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FFII needs Debian for online protest against software patents


I already posted a similar version of this email on debian-legal but
didn't get any comments so far. However, two Debian developers
pointed me to this list. So here it goes:

I guess that most of you are informed about software patents and know
that they are incompatible with most, if not all, free software licenses
(if not visit http://www.ffii.org/index.en.html and/or, if you
understand german, http://patinfo.ffii.org/start.html).

On September 1 the European parliament will vote on a directive that
legalizes software patents in Europe. If this directive comes through we
will be stuck with software patents in the foreseeable future. Chances
of changing the patent law back are close to zero.

Because of this, we at the FFII - an organization that has already done
a lot of lobbying against software patents - are organizing an event in
Brussels on August 27 as a last minute protest to raise the attention of
yet undecided members of the parliament (many of them probably don't
have a strong opinion on this subject - they have to vote on dozens of
directives each weak). BTW, the event is public, of course. So you
are encouraged to join it (preliminary information can be found on

While planning this event we came up with the idea of a parallel "online
protest" in the form of a "simulation of the effects of software patents
on free software": We want operators of servers running/serving free
software to shut down their site (or only offer access to it through
some kind of backdoor) and display a statement concerning software
patents instead. You can see an example on the FFII web site at
http://www.ffii.org. We would like to see this statement to appear on as
many web servers as possible (or "all over the web") on 27th August, the
day of the event.

BTW, in *my personal opinion* the whole thing would have much more of an
impact if sites were shut down for a day and no backdoor is offered.

How can we convince Debian to participate in this "online protest"?

How can we reach people responsible for the web site?


To contact me in private don't reply but send mail to
    felix DOT klee AT inka DOT de

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