[Fsfe-ie] Auf wiedersehen, Herr Mueller

Teresa Hackett teresahackett at eircom.net
Wed Mar 30 23:46:47 CEST 2005

Let's hope that FFII will not create distractions from the main issues.

PRESS RELEASE FFII -- [ Europe / economy / ICT ]


Munich (30 March 2005).  In advance of the European Parliament's
second reading on a software patent directive, the resistance movement
against software patents in the EU regroups.  Today it was announced
that the FFII (Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure), the
leading organization that opposes software patents in Europe, will
take over the NoSoftwarePatents.com campaign.

Through content in 17 languages, NoSoftwarePatents.com addresses a
pan-European audience and delivers easy-to-understand information on
the controversial topic.  The campaign was brought to life last year
by software industry veteran Florian Mueller with the help of three
sponsors: 1&1 (a German company that is the world's largest Web
host), Red Hat, and MySQL AB.  NoSoftwarePatents.com quickly became
known for not mincing words in its criticism of companies and
organizations that lobby for software patents.

   "NoSoftwarePatents.com is by far the best introductory Web site on the
   subject of computing idea monopolies to date", said Hartmut Pilch,
   president of the FFII. "Florian Mueller has contributed an important
   missing link between various communities. Together with 1&1, Red Hat
   and MySQL, our media team will now leverage the NoSoftwarePatents.com
   platform to further boost the morale of the large majority of
   companies and individuals whose freedom and productivity is currently
   under threat."

The NoSoftwarePatents sponsors approved the transfer of the
NoSoftwarePatents.com site to the FFII, and will work with the FFII in
a similar way as they previously did with NoSoftwarePatents.com while
it was an independent campaign. "MySQL AB believes in copyright law as
the proper mechanism for protecting the rights of software authors,
and we consider software patents harmful to the industry at large",
said Marten Mickos, CEO of Swedish database company MySQL
AB. "Together with 1&1 and Red Hat, we funded the creation of the
NoSoftwarePatents.com platform, and prior to that we had already been
supporting Florian's political work for several
months. NoSoftwarePatents.com has had an enormous impact, and we are
excited to be working closely with the FFII."

Florian Mueller, the founder of NoSoftwarePatents.com, believes that
the take-over of NoSoftwarePatents.com "will further cement the FFII's
leadership role".  He pointed out that his biography on the campaign
site had been stating all along that he "temporarily interrupted his
own software development project" in order to campaign against
software patents.  According to Mr. Mueller, the time had come for him
"after a fantastic year in politics" to resume his own project (a
computer game), but he said he will still be involved in the fight
against software patents from time to time.

Current Status of the EU Software Patent Directive

On 7 March, the EU Council, commonly referred to as the "Council of
Ministers" because it is comprised of ministers from the member
countries of the union, claimed to have adopted a "common position" on
software patents.  The decision was taken on the basis of minority
support, against strong resistance by various national parliaments and
despite a request by the European Parliament to restart the entire
process on the controversial directive.  Whether and how the "uncommon
position" was adopted is still unclear.  23 questions by the FFII


remain unanswered.  A long list of countries, among them six that had
originally supported the proposal, added unilateral declarations by
which they distanced themselves from the decision and suggested
substantial amendments in the further process.

The Council's proposal is now on its way to the European Parliament,
which is widely expected to begin a second reading in mid April and to
vote on possible amendments, or rejection, in early July.  In order to
take any such decision, the EP now needs a majority of its component
members, which represents a minimum number of 367 votes irrespective
of absences and abstentions.  If the EP amends the proposal, then it
goes back to the EU Council and then on to a possible conciliation
proceeding, which in turn might be followed by parallel third readings
in both institutions.

On tuesday morning, the FFII distributed a

	letter with appendices

to all members of the European Parliament in which it asks for either
full restoration of its position of September 2003, which effectively
excluded software patents, or rejection of the directive.

About the FFII (Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure,

The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) is a
non-profit association registered in several European countries, which
is dedicated to the spread of data processing literacy.  The FFII
supports the development of public information goods based on
copyright, free competition, open standards. More than 500 members,
1,400 companies and 80,000 supporters have entrusted the FFII to act
as their voice in public policy questions concerning exclusion rights
(intellectual property) in data processing.  The FFII maintains offices
in Brussels and Munich.

About the NoSoftwarePatents.com Campaign

The NoSoftwarePatents.com campaign was launched on October 20th and is
supported by three IT companies (1&1, Red Hat, and MySQL AB).  The
views expressed by the campaign are those of the campaign manager and
not necessarily those of the aforementioned companies.

Through Web content in 17 languages, the campaign addresses a
pan-European audience.  More information on the campaign is available
on its Website.

Contact Information

For further information concerning this announcement or the
NoSoftwarePatents.com campaign, please contact:

Florian Mueller
Campaign Manager, NoSoftwarePatents.com
telephone +49 (8151) 651850
press at nosoftwarepatents.com

Hartmut Pilch
President of FFII, Munich Office
telephone +49 (89) 18979927
phm at ffii.org

Erik Josefsson
Brussels Representative of FFII
telephone +32 27396260
erjos at ffii.org

FFII Press Releases.
(un)subscribe via http://lists.ffii.org/mailman/listinfo/news, or contact 
media at ffii.org for more information.

ENG: "Corporations are not democratic institutions --their directors and managers owe no accountability to anyone but the shareholders that employ them."
ESP: "Las corporaciones (empresas) no son instituciones democráticas: a sus directores y gerentes no se les puede fincar responsabilidades ante nadie excepto ante sus accionistas que les emplean."

-- Bakan, Joel. (2004). The Corporation. The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power : La corporación (empresa). La búsqueda patológica de ganancias y poder. London: Constable & Robinson, p. 151

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