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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: 4, Insightful) by Arik on Sunday November 29 2020, @05:45AM (4 children)

    by Arik (4543) on Sunday November 29 2020, @05:45AM (#1081989) Journal
    "If Congress does nothing, then you don't get appropriations bills passed, and the government shuts down. You can't run a government that way: if the government isn't even running, or spending money to actually run the country, then before long things really fall apart."

    This is what the archons want you to think - and do not doubt they'll play that out as far as they can.

    But the truth is, the government isn't necessary, or even beneficial, in trying to 'run' the country.

    The country doesn't need to be 'run' - it's not like a big company, it's an entirely different thing. The government doesn't make it run better by micromanaging it - quite the opposite, as it means constant temptation to rob Peter in order to pay Paul or vice versa. That tendency, unchecked, allowed to run rampant, is the problem we face, not a solution.

    The country would run a hell of a lot better if the government was forced to run on a much smaller budget, and to focus on it's core responsibilities.

    Of course we both know that there are elements that would do everything they possibly could to see the country burnt to the ground by the end of the year instead. Just so they could say "see, we told you everything would fall apart if we weren't running it. Now give us back our budget!"

    But a competent government with 10% of the budget would be better than just a competent government. The size of the federal budget in particular is, at this point, so huge that it's a problem in and of itself. You could run every single politician and bureaucrat out of office and replace them with verified saints and they would still be corrupted by it once in office.

    The trick isn't necessarily to break down into smaller units (though obviously democracy functions a bit easier on a smaller scale) but *to narrow the field of play* until it's small enough virtually everyone can understand and agree. There's virtually no one that objects to the functions of the watchman state, and it objectively benefits everyone. But as we shift from the concept of the watchman state to the concept of the moral state, that changes completely. As the state expands, it must rely less on consent and agreement, more and more on brute force. Less and less on building consensus, more and more on "we won (by a tiny margin) so suck it up, loser!"

    The stakes are simply too high for anything else. Again, the size of the budget, the REAL budget, not just the direct expenditures, but all the unfunded mandates - absolutely staggering. Even a 1% margin on it - staggering. There's an old saying that every man has his price.

    The President of the USA receives $400,000/year in salary. And on the face of it, that should be fine, really. Lots of people live on minimum wage, 400 grand a year isn't bad. Especially considering you get free residence and bodyguards etc. so it's all profit... but no. The thing is, running for President costs way more than you'll make in a 4 year term. Most candidates spend hundreds of millions, win or lose. Bloomberg spent over a billion and didn't even get a nomination!

    So there has to be a lot more than $400k/year to make that back. And the same math holds up for many other offices. Then we wonder that D.C. is corrupt?
    If laughter is the best medicine, who are the best doctors?
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  • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Sunday November 29 2020, @06:24AM (3 children)

    by fustakrakich (6150) on Sunday November 29 2020, @06:24AM (#1081998) Journal

    What I can't understand is why we let the bureaucrats make us do all their paperwork for them. The tax department for example, they can either send us a check or send us a bill. One way or another, they will get our signature. If we have any questions, we can go to them. *Don't call us, we'll call you*.

    La politica e i criminali sono la stessa cosa..
    • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Sunday November 29 2020, @02:54PM (2 children)

      by bzipitidoo (4388) on Sunday November 29 2020, @02:54PM (#1082031) Journal

      The Tax Preparation industry, that's why. H&R Block, Turbo Tax, and others of that ilk lobby to keep income tax complicated and scary. The IRS has a lot of your numbers, but actually isn't allowed to fill in those blanks for you. Instead, those numbers are used against you, as a gotcha if there is any discrepancy between their numbers and what you report. The industry wants you, the taxpayer, to believe that you could go to jail for getting your taxes wrong, even if it was an innocent mistake. This fear is helped by the IRS's reputation for hard a$$, guilty-until-proven-innocent enforcement. They don't believe in innocent mistakes. They believe everyone cheats. But if you buy and use tax prep products, the industry guarantees they'll shield you from that. I really wonder how they have any power to do that, and suspect the protection they offer is greatly exaggerated.

      • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Sunday November 29 2020, @04:32PM (1 child)

        by fustakrakich (6150) on Sunday November 29 2020, @04:32PM (#1082052) Journal

        I really wonder how they have any power to do that...

        Because we give it to them, by reelecting their puppets for over 40 years. Ask yourself, why do we do that?

        La politica e i criminali sono la stessa cosa..
        • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Sunday November 29 2020, @05:52PM

          by Grishnakh (2831) on Sunday November 29 2020, @05:52PM (#1082071)

          Because we're stupid, that's why. In other countries, it isn't like this: the tax authority sends you a pre-filled form at the end of the year showing what they think your income and deductions are, and what you owe or what they owe you. You can either sign it and send it back in (with payment if necessary), or you can amend it if you have information they missed. It isn't like this in the US because of tax-prep lobbyists as stated earlier, but in other (typically European) countries, they don't seem to have this problem or corruption.