Monday, February 28, 2005

EU Commission Denies Restart Software Patent Directive

The European Commission has denied a restart of the Software Patent Directive despite a request by the European Parliament. The President of the Commission, Barosso, expects that "in this point of the decision procedure" the Directive will become "formalized" as quickly as possible. Apparently the Commission thinks that there is a general agreement in the EU Council on the Directive, even though there is no majority vote anymore among the Member States. Barosso does not speak about this, and is focused on the next step in the procedure, a second reading by the European Parliament.

A spokesperson for the Commission states that "It is very easy to make changes" to the Directive in a second reading, "that's the way democracy works within the EU". That an absolute majority is needed to make these changes is something he does not add. Floris Mueller of NoSoftwarePatents.com has his own thoughts on the democratic value of the Commission's move:
"A wannabe Napoleon who heads the Commission and a Microsoft puppet that runs the DG (directorate general) in charge have decided to negate democracy."
The "Microsoft puppet" is Irish Commissioner Charly McCreevy, of whom Mueller suspects that he had his reasons to oppose a restart: Microsof it Ireland's biggest tax payer and "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."

More rhetoric, more demonstrations, more lobbying, more thwarting of the "democratic" decision process to come.
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Sources: Heise (German) & NoSoftWarePatents.com

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