Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Thank you Poland!

Thank you Poland for stopping my own country from nearly destroying the entire IT sector because they feared they would "loose face" if they didn't force Software patenting on us! The cabinet here keeps talking about wanting to create a "knowledge economy", but went past all democratic principles, and border lined to an illegal act according to various lawyers, in trying to pass software patents for the EU. Thankfully Poland has put a stop to it and I can't thank you Polish people enough for that!

For anybody reading this and wondering what I am on about. Software patents are something only the US has. It means you can patent trivial idea's like "one click shopping" (held by Amazon) or even something as basic as "sending information from one computer to another". No technical solutions or software, simply the idea of doing something. Like for example using a spoon to eat with. And then forcing everybody to pay up for using this idea. This is one of the biggest issues halting all innovation and destroying small upstart companies. Microsoft even patented the idea of double clicking!

Advances in software are advances in abstraction. While traditional patents were for concrete and physical inventions, software patents cover ideas. Instead of patenting a specific mousetrap, you patent any "means of trapping mammals" or means of trapping data in an emulated environment. The fact that the universal logic device called "computer" is used for this does not constitute a limitation. When software is patentable, anything is patentable.

There are also various companies in the US who only focus on getting these software patents. Never actually developing any technology, just patenting trivial and obvious idea's. They usually employ one IT technician and a small army of lawyers. One such company specialises in simply suing other companies who actually do build software and innovate.

It also needs to be noted that software patents are unnecessary as software itself falls under copy write protection. This is not to protect your software from being stolen by others, copy write protection already is in place for that.

So one minister within the Dutch government decided he was all for this. He disregarded the democratically elected representatives who passed a motion he was not allowed to vote for it, he ignored his own party who was against it, he ignored various countries like Germany, Luxemburg and Poland who where against it. Officially all because "else he would loose face". So he tried to get this bill automatically passed on a convention of agricultural ministers! Using a loophole to avoid the motion he was not allowed to persue a yes vote anymore. That this man hasn't been fired for incompetence and most likely being bribed by a big company like Philips (pro software patents) can only be explained by the sheer incompetence of the entire Dutch government.

One man came so near to destroying a major part of the European economy that it's not funny anymore. So thank you Poland for last minute travelling to Brussels and stopping this total megalomaniac, undemocratic, wannabe dictator and saving the IT sector of Europe. It is beyond me how any European Minster can willingly want to hurt the EU so much, it's even more ironic given one of the official goals of our government is to promote the IT sector.

Anybody wanting to thank Poland can do so at the following website:

Page that seriously shows the nonsense patented under US law:

More information about Software patents:


At 12:05 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment is not a direct reply to the "Thank You Poland" post.
I just wanted to comment on your blog in general.
I have enjoyed reading your comments. Being from the "geographically-challenged" USA (and a red state at that) I find your comments very interesting. I look forward to your future postings.
It is good to have the chance to see the opinions of an individual stating their own position as most of the blogs/websites/etc. consist of extremists persuing some agenda which offers only one side. I would much rather sit and talk over a glass of wine (or beer), discuss the issues, and part as friends with mutual respect for our different positions.

Your blog seems more like this type of site.

Thank you.


At 3:19 pm, Blogger Aldo Quispel said...

Glad to be of "service" :)


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