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Report on EU Software Patents
Monday, December 20 2004 @ 06:22 AM EST

Jan Wildeboer sends news from the EU software patents front. I'm sure you've been reading some gloomy news already ("The controversial EU directive that opponents fear will allow software patenting within Europe will be passed without vote or debate on Monday."), but his report makes it sound like it's not over yet, despite what appears to be a slick trick on the part of the pro-patent forces. It seems they are terrified of an honest vote.

Meanwhile, Linux is growing. IDC calls it a cash cow, saying it is now predicted to ring up $35B in revenues by 2008. Doesn't Europe wish to benefit from a cash cow? Don't they realize they are endangering GNU/Linux by adopting software patents, and for whose benefit? EU companies? Or American companies? And if there is Linux anywhere, countries that don't allow it to flourish will be bested by those that adopt it readily. Like Argentina, for example, where 42% of all businesses are now running Linux.

Here's another angle to consider. There is a rave review [sub req'd -- or here] of the Open Source browser Firefox in the New York Times, and it particularly highlights the security aspects of the browser, comparing Microsoft's Internet Explorer unfavorably, which for the first time is losing market share. There have been 10 million downloads of Firefox so far in a month. People are clamoring for something better. If you didn't get to see the Firefox ad in the New York Times Thursday, with the 10,000 names of all the volunteers who developed and/or contributed money to Firefox, you can get a peek here.

But suppose Microsoft goes digging about and finds some plausible-sounding patent it feels it can use as a way to stop Firefox? Let's imagine for a moment that it succeeds in forcing Firefox to disappear, maybe even just by threatening a lawsuit that the nonprofit organization behind Firefox, the Mozilla Foundation, can't afford to fight. That's what patents can do, you know. Then the world would be forced to return to a browser millions view as second-rate, less desirable and less secure.

Don't you think software is too important in today's world, and security in software too vital, to leave Microsoft the kind of power software patents can give? They came up with ActiveX, after all. Of course, perhaps Europeans parliamentarians enjoy having their hard drives erased against their will and other security hijinks only IE users get to experience.

Here are some links to bring you up-to-date on what is going on in the EU:

  • http://demo.ffii.org/index -- "During the meeting of the Council of Ministers next Tuesday the agreement on the directive "On the Patentability of Computer-Implemented Inventions" is scheduled to be officially adopted. The Ministers of Agriculture and Fisheries of each EU member state will represent their country there. The directive in its current form would pave the way for software patents."

  • http://www.nosoftwarepatents.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=244 -- "Reports from various sources have now confirmed that COREPER (the Committee of Permanent Representatives, i.e. the committee of the ambassadors of the member states to the EU) yesterday, on December 15th, approved the proposed Common Position of the Council on a software patent directive. Here's some quick facts:

    "The formal next step is for the Council itself to adopt its 'Common Position'. COREPER is only a diplomatic group but doesn't take the formal decision. The actual formalization occurs at a meeting at the level of the ministers (or their duly appointed deputies). There will be no more debate or vote. Since COREPER established that no one opposes the adoption, the proposal will only be mentioned in the minutes of an upcoming Council meeting (most likely at the Agricultures and Fisheries Council meeting on the 21st and 22nd). It will be adopted that way simply because no one protests when the chairman of the meeting mentions it. It's passive unanimity, or unanimous passivity, whichever way you want.

    "If the formal decision is outstanding, could there still be a last-minute change? In theory, any single country could stand up before or even in the respective Council meeting and demand rediscussion. That request could only be denied if the Council takes a qualified majority decision against it. However, in practical terms, there's no question that this is a done deal at the level of the Council. If anybody had absolutely wanted to reopen the discussion, then it would have occurred by now."

And here is Jan's account:

"The situation in Europe concerning software patents is moving from democracy to anarchy. The European Council, which has to formally adopt the directive about software patents, is doing everything possible to get a decision in 2004. Normally this would be handled by the Competition Council, but as this council will not meet this year now, the Agricultural und Fishery Council is expected to decide on Tuesday.

"Normally the parliaments of European countries play a vital role in such a co-decision procedure. The Dutch Parliament told their government: 'Abstain', the German Parliament told their government 'Reconsider', the Polish government said 'No', other countries (Hungary, Spain, Austria) also declared that they want more discussion and changes. Yet the Council thinks it does not have to take these opinions in account.

"At the first of November, the Nice treaty came into effect, changing voting weights in the Council. A qualified majority now does not exist anymore. But the Council states that it is not important, as there will be no vote, just rubber-stamping.

"Smelling like fish? Indeed. According to Dr. Karl-Friedrich Lenz a professor of European and German rights at Aoyama Gakuin University Law School in Tokyo:

Ms. van Gennip is the Dutch Secretary of State of Economical Affairs. According to this EDRI report, she declared to the Dutch Parliament that

Since there will be no vote on the A-item the Netherlands don't have to abstain from voting.

If there will be no vote, how exactly is the proposal supposed to receive 'approval without discussion' as stated in Article 3 Paragraph 6 as the meaning of 'Part A' items?

If there is no vote, there is no approval. 'Part A' means 'without discussion', not 'without vote'. And using this as an excuse for acting against the declared will of the Dutch Parliament is rather weird. . . .

Of course this hotly contested issue needs to be voted on, even if there is 'no discussion' on the vote. If it is not, then there is no basis whatsoever for assuming that the Council has 'formally adopted' anything.

And it takes only one Member State to force a vote anyway (Article 3 Paragraph 8). . . . 'Approval without vote' is a deeply disturbing perversion of democratic principles, and logically impossible as well.

"As the Council is preparing to let its Agriculture or Environment ministries adopt a software patent directive text for which no qualified majority exists, the Internet community is mobilizing.

"The Dutch Presidency's maneuvering in the European Council is seen by many not only as an attempt to push through an extremely harmful directive text but also as a violation of procedural rules of the EU Council and a critical test case for democracy in the EU."

Florian Mueller presents the last piece, what happens now, in his view?

"What can the European Parliament do with this proposal? The first decision that the EP will take is whether to follow the standard path and have a second reading on the basis of the Council's Common Position or to restart the entire legislative process. That is a possibility under certain circumstances, such as new eelctions and (which is arguably also the case here) after the nature of the problem with which the directive is concerned has substantially changed. For instance, the patent-related threats of Microsoft against Asian governments that plan to use Linux are a major new development that needs to be taken into account when deciding on this legislation. Some other, equally or even more important, things have also occurred in recent months.

"If the European Parliament doesn't restart the process, then this goes into a second reading. The second reading would have a timeline of 3 months, which can be extended to 4, but that's the absolute limit. If the EP wants to reject or amend the Council's Common Position, it needs an absolute majority of its members for a rejection or for each and every single amendment. So all abstentions and absences effectively count in favor of the Council in a second reading. Therefore, the requirement may be to get around 70% of MEPs present in the chamber on the respective day to take a decision. If the EP can't take a decision to reject or amend the proposal, then the Common Position takes effect. If the EP rejects it, then the legislative process is terminated without a result (and could be restarted later). If the EP makes amendments, then the Council has to decide whether to accept the amendments (in which case the amended Common Position takes effect) or to go into a conciliation proceeding. After conciliation, there would be a third reading in either institution to approve the outcome of the conciliation proceeding. A qualified majority of the Council and a majority of the votes cast in the EP would have to approve the outcome of the conciliation proceeding. Failing any of that, the legislative process ends without a result."


  


Report on EU Software Patents | 309 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections here please
Authored by: MathFox on Monday, December 20 2004 @ 06:35 AM EST


---
When people start to comment on the form of the message, it is a sign that they
have problems to accept the truth of the message.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Agriculture and Fisheries - Doomed I tell you, DOOMED
Authored by: stevec on Monday, December 20 2004 @ 06:44 AM EST
What do agriculture ministers know about software and patents?!!

Just look at the mess the common agriculture and fishery legistlation has
caused, I would not trust this bunch to sit the correct way round on the toilet!

---
Registered Linux user #375134 http://counter.li.org

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT Here
Authored by: stevec on Monday, December 20 2004 @ 06:46 AM EST
Since no-one else has

---
Registered Linux user #375134 http://counter.li.org

[ Reply to This | # ]

The problem with the current implementation of Western Democracy
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 20 2004 @ 06:49 AM EST
That's the problem with our current implementation of Western-style Democracy: the democracy concept is thrown at the masses in order to keep them from reaching an active status of contempt while they keep contributing taxes, while at the upper levels an effective lobby-based plutocracy is applied.

The status quo is further maintained by the proper usage of the mass media, so that no-one ever thinks whether a better political model is possible.

The separation of powers endorsed by Montesquieu has been corrupted. Legislative and executive powers are in the same hands, while the Judiciary power is either controlled or forced to proceed with plutocracy-designed laws.

[ Reply to This | # ]

IBM will be happy
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 20 2004 @ 06:50 AM EST
They support software patents in Europe.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Official SCO Group thread
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 20 2004 @ 06:52 AM EST
Authored by: fudisbad on Monday, December 20 2004 @ 06:02 AM EST
Main posts in this thread may only be made by senior managers or attorneys for
"The SCO Group". Main posts must use the name and position of the
poster at "The SCO Group". Main posters must post in their official
capacity at "The SCO Group".

Sub-posts will also be allowed from non-"The SCO Group" employees or
attorneys. Sub-posts from persons not connected with "The SCO Group"
must be very polite, address other posters and the main poster with the
honorific "Mr." or "Mrs." or "Ms.", as
appropriate, use correct surnames, not call names or suggest or imply unethical
or illegal conduct by "The SCO Group" or its employees or attorneys.

This thread requires an extremely high standard of conduct and even slightly
marginal posts will be deleted.

PJ says you must be on your very best behavior.

If you want to comment on this thread, please post under "OT"

[ Reply to This | # ]

Report on EU Software Patents
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 20 2004 @ 07:01 AM EST

If there is no vote, there is no approval. 'Part A' means 'without discussion', not 'without vote'. And using this as an excuse for acting against the declared will of the Dutch Parliament is rather weird. . . .

If the law isn't passed according to EU procedure, couldn't people challenge it in court by saying that the EU didn't really pass it in the first place?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Add your support here:
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 20 2004 @ 07:14 AM EST
http://demo.ffii.org/support.php

[ Reply to This | # ]

I could be dreaming...
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 20 2004 @ 08:01 AM EST
... but the agenda linked from ZDnet, which is the document's third revision,
doesn't appear to mention Software Patents at all, just batteries and bathing
water.

http://ue.eu.int/ueDocs/cms_Data/docs/pressData/en/envir/83092.pdf

Has their been another late change?

sjgibbs

[ Reply to This | # ]

disappointed course of action
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 20 2004 @ 08:15 AM EST
does anyone else feel outraged (or at least, angry or irritated) by this course
of action?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Report on EU Software Patents
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 20 2004 @ 08:17 AM EST

I sent an e-mail to Caroline Lucas, MEP (my local representative), and received an interesting e-mail back - not a standard regurgitated response!

Here's the original e-mail:

From: "Peter TB Brett"
Subject: Urgent: Computer patents directive to be discussed in fisheries meetings?
Date: Mon, December 13, 2004 9:39
To: carolinelucas@greenmeps.org.uk

Dear Caroline,

I notice with suprise that item 5 on the agenda of the Permanent Representatives Commitee for this week proposes the adoption of a Directive on "the patentatability of computer-implemented inventions" as an A-item, i.e. without discussion or vote.

Adoption of this directive would be universally harmful to the European software industry, allowing US corporations with large portfolios of software patents to force European competitors out of business by inundating them with patent-related lawsuits.

It is interesting to note that the Dutch presidency is behind this agenda item, as in a motion in July of this year the Dutch parliament:

"CALLS UPON the government to act according to this opinion in further discussions of the Council proposal, and from this present moment, abstain from supporting the current Council proposal."

This agenda item also flies in the face of the will of the European Parliament in this matter, and is being presented in the Fishery or Environment Council meetings in the week before the Christmas break! This smells of underhand tactics backed by the foreign corporate interests (Microsoft, IBM, et al.) who will most benefit from the proposed legislation.

I understand that the Green Party opposes software patents. You must act now, or it will be too late.

Peter Brett
Witney, Oxfordshire

I can't post the response right now because it's on my home computer, but I'll try to when I get back this evening.

From the response I got the impression that the European Green Party are going to fight this particular piece of legislation to the hilt -- which is nice to know.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Proposed solution to the software patent problem!
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 20 2004 @ 09:09 AM EST
The problem with software patents is that folks that believe in the patent
system (big companies whiose existence is due to their patent portfolio to
ensure monopoly rights to products) have not hear a proposal that makes them
like anything else. The problem with the software patent today is that they are
described in words in ways that do not decribe "exactly" what they do.
On the other side of the arguement is copyrights, that do describe exactly what
the software does. The problem with copyrighted software is that copyright has
a protection term that is too long of a period of IP protection (for a machine
readable code-like invention).

----------------------------------------

Proposed solution:

Have a patent law were a machine readable code patent is limited in description
to the actual code, period. No other language can be used to describe the
patent, just the code. This is because there really is no way to describe
what a computer program actually does in words other than the code itself!

Limit the machine readable code patent protection term to no longer than 17
years (or no longer than 7 years..., because of the rapid pace of computer
innovation and how all the aspects of thing such as Moore's Law bear to the fact
that computer technology is not like a tactor's plow share, but is more dynamic
and fast moving).

Remove the normal protection term for copyright for USE OF patented machine
readable code. Instead allow it to fall back on the machine readable code
patent protection instead.

-------------------------------------------

The above simply would allow IP protection for the actual code that might need
to be protected. AND if someone writes code that is better than your code then
society bendfits. In other words, if the code you write is crap, and someone
can do it better, then you had better pay attention to your quality control in
the first palce!

Basicly this proposal is the same as what copyright does, except that the
proposal would limit the protection to a more reasonable period of time... and
it is done in the frame work of the patent system.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Some Good Will Come From Software Patents
Authored by: dobbo on Monday, December 20 2004 @ 10:27 AM EST

Okay, I made the title up to be provocative and grab your attention, but one can view software patents as a force for good.

Let us assume that software patents become the norm in the Western Industrialised Nations, not just the US & the EU, but also in Canada, Australia, and the rest of the rich countries. The software patent war we all fear ensues and Western Companies spend millions (if not billions) suing each other and paying licenses fees. Even companies with large software portfolios find that there is a net loss in the licensing business as there are far more licenses that they have to be paid than one gets back in royalties. This all goes to increases the costs of doing business in the West, not only are labour, building and tax costs higher, now software costs are higher too.

Enter the Internet. If you have a IT need that requires technology that is expensive to license in the West why not locate it in one of the developing nations where software patents laws have not been introduced?

If you were Amazon, for example, in the "new world order", and you were faced with a large increase in you IT bill, do you think you would be considering all options? Do Amazon have to have the computers that take your orders close to the warehouse that picks and packet them? Of course they do not. So if Amazon where to move their IT departments off shore how many other office based jobs would go with them? It maybe an advantage to have the warehouse in the same geographical area as your client for postal cost and delivery time reasons, but the computers and admin staff don't have to be in the same building, or the same state or on the same continent.

India is currently do a very nice business in outsourcing call-centres, software development and the like. If the cost of the basic tool of business, the computer, is much cheaper there too, how much more of an incentive will that be to Western companies to off-shore larger slices of their organisations?

This will move more capital from the richer western nations to the poorer developing ones. The developing nations will be able to plough more money into their health-care, education and other social programmes, with the result that, over time, the quality of life for their people will be risen to that currently enjoyed in the West. Isn't that a good thing? So while software patents, in and of themselves, are not a good thing, they may well contribute to something that is: the distribution of wealth around the world.

This comment is not a troll, or at least it is not meant to be one. I'm not even sure that I full agree with everything I say here, but it has been a fun mind game to think it through. If you think that, generally, Capitalism is a good thing when done lawfully, as I do; they you have to accept the exploitation of labour price differences that come with it. I do not mean here exploitation of the labour force itself. If one was to build a facility and pay the locals higher than average wages (for that community), provide a better health-care system etc, then that is not exploitation of the workforce. All that one is exploiting is the cost of doing business in different regions.

I put it to you that a world where the wealth is more evenly spread, where everyone has, more or less, the same quality of life, will be a more peaceful one. And we must all want that, surely. How we get form here to their will require some pain on the way. Maybe software patents is just one of those pains. In that light, aren't software patents a good thing?

Of course there are other ways to that utopia, so I still oppose software patents on principle.

Dobbo

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sonny and Cher and Marie Antoinette
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 20 2004 @ 11:11 AM EST
Several months ago I predicted that Linux would be forced out of the US on
patent grounds, and would continue strong in Europe. Well I now take back that
prediction, if this passes so much for Europe.

The Sonno Bono copyright extension act was passed because there was no community
to actively oppose it at the time. And now it is an uphill (and possibly futile)
effort to get it overturned ( Golan v Ashcroft)

Unless a CONCERTED EFFORT is made to stop this patent farce BEFORE it passes I
predict Marie Antoinette will rise from her grave to once again utter her
signature rant - "Well let them eat Windows!"

[ Reply to This | # ]

Firefox and Microsoft
Authored by: Simon G Best on Monday, December 20 2004 @ 12:35 PM EST

With the phenomenally fast rise of Firefox, it's obvious which way the wind is blowing (and it's blowing with hurricane force). Microsoft are surely working on how to defeat this very pointy new threat.

Microsoft really do seem to be having a really bad time when it comes to Firefox. They've had bad press about MS IE's poor security and vunerabilities. They've had the problem that this bad press only confirms so many, many users' bad experiences with viruses and the like. They've got the very successful launch and (at least initially) speedy rise of Firefox to contend with. And, of course, Firefox is Open Source. Microsoft must know and fear that this is a winning combination for FOSS, with Firefox acting as a very effective ambassador and example of what Open Source means in practice.

There can be no doubt that Microsoft will respond, somehow.

So, PJ, you're thinking patents, too? It's not difficult to imagine that we'll be seeing a patent blitz on Firefox and the Mozilla Foundation in the near future. The pressure is now on Microsoft, and the clock is ticking fast. They really don't seem to have time to actually fix IE and compete on merits. What other options might they have (legal and/or otherwise)? What dirty tricks do they have time to engineer and put into play? And a software patent blitz would also double as FUD against Open Source generally - 'See how legally dangerous Open Source is! See what happened to Firefox!'

There is, however, a proactive defense strategy already beginning to form in my mind...

Might Greg Aharonian's lawsuit actually be an opportunity to challenge the validity of software patentability? It's a question that keeps occurring to me, because of the stuff he's written. (I do need to read a lot more of it, though.)

If, somehow, the issue of software patentability ended up similarly in dispute in the courts, would or could that give grounds for alleged patent infringement lawsuits against the Mozilla Foundation, etc, to be stayed pending the outcome of such a case or cases?

Can we get the issue of the legitimacy/constitutionality of software patents and patentability into the courts in relation to, or because of, or via, or whatever, Greg Aharonian's lawsuit?

Can we afford not to actively, proactively seek and take action of some kind?

These are just some (perhaps half-baked) thoughts.

---
Open Source - open and honest? Not while the political denial continues.

[ Reply to This | # ]

All your fish are belong to us
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 20 2004 @ 12:40 PM EST

Much as I would like the Agriculture ministers to stand up and comment on software patents, I think they are more likely to be talking about fish (again).

From the BBC.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Open source is forcing Microsoft to compete on QUALITY-- guess that's pretty scary...
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 20 2004 @ 12:59 PM EST

Or at least Microsoft apparently sees it as a scary thought, given their primary tactic in combatting open source is instead, knit-picking for copyright or patent infringements. But if they jump on that too hard too soon, it could sway interest towards weakening the software patenting laws which are on the table right now... On the other hand, if they wait too long, it may be too late (it may ALREADY be too late, actually)...

But that's the one thing the SCO case is going to end up doing right-- it's having several useful effects. Open source developers realize they have to watch their P's and Q's regarding documentation and where they get their ideas. A spectacular loss in the SCO case may make others a bit reluctant to jump on the "sue open source" bandwagon.

If Microsoft actually believed they were competent to compete based on quality (and actually *were*), there'd be real trouble. Instead, we're likely to see them try legal moves, but it's pretty clear that buying a high power lawyer won't help you if you don't have a case. At the same time however, there are people who have Microsoft sources (at least some of them) and we know IBM has a huge array of patents-- if Microsoft wants to start a patent-suit war, they better make darn sure *their* house is in order, else they end up on the recieving end themselves...

[ Reply to This | # ]

The greatest problem of the directive's opponents:
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 20 2004 @ 02:21 PM EST
They are not very efficient at organizing and informing (or at least, reaching),
the general public.

Which bears the question, by the way, isn't this a task of the media like
newspapers etc. to reflect what is going on in society and the world around us?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Good Coverage on the BBC News Web Site
Authored by: sproggit on Monday, December 20 2004 @ 02:32 PM EST
BBC News have a good editorial on the attempts by the Dutch government to ram through the EU Software Patent legislation. You can read it in full here.

[ Reply to This | # ]

I'm from Belgium. Can I still do anything to make a change?
Authored by: Darkelve on Monday, December 20 2004 @ 02:52 PM EST
An explanation and/or link would be appreciated (especially a direct link). Yes,
I already signed the petition-like thing and wrote to a minister (but I'm not
sure if he can do anything about it).

[ Reply to This | # ]

Re: Firefox
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 20 2004 @ 05:11 PM EST
Firefox, at least, appears to be safe. This is from the "About" menu
of Internet Explorer:

"Based on NCSA Mosaic. NCSA Mosaic(TM); was developed at the National
Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign."

So I doubt if MS can successfully sue Firefox.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Chistmas message to the EU
Authored by: star-dot-h on Monday, December 20 2004 @ 07:09 PM EST
From Robert X Cringely (I like the King Herod bit...)

"Microsoft is also on a tear lately to sign patent cross-licensing deals with all its major OEMs. This is part of a new concentration on intellectual property in which Microsoft is patenting everything it can think of, and a lot of things already thought of long before by other people at other companies. By cross-licensing, Microsoft gains access for free to all the neat stuff at its OEMs while simultaneously positioning itself to concentrate its own IP enforcement actions on smaller competitors, in the belief that if anyone is going to eventually take down Microsoft, it will be a startup. In this Christmas season think of this as Gates and Ballmer emulating King Herod, who ordered that all male children under the age of three be killed."

Full article over at his site

[ Reply to This | # ]

The beginning of the end of EU and USA Software Patents?
Authored by: brian-from-fl on Monday, December 20 2004 @ 11:02 PM EST

The large monopolies need to ensure that their software continues to dominate the market. But open source software running on Linux is a serious threat to that monopolistic domainance.

The threat of litigation promised to curtail the use of FOSS. But Groklaw helped shine the light on that threat, and under a bright light that landscape didn't look scary whatsoever.

So now what's left? The use of software patents to effectively shut down competition. But while doesn't work so well against FOSS, it's a good start. The second step is Trusted Computing in which computers will help enforce a ban on "untrusted" software (untrusted by Microsoft, Oracle, Sun, Intel, and AMD, that is). And when the enforcement is implemented starting within the hardware, it's an easy matter to shut down FOSS and use patent litigation to finish off the commercial supporters of FOSS.

Except for a recent move by IBM and others in the form of http://www.power.org/. It appears to be open source hardware to complement and help ensure the survival of open source software.

Power.org has the strong potential to help China completely bypass the Trusted Computing environment (aka Treacherous Computing).

The Trusted Computing FAQ mentions that "For years, Bill Gates has dreamed of finding a way to make th e Chinese pay for software: TC looks like being the answer to his prayer." (Funny how Microsoft once turned a blind eye to piracy of Microsoft products in order to help make the products pervasive, and now they want to clamp down on users, much like a drug dealer that hands out free samples of crack to school kids to get them hooked and then starts enforcing payment from the resulting addicts.)

I think that Power.org is China's way to rudely and fully awaken Bill Gates from his dream. And it may also help ensure the proliferation of TC-free hardware to run FOSS.

The real question is, will the USA and the EU let China become the technological leader of the Information Age while supporting the dying but politically powerful monopolies?

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Interresting... - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 21 2004 @ 02:29 AM EST
  • Open hardware. - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 21 2004 @ 06:16 AM EST
Report on EU Software Patents
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 20 2004 @ 11:51 PM EST
The level of malice is breath taking.
I don't think he's playing with a full deck but the word that comes to mind to
describe him is evil.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Report on EU Software Patents
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 21 2004 @ 03:34 AM EST
The leaders of the netherlands ( if you could call them that ) where I life are
of the easily impressed kind.
Specially when it concerns big multinationals with a cute PR person.

If it shines or they see there reflection they jump on it like mad.

Most of those socalled "leaders" think a mouse is used like a remote
controle unit on a TV set.
Not exactly the people who should even be concidered to have some part in such
an issue.


And again a dutchman feels he has to say Sorry.
Sorry folks.


Retep Vosnul


[ Reply to This | # ]

This is all patently disturbing
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 21 2004 @ 03:53 AM EST
please pardon the pun.

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More reading material
Authored by: Naich on Tuesday, December 21 2004 @ 04:08 AM EST
Inquirer article

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Post updates here please
Authored by: Darkelve on Tuesday, December 21 2004 @ 04:55 AM EST
nothing to see here! (yet)

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OT: Patrick Volkerding Update
Authored by: Steve Martin on Tuesday, December 21 2004 @ 06:34 AM EST

Patrick Volkderding (the Slackware originator and distro manager) is on the mend. (from the latest Changelog for Slack):

"Hi folks. Well, I'm back in California and I'm happy to let you all know that I'm feeling much better. :-)

(snip)

I offer my thanks and gratitude to the many people who sent me kind words and good advice, or indeed anything at all. I figure it was all for a reason, and that there were always lessons to be learned. Hopefully I'll learn them now! ;-)

(snip)

Very best wishes to all, good luck in 2005, and THANKS AGAIN!, It's good to be back. :-)"

Welcome back, Patrick. Keep on Slackin'!

---
"When I say something, I put my name next to it." -- Isaac Jaffee, "Sports Night"

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  • YAY! - Authored by: josmith42 on Tuesday, December 21 2004 @ 08:55 AM EST
BREAKING NEWS *** Poland requested withdrawal...
Authored by: eamacnaghten on Tuesday, December 21 2004 @ 10:01 AM EST
Breaking news: Marcinski (Poland) requested withdrawal in a very determined manner, commissioner regretted, but it's been deleted from aganda!

Link - www.ffii.org

Web Sig: Eddy Currents

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Victory! 2004-12-21 Software Patent Decision Withdrawn from Agricultural Council Agenda at Polan
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 21 2004 @ 10:26 AM EST
http://kwiki.ffii.org/Cons041221En
he Software Patent Directive has been withdrawn from the Agenda of the
Agricultural Council. Poland's minister Marcinski requested it firmly at the
beginning of the meeting. The Commissioner expressed regret, but the A-item has
been deleted and will not be decided this year.

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