European Software Patents update

Today was probably the first day since the disastrous Legal Affairs Committee (aka JURI) vote on Monday of last week that I started to feel cautiously optimistic once again about the whole software patent thing.Since then we have been working flat out to get the amendments that JURI threw out re-tabled, and to counter the completely underhanded but very effective campaign that had been waged by the pro-software patent lobby.Just this afternoon, early reports have started to come in that we have been successful, and not just managed to get the amendments re-tabled, but by a broad cross-section of the different groups in the European Parliament! This is critical as it demonstrates cross-party opposition to the Council text. Expect to see it appear on the FFII Latest News page soon.To add well-deserved insult to a well-deserved injury of the pro-software patent campaign, it looks like people are finally starting to take notice of their cynical and shady lobbying practices. ┬áIn particular the fake grassroots group “Campaign 4 Creativity” or C4C (which is in-reality run by a London-based lobbying firm), is coming under particular scrutiny from European Watchdogs. This is particularly gratifying after some pro-patent lobbyists questioned the funding sources of the FFII (the good guys), even though their finances are completely transparent (in stark contrast to the C4C).Of course, we absolutely cannot get complacent.We still need to get an absolute majority of MEPs to support these amendments. Any MEPs that don’t turn up will automatically be considered to vote in favour of the Directive passing in its current (very bad) form.It is now up to all Europeans to contact their MEPs and ask them to support the “Rocard/Buzek’s compromise amendments”. The good news is that no matter which European Group they are in, they can be assured that they won’t be alone.

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