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Patents Your Rights Online

Demonstrations Against EU Software Patent Plans 33

Halo1 writes "On Wednesday August 27th, there will be a demonstration at the European Parliament in Brussels against the proposed directive on software patents, organised by the FFII. As an additional (or alternative) action, people are encouraged to participate in an online demonstration that day, replacing the main page of their website with a text explaining the dangers of introducing unlimited patentability in Europe. The proposed directive would make it impossible to refuse patents on algorithms and business methods such as a recently uncovered European patent from Amazon on ordering a gift for and automatically delivering it to a third party, which is even broader than its infamous 1-Click patent."
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Demonstrations Against EU Software Patent Plans

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  • First Post (Score:2, Redundant)

    by ralphclark ( 11346 )
    Who's got the time to write this up and modify their web site? Better if somebody makes up a standard page we can all copy.
  • Perhaps if we allow all these shit patents clog up the 'system', the people and other companies will revolt?

    Just an idea..
    • That's like saying maybe you can get a free hospital visit if you shoot yourself. Put down the reefer!
    • by ciaran_o_riordan ( 662132 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @11:44AM (#6744650) Homepage
      That's not the way the patents problem works.

      Interestingly, Microsoft has never taken anyone to court over patent infringement. It's not that they don't enforce them, they just do it by intimidating emails and threatening letters.

      VirtualDub is a GPL'd media player. M$ told the author to remove the ability to play .asf movies because they are patented by M$.

      Large corps can't possibly develop software without infringeing others patents so they crosslicense, thus forming patent sharing cartels that shield the Mega Corps from the problem and locking out any new competition.

      The blinking cursor, and the nested menu structure are both patented. The owning companies only use the patents at strategic times. Is it possible to develop a competitive software package that doesn't have a nested menu structure?

      A revolt is nearly impossible. Patents are state created private property. It's hard to regulate monopolies at the moment but it will be harder when their positions are held based on legitimate use of private property. If the EU adopts software patents, they will become a global "asset". That's when the real problem will begin.

      Ciaran O'Riordan

      • Expect this to change if M$ ever is in need of ca$h, ala SCO.

        Yah, I'm a bit disappointed in the EU. I figured they'd have figured out soft-patents uber alles would not be a good thing. Maybe it'll change at the last minute. One can hope.

        All I have to say tho, is that once China and India start flexing their IT muscle, then that's going to be interesting. 2+ billion people is a lot of licensees or a lot of non-licensees.
  • ... explaining the dangers of introducing unlimited patentability in Europe.
    You can not introduce unlimited patentability with paying a royalty.
    I'm sure someone in the U.S. of A. must have patented [totallyabsurd.com] unlimited patentability.

  • by steelneck ( 683359 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @04:13PM (#6747997)
    Why isn't this article on the /. main page? If europe would say no to SWP it would send a very strong signal to the US, and maybe act as a catalyst world wide against SWP. I think this "online-event" can be a quite effective demontration if it gets adopted by _many_ sites world wide. [irony] But of course, i am dreaming now, people are way to lasy and have the politicians they deserve [/irony].
    • It seems that the slashdot editors doesn't give a damn about what happens in Europe, nevertheless the fact that many of their readers are from outside the US, they clearly state that they are a US oriented site, and will remain like this.
  • I don't why this webpage is not published on the /. frontpage, but this news is call to ask people to be there next week...Hurry up and please move it...
  • by misterpies ( 632880 ) on Wednesday August 20, 2003 @06:31PM (#6749245)
    It sounds as though people already are making their voice heard on this issue. Today I was listening to a radio debate [bbc.co.uk] on the future of the European Parliament broadcast on BBC radio 4 [bbc.co.uk]. (The broadcast will be repeated Saturday 10:15pm.) One of the participants, a British MEP, said she had received many messages from constituents about the new software patent directives -- proving, as she said, the importance of the EP in representing citizens' interests in EU legislation. Personally I'm in no doubt that the unofficial /. campaign against the directive was responsible for a large number of said messages.
  • Maybe to most /. readers a story about obscure machinations in the bureaucracies of far off lands is a little too dull. I'd suggest spicing it up a bit with some catchier headlines:

    "Patent War in Europe: Brussels to be razed to the ground"
    "Evil tyrant McCarthy to face wrath of the people"
    "World faces patent doom - Heroes march on Brussels"

    When I submitted something on the same topic a while back I just used the old trick of mentioning RMS - works every time ;-) What really bothers me though is the lack of
    • Todat tends to parrot uncritically anything corporate to do with copyright and patentability. The BBC makes a lot of money from selling its productions, and I suspect they might see software patents as a possible tool in their battle with Murdoch.
  • Are we going to see the protest page at www.slashdot.org tomorrow?

Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work. -- John G. Pollard