Information/Mental Process Patents

Information/Mental Process Patents can include everything from computer software, business models, and possibly even methods of organizing people (Roberts Rules), parliamentary processes, and acts of parliament/law.

See: (EU), Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (EU), League for Programming Freedom (US).

Patent reform panel visits Hamilton Linux Users Group (HLUG)

A Newsforge article by Crystle Numan discusses the panel in Hamilton on February 1.

The evening ended with a call to everyone who cares about free and open source software to speak to their local politicians and share their views on patents and copyrights. By sharing the practical reasons to support patent and software reform, friends also could be convinced to talk with their politicians. As Young said more than once during the evening, "Votes trump money."

U.K. Linux guru Alan Cox backs GPL 3 / legal loopholes created by 1996 WIPO treaties

This CNET by Ingrid Marson includes:

Alan Cox, a leading U.K. Linux developer, has expressed his support for the next version of the General Public License.

One of the comments to this article brought up the following:

... they would have found precisely reversed positions on DRM in Linux kernel: Cox was one of the developers against any kind of DRM in Linux kernel, while Linus is Okay with DRM system as long as it is GPLed.

I wrote the following as an additional comment:

Anti-software patent activist starts campaign concerning EV50 awards


"EU countries put diplomatic pressure on non-EU countries when there are serious suspicions of election fraud" -- Campaign is part of the transition from the recent fight over software patents in the EU to the new patent policy debate started by the European Commission on January 16

Gruet, Switzerland -- January 29, 2006. The European anti-software patent movement is getting into gear again. As of today, the initiator of the ThankPoland campaign, who gave tens of thousands of people a chance to thank the Polish government for its intervention against software patents in late 2004 and early 2005, is back on the campaigning front. Norbert Bollow launched, a Web site on which people can sign a bundle of open letters ( to European political leaders and others involved with an EU-related award, including Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer. Truth50 will at a future point in time deliver those letters along with lists of the names of the people who signed. The campaign demands a verification or a retaking of the Microsoft-sponsored public poll in which the "EV50 European of the Year 2005" was elected.

Stallman Speaks on the Future of GPL 3.0

eWeek has a Q&A with Richard Stallman, founder of the FSF, talks about his goals for the GPL and the hopes and fears of free software advocates.

You said the main issues for you were making the license more easily compatible with other free licenses, as well as DRM (Digital Rights Management) and the whole patent issue. Tell me your thoughts on these issues.

DRM is an attempt to crush the freedom that copyright law gives the public. It is completely evil. DRM does not deserve to be tolerated and should be wiped out. It is tolerated because governments are not very democratic and the rich have too much power over governments and the media.

Would love to see Mr. Stallman and Ms. Bulte, Hollywood's outgoing Canadian MP, in a debate ;-) Two passionate people: his passion for citizen freedom, and her passion for her well funded friends.

U.K. judge frowns on software patents

This CNET news article by Ingrid Marson includes:

Sir Robin Jacob, a judge at the U.K.'s Court of Appeal who specializes in intellectual-property law, spoke about the potential problems surrounding software patents at a seminar for the Society for Computers and Law on Thursday evening in London.
"IP rights themselves may have reached a bit of a swing of opinion. One is detecting public disquiet in a number of areas of intellectual property, asking: Are we going too far? There's a serious worry about patent offices and how you stop them from granting pretty ropey patents," he said.

In Canada there has been politicians attacking the independence on the Supreme Court, with the controversial Liberal incumbent for Parkdale High-park, Sam Bulte, effectively calling the nine justices of the Supreme Court of Canada zealots. I believe it is appropriate for judges to be speaking out on issues where they have the knowledge and the experience, things which many believe that elected members of parliament seem to lack.

GNU project's General Public License (GPL) version 3: reading the rationale

While the election is under way and the type of "code is law" that Canadian parliament will codify is on our minds, I also read the GPL Version 3 Rationale Document. When I was interviewed yesterday by Sarah Lysecki I had not yet read this document, and was basing what I said on earlier discussions.

The issue I was concerned with, namely the handling of privately modified (undistributed) versions that provide external services, has been well handled. It was recognized that "Given the variety of needs and concerns in this area, in which different parties have disparate and strongly-held positions, we have chosen not to add requirements about public use of modified versions in the GPL itself."

Two threats to software freedom, and the citizen freedoms that Free Software is intended to protect, are highlighted in this revision: software patents and Digital Restrictions Management (DRM). My hope is that we can convince Canadian MPs to read these types of documents and dialogue with this community to understand the public policy implications of what we are doing, and the harmful consequences of the direction that certain governments have been taking.

OSV Sponsors Copyright and Patents Briefing Paper

Open Source Victoria has recently sponsored the preparation of a briefing paper which delves into the issues surrounding copyright, software patents and other issues affecting the software industry.

Stop the Software Patent Madness Now

This eWeek article by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols includes:

Opinion: Software patents are nasty, brutish and anything but short. For the sake of the United States' technological development, they must be stopped.

Canadians should write their MP about this issue, given that the Canadian Patent Office expanded patents to software without judicial or parliamentary oversight. For all the flaws in the US system, at least it was a court that expanded patentability and not an unaccountable group of bureaucrats.

A chronology of BlackBerry maker's patent battle with NTP

This Reuters article provides a chronology of the patent problems that Waterloo, Ontario-based company Research In Motion has with U.S. patent holding firm NTP Inc.

We need to protect Canadian innovation. We need to protect Canadian companies from frivolous lawsuits launched because of poor Canadian patent policy. Pure intangibles, such as mental methods, software and business models should not be eligible for patents as this harms innovation. The economics of intangibles, where the marginal cost is (or approaches) zero, is incompatible with patent policy that assumes the production of tangible non-zero marginal cost products. Only new and useful art, process, machine, manufacture of tangible goods, or compositions of matter, should be eligible for a patent monopoly.

Luminaries Call on Worldwide Community to Vote Against Software Patents

A group of Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS) celebrities has weighed in on the election of the "European of the Year 2005" by calling on "software developers and users around the globe" to vote for Florian Mueller, the founder of the campaign, in a public online poll.

Read ag-IP-news article, ZDNet UK

See more details on the website..

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