[Fsfe-ie] Patents

Malcolm Tyrrell tyrrelmr at cs.tcd.ie
Thu Jul 3 15:53:00 CEST 2003

Hi there.

It was great to meet (many of) you last night. Surprisingly, two things
have happened already since then:

Firstly, someone from Avril Doyle's (MEP, FG) office rang me. She said
that Avril was "watching this situation closely". It sounds like she
would be interested in more commentry, suggestions for ammendments, etc.

Secondly, Francois Pellegrini, who gave an anti-software patents talk at
GUADEC, mailed me with advice on how to lobby Irish MEPs. After seeing
him talk, I'd e-mailed him to get his slides (which can be got from
http://www.abul.org/brevets/conferences/?abul_lang=3Den --- these are
very good overviews of the situation).
Francois' key point is:

> Regarding the argumentation, focus on economy,
> not on ideology. Try to separate the swpat
> case from the libre software case. It would
> be good if you could bring the CEO of some
> Irish software SMEs (preferrably not from the
> libre software field but rather the proprietary
> software field) to express concerns to the MEPs.

He also warns that Mac Carthy's husband (I assume he means Arlene
McCarthy --- one of the chief proponents of software patents in Europe)
is a well known political journalist in Ireland. Specifically, he says:

> you will have to be very careful of what the MEPs tell you, because
> they have already been lobbied.

Whew! My most political morning ever!

Good luck,


P.S. As my letter seems to generated some responses it may be of some
use as a reference. I've put in on my web page (latex source & .ps):


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