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How to fight software patents - singly and together

There is no conflict between these two campaigns; we can work on the short-term escape and the long-term fix at once. If we take care, we

can make our efforts to overturn individual software patents do double duty, building support for efforts to correct the whole problem. The

crucial point is not to equate "bad" software patents with mistaken or invalid software patents. Each time we invalidate one software patent, each time we talk about our plans to try, we should say in no uncertain terms, "One less software patent, one less menace to programmers: the target is zero."

The battle over software patents in the European Union is reaching a crucial stage. The European Parliament voted a year ago to reject software patents conclusively. In May, the Council of Ministers voted to undo the Parliament's amendments and make the directive even worse

than when it started. However, at least one country that supported this has already reversed its vote. We must all do our utmost right

now to convince an additional European country to change its vote, and to convince the newly elected members of the European Parliament to stand behind the previous vote. Please refer to www.ffii.org for more information on how to help and to get in touch with other activists.

Copyright 2004 Richard Stallman. Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article are permitted worldwide without royalty in any medium provided this notice is preserved.