Joined: Sep. 2004
||Posted: July 07 2005,06:06
Indeed, a huge victory for open source and the innovation that depends on it, and yes, for democracy, which apparently is alive and kicking in Europe , much to my surprise I must admit. (The recent defeat of another extremely dubious piece of political overcontrol, the so-called European Constitution, also happily proves this).
A small handful of Technoczars will be upset but personally I don't give a hoot if they only make 5,000 gadzillion dollars this year instead of 4,999.999 gadzilllion dollars. They'll still do well regardless. See Forbes for the usual specious assertions and `poor little megarich technoczars didn't get to control the entire world enough`-type lamentations. It's almost complete crap, of course, especially the implied disinformation that this legislation would not have affected software unless "the software is used in the context of realizing inventions" (which is nearly 100% of the time). Linux itself violates a large number of US patents and the same would have happened in Europe. Most hilarious is the assertion that we wouldn't have the electric light bulb if it weren't for patents! Apparently, Edison just wouldn't have been bothered - perhaps he would have just hit the bong instead! Note that Forbes interviewed a lawyer for that article - not a scientist, entrepreneur or engineer using OSS in their latest innovation. Lawyers do all the inventing it seems ... see the above links for counterarguments.
But don't think for a minute that these guys don't have fallback stealth strategies - I only hope the EC is serious when it says it will not attempt another go at this legislation.
As for the EU Constitution, well, Blair, Chirac and the other "Dark Lords" have now all run for cover at the speed of light, hoping to stay in office for that little bit longer. But it's a fair bet that their successors will avoid referendums for the next 30 years in case they actually get the people's opinion and will instead simply try to achieve some of the near-arbitrary centralisation of power set out in that failed totalitarian document through a series of very quiet treaties that no-body knows anything about until after these have been signed.
The near silent process of international treaty making by and for bureaucrats - which BTW in most European countries completely and totally overrides ALL domestic law - is now one of the main instruments for subverting democracy and redefining international law. It used to only be right-wing nutcases who said so - but it turns out they were, for once, absolutely right.
Thomas Jefferson: Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.
Louis D. Brandeis: Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficent.
Voltarine de Cleyre: So long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men.
Herbert Hoover: Every collectivist revolution rides in on a Trojan horse of "emergency". It was the tactic of Lenin, Hitler, and Mussolini. In the collectivist sweep over a dozen minor countries of Europe, it was the cry of men striving to get on horseback. And "emergency" became the justification of the subsequent steps. This technique of creating emergency is the greatest achievement that demagoguery attains.
"We don't need no stinkin' Windows"