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software patents

The patent industry is growing powerful by changing the rules, so that more and more areas can be patented. It happened in the US, and it's happening here in Europe. Software, genes, ways of doing business. Maybe it doesn't matter that many things - from mobile phones and MP3 players to breast-cancer tests and essential medicines - cost more, because of patents. Maybe it doesn't matter that laws aren't made by parliaments anymore, but by unelected officials who look after their own vested interests.

Help the FFII make a difference, sign their petition at!

Note: if you're one of those who want to get rid of patents completely, please consider that less, less harmful patents are at least a step in the right direction.

Someone from the GNU/Linux community took on the effort to launch a web site which directly solicits a response from Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer. Steve is being asked to "show us the code":

"It's come to many in the Linux community’s attention you have claimed again and again, that Linux violates Microsoft's intellectual property. Not only that, but it's been reported Microsoft has convinced businesses to pay for a Linux patent that you can't provide.

Therefore, this website will serve as a response to this accusation, and within it, a request. The request is simple, since you, Microsoft, claim to be so sure of yourself: Show Us the Code. Show us the Code and Show Us the Patents. Lets make this crystal clear."

Thanks to Fluendo, Linux and Solaris users on a variety of processor architectures can now purchase playback support for patent-encumbered audio and video formats. Similar support from free alternatives, whether they rely on copying Windows DLLs or use original code, all violate existing patent law. The mere existence of Fluendo's plugins needles a bevy of critics, but Fluendo is prepared to answer them all. And in an ironic twist, sales of these decoders for non-free formats are funding the development of free alternatives. [url=]Read more..