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

Niall Douglas s_fsfeurope2 at nedprod.com
Fri Aug 22 21:11:02 CEST 2003

On 22 Aug 2003 at 19:35, Ciaran O'Riordan wrote:

> >  * 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. */

Firstly, the Linux kernel is most certainly not the largest multi-
ethnic project on Earth. Where did you hear this from?

> 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.

I'd go further than that: many MEP's view free software with very 
mixed views. This is not helped by most of the gods of the GPL cult 
being clearly unconnected with the real world at best, and insane at 

We programmers tend to look at other programmers in terms of how good 
a coder they are, often forgiving other substantial failings in their 
character. This is not how a MEP looks at a programmer.

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

Another interesting point is why were 20,000 software patents 
registered when they couldn't be enforced under the 1991 directive? I 
hate to be a conspiracy nut, but business magazines at the time said 
it was a good investment because EU patent law would be "harmonised" 
with international norms (ie; the US) within a decade. They were 
nearly right.


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