Capaigning against software patents

Niall Douglas s_fsfeurope at
Thu Dec 5 21:13:22 UTC 2002

On 5 Dec 2002 at 2:14, Xavi Drudis Ferran wrote:

> > No for most professional politicians that's not actually very 
> > important - you get a constant stream of complaint letters from all
> > sorts of madmen when you're a politician. Every politician equates
> > the economy with votes - it's the number one rule - and anything
> > which hurts the economy (followed by hurting employment) immediately
> > speaks "votes" to most politicians. Hence a letter from the CEO of
> > Unisys counts for 1000 letters from ordinary people.
> Of course people complaining should point out the damage to the 
> economy (and to human rights, and other points), not sound like
> madmen. 

I was more referring to the small percentage of people who 
practically write letters of complaint for their hobby. To 
newspapers, politicians, members of the royal family etc. You'd be 
surprised how many letters a popular politician receives each week 
about topics ranging from mass-expulsion of immigrants to sticking 
all the unemployed and drug addicts in forced labour camps :)

I know this as I've known some politicians in my time. Some of them 
religiously read all the letters they receive just for interesting 
anecdotes at the dinner table!

> > No point with small companies. Get the bigger ones, preferably ones
> > which make campaign donations. Put it on official paper too with a
> > letterhead - call it Alliance of European IT companies against
> > Software Patents - ask if they'd like to become a signatory. Do not
> > mention even once free software or Linux or even Unix.
> I'm not sure what you mean by capaign donations. I believe corporate
> lobbying is not so direct in Europe

It's not as above board as in the US, but it sure does happen! There 
are dozens of ways and means to give money to a politician (or indeed 
anyone) without leaving a paper trail. It is after all how the global 
money laundering system works (sorry, I meant global banking system).

> > Well if there's lots of calls for a whole multitude of changes,
> > they'll suspend the motion and call for a EU commission to
> > investigate matters. You'd need to be ready to get as many of your 
> I think this is not a possible action for the EP. Maybe you mean that
> they'll reject the diretive. 

Are you sure? I'm sure a motion can be "carried over" in lieu of 
further investigation ie; if something is contentious, an application 
for suspension is made with a list of people for the investigatory 
committee. I would have thought any democratic system would have such 
a facility?

To be fair though, I know this to be sure in the UK, Ireland and the 
US. I'm merely inferring it for the EU.

> > - this was actually
> > an email I wrote to someone and wasn't I bloody surprised when it
> > appeared on Contractor UK with someone else's name!!! :)
> >
> I understand your surprise. It looks more like a letter than an
> article. Btw I don't but the poor inventor gets rich excuse for
> patents. I doubt this was ever the intention for proposing patents. It
> was more a macroeconomical kind of arguments and to encourage
> innovation and publication of solutions by large players. The patent
> system was designed burdensome and expensive for individual inventors,
> because they were not a priority. But I'm not a historian, I don't
> really know

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