Protect Your Freedom to Write Programs
	   Join the League for Programming Freedom
		(Version of January 15, 1991)

Ten years ago, programmers were allowed to write programs using all
the techniques they knew, and providing whatever features they felt
were useful.  This is no longer the case.  The new monopolies,
software patents and interface copyrights, have taken away our
freedom of expression and our ability to do a good job.

"Look and feel" lawsuits attempt to monopolize well-known command
languages; some have succeeded.  Copyrights on command languages
enforce gratuitous incompatibility, close opportunities for
competition, and stifle incremental improvements.

Software patents are even more dangerous; they make every design
decision in the development of a program carry a risk of a lawsuit,
with draconian pretrial seizure.  It is difficult and expensive to
find out whether the techniques you consider using are patented; it is
impossible to find out whether they will be patented in the future.

The League for Programming Freedom is a grass-roots organization of
professors, students, businessmen, programmers and users dedicated to
bringing back the freedom to write programs.  The League is not
opposed to the legal system that Congress intended--copyright on
individual programs.  Our aim is to reverse the recent changes made by
judges in response to special interests, often explicitly rejecting
the public interest principles of the Constitution.

The League works to abolish the new monopolies by publishing articles,
talking with public officials, boycotting egregious offenders, and in
the future may intervene in court cases.  On May 24, 1989, the League
picketed Lotus headquarters on account of their lawsuits, and then
again on August 2, 1990.  These marches stimulated widespread media
coverage for the issue.  We welcome suggestions for other activities,
as well as help in carrying them out.

Membership dues in the League are $42 per year for programmers,
managers and professionals; $10.50 for students; $21 for others.
Please give more if you can.  The League's funds will be used for
filing briefs; for printing handouts, buttons and signs; whatever will
persuade the courts, the legislators, and the people.  You may not get
anything personally for your dues--except for the freedom to write
programs.  The League is a non-profit corporation, but not considered
a tax-exempt charity.  However, for those self-employed in software,
the dues can be a business expense.

The League needs both activist members and members who only pay their
dues.  We also greatly need additional corporate members; contact us
for information.

If you have any questions, please write to the League or phone
(617) 243-4091.  Or send Internet mail to league@prep.ai.mit.edu.

		       Jack Larsen, President
		       Chris Hofstader, Secretary
		       Steve Sisak, Treasurer

Jack Larsen can be contacted at (708) 698-1160; Fax (708) 698-6221.
To join, please send a check and the following information to:

    League for Programming Freedom
    1 Kendall Square #143
    P.O.Box 9171
    Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139

(Outside the US, please send a check in US dollars on a bank 
having a US correspondant bank, to save us check cashing fees.)

Your name:

The address for League mailings (a few each year):

The company you work for, and your position:

Your phone numbers (home, work or both):

Your email address, so we can contact you for demonstrations or for
writing letters.  (If you don't want us to contact you for these
things, please say so, but please give us your email address anyway.)

Is there anything about you which would enable your endorsement of the
LPF to impress the public?  For example, if you are or have been a
professor or an executive, or have written software that has a good
reputation, please tell us.

Would you like to help with LPF activities?

The corporate charter of the League for Programming Freedom states:

    The purpose of the corporation is to engage in the following

    1. To determine the existence of, and warn the public about
    restrictions and monopolies on classes of computer programs where such
    monopolies prevent or restrict the right to develop certain types of
    computer programs.

    2. To develop countermeasures and initiatives, in the public interest,
    effective to block or otherwise prevent or restrain such monopolistic
    activities including education, research, publications, public
    assembly, legislative testimony, and intervention in court proceedings
    involving public interest issues (as a friend of the court).

    3. To engage in any business or other activity in service of and
    related to the foregoing paragraphs that lawfully may be carried on
    by a corporation organized under Chapter 180 of the Massachusetts
    General Laws.

The officers and directors of the League will be elected annually by
the members.