According to this page, Mr. Wlodzimierz Marcinski, the Undersecretary of State at the Polish Ministry of Science and Technology, is single-handedly responsible for blocking the dreaded European software patent vote on 21st December last year. This means that Europe will remain software patent-free which in turn will help open source software and software innovation in general.
Since a lot of good, free software ( Mplayer, Linux, Knoppix to name a few) has come out of this region, the benefits aren’t limited to just the EU. Countries like Pakistan, which are starting to rely more and more on open source software, have a lot to gain from a patent-free Europe.
Gnu has issued banners to thank Poland for this effort, one of which I’m putting here. Looks like Poland doesn’t have an embassy in Pakistan so we can’t write a thank you note to them.
MPlayer is good, but VLC is better 🙂