Feeds

EU software patent debate continues

Directive faces further scrutiny

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

The European Council of Ministers will meet tomorrow afternoon to decide the fate of the EU Directive on software patentability, but instead of merely waving the directive through, there is to be a more thorough discussion of the issue.

The directive is the penultimate item on the agenda, which means that at least one member state has changed its position and is willing to stick its political neck out to get further debate, according to lobbyists at the FFII (Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure).

Last week, the Council declared consensus, and the directive was tabled as "A point" to be voted through without any further discussion. However, at a press conference at the European Parliament last week, ministers confirmed that the consensus on the issue was breaking up, and acknowledeged the need for more debate.

Germany, Belgium and Luxemborg are known to be unhappy with the revised draft, but the FFII says there has been a lot of activity in France, too. A spokesman for the organisation noted that the combined votes of France and Germany (20) would make a siginificant contribution to the 26 needed to block the draft in its current form.

If the Council can reach an agreement tomorrow, the text will be finalised and will be put on the agenda to be passed without further ado at a subsequent Council meeting. If not, it will be referred back to Parliament for a second reading.

Although no new amendments may be proposed in a second reading, those originally proposed by Parliament can be re-introduced. In September 2003, the Parliament made significant amendments to the original proposal. It defined a very strict set of circumstances under which software patents could be granted, and of the kinds of software that could be patented.

Passing them is difficult, however, as it requires a majority vote from all MEPs, not just those in attendance. ®

Bootnote

Want to find out more? If you live in London, the following will be of interest.

Richard Stallman, founder of the GNU project, will be speaking in London this Friday (21 May). Entry is free.

The Dangers of Software Patents Friday, 6pm Cruciform Building, Lecture Theatre #1 University College London, Gower Street

Related stories

European Council snubs software patent vote
EU braces for software patent demo
EU revises patent licensing rules
EU patents vote delayed

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Sin COS to tan Windows? Chinese operating system to debut in autumn – report
Development alliance working on desktop, mobe software
Eat up Martha! Microsoft slings handwriting recog into OneNote on Android
Freehand input on non-Windows kit for the first time
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
(Not so) Instagram now: Time-shifting Hyperlapse iPhone tool unleashed
Photos app now able to shoot fast-moving videos
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.