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Re: [Fsfe-uk] Just a Minute

From: Philip Hands
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Just a Minute
Date: 15 Apr 2002 11:08:06 +0100

On Mon, 2002-04-15 at 03:16, Martin Coxall wrote:
> Hello you.
> Just seen the "minutes" for Saturday's meeting. What a load of Gazelle
> Cack. The minutes systematically 1984s out all of the dissent and
> philosophical discussion that occupied all of table 1 and some of table
> 2 for the majority of the duration of the meeting.

If you're referring in part to the shouting match about campaign
strategies for fighting patents, I'd like to clear up the point I was
trying, and failing, to get across.

I think we managed to agree that proponents of Free Software should be
exercised about the idea of Software Patents, and that anyone that
believes in promoting Free Software, should also be against the
extension of the Patent System to include Software.

The bit we were disagreeing about was that I was being misinterpreted as
saying that I thought we should not campaign about it, because we might
upset people.  I WAS NOT trying to say that, but perhaps I was the wrong
side of a few pints of Guinness :-)

What I was trying to say was, that when we campaign against Software
Patents, we should use arguments that do not rely on the listener
believing that Free Software is a good thing before they can accept the

In fact, when campaigning against Software Patents, no link to Free
Software should be made at all.

Otherwise, the pro Software Patent lobby will be enabled to spread the
disinformation that the only people that dislike Software Patents are
those people that also believe in Free Software.

That being the case, any campaign against Software Patents should
attempt to include as many people outside the Free Software community as
possible, in order to demonstrate the falsehood of any exclusive link
that the pro-Patent folks try to draw.

BTW I didn't originate this theory --- it seems to have paid dividends
for the EuroLinux folks, and they are adamant about the importance of
not drawing a link between opposition of Software Patents and support of
Free Software.

Cheers, Phil.
Say no to software patents!  http://petition.eurolinux.org/

|)|  Philip Hands [+44 (0)20 8530 9560]    http://www.hands.com/
|-|  HANDS.COM Ltd.                    http://www.uk.debian.org/
|(|  10 Onslow Gardens, South Woodford, London  E18 1NE  ENGLAND

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