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<?php
   $title = "VideoLAN - And the issue of software patents";
   $lang = "en";
   $menu = array( "vlc" );
   require($_SERVER["DOCUMENT_ROOT"]."/include/header.php");
?>

<h1> The end draws near...</h1>

<p>
<strong>
	VideoLAN is seriously threatened by software patents due to the 
	numerous patented techniques it implements and uses. Also threatened
	are the <a href="/links.html">many libraries and projects<a/> which 
	VLC is built upon, like <a href="http://ffmpeg.org">
	FFmpeg</a>, and the other fellow Free And Open Source software
	multimedia players, which include
	<a href="http://mplayerhq.hu/">MPlayer</a>,
	<a href="http://xinehq.de/">xine</a>,
	<a href="http://www.freevo.org/">Freevo</a>,
	<a href="http://www.mythtv.org/">MythTV</a>,
	<a href="http://gstreamer.net/">gstreamer</a>.
</strong>
</p>

<p>
	Multimedia is a patent minefield. All important techniques and formats
	are covered by broad and trivial patents that are harming progress and
	alternative implementations, such as free software multimedia players.
</p>

<p>
	The European commission has just passed its directive on software
	patents, violating democratic rules and procedures to the sole
	benefit of big non-European corporation and Ireland and to the
	detriment of small and medium sized businesses (which comprise 99%
	of the European software industry) and free software.
</p>

<p>
	The European parliament will now be taking the last stand against
	software patents in a voting for which an absolute majority is
	needed. Such a majority is hard to come by in a parliament with a
	low attendance level.
</p>

<p>
	But not all is lost yet as long as <strong>you</strong> decide it is
	time to make a difference and take action. This is our last opportunity
	to fend off software patents worldwide, there will be no second chance
	for the foreseeable future.
</p>

<p>
	<a href="http://petition.eurolinux.org">Signing petitions</a> will not
	suffice. Contact your local EU representatives and educate them why
	<a href="http://lpf.ai.mit.edu/Patents/industry-at-risk.html">software patents are a bad idea in the first place</a>
	and why they <strong>must</strong> attend that parliament session to
	vote against them. Make it clear that they need to stop the
	<a href="http://wiki.ffii.org/LtrFfiiCons050308En">machinations of the EU council</a>
	and reaffirm the power of the EU parliament, the only democratically
	elected EU institution.
	For in-depth information and starting points to get active visit the
	<a href="http://swpat.ffii.org">software patent page of the FFII
	(Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure)</a> and
	<a href="http://nosoftwarepatents.com">NoSoftwarePatents.com</a>.
</p>

<p>
	Wish us luck, we will need it.
</p>

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