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

Ciaran O'Riordan ciaran at member.fsf.org
Fri Aug 22 20:35:45 CEST 2003

Thanks Aidan, I just got you mail now but I'm running out the door but
I should be able to incorporate your comments tomorrow night.  I did
remove the SCO reference, and fixed a few gramatical glitches.  The
updated doc is in the same place but it's not very different.

> I would advise removing the 
> sentance about SCO as it is quite reasonable to interpret their situation as 
> being an aggreived party


> In general I feel that the last three paragraphs could benifit mre from 
> editing than the rest of the document.

this is true.

>  * 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'm not clear on what you're suggesting here.  Explain the lack of material
requirements or the rewards? How does WIPO figure? could you elalborate
this point?

>  * 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 
> whole.

I'll try to rewrite which more user-industry focus it but it's hard
to explain concisely.

> 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..)

good point, I'll try fit it in.

> 	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 
> customer.


> 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.
> */

I'm steering clear of free software, our favourite kernel, and lone developers
because I don't think MEPs would fully appreciate the situation, so I'm
focusing on small businesses.

Patent lookup cost is a good point I missed.  I'll make it relevant to
the user industry by noting reduced possible quality.

I'll try to get it revised tomorrow night.


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