Gates in Danish Government Blackmail Scandal

Thread Title:
Gates tried to Blackmail Danish Government
Thread Description:

I saw this Enquirer Story this morning but there was so little information i gave it a miss. Now the good geeks and freaks at Slashdot have picked it up however, it becomes much more fun..

Apparently "Bully Boy Gates" tried to blackmail the Danish government over the EU's software patents directive:

Bill Gates tried to pressure the Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen into accepting the European Union's proposed directive on software patents by threating to terminate the 800 jobs at Navision, which had been acquired by Microsoft.

Naughtly naughtly billy boy!


Translation and Denial

Original Article translation

and it is now being refuted by MS according to The Register

Software patents oppress

Good for the Danes, software patents are basically a tool to keep innovation under the control of Big Business. Software IP is a deadly illusion.

And it goes deeper - metaphorically!

The esteemed organ "Private Eye" reported in their Brussels Sprouts column (Issue Number 1125) the following:

There's a bad smell coming from the EU agriculture and fisheries committee - and it has nothing to do with the fish.

The EU council is so desperate to push through controversial patent legislation, against the wishes of the European parliament, that it twice recently tried to sneakily attach it to the agenda of the agricultural committee!

Happily the move was blocked by the Poles, who argued that computer patents have nothing to do with fish or farming.

Eye readers will recall how Ireland's Prime Minster, Bertie Ahearn, whose recent presidency of the EU council was sponsored by none other than Microsoft, tried to push through software patent legislation that would benefit big computer companies (like Microsot) while putting at risk Europe's smaller software industry.

MEP's had listened to leading European economists and academics and sought to limit what could be patented. But it seems that there are those on the EU council who will try anything to slip the directive on to the books.

Now that's off my chest - can anyone tell me why the Sesame Street picture on this thread is not Danish but is in fact from the excellent programme Sesamstraat which is aired in the Netherlands (Sesamstraat is Dutch for Sesame Street).

Who would have thought that this post came from NY

In Denmark, as well as most o

In Denmark, as well as most of the rest of Europe, software (or any original code that meet a certain complexity level) is protected by copyright the same way music, pictures and any other "art" is. So it's not like software is not considered IP already and it is indeed protected. In fact, copyright law give some advantages over patent law - two of them being:

1) You get the copyright at the time the "art" is created - with patents you have to apply for each country or region of the world.

2) It dosen't cost you anything to get your copyright - patens can be a quite expensive venture.

However, patens will give you better control of some aspects of the commercial use and are therfore often applied to "industrial inventions".

The big questions are:

1) If companies will keep investing money in software development and new IT-inventions here if they do not get the extended commercial rights patens could give them. I think they will. They do already do so under the current laws and have done so for a long time!

2) If software patents will eventually block other creative developers from getting valuable stuff out to the people - limited by others patents. To some degree, I believe, we already see this in a related area with the many US patents on PPC-technology. The biggest single challenge, in my mind, for developing a new US based PPC engine is to do it without violating Overture and Googles PPC-related patents - or having to pay licenses. Who is this good for (beside the stockholders of those two companies)?

I have been going through mixed feelings about software patens myself for quite some time. On one hand I surely want people that "invent" something to be able to exploit it the best they can with out risk of other companies ripping them off - on the other hand I don't want this to block new inventions and creative people driven by the "need" to invent things we can all benifit from. Imagine what kind of art scene we would have had if all art was legally put under the patens law! That would have given Blues a very short life span :) Who knows, maybe the first artists could have got the patent to certain colors, brush strokes, sizes or shapes.

copyright vs. patents

What the main issue is to me is the ability to patent software ideas, like 'one click shopping' or 'highlighting of search terms'. Such patents are absolutely ridiculous.

You can copyright your code, that's fine, but if I could write code that does the same thing in one hour why should your lawyer be able to stop me? Every software innovation is based on prior work.

As a webmaster and a business man why should Amazon have the right to tell you that you could not implement 'one click shopping' or should Google tell you not to highlight the key word text after a search?

With the bulk of the patents (and legal teams) being under the control of giant corporations here in the US, software idea patents will in effect become a creativity tax on the EU. Mikkel, you are suffering from that tax now judging from your #2 'big question'.


Im in Denmark, but i was looking for a picture to depict "evil" - i saw that and couldnt resist :)

Mouseover the Cover

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