From: Klaus Ripke <paul@OpenIsis.org> - 2003-06-21 18:18:57
dear list members
please let me draw your attention to a very dangerous development
for the future of OSS at least in Europe.
Emerging software patent law could mean that we
can't continue to develop and distribute OSS software
without the fear that somebody shows up claiming a patent
on some or the other piece of technology used in OSS software.
Even defending against a false claim can impose
costs and risks that nobody can bear who is giving away
software for no or little money.
All systems discuessed on the list probably contain a lot
of such technologies. Given the long track of illegal patents
already granted by the European Patent Office,
our chances are really bad.
In the US, Microsoft holds a patent on checking database entries
against a validation database (granted May 6th 2003 !!!).
It is nearly impossible to do anything useful without violating this pate=
Search patent no 6,560,598 on http://patft.uspto.gov/
There are more than 2000 similar trivial patents for keyword "database".
On friday, in a very undemocratic rush, Arlene McCarthy managed
to shorten the time to the parliament hearing from three months to
ten days (30. of June !) in order to push their proposal through.
Please inform yourself about what's going on and what the consequences ar=
If you have any influental position, especially in an european institutio=
please quickly take action in order to help CDS/ISIS to survive.
have a nice weekend
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