[Top][All Lists]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[FSF] Phase II: developing a global resource and

From: Peter Brown
Subject: [FSF] Phase II: developing a global resource and campaign
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2009 16:55:39 -0500
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20081125) Phase II: developing a global resource and campaign

"By organizing this information and delivering it into the hands of
activists and law makers, we can form an immense tool to help existing
and future campaigns around the world" Ciaran O'Riordan, Director End
Software Patents.

BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA -- Monday, February 23rd, 2009 -- The Free
Software Foundation today announced funding for the End Software Patents
project to document the case for ending software patents worldwide. This
catalog of studies, economic arguments, and legal analyses will build on
the recent success of the "in re Bilski" court ruling, in which End
Software Patents (ESP) helped play a key role in narrowing the scope for
patenting software ideas in the USA.

For this new phase of End Software Patents work, the FSF has engaged
veteran anti-software-patent lobbyist Ciaran O'Riordan, taking over from
Ben Klemens as director of ESP. O'Riordan brings years of experience
campaigning against software patents in the EU. This knowledge, combined
with what was learned during the Bilski work, will form the starting
point for a global information resource and campaign. The goal is make
it easy for activists around the world to benefit from existing
knowledge, often scattered and sometimes disappearing with time.

O'Riordan explained, "Each campaign raises new evidence and arguments
for the case against software patents. The work on the Bilski case
uncovered new economic studies and developed legal proposals for how to
pin down the slippery goal of excluding software ideas from
patentability. To make the most of that work, Phase II of ESP will work
on documenting and organizing that information and making it easily
reusable. We'll add to that what was learned during the years-long
campaign against the EU software patents directive, and then we'll
research and document what's happening in South Africa, India, New
Zealand, Brazil, and so forth."

In recent years, some of the largest technology companies have led a
charge to register tens of thousands of software patents in an apparent
attempt to stifle competition and threaten software users. To counter
those efforts O'Riordan explained the work the campaign will undertake,
"We have the arguments and the studies to show how software patents harm
competition, choice, innovation, SMEs, standards, and entrepreneurs. We
can show that by blocking individuals and communities from participating
in software development, software patents impede a very important
activity. We've seen how inefficient, slow, and costly the patent system
is -- how incompatible it is with software development timelines.

"There's a mountain of information, but a bottleneck is that much of it
is contained in electronic archives -- sometimes public, sometimes
private -- and in news stories, and unmaintained websites. By organizing
this information and delivering it into the hands of activists and law
makers, we can form an immense tool to help existing and future
campaigns around the world."

"While other online resources focus on exposing and fighting individual
bad software patents, we will be continuing our broader approach of
working to see the entire system reformed so that patent offices no
longer grant patents for software ideas. Until that happens, there will
always be new mosquitoes to swat, and software developers and users will
continue to be intimidated by the possibility of legal actions."

The project website is located at  To be
informed about the details of this project in the coming days and weeks
and to learn how you can participate, please sign up to the ESP mailing
list at

About End Software Patents
End Software Patents is a project formed to eliminate patents for
software and other designs with no physically innovative step. End
Software Patents is funded by donations to the Free Software Foundation.
For more information on participating in the project, or to access its
knowledge base, please visit its website at

About the Free Software Foundation
The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to promoting
computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and redistribute
computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and use of free (as
in freedom) software -- particularly the GNU operating system and its
GNU/Linux variants -- and free documentation for free software. The FSF
also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and political issues of
freedom in the use of software, and its Web sites, located at
and, are an important source of information about GNU/Linux.
Donations to support the FSF's work can be made at Its headquarters are in Boston, MA, USA.

Media Contacts
Ciaran O'Riordan
Director End Software Patents
Tel: +32 487 64 17 54
email: ciaran [at]

reply via email to

[Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread]