Software Patents, DRM

Ciarán O'Riordan


My topic

Those bad things that someone has to work on

Market can't

We can leave software development to companies, but not lobbying


Doing practical work together

GNU GPL enables collaboration with people who don't share are goals

The Free Software Definition

  1. Use for any purpose
  2. View the source code and make modifications
  3. Copy and redistribute
  4. Distribute modified versions

The point of free software

Software patents key points

The 2 harms

  1. Making software development risky in general
  2. Specifically blocking the development of useful software (through patents in standards and by being used only when a package becomes successful)

Current status

Legislation is clear

"programs for computers / shall not be considered patentable / as such"

If this is invalid, all exclusions are invalid

June 2005

Nov 2009

New commission, possibly new legislation proposal

What can we improve?

Rebuild bad media image

Terminology for EC discussions

Review our legislation

Focus on software

Software is different

Focus on free software

Reducing examiner load

Recent developments


Can't be ok

DRM and free software are fundamentally incompatible - they have opposing goals

Phones and portable music players

Could be a big problem

Current solutions

The general solution

FSFE's work

Community building

Awareness is key

Support FSFE


Donate and join FSFE:

Coordinate: join and