At the Free Software Foundation (FSF) we have reported extensively on many issues concerning user freedom. In this article, we will reintroduce a problem that has plagued the free software community for many years: the problem of software patents. In the past, we had several successful campaigns against them, and Read more…
May brought exceptionally good pieces of news for campaigns against software patents, but I’m stuck studying for law exams. If anyone would like to help, it would be great to have better write-ups about these recent events on the ESP wiki: Update: There’s also a page for documenting part 2 Read more…
Two exiting recordings from Australia: Ben Sturmfels’ recent presentation: Ending Software Patents in Australia (video) and Audio of the committee hearing on software patents in the House of Representatives Or, to view Ben’s presentation in WebM format via YouTube, first go to YouTube’s HTML5 page to make sure everything works. Read more…
NPR published a really excellent article on patent trolls in the software industry. Great. They then broadcast a radio version on This American Life. Great exposure for the issue, but, it was published in the still-patented MP3 format. Sign FSF’s petition for the show to be published in Ogg Vorbis Read more…
The folks at unitary-patent.eu have made a video to explain the dangers of this proposal: A presentation about the unitary patent (For further information, see en.swpat.org/wiki/Unitary_patent )
The below letter is ESP’s submission to the USPTO 2010 post-Bilski consultation. The best part of the Bilski decision was that it left the door open for excluding software from the patent system in a future ruling. Instructions about what has to change today are a little more subtle, but we’ve formalised three here which we hope the USPTO will take into account.
Australian residents and nationals, please sign this letter:
For non-Australians: please contact people in Australia to raise awareness of this.
In the coming days, venture capitalist and anti-software patent blogger Brad Feld will post copies of the Bilski film Patent Absurdity to 200 people. End Software Patents is looking for help in building that list of 200 people. We’re looking for the key people in US patent politics, the software Read more…
FSF has just published a film by independent film make Luca Lucarini:
Against the backdrop of of the current Bilski case in the US Supreme Court, the film features a series of interviews explaining the absurdity of software patents and how we got into this mess. Luca and some of the cast from the film kindly agreed to answer here some of the questions you might have about the film. So fire away!
Australia seems to be headed for software patent legislation in 2010. The bad news is that there was a consultation, and we missed it. The good news is that the consultation was just a preliminary step, so if we start organising now, we can still participate fully in the legislative phase. Other good news is that when I discussed software patents with people in Australia six months ago, there was plenty of interest.
I need help contacting groups in Israel. With a February deadline, the Israeli patent office is asking if it should grant software patents. To help, join this mailing list: firstname.lastname@example.org. As usual, the small businesses, individual programmers, and software user groups don’t seem to have noticed this consultation. This is common in public consultations – but you can bet the lawyers groups and the multinationals are aware and working on their submissions. So I need help with informing people in Israel now so they have some time to get prepare submissions. More info below.
There were 38 responses to the consultation in Australia about patentable subject matter. I’ve quickly analysed them all and below are my initial comments. There 400+ pages of writing, so I only skimmed them and I’ve surely made mistakes. There’s a copy of this analysis on the wiki at: http://en.swpat.org/wiki/Australian_consultation_responses_2009 – please add notes there to correct my analysis or to add your own.
BOSTON, Massachusetts, USA — Friday, October 2, 2009 — The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today submitted an amicus curiae brief calling on the Supreme Court to affirm that software ideas are not patentable. After outlining the positive impact that the free software movement and the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL) have had on computer use, the brief explains how software patents are an obstacle and a danger to software developers.
ESP responds to the European Patent Office’s consulation about the exclusion of computer programs from patentability
The following is the Amicus curiae brief submitted by End Software Patents regarding the European Patent Office’s referral “G 3/08” on the interpretation of EPC Art.52.
A transcript of Ciaran O’Riordan’s ESP presentation at Libre Planet 2009, March 21st, Boston. Transcript of presentation by Ciaran O’Riordan of ESP’s current plans