[Fsfe-ie] Re: 2004 dates for the EU Competitiveness Council

Hartmut Pilch phm at a2e.de
Tue Dec 2 09:12:22 CET 2003

Thanks James for this very important research.

It is clear that finding productive contacts with the Irish presidency is
of primordial importance at this moment.

> But let's be *very careful* about how we make first contact.

This admonition is a bit in contradiction with posting this information to
a large list.

> For the moment, I suggest that *any* communication with the IPU go
> through IFSO (Irish Free Software Organisation), and be co-ordinated by
> them.  I suggest that, at least for the moment, we do *not* publicise
> the IPU contact information on any public website of our own.

Disadvantages of this approach

 - treats the issue as one of free vs proprietary.

 - I do not know IFSO, and we have had last-minute discussions with
   some people at IFSO who wanted to reinvent the wheel of our
   (successful) counter-proposals and redesign the patent system on
   their own.  The key basis for our success in the EP --
   informed consensus of a sufficiently large group -- seems to be missing
   with regard to IFSO.

In general, I don't like such public discussions of "appointing" this or
that organisation or person to some task.

Nevertheless, for the time being I for my part am not publicising the
IPU contact info.

> Probably we should first quickly sound out friendly politicians, MEPs
> and academics to find out how the office works.  The best way to make
> first contact, to establish us with most importance and representative
> credibility, might be to try to achieve an introduction either from a
> politician or somebody the unit already knows, talks to, and respects.


There are some people in Ireland who have been helpful in september, and
we can find an effective way of establishing contacts.

> If we can establish a good informal working contact with the Irish
> government IP unit, this should make both for better legislation, and a
> much smoother, easier, more productive legislative process.

I can't think of any possibility of a smooth, easy and productive
legislative process in the current setup of the Council IP Working Party.

If we can bring any rationality into their process, that will at best mean
that their process becomes more difficult.  Their "productivity" has
entirely relied on a pro-patent consensus of the players on the WP, which
the Irish players will inevitably share.

> In a sense, we're getting onto the train rather late -- according to
> what we hear from the UKPO, the EU Council's "Working Party on
> Intellectual Property (Patents)" has already had two "very productive"
> meetings.  We need to find out a.s.a.p. where the negotiations are now
> at, and what issues are open and in play.  Let's just hope they haven't
> already closed the book on too many of the most important questions.

I don't think there is much of a chance of playing within those
"negotiations".  The chance is rather in making it unlikely that the "IP
Working Party" can dominate the process.   And there our only strength
lies in the popular support which we enjoy.  We have no chance of winning
in an unpublicised diplomatic game in this round.  Convincing the Irish
members of the IPWP seems to me like trying to convince a butcher's
association that we must promote vegetarian diets.

Hartmut Pilch, FFII & Eurolinux Alliance              tel. +49-89-18979927
Protecting Innovation against Patent Inflation	     http://swpat.ffii.org/
290,000 votes 2000 firms against software patents    http://noepatents.org/

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