Feeds

Not just free software under threat

Richard Stallman writes

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

Letter


Dear Editor,


In my speech about the danger of software idea patents, I explained how these patents obstruct all software developers, restrict all computer users, retard software progress, and tie up e-commerce in unnecessary bureaucracy.

Your article describes a very different speech from the one I gave, one that emphasizes primarily how patents would hurt free software. They would indeed, but in persuading a public that mostly doesn't advocate free software, I cannot pin much hope on that argument. I therefore mentioned free software only briefly in the speech.

During that brief mention I refuted a claim that politicians that favor patents say about software idea patents and free software: "They can't be that damaging for free software, since there is still plenty of free software in the US." I explained the fallacy by applying the same argument to AIDS in Africa--"AIDS can't be that damaging for humans, since there are still plenty of people in Africa". That example, clearly wrong, makes the flaw visible. Whether there is any similarity between AIDS and patents is irrelevant to this exercise in logic, and I never said there was one.

Preventing software idea patents in Europe is of tremendous importance to anyone that hopes to develop or use software there. I hope to call the public's attention to how these patents would affect their work.

You can serve your readers best by doing likewise.

Sincerely,

Richard Stallman President, Free Software Foundation

Related stories

Free software guru speaks on patents
Online dating firm patents cupid's arrow
EU software patents: how the vote was won
EU software patent debate continues
European Council snubs software patent vote
EU braces for software patent demo
EU revises patent licensing rules
Email filter patent puts industry on edge

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Drunkards warned: If you can't walk in a straight line, don't shop online, you fool!
Put it away boys. Cover them up ladies. Your credit cards, we mean
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD
'Officers were unable to determine Chicken's intent'
Murder accused DIDN'T ask Siri 'how to hide my roommate'
US court hears of cached browser image - not actual request
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Chomp that sausage: Brits just LOVE scoffing a Full Monty
Sales of traditional brekkie foods soar as hungry folk get their mitts greasy
Nuts to your poncey hipster coffees, I want a TESLA ELECTRO-CAFE
Examining the frothy disconnect in indie cafe culture
Ex-Apple man Sam Sung - for it is he - sticks namebadge on eBay
Stump up via tat bazaar, do a good thing for ill kids
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.