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"Software-Patents" in Europe: The threat prevails

Soon the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers will again decide about the legalisation and adoption of so-called "software patents" in Europe, which are already used by large companies in other countries to put competitors out of business. This can lead to the termination of many software projects such as KNOPPIX, at least within Europe, because the holders of the over 30,000 already granted "software patents" (currently without a legal foundation) can claim exclusive rights and collect license fees for trivial things like "progress bars", "mouseclicks on online order forms", "scrolling within a window" and similar. That way, software developers will have to pay the "software-patentholders" for using these features, even in their own, completely self-developed applications, which can completely stall the development of innovative software for small and medium companies. Apart from this, the expense for patent inquiries and legal assistence is high, for even trying to find out if the self-developed software is possibly violating "software-patents", if you want to continue to market your software. Contrary to real patents, "software-patents" are, in the draft proposed by the commission, monopolization of business ideas and methods, even without any tangible technical implementation.

What is KNOPPIX®?

KNOPPIX is a bootable Live system on CD or DVD, consisting of a representative collection of GNU/Linux software, automatic hardware detection, and support for many graphics cards, sound cards, SCSI and USB devices and other peripherals. KNOPPIX can be used as a productive Linux system for the desktop, educational CD, rescue system, or adapted and used as a platform for commercial software product demos. It is not necessary to install anything on a hard disk. Due to on-the-fly decompression, the CD can have up to 2 GB of executable software installed on it (over 8GB on the DVD "Maxi" edition).

A complete list of software packages present on the KNOPPIX 4.0 DVD can be found here.


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KNOPPIX 4.0 in issue 8/05 with DVD of "com! Das Computer-Magazin"

Starting from version 4.0, the KNOPPIX-project has been split into a DVD "maxi" edition, and a "KNOPPIX light" on CD, both developed in parallel. The printed first release of the KNOPPIX 4.0 DVD (booting in german by default) has been available at LinuxTag 2005 at different booths, and is now available within the "edition with DVD" computer magazine "com!. Check the initial press release here for more details about contents and news in version 4.0 of KNOPPIX (german).

The 4.0 DVD Edition will be available on some of the Knoppix-Mirrors (those who can afford the additional traffic) in a few weeks, as soon as the 4.0 "Light" CD image is also ready.

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