Capaigning against software patents

Jan Wildeboer jan.wildeboer at
Wed Dec 4 23:28:47 UTC 2002

Niall Douglas wrote:

> There are some very cheap ways to get accurate figures. One would be 
> to send a short questionaire to software companies asking if they 
> feel software patents will cost them (obviously you include 
> documentation explaining them - preferably with a pro and con 
> section).
> Obviously this would require some money for postage. It duplicates 
> making them aware of the issue though, so it's well spent.

Why not contact them via email and provide some links? They are software 
companies after all ...

A decent and well-written template could be a good result of this 
interesting discussion.

A better way might be to get in contact with some respected journalists 
from good IT-related magazines and convince them that it would be a good 
thing to do and publish the results. Publicity is perhaps the most 
important 'currency' to achieve results.

> Well I can be a bit direct sometimes. I don't mean to sound like I'm 
> barking orders, but I was kinda hoping someone could say if the FSF 
> is willing to provide some funds to make these ideas happen or are we 
> completely broke?

I think it is unreasonable to ask the FSF for funds when on the other 
hand the term Free Software should be avoided. It should be a broad 
coalition of interested people, companies and NGO.

> Yeah that's a major problem. A lot of the software patents I've seen 
> patent the idea with no regard to implementation eg; a communication 
> medium between two information repositories - which could mean nearly 
> anything.

Check to see yet another bunch of ridiculous and 
extremely unspecific patents. Users of the Free Software project I am 
prt of are actually facing legal threats from these. USA only for this 

Just jumping in, with no real plan behind it. Take it with a grain of 
salt. Though I am curious to organize/help on this issue as I am 
personally endangered by these patents.

Jan Wildeboer

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