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Debian Position on Software Patents

The Debian Project                                http://www.debian.org/
Debian Position on Software Patents               press@lists.debian.org
February 19th, 2012             http://www.debian.org/News/2012/20120219

Debian Position on Software Patents 

The Debian Project announces the availability of its [1] patent policy 
for the Debian archive.

	1: http://www.debian.org/legal/patent

The Debian Project maintains a critical stance towards software
patents: we consider software patents to be a threat to Free Software
and an obstacle to the Debian mission of providing an entirely Free
operating system for everyone's use. We believe software patents
provide no advantage in promoting software innovation and we encourage
our upstream authors to object to software patents.

At the same time, given the de facto possibility of patenting
software-related ideas in several countries around the world, it is
important to neither underestimate nor overestimate software patent
issues. We are particularly concerned about patent FUD and we have
worked to improve clarity on the subject.

After the publication of the [2] Community Distribution Patent Policy 
FAQ, the availability of a patent policy for the Debian archive is 
our next step in coping with the software patent system that we hope 
to see abolished. We thank lawyers at the [3] Software Freedom Law 
Center for working with us on this policy.

	2: http://www.debian.org/reports/patent-faq
	3: http://www.softwarefreedom.org/

"Patent Aggression is widespread throughout the information technology
industry at present", said Eben Moglen, founding director of the
Software Freedom Law Center. "Parties have spent billions of dollars
trying to use patent monopolies to halt innovation and threaten
innovators. With the adoption of this patent policy Debian prepares to
defend its developers and users more effectively, forcefully, and

Debian Project Leader Stefano Zacchiroli said  "The Debian Project has
a long tradition of standing up for users' rights to an entirely Free
operating system. Patent fears, uncertainties and doubts undermine
this. A patent policy and a contact point for related issues in the
Debian archive will help reducing patent FUD among our users." 

About Debian

The Debian Project was founded in 1993 by Ian Murdock to be a truly
free community project. Since then the project has grown to be one of
the largest and most influential open source projects. Thousands of
volunteers from all over the world work together to create and maintain
Debian software. Available in 70 languages, and supporting a huge range
of computer types, Debian calls itself the
 "universal operating system" .

Contact Information
For further information, please visit the Debian web pages at
http://www.debian.org/ or send mail to <press@debian.org>.

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