LtrSmePolit0405En

Letter from Software Businessperson to Politician before 2004-05-18 Council Vote

What to do

Proposals

Needless to say, only pick/translate what is applicable to your situation and what you feel you can credibly argue.

You might also make some of the letters you sent available here. Assuming your ffii user id is 'pkuhn' and you write to Hubert Gorbach in German, you could put your letter on a wiki page called LtrPkuhnGorbach0405De or, if your letter is reusable for other politicians, LtrPkuhnPolit0405De.

Proposal 1

00 Analysis of Council Proposal one of the following papers 000 http://swpat.ffii.org/papers/europarl0309/cons0401/ 000 http://www.elis.ugent.be/~jmaebe/swpat/councilanalysis/paper-en.pdf 000 http://www.sopinspace.com/~aigrain/en/analysis-compromise.html 00 Council Plans to Scrap Parliament's Vote without Discussion -- MEP Reactions 00 Call for Action II 00 The Economic Majority in the Software Patent Debate 00 Lucio Stanca's Letter from one of the following sources 000 Stanca040514En 000 http://swpat.ffii.org/papers/europarl0309/stanca0405/

Dear M...

I am writing to you as a professional software developer to bring to your attention my growing concern over an impending policy decision on the Software Patents directive by the EU Council this week.

The Irish Presidency seems determined to support a change in European Patent law which, had it been implemented 15 years ago, would almost certainly have delayed or even prevented the emergence of the Internet, and many other innovations with a huge socio-economic impact [phm: not a good argument, too speculative, and one could say that patents have been granted according to similar rules 15 years ago, both in the US and at the EPO, and the Internet nevertheless came about].

In September 2003 the European Parliament wisely amended the directive to prevent patents on pure software, however the current presidency seems determined to undo these amendements at this week's meeting, and is pushing for an even more damaging version of the directive than was amended by the Parliament last year. Worryingly, the language in this new version seems deliberately designed to mislead the reader as to its actual effect, effectively introducing Software Patents through stealth. For a detailed analysis of this deceptive rhetoric, please refer to attachment 1.

For a report about the reactions of members of the European Parliament and other groups to the text, please refer to attachments 2 and 3.

For some information about the business models in Europe's software industry, please refer to attachment 4.

In attachment 5 you find a comment from Italy's minister for technology and innovation, Lucio Stanca, on the Irish proposal.

A wealth of further information on the subject can be found on http://swpat.ffii.org/, also through the "Latest News" link http://kwiki.ffii.org/SwpatcninoEn, which shows growing resistance in many European capitals against the Irish Presidency's plans. We feel that it should be possible for you to prevent this proposal from being passed.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask us.

Yours sincerely

Proposal 2 (phm)

Dear M...

As an innovative software business, we are afraid of bad policy decisions that seem to be scheduled to take place in the EU Council next week and we call on you to prevent these decisions.

The European Parliament voted in September to give our business the protection which we need, whereas the Irish presidency seems to be protecting not the interests of the software industry but those of patent offices, patent lawyers and other people who don't write software but would like to free-ride on the many years which we and many others have invested in the development of software. Through attempts to claim that they may patent subject areas in which we presently hold copyright, these people could clearly be characterized as software pirates attempting to appropriate our intellectual property -- the valid copyright assets which we have accumulated. In any case, introducing policies that allow algorithms and business methods to be patented is incredibly foolish. If you take some of their own recitals at face value, even the Irish Presidency acknowledges this, at least in appearance.

The Irish Presidency is sponsoring a very vague and misleading text, and that in itself is a profound scandal. Most of this text was apparently not written to make us, the software professionals, understand what we may or may not do as far as what can actually be patented, but rather to make you, the legislators, misunderstand what you are doing at the upcoming Council meeting.

For a detailed analysis of the Council text's deceptive rhetoric, please refer to attachment 1.

For a report about the reactions of members of the European Parliament and other groups to the text, please refer to attachments 2 and 3.

For some information about the business models in Europe's software industry, please refer to attachment 4.

In attachment 5 you find a comment from Italy's minister for technology and innovation, Lucio Stanca, on the Irish proposal.

A wealth of further information on the subject can be found on http://swpat.ffii.org/, also through the "Latest News" link http://kwiki.ffii.org/SwpatcninoEn, which shows growing resistance in many European capitals against the Irish Presidency's plans. We feel that it should be possible for you to prevent this proposal from being passed.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask us.

Yours sincerely

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