First Slovenian study on software patents shows broad opposition
2005-04-20 -- The Student Organisation of the University of Ljubljana (SOU) has performed the first study ever on software patents in Slovenia. They sent a questionnaire to the members of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (GZS) asking them whether they agree with the association's push for software patents, on which the government's support for the software patents directive is based. The results show that the Slovenian IT industry overwhelmingly opposes software patents.
The Student Parliament of the University of Ljubljana (SOU) has adopted a resolution in which it asks government of Slovenia to drop support for the software patents directive. The Communication and Information Service of SOU (KISS) researched how many companies in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia (GZS) support the directive. Since only the opinion of the Association of Informatics and Telecommunication was considered when the GZS decided to support the directive, only those members were considered in this study as well.
A questionnaire was sent to all 1223 members belonging to that group, asking the following questions:
How big is your company? (1 employee, 1-5 employees, 5-10 employees, 10-50 employees, 50+ employees)
What does your company do? (develop software, sell hardware, web development, internet provider, sell foreign software, other)
Do you feel influenced by multinational software companies? (agree, partly agree, neural, partly disagree, disagree)
Do you support the directive? (yes, no, not informed enough)
Did Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia ask you about the directive? (yes, no)
By 31 March 2005, they had received 229 answers. Of the companies that answered,
- 40 (19%) were not informed enough to take a decision
- 183 (79%) were against software patents
- 6 (2%) were in favour.
Since only 6 of the answering companies supported the directive, no meaningful statistics based on the other questions can be derived regarding the characterisation of proponents and opponents. It is however interesting to note that from these 229 companies, only 7 were asked about the directive by the GZS and of those only 2 supported it.
KODA, one section of the Slovenian Association of Informatics and Telecommunication, already spoke out against software patents in the past. They however don't have any voting rights in the association. Reportedly, no vote was even ever held on this issue.
English version will be made available next week at http://www.kiss.si/patenti/direktivaEN.doc (link does not work yet)