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Re: [Fsfe-uk] Research questions

From: Ian Lynch
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Research questions
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 2004 23:55:57 +0100

On Mon, 2004-07-26 at 23:25, keith richards wrote:
> Hi 
> I'm researching a proposal for a broadcast news story
> on software patents and i'm looking for help on the
> following:
> 1/ Suggestions for how the story might be told in a
> way that engages the publics attention - specifically
> an individual example that would be able to illustrate
> and communicate the importance of the issue from a UK
> or european perspective.
> It would have to be something that could be filmed
> quickly and without much difficulty!
> 2/ Bromcom is one angle - are there any people who
> could be contacted for an interview - both within, and
> outside of, the free software movement?

I gave evidence in the BromCom trial and I have a FLOSS application that
does the same sort of thing as their software. It cost 10k to develop.
Compare that to the Government pilot of 11.25m that was basically a
gravy train for BromCom. Why pay millons for somethng that can be
developed from scratch for a few thousand? Godd example of the
government wasting tax payers money.

I'm available for interview ;-)

> 3/ I understand that Bromcom allegedly charged high
> fees for licenses to their patented software is any
> information available on that? 

Loads. Just ask me.

> 3/ How would you summarise the story in 75 -150 words
> (approx) in a way that both conveyed the importance of
> swpatents, and gained the attention of a skeptical and
> possibly disinterested audience? Who would watch and
> why?

Political angle. Gordon Brown is trying to convince people he can save
billions by reducing waste. How credible is that when we can show that
the BromCom case has cost millions in lawsuits, reduction of competition
and unnecessary purchases of licenses purely on the threat of court
action when the patent itself was largely bogus. This is only the tip of
the iceberg. Software patents will result in less competition and an
entrenchment of current monopolies that already cost the tax payer
billions per year. In addition masses of resources will be tied up in
bureaucracy paying lawyers and administrators, diverted away from front
line services.

> 4/ Can anyone tell me how the relationship between the
> BSA and the council of European ministers was
> detected?

Not sure about that one.

> 5/ What is the timetable/expected procedure for the
> second round of voting?

Again not sure vaguely November?

> Alex Hudson should vouch for my good intentions.
> Please mail me off-list if preferred
> many thanks 
> Gavin

Ian Lynch <address@hidden>

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