Imagine that someone owned a patent giving them the exlusive right to know how to make a piece of toast, or how to lock a front door. Everytime you did one of these simple actions, you risk being sued and forced to pay huge damages for patent violation. In the world of software developers, this absurd situation is about to become a reality.
Public Whip is “suspending services” for a few days, while the EU Council of Ministers is taking an important decision on software patents. If the directive in question is passed, it will make it very hard for small businesses to make software, and will make it risky for people like me to make websites like The Public Whip.
Of course “suspending services” is just a euphemism for a “strike”, but people might start thinking of 1980s miners if I use that word. It’s not quite the same. Read the details here, or indeed on any page of Public Whip this weekend. It says how you can help.