How to promote free software
Wim De Smet
fragmeat at yucom.be
Wed Dec 4 12:45:42 UTC 2002
On Wed, 4 Dec 2002 13:22:20 +0100
<xdrudis at tinet.org> wrote:
> > 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.
I was unsure of mentioning IBM because I don't know their exact
position. Thanks for clarifying.
> 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 guess we agree on this one.
> > 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.
I used it in the wrong way, so that's understandable. ;-)
> > 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.
I'm a first year computer science student and there's not a single
person in my year who I have spoken to who supports swpatents (even
the ones that don't know anything about free software or much about
the software industry in general). I don't speak much with
"microsofties" in my year though :-) Anyway, I think there is lots
of support against swpatents from the base (the programmers) but the
situation politically is still chancy.
Spread the word indead.
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