[ubuntu-uk] Writing to MPs about software patents

Chris Rowson christopherrowson at gmail.com
Sun Feb 24 20:10:19 GMT 2008

Hi Guys and Girls.

I must admit, I'm guilty of not paying enough attention to the
'politics' behind the concepts of free software. I thought that since
the European Parliment ruled against software patents that that was
the end of the matter and that we didn't have to worry here in the UK.

I was shocked to learn that software patents are being granted in this
country (high-court ruling recently on a specific matter) and in
Europe (EPOrg still grants them against the ruling of European

I don't know a great deal about it, but it seems like a pretty bad
idea. I read an article by Richard Stallman on how simple ideas can
get patented:


Anyway. I decided to get in touch with my European MPs to lobby them
to do what they can to stop this.

If anyone else feels like doing the same, feel free to use this as a
template if you can't be bothered to write a letter from scratch. You
can use www.writetothem.com to do it.



 Dear Timothy Kirkhope, Edward McMillan-Scott, Linda McAvan, Godfrey
 Bloom, Diana Wallis and Richard Corbett,

 I am a user of free and open source software and I have recently been
 made aware of problems with the European software patent system.

 The European Patent Organisation (EPOrg) systematically grants patents
 on software and business methods against the letter and spirit of the
 written law and against the repeatedly expressed will of the European
 Parliament and several national parliaments

 EPOrg is petitioning for a draft European Patent Litigation Agreement
 giving them more power. This would seem rather foolish given their
 disrespect of the wishes of the European Parliament.

 I'm petitioning you to take a specific interest in this manner and help
 to ensure that software patents are not allowed to be granted in the

 Software patents are harmful, stifle innovation and are generally used
 by unscrupulous companies to licence 'concepts' which are already
 widely used in the programming community.

 Please read this article for a more specific explanation.


 Yours sincerely,

 Chris Rowson

 (Signed with an electronic signature in accordance with subsection 7(3)
 of the Electronic Communications Act 2000.)

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