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3.7.2005: A pleading from a voter (sw patents)

From: Henrik Ingo <>
Subject: A pleading from a voter (sw patents)
Date: Sun, 3 Jul 2005 21:36:13 +0300

A pleading from a voter

Dear Finnish EPP (Kokoomus) member

(I have written this in English, should you wish to refer my pleading to your non-Finnish colleagues. This open letter is also published in my blog[1])

Next week the European Parliament will be voting on the "Directive on Computer Implemented Inventions", or as we say in plain English, the Software Patent directive. My day work is as a software designer in a Finnish medium sized (but fast growing) company. I also have a history as a Linux and Open Source trainer and specialist, and have written a book on the subject of Open Source. And of course this directive affects me as a computer and Internet user. In fact it is very important, since I am a Linux user and software patents are somewhat of a threat to Open Source Software and thus also to the Internet.

As you can see, this directive will affect both my professional work as leisure. Despite this, I'm not going to debate the substance of this directive now (although I'm more than willing to engange in a dialogue should you want to do so). This is plainly and simply a pleading from one of your voters. A pleading to stand up and do the right thing.

I have never voted for Kokoomus before (Finnish EPP group) and until last EP elections thought I never would. After much deliberation however, I decided to give my vote to Ms Kauppi, in order to support the work she has been doing with this directive. At the same time I realised, that I was also giving my vote to a party that had not taken a clear stand against software patents, even when some other parties had, and I could have voted for one of them.

Although I very much appreciate the work Ms Kauppi has continued, I now fear that I might still regret that I boldly voted for her party. In fact what happened during the last JURI voting of the directive has again strengthened the stereotypical prejudices I used to have against your party.

Although I have not found any official records on the votings in the JURI meeting June 20th, it seems that most EPP delegates in JURI (with the notable exception of my representative, Ms Kauppi) decided to vote for US-style software patents, according to directions from the group coordinator Mr Lehne [2]. According to german newspapers [3], Mr Lehne is a partner in a law firm, that specializes in and takes significant income from software patents and has as it's most important customers some of the large IT and telecom companies that are heavily lobbying for US-style patentability. I hope you understand, why my belief in the EU and democracy in general was not strengthened by hearing these events. Add to this how the Commission and Council has handled this case, and I must say I sympatise with the French and the Dutch, who took the one opportunity they had to reject everything what EU has been offering us lately. Sometimes it feels that the EU has truly deserved the peoples verdict.

I know that there are corrupt politicians and liars everywhere. (In fact I sometimes have to deal with an unhonest person working for one of our competitors, and he's not even a politician!) But the decision to vote as a group blindly according to guidelines given from one such politician, was especially discouraging to me.

Thus my pleading to you. Having given my vote to your party, I plead to the Kokoomus MEPs, and by extension all EPP MEPs, to attend the plenary next week and vote for what are known as the Buzek-Rocard-Duff amendments. This is the one case I've been following with interest, that impacts me personally and was decisive in casting my vote during the last election. I can safely say that the actions of your party during this vote will strongly affect my voting in several elections to come.

Finally I wish to express my gratitude and appreciation for the important and valuable work you are doing for me and other Europeans

henrik ingo, Espoo, Finland


tel:   +358-40-5697354


Takaisin blogiin... kuvat ja teksti, milloin ei erityisesti muuta mainita, ovat vapaasti kopioitavissa Public Domain -ehdoin.