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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: 2) by Grishnakh on Sunday November 29 2020, @06:00PM (2 children)

    by Grishnakh (2831) on Sunday November 29 2020, @06:00PM (#1082074)

    They aren't *that* frequent, but also they've never lasted more than a month. When they have happened, the economic effects have been disastrous. On top of that, they aren't really shutdowns: parts of the government keep operating. Personally, I think that when they have a government shutdown, EVERYTHING should be shut down federally, and that includes the military: soldiers should not get paid, and the military should stand down from anything it's doing. If your country is too stupid to keep itself running continuously, it doesn't deserve to have a defense force.

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  • (Score: 2) by sjames on Sunday November 29 2020, @08:10PM (1 child)

    by sjames (2882) on Sunday November 29 2020, @08:10PM (#1082100) Journal

    There have been 4 in the last 20 years, that's 20%. That's a lot for something that has well defined deadlines that can be foreseen years out.

    That puts the U.S. solidly in the lead for shutdowns with many governments that have multiparty systems having had no shutdowns.

    The big difference seems to be holding legislators feet to the fire. In many countries if the legislature can't even manage to come up with a budget, they're all fired.

    • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Monday November 30 2020, @02:23AM

      by Grishnakh (2831) on Monday November 30 2020, @02:23AM (#1082192)

      4 in 20 years is a lot compared to better-run countries, yes, but it's not like they're having one every 6 months or every year.

      But yes, shutdowns are mostly unique to the US and its completely broken system of government. There should not be cases where the executive and legislative branches are at odds with each other so much they can't even pass a budget. In parliamentary democracies, this doesn't happen because the executive is chosen by the legislative branch, instead of by popular vote; in the very rare case that the two can't agree, a vote of no-confidence is called and new elections are held for parliament, which then creates a new administration.

      The best thing the US could do at this point is to hold a new Constitutional Convention and write a new Constitution. The old one sucks. It's weird how it's treated as some kind of holy document by so many Americans, when in reality it creates a horribly flawed system. I'll admit it was a good try back in 1789, since they didn't exactly have a lot of examples to go off of at the time, and I guess they were trying not to emulate the British too much since they had just fought a war of independence with them, but it's been well over 2 centuries now, and other nations have now shown us how to set up better forms of government. It's time to trash it and start over. Sticking with the current Constitution is like sticking with Windows 98 or IE6.0.