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  1. <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
  2. <html newsdate="2013-04-22">
  3. <head>
  4. <title>German Parliament says: Stop Granting Software Patents</title>
  5. </head>
  6. <body>
  7. <h1>German Parliament says: Stop Granting Software Patents</h1>
  8. <p newsteaser="yes">The German Parliament, the Bundestag, has introduced
  9. a joint motion against software patents. The resolution urges the
  10. German government to take steps to limit the granting of patents on
  11. computer programs.
  12. </p>
  13. <p>
  14. <a href="http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/17/130/1713086.pdf">In the resolution</a>, the Parliament says that patents on software
  15. restrict developers from exercising their copyright privileges,
  16. including the right to distribute their programs as Free
  17. Software. They promote the creation of monopolies in the software
  18. market, and hurt innovation and job creation.
  19. <i>[Correction 2013-04-24: Parliament
  20. did not yet adopt the motion, but rather decided to pass it to the
  21. parliament committees for further consideration.]</i>
  22. </p>
  23. <p>
  24. "Software patents are harmful in every way, and are useless at promoting innovation", says Karsten
  25. Gerloff, President of the Free Software Foundation Europe. "We urge
  26. the German government to act on this resolution as soon as possible,
  27. and relieve software developers from the needless patent-related costs
  28. and risks under which they are currently suffering."
  29. </p>
  30. <p>
  31. <a href="http://fsfe.org/campaigns/swpat/swpat.en.html">Software patents are illegal</a> under the European Patent Convention.
  32. Nevertheless, the European Patent Office has granted tens of thousands
  33. of patents covering software. As a result, software developers constantly
  34. risk being accused of patent infringement. This causes legal
  35. uncertainty which is costly for large companies, and potentially
  36. deadly for small ones.
  37. </p>
  38. <p>
  39. The Parliament's resolution reminds the government that, under the
  40. EU's Computer Programs Directive, software is covered by copyright,
  41. not patents. It calls on the government to finally put the directive's
  42. "copyright approach" into practice, and make German law more concrete
  43. in this regard. It also points out that the restrictions which patents
  44. impose are incompatible with the most widely used Free Software
  45. licenses.
  46. </p>
  47. <p>
  48. For any future initiative to reform European rules on copyright and
  49. patents, the Parliament asks the German government to make sure that
  50. developers' economic exploitation rights for their programs are not
  51. restricted by patents. The government should also push to ensure that
  52. software is covered by copyright alone, and that patent offices
  53. (including the European Patent Office) stop granting patents on
  54. software.
  55. </p>
  56. <h3>More information</h3>
  57. <ul>
  58. <li><a href="http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/17/130/1713086.pdf">Joint Motion approved by the Bundestag</a> (in German, PDF)</li>
  59. <li><a href="http://fsfe.org/campaigns/swpat/swpat.en.html">Background on software patents</a></li>
  60. </ul>
  61. </body>
  62. <tags>
  63. <tag>front-page</tag>
  64. <tag>eu</tag>
  65. <tag>de</tag>
  66. <tag>Germany</tag>
  67. <tag content="Software Patents">Swpat</tag>
  68. </tags>
  69. </html>