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The Register: Free Software Guru Speaks on Patents

May 27, 2004, 02:30 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Lucy Sherriff)

"Speaking in London last week, Richard Stallman, founder of GNU, argued passionately against the legalisation of what he calls 'software idea patents.' The core of Stallman's argument is that if companies are allowed to patent software ideas, big business will ride roughshod over the smaller players, and the free software movement will be effectively strangled.

"This, Stallman warns, is the fate awaiting Europe if the current draft of the directive on computer implemented inventions is passed unchanged. He argues that different fields need different approaches. Patenting might be appropriate for the pharmaceutical sector, but he believes fervently that it is not appropriate for software..."

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