Campaign against software patents kicks off

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Campaign against software patents kicks off

A global petition will launch on 24 September as part of the World Day against Software Patents.

Currently in draft format, the petition includes information about how software patents can affect business, research and development.

The Stop Software Patents organisation is asking interested parties to comment, and anyone who signs the petition now will be asked to fill in an amended version at a later date.

The effort is supported by a coalition of more than 80 software companies, associations and developers in a bid to put an end to patents being awarded to software.

"Insufficient economic evidence supports an application of the patent system on software. But most studies hint that software patent regimes restrain innovation," the coalition argues.

"Developers who read software patents consider them as an offence as they disclose nothing useful."

Separately, high-performance computing firm SGI has just updated its OpenGPL software licence in a bid to aid open source development.

"SGI has been one of the most ardent commercial supporters of free and open source software, so it was important to us that we continue to support the free software development community by releasing our earlier OpenGL-related contributions under this new licence," said Steve Neuner, director of Linux at SGI.

"This licence ensures that all existing user communities will benefit, and their work can proceed unimpeded. Now more than ever, software previously released by SGI under earlier GLX and SGI Free Software Licence B is free."
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