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Eurolinux Alliance delegation meets European Union legislators

Oct 21, 1999, 17:32 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Stefane Fermigier)

[ Linux Today reader Stefane Fermigier writes: ]

"A delegation of european industry leaders headed by J-P Smets and sponsored by the Eurolinux Alliance corporate members has met on october 15th representatives of the European Commission (DG XV) to share views about a possible modification of the article 52.2 of the Munchen Convention that would allow software patents in Europe.

Complete (and unofficial) minutes of the meeting are available on the Eurolinux Web site.

Unfortunatly, the DG XV doesn't seem to get the concept that computer programs are more like books than like hardware inventions, as they may never have come into contact with real computer programs, but only with shrink-wrapped software packages sold in computer shops, where, for marketing purposes, software is dressed up like hardware. They also have expressed the opinion that ``it is very unlikely that the EU can do anything that will be imitated by the US, because in general the EU lags a few years behind the US.''

Eurolinux' opinion that software patents are bad for competition and inovation in the IT industry is shared by many, like Jamal Labed (president of BSA (Business Software Alliance) France), Roland Dyrof (SuSE), Paolo Didone (Prosa Linux), Ralf Schoebel (Intradat), Tatu Ylönen (SSH), Ismael Ghalimi (ExOffice), Frank Hoen (NetPresenter), Jean Ferré (ARISEM), Haavard Nord (Troll Tech), Tim Berners-Lee (W3C), Richard Stallman (FSF), Bruce Alberts (President of the US National Academy of Sciences), Linus Torvalds (Linux), Michael Widenius (MySQL), Infomatec, Linbox, ISOC France, AFUL, FFII, Linux-Verband, and by more than 10000 individuals who signed FFII's open letter to the EU Competition Commissioner.

More info:

  • The Eurolinux Alliance, whose goal is to promote a free information infrastructure in order to garantee optimal economic conditions for free competition, innovation and technology diffusion in the IT industry.
  • The FreePatents.org website, dedicated to the protection of innovation, competition and open source software against the use and abuse of software patents.
  • AFUL, the french-speaking Linux and free software users association.
  • FFII, the Association for the Promotion of a Free Informational Infrastructure.
  • IICBS (Italy)."