The software patents issue has come to a bad bad peak right now with loads and loads of free software coming under the scanner of those hawks from the big companies in Europe.
Europe was like the last stand and if Europe is taken, all is lost. The gravity of the situation doesn't hit immediately and not especially when someone like me writes about it.
This is what mplayer's site says
Closed for patent infringement
This site has been shut down because of numerous patent violations in MPlayer. The other free software Multimedia players are next.
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.
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.
But not all is lost yet as long as you 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. Contact your local EU representatives and educate them why software patents are bad and why they must attend that parliament session to vote against them. For in-depth information and starting points to get active visit software patent page of the FFII (Foundation for a
Free Information Infrastructure) and NoSoftwarePatents.com.
Wish us luck, we will need it.