to sign the
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.
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/
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
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
- An answer for Bolkestein (I).
A reply to a published letter in "de Volkskrant" by Reinier Bakels
- An answer for Bolkestein (II).
A reply to a published letter in "de Volkskrant" by Wiebe van der Worp
- Software Patents: a Management
Perspective. The presentation of Reinier B. Bakels from the
"Institute for Information Law - University of Amsterdam", at 27 August
2003 during the press conference in Brussels: Everything
summarized in a few slides.
- Software patents: the choice is
report on the conference in Brussels (Sept. 17 2003) by Pieter
- Why are we worried? The
original proposal looks innocent: PDF HTML.The
consequences are far from
- Art work is added at art/index.html
. In time art from ../brussel
will go here too.
- The presentation
of Laura Creighton
on May 8, 2003 in Brussels shows a different point of view on software
patents seen through the eyes of a
capital investor. Illustrative and easy to read.
- Audio fragments from May
and 8, 2003 in and around the hearings are available in compressed
ogg-format You can download them here at audio/index.html
. If you need better quality you can get them at http://www.ael.be/action/2003/softpatents/
but they are ~ four times larger. On the fragments are MEP's, Richard
Stallman and several other people.
- Art work provided by
Henk de Boer and others is on ./art/
. Quality is high. If you need different file formats, etc, contact
wiebe |at| viaisn.org for it. If you want it large format on paper we
can arrange something, but the budget for printing is due to all
very negative about 2003 (there are a lott of posters hanging in the
Europarliament right now). See http://mijnposter.nl
for sponsoring, Dutch spoken, but they understand English ;-)
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
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
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
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
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
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.
this price anyhow, but it is better to loose money than to loose
On this page you will find some interesting links. A wealth of more in
. Easier starting point: http://patents.caliu.info/index.en.html
. Links on our pages are an addition for international use.
- Who voted how? Results on
MEP base listed: http://swpat.ffii.org/papers/eubsa-swpat0202/plen0309/vote/analysis.html
- Dow Jones about our legislation:
- Europarl 2003-09-24: Amended
Software Patent Directive: http://swpat.ffii.org/papers/eubsa-swpat0202/plen0309/resu/index.en.html
you have some time left... http://swpat.ffii.org/archiv/zitate/index.en.html
- US Gov't Promoting Patent
Extremism in the European Parliament: http://swpat.ffii.org/papers/eubsa-swpat0202/usrep0309/
- Linus Torvalds and Alan Cox:
Please say no for software patents : http://www.effi.org/julkaisut/tiedotteet/pressrelease-2003-09-22.html
- Open Letter on Software Patents
from Linus Torvalds : http://www.effi.org/patentit/patents_torvalds_cox.html
- The amendments... http://swpat.ffii.org/papers/eubsa-swpat0202/plen0309/
- Proposals will hamper
innovation. Financial Times: http://search.ft.com/search/article.html?id=030912001593
- Easy to understand examples of
software patents: http://wiki.ael.be/index.php/EnglishSWPatentExamples
- Software patents, a clicking
bomb. The Economist: http://www.economist.com/business/displayStory.cfm?story_id=2043416
- Court affirms software download
patent. This is exactly what we don't want in Europe: http://news.zdnet.co.uk/hardware/emergingtech/0,39020357,2091388,00.htm
- Wat is a "computer implemented
invention"? Even politicians don't see this desceptive needs
some explanation: http://elis.ugent.be/~jmaebe/swpat/cii.html
- UK Foreign Office Promoting
Patent Extremism in the European Parliament http://swpat.ffii.org/papers/eubsa-swpat0202/ukrep0309/
- Controversy about software
patents in EU is heating up: http://www.heise.de/english/newsticker/news/40032
- Myth or Truth? The Final
Factsheet from the rapporteur analysed: http://swpat.ffii.org/papers/eubsa-swpat0202/amccarthy030901/
- Patent Riots of 2003 By
John C. Dvorak: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,1236389,00.asp
- Pictures August 27: http://segert.net/epatents
- Demonstration August 27:
CNET reports http://news.com.com/2100-1008-5069279.html?tag=nl
- (Dutch) Voorgestelde Europese richtlijn helpt softwareontwikkelaars van de regen in de
drup. Door Reinier B. Bakels, Instituut voor Informatierecht van
de Universiteit van Amsterdam. http://www.breekpunt.nl/artikel.asp?Artikel=863&art=Yes
- Eolas case; Microsoft may
alter browser: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2001658084_microsoft29.html
calls on system to rise up http://www.linuxworld.com.au/index.php?id=642737951&fp=2&fpid=1
- On line demonstratie: http://wiki.ael.be/index.php/OnlineDemoInfo
- Research in Europe: A Critique of the Rapporteur’s Explanatory
accompanying the JURI Report to the European Parliament on the proposed
Directive on the Patentability of Computer-Implemented Inventions: http://www.researchineurope.org/Policy/critique.pdf
- Former French prime minister Rocard
backs SME's and "software libre": http://www.aful.org/wws/arc/patents/2003-06/msg00221.html
- Both anti software patent lobby
and politicians fail: http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/31472.html
- The infamous Amazon 1-click
, are you buying books there any longer?
- IBM vs. SCO. Linus Torvalds: "I
do not look up any patents on principle because (a) it's a
horrible waste of time and (b) I don't want to know." Link
- A Dutch article, http://www.webwereld.nl/nieuws/15381.phtml
, generated responses on http://www.webwereld.nl/nieuws/reactie_compleet.phtml?id=15381
making it very clear ICT
and citizens are furious about the proposal.
- Our computer use is being
threatened by a wild west-style land grab that only the rich giants can
win. Arlene McCarthy's first public answer to this statement
based on http://www.guardian.co.uk/online/story/0,3605,970294,00.html
and can be found on http://www.guardian.co.uk/online/story/0,3605,975126,00.html
. Are they talking about the same subject? Is McCarthy aware of what
really proposed? See also:
17, 2003 JURI voted. Computer-implemented
inventions do not cover computer software programs as such. But
it's difficult to draw the line between what is and is not eligible: http://www.out-law.com/php/page.php?page_id=europeanparliament1055943622&area=news
- Then there is Tim Berners Lee.
He is the inventor of the internet as we know it now. He gave it away
to the community. British Telecom owns a patent on hyperlinks (no
joke!). Is patenting the internet an option to stop this insane
discussion? Wiebe was curious and asked him about his opinion about
software patents. Due to his position as president of the World Wide
Consortium ( http://w3c.org ) he has to
cautious and said: "Just read the following articles, you may quote
- The study of Besson & Hunt,
An Empirical Look at Software Patents, can be found at http://www.researchoninnovation.org/swpat.pdf
. They state e-patents as an investment are not an addition to research
and development but form a replacement for R&D. Now does that not
stimulate innovation? That is one of the the reasons why introduction
e-patents are in contradiction with article 157 of the Rome Treaty ( http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/en/treaties/dat/ec_cons_treaty_en.pdf
). Another quotation: "We can reject naïve arguments that more
patents, relaxed standards (politicians, Euro Patent Office), or lower
patenting costs lead to more R&D".
- Another clear signal comes from Reinier
Bakels. "European Parliament Hearing on Software Patentability"
was one of the reports that was wiped under the carpet by some MEP's
(McCartney). You can find it at http://www.ivir.nl/publications/other/softwarepatent.pdf
- Harmonizing patent law in Europe
is a good thing. Harmonizing on a larger scale with the US may harm us.
The Euro parliament is influenced by the US Trade Representative. A
short interview with consumer watchdog Ralph Nader can be found at http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/11.03/view.html?pg=3
Francisco Chronicle: Inventors patent ideas to pre-empt their
rivals. Companies then must buy
rights to the devices: http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2003/06/09/BU213833.DTL
patent for schools... http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/management/tools/ims/patent/
- codecision: http://patents.caliu.info/codecisio.en.html
- Patents, do they help or hinder
the software industry? http://www-inst.eecs.berkeley.edu/~eecsba1/s98/reports/eecsba1f/Final.html
- Summarizing page: http://elis.ugent.be/~jmaebe/swpat/why.html
- String for Eric Clapton's guitar: Rockin' on without Microsoft: http://news.com.com/2008-1082_3-5065859.html