LinuxPR: SOT, MySQL, and EFFi Team Up to Oppose Software Patents
May 28, 2002, 12:00 (2 Talkback[s])
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Technology Center Hermia, Tampere, Finland, 22.5.2002
National governments within the European Union (EU) are
preparing for negotiations over a proposed EU directive that could
allow software patents within Europe. SOT has joined forces with
MySQL AB and local lobby group Electronic Frontier Finland (EFFi)
to file a statement to the Finnish Ministry of Trade and Industrial
Affairs opposing the EU commission's proposal.
"Software patenting legislation in the United States was pushed
through by powerful lobby groups in the 1980s, with almost no
public discussion. Now multinational corporations are attempting to
import the same system to Europe. It is of vital importance that
the final choice is made by national, democratically elected
decision-makers." says Mikko Valimaki, chairman of EFFi.
Software patents do not increase the competitiveness of European
software companies. Instead, software patents threaten the ability
of European companies to compete on the same level as big global
"I am appalled to see certain companies claim to promote Open
Source while patenting Open Source technologies. It is also
unbelievable that, while the EU has shown support for Open Source
software in the public sector, it is now going to harm those same
development efforts by accepting software patents." commented
Santeri Kannisto, CEO, SOT.
Software developers do not examine patent databases for new
innovations. Patent applications are kept secret for 18 months,
during which time software inventions lose their innovative value.
Moreover, software patents do not include the software's source
code, which is necessary to implement the invention. It should be
remembered that a workable and commercially viable means of
protecting software rights already exists through copyright
The Directive Proposal (22-pg PDF)