[ffii] IFPI/McCarthy/Fourtou campaign for IP Enforcement successful

Hartmut Pilch phm at a2e.de
Sat Jun 7 16:48:11 CEST 2003


At

  European Parliament adopts Declaration against Piracy in Europe
  http://www.ifpi.org/site-content/press/20030605b.html

the IFPI, a lobby group for record industry copyright enforcement, reports
about the success of the signature campaign for stronger copyright
enforcement measures in the European Parliament, which was championed by
Arlene McCarthy MEP and Janelly Fourtou MEP (wife of Vivendi president),
both of whom are also actively pushing for pirating of copyright property
and landgrab on the public domain by means of patents.

The campaigners were wearing a white-on-black t-shirt with the slogan

	Piracy
	is not a
	Victimless
	Crime

on June 5th, which seems to have been the day where the campaign obtained
support from >50% of the MEPs and thus led to a resolution being adopted.

IFPI believes that this was a milestone in pushing for the proposed EU
Directive on IP Enforcement which Fourtou is championing as the
rapporteur.

On tuesday we met Fourtou's assistant.  She asked us not to publicly link
Fourtou's political stance to the fact that she is the wife of the Vivendi
president.  As her assistant explained, Fourtou's involvement as an
"intellectual property expert"  began before her husband accepted his new
post and is not related to that post.  She warned that Fourtou might push
for software patentability even more resolutely if we "continue to
defamate her".

Other people in the European Parliament however do think that
constellations such as that of Fourtou create conflicts of interest and
are a reason to reject a role as a rapporteur on an IP enforcement
directive.

It was clear to us that Fourtou as well as her assistant are not taking
account of our concerns but, like McCarthy and others, single-mindedly
following instructions of certain sources of authority.

There is no evidence that software patents and especially program claims,
which Fourtou has been championing, are in any way beneficial to
multimedia companies such as Vivendi.  They are indeed a risk, both to
these companies and to Fourtou's ambitions in pushing for indiscriminate
"strong IP enforcement".

One could then ask why Fourtou is acting as she is and speculate that she
may be doing Microsoft a favor, since Microsoft is currently negotiating
with Vivendi.

However assuming this is not necessary.  It is enough to assume that
Fourtou and others closely follow the recommendations of some large
industry associations.  Within these, finance experts will impose support
for the IMF (GATS etc), and patent experts will impose support for the
EPO.  "Industry opinions" are collections of particularist interests which
support each other.  Politicians also feel a need to support them, if they
want to be supported in their particular domain of interest next time.

-- 
Hartmut Pilch, FFII & Eurolinux Alliance              tel. +49-89-18979927
Protecting Innovation against Patent Inflation	     http://swpat.ffii.org/
145,000 votes 400 firms against software patents     http://noepatents.org/







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