Bonum Certa Men Certa

President Obama Ignores the US Population's Plea to Abolish Software Patents (Updated)

Parliament protects the "special interests", ignores the 99%

Washington



Summary: Inaction in the face of popular demand to abolish software patents, but it's not over yet

THE other month someone initiated a petition against software patents. We did not have high hopes, but whatever the outcome, we said it would probably help prove and validate a corrupt status quo.



President Obama, a lawyer, did what we expected all along. Stefane Fermigier writes:

Obama administration responds to our petition to reform software patents wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#!/re… Me = not impressed.


Nobody is impressed. Here is the response from the FFII's president (who can be more honest than the US president):

Obama ignores the Petition against software patents, issues a pro patent answer, I was expecting such answer


Here is the link to the response. It ironic that in a Drupal/GNU/Linux-powered site they just let software patents be. Shows their hypocrisy really...

Here is the massive Slashdot discussion about it. Timothy B. Lee wrote an excellent article about it:

The Obama administration has started an official petition website called "We the People," in which Americans can propose and vote on petitions for consideration by the White House. Petitions that cross a popularity threshold (originally 5,000 signatures within 30 days) get an official response from the White House.

This being the Internet, one of the first petitions focused on software patents, asking President Obama to "direct the patent office to cease issuing software patents and to void all previously issued software patents."


Also see the comments. It seems widely accepted that software patents must go. Consider signing the new petition if you are a US resident. The success of Free software may very well depend on this issue.

"Today many people are switching to free software for purely practical reasons. That is good, as far as it goes, but that isn't all we need to do! Attracting users to free software is not the whole job, just the first step."

--Richard Stallman



Update: Here is a direct link to the new petition, which has started quite slowly. Well, after they spit on the population they can just claim that this population has no respect for those petitions. The patent lawyers crowd watches from a distance and the FFII's president writes:

White House answer to the software patent petition was so bad that a new one is created, 20K signs needed in 30 days


We still find it difficult to believe that an administration run by lawyers will make the necessary amendment. But it helps show just who is really being served.

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