[FSFE PR][EN] Software patents no bigger threat to Free Software than to proprietary software

Free Software Foundation Europe press at fsfeurope.org
Thu Aug 5 02:11:21 CEST 2004

Essen, Aug 5th 2004

In reaction to the decision by the City of Munich to re-evaluate its
migration plans to Free Software, the Free Software Foundation Europe
points out that software patents are equally a significant problem for
both Free Software and proprietary software alike.

"Without doubt, software patents are a roadblock to innovation.
They will extort a high price that has to be paid by all European
citizens through loss of competitiveness, and also jobs", says Georg
Greve, President of the FSFE.

Software patents can not be a reason to stop migration from non-free to
Free Software.  While Free Software is going to suffer along with all of
industry and society, there is no need to fear for its existence or
legal safety any more than there is need to fear such legal insecurity
with regard to proprietary software.

"Therefore, the FSFE encourages the municipality of Munich to not allow
being stopped on its way to freedom by tactics of spreading Fear,
Uncertainty and Doubt", says Georg Greve. He also adds: "As a related,
but different issue we also suggest them to increase the pressure on the
German government to refuse software patents once and for all."

About the Free Software Foundation Europe

   The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSF Europe) is a charitable
   non-governmental organization dedicated to all aspects of Free
   Software in Europe. Access to software determines who may participate
   in a digital society. Therefore the freedoms to use, copy, modify and
   redistribute software - as described in the Free Software definition-
   allow equal participation in the information age. Creating awareness
   for these issues, securing Free Software politically and legally, and
   giving people freedom by supporting development of Free Software are
   central issues of the FSF Europe, which was founded in 2001 as the
   European sister organization of the Free Software Foundation in the
   United States.

   Further information: http://www.fsfeurope.org


   Georg C. F. Greve <greve at fsfeurope.org>
   Tel: +49-40-23809080
   Fax: +49-40-23809081

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