November 17, 2002

RMS et al on software patents at the European Parliament

Caliu writes "Last november the 7th there was an official hearing in the European
Parliament on the directive on software patents. It went better than I
thought, but we've still have a way to go before this one is won."

The next event is a conference in the European Parliament in Brussels,
tuesday, november the 26th. Important speakers will be present to
discuss about the effects of software patents, the proposed directive
and what to do about it. There will be free software representatives
such as Richard M. Stallman, academics like François Pellegrini (of
Libre Software Meeting fame) or Brian Kahin from the University of
Maryland, , representatives of innovative software companies in
Europe, patent experts and of course members of the European
Parliament (MEPs).

The good news is that it is a public conference and anybody can
go. The bad news is that capacity is limited. The program and contact
information for registration (free registration is required) is at 770&lg=fr 770&lg=fr

These are deep links to frames. The homepage for the frameset is

If I just wasn't so far, or I had holidays left, I wouldn't lose a
chance to listen to RMS and the rest convincing the European
Parliament not to condemn European Software to a dark age, just in a
moment when the Parliament is working on a directive that would allow unlimited
patentability (by any other name).

But what I would ask people to do is:

If you live a not too long trip from Brussels:

- Please tell people interested in software in your area about the
event, and hang the program in Computer Science departments or
classrooms in universities, or software companies. There is a poster
announcing the event, but I haven't found it. Maybe they'll put a link
to it in the program page, in a couple of days.

Irrespective of where in Europe you live:

- If you know MEPs, MPs, people in political parties or decision
makers, tell them of the importance of this big change in the European
software arena, and ask them to go to the conference. Also ask them to
support the ammendments proposed at

(or else to reject the directive). We shouldn't mail bomb our
representatives though, so just don't start sending mail
indiscriminately to MEPs you don't know, please.

- If you have contacts in the press, warn them and ask them to cover
the event

We have powerful arguments to stop software patents in Europe, but we
need to show the MEPs that this issue is important and many people
cares, and one way is filling the conference room.

Thank you for any help."


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