EUCD and Belgian Software Law

Alexandre Dulaunoy alex at
Sat May 11 07:23:16 UTC 2002

On Fri, 10 May 2002, Rudy Gevaert wrote:

> Hello,
> (Translated the "Belgische Auteurswet"="Belgian author law", but I think
> in english this is the copyright law, excuse me for my possible
> incorrect translation)
> I'm following computer science at the RUG in Belgium, and we have a
> college about "Industrial rights".  We saw the Belgian Copyright Law,
> protection of databases, the Belgian Software law, etc.
> As being a smartass I asked our professor about the EUCD in our last
> lesson, and about the effects on software makers.  I also pointed the
> several people in in the FSF and OSS world didn't like the EUCD.
> Like I could have thought the guy didn't know about FSF/OSS, but he did
> tell me that the improvments that are going to be made to the Belgian
> copyright law are good (Yikes!) and I should "cry with the wolves in the
> forrest".

What are the arguments ? The proposal-law include multiple modification 
(historical issue, compatibility to other law and,of cours,e the EUCD part 
(mainly Article 13)) 

As a teacher, the best way is to argue about that ;-)

> Well, I took the proposel in my hand of new Belgian copyright law, and I
> did see it only changed the law about copyright and databases, but not
> the Software law!

The Directive (2001/29/CE) is regarding the author right law in respective 
contries in europe. 

The belgian pre-proposal law is regarding "Droit d'auteur et droit 
voisin". The software is protected by the Berne convention because it's a 
way of expression (like books or any other of expressions). 

What do you mean by the software law (there is multiple law, ordonnance 
for each part of country) ? 

So the proposal is modification of the author right law.  It's covering 
software but any other way of expression (like music, books and so on..) 

> The Belgian Software law also states the concerning software one has to
> follow the software law and when this doesn't handle the specific case
> you have to look at the copyright law.
> Why are they changing only the copyright law?  

Because copyright (the anglo-saxon terms of "droit d'auteur") is 
a protection (for defined period : life of the author + 50(variable) 
years) way of expression for the author. (cf. Convention de Berne)

The copyright law in Belgium is an application of the Berne convention. 

The EUCD came from the modification of the article 11 of WIPO (OMPI) about 
the addition of security extension. 

> As a second question could somebody give me several examples why the
> EUCD is bad for FSF/OSS developers?  I'm having an oral exam of that
> course :).

I invite you to read the two letters that we have sent to the Prime 
Minister and Minister of Justice. (before the law 

After the pre-proposal law :

Maybe we could have a discussion with your teacher. ;-)

I hope this helps.

Don't hesitate to contact us. 

activists at


> Thanks in advance,

Alexandre Dulaunoy			adulau at

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