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Software patents

Don't forget to sign the petition .

The EP voted on the software patent directive in a first reading. It proved the self restoring ability of our democracy , even without massive attention for the problem from the old media. The proposed directive is amended (improved). Economical interests of consumers, SME's and softwaredevelopers in Europe are put into savety, for the time being...

There are two possibilities now: the European Commission withdraws the directive or ministers from member states vote at Novemebr 10 during a second reading. National politicians and media should be informed about the subject and help is needed very much.

If you want to help actively consider to join your national mail list at http://ffii.org/mailman/listinfo/*-parl where * is your country code like en or nl, etc.

The subject looks complex according to the proposed directive, but it as far from. We think the current laws are sufficient in general and should be obeyed by the European Patent Office instead of changing the law to their practises violating the European Patent Convention. The final voting resulted in an amended software patent directive putting a halt towards EPO's praktices.

Vrijschrift wrote a short and easy to read eye opener as an introduction and an urgent letter all SME's should be aware of. A FAQ about the current situation can be found at http://swpat.ffii.org/papers/europarl0309/faq/ .

Eolas v. Microsoft looks innocent. However if you read the statement of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) thoroughly you will understand the degradation of the internet has begun and our economy is harmed.

Who voted what? An analysis of the voting behaviour of Dutch MEP's. Who gets your vote at the coming elections?

Members of the European Parliament: thank you for amending the directive. It is a strong signal towards the US and gives consumers, SME's and developers over there hope again.

Articles on this site

A short statement from our community:

When non material properties represent an economical value, like software patents instead of milling machines or expectations instead of written software, this soap bubble value is subject to fluctuate unexpectedly. The collapse of dot com proved this and the American dream often turned out to be a nightmare. Dot org is the contrary but is not understood very well by politicians, companies, press and even computer users...

Cooperation on a social base between public research institutes and universities is not a very well known culture. Long before there was proprietary software they generated software with a non proprietary character. The concept of sharing and developing gave us GNU software. Later they made public access to their world wide internetwork possible without claiming property. Access for all interested programmers resulted in a still exploding amount of non proprietary software and insiders know they should foster the culture. This is a major fundament of dot org organizations.

Dot org has its own business model and it does not forbid asking money for creation, implementation, support, etc.. Resulting software is published freely to let others use it, improve it and publish it again. Evolution is a fact and it is great news for our worldwide economy, the third world included.

Apart from less overhead and more efficient communication, dot org almost lacks Intellectual Property value and is less expectation driven. Relating to the new economy we made the mistake to think proprietory is holy in the information area too. Governments and companies slowly begin to understand they should cherish and nurture non proprietary things that can be published in ones and zero's like software. Dot org forms a solid foundation for today's fields of application.

After this explanation it should be clear developers of non proprietary software reject foolish things like software patents because they simply don't belong in our social culture while forming a weapon to destroy that culture.

The proposed directive 2002/92 hit them right in the hart.

The EU rapporteur often publicly says "I am against software patents" and almost all Member of the European Parliament seem to agree. It looks at least ingnorant because experts showed the proposed directive opens all doors for software patenting and it directly forms a threat. But politics is about compromises. The community looses its freedom of choice or pays for the loss of an economic effort when 30.000 illegal patents disappear in the schredder. Consumers pay this price anyhow, but it is better to loose money than to loose freedom.

On this page you will find some interesting links. A wealth of more in depth information: http://swpat.ffii.org/ . Easier starting point: http://patents.caliu.info/index.en.html . Links on our pages are an addition for international use.


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