[Fsfe-ie] State of the patents directive, another win, hitch, and letter

Ciaran O'Riordan ciaran at member.fsf.org
Mon Feb 7 14:59:31 CET 2005

17 of the 19 JURI committee members voted for a restart.  We're clearly
winning this battle, but the next hurdle is talk that McCreevey could ignore
JURI's request.

I'm no expert, but he doesn't seem to be the type to be in the pocket of big
business, or indebted to any particular large software company.

He seems to pride himself in taking drastic measures, and since no one from
"our side" has made contact with him, it's probable he doesn't know how
disasterous the Council's text is.  He also seems to want to dispell the
myth that the EU is a bureaucracy mess.

So It's back to the text editor.  We have to show him concisely,
understandably, why a move that will delay the implementation of this
clarity-bringing directive is required.  His decision will be announced on
Feb 17.

We could send this letter to entemp and ask them to pass it on, but I want
to try contact him directly.

Here's what I've noted so far that he might listen to:
Every patent is a regulation.  The EU must reduce bureaucracy not add to it.

Software must remain a free market where motives for contributing are not
limited to those with a commercial end large enough to offset the costs of
the patent system. [this needs better wording]

IFSO has always asked for this directive, we need legal certainly, we need
to clear up the wording that made companies think that software ideas could
become patentable.  The Council's text does not give legal clarity.

The costs of patent searches and the possible cost of litigation, whether
the litigators claim is valid or not, are too high for all individuals and
most businesses.

This is not just raising the barrier of entry to writing software, this is
creating a bureaucratic barrier where there was none before.

The parliament fixed this directive by 75% majorities, JURI want it fixed by
a 17 or 19 majority.

The US Federal Trade Commission says software idea patents cause nothing but
harm.  Economists say the same.  PriceWaterHouseCooper say the same.

I'm also going to try to meet him or one of his assistants.

He doesn't have to debate his decision, so he doesn't need to be given a
long list of reasons.  He needs to be able to concisely justify his move, so
we have to give him just that.

Most of my info is direct from FFII people here in Brussels, so it should be
accurate, but it's possibly not published elsewhere.  I'm not told to keep
anything secret though, so I'm not sitting on any more info that what I post

Ciarán O'Riordan
Free Software in Ireland: http://ifso.ie

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