[Fwd: Re: News and question.]
Theodore J. Soldatos
theodore at eexi.gr
Sat Nov 23 21:09:01 EET 2002
Άλλο ένα mail από τον Pilch. Όπως θα δείτε, ξέρει ελληνικά και ζητάει να
συμμετέχει στην λίστα, παρακαλώ τον listman μας να τον προσθέσει.
Επί τη ευκαιρία, ξαναθυμίζω ότι πρέπει να γραφτεί ένα κείμενο με τις θέσεις
του HEL.L.U.G. στο θέμα. Το παρακάτω mail του Pilch περιέχει σημαντική
βοήθεια. Ξαναρωτάω αν προτίθεται κανείς να το αναλάβει. Θα δείτε (προς το
τέλος του mail) ότι ο Pilch έγραψε ουσιαστικά ένα draft του *δικού μας*
κειμένου, που μπορεί να αποτελέσει την βάση για όποιον το αναλάβει.
Θα δείτε ότι υπάρχει και link σε ένα paper στα ελληνικά (σε pdf) με τα
αποτελέσματα που μου περιέγραψε σήμερα η δικηγόρος του Ο.Β.Ι., καθώς και η
απάντησή τους σε αυτήν την πρόταση. Περιμένω την συμμετοχή σας.
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: News and question.
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 2002 13:06:28 +0100
From: PILCH Hartmut <phm at a2e.de>
To: Theodore J. Soldatos <theodore at eexi.gr>
References: <3DDE0DEB.50000 at eexi.gr>
On Fri, Nov 22, 2002 at 12:58:51PM +0200, Theodore J. Soldatos wrote:
> I have contacted Mrs. Lambrou, a lawyer working for the greek Industrial
> Property Organization. It looks that she is one of the persons that worked
> in these commitees. I asked her about the position of the greek side and
> told me that the work is almost done and that now is the turn of the
> European Parliament to express a position. The position of Greece (and, as
> i understand the final proposition is similar), is to not allow in any case
> patents on business practices and to allow software patents under strict
> circumstances, i.e. when the patent is firmly connected with another
> (non-software) patent or something like that (i am not a lawyer, and
> explaining in english things that a lawyer told me over the phone in greek
> is even more difficult... :-)).
They are pretending to be strict, but in reality giving the EPO a carte
blanche to patent anything, including business methods, just as the EPO
has been doing for the last few years, with not a single of its ridiculous
patents (see http://swpat.ffii.org/patents/) failing any of the alleged
"restrictive" tests which the council working party, with the acquiescence
(but initial slight protest) of the greek lawyers, has put on paper.
Please try to read the whole thing, it is available in Greek also:
> She also asked me to write a text describing the position of HEL.L.U.G. for
> the subject, as we are the only organized effort about Linux and free
> software in Greece, and that this would be taken under consideration as the
> official position of the Greek free software community.
> I would like to ask you if you could point us to references other than
> www.eurolinux.org and swpant.ffii.org for help on creating the above text.
These two are the best references, particularly swpat.ffii.org, and
they already contain a lot of external references.
> Also, is there any place where we could find the official results of these
> commities online ?
See also our Proposal and Counter-Proposal
I think for the time being the best thing you can do is to translate
our "Call for Action" and some annexed documents into Greek and to
present this as your position, together with an introductory letter
which presents your aims in very simple non-patent language, e.g.
We want to be able to develop free or proprietary software without
having to worry whether someone might have patented some of the ideas
which we will come across in the process (e.g. because anybody
would come across them or because they are part of a standard,
including de-facto standards).
We support the idea of property in software. The question is how
this property is to be regulated.
We respect other people's copyright and support copyright. We want to
be masters of the software we write and we also respect other people's
rights to their software, as far as it carries a hallmark of individual
creation. Algorithms do not carry this hallmark: they can not be
anybody's property. If people can patent the algorithms from which our
individual works are built, that undermines our intellectual property.
Software patents are a form of theft of intellectual property.
The CEC/CEU directive proposals say that
"pure algorithms" should not be patentable. The goal is laudable, but
the content of the proposals does not keep the promise which the packaging
We feel threatened in our basic existential rights. In particular the
Council's amendment of Art 5 to allow program claims is a very bad move.
It limits the freedom of publication in an impermissible way and thereby
directly violates Art 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
It is unbelievable that the Greek government would agree to a move that
goes even beyond what the European Commission's already much to
There is not a iota
of evidence that patents promote software innovation. All experience
and economic reports speak against patentability of software.
All enquetes show that the software industry at
large does not want software to be patentable and only stands to lose
from this development.
We speak not only for the Linux users of Greece but for the whole
software community. The software community has not been adequately
represented in the Greek decision-making process. Instead decisions
have been taken by the patent community. Although the Greek patent
law decisionmakers have not pushed the patent inflation agenda in Europe,
they have also not resisted it resolutely. They have finally allowed a
very dangerous Council decision to be taken in the name of the Greek
We ask the Greek government to distance itself from the Council position
and to create an opportunity for a true consultation at the national
Currently there is no legal basis for software patents in Europe. The
European Patent Office has been granting them against the letter and
spirit of the written law, and it is now demanding a rubber stamp from
the European governments for ex posteriori legitimating and perpetuating
a policy, which has produced only ridiculous and dangerous monopoly rights.
Before the greek government puts its rubber stamp under this policy, it
should conduct a serious and thorough discussion, with due participation of
the Greek Parliament. Without such a discussion of the only instance
which has the constitutional authority to legislate on behalf of the Greek
People, it would be more responsible to simply reject the directive proposal
and let the European Patent Office continue to do what it wants, but
without a governmental seal of approval. The right to legislate belongs
to the people, not to the patent community. And, as far as software
development is concerned, *we* are the people. No software property
system should be installed against our will.
Could you forward this to your list again and also put me on it?
Again, I could have written it in Greek, but I am faster at typing
Hartmut Pilch, FFII & Eurolinux Alliance tel. +49-89-12789608
Protecting Innovation against Patent Inflation http://swpat.ffii.org/
130,000 signatures against software patents http://www.noepatents.org/
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