[Fsfe-ie] Swpat vote set for Tuesday, with public deliberation

James Heald j.heald at ucl.ac.uk
Sat May 15 02:16:14 CEST 2004

NB. See FFII breaking news wiki for very latest information, at

It looks as though there's a chance things may be moving in our favour.

The agenda for the Competitiveness Council meeting has been published, 
with a full discussion now scheduled on the Software Patents directive; 
furthermore the discussion is to be in public, ie with press and 
visitors able to listen in with 11-way translation.

We don't yet know whether there's any chance of it being webcast.

This a big step forward from the official EU media briefing, published 
only on Friday morning, which said the directive was due to be 
rubberstamped as an 'A-item' without discussion.

The EU media briefing also tries very hard to play the play up the Irish 
draft as a 'compromise' position.

But it's clear from this report from Paul Meller that by the time of the 
press conference this afternoon journalists were obviously well enough 
briefed that the EU spokesman had to confirm everything we'd said:

The national positions won't finally be clear until we hear what 
actually gets said on Tuesday, but there are signs that there may be an 
increasing number of ministers with concerns about the text, and a very 
real possibility that a number of countries may seek a delay to give time to

  * achieve more unity;
  * investigate further the concerns about
      - freedom of discussion
      - interoperability
      - scope of what is and what is not 'technical';
  * produce a text more likely to pass the European Parliament.

On the other hand, as best we know, the UK and Ireland are still pushing 
all-out for the Presidency text.

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