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From Steven Noels <stev...@outerthought.org>
Subject Re: EU Parliament Approves Software Patents
Date Wed, 24 Sep 2003 15:03:38 GMT
Erik Abele wrote:

> arghhh, without comments:
> 'EU Parliament Approves Software Patents'
> http://yro.slashdot.org/yro/03/09/24/ 1253227.shtml?tid=155&tid=185&tid=99

Don't panic:

                                   - o -

Date: Wed, 24 Sep 2003 16:31:21 +0200
From: Philippe Aigrain <philippe.aigrain@wanadoo.fr>
To: freesw@conecta.it
Subject: [Freesw] Vote in Parliament on software patentability

The detailed votes (with nominal votes) are - in MSWord format ... - at:

nominaux 2003-09-24.doc

Contrarily to what you may hear or read from Reuters, this is truly a
victory against extension of patentability. Amendements have been voted
that completely overturn the original meaning of the directive to make
it a text that excludes from patentability any thing beyond the use fo
forces of nature to control physical effects and exclude explicitly any
form of information processing. In addition an amendment explicitly
stating than software claims can not be accepted has been voted.For
specialists 69-70-71-72 and first part of 55 + interoperability
exception have gone through.

I guess that the Green and GUE have voted against the global report
because they are afraid that this might be manipulated in the further
political and implementation proces (in particular they wanted another
version of the definition of technical - amendment 55 second half
instead of 6 to go through, but it was not even submitted to vote, based
on erroneous statement that 69 would be equivalent). I do not know teh
outcome on one important amendment (57).

This is nonetheless a historical turning point: for the first time, a
cross-party coalition has said no to the permanent extension of patents
and other forms of restrictions to free and open knowledge. Already in
1995 the Parliament rejected a first version of the biotech patents
directive, but this was a different coalition, much less clear, and
shortlived. TO measure the importance, see the detailed vote on
amendment 55 first half voted 300 to 223 with the PSE divided 2/3-1/3
and the PPE divided 1/3-2/3

The news releases announce the vote as a victory for patentability (see
Reuters). Let's hope that the truth will reach even the news.

Now let's get ready for the fights in Council. The voted amendments are
clearly unacceptable for those countries where the patent lobbies have
key influence, as well as for the Commission, so they will do anything
to get rid of them.

Philippe Aigrain

                                   - o -

... so it seems we should be careful in judging what happened.

Steven Noels                            http://outerthought.org/
Outerthought - Open Source Java & XML            An Orixo Member
Read my weblog at            http://blogs.cocoondev.org/stevenn/
stevenn at outerthought.org                stevenn at apache.org

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