Intellectual Property and EU Hypocrites


Patent Absurdity
Image by opensourceway via Flickr

The BBC reports that Samsung is to be investigated by the European Commissariat – sorry, Commission, over alleged abuse of patents.

Is that because they have been infringing the patents of their rivals? After all, we all know how much the authorities care about copyright, and patents are a bit like copyright, are they not?

No, it is because Samsung are alleged to be failing to license their technology to rivals. The allegation is that Samsung hold patents on inventions that are necessary to meet industry standards, and that they won’t license those inventions to their competitors.

The European Commission is trying to ensure an open market place for “telecommunications technology” (as they keep insisting on calling it).

Meanwhile, the same European Commission is talking about more protection for copyright holders, in a measure called the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement. That new measure is so controversial that the European Parliament’s representative who was working on it, refused to support it and called the whole process a “masquerade”.

The same authorities that are threatening to close down the web to protect the rights of copyright holders, are threatening to close down a technology player for protecting its own intellectual property too vigorously.

Surely that couldn’t be because Samsung is Korean but the music industry professionals are European, could it? Surely the EU couldn’t be simply an old-fashioned protectionist cartel, could it?

The European Commission doesn’t believe in free markets. It believes in markets that are rigged in favour of its own favourites.