Anti-patent demo planned in Brussels

The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure is planning a protest against the Computer Implemented Inventions Directive in Brussels later this week
Written by Ingrid Marson, Contributor

On February 17 anti-patent campaigners will march past the buildings of the main EU bodies involved in the software patent directive -- the EU Council, the European Commission (EC) and the European Parliament (EP). The protest is being organised by the FFII, a pan-European pressure group that claims to have more than 75,000 supporters.

Earlier this month a committee of the EP demanded that the directive be started from scratch. But the EU Council and EC appear reluctant to observe its request, with the EC stating last week that it was "very disappointed" that the EU Council has postponed ratifying the directive.

Dieter Van Uytvanck, a spokesman for the FFII, said it hopes the demonstration will show the Council and Commission the level of opposition for the directive.

"The Council and the Commission have demonstrated over and over again that they do not show the slightest respect for the European citizen," said Van Uytvanck in a statement. "Over and over again, they continue to promote software patents with a complete neglect of the opposing voices from a large majority in the EU parliament. Enough is enough, and on 17 February, they will know it."

Protestors are encouraged to bring banners with them. The FFII has given various suggestions for what to print on the banners including "This is not a banana republic -- No software patents!" and "Software is like sex, it is better when it's free."

At the time of writing, only 49 people had registered their attendance online, although the FFII said it expects up to 10 times more than the number who register.

More details on the demonstration can be found on the FFII Web site.

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