Viewing posts for the category swpat

FFII Week blog - Day 6

Saturday. Today I resent minutes of a Council working group to FFII lists along with some strange Rocard 'compromise' amendmets for articles 1 and 2 only. This proved to be a crusial piece of information for strategy planning of EP. LV did some strange moves there and HU, NL and DE were clearly violating orders of their parlaments.
On Monday morning I'll need to meet Zile and convince him to help us and then I will be at the meating deciding LV position in the Council.
Today I mostly did 'technical' things, like installing Ubuntu on a new laptop donated to FFII and fighting to get HP LaserJet 1020 working there and then sharing it to other computers in the network.
A lot of time was also spent discussing potential strategies for second reading in EP and about organization of the post-2nd-reading conference.
Many people say that one does never beat me in a discussion, some also say that one cann't beat Jan Miernik in a discussion. I can now proudly say that I can beat Jan quite easily ;).
In the evening we went to a kebab place and had a very fun dinner there. If you are hungry in Brussels - find a kebab place, it will be the cheapest way. Unfortunally I do not remember the name of the dish I took, but it was something like meat, corn, onion and salad wrapped in a tortilia and some french fries with a very strong sause ('kamikadze'). This with a soft drink cost 4 Euro, which is a very cheap meal in Brussels.
It took a full hour to write these last 3 blog items, should go to sleep now to be able to wake up for tomorrows plane home.

FFII Week blog - Day 5

Friday was a quiet day - everyone had a bit of hangover from yesterday (not me - I only tasted the wine and didn't really drink it) and I woke up quite late.
I spend the whole day at the FFII apartment trying to do as much good as possible. At the end of the day, the best idea came late at night after a pizza dinner - we decided to organize the biggest FFII event ever, right after the EP vote. It would be at 12 and 13 july. That will be a two day conference where first day whould be focused on understanding the results of the EP second reading vote and what it means both to software producers and what it means to the democracy in EU, second day will be devoted to figuring out what FFII would need do next. A social event could be put up at the evening of first day. MEPs and EU Council people would be invited to the first day, lots of press and FFII supporters.
Antonios from Greese voulunteerd to organize it and I agreed to be the 'shadow organizer'.
This discovery arrived to us at 1 in the night and that made me arrive to the hotel around 2 at the night, again.

FFII Week blog - Day 4

As allways in such events I started to forget to write blog items after three days. It is Saturday evening now and I am trying to reconstrukt events from last 3 days.

In the morning of thursday two EP groups held public meeting dedicated to SWPat directive - EPP and Greens. The meetings were separate and both were not really well for us. The most disappointing was a weak performance of Kauppi. She has very nice amendments, but she doesn't seem to be confident enough to push for them. She should stand behind all her amendment and not let council or EICTA confuse her.
In the I went looking for a peaceful side of Brussels. With one of the girls, we we to see the famouse Atomicum, but it was under construction, so we just walked a few parks that are nearby. I never remember names of people, but I do rememner that she was an antropologist collecting information for her Ph.D. about free software movement. We actually found that Brussels parks are really great - big and peasefull. We accidentally strolled upon the residence of previouse king of Belgium. We also witnesed a part of park fenced off that had a lot of rabbits running around.
In the evening I was invited to a diner at a place of Kasha - assistant of a Polish MEP. The night was just great - we had pasta with some strange sauce and wine - 6 bottles for 5 people ;). We all were discussing all the things starting with patents then swiching to jokes about Chinese and then back to talks about 'patents as such'. At 3 in the night all but me and Erik falled asleep and we decided to wrap up.
I walked trough the night Brussels. I must say that suburbs of Brussels are much quieter at 3 in the night then Rigas suburbs are - first ten minutes of walking towards city center I did not see a single person or car, not even at a distance. The centre is also quiet, but not much quieter then Riga. I took a few nice pictures.

FFII Week blog - Day 3

Today I did get the breakfast - yay! I did hovewer get late to the first panel and only got the end of it. I got a few nice pictures and heard a great reaction from the chair - one person tried to make a statement that the pure software "like the Amazon one-click" is not patentable now and will not be patendable under Councils directive - the chair replied "It is an already granted Europeant patent number xxxxxxx, next question" ;) The applause went for a few minutes.
After a nice diner we went to the second panel chaired by Mr. Dombrovskis.
It started a bit late with a bit of technical problems, as they always do. I think that Dombrovskis handled it very well with a nice intro and some kind of 15 second summaries that did help to better understand the presentations -- they really were quite complex.
The third panel started with a representative from a Polish IT association. He spoke very strictly against SWPat, but very broadly. Representative from BEUC - consumer assosiation of EU. One point raised was that, while software must be excluded from the protection, the source must still be published in the patent if it is essential to the invention. EICTA person said to support Council position, but against SWPat. Said that patents are needed to defend against foreign companies (despite 90% of EU SWPat are owned by USA and Japan). Kauppi (shadow reporter of the directive, antiswpat) was a bit bleak on the last panel and dropped a bomb saying that excluding of data processing from patentability is too broad and undefendable. That is bad news.

FFII Week blog - Day 2

Today I missed the breakfast and thus had no chance of doing much for the rest of the day ;)
I was contacted by Elina - assistant of Valdis Dombrovskis (a MEP from Latvia) to schedule a meeting. We agreed on a time and I spend rest of the day familiarising with the plan for the conference. Then I arrived to the meeting a bit earlier and Elina helped me to make a 5 day pass to EP.
Dombrovskis was very helpfull, he agreed to chair a panel at our coference and we discussed what he would say in his keynote speech. After that I managed to get a few nice pictures and a room in the Dragon hotel 'till the rest of the week - yay!
The rest of the day was spend in the FFII appatment doing some work with my email and helping others - Antonio, Jan and several others were there.
Got into bed late - damn, I'll need to get up at 7 for the conference tomorrow.
BTW: Palm Tungsten rules :)

FFII week blog - Day 1

This post and several next posts are summaries of the week that I spent in Brussels helping FFII to fight against software patents. I wrote the blog items in my new, shiny Palm Tungsten and then HotSynced and copy-pasted to the blog.

Morning: it is easier for me to not sleep trough the night then to wake up at 5 - so I did. Almost missed the plane - a lot of people fly on monday mornings. Flight was nice - I slept most of it ;). Surprise on arrival - rain.
Got to FFII office, surprises go on - no one there and no computers either, I was lucky that EPP people were there and let me in. Waiting, writing this blog (on a Palm) and playing GO (on the same Palm), loosing - I still suck at GO.
Someone came and suggested that others are at the flat and that I call Erik for work. So I did. Eric made me contact Dombrovskis' assistant to get answer to one mail and to ask for help with extra EP passes on Wed. Called - noone there, must be lunchtime. Will try latter.
After a terible and expensive lunch (12 EUR for a sandwich and cofe!) I called the assistant of Dombrovskis again. I needed to ask her to answer back to Jonas email, but they didn't recieve it yet. I'll need to find out about it and get back myself, but I convinced the assistant to help us with EP passes (getting poeple inside the EP building) if needed.
After much search, I found the hotel that I was staying today Maison du Dragon - next two days I'll be at Vogh hostel, but I convinced Holger to put me back into the Dragon for other nights here.
I was too tired today so I went to bed early to be better tomorrow.


I finally can tell the word on what I've been working last serveral weeks.
No, it is not Nokia 770. I wish, that's one hell of a beautifully beast.

I've been working on If you are a company based in Europe and would suffer from software patents, contact us - we need your help to stop that!

If you want to help colecting those testimonies, don't be shy - come onboard!

Antipatent work

Today I started to work more actively for the FFII to counter the EU software patents directive. I am bringing SMEs in for the site and to Brussels to meet with MEPs. It seams that there are many SMEs interested in that kind of action in Latvia.

Also fixed two bugs and added one feature in TikiWiki. Yay!

Sidenote: If our hockey players win Sweeden today, then we will beat Finland to the top 8 in the World Cup :) (We played 0:0 with Finns yesterday.) Edit: Well, we all have dreams, but it seams playing a good game right the next day after a tough game is nearly impossible, thus we lost horribly

Software patents

I have been involved in the discussions about software patents in Europe since the beginning. Today I feel that I need to summarize my idea about them.

The IT industry is about the author, about author controlling, selling (or sharing) his work. To insure that the author is in control, the copyright is used. Software patents override copyright. They take the power from the authors and put it in the hands of lawyers. And we - authors - do NOT like that!

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