Software sector

What is the software sector?

Who is composing the software sector?

This is the first question

How the software sector is not organised to talk to politicians

  • Does the shareware authors are represented via national associations? NO
  • Does the small software sector is completely represented via national associations? NO
  • Does the position of industry associations on this issue is the fruit of a consensus? Most of the time, NO
  • Does industry associations really claims what they represent? Most of the time, a simple check reveals that it is not the case

Problems with industry associations

  • Manipulations
  • Over-representation of patent attorneys
  • Patent attorneys and patent departments defining the patent policy of the company, not CEOs nor software programmers
  • Over-representation of large companies
  • No consensus based approach
  • The association does not simply ask its members and the president goes on himself
  • Multinationals defining the policy
  • Multinationals hijacking the association via its business partners
  • Multinationals lobbying harder foreign decision makers
  • Blackmail

Who is involved in lobbying in the software sector?

  • Software companies invests in lobbying when they spend too much money on patent litigation, patent lawyers and patent damages, especially for large markets where the sum of damages is calculted in function of the market size (Ex: United States, China, and soon Europe).
  • Typically all large american software corporations have their lobbyists in Brussels or Washington. Other under developed markets do not have such permanent professional lobbyists, just policy department for marketing and sales frontends.

What about users?

  • Does the users of software are represented via associations? Mostly NO, and when they have a voice, they do not have the weight to outweight the voice of the software producer. For example users of Microsoft Windows are mostly not federated.
  • Most users view the software patent problem as an issue for the software manufacturer. This is plainly wrong, since patent law covers also the use of the computer program, and potentially affect more the users then the producer itself, who can still distribute his software from abroad channels, such as via the internet. In the NTP Vs Blackberry case, users of the software solution suddenlly such as the US Department Agency suddenly becomed involved in the case because their users were concerned about the possible stop of the service and ban of those phone devices from the market.