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Richard Stallman: The Danger of Software Patents, Sheffield Hallam, 3 March 2011

February 25, 2011

via Keith Burley, Sheffield Hallam University

Dr Richard Stallman presents
The Danger of Software Patents
Thursday 3rd March 2011

Light Refreshments 17:30
Start 18:00
Finish 20:00

Sheffield Hallam University, UK
Furnival Building 9130
Furnival St

Dr Richard Stallman, the global crusader for the freedoms of computer users, has been embarking on a lecture tour during February and March.

Organised and supported by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), the tour will include nine lectures across Britain, and in Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris. Through the partnership between SHU & The IET, we are offering an opportunity to students and lecturers of SHU to see Dr Stallman speak on “The Danger of Software Patents”.

Stallman pioneered the concept of copyleft and he is the main author of several copyleft licenses including the GNU General Public License, the most widely used free software license.[3] Since the mid-1990s, Stallman has spent most of his time advocating for free software, as well as campaigning against both software patents and what he sees as excessive extension of copyright laws.

Richard Stallman will explain how software patents obstruct software development.  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.

Dr Stallman will also be providing a public lecture on Saturday 5th March, at the University of Sheffield on “Copyright v Community in the Age of Computer Networks”.  If you wish to also attend this event please register here.


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