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posted by Fnord666 on Saturday November 28 2020, @01:53PM   Printer-friendly
from the while-you-were-out dept.

The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure has a call for donations against the Unitary Software Patent Trolls after Thursday's disastrous Bundestag vote. On Thursday in Germany, the Bundestag voted on ratification of a proposal for a Unified Patent Court, largely seen as purely a vehicle for introducing software patents into Europe. As software patents in the US were on the way out, introducing them into Europe would bring them back into the US after further "harmonization". Thursday's vote is the result of the software patent lobby changing its strategy in Europe by creating a central patent court outside of the control of the individual member states under which it would make its own rules and avoid democratically elected legislators.

FFII is now calling on its supporting companies and on the open source community to donate to crowdfund a Constitutional Complaint in Karlsruhe. Stopping the UPC in Germany will be enough to kill the UPC for the whole Europe. Politicians willfully ignored the problem that the UPC violates the “Rule of Law” principle, as the EPO still cannot be sued for maladministration, where there are 4 pending complaints in Karlsruhe, which should be issued in early 2021.

Next steps are a vote in the Bundesrat, according to Stjerna’s blogpost

Legal Committee of the Federal Council is currently scheduled for 02/12/2020

Federal Council can therefore be expected to make its final deliberation on the draft legislation in its 998th session on 18/12/2020

–Dr Stjerna blog, Status of the UPCA ratification proceedings in Germany (12/12/2016, latest update on 26/11/2020)

German government believe that they can ratify before the end of the year, as they consider the UK still a member of the EU till 31st December. The agenda of next votes have been designed on purpose to ratify the UPC before the end of the year.

This plot twist is time-dependent and hangs upon a loophole in Brexit. Thus the time between now and New Year are crucial for preserving the ability to use or develop software in Europe. Again, this is about the uses to which software may be applied, not distribution. Usage is covered by patent law, distribution by copyright law.

The FFII is a pan-European alliance of software companies and independent software developers. It is currently working to neutralize the Unitary Patent project, which is a third attempt to introduce software patents into Europe. The previous two attempts failed, but only because of the joint efforts of thousands of companies to defend against software patents in Europe.

(2020) UK Formally Abandons Europe's Unified Patent Court
(2020) Deadly Blow to the Pox of Software Patents in the EU
(2018) Software Patents are Harmful
(2018) A Case for the Total Abolition of Software Patents

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  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 28 2020, @05:08PM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 28 2020, @05:08PM (#1081892)

    Unfortunately the mainstream media is a huge part of the problem. That's what much of the Internet reform (ie: relaxing section 230) is intended to do, to turn the Internet into the mainstream media. Because the mainstream media is losing viewership special interests must force their censorship onto other platforms as well.

    Unfortunately the solution is for some people to actually go out there and inform people IRL. They must post flyers everywhere, talk with people, etc..., it must be a persistent long term thing, and not rely on modern government controlled communications, and inform people of the issues. Inform them of why free speech is important and why laws that protect it are important and how the legal system may prevent free speech from being expressed (ie: the legal system responsible for the cableco and broadcasting monopolies and how information gets to your house via cable channels and how alternative views are prevented from getting onto those channels. How payment processors may block views they don't like).

    Maybe the old brick and mortar newspaper model (the problem is that often times the audience is the product which creates a conflict of interest between advertisers and newspapers).

    This has a cost and people have to pay bills. It's not easy, it required hard work.

    Some of it also boils down to individual responsibility, it's up to every individual to be informed to some extent but how can they be expected to be informed about issues the media never even talks about (or if they talk about it they are one sided)? They have to seek it, demand the government doesn't do anything to prevent the dissemination of information.

    It's not easy, it required hard work.

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  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Grishnakh on Saturday November 28 2020, @05:54PM (3 children)

    by Grishnakh (2831) on Saturday November 28 2020, @05:54PM (#1081900)

    it must be a persistent long term thing, and not rely on modern government controlled communications,

    Given the claims made in this thread about the mainstream media, it seems incorrect to call this a problem of "government controlled communications"; after all, in western nations, the press is free. Instead, it seems that the problem is that the media has its own interests that it pushes, which may or may not coincide with those of powerful people in government, and in this case, the interests of the media run counter to those of the pirate party.

    Unfortunately, this is one of the problems with these checks and balances. Historically, a free press served as a check to the power of the government, by providing a source of information that people could turn to which would not have the bias of those running the government. However, what do you do when the press and the government have a common interest in suppressing something? Well these days, we have the internet with things like YouTube and various message boards which have more freedom than the press (which can choose not to report things it doesn't want aired), but as we're seeing, this also invites lots of misinformation and disinformation. Let any wacko have their own "news" site, and suddenly we have people believing that there's satanic cannibalistic pedophile groups in the basements of pizza parlors, and people electing candidates to Congress who believe this insanity. One nice thing about having a mainstream media is that they filter out utter garbage like that.

    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 28 2020, @07:02PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 28 2020, @07:02PM (#1081913)

      "the interests of the media run counter to those of the pirate party."

      Of course this doesn't mean the interests of the pirate party run counter to the public interest. It just means that the media is less inclined to give the pirate party the due attention it may deserve and they may in fact give opposing views undue credit and attention in favor of those viewpoints.

      It should be noted that broadcasting monopolies are implemented and enforced by the FCC, a governing body. Cableco monopolies are also often implemented by various regional governments so it is, ultimately, governing bodies responsible for which interests can get their viewpoints expressed on cable (even if it's indirectly by providing those special interests with the monopolies that allow them to censor views they don't like). Those cables traverse public property in order to get their message from private corporations to your home and there are laws that regulate this.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by bzipitidoo on Sunday November 29 2020, @12:11AM (1 child)

      by bzipitidoo (4388) on Sunday November 29 2020, @12:11AM (#1081962) Journal

      On the issue of intellectual property, the media will never tell it straight, and would rather not even mention it. Media owners believe in copyright, the more extreme, the better. Not even PBS can resist the forces. Journalists, whether at PBS or elsewhere, think that by burying or spinning copyright, they're protecting their own.

      Journalists, authors, and artists also think copyright gives them more bargaining power. Often it does, but sometimes it backfires, actually making it illegal for authors to use their own work. Probably everyone has heard the story of exploitative music labels screwing naive new musicians with the very bad contract that gives them a big advance that is actually a loan, not a payment, taking advantage of youthful ignorance of just what an advance is. Then the band is stuck working the rest of their careers trying to get out of debt to the music label. Hollywood Accounting further tightens the chains.

      Authors of comics used to get a raw deal too. In the days before the first blockbuster superhero movie of any kind, Superman in 1978, because Hollywood used to think a superhero movie couldn't possibly succeed, and like the campy 1960s Batman TV show wasn't serious enough, comic book writers were given to understand that comics weren't worth much, were the lowbrow, uncouth, lightweight alternative to Real Fiction in the form of The Novel, and thereby part suckered and part pushed into accepting bad deals. What do you do when all the publishing houses evince the same attitude, that comics aren't worth much?

      The creators still getting a raw deal from copyright are scientific researchers. It's standard for researchers to have to turn over all rights to whichever journal is willing to publish a scientific work. The reason for that is that copyright has always been an impediment, and by demanding such extreme control, journals seek to be free of any obligation that might hinder the dissemination of the scientific findings. A typical journal contains the works of hundreds of researchers. Everyone realizes it would be totally impractical for a journal to have to routinely seek the permissions of several hundred people every time they want to do anything. Or, at least, that was the rationale. Scientists were rarely compensated through copyright. It's Publish or Perish, and that is really a system of patronage. The productive scientists get to keep their high paying jobs in academia or whichever government and private labs still exist. Those working in industry often have some sort of Work For Hire arrangement, in which anything they invent is the property of their employer.

      And the rest of the public? Totally shafted, of course. Kept docile by the dangling of the promise that one day, you too could write the next big thing and go from being a nobody to a Big Name Author, just like J. K. Rowling. The odds of winning the lottery are better than that chance, but it still works, helped by the appeal to the ego, that if you do manage to make it big that way, it will be because you merited it, and weren't just lucky.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 29 2020, @02:43AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 29 2020, @02:43AM (#1081973)

        Anyone that puts their own interests before the public interest with respect to what they publish, what they don't publish, and how they spin what they do publish is not a true journalist.

        To be clear, the mainstream media is not journalism. It's propaganda.