Friday, March 11, 2005

Becky Hogge at Open Democracy says the ongoing IP war "is a contest over freedom as well as technology.

"Fights for freedom are not always played out centre-stage. Since 2003, a piece of European Union legislation with the misleadingly arcane title of the “EU Directive on Computer Implemented Innovation” has been slipping unobtrusively through the bureaucratic thickets of Brussels. It has attracted little attention beyond intellectual property (IP) specialists and activists. It is time the interest widened, for the scope of the directive goes to the heart of how knowledge will be produced, consumed, and disseminated in the 21st-century global economy.

The proposed legislation has the potential to lock away information – code – by extending the remit of patent law to cover any piece of code that makes a “significant technical contribution” to the field. The law would bring Europe closer to the United States’s highly promiscuous attitude towards software patents, although how close remains a subject of fierce debate."

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