Taylor calls for an OSC Task Force Led Debate on European Patent Law And Demands an Unbiased, Neutrally Funded Economic Analysis, At EU Government Level, To Examine Commercial Realities For Open Source.
Mark Taylor, European Executive Director of the Open Source Consortium has praised the European Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee, JURI, for defying the EU Commission's attempt to force through new patent laws that would adversely affect the European Open Source software industry.
Commenting on the decision Taylor said, “To pass this law as it stood would have legitimized a culture of lemmings, as it would have set the software industry racing headlong towards the cliffs of prolonged litigation and thwarted innovation. Indeed right up to the wire, the gloom merchants were forecasting a prohibitive patent law would just roll over the Open Source industry with little or no resistance. This decision is a sharp stick in the eye for those people who blindly believe that restrictive patents would be good for Europe.
“It is also a green light for the Open Source community to continue their challenge to the proprietary vested interests that dominate software technology at present.”
Taylor called on the Open Source Consortium's European Patent IP Law Task Force launched on 1st February to accelerate its work given the news of the decision. The members of the Task Force have been drawn from industry, government and the Open Source community across Europe. Additional support will be provided from specialist legal counsel. Its terms of reference include a substantive consultation process to provide an in-depth dialogue with Open Source stakeholders. The Task Force will present its findings at EU Government level in the near future as the independent and inclusive voice of the Open Source Community.
Taylor also called for a neutrally funded Economic analysis to examine the commercial realities of any future EU policy directive adding, “The potential, commercial impact here is huge and as a matter of some urgency there needs to be a cold blooded, neutrally funded economic analysis for European industry as a whole. I would point to the work of people such as Rishab Ghosh
at the University of Maastricht as a possible starting point for such an analysis.”
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