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<nettime> EU Software patents directive, 4th episode
nicolas maleve on Mon, 30 May 2005 14:34:57 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> EU Software patents directive, 4th episode



Important week for the fight against software patents

Some background Information

* On 2003/09/24,  the European Parliament  adopted, in 1st  reading, a
  directive which clearly excluded  software and business methods from
  patentability.

* On  2004/05/18,  the  European  Council  of  Ministers  amended  the
  directive to legalise patents  on software and business methods. The
  formal adoption of the directive was postponed after the re-election
  of the Parliament.

* On   2005/03/07,   the   Council   formally  adopted   the   amended
  directive. In  this process,  the Luxembourg presidency  ignored the
  Council's rules of procedure by  ignoring the will of 3 countries to
  reopen  negotiations.  Before  that,  a formal  application  by  the
  European Parliament to restart  the legislative process got rejected
  by the Commission of European Countries.

* On 2005/07/06, the European Parliament will vote on the Directive in
  ''2nd Reading''.  Each amendment to the Council's  directive must be
  voted by an absolute majority of all members; abstentions and absent
  members  are counted  ''in favour''  of the  ''unchanged'' Council's
  directive.

----

Events this week:


1. Conference FFII June 1rst:
http://swpat.ffii.org/events/2005/bxl0601/

2.June 2nd Conference Greens-EFA "Software Patents and Free Software" the
panel includes Robert Sutor(IBM),Jason Schultz(Electronic Frontier
Foundation),David Sant(European Patent Office),Simon Phipps(SUN
Microsystems),Richard M. Stallman(Free Software Foundation),David
Axmark(MySQL), etc:
http://www.greens-efa.org/en/agenda/detail.php?id=1726

3. Demo in the streets:
http://noepatents.eu.org/index.php/Demo_Against_Software_Patents

4. Demo on the web: http://noepatents.eu.org

5.June 2nd:
http://wiki.ffii.org/EppSme050602En

----



Here follows the official press release calling for the demo.

= Software Patents Directive: Associations Call to Demonstrate All Over
Europe =

PRESS RELEASE [ Europe / economy / ICT ]

Brussels, 2005/05/22


WHAT: Demonstration against software patents

WHEN: 2005/06/02, 13:00h

WHERE: Brussels,  Schumann metro  station; other European  cities; the
Internet

CONTACT: Benjamin Henrion, +32 498 292771

MORE INFO: http://noepatents.eu.org


''AEL.be'' and ''Openstandaarden.be''  invite people who are concerned
by  the dangers  of software  patents to  demonstrate on  2nd  June in
Brussels and other European cities, as well as on the Internet [1].

On 2005/07/06, the European Parliament will vote about the adoption of
a  directive which  would legalise  patents on  software  and business
methods in Europe.

Members  of the  European Parliament  are currently  visited  daily by
professional  lobbyists to  convince them  that the  Directive  by the
Council  of Ministers  would ''not''  introduce software  patents, but
instead  patents on  so-called  computer-implemented inventions  which
were  a good thing  for small  enterprises and  independent developers
[2].

In reality,  this directive, commonly  known as the  ''Software Patent
Directive'', would introduce US-style software patents in Europe, as a
recent study [3]  revealed. The goal of the  demonstrations is to rise
the  awareness of  the  members  of the  European  Parliament for  the
importance  of the  fast-approaching vote.  Patents on  software would
render development  more risky  and endanger millions  of jobs  in the
European IT sector.

Alexandre Dulaunoy (Association  Electronique Libre, AEL.be) comments:
Software and  computer programs have always been  subject to copyright
law as they  are a form of writing.  Introducing software patents will
be   in   conflict   with   well-established   and   proven   author's
rights.  Software  patents  will  allow  patent  monopolies  to  limit
innovation within Europe's knowledge-based  economy. A free society is
closely linked to the ability to create and build a free market. As we
want  to  keep a  free  society, we  are  firmly  opposed to  software
patents.

Mark Van den Borre (Openstandaarden.be) explains: Moving your own data
is  a technical  problem for  every SME  right now  already.  Just try
changing  bookkeeping software  while keeping  your old  data.  If the
European  Commission,  the  Council  of  Ministers and  a  handful  of
multinationals  have  it their  way,  it  would  also become  a  legal
problem,  because of  software  patents. The  European parliament  has
already listened  to SMEs once, adding  interoperability amendments to
the proposed directive. The Council of Ministers kicked these out. Now
it's   the  parliament's  move   again.  I   hope  there   are  enough
parliamentarians       who      see       the       importance      of
interoperability.  Otherwise, open standards  will be  a thing  of the
past.

----

Background Information

* On 2003/09/24,  the European Parliament  adopted, in 1st  reading, a
  directive which clearly excluded  software and business methods from
  patentability.

* On  2004/05/18,  the  European  Council  of  Ministers  amended  the
  directive to legalise patents  on software and business methods. The
  formal adoption of the directive was postponed after the re-election
  of the Parliament.

* On   2005/03/07,   the   Council   formally  adopted   the   amended
  directive. In  this process,  the Luxembourg presidency  ignored the
  Council's rules of procedure by  ignoring the will of 3 countries to
  reopen  negotiations.  Before  that,  a formal  application  by  the
  European Parliament to restart  the legislative process got rejected
  by the Commission of European Countries.

* On 2005/07/06, the European Parliament will vote on the Directive in
  ''2nd Reading''.  Each amendment to the Council's  directive must be
  voted by an absolute majority of all members; abstentions and absent
  members  are counted  ''in favour''  of the  ''unchanged'' Council's
  directive.

----

[1] http://noepatents.eu.org/index.php/Demo_Against_Software_Patents

[2] http://wiki.ffii.org/EictaSme050425En

[3] http://www.ffii.org/~jmaebe/epecosci0502/SoftwarePatent.pdf

----

Contacts

* Mark Van Den Borre <mark {AT} markvdb.be> (Openstandaarden.be) (NL/FR/EN)
  +32 486 961726
* Benjamin Henrion <bh {AT} udev.org> (AEL.be) (FR/EN) +32 498 292771

----

About AEL (http://www.ael.be)

The Association Electronique Libre is a Belgian association protecting
fundamental rights in the information society.

AEL supports freedoms of speech, press and association on the Internet
or any  electronic medium,  the right to  use encryption  software for
private  communication,  the right  to  create  software unimpeded  by
private monopolies, the right to access and preserve public domain and
free digital information.

----

About Openstandaarden (http://openstandaarden.be)

OpenStandaarden.be's mission  is to promote the use  of open standards
in  all digital  communication. Our  approach consists  of  building a
constructive  dialog with  IT staff  and decision  makers. We  want to
create awareness about the  importance of open standards, and convince
them  to  effectively apply  them.   We  are  a group  of  independent
volunteers, committed to offer our expertise in order to realise these
goals.

----



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