[Fsfe-ie] Letter to Creevy
ben at redfrontdoor.org
Wed Feb 16 10:02:51 CET 2005
Couple of missing apostrophes ("the Council's text", "the litigator's
claim"). Some paragraphs argue against software patents in general, and
some argue for the restart. Should they be ordered so that each group
is together? Maybe restart first, then supporting points for the
argument against allowing swpat?
(Was there a difference between paragraphs with = bullets and with *
Including changes others on the list have made, that would leave us with
something like the text below.
As usual, feel free to take any or none of these changes into your final
(I fixed the JURI-restart voting figures, taking the new numbers from
The decision, taken by 19 votes in favour, 1 against and 1
- - - - 8< - - - -
Dear Commissioner McCreevy,
The Irish Free Software Organisation would like to briefly explain why
the "software patents directive" should be restarted:
* On Feb 2nd, you said "Having no directive means continuing to rely on
case law, which leads to considerable legal uncertainty which is why
we must strive to find a balanced solution." IFSO agrees with this.
The Council's text, though, which relies on undefined terms such as
"technical effect" and "industrial application", would impose the most
liberal interpretation of what can be patented on the EU, effectively
legitimising software patents.
* The parliament voted to correct these problems by a 75% majority; JURI
voted 19-to-1 for a restart. Since the MEPs in the European
Parliament and JURI committee are the only directly elected
representatives involved in this process, it would be a regrettable
example of the EU's "democratic deficit" if they were to be ignored.
and why patents on software ideas would be harmful for Europe:
* The US Federal Trade Commission's 2003 "Report on Innovation" said that
"software and internet patents" were obstructing innovation.
* Every patent is a regulation on software writers. The added bureacracy of
obtaining permission to use a software idea, and the added legal costs of
patent searches and litigation would greatly harm the Lisbon strategy's
aim to increase the competitiveness of the EU.
* The costs of patent searches and the possible cost of litigation,
whether the litigator's claim is valid or not, are too high for any
individual and most businesses. For those writing software, the
introduction of patents would not just raise the barrier to entry, it
would create a barrier where previously there was none.
More information about the FSFE-IE