The Danger of Software Patents

Calit2 Morning Mix

Featuring Richard Stallman
GNU Project

9 - 10 a.m. - Coffee and continental breakfast
10 a.m. - "The Danger of Software Patents"

Location:  California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) Auditorium                 

Richard Stallman, the father of the free software movement, will discuss the danger of software patents, explaining how they obstruct software development. He says, “Software patents are patents that cover software ideas. They restrict the development of software, so that every design decision brings a risk of getting sued. Patents in other fields restrict factories, but software patents restrict every computer user. Economic research shows that they even retard progress.”

Stallman launched the development of the GNU operating system ( in 1984. GNU is free software that can be copied and redistributed by anyone; users can make changes either large or small. The GNU/Linux system, which is the GNU operating system with Linux added, is used on tens of millions of computers today.

A recipient of the ACM Grace Hopper Award, a Mac Arthur Foundation fellowship, the Electronic Frontier Foundation's Pioneer award and the Takeda Award for Social/Economic Betterment, Stallman also holds several honorary doctorates.