Alyn Smith MEP

Alyn Smith MEP SNP.


Software Patents

Speaking from Strasbourg after the Parliament rejected the Software Patents proposals Alyn Smith MEP said 6 July 2005

"The Parliament has today shown its worth. The Commission and the European Council have consistently ignored the will of the Parliament and the people of Europe on this matter. This was a comprehensive rejection by 648 votes to 14, they cannot ignore us now."
"I only hope that this time the Commissioner keeps his word and does not try to bring in this system through another piece of legislation. This issue should now be declared dead and software developers allowed to get back to business."
"The Commission tried to scare us by saying rejecting patents would harm competitiveness but this was a piece of legislation designed to serve only the interests of multinational companies."
"I have had many small software developers and firms warning me of the impact this would have on their ability to compete and the threat it posed to jobs. Scotland has a burgeoning software and technology industry. Today's decision means that industry will be able to continue to grow and achieve its full potential."

Data Retention

Criticised the data retention measures. [1]


Mr. Smith voted against ACTA and did not support it in the Industry, Research and Energy Committee of the European Parliament. He stated that he was "delighted [that] my committee has voted to adopt a clear, precise and unambiguous opinion" against ACTA.[2].


He is an advocate for copyright reform, supporting the "basic rights of citizens [and] the needs of European digital entrepreneurs." [3]



2005-12-14 - SNP Press Release - SNP MEPS Oppose Intrusive Data Retention Laws
Summary: SNP President Ian Hudghton and fellow MEP Alyn Smith have criticised new data retention measures approved by the European Parliament earlier today as unnecessary and overly intrusive. Both Ian Hudghton and Mr. Smith opposed the plans saying that the UK EU Presidency - represented in Strasbourg by Home Secretary Charles Clarke - had failed to make a convincing case. The new rules cover data including mobile phone records, e-mails, text messages and internet communications and will oblige companies to store the data for anything up to two years. Ian Hudghton commented: "Our parliamentary group has been leading opposition to these proposals and we've been highly critical throughout of what I suspect will turn out to be unwieldy and ineffective measures. "I fear this will prove enormously costly and be of no help in combating terrorism as Charles Clarke has claimed. Instead, this attack on civil liberties could actually be used as propaganda by recruiting sergeants for terror, who have often proved quite adept at outwitting technological constraints." Responding to the vote, Mr Smith said: "This is a disappointment - nobody would disagree that we must leave no stone unturned in the fight against terrorism, but these proposals will not achieve the aim. These new rules as they stand are unnecessary, overly intrusive and I fear will prove very costly indeed. They represent an unwarranted invasion of privacy and the powers conveyed on European governments to spy on their citizens are far too extensive. I find this a deeply disturbing development that has more to with governments spying on people's everyday lives than any meaningful effort to combat crime. "We could have put up with limited legislation covering certain types of phone record for limited periods of time - but the scope of this proposal is so huge that it has turned into an assault on civil liberties and personal freedoms. "I'm disappointed that other MEPs did not join us in opposing these proposals. They're quick enough to talk about respecting civil liberties and the right to privacy when it suits them but when it comes to the crunch they're not willing to stand up and be counted. They will have a lot of explaining to do to their constituents."