Anivar Aravind on Fri, 22 Aug 2008 15:21:19 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Fwd: Bangaloreans Say No to Software Patents

Bangaloreans Say No to Software Patents

On 23rd August, 2008, a group of Bangaloreans is to gather outside
Town Hall to protest software Patents under the aegis of Free Software
Users Group, Bangalore at 5.30 PM.

This protest comes in the wake of attempts by the Indian Patent Office
to push software patents, despite the same having been rejected
categorically by the Parliament of India in March, 2005. At that time
a particular lobby had tried pushing Patents for Software through a
Presidential Ordinance. This having fallen through, software patents
are now being pushed through the back door in the form of a manual
ostensibly to help people file patents.

While the draft in circulation glosses over the fact that software is
not patentable in law, it instructs people that software patents can
be filed in combination with hardware. The manual is trying to permit
something that is explicitly forbidden by the Indian Patent Act, 2005.
Further, it is amusing the way the manual tries to get around the
legal obstacle posed by the Patents Act, by positing a category of
"software in combination with hardware" . It leads one to wonder
whether software can exist independent of hardware

In this regard, former Supreme Court Judge, Justice V. R. Krishna Iyer
has commented that "neither the controller nor the central government
has authority or sanction of law to publish a manual of the kind put
on the website".

The Free Software Users Group also would like to point out that
software is a form of knowledge and software patents would amount to
propertisation of knowledge and would be detrimental to the pace at
which software is growing. Software patents further kill innovation
and competition and turn software publishing into the privilege of a
few. As software today pervades all walks of life, any dent in the
pace of its growth would have a cascading effect on the economy in

The Free Software Users Group also would like to point out to the
lobby that is trying to push for software patents through the back
door that;

  * Software is already protected under copyright law, and no
additional protection either to individuals or industries is required
  * Hardware innovations are already patentable under the regular
innovations; therefore all innovators are already covered
  * The current ICT revolution happened with science and technology
under public domain and it is important for the growth of software
that this remains so.

For Free Software users Group Bangalore

 1. Anivar Aravind +92 9449009908 /080 23435606
 2. Praveen A +91 9986348565
 3. Renuka Prasad +91 9901945674
 4. Vikram vincent +91 9448810822

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