Demonstration against software patents in Brussels on 17th February
Brussels, 13th February. -- From all over Europe, software developers and company representatives will join forces in Brussels on Thursday, February 17th to demonstrate against the possible legalization of software patents in Europe. This will be followed by a Press Conference in which representatives from the European Parliament, from national parliaments and from the corporate world will present their views on the proposed European directive.
The organizers point out that on that day a number of important decisions will be taken about the proposed directive. Firstly, the German "Bundestag" will vote that evening on a motion in which the EU commission and the EU council of Ministers will receive harsh critique over their behavior in this matter. Secondly, the EU parliament will formally request the European Commission to restart the entire procedure.
Originally, a vote was also planned on the 17th of February in the Council of Ministers of Finance on a heavily contested text that would have opened the gates for unlimited patentability of software. Bowing to heavy pressure from the Dutch parliament, the Danish government and the Spanish senate, this plan is currently postponed. This has lead to serious dissatisfaction in the European Commission.
Nevertheless, demonstration on 17th of February will proceed as planned. Dieter Van Uytvanck, spokesperson for the FFII, explains:
- Of course, we are very pleased with the decision of the Council to not continue to pursue its proposal, that is actually no longer supported by a majority in the Council itself. But, we should remember that this is only by virtue of the brave national parliaments and the EU Parliament. The Council and the Commission have demonstrated over and over again that they do not show the slightest respect for the European citizen. Over and over again, they continue to promote software patents with a complete neglect of the opposing voices from a large majority in the EU parliament. Enough is enough, and on 17 February, they will know it!
Criticism on the proposed software patents is heard from many sides. SME's, consumer organizations, academics and software developers claim that software is very well protected already by the existing copyright system and the software patents lead to the creation of excessive monopolies and an uncertain business climate.
The demonstration starts at 9:30 am at the Justus Lipsius building, Wetstraat/Rue de la Loi 175, in Brussels (near the metro station Schuman). The end of the demonstration is planned around noon (12:00).
After the demonstration, at 13:30, there will be Press Conference in Hotel Renaissance, Rue de Parnasse 19, Brussels (near the EU parliament). For journalists, a lunch is planned at this location, around 12:30.
The web site with all relevant info about the actions of that day is at:
Demonstration in Berlin, Tuesday 15th of February, 17:00, in front of German Ministry of Justice, see http://bb.ffii.org/
Speech at Polish parliament, Warsaw, Wednesday 16th of February, 12:30 in Sejm, see http://www.isoc.org.pl/wiki/index.php/Patenty/ThankPoland
Hartmut Pilch, firstname.lastname@example.org, +49-89-18979927 (German/English/French)
Jonas Maebe, email@example.com, +32-485-36-96-45 (Dutch/English)
Benjamin Henrion, firstname.lastname@example.org, +32-498-292771 (French/English)
- Dieter Van Uytvanck, dietvu@ffii org, +32-499-16-70-10 or +31-6-275-879-10 (Dutch/English)
Erik Josefsson, email@example.com, +46-707-696567 or +32-485-83-21-26 (Swedish/English)
Roman Muñoz, firstname.lastname@example.org +34-943341472 (Spanish)
About FFII -- http://www.ffii.org
The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) is a non-profit association registered in several European countries, which is dedicated to the spread of data processing literacy. FFII supports the development of public information goods based on copyright, free competition, open standards. More than 500 members, 1,200 companies and 80,000 supporters have entrusted the FFII to act as their voice in public policy questions concerning exclusion rights (intellectual property) in data processing.