Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2003-09-23-Speech-2-031"

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"Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, information technology is the backbone of the future development of every country in the world and it is based on technology – hardware – and science – software. At present, all technological innovations are protected by their patentability; but software development gives rise to copyright which protects its intellectual property. To make this clearer, let me draw a parallel with the music world. An electronic computer is an instrument which is used to create music, not composed of notes but of codes and commands, alternating with rhythm and a composed sequence, made by the developer, giving rise to different actions and results. What would happen to music if, one day, you could patent scales, chords, trills and everything else that makes the world of classical music so rich and exciting? Information technology would suffer the same fate: with patents, every command, every sequence of codes and algorithms would be protected, and the market transformed into a web of restrictions. If all existing patents had to be validated, then all software development would be restricted, limited and increasingly inhibited, since all small and medium-sized enterprises and programmers would be forced to buy rights or licences and virtually pushed out of the market. The intellectual property of a painting or a book is not protected by patenting the subject or argument, but by guaranteeing its distribution subject to copyright laws, stimulating other minds to produce original works, similar but not copies, improving, where possible, on the original work or reinterpreting it on the basis of different or more interesting models. An expanding market, open to new horizons of lively criticism and fantasy, such as the European market, cannot allow itself to impose more regulations which would, in actual fact, further constrain development in the European nations. We firmly believe that the McCarthy report cannot be accepted, since supporting it would seriously jeopardise the technological growth and development which can be generated only where people have a free spirit and mind."@en1

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