Source: http://www.nosoftwarepatents.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=407SOFTWARE PATENTS:
EUROPEAN COMMISSION NEGATES DEMOCRACY BY DECLINING EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT'S REQUEST FOR A RESTART
Brussels (28 February 2005). The European Commission has reportedly declined the European Parliament's request for a restart of the legislative process on the controversial software patent directive. The EP had taken a three-tiered decision to ask the Commission to begin the process from scratch: On 2 February, the Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) of the European Parliament near-unanimously decided to make this request. On 17 February, the EP's Conference of Presidents (i.e., the group chairs) unanimously backed that decision. A week later, on 24 February, the plenary of the EP reinforced this by unanimously "inviting" the Commission to review its proposal for a software patent directive although there was no more formal requirement for the plenary to vote on this subject.
NoSoftwarePatents.com received an indication on Friday from the office of a vice president of the Commission and has now heard that the Commission today informed several journalists of its decision.
Florian Mueller, the manager of the pan-European NoSoftwarePatents.com campaign, condemned the Commission's decision in the strongest terms: "A wannabe Napoleon who heads the Commission and a Microsoft puppet that runs the DG (directorate general) in charge have decided to negate democracy. Now we call on the EU Council to demonstrate a more democratic attitude and to reopen negotiations of its Common Position at the forthcoming meeting of the Competitiveness Council on Monday (7 March)."
At a press conference hosted by NoSoftwarePatents.com and the FFII (Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure) in Brussels on 17 February, French MEP Alain Lipietz had warned that the EP would perceive a denial of its restart request as an "insult". Other parliamentarians made similar statements on other occasions.
NoSoftwarePatents.com's Mueller had previously expressed his concern that EU Commissioner Charlie McCreevy "may be more interested in what is good for Microsoft than for Europe as a whole". His worries stem from the fact that Microsoft is Ireland's largest tax-payer since the company supplies the entire EU out of its facility in Dublin where it has a "tax haven". Mueller explained that "with its tax-haven program for the European subsidiary of U.S. corporations, once-poor Ireland has within less than two decades become Europe's wealthiest country by various statistics."
NoSoftwarePatents.com has for some time had a text on its Web site that discusses the position of various EU member countries on software patents, and makes reference to Ireland's role:
Recently, NoSoftwarePatents.com added a more detailed text that explains the economic dependence of Ireland upon Microsoft and similar U.S. corporations:
Microsoft's push for EU software patents drew major attention recently after a leading Danish financial newspaper quoted Microsoft Denmark's chief lobbyist who said that Bill Gates had threatened the Danish government with killing 800 jobs unless the EU were to legalize software patents. The Danish social democrats responded with a press release that "blackmail shall not dictate Danish policy". Microsoft subsequently denied that Gates made the respective statement but did admit that intellectual property rights and their connection with the location of jobs were discussed in the respective meeting.
About the NoSoftwarePatents.com Campaign
The NoSoftwarePatents.com campaign was launched on October 20th and is supported by three IT companies (1&1, Red Hat, and MySQL AB). The views expressed by the campaign are those of the campaign manager and not necessarily those of the aforementioned companies.
Through Web content in 17 languages, the campaign addresses a pan-European audience. More information on the campaign is available on its Website.
For further information concerning this announcement or the NoSoftwarePatents.com campaign, please contact:
Campaign Manager, NoSoftwarePatents.com
telephone +49 (8151) 651850
This is exactly why I really, really, hate the EU. The commissions, parliaments and such are all clueless 40+ white rich males that know nothing about software and technology.