November 29, 2005

FFII a force for the future, says new president

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Brussels, 29 November 2005. The FFII General Assembly today unanimously elected a new president, Pieter Hintjens, to lead the organisation into 2006, backed by a strengthened board.

Following their summer success in defeating the directive on software patents, and the rapid growth of the FFII into 19 countries, the current president and board proposed Pieter Hintjens to lead the FFII into a new phase of growth and activity. The FFII General Assembly unanimously approved Pieter Hintjens’s nomination along with a strengthened board that includes FFII founder and former president Hartmut Pilch.

Pieter Hintjens is the 43-year old founder and MD of iMatix Corporation, a Belgian software firm. He has been active in the debate against software patents, explaining to the European Patent Office and the European Parliament why software and business process patents are so deadly for small innovative firms that are the life-blood of Europe’s innovation. He brings to the FFII his considerable experience both in the business domain and the technical domain.

“The FFII is a force for the future”, said Pieter Hintjens, “and I am proud to be able to represent this organisation. The goal of my presidency will be to lay the foundations for managing our rapid growth, for turning ourselves into a highly professional global organisation, and for delivering results to the people and industries that depend on us”.

Hartmut Pilch, who has lead the FFII since it was founded six years ago, comments:

  • “This is a qualitative leap forward for FFII. I knew Pieter as a charismatic speaker on conferences which we organised in the European Parliament. When Pieter explained his vision to me and offered to spend a significant amount of time during the next year to make this vision happen, I immediately found the offer irresistible. Likewise, Pieter immediately captured the hearts of today’s General Assembly. There is now a mood of confidence that we will be able to become strong enough to introduce needed legislation rather than just fight defensive battles. Needless to say, I will give Pieter all support I can.”

Jonas Maebe, who continues to be member of the board of FFII, adds:

  • “By playing an instrumental role in the rejection of the European software patents directive, the FFII showed that a large group of loosely organised people who actually believe in their cause is much more powerful than the traditional lobby. With our tremendous expansion of the past few years, it became however more and more apparent that were outgrowing our existing structures. I think Pieter is exactly the kind of person we need at this time, given his skills in organising, coordinating and motivating people.

About the FFII

The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII) is a non-profit association registered in several European countries, which is dedicated to the spread of data processing literacy. FFII supports the development of public information goods based on copyright, free competition, open standards. More than 850 members, 3,000 companies and 90,000 supporters have entrusted the FFII to act as their voice in public policy questions concerning exclusion rights (intellectual property) in data processing.