[Linux-aus] Fwd: SWPAT PRESS RELEASE: Appeal to EU Council by Monty together with Linus and Rasmus

Arjen Lentz arjen at mysql.com
Wed Nov 24 06:10:02 UTC 2004

European Open-Source Luminaries
Appeal to EU Council Against Software Patents

European nationals who created Linux, MySQL and PHP issue joint statement on
www.NoSoftwarePatents.com ahead of EU Council meeting -- "The proposed
software patent directive is deceptive, dangerous, and democratically

Munich, Germany (23 November 2004).  The three most famous European authors
of open-source software have issued an appeal against software patents on
NoSoftwarePatents.com.  Linus Torvalds (Linux), Michael Widenius (MySQL) and
Rasmus Lerdorf (PHP) urge the EU Council, which will convene later in the
week, not to adopt a draft directive on software patents that they consider
"deceptive, dangerous, and democratically illegitimate".  They also call on
the Internet community to express solidarity by placing
NoSoftwarePatents.com links and banners on many Web sites.

This announcement comes after an eventful week on the software patent front
The Polish government clarified that it does not support the legislative
proposal in question, and Microsoft warned Asian governments that they could
face patent lawsuits for using the Linux operating system instead of its
Windows software.

The open-source programs that were created by Linus Torvalds, Michael
Widenius and Rasmus Lerdorf form three of the four parts of a technology
stack commonly referred to as LAMP by the first letters of its components.
The combination of Linux (operating system), Apache (Web server), MySQL
(database) and PHP (programming language) is an industry standard that
powers millions of Internet servers worldwide.  Linus Torvalds and Michael
Widenius, the Finnish Software Entrepreneur of the Year 2003, are
Swedish-speaking Finns.  Greenland-born Rasmus Lerdorf is a famous Dane
according to Google.

The joint statement stresses that software authors are well protected by
copyright law while software patents establish the law of the strong, which
creates more injustice than justice.  The draft legislation on which the EU
Council reached a disputed political agreement on May 18th is called
deceptive because it leads laymen to believe that software is excluded from
patentability while actually containing a number of passages that would
legalize software patents in the EU, the broadest one of which is its
article 5(2).

Particular emphasis is given to the fact that an adoption of the proposal
without a formal vote, as a so-called A item, would lack democratic
legitimacy.  Under the Act of Accession, new voting weights apply in the EU
Council from this month on, and the countries that supported the proposed
legislation on May 18th fall short of a qualified majority on today's basis.
Additionally, the national parliaments of two of the supporting countries
(Germany and the Netherlands) have spoken out against the proposed

In separate public surveys of IT companies by the European Commission and
the German government, a vast majority (94% and, respectively, an estimated
99%) of respondents opposed the patentability of software.  However, a small
group of multinationals and the patent system push for an extended scope of
Full Text of the Statement

The full text of the statement is available on the Internet in (initially)
11 languages

http://www.nosoftwarepatents.com/en/m/intro/app0411.html (English)
http://www.nosoftwarepatents.com/fr/m/intro/app0411.html  (French)
http://www.nosoftwarepatents.com/de/m/intro/app0411.html (German)
http://www.nosoftwarepatents.com/es/m/intro/app0411.html  (Spanish)
http://www.nosoftwarepatents.com/ca/m/intro/app0411.html  (Catalan)
http://www.nosoftwarepatents.com/pt/m/intro/app0411.html (Portuguese)
http://www.nosoftwarepatents.com/nl/m/intro/app0411.html (Dutch)
http://www.nosoftwarepatents.com/cz/m/intro/app0411.html (Czech)
http://www.nosoftwarepatents.com/hu/m/intro/app0411.html (Hungarian)
http://www.nosoftwarepatents.com/lt/m/intro/app0411.html (Lithuanian)
http://www.nosoftwarepatents.com/fi/m/intro/app0411.html (Finnish)

About the NoSoftwarePatents.com Campaign

The NoSoftwarePatents.com campaign was launched on October 20th in initially
12 languages and is supported by three IT companies (1&1, Red Hat, and MySQL
AB).  More information on the campaign is available on the campaign Web

Contact Information

For further information concerning this announcement or the
NoSoftwarePatents.com campaign, please contact

Florian Mueller
Campaign Manager, NoSoftwarePatents.com
telephone +49 (8151) 651850
press at nosoftwarepatents.com

Arjen Lentz, Community Relations Manager
MySQL AB, www.mysql.com

MySQL User Conference (April)  www.mysqluc.com

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