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Euro MPs vote down new software copyright law

Members of the European Parliament have voted against a software patenting bill that critics say would make it harder for smaller...

Members of the European Parliament have voted against a software patenting bill that critics say would make it harder for smaller developers to compete.

Among the opponents of the draft legislation is the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII), which has 700 company members who are concerned that the proposed legislation's more stringent pan-European patent protection would make it difficult for them to develop new software.

The draft legislation is known as the “computer implemented inventions directive”.

Larger IT companies, such as Nokia and Alcatel, have called for higher levels of patent enforcement through the European Commission to protect their intellectual property, but the FFII said it would prefer patent rules to remain with national patent offices.

The European Commission is now considering whether to drop the proposed directive, which would mean national patent offices retaining control over software copyright, or to rewrite it.

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