As well as the ongoing debate over the Software Patents Directive, which is now of course at the legislative stage, the EU Commission is also currently doing preliminary thinking about how or whether the Software Copyright Directive should be amended.
Interestingly IBM, which in the 1980s was at the forefront of efforts to limit when decompilation and white-box reverse engineering should be allowed, is now at the forefront of the opposite position, calling on the Commission to do whatever it can to sweep away barriers to interoperability (including interoperability by directly competing programs).
The question of patent use rights for interoperability is also one of the issues very much in play in the Software Patents Directive, in particular the new Article 6a proposed by the European Parliament, but initially rejected by the EU Council of Ministers.
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