The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure or FFII is not a lobbying structure as such but a non-profit organisation based in Munich, Germany, dedicated to establishing a free market in information technology, by the removal of barriers to competition. The FFII was largely responsible for the rejection of the EU software patent directive in July 2005, working closely with the European Parliament and many partners from industry and civil society. CNET awarded the FFII the Outstanding contribution to software development award for this work, which was the result of years of research, policy, and action. Today FFII continue to defend a noble cause : a free and competitive software market by working towards sane patent systems and open standards. Currently the FFII fights against software patents lobbies, not only in Europe but also in other parts of the world.
FFII's view is that software patents present a burden, not a benefit to society, as it is found by Economic studies such as:
- An Empirical Look at software Patents(PDF) Bessen (MIT) & Hunt (Federal Reserve Bank)
- The Software Patent Experiment(PDF) Bessen & Hunt 2004.
and suggested by the
FFII has been active on this front at least since 2000 when, according to the FFII, an attempt to change the European Patent Convention to legitimize software patents failed. In 2003, it strongly but indirectly lobbied the European Parliament against the proposed Directive on the patentability of computer-implemented inventions.
FFII is the leading European NGO on this issue. Through its partnership with many other European organisations with the same goal, it has a reach across all nations of the EU.
FFII is directly supported e.g. by more than 1500 SME, many thousand software developers, tens of thousands of software users system administrators as well as a number of scientists, academics and economists.
- about 1,000 registered members
- more than 1,500 companies
- more than 2,000 CEOs of SMEs
- more than 90,000 supporters worldwide
- more than 400,000 signatures for a software-patent free Europe.
FFII organizes Conferences about the topic in Brussels, about twice a year, the last one took place on April 14, 2004 (together with a demonstration of more than 400 people against software patents) and November 9-10, 2004. In Karlsruhe, FFII organized a demonstration of about 1,000 people against software patents. See external links for details.
The FFII was funded originally by donations from SuSE and Infomatec. The Open Society Institute has contributed regularly, as have Red Hat, and Stichting NLnet. The historical list of donors from 1999 to 2005 can be found on the FFII web site.
The FFII exists as a mother organisation with more or less formal chapters in many countries. The national FFII chapters (such as FFII France) handle national membership, media and lobbying, while the mother organisation operates at the EU level and in countries where there is no formal FFII organisation.
The FFII board currently consists of Alberto Barrionuevo (President), Laura Creighton (vice president), René Pfeiffer (vice president), Hartmut Pilch (treasurer and co-founder of the association), David Vuorio (secretary), Georg Jakob, and René Mages.
Besides software patents, FFII promotes various campaigns aimed at disencumbering computing and software development. These include supporting author's rights and Interoperability enforcements, such as working to improve Copyright Regulation by providing technical analysis, amendments and voting recommendations that may influence the European Parliament.
Partners in Europe Edit
See also Edit
- Software patent debate
- Software patent
- EU Directive on the Patentability of Computer-Implemented Inventions
- Hartmut Pilch
- European Information, Communications and Consumer Electronics Technology Industry Associations (EICTA)
National sections Edit
- FFII UK Chapter
- FFII Polish section
- FFII Swedish Chapter
- FFII French Chapter
- FFII Belgium
- FFII Czech Republic
FTC/DoJ hearings and the reportEdit
- FFII: some written submissions
- FTC: Competition and Intellectual Property Law and Policy in the Knowledge-Based Economycs:FFII
de:Förderverein für eine Freie Informationelle Infrastruktur fr:Association pour une infrastructure de l'information libre nl:Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure sv:Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure