Tuesday 26 May 2009

Flemish software developer or free software user? Marianne Thyssen = BAD pick

Please take the following into consideration when voting for your EU member of parliament:

One of the few members of the EU parliament active PRO software patents, so AGAINST your interests was Marianne Thyssen (CD&V).

At the time, Bart Staes (Groen!), Dirk Sterckx(OpenVLD), Sp.a and NVA díd do a good job. Merde, even Vlaams Belang (friends know how hard this is for me to acknowledge) has supported Flemish SMEs on this issue.

The sources of this information? Direct experience talking to members of the EU parliament, and first hand reporting by friends even closer to the case.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for this, I still have no idea who to vote for, but at least now i know where the parties stand for on that front. It seems hard to find the parties' stances on the issues I actually care about, instead of the things the media deem important for some crazy reason.

Unknown said...

Interesting post. I put a question for a response on her "blog":


I can't believe any politician in Belgium with half a brain would be pro software patents.

I'll keep you posted... or not if I don't get a response.

Mark Van den Borre said...


She will probably say "I've voted against." and point you at:




But believe me, she really worked against our interests.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the links. What a great display of ignorance by Mrs Thyssen!
If patents would have been made "affordable" or "defendable" by SME she would have voted yes on the proposal.

So they know about the problems it would cause for (SM) enterprises, they know about the fundamental issues with respect to freedom of information, about the problems with the patent office, etc, etc and they STILL want to get it in place?

CD&V displays a certain willingness to regulate things on a European level, to the point where it's shocking. Power corrupts?

Unknown said...

So, here is an old video from 1966 from the late Dutch comedian called Tom Manders (Dorus):


It features 1972 different types of mouse traps. 43 years later, if we allow software patents, we'll have 1972 different ways to capture mouse clicks.

Adhemar said...

For those who want to know more about the free software viewpoints of the Flemish and Walloon political parties, Machtelt “Tille” Garrels asked them already.

She posts the answers on her site. Currently, only Open VLD, N-VA, CDh and Ecolo responded.

Disclaimer: I am affiliated with N-VA, as I’m the action coordinator of Jong N-VA. Once again, on this issue too I find myself in agreement with N-VA’s opinion.

Unknown said...

Dear Adhemar, Machtelt might have intended for the Q&A to be public, but at the moment they are not. The links you quote simply don't work for me.

Oh well. I don't really feel strong about positive discrimination of open source anyway. If the software is better it will prove itself over time.

Adhemar said...


You’re right: Machtelt’s site seems to be down at the moment (with the exception of the home page) when including the prefix www.; but it still works for me in no-WWW mode.

The still working links: project; response of Open VLD, N-VA, CDh and Ecolo.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the useful information, Mark!

Sense Hofstede said...

It is said that the Vlaams Belang is roughly equal to the largest Dutch party CDA (Christelijke Democratisch Appel) in the European Parliament, and I don't know if that should scare me or make me happy.

I hope the EP will take measures against software patents, rather than make them stronger, but I don't have that much good faith. American lobbies still have way too much influence in Brussels.

localhost said...

It is sad to agree with most of what a political party stands for, and then to see that one poltician of that party goes in the opposite of the party line, just because it is a technical topic and nobody understands what I am ranting about.

The other parties are of course even worse, for other reasons that have nothing to do with software patents.