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Elect NoSoftwarePatents as European Of The Year

Hemos posted more than 8 years ago | from the florian-4-life dept.

Patents 180

Aargh writes "Every year a public Internet poll is taken to vote for, amongst others, the "European of the Year". This year, the founder of NoSoftwarePatents.com has been selected as a candidate. Taken from the NoSoftwarePatents.com site: "We now have a first-rate opportunity to make political leaders, media and citizens all over the world realize the significance of our cause. Please give us your vote, and help us gain more votes, so that the founder of the NoSoftwarePatents campaign be elected as the new 'European of the Year'." Non-europeans can also vote, so why dont we unleash the slashdot hordes?" Mr. Mueller had been exchanging e-mails recently on this subject; thanks to an introduction from Kaj Arnö. I truly do think that given his, and the organization's work that they deserve to win. Check out the celebrity endorsements as well. *grin* Also, worth reading their voting guide if you are going to vote.

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Despite not being able to read that site... (5, Funny)

Fridgey (907481) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914214)

I'll just do what slashdot tells me to and vote anyway!1!

Ballot stuffing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13914415)

Yay, good old fashioned ballot stuffing!

Lets get all iraqi elections on the EU's ass!

So I guess Slashdot is alot like the Shia alliance?

We should get some sponsorship cash from Iran.

Re:Despite not being able to read that site... (1)

utnow (808790) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914553)

Yay! now he can have the hoards of slashdotters voting AGAINST him because it'll be funny.

Re:Despite not being able to read that site... (4, Interesting)

frisket (149522) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914847)

OK, so we /.'d the site. But WTF is it on box running an operating system, made by one of the biggest offenders in the patent business?
Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers error '80004005'
[MySQL][ODBC 3.51 Driver]Too many connections
E:\WWWROOT\WWW.EV50.COM\HTML\POLL\../include/dbhea der.asp, line 9

fp? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13914215)

votantonio votantonio votantonio

Re:fp? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13914318)

Vote for Pedro and all of your wildest dreams will come true!

Also read the reasons for their nominations (2, Insightful)

Morosoph (693565) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914218)

Since a block vote is, well, unconvincing.

Many of the voting recommendations have more to do with politics than patents; when it has little to do with patents, it might be worth disobeying the recommendations in order to make a real vote, rather than simply boosting an arbitary choice.

I wish in fact that NoSoftwarePatents.com had made no recommendation when the was no patent-related issues for that candidate. Such block-voting recommendations also make it easier for people to write this kind of idiocy [techcentralstation.com] .

Re:Also read the reasons for their nominations (5, Informative)

ErrorBase (692520) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914253)

If you took the time to actually read the voting recommendations, you'll see that some of the proposed candidates are actually generated at random. actually encouraging to pick one of your own choice. but helpful for the decision impaired.

MOD PARENT INFORMATIVE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13914343)

No arbitary choices are being boosted by these recommendations.

My mistake, in part (1, Informative)

Morosoph (693565) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914386)

When I went to the site a few weeks ago, I parsed "at random" to mean "arbitarily", so that a given random decision had already been made for everyone.

Still: some of those which aren't "at random" are still political, and not a lot to do with software, such as a candidate which is not neutral with respect to the events in Israel/Palestine.

Take care to make your own decision.

Reasons for this kind of idiocy (4, Insightful)

pieterh (196118) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914360)

The kind of idiocy written by those in favour of software patents has nothing to do with block votes. It has to do with money, lots and lots of money, and the surprising effect this has on "journalists". Calling the FFII "communists" is a strange attack but then you have to realise that the author is Polish, and the Polish MEPs were one of the most single-minded blocks to vote against software patents.

Software patents are being pushed hard by a rich, powerful, and ammoral machine built from lawyers, lobbyists, and large misguided software firms that have been beguiled by the arms race.

Voting for Florian will send a strong signal that software patents are not a popular legal innovation but are rightly seen as a threat to the free market and open capitalism.

Vote for Florian (3, Insightful)

Morosoph (693565) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914455)

Voting for Florian will send a strong signal that software patents are not a popular legal innovation but are rightly seen as a threat to the free market and open capitalism.
I agree that voting for Florian is a good thing. But how the signal will be read depends very much upon the beholder. Some, for example, will see it as a victory for democracy over the doctorine of property right.

The more sophisticated amoung us see the issue of software patents as one of the artificial creation of monopolies and the unneccessary restriction of freedom, but from the pure propertarian perspective, this can look a lot like the slogan "property is theft". Lawyers know how complex a concept property is, but the average person, and it seems the average politician doesn't know this, and hear opposition as simple "rationalisation".

Re:Also read the reasons for their nominations (1)

MattGS (898687) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914491)

> Such block-voting recommendations also make it easier for people to write this kind of idiocy.

I admit that I'm not very good at politics and economics but what troubles me most about said idiocy is that a website about free markets ("Where Free Markets Meet Technology") patronises software patents. I've always thought of patents to be monopolies sanctioned by the gouvernment. Not quite my idea of a free market.

I think it's websites like this that are responsible for me getting a nervous twitch every time I hear politicians and lobbyists using the term "free market". And somehow it makes me want to read Animal Farm. Strange.

Re:Also read the reasons for their nominations (1)

micronicos (344307) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914636)

This is a VERY important VOTE!! Please VOTE! And I would point out that NoSoftwarePatents.com did qualify the other choices - give people some credit!

Do not vote if you have no clue (4, Insightful)

vinlud (230623) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914220)

As the voting form requires to vote for all categories it is not a good thing to do this if you have no clue who all these people are. Even I, as a overaddict news consuming European, have no clue what to choose for most of the categories because here in Europe news sources are mostly nation minded and therefore very fragmented.

Re:Do not vote if you have no clue (1)

rar (110454) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914239)

As the voting form requires to vote for all categories it is not a good thing to do this if you have no clue who all these people are.

So, can someone with insight please line up the best patent-antanagonist choices in each categories (for extra credit: include motivations), so the crowd can wild...

Re:Do not vote if you have no clue (3, Informative)

SimilarityEngine (892055) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914289)

There are some suggestions [nosoftwarepatents.com] on the NoSoftwarePatents site, if you're really stuck for choice. Obviously, read the justification under each one and see if you agree...

Re:Do not vote if you have no clue (3, Insightful)

vinlud (230623) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914332)


Business Leader of the Year: Anne Lauvergeon
We have no particular problem with any of the five candidates, nor do we have a strong preference for someone. The recommendation above was made by a random generator.


Well, this is exactly the way not to go. Instead of giving an advice people have to judge for themselves and that regarding the patents issue the candidates are equal they take a random recommendation!

And ofcourse voting should have been possible with categories unselected, it is really a major error on behalve of the builder.

Re:Do not vote if you have no clue (1)

SimilarityEngine (892055) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914374)

And ofcourse voting should have been possible with categories unselected, it is really a major error on behalve of the builder.

Spot on. In my view, though, with such a large number of voters (hopefully anyway - come on slashdot) a random selection is the next best thing to "none of the above", as it will not favour any particular candidate. It isn't ideal, obviously.

Re:Do not vote if you have no clue (4, Informative)

Znork (31774) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914506)

"Well, this is exactly the way not to go."

The random recommendations are just that; random. New randomization each time you load the page. Try it a few times.

Statistically, people voting using only the nosoftwarepatents recommendations should favor none of the candidates in the unrelated polls, so as far as avoiding any undesired deviations in a poll with these rules I think that's the best it can get.

Re:Do not vote if you have no clue (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13914541)

We have no particular problem with any of the six candidates, nor do we have a strong preference for someone. The recommendation above was made by a random generator after removing any Frog names.

Re:Do not vote if you have no clue (1)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914396)

Awesome. When Slashdot doesn't have the answer for what I should do, NoSoftwarePatents does. Yay! I can continue being a mindless lemming.

Re:Do not vote if you have no clue (1)

955301 (209856) | more than 8 years ago | (#13915063)

It's not our fault they lumped various categories of votable awards into one gigantiturd as oppose to allowing votes on individual polls. But it does work out in the end if people guess on the options they don't know, since statistically speaking, guessing washes out as noise.

Now, mind you, from slashdot, that's a lot of noise, but noise nonetheless.

Oh please, no way can you use an excuse like that (1)

Biotech9 (704202) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914962)

As the voting form requires to vote for all categories it is not a good thing to do this if you have no clue who all these people are. Even I, as a overaddict news consuming European, have no clue what to choose for most of the categories because here in Europe news sources are mostly nation minded and therefore very fragmented.

Oh please, give me a break. There are a huge number of fantastic EU focused news-sites that have excellent coverage on all matters pertaining to the Union. Not to mention the EU's own news pages.

http://euobserver.com/ [euobserver.com]
http://www.economist.com/world/europe/ [economist.com]
http://www.european-voice.com/ [european-voice.com]
http://europa.eu.int/geninfo/whatsnew.htm [eu.int]
http://europa.eu.int/newsletter/index_en.htm [eu.int]
http://europa.eu.int/news/index_en.htm [eu.int]
http://www.eubusiness.com/ [eubusiness.com]
http://www.eubusiness.com/ [eubusiness.com]

And of course most news sites (such as BBC news) have an EU portal. And of course you can use google news with a custom filter for 'European Union' to get your daily fix.

Voting Site runs ASP! W00t! W00t! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13914226)

But unfortunately, their database is MySQL, so no easy ballot-box stuffing, alas :-(

But you can check how your friends voted, hehe, to make sure that they are indeed as pro-freedom as they claim they are...

Slashdot condones astroturfing? (-1, Offtopic)

bunratty (545641) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914228)

Slashdot. Astroturfing for nerds.

Re:Slashdot condones astroturfing? (4, Insightful)

Aim Here (765712) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914353)

Astroturfing is when you *fake* a grassroots campaign, by, say, having your paid employees pretend to be consumers, or having setting up lots of pseudonyms on a web forum in order that one person pretends to be 20 disgruntled/satisfied customers or whatever.

In this case, we're a bunch of geeks who are being urged to vote for someone who most of us probably happen to agree with.

Organising a campaign isn't the same as faking a campaign.

Re:Slashdot condones astroturfing? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914667)

In this case, we're a bunch of geeks who are being urged to vote for someone who most of us probably happen to agree with.

I've seen enough organized ballot stuffings to recognize one when I see one. For example, if you have a "Most expected game next year" and you see some obscure game at the top, it was astroturfed by that game's forum. Many astroturf campaigns don't go as far as actually faking the stats, they simply market it to the people they want to respond, complete with templates, which wildly skews the results. Then you take a real poll (random selection and all that) and discover that the truth is something completely different.

Re:Slashdot condones astroturfing? (1)

Aim Here (765712) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914928)

Well the name of the game in low-turnout mickey-mouse politics is *always* to be the one gang that gets people fired up enough to vote or turn up or whatever. That's how the game actually works at this level. And it's not really fair to complain that the people who actually bothered to turn up and vote are unbalancing the results because the lazy apathetic shithead vote didn't turn up to balance thm.

As I say, that's different from real astroturfing, which is based on actual deception.

Re:Slashdot condones astroturfing? (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914887)

Read the Wikipedia defintion of Astroturfing [wikipedia.org] . We're not all happening upon a poll and spontaneously deciding to vote for a specific choice. We're being told where to go to vote and what choice to pick. That is obviously "centrally orchestrating the behavior of many diverse and geographically distributed individuals." It doesn't matter whether people who vote for it happen to agree with it or not, what matters is that the push to get people to go there and make a particular vote is centrally orchestrated.

Re:Slashdot condones astroturfing? (1)

Aim Here (765712) | more than 8 years ago | (#13915095)

And if you'd bother to read the article you point me at, then you'd see that Wiki's definition of an astroturfing campaign differs from this one in it's most important respect:

"The campaign typically instructs the supporters on what to say, how to say it, where to send it, and, **above all**, how to make it appear that their indignation, appreciation, joy, or hate is entirely spontaneous and independent "
(my emphasis)

If NoSoftwarePatents.com or Slashdot was saying 'vote for this guy but pretend that we didn't tell you to do it' then it'd be astroturfing. As it is, it's merely campaigning.

Agreeing with someone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13914978)

How do you know if we would agree with him, except on the point of software patents?

Ever read any of his other writings?

I did, and I don't agree with him. I don't agree that open sourced software isn't used by a bunch of IP-hating communists for one thing.

See his rants on Linux Weekly News, just search for his name.

Re:Slashdot condones astroturfing? (1)

bunratty (545641) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914831)

The entire summary is a request for astroturfing, and my comment that this is astroturfing is Offtopic? What on earth are moderators smoking these days?

Lets hear it for scalability (3, Funny)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914243)

Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers error '80004005'

[MySQL][ODBC 3.51 Driver]Too many connections

E:\WWWROOT\WWW.EV50.COM\HTML\POLL\../include/dbhea der.asp, line 9

Re:Lets hear it for scalability (1)

strider44 (650833) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914300)

You can see the great effect Microsoft patents are having on that site.

Re:Lets hear it for scalability (1)

k0de (619918) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914440)

That's a MySQL limitation/error, not Microsoft.

Re:Lets hear it for scalability (1)

955301 (209856) | more than 8 years ago | (#13915117)


it's neither actually. It's a demonstrated lack of load testing. The db is simply misconfigured.

Re:Lets hear it for scalability (2, Interesting)

Bubble666 (771901) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914497)

http://www.ev50.com/poll/ [ev50.com]
Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers error '80004005'

[MySQL][ODBC 3.51 Driver]Too many connections

E:\WWWROOT\WWW.EV50.COM\HTML\POLL\../include/dbhea der.asp, line 9


I got the same error message, I wonder what kind of Admin would setup a webserver with asp/mysql, and for a voting pool i mean, you gotta be a Stupid m*f* to think it'll handle a somewhat reasonable workload... why oh why did they not use something descent like *nix/apache with something like postgreSQL, it seems to me like a win win solution.

Re:Lets hear it for scalability (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13914570)

...it seems to me like a win win solution.

Nope, it's not. ASP + MS SQL Server would be a win win solution. What they have is an win unix solution ;-)

That's why it only half insecure by the way: you can browse what everybody before you voted (ASP), but you can't change how they voted (MySql).

Re:Lets hear it for scalability (1)

Bubble666 (771901) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914664)

ASP + MS SQL Server would be a win win solution. What they have is an win unix solution ;-)
Heh, Funny, I wonder if MS SQL woulda helped in that specific case, I still think an Admin with scalability on is right mind woulda been running php, or some obscure perl script, with pgsql :)

Re:Lets hear it for scalability (1)

Itchy Rich (818896) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914589)

why oh why did they not use something descent like *nix/apache with something like postgreSQL, it seems to me like a win win solution.

Probably because they had limited time, skills and resources (i.e. they live in the real world) so they used what tools they had experience with.

Re:Lets hear it for scalability (1)

Bubble666 (771901) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914823)

Probably because they had limited time, skills and resources (i.e. they live in the real world) so they used what tools they had experience with.

Yeah, they probably did'nt had the skills to find a proper solution in time, but as of resources(i.e. hardware) i think that if they can manage to run IIS, they can manage to run a descent solution, dont get me wrong IIS is notting but a descent solution.

But lets keep it real.. if you can write something like:

set con = server.createobject("ADODB.Connection") con.Open "Driver={ODBC 3.51 Driver};UID=;PWD=;Exclusive=No;SourceType=DBF;Sour ceDB=C:\Inetpub\blah;Backgroundfetch=No"

or this:

$db = pg_connect("dbname=friends");

would'nt seem harder to me
and for the rest.. well any usefull programmer would pull it out, weither its in php or asp, so it cant really be the skills...nor the ressources.. as for the time... well.. i can setup the Server for it in about 2 hour.

Re:Lets hear it for scalability (1)

digidave (259925) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914871)

"why oh why did they not use something descent like *nix/apache with something like postgreSQL, it seems to me like a win win solution."

Or they could just train someone to change the default settings on MySQL. Nearly all MySQL errors such as this one are due to the default number of connections being used. Even if the DBA doesn't know how to tune most of the paramaters, simply doubling the allowed connections would probably have helped a lot.

Re:Lets hear it for scalability (1)

Vihai (668734) | more than 8 years ago | (#13915152)


This means that al this stuff has been programmed by clueless people:

Microsoft Cursor Engine error '80040e38'
Row cannot be located for updating. Some values may have been changed since it was last read.
E:\WWWROOT\WWW.EV50.COM\HTML\POLL\../include/dbhea der.asp, line 77

Re:Lets hear it for scalability (1)

Mr2cents (323101) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914305)

I'll try again when the story is duped 8-).

They should patent their technology (1)

lheal (86013) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914489)

Oh, wait, they did.

Junk (1)

Decameron81 (628548) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914250)

Making it mandatory for people voting to vote in each and every cathegory is a good way to create junk results in my opinion. Can someone tell me how I can vote if I have no clue of what most of those people did?

Re:Junk (1)

SimilarityEngine (892055) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914268)

Roll a dice. And tell your friends to do the same, in the catagories they know nothing about. The combined effect of hundreds of random choices in those catagories will then not be biased towards any particular candidate.

(Half joking....) :-)

Re:Junk (1)

ErrorBase (692520) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914294)

Done that. Reade the voting recommendations and then do a refresh ...
Decisions, decisions ...

Re:Junk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13914407)

That's cute -- I didnt realise that it was randomising it for me, so I did<pre>echo $(($RANDOM % &lt;num_of_choices&gt; +1))</pre>, and randomised it again

Re:Junk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13914344)

If you "have no clue of what most of those people did" then you have no business voting.

Get educated on the issues first and become and informed and productive member of society.

6 posts and it's out (-1, Redundant)

gingerTabs (532664) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914260)

*CRASH*
Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers error '80004005'

[MySQL][ODBC 3.51 Driver]Too many connections

E:\WWWROOT\WWW.EV50.COM\HTML\POLL\../include/dbhea der.asp, line 9

Voting guide... (3, Funny)

sznupi (719324) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914261)

You know, thsi reminds me of old joke...
School teachear giving homework: "children, please write who's your idol, and why Lenin"

Luckily the background isn't the same :P

Re:Voting guide... (0)

jlp2097 (223651) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914534)

Considering your spelling and grammar, you probably decided to not listen to your teacher after that :-)

Re:Voting guide... (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914559)

It definetelly wouldn't be English teacher in times when the joke would be true :P

Am I Hot or Not? (-1, Troll)

faqmaster (172770) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914262)

This is the GPL version of Hot or Not? [hotornot.com]

dba down (0, Redundant)

robbie_air (635515) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914266)

Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers error '80004005'

[MySQL][ODBC 3.51 Driver]Too many connections

E:\WWWROOT\WWW.EV50.COM\HTML\POLL\../include/dbhea der.asp, line 9

Why MySQL? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13914309)

They should use a professional database such as Microsoft SQL Server (tm), not such unsupported open sores ware.

(... pshht! but don't tell them that this will make it easier for us to fix the vote too...)

Caligula, famous Roman Emperor and troll... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13914341)

... wanted to make his famous horse Incitatus Consul.

You, Sir, apparently want to make your pet goat European of the Year...

Too lazy, need a script (2, Interesting)

Gopal.V (532678) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914273)

Why doesn't someone write a greasemonkey script to mark all these votes ?

Then I can install it, click Vote and be done about it :D

Or on the other hand, I could read up on who all these people are before voting. NOT !!!

Flawed voting (2, Interesting)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914285)

The form requires one to place a vote in all categories, even if I don't know who the people are or if I support none of them. This quite simply bullshit. To support one candidate I'll have support others I care none for.

This is supposed to be politics. This is supposed to mean somthing! How can they err on such a simple thing as a flawed system of voting when it is the foundation of democracy?

Re:Flawed voting (1, Funny)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914328)

Ssssssssssshhhhhhhhh. If you keep saying things like that, you'll limit the ability of despots to control us.

Guess who's going to visit you in prison? Noone, since we can't visit you at their Guantanamo.

Re:Flawed voting (1)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914351)

I should clarify that I don't actually believe that Guantanamo is being used like that. If I was running some variety of Illuminati, the prison would be super-secret, and impossible to find.

Re:Flawed voting (0)

nagora (177841) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914572)

If I was running some variety of Illuminati, the prison would be super-secret, and impossible to find.

You've missed the point: when you are true Illuminati you parade your control in front of the masses, who are unable to do anything about it. That's why Guantanamo is public: to send out a signal to the rest of the world that the USA can do whatever the fuck it likes and no one can do squat about it (particularly Cuba). This is a very common habit in empires.

TWW

The foundation of democracy? (1)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914400)

Internet polls?

Re:Flawed voting (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13914616)

This is supposed to be politics. This is supposed to mean somthing! How can they err on such a simple thing as a flawed system of voting when it is the foundation of democracy?

It's an internet/newspaper poll, followed by a black-tie dinner and an awards ceremony. I think we can forgive them.

Tough choice (2, Insightful)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914293)

It was a tough choice between Ayaan Hirsi Ali and the no software patent guy.

Voted for Florian though because I think that is the best choice for a more free economy.

Re:Tough choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13914441)

The parent is obviously Dutch. This makes it all the more sad that he actually _considered_ voting for that Ayaan Hirsi Ali. In contrast to the public opinion, it is out of ideology that she acts as if she is concerned about oppressed Muslim women in Dutch society. For her, its a PERSONAL battle. She has way to much emotion to handle this in any reasonable way. It is like having crime victims judge criminals.

In addition, she likes being in the center of the attention, and plays the masses almost as good as certain late politicians (there is nothing wrong with being a demagogue, unless you are one of the sheep that doesn't know his or her true intentions. I do not think it's smart to trust people like this).

I think we are lucky there is not any political party that really likes or trusts her (making a swap from socialist to liberal as she did sure does not inspire much trust). I know for a fact the liberal VVD would prefer to loose her if she wouldn't make a big fuss out of it when they somehow tried to dump her.

Re:Tough choice (0)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914563)

Don't be sad now, just respect my opinion as I do yours.

I have my reasons to respect her, but I won't go into them now, don't want to start a flamefest because my opinion might be the less popular one.

Thank you for your well-considered support! (4, Interesting)

FlorianMueller (801981) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914994)

It's great that you gave this some serious thought, because that's what our core group of anti-swpat activists did as well. Obviously, other candidates also stand for important causes. It's just that their stories are much more attractive to the general press than something as esoteric as software patents, and that's why we need this kind of publicity more than they do.

As for Hirsi Ali's party, the VVD pushed for software patents like hardly any other political party in Europe. The whole directive project was started by Frits Bolkestein. On 1 July 2004, all of the Dutch parliament except for the VVD group supported a resolution that the Dutch government should retract its support to the EU Council's pro-patent proposal. And Toine Manders was a driving pro-patent force in the ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe) group in the Europan Parliament. It was only toward the end of the process that he was burned out and (probably because Philips also wanted this) introduced a motion for rejection of the entire bill. On the day before the vote, I met him in an elevator in the European Parliament and we actually had a friendly discussion because we all wanted to go for rejection of the proposal, but let's face it: He's an intellectual property lawyer by profession, and he didn't call for rejection because he was against software patents. He just realized that his camp couldn't get its way, and then they decided to abort the process, which was perfectly fine with me.

not the first (1, Funny)

manojar (875389) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914320)

this doesn't look like the first time Americans want to decide European policies!

Re:not the first (1)

enjahova (812395) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914463)

I doubt that the Americans pushing software patents and other heavyhanded Intellectual Property policies on Europe wouldn't be the first time either.

Sweet irony (2, Insightful)

laurensv (601085) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914321)

poll in association with Microsoft.
Imagine some bobo from MS handing over the prize to the guy from NoSoftwarePatents.
(I know the organisation would let it come to that, but Microsoft would still be on all the promo material, press releases,...)

If you have no clue, please read (4, Interesting)

TheTilde (709489) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914322)

please read their recommandations on their voting guide. The recommandations are sensible and argumented, and when they don't want to choose (business leader of the year) they generate a random choice. I found it quite funny.

The issue is important.

Disagree (2, Insightful)

Da3vid (926771) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914325)

I can't say that I agree with the idea to remove software patents. Where I can see that copyright will protect your program, what if its a novel idea in software design that you want to patent? It seems to me that copyrights protect individual works, but patents protect novel ideas and inventions. Perhaps what needs to be done is not to eliminate software patents, but re-define the borders of what is granted a patent and what isn't, and make it more difficult to obtain erroneous patents.

-Da3vid-

Re:Disagree (2, Insightful)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914421)

Software is math. You can't patent math, why can you patent software?

Note that even without software patents, it doesn't mean it's impossible to get patents relating to a software product, it only means you cannot patent the algorithms themselves.

Throw out the baby with the bathwater? (2, Insightful)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914431)

The No Software Patents site says that copyright should cover everything that patents cover, and elsewhere that patents are used as guns against small software developers. Um, and copyrights AREN'T used this way? C'mon. If patents disappeared tomorrow, the lawyers would find a way of crushing you with copyrights, and you'd have a No Software Copyrights! movement in a minute.

The problem is not with the protection of ideas, but with the execution of that protection in the business world. Maybe 20 years is an inappropriate length for a patent in software; maybe two years would be better. Perhaps patent and copyright duration should be scaled based on the industry, or adjusted based on the commercialization/profit of the IP holder. There are other ways of dealing with this besides chucking the whole system.

Re:Throw out the baby with the bathwater? (4, Insightful)

Halo1 (136547) | more than 8 years ago | (#13915137)

The No Software Patents site says that copyright should cover everything that patents cover, and elsewhere that patents are used as guns against small software developers. Um, and copyrights AREN'T used this way?
No. Copyright does not hold in case of independent development, while patents do hold. You cannot "amass a portfolio of copyrights" which then allows you to crush competition which wrote all code themselves. Someone else's patents on the other hand still apply even if you developed something entirely on your own.
C'mon. If patents disappeared tomorrow, the lawyers would find a way of crushing you with copyrights, and you'd have a No Software Copyrights! movement in a minute.
Software copyright existed before software patents. The companies behind the nosoftwarepatents.com campaign earn their money thanks to the copyright they have on their code. I don't see why they would want to abolish copyright. The people behind the nososftwarepatents.com campaign did not originally wage a "nocopyright" campaign and then just switched to patents because it's more contemporary. Please find another strawman.
The problem is not with the protection of ideas, but with the execution of that protection in the business world.
Can you please cite some scientific research which backs up that claim? Here's my collection of research [ffii.org] which indicates the contrary.
Maybe 20 years is an inappropriate length for a patent in software; maybe two years would be better. Perhaps patent and copyright duration should be scaled based on the industry, or adjusted based on the commercialization/profit of the IP holder.
The patent system inherently has a huge inherent overhead cost: filing applications, performing prior art research to avoid infringement, licensing deals, lawsuits, ... This is not about babies and bath water, but about determining whether it's all worth the trouble. It's not like the software sector needs software patents to function well, and there are an awful lot of indications software patents don't help increasing efficiency.

Proponents of software patents have been claiming for years the whole system can be fixed by just making a few adjustments, but no one has been able to actually argue in economic terms that this is in fact true. And then there's still these pesky details such as the WTO TRIPs treaty, which requires a minimum duration of 17 years for all patents you grant.

There are other ways of dealing with this besides chucking the whole system.
We're not chucking anything, we're preventing the codification of the American system in Europe.

Protect? (2, Insightful)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914437)

Patents don't "protect" novel ideas, they *prevent* ideas from being used for the benefit of society. They are evil and harmful, the only saving grace for patents is that secrecy may be even more harmful than a time limited patent.

To defend software patents, you must find a software patent that has expired, is useful today, and is unlikely to have been invented independently during the patent period.

Re:Disagree (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13914488)

You probably get lots of replies. I advice you to have a look on the various anti-patents sites if you have not already.

- Software is generally implemented much quicker and with much less costs then ideas in the physical world. Even you could have a good idea and since there are _NO_ costs associated with reproducing your idea you can bring it on the market quickly. Unless ofcourse, you want to patent it. Then you spend $50000 at least on lawyers and patent costs. And you do not even know if this is going to work. This is way most small companies are not going to patent their SW ideas.

- 20 years for a patent effectively makes the idea useless for society, the software moves much faster then real-world things. In 20 years, new things will have been invented. Patents were made for making sure the idea would be produced and sold to the public, not to make one company ask a silly amount of money for it (or worse, just for keeping others from producing such a thing, which seems to be the standard these days). For 99% of the things, having your SW copyrighted will protect your idea long enough to make money of it.

There are more reasons of course, which i leave to others.

Re:Disagree (2, Insightful)

Aim Here (765712) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914537)

"what if its a novel idea in software design that you want to patent?"

Then you should bugger off implement it and sell a product, and stop trying to monopolise thoughts and demand that other people pay you money for work they did.

The software industry doesn't pay many people to sit around and think up ideas for other people to implement (computer games designers are exceptions, and a special case, really).
There is a reason for that. Ideas are cheap and easy to come by. Implementing them is a bit more difficult (though fairly cheap and easy nowdays).

Trouble is, that at the moment, hardware, software, and skilled manpower, and the means of software distribution and production are all quite cheap and available to most people. This is making life difficult for the big players in the software industry, because in order to be an oligopolist, you and a few of your buddies need to have control over a scarce resource. In computing, at the moment, there's very little scarcity. Hence the need to bribe lawmakers for software patents, and to make software ideas scarce, so that the industry can find something to charge us for. Namely the ideas in our own heads.

Come back and whine about software patents when there really is a global ideas shortage, not before.

Re:Disagree (1)

LainTouko (926420) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914562)

Copyright (copyrestriction) and patents do not "protect" works and ideas. That's just silly, what danger are these works and ideas supposed to be threatened with again? If anything, they should actually be described as harming those ideas, since the purpose of an idea is to be used, and they restrict the freedom for people to do that. An idea which is patented is an idea which is in one sense, crippled. For example, (medical) drugs could help a lot more people if their development was funded by a means other than patents*, because poorer people could use them. You're using language which has been devised to distort by those who have a vested interest in less freedom of idea usage.

The idea behind patents is to encourage the creation of more works and ideas. However, software patents have the opposite effect. Allowing software patents takes away our freedom for absolutely zero benefit to society. The only people they benefit are the rich and powerful.

*(In addition, most of the research is actually done by others, and a large part of the "patent income" is used for marketing.)

Re:Disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13914734)

Perhaps what needs to be done is not to eliminate software patents, but re-define the borders of what is granted a patent and what isn't

You are right. And, as an admirer of 100%-free-market economies that I am sure you are, you'll find that those borders should be set at 0 years for 99.99% of all cases of computer-related patents.

Patents are communist!11111!!!1!1! shoot'em

HOW IS PARENT A TROLL? (1)

Viper Daimao (911947) | more than 8 years ago | (#13915097)

The parent is calm, non-inflamitory, and actually offers an alternative suggestion. how is parent a troll? Shameful when disagreement with the /. majority is marked as trolling.

The rest of the answers? (1)

drange_net (859642) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914432)

Can anyone give me the rest of the answers?

Who the hell are all these people? (1)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914448)

Where is the "info about" link on that voting form?

It helps if you're interested and European (1)

andersh (229403) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914900)

I don't know if you are European or not - I guess not since you haven't heard of these people. Although I admit one or two were not familiar to me most of them were. I have no professional interest in the EU - in fact I don't even live in the EU. I guess I just read more news than you?

Florian Mueller is a dubious choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13914452)

His statements concerning the bnetd case and reverse engineering in general [lwn.net] makes me believe that someone like Michel Rocard would be a much better choice.

Voting software has problems... (1)

knarf (34928) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914510)

Tried it:

Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers error '80004005'

[MySQL][ODBC 3.51 Driver]Too many connections

E:\WWWROOT\WWW.EV50.COM\HTML\POLL\../include/dbhea der.asp, line 9

Oops....

Re:Voting software has problems... (1)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 8 years ago | (#13915069)

[tinfoilhat]It's a conspiracy, they want to deny /. readers their vote![/tinfoilhat]

In reality, I expect these polls don't attract a huge vote. I'd be surprised if more than 100,000 individuals voted in past years. They've obviously only adopted the infrastructure to support those smaller volumes.

Watch this video, SNCF (1)

NigelJohnstone (242811) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914544)

Slighly off topic, but watch this video from SNCF about Ideas:

http://www.zippyvideos.com/3940632471977606/ideas/ [zippyvideos.com]

"we give it tools to exist somewhere else"

"rather than on a piece of paper"

Looks like SNCF taking a side swipe at how stupid patents have become.

mod 0p (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13914550)

al7 0ver America = 36400 FreeBSD

Statesman of the year (1)

HishamMuhammad (553916) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914642)

They suggest voting for Spain's Zapatero. But wasn't Poland who blocked the software patents directive last time? Or was it DMCA-like laws? Heck, it's hard to keep track of all those freedom-butchering attempts. If anybody is better informed than I am, please clarify. Thanks.

Re:Statesman of the year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13914807)

I don't know but if the DMCA doesn't settle well with you, don't vote for Florian because he's an outspoken proponent of the DMCA. He is against software patents, but he believes that video game makers should be able to control the experience and where and how the game is used, through technical means backed by the force of law.

Why we recommend the Spanish PM,not the Polish guy (3, Informative)

FlorianMueller (801981) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914830)

It's true that the Polish government was extremely helpful. However, the Polish candidate for Statesman of the Year wasn't helpful at all. He's the president, but all of the help came from the executive government, which is headed by the prime minister (at the time that was Marek Belka), and mostly from deputy minister Wlodzimierz Marcinski. We discussed the voting recommendations with our Polish activists who are quite familiar with how the decisions were taken within the Polish government.

Re:Why we recommend the Spanish PM,not the Polish (1)

rhetoric (735114) | more than 8 years ago | (#13915048)

I don't know but if the DMCA doesn't settle well with you, don't vote for Florian because he's an outspoken proponent of the DMCA. He is against software patents, but he believes that video game makers should be able to control the experience and where and how the game is used, through technical means backed by the force of law.
An AC posted this just below your reply. I'm sure you're a VERY busy person, but would you mind addressing this issue here?

Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13914948)

Hard to say if any one country did anything - since they're not grouped according to national lines in the European Parliament.. It's like Congress - they just have more political parties [eu.int] .

Looks like we might have a good chance (1)

Jack Taylor (829836) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914913)

A quick google search on "european of the year" has quite a few mentions of Florian Mueller on the first few pages, and *none* of any other candidate. Now that this Slashdot story is going to be added to that list pretty soon, and given that the poll is internet-based, I'm feeling quite confident that he's going to win. I wonder what the odds are now...? (skips off to local betting shop)

Re:Looks like we might have a good chance (2, Interesting)

FlorianMueller (801981) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914956)

Your observations are correct. U2 called on its fans to vote for Bono (on the official U2 homepage), and some U2 fan sites made a similar call, but in terms of Internet publicity, we beat the rest of the field by a wide margin. A very solid majority of all participants in that poll has been sent to that poll by our PR and online campaigning activities. Slashdot is of course the biggest of its kind, but the site previously went down due to some of our mailings to registered opponents of software patents as well as articles on heise.de, TheInquirer.net, TheRegister.co.uk etc.

It's not just about whether we win, it's also how we win. We want to involve large parts of the community in this, and we hope to send a really strong message to Brussels (the de-facto capital of the EU). They should see our numerical strength and campaigning power once again. Unfortunately, the software patent issue hasn't been resolved for good in Europe, and it will resurface on the political agenda sooner or later. By winning this poll, we increase our chances of winning future battles. Publicity is an important way to influence politics.

Slashdot Speaks and We Obey (3, Funny)

samureiser (903923) | more than 8 years ago | (#13914993)

Let's all be good little Asimov robots and obey the leader, er, Slashdot. I, for one, welcome our new moderator overlords...
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