Still no improvement in the democracy in Europe.
The European Council decided to give a green flag to the project of the now famous software patent directive (in French in Le Monde Informatique).
The endorsed project is the one proposed by the European Commission in May 2004, that is to say that the Council did not pay any attention to all the legislative work which the MEPs have been doing since then. Poland even calls it "its worst nightmare".
The MEPs have now three months to change the project or reject it altogether. As one can point out, this is quite short for such an important issue, considering the (democratic) work that has been done so far by the MEPs in accordance with most national parliaments & governments is now reduced to nothing. They will have to start from scratch again.
It is such a disappointement for the open-source community. Declarations and interviews relate the same state of mind: even Florian Mueller does not seem to believe in a happy ending here, he believes "the hurdle is very high"; Jonas Maebe, an FFII board member, in an "Open Letter to the EU: Constitution, we have a problem", ends up with a question to the MEPs:
" How on Earth am I expected to still believe in this farce? I really do want to believe. Just give me chance to do so..."
Today, the Council presidency admitted that it takes this project as a "non-discussion" item, "so as not to create a precedent which might have a consequence of creating future delays in other processes". This is really frightening because it basically means that:
European Commission + European Council + Microsoft are superior to European Parliament + 10 national governments + 3 national parliaments
A very instructive declaration (from the representative of Poland in the Council) can be read here.
The no-software patent community is now begging the MEPs to make a sensible decision. We need to keep faith in our institutions (or rather in our insitution, the EP). For those who are not convinced yet, here are a few links to keep you up with latest infos and analysis:
Meanwhile, the BSA, the EICTA, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Ericsson, Dell, Alcatel, Microsoft, Nokia et al. can start smoking cigars.
Talking about them, Adobe is annoucing today that it is ready to make a big step towards open source which "has given so much for Adobe" (sic), while it strongly supports the software patent directive which is going to toll the bell for a large part of the open source community. Further, Adobe calls for the open source community to collaborate to help developping their project.
Isn't that called stabbing in the back, and stealing the money in your pocket?