UK anti-swpat letter brainstorming 2010
The UK government has set up a website to ask what laws should be repealed or changed to restore civil liberties. This page is for brainstorming the best way to explain to the UK government that software patents are an unacceptable harm to civil liberties and are bad patent policy for the UK.
There is already a submission on this topic (Abolish Software Patents) but it doesn't describe the problem in enough detail to stand up to the counter-lobbying this proposal might get from certain companies with powerful patent portfolios.
What a good submission needs
- Prove the problem exists. This can be done by citing Symbian v. Comptroller General (2008, UK). This case is proof that a software patent was granted and that it was upheld by the country's highest court.
- Say why it's a problem for civil liberties:
- freedom of expression
- Individuals' freedom to write software. (See: Blocking useful freedoms) Many examples of individuals, hobby groups, and informal communities writing important software can be found in the free software community
- Infringement is unavoidable and All businesses are targets - to make the point that participation in the patents system isn't a choice but an obligation
- Costs are astronomically disproportionate for SMEs and individuals
- Harms to education
- Publishing information is made dangerous
- Say what must be done (see legal wordings)