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July 27, 2005
Brother, Can You Spare a Patent License?
Copyfight's own Jason Schultz and EFF Development Director Terri Forman have a new op-ed excoriating companies seeking to levy a patent "tax" on online giving and activism:
In recent months, there has been some controversy in the philanthropy world over an unusual topic -- business method patents. The stink has arisen because a few companies that provide services to nonprofits are starting to patent their online techniques versus real technical innovations -- things as basic as using email to alert friends to pressing social issues that need support or sending an online "thank you" card to acknowledge a donation.
As stupid and harmful as a patent on "one-click" shopping may be, it's even worse when the claim is for "one-click" activism and philanthropy. If you give $5 to an organization like EFF (or £5 to this new group
), you want every dollar to go to the cause -- not licensing fees for the software you're using to make the donation.
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