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FLOSS in a competitive marketplace: avoiding the "one true way" myths.

I have been complaining for years that the incumbent "software manufacturing" firms have been justifying radical FLOSS crippling changes to the law using invalid statistics. The statistical method that the BSA (and it's Canadian arm with the Orwellian double-speak name of "Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft") use largely include the use of FLOSS software as if it were "infringement".

Their methodology is simple: Count the number of computers shipped to a region and "estimate" the demand for software from BSA members. Then count the amount of software BSA members shipped, subtract the two, and declare the difference as "piracy".

Introduction: Russell McOrmond, CLUE policy coordinator

I have been invited by the executive to be a policy coordinator, working for CLUE in Ottawa. My focus will be on the federal government and federal policy, but will also be collaborating with other CLUE members on other levels of government as well.

Political and Policy Advocacy

I thought that this being my first foray into the blog world that I would like to address something that is important not only to CLUE but also to other FOSS projects. I am most familiar with OpenOffice.org and its deployment via the Ontario Ministry of Education. This is a significant change for the government to go to Open Source after initially choosing StarOffice.

Okay now to get to the point which is that the Ontario government itself is not considering using OpenOffice.org but is sticking with MSO. To me this is a waste of your and my tax dollars and should be remedied. How? By each of us who use and work with Open Source to lobby our government representives. I started with my MPP, David Caplan, some time ago and will meet again with him, even though I moved from the constituency, to give him charts and spreadsheets that demonstrate that the cost of moving in this direction would cost about half of what it costs annually with the present choice.

An Introduction

Let me introduce myself to the CLUE community. My name is Jim Elliott and I am the advocate for Open Computing (including Linux and Open Source) at IBM Canada Ltd. (which covers Canada and the Caribbean). I have been working pretty much full-time on Linux since mid-1998. First as the launch manager for Linux on IBM mainframes for the Americas and then since January of 2002 in my current role.

My web site is at ibm.com/vm/devpages/jelliott where you will find copies of presentations I have made at public events recently on Linux and Open Source.

20 Years Ago

February 1986. I was in Oakland, CA, and Lou Katz, founding president of USENIX, asked me whether I was interested in becoming Executive Director of the organisation. He showed me the ad and the job description. I applied. I was interviewed by Debbie Scherrer, Steve Johnson, and Tom Ferrin. I got the job.

The next three years were the most fun I can imagine anyone having while getting paid for it. We were running 4.2BSD and then 4.3BSD on a VAX 780. Early in 1987 we got a SUN and a 3/60 and two 3/50s.

In 1987, I sponsored the first LISA; the first POSIX workshop; the first C++ workshop. We began the publication of Computing Systems. We sponsored the founding of UUNET by Rick Adams and Mike O'Dell.

Linux Caffe

If you live in or visit Toronto, I suggest you stop at the Linux Caffe, 326 Harbord, right on the corner of Christie.

davamundo, the proprietor/perpetrator, wrote me after the HLUG meeting, and I took the bus over the other day. It was very cold and very windy, but inside it was quite cozy and the barista served me a fine double espresso.

I noticed a lot of books (for those who like to read and sip), there's wireless, and the menu looked OK, though I didn't sample anything.

But I'm into supporting penguins -- even in the Northern Hemisphere.

Check it out!

Groklaw coverage of HLUG event

The popular Groklaw website, which has been following the SCOGroup lawsuits against its partners and customers, has provided a review of last week's Hamilton event with which Bob Young, Ren Bucholz and Peter Salus. Groklaw had earlier promoted the event.

About halfway down in the comments is an interesting and informative addendum to the origial report.

My own personal thanks go to Ron Harwood and the HLUG gang for staging such a well-run event, and to Peter Salus for coming up with the idea. I'm happy that the meeting topic went well beyond the specifics of the SCO case, as there are many current issues in Canada (such as the new government's approach to copyright) that require attention.

HLUG Special Event February 1st with Peter Salus

HLUG Special Event February 1st with Peter Salus - This Groklaw article discusses a meeting in Hamilton:
Peter Salus, Bob Young, owner of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Lulu.com digital publishing, founder of The Center for the Public Domain, and co-founder of Red Hat Software, and EFF's Policy Coordinator, Americas, Ren Bucholz will be the guests at the Hamilton Linux User Group on February 1st. The topic of the panel discussion will be Linux v. SCO and the relevant freedom issues and legalities.

5722 Votes

5722 Votes - Parkdale-High Park - 190/190 polls reporting

Peggy Nash - 20690
Sam Bulte - 18489

In 2004, Sam Bulte won Parkdale-High Park by 3521 votes. By shifting 5722 votes (more than any Toronto riding), I suspect that the copyright balance and fundraising issue played a role in the outcome.

While some will focus on the role of bloggers, the real story here (in addition to a strong NDP candidate and the national decline in Liberal support) is that Canadians, represented in this instance by the voters of Parkdale-High Park, sent a clear message that they are not comfortable with politicians who unapologetically trumpet their links to lobbyists, who promote one-sided copyright policies, and who denigrate those opposed to such views as zealots. [Michael Geist]

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