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EU Commission Reportedly Ignoring Restart Request
Monday, February 28 2005 @ 12:14 PM EST

It is being reported that the EU Commission has rejected the EU Parliament's request for a restart of the software patents directive, despite four national parliaments (Spain, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark) officially calling on their respective governments to change the directive by means of a restart, and after several governments refused to back the current proposed directive, and after the European Parliament did everything possible to add strength to their restart request, and despite the JURI restart request being backed by hundreds of parliament members throughout europe and the citizens they represent, as well as thousands of small to medium-sized companies, apparently it's just No.

Here's FFII's press release about it. Nothing official from the EU Commission yet, that I have seen, but am I surprised? Yes. And then again, no. Here's the nosoftwarepatents.com press release as well. Here's some interesting background info.

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

Commission's DG MARKT won't restart patents directive because of fear of a balanced approach

Brussels, 28 February 2005 -- The Commission has turned down the European Parliament's request for a restart of the software patents directive. Despite a virtually unanimous vote in the European Parliament's responsible JURI Committee and a unanimous request by the whole European Parliament in plenary, the Commission's DG Internal Market is apparently determined to destroy the directive by trying to get the EP to massively reject the directive in second reading.

The Commission's Directorate General for the Internal Market, which is responsible for the directive, has informed several parties today it has denied the EP's request for a restart of the much contested software patents directive. FFII was recently already informed by a member of the Commission's DG Information Society that DG MARKT was very reluctant to restart.

The reported reason is that if they do restart, they must produce a new text on which several other DG's, such as Information Society and Competition, must agree as well. These other DG's would reportedly never support an extreme text such as the one currently on the table in the Council, or even the original Commission proposal from 2002. They would insist on a more balanced approach, which is apparently not desired by DG MARKT.

"Instead of grabbing the chance to take into account all new facts which have come to light since the origin of the current directive text, namely the Green Paper from 1997, DG Markt is alienating the EP to an extent that it may very well simply call a halt to this farce which is supposed to represent democracy", comments Jonas Maebe, FFII Board Member. "If a set of harmonised rules is truly the number one goal of the Commission and Council, then why are they sabotaging the whole process?"


  


EU Commission Reportedly Ignoring Restart Request | 180 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections go here please.
Authored by: psgj on Monday, February 28 2005 @ 12:21 PM EST
Corrections go here please.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OT goes here please.
Authored by: psgj on Monday, February 28 2005 @ 12:22 PM EST
OT goes here please.

[ Reply to This | # ]

EU Commission Reportedly Ignoring Restart Request
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, February 28 2005 @ 12:27 PM EST
How democratic

[ Reply to This | # ]

EU Commission Reportedly Ignoring Restart Request
Authored by: Latesigner on Monday, February 28 2005 @ 12:28 PM EST
The EU Commission put on suicide watch.

[ Reply to This | # ]

I'm not sure I get it...
Authored by: markhb on Monday, February 28 2005 @ 12:37 PM EST
There's one item in this I don't get: that the DG wants the Europarl to
"massively reject" the proposal as it now stands. If the DG's
ultimate objective is to get the proposal passed without going back through the
full review process, how does the proposal's failure in EParliament help them?

I once saw a cartoon of a man in a London cab, attempting to barter for the fare
and saying "I'll make a deal with you: you explain cricket, and I'll
explain the American electoral system." I swear that the primary design
criterion for the relationship between Brussels and Strasbourg (and isn't there
a third body, in yet another city, involved?) was "it has to be more
confusing than the Electoral College".

---
IANAL, but ITRYINGTOCHILLOUT... et SCO delenda est!

[ Reply to This | # ]

EU Parliament Vote
Authored by: Sesostris III on Monday, February 28 2005 @ 12:38 PM EST
The problem with the Second Reading in the European Parliament (I believe), is
that the proposal would need to be rejected by an absolute majority of MEPs, not
just a majority of MEPs voting.

That is quite a hurdle. I suppose the Commission is gambling that the opponents
to the directive won't be able to muster an absolute majority in the EP to vote
against. If the Commission can at least convince a major block to abstain
instead ...

Sesostris III

[ Reply to This | # ]

EU Commission Reportedly Ignoring Restart Request
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, February 28 2005 @ 12:39 PM EST
Looks like they're every bit as screwed up as the US. Whoda thunk that money
talks around the world.

To quote Nelson:

HA! HA!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Effect on voting on EU constitution
Authored by: raboof on Monday, February 28 2005 @ 12:44 PM EST
So will this effect the support for the European Constitution that is now being
formed?

For me personally, I used to be pretty much in favour of doing more stuff
Europe-wide, introducing harmonisation in various fields. Now that I am
continuously amazed by the undemocratic (and not-in-the-public-interest)
processes, i'm starting to feel like frustrating everything EU-related and
voting against the constitution.

The way things went here might be major ammunition for those seeking to oppose
forming an EU constitution...

[ Reply to This | # ]

M$ Unreported Threats Apparently Effective
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, February 28 2005 @ 12:54 PM EST
The power of Microsoft money and threats that can later be denied, are indeed
effective.

[ Reply to This | # ]

EU Commission Reportedly Ignoring Restart Request
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, February 28 2005 @ 01:10 PM EST
This is a bludy outrage.

I'm sick of living in this corrupted second hand continent.
How do we fight this collection of money grubbing numbskulls ?

Can they get away with everything ?

Retep Vosnul ( moving to mars soon ).

[ Reply to This | # ]

Software Monopolists won't give up
Authored by: rweiler on Monday, February 28 2005 @ 01:13 PM EST
Unfortunately, this battle can never be won by the citizens, the best we can
ever hope for is a perpetual stalemate. That assumes the active participation of
the citizenry which is unlikely. The reality is that as much as politicians rail
against 'special interests' the laws in modern industrial societies are made by,
and for the benefit of large corporations. There has to be enormous negative
consequences that the voters can actually percieve directly, and can't be
decieved by propaganda campaigns, before a law gets passed that benefits
citizens at large. That is the reason, for example, that clean air and water
laws got passed. It didn't take a genius to see that the air in major
metropolitan areas was becoming unfit to breath. Unfortunately, the negative
consequences of software patents isn't so easy for consumers and voters to see
because it is buried in the price of the software. In addition, consumers may
wonder why their applications and devices aren't compatible, but it probably
doesn't occur to them that it is largely due software patents. It isn't enough
to complain about it on Groklaw, we need to get out and educate our fellow
citzens that aren't on Groklaw. In particular, when the popular press parrots
the company line, they need to be corrected, and you need to let your
legislators know that you feel strongly about this issue.

---
Sometimes the measured use of force is the only thing that keeps the world from
being ruled by force. -- G. W. Bush

[ Reply to This | # ]

fear of a balanced approach?
Authored by: Darkelve on Monday, February 28 2005 @ 01:34 PM EST
"Commission's DG MARKT won't restart patents directive because of fear of a
balanced approach"

The last 5 words say it all! Nice of 'em to be this honest... :|

[ Reply to This | # ]

Buffy the Vampire Slayer quote
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, February 28 2005 @ 02:05 PM EST
Spike: Buffy, you don't have the patent on bad relationships.

Buffy: Wouldn't it be cool if I did!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sack the commission
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, February 28 2005 @ 03:16 PM EST
Since the EU commission is ignoring a directive by
parliament, which actually holds the power in the EU, then
they should simply be sacked and disbanded, with
participants given life long bans from entering politics
again. Plain and simple. It would be a great wait to
show that democracy is alive and well in Europe, it would
get rid of a lot of corrupt officials, and it would limit
their ability to become involved in politics again and
also limit their ability to flex their corrupt muscles.

This MUST happen, and it must happen now. This is the 3rd
directive that has been ignored. Enough is enough. If
need be, deport the most vocal members of the commission
(and corrupt of course) to the US. They'll fit right in
there ;-)

If proof can be recovered that US companies are behind
this push for software patents (which we all know they
are), then a formal complaint from Europe to the US must
be issued and with a warning - do something about it, and
make your companies behave or we will ban them or limit
them in their trade in the EU. If the US fails to behave
itself, then pick a company and ban it. I'm serious here,
it is the only way that the US government and business
will understand that they can simply NOT just waltz in and
do what they want. If they want to play outside of the US
then they simply must obey the local rules. If they
cannot, then they should not be playing.

Many will consider my comments politically dangerous, or
unneccessary, but I believe that they are not. A time has
come when the rights of the people, the majority outweigh
the rights of the business (known as the 'few').
Sometimes you have to cut off the head of the snake to
stop it. Every farmer will tell you this.

Dave

[ Reply to This | # ]

Pathetic!
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, February 28 2005 @ 03:41 PM EST
Those Europeans might have to revert to the ways of their ancestors by kicking
ass and taking names. Eventually...hopefully without US intervention, the
matter of software patents will no longer be an issue.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Pathetic! - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, March 01 2005 @ 03:31 AM EST
    • Pathetic! - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, March 01 2005 @ 03:54 AM EST
How does the EU expect...
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, February 28 2005 @ 04:02 PM EST

... people to take them or their "laws" seriously when they don't even follow their own procedures for writing the laws? "Unwritten rules" my eye!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Wikimedia Foundation
Authored by: joe_param on Monday, February 28 2005 @ 04:04 PM EST
They need our support. Please help if you can.

http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Fundraising or here

regards
Joe

[ Reply to This | # ]

Arrgh... stop the march toward 2012...
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, February 28 2005 @ 10:50 PM EST
What world is this ? Seriously. We must do something, but what ?

[ Reply to This | # ]

EU Commission Reportedly Ignoring Restart Request
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, March 01 2005 @ 12:49 AM EST
What are the chances that the EP will make this a point of principle or a chance
to demonstrate their authority over the EC by defeating ths proposal by
majority vote? Can the vote be introduced when the majority is not present and
it would pass despite a unanimous vote against by those present?

[ Reply to This | # ]

According to TheReg: no restart
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, March 01 2005 @ 08:39 AM EST
http://www .theregister.co.uk/2005/03/01/ec_rebuffs_parliament/

[ Reply to This | # ]

What can we do?
Authored by: CnocNaGortini on Tuesday, March 01 2005 @ 09:19 AM EST
I'd like to do something, but don't know where to start. Could someone
knowledgeable in these matters explain who to write to, and whether there are
particular things that should be included or excluded from letters? Pointers to
suitable guide pages would do.

(I am in Ireland, although a citizen of another
EU country. I expect the advice across much of Europe to be similar, but there
may be a special case here.)

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • What can we do? - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, March 01 2005 @ 09:41 AM EST
    • What can we do? - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, March 01 2005 @ 09:46 AM EST
According to Bill, MS must be communist
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, March 01 2005 @ 09:44 AM EST

p2pnet has an article on MS using Sony's and Philips's patents in its Windows Media Player without obtaining a license.

[ Reply to This | # ]

EU Commission Reportedly Ignoring Restart Request
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, March 01 2005 @ 09:52 AM EST
Heil Baroso !

Baroso is dening democracy like a dictator. Evry time Europe came under
dictatorship, then we had WAR.

Call a cat a cat, send photos of dictators to Mr Baroso by snail mail. Remember
he comes from Portugal, so there's a good choice for him. (If you are portugese
don't be offended by my post, i compare baroso to this dictator you thrown out,
but i'm not assimilling the portugese people to this man : At least you fired
him in a revolution).

[ Reply to This | # ]

Question
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, March 01 2005 @ 10:17 AM EST
Did they say they ~will not~ restart ?. I don't recall reading that.
A balanced approach looks good on paper sure, however we must ask how balanced
is the numbers of those [FOR] and ]AGAINST], sit everyone down and let them
vote, sounds right but could just be the thing to give the pro patent ones their
way, if they out number the others on a vote. It just may be there is no
balance, and so the fear of taking that approach. I for one do not think that
the EU EC or whom ever, is going to let one or two United States corporations
run things by handing over the vote for a few billion dollars.


I see it as the EU as a whole does not want US corps in the balance pack, the
balanced approach may have at this time, some unwanted US hands that would be
voting without being there.
What needs to happen now is the directive is rejected. That would be a better
approach then a balanced one, seeing the first directive remains as is. If
rejected, there would be nothing to pass by a vote. What can be done now ?, push
to have the directive rejected.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Question - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, March 01 2005 @ 10:40 AM EST
Parliament should just dissolve the Commission
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, March 01 2005 @ 06:21 PM EST
Unless I mis-read Wikipedia (the infallible source of all knowledge :-); the
European Parliament can dissolve the Commission with a vote of censure.

That will probably get their attention!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Migrate to BSD - Fork the web
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, March 01 2005 @ 08:25 PM EST
Hey, nobody still has to tell us we need to use patented stuff. Let them have
it. Let them kill Linux. Migrate to Free BSD in a heartbeat. Port KDE over.
Create x.org servers. I think a lot of this patent hype is just that.

And we can build another web based on real open standards if the W3C decides to
go to patented standards.

Bring it on!

[ Reply to This | # ]

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