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Sites Shut Down to Protest Software Patents

CowboyNeal posted about 11 years ago | from the taking-a-stand dept.

Software 563

blueser writes "I went today to TUTOS homepage to check for a newer version, and I was surprised to see that the author replaced the homepage by a 'Closed because of Software-Patents' page, with a brief explanation." Just one site? that's hardly a big deal, but there's more. maliabu writes "Knoppix is closed, apparently waiting for the European Parliament to decide about the legalisation and adoption of so-called 'software patents' in Europe." And still more. SLbigE writes "The Wine HQ website has temporarily shut down its webpage in protest to a proposed law in Europe regarding Software Patents." There's many more sites as well, these were just the first I was alerted to, Feel free to note some more in comments. Looks like they're doing a good job of illustrating what could be lost soon.

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SCO: The GNAA-Nigerian connection (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6822697)

Dear Sir/Madam:

I am Mr. Darl McBride currently serving as the president and chief executive officer of the SCO Group, formerly known as Caldera Systems International, in Lindon, Utah, United States of America. I know this letter might surprise you because we have had no previous communications or business dealings before now.

My associates have recently made claim to computer softwares worth an estimated $1 billion U.S. dollars. I am writing to you in confidence because we urgently require your assistance to obtain these funds.

In the early 1970s the American Telephone and Telegraph corporation developed at great expense the computer operating system software known as UNIX. Unfortunately the laws of my country prohibited them from selling these softwares and so their valuable source codes remained privately held. Under a special arrangement some programmers from the California University of Berkeley did add more codes to this operating system, increasing its value, but not in any way to dilute or disparage our full and rightful ownership of these codes, despite any agreement between American Telephone and Telegraph and the California University of Berkeley, which agreement we deny and disavow.

In the year 1984 a change of regime in my country allowed the American Telephone and Telegraph corporation to make profits from these softwares. In the year 1990 ownership of these softwares was transferred to the corporation UNIX System Laboratories. In the year 1993 this corporation was sold to the corporation Novell. In the year 1994 some employees of Novell formed the corporation Caldera Systems International, which began to distribute an upstart operating system known as Linux. In the year 1995 Novell sold the UNIX software codes to SCO. In the year 2001 occurred a separation of SCO, and the SCO brand name and UNIX codes were acquired by the Caldera Systems International, and in the following year the Caldera Systems International was renamed SCO Group, of which i currently serve as chief executive officer.

My associates and I of the SCO Group are therefore the full and rightful owners of the operating system softwares known as UNIX. Our engineers have discovered that no fewer than seventy (70) lines of our valuable and proprietary source codes have appeared in the upstart operating system Linux. As you can plainly see, this gives us a claim on the millions of lines of valuable software codes which comprise this Linux and which has been sold at great profit to very many business enterprises. Our legal experts have advised us that our contribution to these codes is worth an estimated one (1) billion U.S. dollars.

Unfortunately we are having difficulty extracting our funds from these computer softwares. To this effect i have been given the mandate by my colleagues to contact you and ask for your assistance. We are prepared to sell you a share in this enterprise, which will soon be very profitable, that will grant you the rights to use these valuable softwares in your business enterprise. Unfortunately we are not able at this time to set a price on these rights. Therefore it is our respectful suggestion, that you may be immediately a party to this enterprise, before others accept these lucrative terms, that you send us the number of a banking account where we can withdraw funds of a suitable amount to guarantee your participation in this enterprise. As an alternative you may send us the number and expiration date of your major credit card, or you may send to us a signed check from your banking account payable to "SCO Group" and with the amount left blank for us to conveniently supply.

Kindly treat this request as very important and strictly confidential. I honestly assure you that this transaction is 100% legal and risk-free.

Signed, GNAA president

PS. If you have mod points and would like to support GNAA, please moderate this post up.

| ______________________________________._a,____ |
| _______a_._______a_______aj#0s_____aWY!400.___ |
| __ad#7!!*P____a.d#0a____#!-_#0i___.#!__W#0#___ |
| _j#'_.00#,___4#dP_"#,__j#,__0#Wi___*00P!_"#L,_ |
| _"#ga#9!01___"#01__40,_"4Lj#!_4#g_________"01_ |
| ________"#,___*@`__-N#____`___-!^_____________ |
| _________#1__________?________________________ |
| _________j1___________________________________ |
| ____!4yaa#l___________________________________ |
| ______-"!^____________________________________ |
` _______________________________________________'

bravo... (-1, Offtopic)

RMH101 (636144) | about 11 years ago | (#6822757)

what's this GNAA in-joke, anyways?

Rpm find (2, Informative)

CompWerks (684874) | about 11 years ago | (#6822702)

Is also shut down.

Re:Rpm find (-1, Redundant)

dotwaffle (610149) | about 11 years ago | (#6822709)

Slashdot is not, however, even though some have requested it be taken down for the day...

Re:Rpm find (0)

Jellybob (597204) | about 11 years ago | (#6822765)

Slashdot is not, however, even though some have requested it be taken down for the day...

Thankfully though, OSDN is more responsible than that, pointing out the danger of causing mass insanity in the geek sector, due to a realisation that they have to work on a Friday.

Re:Rpm find (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6822804)

Go Jellybob! Finally, someone with a bit of sense, and not 14-year-old-like-look-at-me-i'll-cut-off-my-nose-t o-spite-my-face-knee-jerk reaction.

Your friend, C.

Call to Arms (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6822834)

Slashdot is not, however, even though some have requested it be taken down for the day...

I really don't want to sound like a flamebait, but Slashdot editors are completely oblivious to the issue that's only 2 days away from being voted on. Every day there are couple of SCO related stories on the front page, but the most important issue is being overlooked for some reason.

This is what happens when editors don't follow the current developments. For them it's business as usual. Americans don't understand the implications of this horrible law if it passes. Even EFF [] does not have an alert on their page. I've searched their entire patent section and the major categories with no mention of European Commission's Software Patentability Directive Proposal (CEC/BSA).

It's time to call to arms. There is not much time left and people need to mobilize and go to Brussels on Sept 1st.

If this passes, everyone loses. DMCA would look like a fucking joke compared to this patent mess.

Re: Slashdot is not down (4, Informative)

MuParadigm (687680) | about 11 years ago | (#6822824)

"Slashdot is not, however, even though some have requested it be taken down for the day..."

Well, someone has to be up to let people know what is going on.

If a site gets slashdotted in the woods... (-1, Offtopic)

turnstyle (588788) | about 11 years ago | (#6822827)

Too bad, now they're all missing the pleasure of being slashdotted...

Sign the petition (5, Informative)

gagravarr (148765) | about 11 years ago | (#6822706) []

Details of the campaign against software patents can be found at []

Re:Sign the petition (5, Funny)

Kyro (302315) | about 11 years ago | (#6822726)

looks like the petition is down to protest against slashdottings!

Re:Sign the petition (1)

kaltkalt (620110) | about 11 years ago | (#6822866)

totally off the subject, but regarding your sig, you own the copyright to your post per the disclaimer at the bottom of the screen here:

All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners. Comments are owned by the Poster.

So, if you want it to go into the public domain right now (instead of 70 yrs [95 yrs for an anonymous coward, if i remember correctly] after your death) you can do that. In fact, the best way to do that is to change your sig to "this post, in its entirety, is in the public domain. No rights reserved." Voila.

This might be a first post! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6822708)

...but I FAIL IT!

Re:This might be a first post! (-1, Offtopic)

dotwaffle (610149) | about 11 years ago | (#6822730)

Honestly, grow up...

This is ridiculous (5, Insightful)

baldass_newbie (136609) | about 11 years ago | (#6822710)

Nobody patented or restricted the use of hammers and nails in construction.
So why in the hell are algorithms considered 'patentable'?
I can understand if they emulate a proprietary business methodology. Or an entire application (which really should fall under copyright law).
But patents?
Shakespeare was right. We should kill all the lawyers.

Re:This is ridiculous (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6822780)

Nobody patented or restricted the use of hammers and nails in construction.
No, back then crafts were run by guilds. Try to do carpentry without being a member of the guild and you'd be run out of town, fined or imprisoned.

Re:This is ridiculous (1)

Mostly a lurker (634878) | about 11 years ago | (#6822847)

Nobody patented or restricted the use of hammers and nails in construction.

This would be a dangerous point to raise in certain quarters. Wrap up the patent application in enough jargon, and the current patent office might well grant a patent now. Yes, I guess someone would be able to show prior art eventually, but this would probably be after a two year plus legal fight.

FreeS/WAN closed too (1)

erikmf (130052) | about 11 years ago | (#6822711)

I went to the FreeS/WAN site yesterday and saw the same "closed" notice. I too thought that it was a single site, but I guess I was wrong.

Microsoft wanted to protest aswell (3, Funny)

jh_newroom (677905) | about 11 years ago | (#6822712)

Microsoft was planning on replacing there page to protest as well. Unfortunately now they are hosted on Unix, they don't have anyone in the company smart enough, who knows how to change the home page.

Re:Microsoft wanted to protest aswell (1, Redundant)

Brobock (226116) | about 11 years ago | (#6822755)

Nor, can they post anything without a WYSIWYG html editor with frontpage extensions on the unix server.

Re:Microsoft wanted to protest aswell (1)

Alien Being (18488) | about 11 years ago | (#6822858)

and don't forget clippy.

PBS Details Decline of the Middle Class (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6822715)

PBS Show This Friday on Outsourcing

This Friday, August 29th, PBS will air an important one hour show on outsourcing work to foreign countries.

In the midst of steep economic recession and skyrocketing unemployment rates, more and more major American companies are cutting costs by outsourcing work [] to foreign countries. Now, these exported jobs are taking their toll on college-educated and skilled professional workforce. With experts estimating that 3.3 million white-collar jobs will be sent overseas by 2015, is America's middle class being hollowed out?

On Friday, August 29, 2003 at 9PM on PBS NOW [] goes to India where the country's skilled and educated workforce is answering customer and financial service calls and taking over technology positions for some of America's biggest corporations while millions of Americans search for jobs at home."

Check your local listings [] !

Wine isn't closed - Slashdot isn't closed (5, Insightful)

fruey (563914) | about 11 years ago | (#6822716)

Wine is working for me.

As has been said in previous article comments, SlashDot could close too, that would have a far larger ranging effect than Knoppix or Wine anyway.

Re:Wine isn't closed - Slashdot isn't closed (1)

ralphclark (11346) | about 11 years ago | (#6822818)

SlashDot could close too

Could somebody with mod points please mark the parent as insightful? Thanks.

Close Slashdot (5, Insightful)

MrSkunk (544767) | about 11 years ago | (#6822849)

I totally agree with the parent poster. CLOSE SLASHDOT. A majority of people on these forums are always complaining about software patents and how they are going to stop any and all innovation in software development. Well, here is a chance for slashdot to spread this message far and wide.

If slashdot closed down in protest, there is a good chance that some news agencies would pick up that story. This would be good because it get this message out to people who don't normally visit slashdot, gimp, or wine hq.

Grow some balls slashdot. Shut your doors in protest!!

European patents != American patents (-1, Troll)

mblase (200735) | about 11 years ago | (#6822850)

Until someone can satisfactorily explain to me how this legislation will affect American sites and developers based entirely in the United States, I see no reason why Slashdot or any other company on this side of the pond should participate in the protest.

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6822719)

This must be a european thing, as I can still get to WineHQ and both. The other two do appear to be down.

Gimp (5, Informative)

MP3Chuck (652277) | about 11 years ago | (#6822720)

Gimp [] is another...

Protesting? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6822721)

This "protesting" seems sort of self-fulfilling to me.

Slashdot-aided protesting?

If they hadn't protested enough before, they are now.

Qemu too... (3, Informative)

mirko (198274) | about 11 years ago | (#6822723)

We had an interesting thread [] about Qemu [] ...
It's closed too...

MRTG (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6822724)

MRTG [] has also joined the fight.

Re:MRTG (1)

TEB (566487) | about 11 years ago | (#6822871)

Finding myself needing MRTG yesterday I was unhappy to see this notice. After doing some brief digging I found the mirror sites were still up. That may not last but at least some of this software is still available.

Noticed it yesterday (2, Informative)

MagicMerlin (576324) | about 11 years ago | (#6822725)

I noticed the protest yesterday on this site [] although it appears the protest has been removed today. I was thinking about asking him what it was all about.
PicoSQL seems to be the home of an up and coming open source SQL server. is also closed (2, Informative)

tuxroot (702333) | about 11 years ago | (#6822727)

Just adding this one to the list

freevo (1)

rtgree01 (457275) | about 11 years ago | (#6822728)

Last time i checked freevo's site, it put up a new homepage.... Although they did have a link to the regular page.

my $.02

I hold a patent (2, Interesting)

Matrix272 (581458) | about 11 years ago | (#6822729)

I hold the "Words on a webpage" patent. It turns out that all of you will have to pay me royalty fees! I want 1 penny for every word on a webpage... I should be a trillionare by the end of the hour.

Seriously though, does anybody have a link to the actual patents filed that contain references to "scrolling within a window", or "progress bars"? I'd be interested in looking over the legal ramifications in the US...

Re:I hold a patent (0, Redundant)

Channard (693317) | about 11 years ago | (#6822797)

I hold the "Words on a webpage" patent. It turns out that all of you will have to pay me royalty fees!

Trouble is, I hold the 'Placing comments regards an item of news on a flexible message archiving system' patent, which I'm willing to waive fees on except in your case. So going by the amount of posts you've made on the forum, you owe me quite a tidy sum of money. Shall I send the baliffs round, or shall we call it quits?

Re:I hold a patent (1)

Andrewkov (140579) | about 11 years ago | (#6822799)

I hold the "Words on a webpage" patent.

Sorry, I would pay you but I already gave all my money to SCO so I can continue using Linux... ;-)

Re:I hold a patent (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6822836)

Seriously though, does anybody have a link to the actual patents filed that contain references to "scrolling within a window", or "progress bars"? I'd be interested in looking over the legal ramifications in the US...

Dunno about those exactly but googling for xor cursor i found the following: ml

RPMfind (3, Informative)

PEdelman (200362) | about 11 years ago | (#6822733)

RPMFind [] and its mirror sites are closed as well. Not the front page, but after a search query you get the warning. They say it's temporarily though.

MRTG did it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6822736)

That network tool that everybody uses, but pubically denies doing so (or just hides the window behind a fancy HP OpenView screen).

I almost crapped when I thought I couldn't download the software

What's the point of this? (2, Insightful)

goldspider (445116) | about 11 years ago | (#6822737)

Honestly, I don't get it.

What message is this supposed to send? Why would the EU change its mind because a few sites decided to protest? How does the absence of a few sites hurt the EU? More likely, they'll only hurt themselves.

Re:What's the point of this? (5, Insightful)

Dot.Com.CEO (624226) | about 11 years ago | (#6822770)

Fair point. Mind you, European politicians are still very mindful of Europe-wide protests since they are a relatively new trend and, since they get a lot of coverage over here they appear in the news a lot. However, unless a "big" site decides to close for the day, this will pass off as a joke.

Re:What's the point of this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6822772)

And with the blinkered natured of the EU, why would they notice anyway?

Re:What's the point of this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6822783)

Well, the law was suppose to pass end of September and protests postponed it to September. 1st.
The site-shutdown-stuff has been good enough, because it's again postponed, to the end of September.

Re:What's the point of this? (1)

kerry-buckley (647774) | about 11 years ago | (#6822796)

What message is this supposed to send? Why would the EU change its mind because a few sites decided to protest?
I guess it's more aimed at publicising the campaign against European software patents than directly pressurising the European Parliament. Judging from the susprised reactions here, it doesn't look like many people were aware of the campaign before, so it seems to be working.

Re:What's the point of this? (1)

timbloid (208531) | about 11 years ago | (#6822852)

There was a proper protest too on the 27th (Wed)...

> What message is this supposed to send?

That we don't want software patents...

Something has to be done... Sitting whining about other people protesting (in whatever form they choose) isn't going to help anything...

Whaaa? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6822738)

WTF is "Wegen "Software-Patenten" geschlossen"?

Power-hungry krauts trying to take over the world again?

Kudos to SCO (4, Funny)

$rtbl_this (584653) | about 11 years ago | (#6822741)

SCO obviously felt so strongly about this that they got started a few days early! They're good folks, always doing their best for the community.

Re:Kudos to SCO (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6822860)

Bill Gates invented sex and SCO owns all rights for masturbation. You owe BOTH of them money because you just jerked off last night behind your pregnant wife. The case closed.

Economists wrote an open letter on the directive (5, Informative)

file-exists-p (681756) | about 11 years ago | (#6822742)

This letter [] is worth reading ...

gtk (4, Informative)

den_erpel (140080) | about 11 years ago | (#6822743)

gtk [] is another site that is protesting. Good though, if you look at the rubbish pattens which are already registered [] (illegally) in Europe, ...

Vote delayed (5, Interesting)

mrew (625426) | about 11 years ago | (#6822744)

Apparently this protest (and the physical one) may have had some effect, in that the EU vote has been delayed according to LWN [] . Let's hope this additional time is beneficial to the anti-patent cause... is closed too (no kidding) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6822745)

I was just about to post a goatse link to the last article under a 5, insightful post, and I previewed my comment, and had closed in protest of software patents.

No, im not posting the link, go check it out for yourself, if you're a regular at slashdot you know the URL. is closed too (no kidding) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6822872)

OMG it's true! I first thought "Yeah right, you just want people to look at it", but then I though "I've seen it before, I don't care" and wen to the site, AND IT WAS DOWN!

Europe shows the US what to do... (5, Insightful)

MosesJones (55544) | about 11 years ago | (#6822753)

Come on guys, this is what the US community should have done to protest the DMCA, and the range of RIAA abuses that are being seen.

Lets not be silly and take it down for ever, but why not have an official protest day? Slashdot, Freshmeat, maybe even some of the Corporates.

And the time for this ? How about we start it on the same date as the end of the First World War ?

November 11th, starting at 11am GMT, for 24 hours, we declare the internet closed for business.

Are we in ? Slashdot.... are you listening ?

Re:Europe shows the US what to do... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6822789)

Isn't the vote happening on the 1st of September?

As such shouldn't any public protest happen before then, rather than a couple of months after?

Re:Europe shows the US what to do... (1)

MosesJones (55544) | about 11 years ago | (#6822801)

This protest is a EUROPEAN one. What I'm talking about is a US focused equivalent.

Re:Europe shows the US what to do... (4, Insightful)

salesgeek (263995) | about 11 years ago | (#6822825)

I think its not to late to execute this kind of protest against DCMA. It would be smart to do so.

* Explain what is at stake for the common citizen.
* Explain who will use DCMA against them: RIAA, the porn industry and opportunists.
* Explain that there is no due process.
* Explain that your children are the target.

Re:Europe shows the US what to do... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6822829)

I'm in. I'll close my site.

Re:Europe shows the US what to do... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6822830)

My 'perspective' on slashdot certainly has changed because of this action.

For a while now thousands of sites are closed. By now its 2500+ and only now is some slashdotter noticing it and it becomes slashdot news???

Re:Europe shows the US what to do... (1, Funny)

HogynCymraeg (624823) | about 11 years ago | (#6822855)

November 11th, starting at 11am GMT, for 24 hours, we declare the internet closed for business.

Surely keeping slashdot ONLINE is better for halting the internet? :) Seriously though, the EU are very pro open source, especially Germany. Why would they shoot themselves in the foot by helping commercial offerings and hindering free ones?

Re:Europe shows the US what to do... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6822865)

Beware.... Inciting such an stunt in the US could be seen as Terroristic Activity. I'll be seeing you in Guantanamo Bay.

Many sites closed (2, Informative)

golan (570588) | about 11 years ago | (#6822754)

You can find a list of sites closed at this link [] but I suppose many more closed on Ago 27th.

Our feathered friends (2, Informative)

buddha42 (539539) | about 11 years ago | (#6822756)

All the apache projects sites have a message about this in their front page. []

This 'protest' needs some HUGE commercial... (5, Insightful)

cnelzie (451984) | about 11 years ago | (#6822758)

...players to be of any use. To the regular, tax-paying/voting citizen, if a Free Software web-site is off the web for a few hours, days, weeks or even months, it doesn't affect them anymore then if a sports team in a sport they don't watch disolves.

Now, if Microsoft's European branch went off the web or Netscape or any number of other software companies that are BIG on the commercial radar were to join in on this protest, then more people would notice... But, that's not likely to happen...

I see this too often. We geeks, as a political body, are simlpy blind to reality. Most of the sites that are currently 'down' are only going to affect fellow computer geeks. We hurt ourselves more then we hurt the opposition. There has got to be a better way to actually take some ground in a battle like this one over software patents.

Who seriously came up with this idea with the honest belief that cutting off the Free Software community from Free Software sites would somehow affect the GREATER MAJORITY (That use Proprietart y software) that simply could care less about Free Software?

'Shut down' (1, Interesting)

Channard (693317) | about 11 years ago | (#6822760)

Has anyone got any links inside the sites that are supposedly shut down? Are the sites really shut down or has the index.html just been changed?

Re:'Shut down' (1)

Jugalator (259273) | about 11 years ago | (#6822808)

Christian Ghisler replaced the front page of yesterday, but still allowed visitors to get in via a link. I guess the decision on how to support the protest is up to the participant.

Same here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6822763)

Well, im a small independant programmer, and my site is closed as well... and i do not plan for the front page to change until they have voted on the patent issue...

next thing you know, and someone patents how to boot a comp. in software....

Some proof? (1)

hotspur_fan (210395) | about 11 years ago | (#6822764)

Let's see some articles about small companies put out of business for no reason by large companies with software patents. I'm not convinced this happens that much. I'm don't mean MS fighting back at a company that tries to sue it. I'm talking about IBM hearing that a new company exists and just suing it out of the blue (no pun intended).

More sites (1)

unixmaster (573907) | about 11 years ago | (#6822768)

KDE website was down too to protest software patents, Turkish computer related site was down too yesterday.

Knoppix Not Closed (1)

DASHSL0T (634167) | about 11 years ago | (#6822773)

It just put up a new index page noting the protest. We did the same thing too on 8/27.

Just click the hyperlink that says Knoppix on the page and you are in.

Re:Knoppix Not Closed (1)

varslot (18991) | about 11 years ago | (#6822841)

You did not get the point did you? The point is not to deny access. The point is to make a statement.

It's worth the fight (1)

cjcormack (689855) | about 11 years ago | (#6822777)

It has been proven that Software Patents don't work the way that they were meant to because software systems are so big and complex. They are only good for big companies (look at how many Patents IBM have, if I was to write a clever bit of code that affected their business, I would probably infringe some of their patents).

More than 2550 sites (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6822779)

Only in this list, more than 2550 sites currently protest against software patents moPartner sWebsites.php

Maybe a site like slashdot can participate too.
I don't ask to close slashdot, but to put an informational page like debian did

Oh, yeah, it would be good to have non-geek oriented websites with us. Software patents are not bad only for free software.

Total Commander has re-opened (1)

Jugalator (259273) | about 11 years ago | (#6822791)

The Total Commander site has been reopened again and was closed yesterday. Wrote about it in my journal [] .

This protest is SCO's IP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6822795)

They've been protesting for days, apparently!

PHP's own news item (1)

PrImED73 (695394) | about 11 years ago | (#6822800)

Even though they're not closed probably due to corporate reasons, had an article on this too acknowledging the threat.

European Open Source Development Threatened!

Today sees an international day of protest against the move by the EU to make obtaining a patent easier within Europe. Such patents may cause Open Source software such as PHP to infringe on existing licenses and new ones, meaning we would no longer be safe to distribute PHP within Europe. Contact your EU Representative to get this cruicial vote blocked. Find out more at the campaign website

mplayer and ffmpeg (3, Informative)

Comsn (686413) | about 11 years ago | (#6822802) [] and [] are both 'shut down'. but they still link to thier old homepage.

Apache too (1)

inepom01 (525367) | about 11 years ago | (#6822803) []

An MEP Replies (3, Interesting)

maroberts (15852) | about 11 years ago | (#6822806)

I wrote to my MEP to protest and got this back - the only problem is, that like a typical politicians speech, I'm not quite sure at the ened of the day what its saying. I get the impression this is a little double edged. See what you make of it.

Dear Mr Roberts,

Thank you for your email, which has been passed to me as your local MEP from Philip Bushill-Matthews MEP.

Conservatives in the European Parliament have supported the objectives of the Directive to set out and defend the status quo in Europe following changes to the patent system in the USA and also planned for Japan. There is a clear intention across the EU Member States to see that Europe does not follow the USA and Japan in allowing widespread patent availability for software and business methods. Copyright will remain the principal method of protecting intellectual property in these cases. I and my UK Conservative colleagues support the general line that the Commission has taken which builds on and clarifies the existing patent law across the European Union and makes it clear that only software which forms part of a technological process will be patentable. This will allow patents to be provided for genuine technical inventions and stimulate European economic development in areas of economic strength like mobile telephony, digital television and computer controlled machine tools to name just a few possibilities. Contrary to the impression given in your letter there is no intention what so ever to allow generic patenting of software in Europe.

The amendments agreed by the Legal Affairs and Internal Market Committee last week, and supported by Conservative MEPs, have clarified the test conditions for software (deciding whether it has a technical effect) before authorising a patent. The Parliament amendments improve the text while ensuring that its principles are supported. Codification of the existing position will also avoid raising complicated issues of the validity of existing patents across Europe or allowing current unpatentable technologies to claim new patents. This will allow European businesses the chance to develop ideas with certainty as to their legal position. It will also reduce the pressure from companies holding permissive American software patents who wish to gain an extension of their patent rights in Europe.

Finally, I must point out that the Directive contains detailed provisions for review of its operation and for early revision should its provisions not work as intended. If it is clear, from the type of inventions being patented or from ongoing legal cases, that the goals of outlawing generic software patents are not being met, then a process of revision can be implemented quickly.

Yours sincerely,

Roger Helmer MEP

Re:An MEP Replies (2, Insightful)

buford_tannen (555867) | about 11 years ago | (#6822874)

Yeah, it is quite double edged. A summary:

He thinks your concerns about the software patent directive are unfounded. He is certain (in his own mind) that the Directive will have no impact on software development, because it has "protections" to "prevent" "generic software patenting".

Basically, he is saying that he knows what is best for you and that you are full of crap. But, since he's a politician, he has to hide that under a mountain of words.

As a 'merican, I wish you the best of luck at saving your continent from the patent hell we have over here. You're going to need all the luck you can get, if this letter is any indication.


Listing of website participating in the action (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6822812) sites [] for a full list of website participating in the action. You can also add your web site if you participate in the online action against software patents.

Meaningless sites (2, Insightful)

uradu (10768) | about 11 years ago | (#6822814)

While I applaud each site's initiative, obscure nerd sites are hardly going to influence the decisions of techno-illiterate politicians likely to vote on this. Now if, or closed down, they might take notice.

Bit late ... (2, Informative)

ldm (676254) | about 11 years ago | (#6822815)

It should be noted that the "official" day for doing this was the 27th August [] , and that all the sites I've seen have not shut down, but simply replaced their front page with information on the protest, and then included a link to the original project anyway.

No more patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6822819)

Yes... because it's sooo much better when anybody can rip off years of your hard work/research and incorporate it into their own software without giving you so much as a dime.
I guess I should prepare to get modded down, because I know this opinion isn't popular here ...

Patents (1)

maroberts (15852) | about 11 years ago | (#6822839)

.. government should only grant patents becuase of a need to force advances out in the open, otherwise it should not interfere. Judging by the fact software seems to progress forward quite nicely without such patents, why do it?

I guess I should prepare to get modded down, because I know this opinion isn't popular here
You're an AC, why do you care about being modded down?

The Ant Project as well (1)

pbur (88030) | about 11 years ago | (#6822820) []

Although, it looks like this was only supposed to be on August 27th, but they have kept theirs up.

don't get me wrong, i think this is great but... (2, Insightful)

naph (590672) | about 11 years ago | (#6822821)

... really... who's gonna notice? if it ain't ebay shutting down, or or some other site like that then i don't think it's gonna make much of a splash.

sure us nerds know about it, but joe public or mr european parliament bozo? don't fink it's gonna change their day.

but still, kudos to the sties that did.

Re:don't get me wrong, i think this is great but.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6822873)

shut them down? replace their index page, and how?

i haven't found any site to be closed (1)

Alien Being (18488) | about 11 years ago | (#6822831)

I've been to several sites with the protest page, but they all had a "click here to enter" link.

short term memory problems? (1)

ZorroXXX (610877) | about 11 years ago | (#6822833)

This protest was already discussed earlyer this week here [] , so perhaps it should not come as such a big surprise.

softwar gangsters/unprecedented evile gear up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6822837)

..efforts to preveNT free speech, in any form, morons comply.

as for va lairIE/robbIE's censoring/infactdead PostBlock(tm) devise, anywon can see that doesn't work, &/or cannot be shut DOWn, due to the mortgages held on them buy their fellow corepirate nazis. lookout bullow.

that's right, they've (lairIE/robbIE) blocked ip addresses throughout the northeast/central parts of US, in sum inane effort to block the planet/population rescue initiative/suck up the their corepirate nazi sponsors. either behaviour is not good/doesn't help.

no matter. the badtoll for their behaviours will be repaid by you/us.

fuddles'.con is running linux now. no DOWt about that.

fauxking phonIE payper liesense stock markup FraUD execrable/hive that they are.

that's right, after the walking dead finish exterminating themselves, & sadly enough, some of us, it won't take long to clean up this cesspool of greed/fear execrable.

we're calling it the planet/population rescue program (formerly unknown as the oil for babies initiatve).

the Godless wons are helping by continuing to show where their hearts lie.

fortunately, mr stallman et AL, etcetera, is now offering comparable/superior software, to the payper liesense spy/bug wear feechurned models, in almost every circumstance. there'll be few, if any more softwar billyonerrors, as if there's a need for even won. tell 'em robbIE. you are won of the last wons whois soul DOWt, right? .asp for va lairIE's whoreabull pateNTdead PostBlock(tm) devise?, used against the truth/to protect robbIE's payper liesense stock markup bosses/corepirate nazi 'sponsors'. yuk.

back on task.

what might happen to US if unprecedented evile/the felonious georgewellian southern baptist freemason fuddite rain of error, fails to be intervened on?

you already know that too. stop pretending. it doesn't help/makes things worse.

they could burn up the the main processor. that would be the rapidly heating planet/population, in case you're still pretending not to notice.

of course, having to badtoll va lairIE's whoreabully infactdead, pateNTdead PostBlock(tm) devise, robbIE's ego, the walking dead, etc..., doesn't slow us down a bit.

that's right. those foulcurrs best get ready to see the light. the WANing daze of the phonIE greed/fear/ego based, thieving/murdering payper liesense hostage taking stock markup FraUD georgewellian fuddite execrable are #ed. talk about a wormIE cesspool of deception? eradicating yOUR domestic corepirate nazi terrorist/gangsters will be the new national pastime.

communications will improve, using whatever power sources are available.

you gnu/software folks are to be commended. we'd be nearly doomed by now (instead, we're opening yet another isp service) without y'all. the check's in the mail again.

meanwhile... for those yet to see the light.

don't come crying to us when there's only won channel/os left.

nothing has changed since the last phonIE ?pr? ?firm? generated 'news' brIEf. lots of good folks/innocents are being killed/mutilated daily by the walking dead. if anything the situations are continuing to deteriorate. you already know that.

the posterboys for grand larcenIE/deception would include any & all of the walking dead who peddle phonIE stock markup payper to millions of hardworking conservative folks, & then, after stealing/spending/disappearing the real dough, pretend that nothing ever happened. sound familiar robbIE? these fauxking corepirate nazi larcens, want us to pretend along with them, whilst they continue to squander yOUR "investmeNTs", on their soul DOWt craving for excess/ego gratification. yuk

no matter their ceaseless efforts to block the truth from you, the tasks (planet/population rescue) will be completed.

the lights are coming up now.

you can pretend all you want. our advise is to be as far away from the walking dead contingent as possible, when the big flash occurs. you wouldn't want to get any of that evile on you.

as to the free unlimited energy plan, as the lights come up, more&more folks will stop being misled into sucking up more&more of the infant killing barrolls of crudeness, & learn that it's more than ok to use newclear power generated by natural (hydro, solar, etc...) methods. of course more information about not wasting anything/behaving less frivolously is bound to show up, here&there.

cyphering how many babies it costs for a barroll of crudeness, we've decided to cut back, a lot, on wasteful things like giving monIE to felons, to help them destroy the planet/population.

no matter. the #1 task is planet/population rescue. the lights are coming up. we're in crisis mode. you can help.

the unlimited power (such as has never been seen before) is freely available to all, with the possible exception of the aforementioned walking dead.

consult with/trust in yOUR creator. more breathing. vote with yOUR wallet. seek others of non-aggressive intentions/behaviours. that's the spirit, moving you.

pay no heed/monIE to the greed/fear based walking dead.

each harmed innocent carries with it a bad toll. it will be repaid by you/us. the Godless felons will not be available to make reparations.

pay attention. that's definitely affordable, plus, collectively, you might develop skills which could prevent you from being misled any further by phonIE ?pr? ?firm? generated misinformation.

good work so far. there's still much to be done. see you there. tell 'em robbIE.

as has been noted before, lookout bullow.

Hmmm... (1)

FrankNputer (141316) | about 11 years ago | (#6822842)

I wondered why this didn't make /. when OSNews posted this on Wednesday...

worth reading, with FEEling, once more (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6822853)

Dubya's resume:

* I attacked and took over two countries.
* I spent the US surplus and bankrupted the Treasury.
* I shattered the record for biggest annual deficit in history.
* I set an economic record for most private bankruptcies filed in any 12-month period.
* I set all-time record for biggest drop in the history of the stock market.
* I am the first president in decades to execute a federal prisoner.
* I am the first president in US history to enter office with a criminal record.
* In my first year in office Iset the all-time record for most days on vacation by any president in US history.
* After taking the entire month of August off for vacation, Ipresided over the worst security failure in US history.
* I set the record for most campaign fundraising trips by any president in US history.
* In my first two years in office over 2 million Americans lost their jobs.
* I cut unemployment benefits for more out-of-work Americans than any other president in US history.
* I set the all-time record for most foreclosures in a 12-month period.
* I appointed more convicted criminals to administration positions than any president in US history.
* I set the record for the fewest press conferences of any president since the advent of TV.
* I signed more laws and executive orders amending the Constitution than any other president in US history.
* I presided over the biggest energy crises in US history and refused to intervene when corruption was revealed.
* I presided over the highest gasoline prices in US history and refused to use the national reserves as past presidents have.
* I cut healthcare benefits for war veterans.
* I set the all-time record for most people worldwide to simultaneously take to the streets to protest me (15 million people), shattering the record for protest against any person in the history of mankind
* I dissolved more international treaties than any president in US history.
* I 've made my presidency the most secretive and unaccountable of any in US history.
* Members of my cabinet are the richest of any administration in US history. (The 'poorest' multimillionaire, Condoleeza Rice, has a Chevron oil tanker named after her.)
* I am the first president in US history to have all 50 states of the Union simultaneously go bankrupt.
* I presided over the biggest corporate stock market fraud in any market in any country in the history of the world.
* I am the first president in US history to order a US attack and military occupation of a sovereign nation, and Idid so against the will of the United Nations and the world community.
* I have created the largest government department bureaucracy in the history of the United States.
* I set the all-time record for biggest annual budget spending increases, more than any other president in US history.
* I am the first president in US history to have the United Nations remove the US from the Human Rights Commission.
* I am the first president in US history to have the United Nations remove the US from the Elections Monitoring Board.
* I removed more checks and balances, and have the least amount of Congressional oversight than any presidential administration in US history.
* I rendered the entire United Nations irrelevant.
* I withdrew from the World Court of Law.
* I refused to allow inspectors access to US prisoners of war and by default no longer abide by the Geneva Conventions.
* I am the first president in US history to refuse United Nations election inspectors access during the 2002 US elections.
* I am the all-time US (and world) record holder for most corporate campaign donations.
* The biggest lifetime contributor to my campaign, who is also one of my best friends, presided over one of the largest corporate bankruptcy frauds in world history (Kenneth Lay, former CEO of Enron Corporation).
* I spent more money on polls and focus groups than any president in US history.
* I am the first president to run and hide when the US came under attack (and then lied, saying the enemy had the code to Air Force1).
* I am the first US president to establish a secret shadow government.
* I took the world's sympathy for the US after 9-11, and in less than a year made the US the most resented country in the world (possibly the biggest diplomatic failure in US and world history).
* I am the first US president in history to have a majority of the people of Europe (71%) view my presidency as the biggest threat to world peace and stability.
* I am the first US president in history to have the people of South Korea more threatened by the US than by their immediate neighbor, North Korea.
* I changed US policy to allow convicted criminals to be awarded government contracts.
* I set the all-time record for number of administration appointees who violated US law by not selling their huge investments in corporations bidding for government contracts.
* I have removed more freedoms and civil liberties for Americans than any other president in US history.
* In a little over two years I have created the most divided country in decades, possibly the most divided that the US has been since the civil war.
* I entered office with the strongest economy in US history and in less than two years turned every single economic category heading straight down, record unemployment being the most recent achievement.

Records and References

* I have at least one conviction for drunk driving in Maine (Texas drug conviction has been erased and is not available).
* I was AWOL from the National Guard and deserted the military during a time of war.
* I refuse to take a drug test or even answer any questions about drug use.
* All records of my tenure as governor of Texas have been spirited away to my father's library, sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view.
* All records of any SEC investigations into my insider trading or bankrupt companies are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view.
* All minutes of meetings of any public corporation for which Iserved on the board are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view.
* Any records or minutes from meetings I(or my VP) attended regarding public energy policy are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public review.

Mplayer (1)

Rufus211 (221883) | about 11 years ago | (#6822854)

mplayer [] isn't actually closed, but has a "what if" 404 page.

I saw this yesterday (1)

mainguym (611910) | about 11 years ago | (#6822856)

and attempted to post a note about it, but it got lost in the ethernet.

I think it is a good thing that they are drawing visibility to this issue.

Remember this [] ? Personally, I wouldn't have to pay royalties every time I wrote a gif editor.... oh wait.

Well, then I wouldn't want to have to pay royalties if I wrote something that uses LZW compression, oh wait...

It seems very problematic to attempt to patent an IDEA, even though it seems to happen pretty often.

information wants to be free

Apache Software Foundation page (2, Informative)

saforrest (184929) | about 11 years ago | (#6822862)

I'm surprised nobody's mentioned that Apache [] is down too.

Sigh... they had to choose the last bloody day I can download anything before I move (after which I'll be without Internet access for a week).

(Then again I can probably hold off on installing a webserver until my net access is back.)

wow (1)

stardome (692971) | about 11 years ago | (#6822868)

i managed to deface some webpages and keep people talking positively about them

List of Online Demo Partner Sites (2, Informative)

popierius (452309) | about 11 years ago | (#6822870)

List of participating site can be found here [] .

Join in, and contact your MEPs if you are a citizen of an EU member country.
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