PRESS RELEASE — [ Europe / Democracy / Censorship / Economy / Copyright ]
Brussels, 01 April 2019 – Github has installed upload filters over the week-end to comply with the new european copyright directive on ‘upload filters’. Microsoft lawyers have been busy interpreting the new exception for “open source code sharing platforms” that the directive provides. They came to the conclusion that Github was not covered by the exception, since it also hosts many code repositories without a proper open source LICENSE file. Jürgen Voss, open source developer for Bosch, says: “This Sunday I tried to push some changes via Github, some commits were refused because Github installed some copyright filters. The pre-git-commit-hook message was complaining about “citation too long”, as I was quoting an article from IAMBIASED IP magazine.
Brussels, 29 March 2019 – FFII is calling on angry protesters against internet upload filters to reverse the position of their country by calling for a vote in their national parliament. Council of the Ministers is an undemocratic institution where decisions on this particular subject are made by officials of the Member States’s ministries of culture. FFII call on national parliaments to ‘take back control’. The adoption of internet upload filters is a strategic mistake that will fuel the eurosceptics game at the coming elections. Boris Johnson’s reaction to european parliament vote yesterday left no doubt about it.
The OpenTechSummit 2015 took place for the first time in Berlin on May 14, 2015 with the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure as a core partner and supporter. With more than 700 attendees – from policy makers, developers, start-ups, to contributors – and over 70 speakers the event was a huge success. A wonderful atmosphere came up through the participation of lots of kids in the hacking area and in the workshops. Topics at the OpenTechSummit range from future technologies, open hardware, encyclopedias, open data and free knowledge, software development, community networks and digital policies. The FFII was the main responsible for the track “Internet, Society and Patents”.
The OpenTechSummit will take place for the first time in Berlin on May 14, 2015 with the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure as a core partner and supporter. The Free and Open Source technology event brings together policy makers, developers, start-ups, and contributors. Topics at the OpenTechSummit range from future technologies, open hardware, encyclopedias, open data and free knowledge, software development, community networks and digital policies. In the evening there will be an “OpenTech-Himmelfahrt” lounge. The FFII is the main responsible for the track “Internet, Society and Patents”.
The first Meshcon FashionTec Week took place from October 10-15, 2014 in Berlin with the support of the FFII e.V. The event attracted 23 speakers from around the world and gathered hundreds of attendees from the technology and fashion community. The FFII invited software engineers, creative minds and fashion hackers to the MeshCon 14’ in Berlin. The technology week is organised in cooperation with the TU Berlin, BBW, Wikimedia and the Mozilla Community. The Meshcon is about local production, design and distribution of textiles in a way that reaps the full benefit of the digital dividend. The goal of the event was to explore the benefits of participatory production in the textile industry.
Berlin, 26 September 2014 – The FFII invites software engineers, creative minds and fashion hackers to the MeshCon 14’ in Berlin. The technology week is organised in cooperation with the TU Berlin, BBW, Wikimedia and the Mozilla Community. The gathering is about local production, design and distribution of textiles in a way that reaps the full benefit of the digital dividend. More than 23 Speakers from 12 countries will talk about digital makeovers of knitting machines, open-source-pattern making software, their latest web start-ups, the digital design studio and wearables. FFII president Benjamin Henrion (BE) contributes a talk on the use of cheap wireless chipsets for wearables.
Brussels, 24 September 2013 — Ten years after the historical vote of the European Parliament to ban software patents, the EPO, the patent community and large companies continue to push for their validation through the Unitary Patent Court. Benjamin Henrion, president of the FFII, says: “Freedom of programming has won that day, but it did not take long for the enemies of freedom to fight back. While freedom fighters went back to their businesses and families, the patent community kept pushing for the next step, a central patent court in order to validate the software patents granted by the EPO.” FFII vice president Rene Mages declares : “The patent microcosm excels to lobby the European commission and to change the designation (in a way a clumsy strategy) specially when our activism is winning : CII, EPLA, London Agreement, UPLS, and now Unitary Patent with a new Patent Court but the main goal is an invariant : to make official an intolerable drift of the patentable subject matters since 1986 (see Vicom case law). This type of underhand drift is profit-making for the patent microcosm, that goes without saying.”
Brussels, 14 June 2013 — The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) condemns the inclusion of investor-to-state dispute settlement in the mandate for trade talks with the United States. Investor-to-state dispute settlement gives multinationals the possibility to sue states for special tribunals if changes in law may lead to lower profits than expected. This threatens democracy, the public interest and copyright and patent law reform, according to the FFII. Today the EU Council is expected to grant the Commission a mandate to open trade negotiations with the United States. During the discussions on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), civil society groups warned that ACTA would make it impossible to reform dysfunctional aspects of copyright and patent law.
Today the FFII sent a letter to the European Parliament committee on International Trade. Thursday 25 April 2013 the committee will vote on 198 amendments to a draft resolution on the EU – US trade agreement (TTIP / TAFTA)
Text as pdf, or below:
22 April 2013
Dear Members of the International Trade committee,
We are writing to express our concerns with the proposed trade agreement with the US (TTIP). We invite you to take our concerns into account when voting on the amendments to the draft resolution on the TTIP. In this letter we argue that citizens have a right to openness; that all measures in the agreement have to fully respect our rights enshrined in human rights instruments, including the UN International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; that the agreement has to exclude intellectual property rights; and that the Parliament has to step in and defend democracy and the Treaties by excluding investor to state dispute settlement from the agreement. Openness
The agreement will mostly attempt to deeply integrate EU and US laws, as the trade tariffs between the EU and US are already low.
Berlin, 18 April 2013 — A cross-partisan Deutsche Bundestag resolution on software patenting received its plenary first reading. The resolution asks for changes to the controversial granting of software patents by patent institutions. The resolution follows up on an earlier resolution from 2005 and sents a forceful German message to Commissioner Michel Barnier. Brussels is asked to take action on a clarification concerning the overlap of software copyright with patent law. The Bundestag which unlike the European Parliament enjoys a right of legislative initiative threatens to take national action.