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Deja Vu in the EU - Monday They Will Try to Rubber Stamp Software Patents. Yes. Again
Friday, January 21 2005 @ 05:15 AM EST

Believe it or not, they are trying the same trick again that Poland blocked in December to try to push software patents down the throats of an unwilling populace in Europe.

FFII has put out a press release that begins like this:

The EU Software Patent Directive has been or will be scheduled on the agenda of the Agriculture and Fishery Meeting of the 24th of January as an A item, i.e. an item that is to be adopted without a vote. This was announced today by officials of the European Commission and of the EU Council Presidency at various meetings. The entry is not on the official meeting calendar yet.

Heise has the news as well:

According to statements by members of the government of Luxembourg and the EU Commission the Ministers of Agriculture in their meeting of the EU Council of Agriculture and Fisheries on Monday are to give the nod to the controversial position of the EU Council of Ministers on the Directive on the Patentability of "computer-implemented inventions".

So. Monday. It's back to Go. They say they will place the Directive' COM 2002/0047 (COD) "On the Patentability of Computer-Implemented Inventions" (Software Patent Directive on the list of items and then, presto, software patents are accepted despite all the clear evidence that the majority don't want them. There are more details on FFII's site.

I must say, dealing with patent-pushing politicians in Europe must be like trying to fight off the ghouls in the Night of the Living Dead. Worse, actually. At least the ghouls weren't sneaky. They came straight at you.

Here is the FFII press release, which I am reproducing so you will have access to all the links they provide. I think this is a better link to Internal Market Commissioner Charlie McCreevy, a member of the Commission, from Ireland. On his website you find these quotes:

"You will find me ready to meet, discuss, listen and argue on how best to deliver to our citizens the real benefits of an Internal Market. There are enormous challenges facing the EU in the coming period on which we all must find common ground. I want our policies to show that EU means something real and positive to the people in Europe"

"We must be smart and not be dogmatic. I want consumers to be well-protected and I also want them to enjoy the benefits stemming from the free circulation of goods and services."

"I am determined to have Member States take greater ownership of the Internal Market. It is after all their Internal Market and that of their citizens and businesses. It is not the Commission's."

You can hear an old speech he gave last October here, where the quotations come from, if you like to get the measure of a man by hearing his voice. His press spokesman's contact info is here, not that he is likely to change his position. In the speech he says he is known to be stubborn, and just because he listens, it doesn't mean he'll change his mind.

Here is more on David Ellard, a page explaining his pro-"harmonization" views. I gather he is leading the end run to try to make it happen on Monday. There's a sentence on his web page that not even my English-teacher grandma could parse:

The proposed Directive has followed this approach. It will not make it possible to patent ‘computer programs as such’, but it will ensure that computer-implemented inventions are patentable - consistent with general patent practice.

I'm not a political person, and I have no experience at it, but just reporting such news on Groklaw has led me to the conclusion that when a politician says something you can't parse, it may just mean he isn't being altogether forthcoming with you. If you can make sense of that sentence, you're a better man than I am. Well.

And here is the FFII press release -- note that the link they give to Ellard has contact info for him as well -- and here's a page FFII would like you to know about as well:

*************************

Brussels, Wednesday 19th Jan 2005 -- The EU Software Patent Directive has been or will be scheduled on the agenda of the Agriculture and Fishery Meeting of the 24th of January as an A item, i.e. an item that is to be adopted without a vote. This was announced today by officials of the European Commission and of the EU Council Presidency at various meetings. The entry is not on the official meeting calendar yet.

David Ellard, who is responsible for this directive at the European Commission's Industrial Property Unit, specially announced that the Council's political agreement on the software patent directive will be adopted as a Common Position at the Council for Agriculture and Fishery next monday, the 24th of January. Ellard told this today at an Intellectual Property promotion event organized in Slovenia. Ellard repeated the date many times at the meeting.

The same was said by Luxemburg's minister of economy and of foreign trade Jeannot Krecké at a meeting in the legal affairs committee of the European Parliament (JURI) this afternoon. It appears from this meeting that the sudden insertion into the Fishery Agenda is due to a desire of the Commission to create accomplished facts before the Parliament can initiate a restart of the procedure according to Art 55 of its Rules of Procedure. It is particularly noteworthy that David Ellard's boss, Internal Market Commissioner McCreevy, has asked JURI to postpone the discussion until after a meeting on February 2nd. At this time, JURI no longer has the option to restart the procedure, if by then the A-item is passed.

The Swedish Enterprise Association started spreading the same information already this morning, whereas the Agricultural Ministry of Sweden was unable to confirm it, saying that it was not on the Council's official Agenda so far, as is in fact is the case.

According to Article 3 of the Council's Procedural Rules, A-items should be placed on the agenda 2 weeks in advance. If an A-item is inserted later, any country can demand its removal at the beginning of the meeting. Poland made use of this right at the last Agricultural Council on December 21st.

The FFII has covered its front page with a letter to EU ministers of agriculture and is using what little time the Commission's surprise tactics leaves to launch a campaign, in which it called on its supporters to help draw attention to the matter.


  


Deja Vu in the EU - Monday They Will Try to Rubber Stamp Software Patents. Yes. Again | 277 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections Here
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 05:35 AM EST
Corrections Here

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off Topic Here
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 05:36 AM EST
Off Topic Here

[ Reply to This | # ]

Parsing that bit
Authored by: Naich on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 05:56 AM EST
"The proposed Directive has followed this approach. It will not make it
possible to patent ‘computer programs as such’, but it will ensure that
computer-implemented inventions are patentable - consistent with general patent
practice."

That's the line that is being pushed out by the pro lobby. They say that they
don't want pure software patents any more than the next person and just want to
clarify the position of embedded devices where the software is an integral part
of the physical device.

Which is sort of fair enough. These days there is no obvious clear-cut line
between hardware and software. For example, a DSP chip has software on board,
as part of the hardware implementation of it.

There was an article in New Scientist a couple of weeks ago which pushed the
line that this directive is intended to stop software patents and give power
back to the little guy. It also gave the impression that it was just red tape
stopping the directive going through.

That's the view from the other side of the fence anyway. Personally I think
it'll let software patents in by the back door due to the poor wording. I think
they know this too and are basically trying to pull a fast one.

Ho hum. Time to find out who to write to and start sending the emails and
faxes. Again. It's getting a bit dull.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Deja Vu in the EU - Monday They Will Try to Rubber Stamp Software Patents. Yes. Again
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 06:01 AM EST
"It will not make it possible to patent ‘computer programs as such’, but it
will ensure that computer-implemented inventions are patentable - consistent
with general patent practice."

If this is the sentence that you cannot parse, I might be able to help you, as I
have had an explanation in my native language (Swedish).

You will not be able to patent a computer program as such, where "as
such" is the magic phrase. It means that the sequence of instructions that
make up the program is not patentable. You will, though, be able to patent the
effect a program has in the computer, called a "technical effect",
even if it only involves displaying things on the screen, like a progress bar.

This is a way to circumvent the rule that computer programs are not patentable,
by trying to give the illusion that computer programs are not patentable. I
don't know any use of computer programs, though, other than running them in
computers, so this is clearly just a disguise.

Unfortunately, the Swedish administration is very positive to software patents.
The largest company in Sweden is Ericsson, and they have publicly stated that
they want software patents. The administration has quickly came to their defense
agains the anti-software-patents movement, promising them the ability to patent
their (computer-implemented) "inventions". If anyone offers another
view, they just shrug it off, insinuating that he or she simply don't understand
the issue.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sign FFII open letter here
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 06:49 AM EST
FFII has published an open protest letter that can be signed here.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Deja Vu in the EU - Monday They Will Try to Rubber Stamp Software Patents. Yes. Again
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 06:51 AM EST
Can the European parliament dissolve the European
commission for corruption I wonder? It is seemingly
becoming ridiculous, that the commission, that represents
the business (large I might add) and not the people of
Europe is having an increasing say in things, whilst the
parliament, that represents the people, and not just the
business is being bullied. It really makes me wonder -
eventually software patents in Europe will get thru, the
parliament will just plainly get sick of it and let it
pass. It might not happen this time, but umpteenth times
down the track...I'd like to know why such a small
percentage of the population (ie corporate business) has
the right to dictate the terms that the majority of the
populace must live under. Why is this so?

The longer I live, the more I am disgusted in this world
that man has made.

Dave

[ Reply to This | # ]

Obvious
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 07:11 AM EST
Can we assume there are no rules as to just _what_ can go on an agenda?

To allow a "computer-related" item on the agenda of the Ag. &
Fish. meeting is a serious problem and simply reeks of someone trying to pull a
fast one.

I'm sure all sorts of other items get through via similar means.

Need a new directive related to the clearing of forests?

No problemo! We'll whack that onto the agenda of the next Social Services
meeting!

I mean, come on guys!

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • It's even worse... - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 07:38 AM EST
  • Obvious - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 08:21 AM EST
    • Obvious - Authored by: tiger99 on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 05:22 PM EST
      • Obvious - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 06:21 PM EST
  • Obvious - Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 08:57 AM EST
Deja Vu in the EU - Monday They Will Try to Rubber Stamp Software Patents. Yes. Again
Authored by: numtek on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 07:12 AM EST
here we go again, I'll start my text-editor (again)

---
The above post is released under the Creative Commons license
Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0.
P.J. has permission for commercial use

[ Reply to This | # ]

    Why Agriculture and Fisheries, they're failing at what they're meant to do?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 07:28 AM EST
    Why is it that the EU board for agriculture and fisheries is discussing this?

    Software patents have nothing to do with either of these areas however
    shortsighted protectionist policies it appears do.

    Why is it that Europe's agriculture is so heavily subsidised? Aren't we the
    ones pushing for free markets - apart from when it may hurt the French economy.
    All this despite the benefit the end of the common agriculture policy would
    bring to the developing world. How can it be that the same people who complain
    about US steel protectionism do exactly the same thing with their own
    agriculture. Free markets for our exports is fine - not for others imports tho.


    Why is it that the EU fisheries policies are in serious danger of permanently
    destroying fish stocks across the region?

    I don't understand how these bodies can push such policies - especially when
    they're contrarty to the vast majority of public opinion, scientific advice and
    general ethical conduct. It appears that a large part of the EU's working is
    not democratically accountable to the polulation at large.

    The EU could and should be a wonderful inovation for it's citezens and yet it
    appears the system as it stands isn't really working too well - too much
    corruption and expense for very little benefit.

    All I can hope is that the software patents do indeed get slapped back to
    whatever slimy hole they emerged from, then I'll finally be able to see some
    benefit of the EU...

    IMHO opinion the EU has to be very very careful not to fall into the same
    potholes as the USA. From an outside position the legal system in the USA is
    almost inneffective now - large legel events take so long to occur that their
    outcome is generally moot and often the guy with the most cash will win rather
    than the one who should - it may be justice in the legal sense of the word, but
    is that Just - with a capital J :-)

    Also apparent is the balance of power in US politics lies with the money and the
    corportations rather than the people. It's almost as if everyone gets a vote
    for every dollar they have rather than a vote each.

    Finally and back on topic the so called 'intellectual property' system in the
    USA appears to work against the purpose that it was designed - it appears more
    and more to stifle inovation and shut out the start up's with a great idea
    rather then encouraging and protecing them. It does however protect the
    establisment and the large monopolies and consortiums of companies that collude
    together to be effectively monopolistic to shut out other competition.

    I thought that state sponsored monopolies were a feature of comunism, not
    democratic capitalsm (where the markets are free apart from where monopolies
    occur that are damaging to the consumer).

    As a footnote the reason I put IP in quotes is because I agree with RMS on this
    quite strongly - there is no such thing as intellectual property and the term
    should be avoided because it legitemises the notion that there is. That's not
    to say there isn't a need for protecting people's trademarks, copyrights
    (however they choose to enforce them, copyleft couldn't exist without copyright)
    and most importantly livelyhoods against misapropriation.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Night of the living Dead... more like:
    Authored by: Darkelve on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 07:35 AM EST
    I never really played this game, but from I review I read, this would be more
    like the Imps in DoomIII... hiding and moving in the shadows, popping up when
    you least expect them too, and there are hundreds of them throughout the
    game...

    Hopefully it's game over soon for these kind of tactics in the EU. And yep, I
    wrote my MEP...

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Worrying article in Financial Times
    Authored by: a_t on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 07:36 AM EST
    "a Brussels-based Polish official said yesterday Warsaw was now prepared to back
    the legislation"

    From today's FT,

    http://news.ft.com/cms/s/d4230280-6b53-11d9-9357-00000e2511c8.html

    Has Poland
    given in to the lobbying?

    Anyone know who this Polish official might be?

    Or
    is it just FUD?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Deja Vu in the EU - Monday They Will Try to Rubber Stamp Software Patents. Yes. Again
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 08:03 AM EST
    "Software patent" is not the same as "patent for a computer
    implemented invention"

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    How about this for an agreed EU software patent.
    Authored by: Brian S. on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 08:11 AM EST

    *transforming file names:

    Converting Windows95 filenames to WindowsNT filenames. A patent on an uncircumventable problem, which the patentee Sun Microsystems may have filed as a means of annoying Microsoft.

    It's just one of a few listed here that are easy for anyone to understand.

    I gather there are between 20000 and 30000 just like this.

    Brian S.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    "patent-pushing politicians in Europe" = Lawyers who want to make same money that Boies is !!!
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 08:15 AM EST
    "patent-pushing politicians in Europe" = Lawyers who want to make same
    money that Boies is !!!

    Lawyers all over the EU are drooling on the mess that software patents is
    causing. They look at the SCOx case(s) and drool over the money that can be
    made. It's a "Bleak House" scenerio for the lawyers (the will use the
    patent law to pick clean any asset holding company that they can represent)!
    It's only the huge companies that can play that game, and even those have a hard
    time with the cost/benefit reasons for going to trial on a petty IP claim!

    The lawyers, who lobby and advise their EU friends hoverhoiday drinks, are not
    thinking of logic or the details of the situation, they are only thinking about
    their own pocket books! Instead of dreaming of stocking filled to the brim this
    past holiday season, they are dreaming that software patents will be the law of
    the EU (there could be nothing better for them)! Just imagine the mess... if
    you got a messy divorce the lawyers make more money. Lawyers LOVE a mess.
    Software patents is a mess!

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Deja Vu in the EU - Monday They Will Try to Rubber Stamp Software Patents. Yes. Again
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 08:43 AM EST
    Mc Creevy "forgot" that is not there to serve the American monopolies
    but the citizen of Europe. (Even if it probably pay less)

    It looks very suspicious and dishonest to try and push that through an item A,
    when I knows that the majority doesn't want it.

    Charlie.Mc-Creevy@cec.eu.int

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Deja Vu in the EU - Monday They Will Try to Rubber Stamp Software Patents. Yes. Again
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 09:41 AM EST
    "So. Monday. It's back to Go. They say they will place the Directive' COM
    2002/0047 (COD) "On the Patentability of Computer-Implemented
    Inventions" (Software Patent Directive on the list of items and then,
    presto, software patents are accepted despite all the clear evidence that the
    majority don't want them."

    I would be interested to see your evidence that the "majority" of the
    EU population do not want software patents. Most of the general public could
    not care less.

    I'm a Brit, and even things that the majority in the UK did want ie. no
    involvement in the Iraq war, the return of capital punishment, were/are ignored
    by our elected leaders.
    This is just the way it is.

    The upcoming meeting at Davos will be where the future is decided, and this
    year it is being co-chaired by Bill Gates.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/01/10/blair_gates_davos/

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Some information for backward EU politicians.
    Authored by: Brian S. on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 10:21 AM EST

    You make the same mistake over and over, its been on TV since oh I don't remember.

    People understand the agenda will be set by The Council of Ministers. We also understand this is because they represent their nation and won't want any issue decided at an EU level they aren't happy with. A classic case is your inability to cope with Iraq etc. and I guess Ireland may not be relevent when it comes to Alpine ski-ing.

    BUT

    Having at this level decided you want EU wide patent law you should leave it to the Parliament to decide the details.

    BECAUSE

    They represent their constituency by a democratic vote.

    I think you're thick.

    Brian S.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Three Greatest lies
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 10:35 AM EST
    The Three greatest lies

    1-The check is in the mail

    2Immediate delivery?...No problem

    3-Goverment by the people, for the people


    P.S.
    I'd say I'm glad I don't live in the EU, but then I though about where I lived
    ... and realized I live in New York State, where majority leaders Joe Bruno and
    Sheldon Silver run the New York Senate and Assembly by themselves.






    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Deja Vu in the EU - Monday They Will Try to Rubber Stamp Software Patents. Yes. Again
    Authored by: pfusco on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 11:06 AM EST
    Forgive me but I am having alot of trouble trying to understand how a fish and
    agriculture dept can "rubber stamp" any legislation regarding
    computers, let alone how it got the power to do that in the first place.

    ---
    only the soul matters in the end

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Deja Vu in the EU - Monday They Will Try to Rubber Stamp Software Patents. Yes. Again
    Authored by: pfusco on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 11:07 AM EST
    Forgive me but I am having alot of trouble trying to understand how a fish and
    agriculture dept can "rubber stamp" any legislation regarding
    computers, let alone how it got the power to do that in the first place.

    ---
    only the soul matters in the end

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    This is what I sent
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 11:14 AM EST
    This is what I sent to helpline@defra.gsi.gov.uk, marked:
    Attention: Rt Hon Margaret Beckett MP. Please contact your representative if
    possible to prevent this directive from passing!

    Re: Software patent directive as upcoming "A Item".

    Dear Ms Beckett,

    I apologise for emailing instead of faxing. I am currently outside the UK and
    will not be back for another month.

    I am an English citizen and software developer, and am writing to express my
    deep concern at the inclusion of the EU software patent directive as an "A
    Item" in the Agriculture and Fishery Meeting scheduled for the 24th of this
    month.

    It is increasingly obvious by the underhanded and undemocratic methods which the
    pro-software patent camp are using to push this change that someone must stand
    up for the citizens and SMB's of the EU. I hope that you can rise to the
    challenge of protecting the many individuals and business that will suffer, both
    in the UK and throughout Europe, should this directive pass.

    This directive has a long and interesting history that clearly shows it not
    favoured in its current form either by the citizens of the EU or the EU
    parliment (who rejected it). It is a digusting display of cronyism and
    underhanded politics to observe. Just 2 months ago, this directive was pushed as
    an "A Item" in a meeting of the Council of Ministers (represented by
    A+F officials), and was defeated only because of the courage of the representive
    from Poland, who quite rightly rejected the directive.

    I urge you to reject this directive and to allow it to proceed using a true
    democratic process (under which, in its current form, it would be dead already,
    having been rejected by the EU parliment). The mere fact that the proponents of
    this directive are attempting to push it through during a totally unrelated
    meeting shows how desperate they are to subvert true democratic will.

    If you are new to this issue or wish to be further informed about the proposed
    directive, I urge you to read the FFII's open letter at http://www.ffii.org/. I
    trust that you will see the clear threat to EU busnisess (and the democratic
    process) that this directive present.

    You can reach me at XXX@YYY.com if you have any further questions regarding this
    matter.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. It is my sincere hope that
    you will stand up to represent the interests of the majority that will be badly
    affected by this directive by refusing to rubber stamp this attack on the
    democratic process.

    Sincerely,
    XXXX,
    Software Developer.


    ---
    Jon

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    At the Agriculture and Fishery Meeting
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 11:18 AM EST
    Polish Minister:"I sorry Mr Chairman, but I do not think Directive' COM
    2002/0047 "On the Patentability of Computer-Implemented Inventions should
    be on the agenda here again.

    Chairman: Well you don't? I find that incredilous! I have one question for you,
    it's a yes or no question....(pause)

    Polish Minister: Yes Mr chairman I'm listening.


    Chairman: Isn't this one of the fishiest things you've heard in a long time?


    Polish Minister: Yes, but...


    Chaiman:... No buts, this IS the FISHERY meeting, all in favour say I.


    (roar of I's from members of Comission)


    Chairman: Passes by unamious voice vote. Oh by the way Mr "wanna be a spoil
    sport" Polish Minister, there's something else I think it's time you
    learned


    Polish Minister:(wearly answers as a defeated man) What's that Mr Chairman?


    Chairman: There is no Sanity Clause. Meeting ajorned.


    (P.S. I had a lot of fun writing this, but I am so sad that(with minor
    variations) this is really the world we live in, and it ain't gonna get
    better)

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Deja Vu in the EU - Monday They Will Try to Rubber Stamp Software Patents. Yes. Again
    Authored by: blacklight on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 12:02 PM EST
    "The proposed Directive has followed this approach. It will not make it
    possible to patent ‘computer programs as such’, but it will ensure that
    computer-implemented inventions are patentable - consistent with general patent
    practice."

    Translation: so long as I am not dumb enough to use the words "software
    patent" when applying for a software patent, then my application should
    sail through and be approved.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Deja Vu in the EU - Monday They Will Try to Rubber Stamp Software Patents. Yes. Again
    Authored by: niko on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 01:32 PM EST
    Well, I guess it was imminent. After all, everything goes where the money is,
    and the money ... well ...
    Power to the people my ...!
    I don't really know what is about patents that increaces inventivity. I think
    all patents are blocking creativity. You have a great ideea, but you can't make
    it into practice because some guy somewhere has something that your ideea is
    based on. And there are all kind of problems that come from that. Maybe I'm
    wrong.


    ---
    Dintre sute de catarge care lasa malurile, cate oare le vor sparge vanturile,
    valurile ...

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    David Ellard is saying...
    Authored by: kawabago on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 01:34 PM EST
    Computer programs will not be patentable, only the code they are written with
    will be patentable. Doesn't that make sense? Not to me either.

    ---
    constructive irrelevance.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    What will it take for the "will of the people" to win out?
    Authored by: warner on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 01:48 PM EST

    "When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security."

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Why don't the US and EU just go ahead and...
    Authored by: Upper Deck Chevy on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 03:47 PM EST
    ... outlaw all independent software development. I mean, that's pretty much
    where we're headed anyway.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Just shows.
    Authored by: Nick_UK on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 04:10 PM EST
    Democracy? Just shows how corrupt and brazenly arrogant
    politicians are.

    Obviously someone somewhere is pushing (back
    handing/threatening??) these people to get this brought
    into European law in so much they are showing the world
    that regulations, protocol and legal procedings go out the
    window.

    Fisheries and Agriculture indeed. Liars and cheats more
    like.

    Nick

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Deja Vu in the EU - Monday They Will Try to Rubber Stamp Software Patents. Yes. Again
    Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 05:26 PM EST
    OK, so Europe is supposed to be a democracy?

    But "A-items" just get put on a list and they are automatically
    "A"pproved?

    Something here says that the whole structure of the EU is kinda whacky, maybe
    even more so that other so-called "democratic republics".

    Hah. Old Europe strikes again! The monarchy lives, and democracy is their tool.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    O.T. more DiDio
    Authored by: jim Reiter on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 05:30 PM EST
    In an article in eweek DODO Laura DiDio writes "DiDio also found the following comments from Wells possibly indicative of the latitude she may grant SCO if and when this case ever gets to court:"

    Ms. Dodo doesn't know that it is the trial judge, Judge Kimball who will grant latitude not Judge Wells.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    eWeek has article saying that this is delayed one week.
    Authored by: ddumitru on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 06:21 PM EST
    eWeek has just posted news about a one week delay.

  • link
  • [ Reply to This | # ]

    Why the Rush? Is EU the place where M$ plans to start rattling its patents?
    Authored by: webster on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 06:48 PM EST
    Are EU patent suits a good place to start for M$?

    ---
    webster

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Deja Vu in the EU - Monday They Will Try to Rubber Stamp Software Patents. Yes. Again
    Authored by: rm6990 on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 09:37 PM EST
    Someone should post all the email addresses where these politicians can be
    contacted. Maybe they will realize what their citizens want when their email
    servers are knocked out of commission by all the emails telling them why what
    they are doing is wrong.

    Also, I am beginning to write an "Open Letter to the European Union".
    This will be similar to Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO. Hopefully it will be done
    by Sunday, and then we can all sign it and send it in. Anyone wishing to
    participate may do so. I will be posting the start of the letter at this URL

    http://members.shaw.ca/ryan_mcgregor/openletter.zip

    It won't be there for a little while yet. Just keep checking back. Any help
    would be great.

    Let me know if you have any helpful ideas.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Deja Vu in the EU - Monday They Will Try to Rubber Stamp Software Patents. Yes. Again
    Authored by: rm6990 on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 10:50 PM EST
    http://members.shaw.ca/ryan_mcgregor/openletter.zip

    ryan_mcgregor@shaw.ca

    At the above link, you can download the beginning of my Open Letter to the
    European Union (the name will be changed of course), which is released under the
    Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial Sharealike 2.0 License. I have begun
    writing this in the hopes that people will help me write a good report in letter
    form that will help the European Union understand the mistake they are making.
    You can contact me at the above email address if you have any questions. I have
    posted the beginning of the letter to the link. Please email me any changes
    and/or additions you have, and your name so that I may add you to the COPYRIGHT
    file. Anyways, thank you.

    Ryan

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Patent Notice.
    Authored by: Brian S. on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 11:07 PM EST

    As of the end of January, I require all people using comma's with a broad circular area at the top of the comma to pay me a license fee.

    I have patented this idea and do not see any previous art.
    See here.

    Brian S.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

      I know you are there
      Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, January 21 2005 @ 11:46 PM EST

      Hi Melanie. I love you too you know?

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      UK Patent Office Email Details for this Directive:
      Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, January 22 2005 @ 03:50 AM EST
      These are the two people in charge of this directive in the UK patents office:
      Overall Responsibility:
      Julyan Elbro (julyan.elbro@patents.gsi.gov.uk)
      Actively Responsible:
      Janette McNeill (janette.mcneill@patents.gsi.gov.uk)
      Please be polite.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Deja Vu in the EU - Monday They Will Try to Rubber Stamp Software Patents. Yes. Again
      Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, January 22 2005 @ 04:33 AM EST
      why agriculture ?
      It is the biggest budget of the EU (2/3) , america has software patent , europa
      agricultural protectionism , why not make a deal instead of fighting each others
      ?
      Poland population live mostly from agriculure, that may explained why even after
      telling that they do not approve this vote, they are accepting to not prevent it
      (and poland is waiting a few years to have the same agriculture protection as
      France, why make it centuries ?)
      European multinationals want their american patents portfolio to be eligible in
      europe , that s money for nothing (the pro patent lobby is all about making
      software patent a WTO requirement, with only japan , USA cannot tell china or
      brasil to shut the **** up and pay the bill).

      Neederland governement do not care, France hesitate, Germany has other problems
      ...
      Microsoft is all about when can i seek and destroy entreprise grade open source
      , ready to be the bill be it to the devil. Or maybe give 50 millions dollars to
      help the thirld world while spending 1 billion on how to prevent them from
      producing concurrent products.

      Why oh why !
      I would be more about why the hell did they failed until now.
      Are the european politicians supposed to be saint theresa ?
      In France a protest walk is officially considered a national crisis when half a
      million people goes on street ... are there even 500 000 developpers in France
      !
      A BIG THANKS to the FFII for their great lobbying. We may not always win every
      political battle. Even this one small victory has cost them a great deal of
      respectability and i guess a lot of money/contracts in favor of the smaller
      countries in europa (neederland european representrative took the risk to stand
      against is parliament, either he want to be fired or he made a good deal).

      I have to admit that europa would not be doomed even if in hte end all
      independant developpers end this having no choice but to resume their
      activities. If we can avoid the nuclear ATM, get a break of the Echelon tape on
      european politicians and buisnessmen, keep agriculture and cultural exception
      under the WTO, give more power to the euro parliament, end the crisis on
      european budget finance, provide a budget for researchers all trhoughout europe
      and set up a military force .... maybe that s worst it.
      But no less misters the ministers, no less.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Charlie McSneaky
      Authored by: darlmclied on Saturday, January 22 2005 @ 05:06 AM EST
      I was alarmed to see Charlie involved in this. He was Bertie Ahern's finance
      minister for many years, prior to taking up his job at the EU commision.

      Bertie tried to use his Microsoft sponsored EU presidency to push through the
      patent directive against the wishes of the European Parliament.

      These two are very canny politicians, Bertie is known as the teflon Taoiseach
      since no mud seems to stick to him. He was Charles Haughey's finance minister
      during a period when there was huge corruption in Irish politics, but has
      managed to claim he didn't know what was going on.

      With these two involved, beware.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Due process?
      Authored by: Turin on Saturday, January 22 2005 @ 02:19 PM EST
      Where is the due process in the EU system?

      This isn't an euro-bash. This is a serious question. US law has a very firm
      grounding in the concept of due process. The workings of this patent directive
      appear to be more along the lines of a US executive branch regulatory
      organization, such as the FCC or FTC, whereby a panel of appointed commission
      members make decisions on the detail of regulation after being given authority
      via enabling legislation.

      Is this what is going on? It would seem that something like this would be a
      matter for legislation, not a regulatory agency.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Deja Vu in the EU - Monday They Will Try to Rubber Stamp Software Patents. Yes. Again
      Authored by: Eric Damron on Saturday, January 22 2005 @ 06:04 PM EST
      "The proposed Directive has followed this approach. It will not make it
      possible to patent ‘computer programs as such’, but it will ensure that
      computer-implemented inventions are patentable - consistent with general patent
      practice."

      What he is saying PJ, is that entire programs will not be patentable but small
      parts of them will be. This is worse than patenting the entire program. This
      leads to things like the patent on the "ISNOT" function, the
      "one-click" method etc.

      As a geek programmer I wouldn't fear a patent on an entire program although I
      feel that copyright makes it superfluous.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Useful links?
      Authored by: AlanGriffiths on Monday, January 31 2005 @ 05:29 AM EST
      Can someone give a link to the current draft of the resolution? It would help
      inform discussions about it - at the moment I can only find secondary sources
      (which disagree as to whether it allows "software patents").

      I know I read it a few weeks ago, but I can't find it again. (Yes, I know,
      I'll type the right search phrase minutes after posting this.)

      Even better would be an annotated text that explains how some readers can
      interpret it as preventing software patents, and some as allowing them.

      My recollection is that it allowed software patents in everything but name - and
      also that it seemed to permit broad patents on solving a problem not just *the*
      solution described in the patent.

      TIA

      [ Reply to This | # ]

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