About Esoma

The European Software Market Association (Esoma) is the voice of the independent IT firms, professionals, and consumers.

How do we work

Founded in January 2007 by the FFII, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the removal of barriers to competition in IT and largely responsible for the rejection of the EU software patent directive in July 2005, Esoma focuses on:

  • Identifying the issues that matter, through research and analysis and our extensive global network of contacts in governments, academia, industry, and civil society.
  • Developing strategic plans for responding to key issues, and for taking the initiative where possible. No problem is too large or too difficult.
  • Building expert communities around key issues, through the use of flexible collaborative platforms such as wikis and email lists.
  • Developing detailed knowledge, through our expert communities.
  • Moving communities to action, through the use of petitions, news blogs, and other campaigning techniques.
  • Working with existing groups, so that we create diverse, broad-reaching communities.
  • Reporting and documentation of our projects so that members, sponsors, and clients are well informed.

Esoma projects are built as workgroups, highly independent and owned by their participants. We make it easy for individuals who do not know about or agree with Esoma's mission to still participate.

Esoma fills the gap for a European trade association speaking specifically for SME IT firms.

As a not-for-profit organisation, it is mostly funded from membership fees and donations.

The Power of Community

Monopolists and cartels work hard to keep the European software and ICT markets locked down. Breaking these locks demands action on many fronts: open standards, patent reform, copyright, data retention, consumer protection, security, privacy, transparency. Conventional approaches can be slow and expensive.

There is a better way: to bring the Community into the debate. Volunteer voices speak louder than professional consultants. We focus the Power of Community on policy issues that matter. We do this by explaining the issues clearly and helping volunteers organize and take action.

Building Wise Crowds

Most campaigns fail. It's not enough to start a wiki or launch a petition, or make a pretty web site. Building a community takes the right experience, skills, and tools.

Our team consists of experienced campaigners and organizers with proven abilities, ethics, and commitment. We are individually active in areas ranging from political activism to FOSS businesses.

Through our extensive experience we have developed innovative techniques – both technological and social – to build active and effective volunteer communities that can run with the issues and deliver real results.

Communities need leadership, fair rules, clarity of mission, provocation, and freedom. We seek this for our own work, and we provide this for our communities.

Would you like to join Esoma ?


Core Policy Issues

Europe's software industry, especially as SmEs and free and open source teams, is well-known for its ability to compete on a global market. We seek to sustain the health of this industry by promoting best practice:

  • Copyright, trademark, and trade secret as the best forms of ownership for the IT sector, as compared to software patents.
  • Open standards as the best basis for innovation and competition, as compared to closed and licensed standards.
  • Competition as the best basis for market growth, as compared to monopolies.


We're your eyes and ears. Brussels sees hundreds of directives, resolutions, events, and conferences each year. Many of these affect the IT industry. ESOMA monitors initiatives and events in Brussels and reports on these.


We provide the answers. ESOMA gives advices and produces proposals that guide and help policy makers, especially in complex and sensitive areas such as patents, copyrights, and digital rights.


We make things happen. ESOMA organizes conferences and projects, and works with the European Parliament, Commission, and Council to ensure that its members are properly represented.