Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

IPRED2 - Open Rights Group vs. Their Rights Online

Hemos posted more than 7 years ago

Your Rights Online 30

Elektroschock writes "The British Open Rights Groups yells the alarm bell. Europe again. Ipred v.2, a directive proposal, will pass the Legal Affairs Committee soon. ipred2 would brand 'all intentional intellectual property rights infringements on a commercial scale' a criminal offence, thus the public prosecutor will take action and take over the role of RIAA. For commercial social communities where infringements are inevitable — think of Youtube — they expect dangerous times ahead. On the other hand life of content industrials would get a lot easier. It is difficult to imagine how the consumer would benefit. Toine Manders, Dutch MEP in that Committee, openly advocates his amendment proposal aimed to criminalize consumers. Open Rights Group suggests you to write to your Members of Parliament. Will they have any impact? Janelly Fourtou, wife of the Vivendi boss, is a member of the Committee. And she pushed through ipred number 1, so why should public action make a difference? The EFF started only this month to build up an office in Brussels. Do MEPs listen or could Sealand be an option for Web 2.1?"

cancel ×


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

GNAA Announces Immediate Release of OSX_x86_YHBT (-1, Troll)

segin (883667) | more than 7 years ago | (#17981644)

GNAA Announces Immediate Release of OSX_x86_YHBT

Ich Bindawalross (London) - GNAA (NYSE: GNAA [] ) President timecop released a statement today regarding the immediate Internet release of MacOS X for the x86 architecture, available on many BitTorrent networks. After making the statement, timecop yielded the stage to a second speaker at the press conference, Apple Computer co-Founder and CEO, Steve "Rim" Jobs, now fully recovered from his recent gender reassignment surgery to field questions from attending press members.

"We here at Apple Computerth [sic] have decided on a slightly different path for the upcoming version of the MacOS X," Jobs states before bursting out into high pitched giggles. "We have replaced our overpriced and bloated software with an efficient and easy-to-use interface. I would like to take this opportunity to announce a merger larger than a Zimbabwe nigger cock: GNAA and Apple Computer."

Returning to the podium, timecop began speaking again, while Steve Jobs submitted to orally pleasuring his ten inch nigger cock. "Dedicated faggots have been loyally purchasing the homosexual software and hardware abomination that is Macintosh computers. Apple has been striving to provide software customers with the most flambouyantly homosexual combination available. However, in recent days, this hasn't been enough.

"There has been increasing pressure from the disgustingly obese Lunix nerds and the socially well-adjusted and popular Windows users to convert, as well as pressure from OS X emulators to provide consumers with increasingly gay products. Apple Computer has decided to merge with GNAA in order to broaden the appeal and better serve the interests of all those who buy Macintosh products. Furthermore, we will adopt Apple's "Step 2 ???? PROFIT!" marketing model. This will also stop Apple from going out of business, which they probably would have otherwise."

At this point, timecop paused and deposited a quart of Gaynigger seed into Steve Jobs' mouth.

"GNAApple is committed to our new OS X86. Rather than give the user the difficulty of finding pornography themselves, we provide them with the classic hello.jpg, redundantly archived and brand labeled throughout the 950 MB DVD image, as well as a bundled copy of GPA (Gay Porn Avalanche). Now, greater efficiency in masturbatory pursuits can be provided to all."

"As Slashdot users, many of you might have been exposed to the pirated release, and information pertaining to it. We would like to thank Rob "CmdrCocko" Malda for running the first article, leading to the release of information about our upcoming merger. We would also like to extend our gratitude to and XiSO for helping us spread the release over the 'underground scene.' We thank you, the IRC channels who put it on their hacked .edu xdcc bots and fserves who hosted it on your dialup connections.

Steve Jobs, recovering from the large dosage of AIDS from the variety of syphilitic, festering sores of GNAA members, rose to his feet at this point during the press conference. "Our previous versions of OS X were released prematurely, and as a result the operating system was unstable and fragile. Our team of software engineers have also decided to abandon the weak and inefficient UNIX backside in favor of a more efficient and robust alternative: WinNT. The pirated version of our new operating system has had record acclaim from users of the Jewish-based internet news organization known as "Slashdot [] ".

"Those doubting the superiority of our new release need only read user testimonials."

"The Torrent going around as: Mac OS X Tiger X86 READNFO-XISO It's a complete fake. When the image is booted it shows a picture of a guy showing off his Bu** H**e." - Anon Coward

"if you unrar, burn, and boot like the .nfo file says, it just boots it to a very lovely goatse image. no joke, wasted two hours of my life and made a coaster out of some DVD+R media. HILARIOUS!" - BobVila

"Best. Trap. Ever." - saddino

"Aw crap, I thought you guys who said it was fake were just being fags. Opened up the first rar in my hex editor n after scrolling ,I too saw the "GNAAGNAAGNAA" *cries* I want Mac OS for my Pee-Ceeeeeeee." - Mark


"GNAA > me. Fristage Postage is theirs" - Pat Gunn

About Apple:

Apple Computer is the creator of the Macintosh, popularly known as the "gay computer". 87% of GNAA members are Mac users. Founded in 1974 by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Apple was nearly out of business in the mid 90's, when Jobs was rehired. He then started the now infamous iGay marketing scheme which involved both the Step 2 ???? Profit model, and a 100% effort towards marketing towards homosexuals.

About GNAA:
GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) is the first organization which gathers GAY NIGGERS from all over America and abroad for one common goal - being GAY NIGGERS.

Are you GAY [] ?
Are you a NIGGER [] ?
Are you a GAY NIGGER [] ?

If you answered "Yes" to all of the above questions, then GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) might be exactly what you've been looking for!
Join GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) today, and enjoy all the benefits of being a full-time GNAA member.
GNAA (GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA) is the fastest-growing GAY NIGGER community with THOUSANDS of members all over United States of America and the World! You, too, can be a part of GNAA if you join today!

Why not? It's quick and easy - only 3 simple steps!
  • First, you have to obtain a copy of GAYNIGGERS FROM OUTER SPACE THE MOVIE [] and watch it. You can download the movie [] (~130mb) using BitTorrent.
  • Second, you need to succeed in posting a GNAA First Post [] on [] , a popular "news for trolls" website.
  • Third, you need to join the official GNAA irc channel #GNAA on, and apply for membership.
Talk to one of the ops or any of the other members in the channel to sign up today! Upon submitting your application, you will be required to submit links to your successful First Post, and you will be tested on your knowledge of GAYNIGGERS FROM OUTER SPACE.

If you are having trouble locating #GNAA, the official GAY NIGGER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA irc channel, you might be on a wrong irc network. The correct network is NiggerNET, and you can connect to as our official server. Follow this link [irc] if you are using an irc client such as mIRC.

If you have mod points and would like to support GNAA, please moderate this post up.

| ______________________________________._a,____ | Press contact:
| _______a_._______a_______aj#0s_____aWY!400.___ | Gary Niger
| __ad#7!!*P____a.d#0a____#!-_#0i___.#!__W#0#___ | [mailto]
| _j#'_.00#,___4#dP_"#,__j#,__0#Wi___*00P!_"#L,_ | GNAA Corporate Headquarters
| _"#ga#9!01___"#01__40,_"4Lj#!_4#g_________"01_ | 143 Rolloffle Avenue
| ________"#,___*@`__-N#____`___-!^_____________ | Tarzana, California 91356
| _________#1__________?________________________ |
| _________j1___________________________________ | All other inquiries:
| ____a,___jk_GAY_NIGGER_ASSOCIATION_OF_AMERICA_ | Enid Al-Punjabi
| ____!4yaa#l___________________________________ | [mailto]
| ______-"!^____________________________________ | GNAA World Headquarters
` _______________________________________________' 160-0023 Japan Tokyo-to Shinjuku-ku Nishi-Shinjuku 3-20-2

Copyright (c) 2003-2005 Gay Nigger Association of America []

Why is it.... (3, Insightful)

robcfg (1005359) | more than 7 years ago | (#17981764)

that the politicians doesn't understand that criminalizing people is absurd. Politicians were elected to work FOR people and not AGAINST people. For me the path is clear, if the value their intellectual properties they should not sell it and keep it in a secure vault.

Oh, they understand that (2, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17981790)

But we only cast a vote, the money comes from the industry.

Re:Why is it.... (1)

Ontology42 (964454) | more than 7 years ago | (#17981812)

Business drives commerce, commerce pays tax. Your consumption feeds the business whom in turn feeds your government. If you have Cable, cancel your account and ONLY utilize media online thereby forcing change on the form of media distribution.

It's high time T.V. Got an overhaul, it's what 50 years old now. NTSC and PAL are poor standards for content and quality when compared with 720P, 1080i. So start by not consuming cable or any other syndicated T.V. for that matter, order all of your content online.

Eventually, there's going to be a lot more then YouTube, Vimeo, Google Video, and those that are slow to make the transition will be bankrupt (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, BBC, Chanel+) Remember those syndicates hold a vast amount of political weight.

Re:Why is it.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17982100)

Why do you consider the unemployed 28-year old living in his parents' basement downloading the latest episode of 'Battlestar Galactica' a person, and not the hundreds of individuals who make their livelihood off of creating it?

Re:Why is it.... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17982306)

Why should they work on an episode for a few months and get paid the rest of their lives while everybody else(and the performers) has to work 40 hours a week? If Britanny Spears needs to make more money then she can wake up at the crack of dawn and go out and shake that ass for it like everybody else.

Dust off those Cylon outfits and stand out in front of a car dealership, they'll hook you up with the same fair compensation every other schmuck gets.

Re:Why is it.... (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#17982124)

Yes, criminalizing people is absurd. There should be no laws and then nobody would have to get jailed for doing bad things. All those murderers, rapists, jay-walkers, and copyright infringers are all just people doing what comes natural. We shouldn't be persecuting them.

Re:Why is it.... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17982274)

There IS a difference between laws that restrict a minority and serve the majority and laws that restrict a majority for the benefit of a minority.

Re:Why is it.... (1)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 7 years ago | (#17983442)

Yeah, I'd say that criminalising pedestrians for crossing the road, where and when they feel like it is absurd. In fact, they are exactly

just people doing what comes natural
And thank god my government agrees. Say what you like about the UK government, but at least they haven't yet legislated to stop me using my brain to decide where to cross the street whenever it's convenient.

This is exactly the same, it's a stupid law that imposes a stupid restriction on the majority (pedestrians\citizens), for the sake of a minority(drivers\corporations).

Re:Why is it.... (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 7 years ago | (#17982510)

...the politicians doesn't understand that criminalizing people is absurd.

When you consider that politicians are far more likely to be convicted of a serious crime than the general public, you'd think they would understand.

Here in the 'States, between the politicians and NFL players, that's most of the crime, right there.

I tried reading the proposal... (2, Insightful)

montyzooooma (853414) | more than 7 years ago | (#17981798)

...and while it's not exactly dense legalese it is pretty dull. Which is going to be the problem isn't it. I wrote to my MP during the main anti-EU patent campaign and it was probably an eye-opener for him when compared to the typical letter he'd receive on a weekly basis. But with software patents there are some pretty broad strokes you can paint if you want to paint a negative picture - anti-competitive monopolies, patent trolls etc. But I think we're going to have a harder time convincing our MPs that there's a good reason not to criminalise commercial copyright infringement whether it's on Youtube or selling pirate DVDs in pubs or at car boot sales.

While I may BT the odd TV show at least I know what I'm doing is illegal. Instinctively I know that if this goes through it's the thin end of the wedge to making it not only illegal but criminal too. But I suspect my freedom to steal TV off the internet with only the threat of a fine hanging over my head is going to be a hard sell to my MP.

Re:I tried reading the proposal... (1)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 7 years ago | (#17982070)

The problem could be that infringement is not the same as piracy. The FFII explains [] where to draw the line. Their recommendation is to adopt the definitions of the Max-Planck-Institution [] .

On the one hand civil rights group advocate to criminalise piracy and counterfeit while the proposal of the Commission actually criminalises "all infringements". Plus "incitting, abetting infringements", that is very very broad, hmm? The Open Rights Group explains it very well.

It is not about piratebay or piracy and counterfeit, it is about ordinary online businesses where 'infringement' is unevitable and a matter of everyday business. You get alerted by the rightsholder and take content down. Else a civil court will process the case. When you are a manager of an online community as Youtube, it is not the police that arrests you for "inciting infringements" of intellectual property rights, infringements by user generated context. That would change. Due diligence could well be interpreted as 'intentional infringement'. Someone posts copyright protected content in your web forum, you become a criminal. In civil law there are already similar interpretations.

Or think of grey cases. How easy is it to infringe a trademark or a patent? Because we don't really know the scope of the right.

The business case against ipred2 is very good. Reportedly even the BSA was against it.

We are not talking about rational anti-piracy regulation but insanity which messes up IPR regulation and criminal law.

Re:I tried reading the proposal... (2, Informative)

Halo1 (136547) | more than 7 years ago | (#17982156)

Please have a look at a presentation [] I gave in the EP to interested assistants and MEPs about this. Although it may not be that clear without the accompanying commentary, I hope it still can clarify some of the important points.

Basically, the problem is that it does not only apply to commercial scale copyright piracy and trademark counterfeiting, but also criminalises

  • Alleged trademark confusion, e.g. Burger King v. Wholebake [] , or L'oreal SA & Ors v Bellure NV & Ors []

  • Infringements on database rights. As you may know, database rights only apply in case a "substantial investment" occurred, but how is a competitor supposed to know this in advance? Further, case law on this new "right" is still very much in development (slides 14-15 of the presentation, e.g. a case about a company selling an electronic version of a phone directory )

  • Non-piracy related copyright infringements: e.g. Deutsche Bahn (the German national railway corporation) has been convicted for copyright infringement [] , because it altered the plans of the architect which designed their new Berlin railway station in a way which the architect considered to be infringing on his copyright. Another very nice on: a museum which is being sued [] for repairing an artwork which consisted of a urinal, because that person who destroyed it considered the "destroyed urinal" as a work of art in itself.

  • Then there are also registered and unregistered design rights, which like database rights are not examined at all for validity. If you start threatening criminal prosecution for infringing on "right" which may not be valid in the first place, you get really chilling effects in the market place.

If you have time to read only one background paper on this completely idiotic and misguided directive, have a look at the position paper of the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys [] . But those of the Law Society of England and Wales [] and Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition and Tax Law [] are also very good. You can find a lot more position papers on FFII's IPRED2 workgroup page [] under "External opinions"

Unlike the software patents directive, this is not a case of big companies vs small ones. Pretty much everyone except for the IFPI (music publishing industry) are trashing this directive like there's no tomorrow. And if you want to know why it is nevertheless being pushed through by the Commission, read my ENDitorial [] in the previous EDRI-gram.

So... (3, Interesting)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 7 years ago | (#17981800)

just who is going to be the only person who won't fall foul of this proposed "law"... If the courts get flooded with cases, then perhaps they might just rethink things... or am I just living in cloud-cuckoo land... Personally, I'd recommend that we deliberately go to police stations and give ourselves up, all at an pre-arranged time and day as a means of protest if this stupidity gets passed.

Re:So... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#17981830)

I'd wager the same would happen that happens in the US today because of the clogged justice system: People are being "persuaded" to make a deal outside the court. I.e. you plead guilty and get about 2/3 of the sentence. And a lot of people will agree, guilty or not, because they can't afford good legal representation and their "mandatory" lawyer (read: crappy pay and a case you don't want) wants to get rid of them and tells them the deal's a good one.

Who can I donate money to who will fight this? (2, Interesting)

nickos (91443) | more than 7 years ago | (#17981806)

I would like to donate money to an EU-wide organisation that will fight this sort of thing. Does anyone know which of the numerous organisations is most deserving of my cash?

Re:Who can I donate money to who will fight this? (2, Insightful)

Shrubber (552857) | more than 7 years ago | (#17981828)

There is an organization out there that works hard every day to fight this! []

Re:Who can I donate money to who will fight this? (1)

Vitanova (715409) | more than 7 years ago | (#17981960)

Consider the FFII: [] []

Re:Who can I donate money to who will fight this? (1)

nickos (91443) | more than 7 years ago | (#17982254)

Yeah, I'd considered the FFII, along with EDRI [] , and some others whose names escape me at the moment. I'm not sure what EDRI does besides their newsletter though...

Re:Who can I donate money to who will fight this? (1)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 7 years ago | (#17982258)

" is set up by"

How to donate to Vrijschrift or FFII? Does money help them? Or is grassroot action required as the Open Rights Group suggests?

Re:Who can I donate money to who will fight this? (2, Informative)

pieterh (196118) | more than 7 years ago | (#17982316)

The FFII (who also fight against software patents, and for open standards) has been working to modify IPRED2 and/or get it rejected, for many months.

The FFII's IPRED2 project needs your help. Defeating this directive requires a lot of analysis and writing of amendments, which is done by volunteers, but we also have to bring lobbyists to Brussels to do the groundwork with MEPs. That costs money - for travel, hotel, food, and in some cases, to pay people's time, because it's hard to spend months in Brussels without any income.

I know all this because I'm the FFII's president, and the only reason I accepted to take that (unpaid) job, a year and a half ago, was because this is the only pan-European organisation capable of fighting against software patents, and other bogus laws like IPRED2, effectively.

The new EFF team in Brussels actually consists of an ex-FFII activist, who is still on the IPRED2 workgroup, along with a dozen or more others. So if you want to help, give the FFII your support. See the FFII's donations page [] for how to make a donation.

Consumer oriented world (1)

PadRacerExtreme (1006033) | more than 7 years ago | (#17982492)

It is difficult to imagine how the consumer would benefit.

You do know not every law has to benefit the consumer right? Or are you trying to say corporations have no rights? Sorry, the rights of consumers (or the desired rights) do no always trump corporation rights.
(Aren't flame wars fun?)

Re:Consumer oriented world (1)

Halo1 (136547) | more than 7 years ago | (#17982574)

Most corporations are none too happy with it either for these reasons [] .

Re:Consumer oriented world (1)

djchristensen (472087) | more than 7 years ago | (#17985088)

Not sure about the details of EU law, but I don't think this is (at at least it shouldn't be) about whether copyright infringement should be punished. I have a hard time arguing that posting a bootleg movie for other to download is somehow justifiable.

The problem that I have with laws/directives like this is that they tend to encompass what should rightfully be considered fair use and are overly broadly written such that some pretty ridiculous abuses of the law result. Witness the DMCA in the US.

Criminalising research ? (1)

quiberon2 (986274) | more than 7 years ago | (#17985816)

The proposed directive seems to get in the way of commercial and academic research and development.

Really. If we propose to redistribute someone's copyright work, we'll seek a licence before doing so. Maybe pay money, maybe trade for distribution permission of one of ours. If we propose to learn from someone's patent, then we'll licence that, too; either money, or preferably a cross-licence for something we can teach them. We have loads.

If we infringe, it will be accidental. We don't want to go to jail. Some money chnaging hands would be the right remedy.

Sealand isn't an option for anything (1)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 7 years ago | (#17985834)

I really wish the Pirate Bay site was not moving to Sealand. All any country containing a lobby that disapproves of Sealand-based activities needs to do is deploy a single troop ship from their country's Navy. Given the flotilla's small size, I doubt it would survive more than three sufficiently large shells at most. End of story.

If Sealand is still under the jurisdiction of the UK, then eventually its' activities will bother the EU and various other people that I could imagine Prime Minister Wormtongue ordering an action similar to the above. According to Wikipedia, Sealand's sovereignty is not recognised, and it is still legally considered the property of the UK.

If, on the other hand, Sealand ever does somehow manage to gain its' own sovereignty, (which is extremely unlikely) said naval vessel in the above scenario could belong to one of any number of other countries, although most likely America.

Will they listen? (2, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 7 years ago | (#17987208)

Okay, for the americans. Say you are from one of those states no european has ever heard of, dakota or something. Now imagine if the guy in the news constantly was your senator and NOT the president of the whole United States.

Well that is europe. We a system that can be compared a tiny bit with yours except that the level of goverment that people know about is one level lower.

This effectivly makes the european level of goverment entirely unaccountable. Elections for the EU are nothing more then a opinion poll on the national goverment. You do NOT have EU parties. It is the local national parties that send people up for election. So it is used the same as local elections, just a way to see how the "real" national goverment is doing.

Except for one fatal mistake the EU made. The referendum on the constitution of the EU. It was slammed down by the dutch. It was the first time the dutch really were given a change to say something about europe and the answer was NO.

The problem wasn't even the constitution itself. It was how the politicians tried to win us over. It was downright insulting. Our prime-minister even warned us that it could lead to world war 3 if it was rejected.

The whole tone was, that they knew best and we should just do as they say. Disconnect? Ivory tower? Insanity?

Well whatever, it is still there, the whole thing is still on the agenda and not a single thing has been done to even attempt to find out why the dutch are so upset about europe let alone remedy it?

What are the reasons we are so upset? Well, the euro screwed us, and all the politicians say is that we are wrong when we claim prices went up and salaries went down because of it. When shown receipts before and after the change for the same item this is not even denied. The politicians know it ain't so, and facts have nothing to do with it. Other part is that Holland pays the most contribution, granted it is a rich nation, but we also get less and less to say.

The EU got a slap on the wrist, an important piece of legislation was refused and they did nothing.

Do you really think they are going to give a shit what a few geeks think?

The EU parlement is not just disconnected from the people, it is not just corrupt to the very core of its existence, it is not just ignored by those who are supposed to check it (the press), it is not just so incredibly complex that it could never work even if all the member states wanted it to work. It is all of them and then something.

The sum of its wrongness is greater then all of its parts.

The EU is a joke. But it is also needed. It keeps nations that hate each others guts from fighting each other. It also keeps individual nations from going to far with their local laws. For every insane EU law there are a dozen cases of people finding justice in the european courts of human rights.

But that basic problem is that the EU goverment goes unwatched. It simply isn't on peoples radar, neither the voters or the press. So massive conflicts of interests like in this case simply go unchecked.

Remember one thing about the human race. Democracy does not come natural to us. We tend to fall into monarchy. Human beings love to have an elite class on top that rules them and can get away with anything. Look at the US. No royalty, so elevate the rich to that class. Look at countries like france of russia, that slew their nobles in bloody revolt and were better for it, and now once again pine to have their royals back in place.

Will the EU goverment listen? They are. They are listening to voters that don't care and a press that can't be bothered and they know they are safe to do whatever they want.

And they are save, because it is a sure bet that it will be a long time before the next referendum is held in holland on anything, let alone the EU.

Re:Will they listen? (1)

Halo1 (136547) | more than 7 years ago | (#17994922)

Other part is that Holland pays the most contribution, granted it is a rich nation, but we also get less and less to say.

The EU is indeed not a publicly traded company where the country which "invests" most has the most to say. And every country gets less power as the EU expands, that's logical.

That said, you're absolutely right that the EU has a huge democratic deficit, and that the NO's in the referenda on the constitution were a serious wake-up call to the member states which they are ignoring because they have no answers to them.

But on the other hand you are over-generalising. At least in my experience, the EP is not "corrupt to the very core of its existence". There quite a lot honest, well-meaning and hardworking people there, ranging from administration to actual Members of the EP (MEPs). In many cases (though certainly not in all, just look at e.g. the data retention directive [] ), misguided decisions however do not come from corruption or malevolence, but from lack of hearing contravening viewpoints (or not hearing them from enough people with different backgrounds).

And while you can blame everything on the press and on politicians, a very big problem is that most people consider that after they have cast their ballot, they have done their democratic duty and are finished for the next 5 years in case of European elections (but this problem is by no means limited to European politics). At least I thought that way before I got involved in the FFII and software patents directive. The problems with this attitude are that

  • politicians do not work in a vacuum, and most do not want to take decisions from an ivory tower

  • large companies and other interest groups know this very well, and spoon feed politicians with whatever kind of information they want

And if a politician never hears any contravening viewpoints and the arguments of the interest groups look sound at first sight, they will follow it most of the time. After all, nobody is an expert in all things. A very nice example is someone pretty high up in the Commission who said in relation to the software patents directive that everything seemed so simple before the FFII appeared on the scene, and that now they don't know what is good anymore and what isn't. Of course most weren't intentionally trying to disadvantage small companies, they just didn't realise it. They simply thought they were helping the EU IT industry to compete better with its US competitors.

And as the FFII proved in the software patents case, you actually can make a difference. The EU is not some kind of machine or computer with a predetermined program; just like the rest of society it's made up out of a lot of different people and exactly because it is so huge, you're always bound to find a few people inside the system who agree with you and which can help you get started. And once you are in (e.g., you can get in the EP to talk to people there), it's just a matter of doing lots of work.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>