"Amazon's dubious patent activities came back to haunt the
company last week at the Paris launch of amazon.fr. Amazon had
pushed the boat(s) out for the occasion, inviting 4,000 guests to a
party on the Seine, but was faced by a small clutch of
demonstrators from campaigning groups APRIL and AFUL, handing out
leaflets and "free cookies, not patented by Amazon."
"APRIL (Association pour la Promotion et la Recherche en
Informatique Libre) and AFUL (Association Francophone des
Utilisateurs de Linux et des Logiciels Libres), were expressing
support for the Eurolinux campaign on computer patents. According
to APRIL president Frédéric Couchet, the target
wasn't Amazon setting up in France, but what Amazon represents:
wholesale patenting of software. "We must make them understand that
patenting of software is a threat to development."
"Couchet professed to be well-pleased with the results of last
week's demonstration, claiming good feedback (something in the
cookies, Frédéric?) from Amazon's guests, and more
importantly a slew of interviews with key French media. "We had the
opportunity to explain that patents are not only a threat for Free
Software, but also for the entire computing industry." By doing
this, the campaigners hope to convince European business leaders of
the rightness of their case, and hence to exert pressure in favour
of the Eurolinux patent petition on Brussels."
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