Note: This website was part of FFII's successful campaign to defuse the EU software patent directive in 2005. It is not updated anymore.
The Economic Majority Against Software Patents
— Deutsche Bank Research
The European Commission says that there is an "economic majority" in favour of software patents. This is what they concluded from a consultation in 2000, where more than 90% of the respondents were against software patents, but those that were in favour were claimed to have greater weight "in terms of investments and jobs".
We, the FFII, believe that the Commission was wrong, but the arguments have yet to be backed up by real commitments. So far, 1,934 companies, with a minimum of 31,474 employees and annual turnover of 3,257,244,082 EUR, have entrusted the FFII to defend their interests, which they define as follows:
Our enterprise is worried about plans to legalise patents on software solutions ("computer-implemented inventions").
We rely on software copyright. We need to be sure that we own what we write.
We need to be sure that we can publish and distribute our own programs.
We need to be sure that, as long as we respect the rules of copyright, we can run any software on any office or network computer.
We urge legislators to confine the patent system strictly to the limits of applied natural science. In principle, only knowledge which had to be obtained through costly experiments with forces of nature should be eligible for the broad, slow and expensive monopoly protection which the patent system offers.
— Erik Josefsson, former FFII Brussels representative
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