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DK Social Democrats: Extortion should not decide Danish IT Policy

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This is the press release sent out by the Danish Social Democrats in response to Microsoft's threats to close Navision in case they cannot have EU software patents.

Extortion should not decide Danish IT policy

The role of Denmark in the intense discussion between EU institutions on software patents must not be dictated by Microsoft.

The software giant has threatened to move danish jobs to USA if Denmark doesn't toe the Microsoft line in the question of implementing software patents in the EU.

When the founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, met prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen (Liberal) in November 2004, the leader of the software company aired the thought of closing the danish research division of Microsoft, Navision, unless Denmark comes to a satisfactory conclusion regarding EU software patents. This led to minister of science, Helge Sander (Liberal) clicking his heels saying that Denmark of course should respect Microsofts investments in the country.

But the Social Democrats disagree completely in that conclusion.

"Danish policy should not be dictated by corporations - no matter how big they might be. What's crucial is finding a solution that serves small as well as big IT companies best. And that is not necessarily the solution that Microsoft or other software mastodons feel to be the right one", says the Social Democratic IT spokesman Thomas Adelskov.

The Social Democrats will work to explore the perspectives and dangers connected with implementing software patents in the EU.

"What's most important is that the rules for software patents do not become so restrictive that they strangle the innovation of small companies. At the same time it of course has to be profitable for small as well as big IT companies to develop new software", says Thomas Adelskov.

Danish version

Afpresning skal ikke afgøre dansk IT-politik

Danmarks rolle i den heftige diskussion mellem EU-institutionerne om softwarepatenter skal ikke dikteres af Microsoft.

Software-giganten har truet med at flytte danske arbejdspladser til USA, hvis ikke Danmark lægger sig på linje med Microsoft i spørgsmålet om implementering af softwarepatenter i EU.

Da Microsofts stifter, Bill Gates, mødtes med statsminister Anders Fogh Rasmussen (V) i november 2004, luftede softwarevirksomhedens leder tanken om at lukke Microsofts danske udviklingsafdeling, Navision, hvis ikke Danmark når en tilfredsstillende afklaring omkring softwarepatenter i EU. Det fik efterfølgende videnskabsminister Helge Sander (V) til at klappe hælene sammen og sige, at Danmark selvfølgelig må honorere Microsofts investeringer i Danmark.

Men den konklusion er Socialdemokraterne lodret uenig i.

- Danmarks politik skal ikke dikteres af koncerner ? ligegyldigt hvor store de måtte være. Det afgørende er at finde en løsning, der tjener både små og store IT-virksomheder bedst. Og det er ikke nødvendigvis den løsning, som Microsoft eller andre softwaremastodonter mener, er den rigtige, siger Socialdemokraternes IT-ordfører Thomas Adelskov.

Socialdemokraterne vil arbejde for at klarlægge de perspektiver og faldgrubber, som er forbundet med at indføre softwarepatenter i EU.

- Det er vigtigste er, at reglerne for softwarepatenter ikke bliver så restriktive, at de kvæler innovationen hos mindre virksomheder. Men samtidigt skal det selvfølgeligt også kunne betale sig for små såvel som store IT-virksomheder at udvikle nyt software, siger Thomas Adelskov.

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