"Civil liberties are under attack in Europe in the form of
software legislation and cyber-crime codes, open source software
guru Richard Stallman warned this weekend. Stallman called on
like-minded Europeans to organize themselves to fight the new
legislation, speaking at a two-day conference hosted by the Flemish
Free University of Brussels."
"The European Commission, the European Union's executive body,
is the main culprit in eroding civil liberties, he said. "The part
of the Commission in charge of deciding how to shape European
patenting laws for the software industry isn't the part that's in
charge of software development," he said. "If it isn't stopped it
will push the EU to adopt a software patent directive."
"The European Parliament and national government ministers
would have to approve any Europe-wide legislation on software
patenting. Stallman said one encouraging sign is that German
and French governments appear to be set against such legislation.
... However, even if the pressure from the US is not
successful, European civil liberties could still be jeopardized by
the proposed Hague Treaty... [that] would allow companies in
one country with software patents to defend those patents in
another country that doesn't have such laws."
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