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OT: Please vote for EU recognition of those who oppose software patents

I know it's off-topic for the list but I feel it is sufficiently important 
that it deserves the widest possible publication.

I'm not sure if the list has already received this notification.

The vote *is* open to non-EU residents.

Feel free to adapt any part of it if you'd like to send it on to other user 
group mailing lists etc.


Dear Supporters of NoSoftwarePatents.com,

On 6 July 2005, the European Parliament rejected a proposal to legalise
software patents in Europe. However, our fight continues.

There is now a public Internet poll in which you can vote against software
patents. Everyone can participate in the vote of the "Europeans of the
Year". That is the most important award in the European Union, and Florian
Mueller, the founder of the NoSoftwarePatents.com campaign, has a realistic
chance to win.

If Florian wins, then the big news in the media will be: "Opponent of
software patents is elected as European of the Year". The importance of our
cause would be clearer than ever before, to politicians, the press, and the
public. Florian would also have the chance to make a speech against software
patents in front of some of Europe's most powerful politicians.

Please click here to read more about this opportunity to vote (on the
Internet) against software patents:

Thank you very much in advance for your support. This is really a unique
opportunity for you and your friends to show to politicians that software
patents are a major problem to people all over the world. Everyone may
participate in the vote, including non-Europeans, and if we win, then the
victory will belong to all of us together.

Best regards,

The NoSoftwarePatents.com Team


My two-cents:

The vote works like this:

1. You must vote once for each of the ten categories, not just Florian. The 
link above at nosoftwarepatents.com links on to a page that explains who on 
the list of nominees did the most to support the fight against software 
patents. There are some categories where the vote is entirely neutral - make 
your own mind up on those. (I would personally recommend against voting for 
Tony Blair - no matter what your political persuasion - as the UK government 
was firmly behind the UKPO. If Lord Sainsbury was on the list, maybe I would 
change that but although he listens, it is still unclear how much he acts on 
the reports.)

2. Enter your real name and a genuine email address at the end. You will 
receive a confirmation email that activates your vote by providing a link. 
This is an attempt to block repeat voting - not sure how it works for those 
of us with multiple email addresses! However, do NOT deliberately attempt to 
skew the vote - your votes may be disqualified if abuse is found.

3. This is a real poll with real results - it's not the usual Slashdot type 
poll that has no effect beyond the stats. There are real awards that will get 
the attention of the worldwide media.

4. Florian was and is the most persistent anti-software-patent voice in 
Brussels, his support of FFII, his endless campaigning and unflinching 
support for the fight against software patents does deserve wider 


From the nosoftwarepatents.com site:

This is a campaign for a cause, not for a person. A respected jury has 
nominated Florian Mueller as a figurehead of our movement, and he has made it 
clear that we will all be winners if he becomes elected. By voting for 
Florian in a public Internet poll, you and your friends - no matter where in 
the world you live - can send out a strong signal that politicians must act 
against software patents. 
 If we succeed with this campaign, the issue of software patents will be 
elevated to the level of awareness that other major political topics enjoy. 
Our opponents try to portray it as a concern of geeks. With the power of the 
Internet, we can prove them wrong once again. 
 We face strong competition from such prominent people as Bono (U2), Bob 
Geldof, J.K. Rowling and 46 other candidates. However, we have a realistic 
chance to win because a public Internet poll should be a home game for us. 
 Imagine what it will mean if our candidate receives a highly prestigious 
award that Microsoft has co-sponsored, at a gala event that is moderated by a 
pro-patent lobbyist (Pat Cox), and if he can then make an acceptance speech 
in front of many EU commissioners and the heads of governments of several EU 
member countries. Europe's political leaders would have to listen to us like 
never before, and the news would go around the world. Florian has promised 
that he will give the prize money to the FFII if he wins.


Neil Williams

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