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Software Patents: Help Us Win the Europarl Vote!
By brian, Section News
Posted on Tue Aug 26th, 2003 at 13:38:43 GMT
[This is the text of an email received from FFII. See the main story for full details.]

Dear FFII/Eurolinux supporter,

The European Parliament is voting on September 1st on a proposal which, while pretending to aim at restricting patentability, in reality ensures that algorithms and business methods like Amazon One Click Shopping indisputably become patentable inventions (and indisputably pass the bogus requirement of "technical contribution in the inventive step").

As past experience shows, it is possible for powerful lobbies to push incredibly bad directives through the European Parliament. But it is also possible to have them rejected. Everything depends on how well we use last week of August.


Needed: You in Brussels Next Wednesday August 27th

We need your presence in Brussels on August. We will stage a performance on Luxemburg Square and a small conference in the Parliament. see Aug 27 Demonstrations against EU Software Patent Plans, AEL (Association Electronique Libre): Big Demo 27 Aug

We encourage you to participate in this event and to join our lobby team in the parliament before and after that date. You could also contribute by arranging a meeting between your MEP and our team. Beds will be available for free for those who particpate.

Needed: Your Website Blocked Next Wednesday August 27th

If the JURI proposal passes, important websites will be forced off the Net in the near future. It would seem preferable to take them off the Net now, as a demonstration, for a few days. Or, in a more gentle manner, to hide the content behind a "Page Closed" screen of the following kind: see Online Demonstration Against Software Patents , Online Demo Partner Sites

You might consider hiding some or all pages at least on August 27th and persuading your friends, especially those who administer much-visited software download pages, to do likewise.

Needed: 8,000 eur for demo and lobbying expenses

In June and July, we have subsidised the work of a handful of activists who spread the word within the European Parliament. We will do more of this again starting on August 25th. For each activist we pay the trip, a bed and breakfast plus around 50 eur per day.

In order to reach out to all 626 MEPs during the last week of August, we need 10 knowledgable people from different nationalities to spend that week in Brussels.

You can support the work of our lobbyists by calling your MEPs on your own. We have arranged a series of helpdesks [ email addresses edited] where you can receive hints as to whom to talk to and what to say. These again need to be staffed and paid.

The result of our concerted effort should be that fewer of McCarthy's amendments and more of "ours" achieve a majority. This would, at the very least, send the draft report back to the JURI committee and open another round of negotiations there.

If you want to donate for this project, please use the keyword 'europarl'. If you want to restrict the use of the donation to a particular country, specify europarl-uk or analogous.

Needed: 3,000 eur for lobbying the media

Arlene McCarthy and friends are concentrating great efforts on spreading misinformation in the press. Influential journalists have helped, sometimes against their better knowledge, to create the impression that McCarthy is trying to restrict patentability. See the documentation at JURI votes for Fake Limits on Patentability

We have however also actively contacted media and produced a series of press releases. It is largely due to this activity that a majority of media, including some mainstream media such as Der Spiegel, Le Monde, Libération, The Guardian, Süddeutsche Zeitung and others treated McCarthy's proposal as what it is: an attempt to introduce US-style unlimited patentability in Europe. Much of this happened because we actively established contacts with the potentially interested journalists and gained their confidence as a reliable source of information.

We have however not yet succeded in finding our way into many radio and television programs. This again could be changed with a concerted and paid effort.

As with the Europarl work, the key helpers should not only directly contact media themselves but also provide coaching for volunteers who want to help. Again we are providing a series of helpdesk addresses [email addresses edited, see website] for this and to set people free to concentrate on this work.

Please consider either operating such a helpdesk or donating for it or volunteering to support the work by taking on some media yourself.

The keyword for donations in this area is, as you might expect: media, media-fr, media-nl, etc.

Needed: Advertisement in European Voice et al

Some MEPs have advised us to insert an advertisement into a newspaper which is read by MEPs, such as European Voice, in the week before the vote. This would cost around 10000 eur. It seems to have been effective in the past.

This however seems a little too big at the moment. Only when the other items have been financed will we plan actions at this level.

How to donate

The bank account for a donation is IBAN[2]: DE78701500000031112097 Account Owner: FFII e.V. More account info (redundant but asked for by some banks) at http://www.eurolinux.org/ Keyword: europarl

Alternatively you can donate via paypal.com to paypal at ffii org.

FFII is acknowledged as a public-interest association and we can send you a receipt that at least in Germany makes the donation tax-deductible. We issue receipts for all donations of 50 eur or more every 3 months.

Needed: Your response NOW

Please tick:

[ ] I would prefer to receive no more mail from you anymore.
[ ] I will be at the demo in Brussels Wednesday Aug 27th 12.00.
[ ] I would like to contribute to preparing the demo of Aug 27th 12.00
[ ] I will be at the conference in the EP on Aug 27th 14.00
[ ] I would like to speak at (one of) the event(s)
[ ] I want to participate in the lobbying team for at least 1/2 day
[ ] I want to participate in the lobbying team for at least 1 day
[ ] I want to participate in the lobbying team for at least 2 days
[ ] I need a place to sleep in BXL on Aug 26-27
[ ] I need a place to sleep in BXL on Aug 25-26
[ ] I need a place to sleep in BXL on Aug 27-28
[ ] I will contact MEP(s) and arrange for a meeting with the lobby team
[ ] I have followed or will follow the links listed at http://swpat.ffii.org/events/2003/europarl/08/index.en.html and made/make myself familiar with the various proposals which are under discussion in the European Parliament.
[ ] I will participate in the online demo.
[ ] I will help bring the software patent issue into the media.
[ ] I'd like to help with graphic design of advertisements etc.
[ ] I'd like to help with translating.
[ ] I'd like to dedicate a few days or half-days next week to help.
[ ] I can provide some people with sleeping facilities in or near Brussels.
[ ] I will make a donation.
[ ] I represent [ ] myself only [ ] company xxxxxxx.com [ ] organisation xxxxxxx.org
[ ] I'd like to have one or more t-shirts ("protect innovation from software patents") or other demo-related articles sent to me.

If you have any questions, you can also ask by internet relay chat (IRC) at irc.debian.org channel #bxl-ffii. Thank you very much for your support!

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Software Patents: Help Us Win the Europarl Vote! | 1 comments (1 topical, editorial) | Post A Comment
[new] donation (#1)
by brian (#54) () on Tue Aug 26th, 2003 at 15:18:23 GMT
(User Info) http://www.network-theory.co.uk/

Since I can't travel to Brussels I've made a donation. If you have paypal that's an easy way to send money (paypal at ffii org).
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Software Patents: Help Us Win the Europarl Vote! | 1 comments (1 topical, editorial) | Post A Comment
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