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Richard Stallman: Looking for specific cases where software patents hurt free software

Dec 11, 2000, 19:46 (7 Talkback[s])


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From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Looking for specific cases where software patents hurt free software
To: info-gnu@gnu.org
Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2000 10:00:08 -0700 (MST)

[Please repost this widely wherever appropriate]

We would like to collect information about cases where free software
has been harmed by software patents--that is, cases where a free
program has been withdrawn from use or interfered with, or where a
feature was taken out or never written in the first place, because of
the danger of a patent.

We hope to use this information to argue against the system of
software patents, especially in Europe where the question has become
a live political issue (see www.freepatents.org).

If you know of such a case, please write to patent-examples@gnu.org
and tell us what happened.

Ideally we would like to know the name of the program, its developer's
name and email address or other coordinates, what happened to the
program, and the patent number.  If you know those things, please
include them in your report.  But if you don't have all of that
information, please write anyway and tell us whatever you know.  For
instance, if you can tell us how to contact the program's developer,
we can probably get the rest of the information from the developer.
If you can tell us just the program's name, we may be able to find the
developer.  We may write back to you to try to get more details; even
leads for getting more details may be useful.

Please send your information to patent-examples@gnu.org rather than to
me personally, so that we can collect the responses efficiency.