Campaign for Creativity
The Campaign for Creativity was a fake grassroots campaign funded by softward corporation to promote software patents. In late 2005 it was disbanded and replaced by the Innovation and Creativity Group.
- The 'Campaign for Creativity', which lobbies to make Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) vote for software patents, is the most recent example of a dubious 'grass roots' campaign. 'Mandatory disclosure and ethics rules are the only way to effectively discourage such deceptive lobbying practices', says Ulrich Mueller of LobbyControl.
- In its lobbying towards MEPs, the 'Campaign for Creativity' (C4C) pretends to represent artists, musicians, designers, engineers and software developers. The texts on the C4C website give the impression that the authors are part of the creative sectors (www.campaignforcreativity.org). In reality, however, C4C is orchestrated by Campbell Gentry, a London-based public affairs firm [www.campbellgentry.com]. C4C is de facto run by Simon Gentry, a public affairs consultant who in the past also lobbied for biotech patents on behalf of SmithKline Beecham. The English language website vaguely mentions that the campaign is 'supported by' corporations including software multinationals Microsoft and SAP, and industry association CompTIA. Simon Gentry, however, refuses to disclose how C4C is actually financed. Gentry claims that C4C has some hundred individual supporters, but these do not contribute financially. The companies, Gentry told LobbyControl, contribute to specific actions of the campaign, not on a fixed scheme. Gentry dismissed our questions about finances as 'meaningless', arguing that the campaign also benefits from resources provided (e.g. providing access to rooms or help from a patent lawyer), not only money. The burning question, who the Campaign for Creativity really represents, remains unanswered.
- "The campaign not only misleads decision-makers, but also potential supporters visiting the website", explains Ulrich Mueller. There is no reference anywhere to the fact that C4C co-ordinator Simon Gentry is part of the public affairs firm Campbell Gentry. The German and French language versions of the site do not even mention the support of companies and industry association CompTIA for C4C. Source: