Making the case against software patents (Was: Re: [Fsfe-ie] Ivana Bacik

Ciaran O'Riordan coriordan at
Sun May 23 12:39:57 CEST 2004

Ian Clarke <ian at> writes:
> Ciaran O'Riordan wrote:
> > I've just been talking to RMS, and he suggested that we let some MEP
> > candidates have the mic for 5 minutes to state their views - but probably
> > only if more than one shows up - otherwise it would seem like a straight
> > endorsement.
> Thats a good idea.  One potential problem is that even those MEPs that
> are aggressively pushing software patents tend to use language that
> suggests the exact opposite.
> For example, imagine that Arlene McCarthy was invited to speak after
> RMS and said:
> "Computer software and business processes/methods are explicitly
> excluded from patentating [sic] in both the UK already and this
> proposed EU law." (referring to the pre-amendment directive from last
> Summer).

we'll keep an eye out for impercise statements, and if Richard doesn't make
an issue of it, I'll try to.

> In other words, how are we to warn people not to take the statements
> of the pro-patent lobby at face-value without simply denouncing them
> as outright liars (which would allow our opponents to accuse us of
> making an ad hominem argument and inappropriately "aggressive"
> lobbying tactics).

> Ciaran, perhaps you could put this question to RMS

will do.

> (I considered
> Cc:ing him, but I suspect he gets enough email as it is without being
> copied on mailing list discussions)?

 particularly right now.  My mail problem was not specific to me,
it's fsf-wide, so he hasn't gotten mail since friday either.

Ciarán O'Riordan
Irish Free Software Organisation:

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