April 27, 2005

Spanish universities demonstrate against software patents

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Madrid, 27 April 2005. In a nation-wide event to take place at noon today, students, teachers, and faculty-members across Spain will participate in anti-software-patent demonstrations to be held at their respective universities.

Events such as conferences, information sessions, exhibitions and petition signings have been held at the well over thirty participating universities during the last weeks, building up to April 27. The goal of today’s demonstrations is to publicly display nonacceptance of the Council directive, and request that the European Parliament either re-amend the directive to keep software free from patentability as it did in its first reading, or, as the only viable alternative, to reject the directive in the second reading.

As Alberto Barrionuevo, FFII representative in Spain, points out: “Students want to make it highly explicit that they fear an adoption of the Council’s directive would allow for unlimited patentability of software, inflicting significant harm on small- and medium-sized enterprises. This in turn would lead to large losses of employment opportunities in Europe, create unhealthy dependence on the largest multinational corporations, and severely limit the incentives as well as the opportunities for innovation.”

The demonstrations are supported by large number of varied groups and organizations including FFII, Proinnova, the national association of computer science students (RITSI), the second largest of the national trade unions (CC.OO.), the professional associations ATI and AI2, and several others, including over thirty computer associations, research groups, business associations, etc.

At each university a pre-written statement will be read out, with Richard M. Stallman being the person doing so at Madrid Polytechnical University (UPM). The full statement and list of organizations can be found at http://lucha.proinnova.org/.

More Information

Contact Information

Alberto Barrionuevo (FFII Spain)
abarrio at ffii org
tel. +34 639 70 84 94

Felipe Wersen
fwersen at ffii org
tel. +34 636 808 545

Hartmut Pilch (Munich Office)
info at ffii org
tel. 49 89 18979927

About 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. The FFII supports the development of public information goods based on copyright, free competition, open standards. More than 500 members, 1,200 companies and 75,000 supporters have entrusted the FFII to act as their voice in public policy questions concerning exclusion rights (intellectual property) in data processing.