Stop Software Patents European Petition

The Basics

Copyright protects authors but doesn't hurt any honest person. Patents, in contrast, are 20-year monopolies that the government grants on broad and general ideas. Patents are potential weapons against all of us.
Click here if you don't know what a patent is, or to refresh your memory.

Software developers are perfectly protected without patents. Everyone who writes a computer program automatically owns the copyright in it. It's copyright law that made Microsoft, Oracle, SAP and the entire software industry so very big. It's the same legal concept that also protects books, music, movies, paintings, even architecture.

Many of the world's richest people owe their wealth to copyright law. Some examples are: Bill Gates, Paul Allen and Steve Ballmer (Microsoft); Larry Ellison (Oracle); Hasso Plattner and the other founders of SAP; Paul McCartney (Beatles); JK Rowling (Harry Potter).

"The Company believes that existing copyright law and available trade secret protections, as opposed to patent law, are better suited to protecting computer software developments."
Oracle Corporation Patent Policy
If copyright is all that authors and publishers need, why do some additionally ask for patents? Because they have bad intentions that they try to conceal:

1. The patent professionals want more money and influence. Copyright is free, so you don't need patent offices and lawyers to obtain it. Those potentially make money on writing and processing patent applications, and on patent litigations. A fast-growing branch of the "patent mafia" specializes on squeezing money out of the innocent by alleging patent violations.

2. Some large corporations want a powerful weapon against small but innovative competitors, or against open-source software. What they dislike about copyright is that it only helps against criminals. They want a legal instrument with which they can harm honest people.

We still have the chance to prevent this! We must exercise our democratic rights. There are politicians that purposely support those bad intentions. There are others that haven't understood yet. On this website you'll find plenty of opportunities to influence political decisions and the public opinion.

Click here to see some broad and trivial ideas that have already been patented

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Apr. 2007: New Patent Proposals: Single EU patent law good for US giants, bad for small EU firms >>
Feb. 2007: EPLA contradicts EU law >>
Jan. 2007: EU Council Presidency - SME call for change in patent policy >>
Dec. 2006: - Forum available again >>
Dec. 2006: Commission's DG Internal Market achieves Worst Lobby Award >>
Dec. 2006: FFII President says current patent system not sustainable >>
Dec. 2006: McCreevy laments unpopular EPLA >>
Nov. 2006: Patent industry writes ICT task force report "on behalf of SMEs"
  >> FFII press release
  >> Techworld article
Nov. 2006: FFII announces the European Patent Conference (EUPACO): "Towards a New European Patent System" >>
Oct. 2006: European Parliament turns around EPLA resolution >>
Mar. 2006: Software patent critics respond to EU Commission's consultation paper on patent policy
  >> FFII press release
  >> Florian Mueller blog
Jan. 2006: EU software patents rear their ugly head again
  >> IDG article
  >> Euractiv article
  >> ZDNet article
Parliament says No to software patents >> becomes an FFII platform
  >> Press Release
  >> ZDNet article
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