Under the influence of the patent system and big industry lobbyists, the European Union is on the verge of making a huge mistake: to pass a law that would legalize software patents.
If that happens, you will pay dearly. Europe’s software industry will fall victim to unscrupulous extortioners. A cartel of large corporations will crush smaller competitors. Consequently, we will all pay more money for less good and less secure software. You personally, your household, your company, your government, all of us.
Companies that push for software patents are more or less universally large corporations that want to extract profits while sitting on their patent portfolio laurels; people who are doing innovative, groundbreaking work now in software and Internet services–such as Red Hat, the developers behind PHP and MySQL, and 1&1, among others–are leading the fight against patents. Software patents don’t foster innovation; they stifle it. And in a society where software and Internet services are the leading technological fields of the forseeable future, that means that software patents are nothing less than a roadblock in the way of civilization. A free culture needs free tools to build it; but to build the tools we need (unfortunately) to resist the on-going intellectual enclosure movement that is being directed against us. You can find out more about what you can do to help from the No Software Patents website.