[Fsfe-ie] FW: Invitation to talk on Software Patents by founder of Free Software Foundation

adam beecher lists at beecher.net
Fri May 21 16:04:12 CEST 2004

Glenn gave me the nod to go ahead with the invitation, so I sent it this
afternoon as it's already very short notice. Unfortunately I won't be able
to attend myself, but if I hear back from Brendan I'd be happy to put him in
touch with one of you. I'm not sure Brendan has the support to win a seat in
Europe at this time, but I get the feeling that if he does, he could be a
very strong supporter of the Free Software movement. Brendan is old skool
Labour. :)


>  -----Original Message-----
> From: 	adam beecher [mailto:adam at beecher.net]
> Sent:	21 May 2004 15:01
> To:	brendan.ryan at oireachtas.ie; Brendan Ryan
> Cc:	head_office at labour.ie
> Subject:	Invitation to talk on Software Patents by founder of Free
Software Foundation
> Brendan,
> My name is Adam Beecher, you might possibly remember me from an email
during the last Dáil campaign.
> I'm writing to invite you to a talk on "The Danger of Software Patents",
that will take place in Trinity College on Monday next. The talk will be
given by Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation. I
realise that this is short notice, however it genuinely didn't occur to me
to invite you until this morning, and I thought it better to invite you at
short notice than not at all.
> As you're no doubt aware, this is an important issue that is causing a lot
of confusion and concern in Europe at the moment, and in addition it strikes
me as an issue that you would be interested in, and supportive of. This
invitation is extended on behalf of the committee of the Irish Free Software
Association, a group that I am a supporter of, though not a member at this
> I myself develop software occasionally as part of my business, and I am
concerned that software patents could cause difficulties for me at some time
in the future. Software patents, in my opinion, can only be of benefit to
large, well-funded corporations that already have adequate copyright
protections in their favour. I believe that they can and will only be used
for two purposes: as a bartering tool between these corporations, and as a
stick to beat smaller developers with.
> In the simplest terms I can break it down to, these corporations will
mount massive legal actions against each other, which will invariably be
settled out of court with "IP exchange agreements"; and against smaller
competitors that will simply be unable to defend themselves. They will be
used to extend monopolies and cartels, and to steal from smaller innovators.
There is plenty of evidence to demonstrate this type of behaviour in the
United States, where software patents are already available.
> You'll find more details on the talk at the URL below, and you can find
out more about the Irish Free Software Organisation and Free Software
Foundation by following links from there. If you're unable to attend, it
would be great if you could organise someone to attend in your place, and to
discuss the issue with members of the IFSO. Whether or which, I'm available
in Cork at any time to discuss the issue with you in more detail. I'm not an
expert, but if I can't answer anything directly, I can arrange a meeting
with someone that can.
> http://ifso.ie/news.html#n7
> On a more personal note, I would like to wish you the best of luck in the
upcoming election. I would very much like to see you representing me in
Europe, so if there's anything I can do to help you, please let me know.
> adam

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