Russell McOrmond's blog

Free Software and the Canadian Federal Election 2008

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a donor supported charity founded in 1985 and based in Boston, MA, USA. The FSF has a worldwide mission to promote computer user freedom and to defend the rights of all free software users. They have sister organizations in Europe, India and Latin America.

Since any inclusion of legal protection for "technological measures" in the law regulates what software citizens are allowed to run on their own computer, they have an interest in this issue. Canadians who are part of the Free Software Community really need to get involved in this election to ensure that the rights of Canadian Free Software users are protected. Richard Stallman, founder and president of the FSF, requested that I write this article to give our community some ideas of what to do.

Read the rest of this entry on IT World Canada's blog »

Evan Prodromou is a TWiT.

Congrats to Montreal-based Evan Prodromou who seems to have enlisted #3 Twitterholic Leo Laporte in Evan's attempt to open up Twitter with Identi.ca. To learn more about Evan's awesome project, check out FLOSS Weekly 37: Laconica. See also: Army.TWiT.tv.

FACIL launches lawsuit against Quebec government to close loophole

FACIL sent out press release (english press release, which includes a link to a translation of their court filing) that documents their launching of a case in Quebec Superior Court. The case is intended to end a loophole being used by the Quebec provincial government to award contracts to proprietary software suppliers without an adequate evaluation of all the options, including Free/Libre and Open Source Software options.

I was interviewed by Peter Nowak for CBC News last evening about the case. Even though I hadn't read the documents from FACIL yet, guessed which loophole they were trying to close.

Read full article on IT World Canada »

Open source group: copyright bill will hurt innovators

For immediate release: Ottawa, June 16, 2008

Open source group: copyright bill will hurt innovators
Canadian Software Innovation Alliance comes out against Bill C-61

The Canadian Software Innovation Alliance (CSIA), a coalition of Canadian open source businesses and supporters, worries that Bill C-61, 'An Act to Amend the Copyright Act,' introduced by the Conservative government on June 12, threatens the open source business model.

CLUE's involvement in Internet issues: ICANN, Net Neutrality and competitive access

As a demonstration of CLUE's involvement in issues beyond "Linux Users", I want to talk about some of the issues that Evan Leibovitch (past executive director) and I (as policy coordinator) are involved in.

Evan has been acting as chair of the North American Region At-Large Advisory Committee of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). Evan will hopefully be blogging about his involvement soon, and some of the issues that the advisory committee deals with. People may get a taste for the types of issues by listening to the This week in Law episode 13 from last month.

While I spoke at IT360 last week on the issue of Software Patents and Free/Libre and Open Source Software, recent interviews and blogging have been focused on the related issues of "Net Neutrality" and competitive access to telecommunications facilities. While these two issues are often lumped together or even confused for each other, I try to separate them in my articles.

December issue of the Open Source Business Resource

The December issue of the Open Source Business Resource is now out (PDF)

This issue includes (pp 29-33 in the PDF) my article titled "Protecting Information Technology Property rights". This article, and a letter to the editor, also promote The Canadian Software Innovation Alliance, which has launched a new website.

CIPO Reviewing Software Patent Practice

A thank-you to Michael Geist for blogging about a revision of MOPOP.

Thanks to a reader for pointing out the the Canadian Intellectual Property Office is currently reviewing several chapters from its Manual of Patent Office Practice .  Chapters subject to review include those covering software patents and biotechnology, matters of interest to the open source and scientific communities. CIPO provides details on submitting comments here.

Alphabet soup of acronyms: TPM, DRM, TCPA, RMS, RMI

There is an alphabet soup of acronyms people use when talking about some of the controversies around copyright related issues. While learning the acronyms are hard enough, we also have to deal with the fact that different communities are using the terms in different ways. I have had the opportunity to interact with technical, legal and law making communities and will try to make sense out of a few most often heard acronyms.

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