[Fsfe-ie] 1page summary to MEPs (new 2 page format)

Aidan Delaney adelaney at cs.may.ie
Fri Aug 22 15:22:39 CEST 2003

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I like the majority of this document.  Especially your logic on why it is 
reasonable to vote the whole proposal down.  I would advise removing the 
sentance about SCO as it is quite reasonable to interpret their situation as 
being an aggreived party (though you, I and Linux know that "they're smoking 
crack" :)

In general I feel that the last three paragraphs could benifit mre from 
editing than the rest of the document.  That is to say that I think the 
standard of writing is better in the rest of the document.

Trying to reduce the damage:

 Most pro-patent Europeans say we will be stricter about handing out patents, 
and that this will lessen the problem. (We'll ignore the implied 
acknowledgment that patents cause problems) They don't explain why we would 
hand out fewer patents.

 * This, I think, has to be explained with references to the WIPO.
 A patent is an asset that can be created without raw materials, countries 
that hand out the most patents will reap the most rewards.

 * I think we have to re-enforce the point that you make about considering
 * the software _using_ industry here.  In simpler language.
Also, patent offices get revenue from the applications they approve, not the 
ones they reject. There is no incentive to consider the affect that 
restricting use of the technology will have on the european market as a 

Telecommunications research:

 * One could mention that most of the recent telecoms advances VOIP etc..
 * are because of interoperability and because of patent-free technology.
 * And have been paid for by governments i.e us the users/taxpayer (eg: DARPA, 
CERN etc..)
 * I know the telecoms market pretty well and I think I know what they want.
 * I'll try to explain it here - it's probably not an arguement against  
 * patents, but at least you'll know what the telcos want.
	In telecoms, delivery of a new service a month before compeditors can earn 
10's of millions.  This is the case if you are talking about a telco the size 
of Deutsche Telekom, France telecom or BT.  
	Introducing a new service based on a propritery protocol can earn millions 
for as long as the other telcos can't interoperate with it (and have to pay 
you money).  It's worth it for BT to pay Ericsson a hefty sum for a new SMS 
over fiber compression protocol.
	Though I can't offer facts or figures (there are none available) I believe 
that the telcos want patents purely to extend the periods that they are 
making current short term gains.  This will be a lose situation for the 

Collaboration and quality:
 * This arguement should be phrased better, maybe with reference to the fact 
that lone developers (me and you) will not be able to collaborate in the 
largest multi-ethnic project on Earth (the Linux kernel) as the legal 
overhead of patent lookups is too high.  Again this is a problem for software 
_using_ industry as opposed to the _producing_ industry.  Though in Free 
Software the _using_ and _producing_ industries are the same.

- -- 
Aidan Delaney
- --
If anyone has both the right and the need to study the code and be assured of 
its correct functioning, it is users.
		-- Whitfield Diffie 
Checksums of bad data tell you only: "yup, that's exactly the same
bad data the other guy has"
		-- Tom Lord

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