Protest against planned European Software patents

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Protest against planned European Software patents

Post by *ghisler(Author) » 2003-08-27, 07:46 UTC

As you may have noticed on www.ghisler.com today (August 27), I'm participating in a protest against the planned European Software patents. The European Union plans software patents and logical patents similar to the USA. This would give us ridiculous patents like the Amazon "One click" order patent. Software patents are a big thread to shareware authors like myself, because almost any trivial idea can be patented. Unfortunately Switzerland (my country) almost always adopts changes to the Patent system in the EU, although Switzerland isn't part of the EU.

Since many methods are the only logical way of doing something in software, software patents can effectively block the development of any similar software. Only big corporations with many software patents will then be able to sell software, because they have patent cross licencing agreements with all other big corporations. Small companies like ourselves will vanish from the market.

If you don't want that Total Commander disappears, please participate in the protest against software patents too!
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Post by *djk » 2003-08-27, 08:05 UTC

I can't believe...

Of course I'm sure all of us will join to the protest.
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Post by *fabiochelly » 2003-08-27, 09:21 UTC

For french people, you can find many informations on the website www.framasoft.net
Fabio Chelly.
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Post by *soreno » 2003-08-27, 17:43 UTC

Danes can view more information here:
http://www.softwarepatenter.dk/

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Post by *pdavit » 2003-08-27, 19:36 UTC

I have a bad feeling that somehow this is a dead-end situation! Do we, the users, have actually the power to stop this? If we can, how? Will voting be enough?

Of course I (we) don't want to see an end to the development of Total Commander but as it has been proven over and over again by history a bunch of people always makes the decision for some thousands or even millions of people. The big get bigger and the poor get poorer. That's the situation in USA where this idea is at its peak.

Swiss are well known for their independency throughout their history, yet from what Christian says here it seams that for the last decades or so this quality is becoming extinct for some issues and for some reasons which I don't personally posses!

We live in a money driven society and this is the source of all these problems.

If I can help to prevent a hold to the development of Total Commander I WILL do my best. But can I? I bet I can't since the big cheese seating on his fancy leather chair with a crystal desk and a view to some sky toll buildings that has no idea about software engineering will make the decisions.

On the other hand, though, I cannot say that I see a lack of shareware products from USA and that's what confuses me. I'm not a lawyer or a politician and I really don't have the slightest clue how this system works but how do you explain the fact that the patent laws in US coexist with so many shareware products? Are these products illegal? Is the high price the clue I'm looking for? Can Total Commander survive only by increasing its price astronomically since Christian will have to pay some dozen patent rights to some other people?

Since I love Total Commander I'm willing to pay the extra cost but is this the right approach? Isn't this approach the one that falls into the category of rich getting richer and poor getting poorer? And what about the drawbacks in development? Not every problem is solved by money (although unfortunately nowadays this is not true!)

And isn't USA that started the idea of open source?! How's that in contrast to software patents?!

Concluding, I want to take this opportunity to inform Christian that he has my support and I guess the support of all of us and although a bad outcome will affect all of us he is the one suffering the most currently. Christian, you have my support and my sympathy and if there's something I can do to help I will do it!!!
Last edited by pdavit on 2003-08-29, 13:50 UTC, edited 3 times in total.
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Post by *Sam York » 2003-08-27, 21:19 UTC

This is a nonsense !!!

The last decisions made by UE aren't supposed to ensure progress, on the contrary and more than that the latest news says that some of them touch even our civil rights!(the up-coming "driver fines system" and not only)

I don't think that this decision will be made for the good of our software industry. Such a decision had been more appropriate for a country that is leader in software inndustry not for UE which is striving on every aspect to keep up with USA or Asia developed countries.

The decision itself is absurd, is like you cannot express your feelings, thoughs to someone because that thing was already done before you by some other guy that holds the patent ?! :shock:

On the other hand I think that in extremis TC could hold out by making some strategic alliences with some developers(independent or not). But, we all know what these means ... :(

Regarding Europe I hope someday the "real sized" Europe will be one day unified and will be an independent country but the latest decisions rise a lot of questions if this desiderate will be fulfilled.

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Post by *deus-ex » 2003-08-28, 10:27 UTC

I just visited www.ghisler.com in attempt to support the protest,
but did not find any info there. Latest news are from 22.08.2003 ? :?

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Post by *djk » 2003-08-28, 10:53 UTC

As you may have noticed on www.ghisler.com today (August 27), I'm participating in a protest against the planned European Software patents.
The start page was changed - there was only info about the protest.

Look here: http://swpat.ffii.org/index.en.html
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Post by *Maxwish » 2003-08-28, 11:17 UTC

I still had a copy of the page in my archives...

see here:
http://clubtotal.free.fr/tc_museum/Protest!.html
...BRB...

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Post by *deus-ex » 2003-08-28, 11:20 UTC

Thanks for the info, djk & Maxwish.

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Post by *djk » 2003-08-28, 11:22 UTC

Well, well, 2Maxwish... good job... :-)
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Post by *ghisler(Author) » 2003-08-29, 13:18 UTC

Thanks for your support! According to Heise news, the European parliament has delayed its decision by about 1 month. I hope that they decide some rules against trivial patents - but by hopes are very small... :(
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Post by *soreno » 2003-09-24, 16:45 UTC


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Post by *Jonas » 2003-09-24, 17:45 UTC

Well, the EU hasn't the right to change the patent-directives.
The european patent-office (http://www.epo.org) has nothing to do with the EU.
The directive can only be changed with an 3/4 (yes, three quater) majority in a diplomatical assembly of all 27 members of the european patent organisation.
The EU as only an observer-state in this assembly and has no voting-right.

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Post by *atomix » 2003-09-25, 09:27 UTC

I guess this is not good news. :(

http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/33016.html

European Parliament castrates software patent regs
By John Leyden
Posted: 24/09/2003 at 15:45 GMT

The European Parliament today approved a draft Directive that paves the way for the introduction of software patents in Europe.

However, widespread protests from critics of the measures have succeeded in pulling much of the sting from the proposed regulations. A compromise resolution passed by MEPs features numerous amendments, the most important of which limits the scope of software patents to "true inventions".

US practices that allow the patenting of business methods have been dropped, the Dow Jones Newsletter reports.

That means ideas such as the "one-click" online shopping method patented in the US by Amazon.com are disallowed under the proposed European patent regulations.

There are also severe restrictions on the types of software that can be patented. For example software found in mobile phones, video recorders and set-top boxes can't be patented. And patents can only be enforced against end-users, not suppliers. Industry lobbyists are far from happy.

"Many inventions won't be worth patenting because the patent can't be enforced," said Leo Baumann, spokesman for the Brussels-based European Information and Communication Technology Association, told the Dow Jones Newsletter.

The amended resolution was passed by a majority of 364 votes to 153 with 33 abstentions by MEPs on its first reading today, Reuters reports.

The legislation will now be examined by the Council of Ministers, before returning in second reading to Strasbourg. Industry lobbyists are sure to try hard to get individual governments to reject amendments and adopt measures closer to the original proposals by the European Commission. Remember, the ones that sparked a wave of protest from an alliance of open source developers and others opposed to the original plans.

The issue of software patents has been put on the agenda for a November 10 meeting between government ministers from EU member states. ®

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