2004-07-20 GR FFII Urgent Appeal Delivered to Greek and Cypriot Government
We still need to send the appeal to various persons in the Ministry, to the Head of the Parliament, to the party leaders, and others. If you can help, please contact Antonios Christofides, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Appeal delivered to Government
The letter was delivered by Antonios Christofides to the Minister's office, in the morning of 20/7/2004. The document delivered can be found at http://epatents.hellug.gr/box/urgent-appeal.pdf (in Greek, of course). It was delivered together with a short cover letter. The people responsible for the incoming documents said the Minister, Mr. Sioufas, reads all of them and assigns them to others; they advised to call after a week in order to learn which person it will have been assigned to.
In the evening of that same day, a press release was issued by the Greek team. The Greek version of it is at http://epatents.hellug.gr/pages/pr_2004-07-20/. A quick-and-dirty English translation follows.
Until now, the appeal has been delivered to:
Minister of Development of Greece
- Minister of Development Mr. Sioufas Mesogion 119 10192 Athens Greece
Delivered personally to Minister's Office, 20 Jul 2004, and got reference number 4143/20-7-2004. Called on 2 September 2004 (the Registry of the Minister's office phone number is +30-2106974722) and were told that the document has been given to the General Secretariat of Industry (Geniki Grammateia Biomichanias).
Prime Minister of Greece
- Prime Minister Mr. Konstantinos Karamanlis Megaro Maximou Irodou Attikou 19 10674 Athens Greece
Posted on 23 Jul 2004. The main reason for sending to the PM was because the cover letter of the Appeal sent to the Minister of Development said we were CC'ing the PM; we did this to give more weight, rather because we think the PM office would pay any attention at all.
Minister of Commerce of Cyprus
- Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Mr. Yiorgos Lillikas Andrea Araouzou 6 1421 Lefkosia Cyprus
Posted on 1 Sep 2004. The cover letter, besides the Minister, also mentions the Permanent Secretary, Sotiris Sotiriou, as intended recipient.
Greek Press Release, 20 Jul 2004, poorly translated
A document delivered today by FFII representatives to the Minister of Development, Mr Sioufas, makes disclosures about deceit of the Ministers of the EU. The document, an appeal signed by companies and organizations, available from http://epatents.hellug.gr/box/urgent-appeal.pdf, provides specific evidence of deceit and surprise tactics used to fool the ministerial officials during the Council meeting of 18 May 2004 concerning the infamous software patent directive.
Attempts by European patent offices and large multinational corporations to legalise software patents, despite being forbidden by Article 52 of the European Patent Convention, have been going on for years, but have met strong resistance. Even the Commission, who had proposed to legalise software patents two years ago, today claim to be against software patents, as Commissioner Bolkestein said during the Council meeting of 18 May. The economic studies and the experience from USA and Japan, where software patents are allowed, clearly indicate catastrophic consequences in innovation and in the economic development of the information-based society; as a result, Europe is unanimously opposed to software patents. Nevertheless, the text adopted by the Council ensures the opposite of what the European Parliament, the Ministers and the Commission claim they want. This is achieved by means of vague points, contradictions, and clever devices of the form "software is not patentable, unless condition that after close scrutiny proves to always be true".
The delivery of the appeal to the Minister came soon after a demonstration that had been organised by the Greek team against software patents last Friday at Stournara street, Athens. More than a hundred persons participated, leaflets were distributed, banners and ballons were used to inform passers-by, while the details about the delivery of the appeal were discussed. Photographs from the demonstration are available at http://epatents.hellug.gr/box/st04photos/.
The appeal, which will soon be delivered to the other ministers of the EU, asks to revoke the decision of 18 May, something that is possible because the decision is merely a political agreement, and the final adoption is scheduled for the next Council meeting expected in September 2004. The Dutch Parliament had also issued a similar demand on 1 July (see older press release mentioned in the references).
Dimitris Glezos, FFII representative in Greece, comments: "It is important to study the events of 18 May deeply so that similar catastrophes are avoided in the future. The software patent issue concerns many people who closely monitor the news, and who naturally learned what happened at the Council meeting." Concerning the Greek representatives he commented that "it is up to our representatives to prove that they decide what they vote and not others, even more so for such an important issue as software patents."
http://epatents.hellug.gr/, web pages of Greek team against software patents
http://www.ffii.org/, Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure
http://noepatents.gr/, petition against software patents
http://epatents.hellug.gr/pages/pr_2004-07-08/, press release of 8 July 2004 concerning the decision of the Dutch Parliament
Antonios Christofides - email@example.com - +30 210 7722859
Dimitris Glezos - firstname.lastname@example.org - +30 697 4632169