux initiative already has lots of very precise informations and many subscribers; the idea is to create a complementary movement inviting people to act massively.

The next weeks will permit to discuss with the people who are currently acting against software patents so as to exactly determine how this initiative can take place within their strategy as well as to complete these in a useful way. Richard M. Stallman proposed himself for writing articles to support that movement. With support from EuroLinux and the large broadcast insured by GNU/Linux distributors, we might well notice an important mobilization during the next couple of months.

Loïc Dachary

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Updated: $Date: 2003-02-28 16:16:22 +0100 (Fri, 28 Feb 2003) $ $Author: loic $