Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Red Hat, MySQL and others create new anti-patent lobby

Seeking to persuade European Parliament to ditch US-style patent plans.

Article comments

A new lobbying group has been formed to fight against the software patent directive due to re-appear in the European Parliament soon.

The NoSoftwarePatents (NSP) campaign is supported by US Linux manufacturer Red Hat and Swedish open-source database company MySQL, as well as German software and Internet services provider 1&1 Internet.

According to NSP's campaign manager, Florian Muller of SWM Software-Marketing: "NSP marks the first time in Europe that a group of companies has got together to fight against the idea of software patents in general. It is very much a political problem that needs to be solved at a political level."

The campaign targets specifically the "Patentability of computer-implemented inventions" directive, known as the software patents directive, that has been making its way through the European Union legislative process.

The EU is considering an overarching patent standard for computer-implemented inventions, which includes but is not confined to software, bringing into line the myriad interpretations being given by different national courts throughout Europe. The issue has proved highly contentious, with supporters of open source and free software asserting that copyright laws are enough to protect business innovations and calling for all patents to be outlawed, while large businesses have pushed for a US-style approach allowing for "business methods" to be patented.

NSP will work in tandem with the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII), a Europe-wide non-profit association that has fought against laws permitting European software patents. "Our campaign is meant to be complementary to FFII's efforts," Mueller said. "We explain the issue of software patents in a way that is easily understandable even to those who have just begun to learn about the subject, while FFII's website provides a lot of depth and generally presumes that you already know a lot about the subject if you go there."

Those involved with the NSP and FFII are concerned that in November, the Council of Ministers may, as the FFII says, "nod through" the proposed EU software patents directive, allowing software patents to be enforced throughout Europe on a similar basis to the US. The directive is set to return to Parliament for second reading after it passes before the Council of Ministers.

Some Members of Parliament (MEPs) and the Council on the directive have clashed over the issue. The sides flared again in May after MEPs accused the Council of discarding European Parliament amendments from September 2003 that would have protected software from being patented.

According to Mueller, the NSP campaign will attempt to influence the governments of 12 European countries on the issue of software patents in the hopes that they will apply political pressure to the EU.




Share:

More from Techworld

More relevant IT news

Comments



Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *