action week against EU software patent plans

Hello Linux supporters!

(We send this message to you as the contact person of your Linux User Group.
Please forward it to the other members.)

Surely you know the deadly danger imposed on free software by software patents.

Under the influence of the patent lobby, the European Parliament is about to
pass a directive allowing extremely broad software patentability -- harming not
only GNU/Linux and free software in general, but also imposing danger on every
programmer, web publisher, computer user, and severly demaging the European
economy.

With massive protests organized by the FFII, we succeeded in thwarting a
premature decision, and mobilizing public resistence by citizens, enterprizes,
trade associations, and politicians.

September 24th has been set as a new date for the decision in European
Parliament. Encouraged by the recent success, we are planning even wider
protests before the decision this time, to further raise public awareness of
the problem.

Besides of a second online demonstration, we want to organize mini-demos/info
stands during the week between September 17th and September 24th in as many
European cities as possible. We need your help with this. Although software
patents are not only a concern for GNU/Linux users, we believe that the LUGs
feature an exceptional combination of people strongly interested in stopping
software patents, and the organisation (mailing lists etc.) necessary to line
up such an event in a short run.

That's why we beg you to help us, to prevent a patent disaster.

http://netrik.sf.net/swpatents_de.html offers general information on software
patents, the current situation, and the planned actions.

Organising the info stands is done via the wiki at
http://wiki.ael.be/index.php/InfoStands for the most part. You'll find tips
there what to take care of when organizing such an event, as well as dedicated
pages for each single demo, for interchange amongst those interested. Please
simply add a new page for you city if noone exists yet. (To achieve this, klick
the "edit" button; then insert the name into the existing list, following the
scheme InfoStandCityname; confirm with "save"; and now follow the newly created
link with the question mark.)

There is also irc.debian.org#bxl-ffii; usually, there are some FFII members
present.

If you have further important questions, simply send a reply here.