|| ||"Richard M. Stallman" <rms-AT-gnu.org>|
|| ||Letter to the editor|
|| ||Sun, 23 Oct 2005 00:42:15 -0400|
This letter is really addressed to you, the editors, as well as to
your readers. If you make the decision to stop using the term
"intellectual property" in what you publish, as I have done, that will
encourage clear thinking about patents, and about other issues too.
We can be confident that the Community Lisbon Process is headed for
trouble when we see it use the term "intellectual property rights".
That term is propaganda for those that want stricter copyright and
patent laws. It lumps together these and other disparate laws, whose
requirements and effects are completely different. (Just look at how
different the effects of software copyright and software patents are.)
See http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/not-ipr.xhtml for more explanation.
Discussion of "intellectual property rights" is generally either
confused, or meant to confuse others. We do not know how much of each
of these factors is present in this study, but each of them is an
obstacle to a good outcome. The heading of "IPR" brings bias and
confusion into the deliberation--handicaps against reaching a
It makes sense for us to communicate with those doing this study, but
as we do, we should avoid endorsing its mistaken starting point. When
we state our views about sound software patent policy, let's reject
labeling that issue as part of an "IPR framework".
President, Free Software Foundation
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