Tuesday, July 04, 2006

EU Commission vs. Software, part II

On July the 12th, the EU Commission will unveil the next stage in its plan to kill software, called EPLA.

My agent at the Commission, whose codename is Baron von M√ľnchhausen, tells me:

"The Commission has looked carefully at the global economy and decided that in a modern world, Europe simply cannot compete. We don't have the massive labour and capital markets of America, China or India. We're too expensive, lazy, and greedy to compete with anyone in a fair game. Technology only makes it worse, and frankly this free software stuff just makes us angry. How is Europe supposed to produce its own Microsoft when our best minds can't even charge for the stuff they make?

"The Commission", continues the Baron, "has decided that the only way to save Europe is to destroy this virus called software. We have studied the whole world and chosen the American IP model as our basis. We will take it to such an extreme level that the global software industry will stumble and fall, and we will return to the blissful age of carbon and steel, in which Europe's great Empires were born."

The Baron points out that "the fall of Europe's last empires coincides dramatically with the rise in information technology. Is it a coincidence that in the same year that Intel invented the microprocessor, the British Empire granted independence to many of its African colonies?

"Many dramatic moments in IT history can be tied directly to traumatic collapses of the European colonial period. Europe's leaders are thus convinced that only the final and total destruction of the IT industry will let them restore their former glory", finishes the Baron's report.

I have studied the Commission's long battle for software patents, and while I don't agree with the logic, I believe this is a plausible explanation for what otherwise appears to be a form of clinical mass insanity.

I asked a professional opinion from the Baron's half-cousin, Doctor Karl Fredrich. Dr Fredrich says, "the Commission's attempts to make it impossible for ordinary people to write, distribute, sell, or use software without paying unknown fees to unknown persons for unknown periods of time have only one logical foundation. They are completely and utterly mad. Mad, I tell you, mad!!"

I'll let you decide whether the Baron or the Doctor is right.

EPLA, incidentally, means "European Patent Litigation Agreement", not "Europe Pays the Lawyers Again", as some unkind people have suggested.


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