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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.

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What is KNOPPIX®?

KNOPPIX is a bootable CD with a 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 Linux demo, 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.



New: KNOPPIX Help & Support Center available by ed-media

In order to provide quick commercial-grade help for end-users, our partner ed-media has opened a new KNOPPIX Support Center. Visit

KNOPPIX Version 3.4

The first release of the new version 3.4 of KNOPPIX was available as a printed edition at CeBit 2004, and has been distributed in a limited edition of 40,000 CDs. We are still working on the download edition 3.4, which will contain the following features:

  • Linux Kernel 2.4.26 and, as a boot option, Kernel 2.6.5, both ACPI-enabled.
  • KDE version 3.2.2.
  • GIMP version 2.0.
  • New IRDA/Bluetooth-Setup.
  • GPRS internet-connection ready.
  • enhanced hardware autodetection and driver updates.
  • also boots from (some) USB- and Firewire CD-Roms now.
  • internet-based software "live-installer", installs add-on packages in ramdisk or on persistent home directory.
  • free ticket to LinuxTag 2004, Europe's leading Linux and Free Software event, included.

The download edition will appear on the mirrors as soon as it is ready. For the independent resellers of Free Software CDs: There is a new offer for webshop links on the vendors page, that you may want to check out.

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