On Monday 21 March 2005 14:02, Colm MacCarthaigh wrote:
> shouldn't democratic society decide that we can do without software
> hobbyists in favour of greater employment (say) ? That's the argument
> you have to explain.
No one is suggesting (that I can see) that democratic society shouldn't
decide this. In fact democratic society did decide; it decided (through
our elected MEPs in the E.U. parliament) to pass the bill with
amendments that would not allow the patentability of software in
However, in May 2004 the European Council, under the Irish Presidency,
discarded most of the Parliament's amendments. Now, after numerous
other wrangling, it is going back to the Parliament, but, this time, as
its a second reading in the parliament, an absolute majority is
required to again amend the directive or to defeat it. i.e. all
absences and abstentions technically support the directive.
I know these are the rules and regulations of the E.U. and that we, the
Irish nation, voted on a number of treaties to put these into place.
But, having said that, my democracy indicator is pretty low on this
Now, from another perspective, the large multinationals that support
software patentability (or any other directive or law) usually have
well paid professional lobbyists working in Ireland and in the E.U. (as
well as the other member states). These people have the ear of the
politicians because they bring big money into the country by way of
capital investment, corporate tax, jobs etc. Fair enough. FOSS
hobbyists and enthusiasts do not have equivalent lobbyists. Nor the ear
of politicians without a lot of hard work. So, usually, the people we
elect to represent us hear loudly and directly from the multinationals
and whispers, if at all, from the rest of us. This may be the
democratic society we live in but it doesn't seem very fair.
> we can do without software hobbyists in favour of greater employment
> (say) ?
Well we have had both software hobbyists and inceasing employment for
years. They have happily co-existed. Are we not the (or at least one
of) the biggest software exporters in the world? This is the
status-quo. We do not need to prove the argument that software
patentability will yield greater employment because we do not have
software patentability and we do have a growing number of ICT jobs.
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