[Fsfe-ie] European Parliament:OSS & enforcement directive

James Heald j.heald at ucl.ac.uk
Sun Feb 29 16:46:56 CET 2004

teresahackett wrote:

> Extract

> Moreover, enforcement of IPRs is good for OSS developers just as it is 
> for commercial software developers. Obligations regarding the use of 
> open source software are established in the respective OS licenses and 
> grounded upon IPRs . The ability to enforce these IPRs is a critical 
> element in maintaining the open source system. 

Well, it's nice to know she was listening to at least *some* of the talk 
I gave in Strasbourg  :-)

What I went on to say, of course, was that there is a very delicate 
balance to be maintained between the needs of supposed rightsholders 
(often very powerful), and the need to avoid undue harassment of 
innocent deliberately-targeted innovative small companies and software 

If Mme Fourtou wants to introduce the needs of OSS projects into the 
debate, then bring it on.   It opens a space between the goalposts the 
size of a barn door for IFSO to officially publicly respond to this letter.

 > Failure to achieve a
 > minimal harmonisation of IPR enforcement rules in an enlarged EU will
 > expose software developers – both commercial and open source – to
 > situations in which they are unable to enforce their respective
 > rights.

As somebody pointed out in the Slashdot discussion on the directive a 
week ago, what you actually need to enforce the GPL is pretty minimal, 
not any of this clodhopping boot-boys stuff.

Unless Mme Fourtou thinks we just can't wait to apply for a nice Anton 
Piller order for a private raid on Microsoft Ireland ?  :-)


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