Open source software vendors Red Hat Inc and MySQL AB have lent their support to a new campaign against software patents in the European Union under the name NoSoftwarePatents.com.
Raleigh, Carolina-based Linux vendor Red Hat and Uppsala, Sweden-based open source database vendor MySQL have joined the NoSoftwarePatents campaign as partners, alongside web hosting firm 1&1 Internet Inc and campaign manager Florian Mueller, a software industry veteran and advisor to MySQL.
Mueller plans to use the campaign to discuss the issue of software patents with politicians and the media, arguing that software patents are used for anti-competitive purposes, stifle innovation, and would cost the entire economy and society dearly, according to a statement.
The issue of software patents has risen up the agenda in Europe in recent months as proposed changes to the EU Software Directive have been the subject of fierce debate between the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers.
The European Parliament, which has attempted to retain restrictions on software patents in the directive, is about to officially start work on its response to the Council of Members’ position that would see Europe follow the US in allowing more software patents. Mueller plans to use the NoSoftwarePatents platform to argue against changes that as he sees it would create more injustice than justice.
Red Hat and MySQL are not the only companies to back resistance to increased software patents in Europe. Earlier this month Novell Inc voiced its opposition to the proposed changes to the European Union Software Directive.
We believe that the current system in the European Union has served the industry, the individual member states and Novell well, and generally promotes innovation and competition in the industry. Accordingly, Novell does not see the need for the proposed changes to the current system, it said in a statement.