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[Fsfe-uk] UKIP: More than usually patently mad - software patents fudge

From: James Heald
Subject: [Fsfe-uk] UKIP: More than usually patently mad - software patents fudge is a minefield
Date: Mon, 24 May 2004 23:01:40 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.6) Gecko/20040113

Press Release from UKIP, who were going to be at the Stallman talk on Friday, but Damian Hockney's car broke down on his way back from being on the BBC's Question Time from Sheffield the night before. So they sent this on Friday instead.


The UK Independence Party opposes the latest changes to the Directive. "We believes that software patents are a barrier to competition, freedom of expression and economic development," says MEP candidate for London Damian Hockney.

"The party also believes that such changes should not be forced on member states."

Lobbying by big organisations and effective monopolies to protect their
positions always seem to get the greatest hearing within the European Union, and the politicians involved from member states have in many cases been stumbling around bewildered speaking for positions they neither understand nor know how to express.

For the UK Independence Party, the process over software patenting is an
example of everything that is worst about the process of decision making and lobbying within the institutions of the European Union. The wrong decisions are made by the wrong people, acting on partial information by those who do not understand what they are talking about. In many cases, they fix agreements specifically against the desires of the parliaments they allegedly represent. Misleading language has found its way into the rules.

U-turns are made in secret amid a background of backroom dealing.
Accountability is simply overridden, and then the ultimate outcome is forced onto the statute books of nations who may be specifically opposed to the measures.

You simply have to look at some of the actions of the European Patents
Office against the spirit of previous rules to see where these developments will lead to.

As with the European Arrest Warrant, the issue of software patents strikes at the heart of liberty, competition and free markets: inevitably this process will lead to the entrenchment of monopoly, higher prices, stagnant development in the EU, the displacement of the best and brightest to nations outside the EU and an end to small firms being able to compete in the market.

Cynics might suggest that some aspects of this were not side issues but the actual intent.

Attempting now to influence national governments is surely an example of
doing things back to front, but it appears to be the main hope. It is doubly ironic that many of the monopolies and big lobbyists attempted to claim that any one who would not support the changes had somehow ruled themselves out of the democratic process by opposing the European Commission's desires.

More than usually patently mad, even for the EU.

Damian Hockney, UK Independence Party, 109-110 Bolsover St, London W1W 5NU - tel 020 7631 3757.

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