The creators of Linux, MySQL and PHP have slammed the EU Council for its proposed software patent directive which they condemn as "deceptive, dangerous, and democratically illegitimate".
Linus Torvalds (Linux), Michael Widenius (MySQL) and Rasmus Lerdorf (PHP) urged the EU Council, which will convene later in the week, not to adopt a controversial draft directive on software patents.
The joint statement aims to stress that software authors are well protected by copyright law, while software patents establish "the law of the strong", which creates more injustice than justice.
The draft legislation on which the EU Council reached a disputed political agreement on 18 May is called "deceptive" because it leads laymen to believe that software is excluded from patentability while actually containing a number of passages that would legalise software patents in the EU, the broadest one of which is its article 5(2).
Particular emphasis is given to the fact that an adoption of the proposal without a formal vote, as a so-called 'A item', would lack democratic legitimacy.
Under the Act of Accession, new voting weights apply in the EU Council from this month, and the countries that supported the proposed legislation on 18 May fall short of a qualified majority on today's basis.
Additionally, the national parliaments of two of the supporting countries (Germany and The Netherlands) have spoken out against the proposed legislation.
This announcement comes after an eventful week on the software patent front. The Polish government clarified that it does not support the legislative proposal in question, and Microsoft warned Asian governments that they could face patent lawsuits for using the Linux operating system instead of its Windows software.
The industry luminaries also called on the internet community to express solidarity by posting links and banners on anti-EU patent campaign site NoSoftwarePatents.com.
The full statement from Torvalds, Widenius and Lerdorf can be seen here.
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