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Thursday, October 21, 2004

Software Patents are for Big Monopoly Software companies

syempre. hindi namin palalampasin yan sa Computer Professionals Union.

Software Patents are for Big Monopoly Software companies
News release
October 21, 2004

"Software Patents are always a threat to small software companies and developers," clarified Mr. Emil Cinco of the Computer Professionals' Union. "The Business Software Alliance will always push for patents because its members have many pending patent applications that would translate to huge profits for them. But these are detrimental to software development."

"Today, Intelectually Property Rights (IPR) rather than speeding the spread of knowledge has become an obstacle in development," Mr Cinco added. Access to information has been restricted due to many IPR related laws which grants companies monopoly in ideas and algorithms in software development. "This monopoly of ideas hinders the use of the same idea for any solutions being developed. This is how software patents work."

"In the contrary, software development should be founded in the sharing of codes of many developers," reacted Mr. Cinco. The sharing of codes and algorithms enhances programs in development. This method has been used by Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) developers in creating the popular GNU/Linux system. Earlier, Gow Seow Hiong of the Business Software Alliance stated that the software industry (software development) is founded in protecting intellectual property.

"The Philippine government should stop being neutral in the use of softwares," Mr. Cinco added. "Its neutrality reinforces the monopoly of proprietary softwares in the government by not providing or choosing an alternative." The CICT has declared a "neutrality" option even with pressures from FOSS groups to adapt FOSS in its projects, like the People's PC program. Most Asian and European countries have adopted FOSS to help boost their own software industry. The adoption of FOSS enables developers the freedom from expensive proprietary tools and platforms. "The government trumpets creating ten million jobs for the next years, then it must support FOSS to encourage new Filipino developers."

The Computer Professionals' Union is an organization of ICT professionals advocating ICT for the people. CPU is a member of Open Minds and is currently coordinating with other FOSS groups in opposing software patents in the country. A legislative agenda on FOSS support is also being prepared for alliances in the Philippine Congress. An online petition against software patents can be read at

Mr. Emil Cinco - 7008818
Computer Professionals' Union

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