diff --git a/projects/swpat/letter-20040906.en.xhtml b/projects/swpat/letter-20040906.en.xhtml new file mode 100644 index 0000000000..f0f47b8564 --- /dev/null +++ b/projects/swpat/letter-20040906.en.xhtml @@ -0,0 +1,100 @@ + + + + + + Europe should conserve a competitive advantageand prohibit a legal basis + for software patents - September 6th, 2004 + + + + +

+ Europe should conserve a competitive advantageand prohibit a legal basis + for software patents +

+

September 6th, 2004

+ +
+ +

+ Dear Prime Minister,
+ Dear Dr. Balkenende, +

+ +

+ The new Commission of the European Union would like to speed up the + "Lisbon"-Process to make Europe the "most competitive knowledge-based + economy by 2010". This is a reasonable aim which is worthy of support + by European citizens. However, the EU is considering legislation which + will have adverse effects on the software market. We - the Free + Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) - would like to call your attention + to this important issue. With your help it may be possible to avoid + this problem before it gets off the ground in the EU. +

+ +

+ Software patents are used to hinder competitors software innovation. + This is the sole reason that a virtual waste paper basket is patented, + the incorporation of applications into a website is patented, and or + the ordering of gifts via the internet is patented. These ideas are not + very innovative, but they are necessary to make the whole application + run and be usable by anybody. It is just the same as with a car: To get + access to the real innovations you need to use trivial features such as + a steering wheel. +

+ +

+ In the last few weeks we have seen what happens to project management + in business and public administration because of a demanding project, + such as in Munich. A member of the city council feared that the project + might infringe a patent - and the project got into trouble for a whole + week, although software giants IBM are interested in managing this + project because of its international prestige. This was paralleled + worldwide, as similar projects are supposedly threatened as well. +

+ +

+ From now on any introduction of SAP will be in danger. The same way it + might get impossible to implement additional security features to + eliminate a bug in a web server - because there might at any time be + someone who speculates whether the ideas behind the implementation are + "protected" by software patents. For these reasons voices in the US + would like to get rid of the innovation blockade which are "software + patents". +

+ +

+ 30,000 software patents already exist in the EU; this contradicts the + spirit of the present patent law in the EU. Three quarters of software + patents are held by non-European companies. To give software patents a + legal basis may be a decision which would make the EU far less + competitive. That is why we would like to ask the European Council to + revise its agreement on software patents of May 18th. Instead the + Council should decide to make sure innovation can take place and not be + restricted by software patents in the future. +

+ +

+ During the dutch Presidency of the European Union you have the best + opportunity to initiate this revision. In the interest of Europe you + should not hesitate to make this revision. +

+ +

Yours sincerely

+ +

+ Georg Greve
+ President
+ Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) +

+
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