How to promote free software

Onno Timmerman onno.timmerman at
Sun Dec 1 16:05:52 UTC 2002

Yes I agree. We actually spoke at the last meeting in the EU.

I keep bouncing against the same problem. (ignorance)
1. Access to these EU politicians. 
2. When I explain the problems they react as if a fish saw for the first time a cow.
3. They keep wandering about profits, protecting intellectual nonsense and the
small man. 

In short software is alien to most politicians. And free software is for them
something like freeware or something very confusing. However some arguments I
think are working. 

1. Speaking off freedom. Explaining to the point what free software is and what
it does. It makes left politicians wonder about it.
2. The difference between rich country’s and developing country’s in patent law.
3. Pointing out that they are destroying small initiative and backing Microsoft
& co. No I don't like MS bashing however it can help to give a politician a
feeling that action should be done.

Mister Howard (pro-patent man) doesn't help as he can't even utter the words
free software and sees it as open source and open source is in his mind only
collaboration between big corporations or sort. 

The thing that we all should do is ask or political party's in Europe if they
know what free software is, if they know what restrictions software patent is
going to do. Demand answers and go to the press. 

My final thought.
Would the software patent guideline be in violation with free speech? And could
it be fought in front off court. What if a 15 year old kid infringes a patent?
would dome company demand fine's?

Citeren Richard Stallman <rms at>:

> The best thing you can do for free software in Europe now at the
> political level is to fight against software patents as hard as you
> possibly can.  If we win that fight, free software should have a good
> future in Europe.  If we lose, we will face difficulties everywhere.
> _______________________________________________
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Onno Timmerman
Sp.a studiedienst (ICT)
tel 02 501.76.44

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