Tuesday, March 14, 2006

PRESS RELEASE: Don’t allow software patents to threaten technology enhanced learning in Europe – Sign the petition!


March 14 2006 (Brussels, Belgium) Sign now the petition that aims to alert European authorities and policy-makers to the dangers of software patents, and particularly to the negative impact they could have on e-learning that uses information and communication technologies (ICT) to enhance education.

All the European and international e-learning practitioners, as well as other concerned citizens, are welcome to sign the petition which will be sent to the European Commission as an input for the “Consultation on future patent policy in Europe” by the March 31st. Moreover, the petition will be distributed to other European and national decision-makers to rise awareness on the issue of EU-wide software patents and how they threaten to inhibit innovation among European e-learning developers and practitioners.

“Money spent on software patent and defending against litigation would be better spent on development, education and training” states the petition that is drafted by a community of e-learning practitioners after the first European Conference on Open Source for Education in the Netherlands in Nov 2005.

“The software patents present a clear danger for the whole field of e-learning, not only for its open source community, but for each developer and decision-maker who is responsible for delivering better education with the support of ICTs.” states Ms. Vuorikari from Flosse Posse.

The petition “Don’t allow software patents to threaten technology enhanced learning in Europe” aligns itself with the policy of the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII). The topic of EU-wide directive on software patents is rarely mentioned with regards to the field of e-learning, although its ramifications could be quite serious. Therefore it is important that this issue is brought to the attention and discussed by those in the field, so that those who oppose it can convey a common and unified position to the decision-makers across Europe.

If you are a concerned teacher, learner, parent, researcher, decision-maker, e-learning practitioner, developer or citizen, read and sign this petition on-line:

Make sure others know about it!
We are aiming to raise awareness and gather as many signatures as possible by Thursday 30th March 2006.

For more information address: info@noelearningpatents.info

Background information: In July 2005 the European Parliament rejected the proposed European software patent law (i.e. the directive on Computer Implemented Inventions) after years of "ping-ponging" between European institutions and fierce lobbying by both the pros and con sides. This directive sought to regulate the scope of patentability of software within the EU.

In July 2005 the proponents of software patentability agreed to drop the directive and push for the Community Patent instead. The Community Patent plan doesn’t even mention the subject of software, although, make no mistake about it, software patentability is one of the main drivers of these plans.

Seek more information and points of argument at the following site:

No Software Patents!

Foundation for Free Information Infrastructure


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