[Fsfe-ie] TODO, last patent action

Ciaran O'Riordan ciaran at member.fsf.org
Wed Aug 13 22:25:15 CEST 2003

Guys, thanks.

I'll summarise briefly.  New threads may be needed to keep things
clear.  So far we have:

> 1. Collect names of people who endorse this position

we can do this bit last.

> 2. Can someone volunteer to mail/fax these docs?  (two people?)

Malcolm, and Aidan.

> 3. With each package, we should send a contact email/phone/address.

Aidan, myself, ???, and ???, and maybe ???.
(??? declines to be Malcolm for good reasons.)

> 4. We need to find out what amendments we want.

Malcolm, Aidan, and myself.
This info is possibly the most important info we need but I can't
find it anywhere.  I'm going to mail the discussion at fsfeurope.org
list tonight to ask people if they know what's going on.  Mabye
this info is on the swpat.ffii.org site (*cringe*) or maybe it's on
one of the many european FS/rights mailinglists.  I've spent some
time searching these two places but I haven't found it yet.

If all else fails, we might have to read the amendments ourselves
and pretend we are competent at interpretting them.  The only hint
I have is that FFII said the early CULT, and ITRE amendments were
very good.  Maybe there are similar hints hidden on the web.

The european Green party/EFA, drafted an amendment with consultation
from FFII.  If we can find the name/number of this amendment, it is
probably one of the ones we want passed.

MT> How should we (i.e. all of us) communicate[...]

Probably start a new thread, this one will get messy.  If a meeting
would be helpful, I should be able to go.  (If people want to wiki,
I'll try to wiki too.)

> 5. Write the one page "why patents are bad [for software]" sheet

I'll try to post this to the list this weekend for comments.

> 6. Can someone write the one page trivial computer program

Sean, and maybe Aidan.

SO'D> anyone have any suggestions?

If you're violating a patent, make sure it's an EU patent, most MEPs
are certain that the EPO will never turn into the farce that the USPTO
has become.  (The UKPTO and UK MEPs were known to once share a joke
"I heard the USPTO rejected a patent today".  ROFL, I'm sure.

JM> Transforming File Names sounds like an easy one ;)

I'd second this.  (So long as it's an EU patent, and can be done
in an MEP readable way i.e doesn't require ASCII awareness)

Failing that, a 1st or 2nd year college project might be an option?

It's important to get it across to them that it's just a list of
instructions, same as a musical score, similar to a recipe.

On the use of code, Malcolm T. said:
> It would certainly be useful for us to have one or two cananonical
> examples, but I think it would be a bad idea to put code in the letter.
> Many people have a very negative reaction to computer speak (similar to
> mathematics) and may feel intimidated by it. Even if the MEPs could
> understand the program, why should they want to? Remember, ours in only
> one issue out of many that they will be concerned with at the moment.

Hopefully we can come up with a bit of code that is so readable that
they can just glance at it and say "That's all it is?".  So that they
know it's just a logical approach to general problem solving. Maybe it
will be too hard, we'll see what Sean (and maybe Aidan) produces.

> I think it might be better to describe a scenario rather than present an
> example. Even better if that scenario describes what happens to "Irish
> Company A".

I'll see if I can throw some examples into my Patents Are Bad note.

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