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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?"


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