[ffii] Demonstration against software patents in Brussels on 17th February

Dieter Van Uytvanck dietvu at ffii.org
Mon Feb 14 00:15:08 CET 2005

PRESS RELEASE FFII -- [ Europe / economy / ICT ]
Demonstration against software patents in Brussels on 17th February

>From all over Europe, software developers and representatives of SME's
will join forces in Brussels on Thursday, February 17th to demonstrate 
against the possible legalization of software patents in Europe. This
will be followed by a Press Conference in which representatives from the 
European Parliament, from national parliaments and from SME's will present 
their views on the proposed European directive.

The organizers point out that on that day a number of important
decisions will be taken about the proposed directive. Firstly, the
German "Bundestag" will vote that evening on a motion in which the EU
commission and the EU council of Ministers will receive harsh critique
over their behavior in this matter. Secondly, the EU parliament will
formally request the European Commission to restart the entire

Originally, a vote was also planned on the 17th of February in the
Council of Ministers of Finance on a heavily contested text that would
have opened the gates for unlimited patentability of software. Bowing
to heavy pressure from the Dutch parliament, the Danish government and
the Spanish senate, this plan is currently postponed. This has lead to
serious dissatisfaction in the European Commission.

Nevertheless, demonstration on 17th of February will proceed as
planned. Dieter Van Uytvanck, spokesperson for the FFII, explains:

  Of course, we are very pleased with the decision of the Council to
  not continue to pursue it's proposal, that is actually no longer 
  supported by a majority in the Council itself. But, we should 
  remember that this is only by virtue of the brave national
  parliaments and the EU Parliament.

  The Council and the Commission have demonstrated over and over again
  that they do not show the slightest respect for the European
  citizen. Over and over again, they continue to promote software
  patents with a complete neglect of the opposing voices from a large
  majority in the EU parliament. Enough is enough, and on 17 February,
  they will know it!

Criticism on the proposed software patents is heard from many sides.
SME's, consumer organizations, academics and developers of free and
open source software claim that software is very well protected
already by the existing copyright system and the software patents lead
to the creation of excessive monopolies and an uncertain business

Practical information

The demonstration starts at 9:30 am at the Justus Lipsius building,
Wetstraat 175, in Brussels (near the train station Schuman). The 
end of the demonstration is planned around noon (12:00).

After the demonstration, at 13:30, there will be Press Conference in
Hotel Renaissance, Rue de Parnasse 19, Brussels (near the EU
parliament).  For journalists, a lunch is planned at this location,
around 12:30.

The web site with all relevant info about the actions of that day is


Related events: 

- Demonstration in Berlin, Tuesday 15th of February, 17:00, in front
of German Ministry of Justice, see http://bb.ffii.org/

- Speech at Polish parliament, Warsaw, Wednesday 16th of February,
12:30 in Sejm, see http://www.isoc.org.pl/wiki/index.php/Patenty/ThankPoland


Hartmut Pilch, phm at ffii.org, 
+49-89-18979927 (German/English/French)

Erik Josefsson, erjos at ffii.org,
+46-707-696567 or +32-485-83-21-26 (Swedish/English)

James Heald, jheald at ffii.org, 
+44 778910 7539 (English)

Jonas Maebe, jmaebe at ffii.org, 
+32-485-36-96-45 (Dutch/English)

Dieter Van Uytvanck, dietvu at ffii.org, 
+32-499-16-70-10 or +31-6-275-879-10 (Dutch/English)

Benjamin Henrion, bhenrion at ffii.org, 
+32-498-292771 (French/English)

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