How to promote free software

xdrudis at xdrudis at
Wed Dec 4 12:22:20 UTC 2002

> A rock firm position would require us to confirm more support from 
> bothsides of the political spectrum. I'm seeing only the left is 
> engagingthemselves against software patents (and not fully, but 
> that could
> change). Please correct me if I'm wrong.

You're right in the not fully all the left, apparently. 
We would be lucky to have all the left with us, since the rapporteur 
is a laborist MEP. 
And then there is something in the right, maybe. It's just not very
defined, I'm afraid. 

> Granted you make very good sense. But some companies (Business 
> softwarealliance is probably a good example) are still saying the 
> exact opposite.

Of course. BSA is controlled by MS who is in a panic race against 
free software. Although they have relatively few patents, they 
want to ban free software at all costs. But things are much more 
complex. IBM is a strong pro-swpat corporation, for instance. 

But other big software houses could be more or less against
(there were statements in the USA from Oracle, Borland, etc...).
Genrally the more they come from a hardware past or present, 
the more proswpat. And it often depends on who you talk to 
inside the company. 

> I'm just expressing concern with whom eventually will be heard. It 
> seems to
> me, that liberals and conservative partiesusually take the side of 
> big 
> business. Best thing to do then is to get as much software 
> developers as
> possible to openly reject patents (already well on our way there).

I thought liberals should side with SMEs and conservatives with 
big corporations?. I don't really know. BUt we need all companies,
big _and_ small to express their concerns to politicians and 
join the Call for Action. There have been cases of industry association
lawyers talking for the whole European "Industry" (including SMEs) without 
real backing from those companies. So we need the individual 
companies to show them wrong.

> I meant protectionism as in trying to protect the own IP by swpatents.
> It is of course not a valid argument, as you point out, but it still
> pops up now and then.
Sorry, I misunderstood protectionism.

> Anyway there is a chance to stop swpatents in europe. I'm just not 
> sureif we'll have enough leverage to do it. Maybe I was just in a 
> pessimisticstate of mind when I wrote that. :-) To me it really 
> looks like it'll be
> a close call, hope we can convince enough people in time.
We can if lots of people give a little time and effort to it. 
Just spread the word. 

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