[ILUG] (fwd) Action to stop software patents in Europe
gmccullagh at gmail.com
Mon Jan 18 13:10:26 GMT 2010
in case this is of interest to anyone....
----- Forwarded message from Eurolinux Group <petition at eurolinux.org> -----
From: Eurolinux Group <petition at eurolinux.org>
Subject: Action to stop software patents in Europe
Date: Sun, 17 Jan 2010 02:19:00 +0100
Dear Eurolinux supporter,
the Eurolinux petition for software patent-free Europe with more than
400 000 supporters expired. We ask you to sign a new petition:
Eurolinux endorses Stopsoftwarepatents.eu because soft patents are still
land mines for software development and stifle innovators. Under the EU
Lisbon treaty a new instrument is set into force, the European Citizens'
Initiative. The EU-Commission is now obliged to present a legislative
proposal when a critical mass of citizens demands it. We want to rebuild
our platform to get a new directive which bans software patenting once
and for all.
.... Soft Patenting Bubble ....
After Parliament rejected Bolkestein's
Software Patent Directive, EU-Commissioner McCreevy refused to propose a
new one to ban soft patenting. Instead, he deregulated financial
markets. The European Patent Office ignored Parliament's demands, and
continued to consolidate its soft patent granting business. Today we
face an unprecedented patent bubble of poisonous software and business
methods patents. Most patents are stockpiled for strategic purposes.
These poisonous assets generate no measurable benefits or insignificant
licensing revenue for their holders. Large industry is aware of a patent
inflation crisis but it seems too hard to march to the beat of a
.... Sustaining the Patent Bubble ....
Patent officials cover up that for patent holders soft patent assets are
of limited commercial value. They are well informed that patent law is
strictly territorial but nevertheless put the Chinese down as scape
goats: 'yellow perils' are said to 'steal' and 'undermine' our
'intellectual property'. Patent officials sacrifice good governance,
democratic principles, and digital liberties to sustain a profitable
patent bubble. With these smoke screens patent officials want to get
their own European court for patent enforcement and validation of
By design the projected court would strengthen the European Patent
Office to grant even softer patents and keep patenting away from the
European Court of Justice and our legislators, and empower a selected
group of presupposed 'technical experts'. Other distractions include
customs measures, stronger civil and criminal sanctions against patent
infringements, policy laundry as the Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement
(ACTA), trade pressure for software patenting in emerging states like
India and Mexico.
.... New Commission has to take action ....
Early next year new EU-Commissioners enter office. They will tackle the
fallout of the financial crisis and the upcoming patent bubble burst.
They can break with past ideology and overcome the patent crisis with
small reform steps but more likely they would continue to support
sinophobia, enforcement distraction, software patents validation and
patent office autocracy. The later the patent bubble bursts the harder
the landing. At this stage Europe's sustainable Linux ecosystem and
small & medium sized software manufacturers suffer from non-practicing
raiders ("patent trolls") and uninsurable risks.
... Platform building for Digital Change ....
Digital rights associations walk the corridors in Brussels and
Strasbourg for a better digital environment. Eurolinux recommends to
support their activities: your attention and support, your financial
contributions or membership is helpful.
- APRIL, AEL and ASL let European Parliament candidates sign up to a
Free Software Pact http://freesoftwarepact.eu/
- FFII, ASOLIF, IPJustice and others made significant contributions to
o Brimelow referral G03/08 (software patenting administrative case
law at the European Patent Office) http://www.ffii.org/EPOReferral
o Bilski case at the US Supreme Court (business and software
- FFII Germany
o opposed the "Gift ordering patent" at the EPO and revealed a
procedural failure http://www.ffii.de/wiki/PmAmazonOneClick091111De
o renewed their gallery of outrageous ecommerce patent examples at
- Quadrature du Net pressured for 'net neutrality' in Europe's Telecom
- Hispalinux and others shape a Spainish lead role in open standards and
Linux in Europe http://hispalinux.es/
- EDRI continues to defend European digital rights http://www.edri.org
- UK Open Rights Group promoted overdue copyright reforms
- AFUL defends the free development model in France http://www.aful.org
.... Eurolinux ....
Eurolinux advocates policies which lead to European Digital
Independence: Full-scale Linux migration, market order &
interoperability enforcement, mandatory open standards, abolition of
software patenting, and sustainable public investments in Linux
development for the preservation of our digital liberties. Software from
the public sector ought to be licensed as free and open source software
(FLOSS) to promote job creation, skills development and re-use in
Europe. Eurolinux aims to overcome strategic dependencies of our
critical information infrastructure which put Europeans at risk.
----- End forwarded message -----
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