Capaigning against software patents

Xavi Drudis Ferran xdrudis at
Sat Dec 7 11:36:34 UTC 2002

I'm sorry for the repeated mails, but some configurations
errors in this computer I borrowed caused mails to 
be lost or sent from the wrong address. 

El Fri, Dec 06, 2002 at 01:56:42PM +0100, xdrudis deia:
> El Thu, Dec 05, 2002 at 10:13:22PM +0100, Niall Douglas deia:
> > 
> > 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 :)
> >
> Yet I think it's wouldwhile trying. Specially if signed by 
> companies (even small) or associations instead of individuals.
> Although individuals too, of course. 
> > > > 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?
> >
> I've asked EU information points and EP civil servants, and read the
> relevant articles in the treaties (not the rules of Parliament, mind
> you). I'm pretty sure the outcome of first reading in EP the codecison
> process can only be:
> - EP approves 
> - EP rejects
> - EP ammends. 
> No way to suspend the decision. And there were deadlines, but I think 
> it was for the second reading.
> > 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.
> > 
> You can try asking or reading. The EU is very particular (although I
> tend to think anglosaxon countries and continental Europe also have
> widely different legal traditions).
> > >From the history I've read, it was initially a system to prevent 
> > exploitation of the small by the big and while it can still operate 
> > like that, it's unlikely in the modern age. We must be careful not to 
> > confuse modern reality with initial intention (eg; copyright today 
> > vs. the original US constitution).
> >
> From what I heard it was initially just arbitrary privileges granted
> by kings to whoever they liked. Instead of abolishing it it was
> somehow rationalised.
> > > I also dont understand all this concern about the third world. The
> > > WIPO is trying to ensure the third world copies our broken patent
> > > systems and is thus more under control of the triumvirate
> > > USA-EU-Japan. 
> > 
> > *Precisely*, except for the software world I'd replace the USA-EU-
> > Japan with just the USA.
> >
> Oh, I didn't mean just software, I meant the patent triumvirate, not 
> the software patent empire. 
> > What civil servants are /supposed/ to do is draft the detail from 
> > guiding principles. We then look over it and make comments. We 
> > ourselves are not supposed to do their job and indeed if we tried, 
> > there'd be a strike.
> >
> I don't get this. Maybe our tradition is different and you are 
> talking of the UK system or something?. In my tradition, and 
> hopefully the EU, M(E)Ps are supposed to lay the law, in 
> all its detail, and civil servants don't decide, just apply it.
> They may maybe set some minor internal rules to organize their 
> work, but not decide for the elected politicians. 
> > I think though like others on this list that radical change is 
> > impossible because too many have invested too much in the status quo. 
> > I'm not good at tinkering slightly, I tend to want to rip out and 
> > replace. If you think those 30,000 EPO patents all cost say 5000 euro 
> > in research and fees, that equals 150m euro just to begin with.
> >
> I'm afraid your noumbers are too small, but I get your point. 
> But remember it is they who are pushing for a change. The current 
> law does not allow software patents, and European comapnies 
> do not patent much software, nor have been doing for any long time. 
> Inertia should be with us, not them.
> > Nevertheless, we can try. You mentioned this all goes down in a few 
> > weeks. Exactly when?
> >
> I think there is no definitive date, only approximations. 
> It should have been voted already in committee, but that is 
> delayed (AFAIK), and the pleanary had to be in February, but 
> it could be delayed too. There are some dates in 
> but they're not sure. And check allways the link for 
> any date, just in case it changed since I wrote it.  
> Note when I say "it should" I don't mean "it should by some imperative" 
> but "it would according to the earlier estimations and 
> plans". 

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