[discuss] Invitation from MP Joe Fontana's office about Open rce..

I wrote the following message yesterday morning. Those in Ottawa may
want to attend the Monday event as well.

The Hon. Joe Fontana, P.C., M.P., Critic for Science & Research, would
like to invite all Members of Parliament, Senators, and their staff to
an all party information session on Open Source Software: a viable
option to costly software packages. Come find out why governments,
businesses, and families around the globe are using Open Source as an
alternative to costly proprietary software.

When: Monday June 19th, 2006, 10:00 am * 12:00 pm
Where: Rm 200, West Block

(BTW: If you plan to attend, make sure you RSVP to the MPs staff).

It may be worthwhile for people to forward a copy of the invitation
(from the OCLUG website) to your own MP, with a quick introduction as to
why it would be important for you to have your MP attend.

Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant:
2415+ Canadians oppose Bill C-60 which protects antiquated Recording,
Movie and "software manufacturing" industries from modernization.
Send a letter to your Canadian MP! --> http://digital-copyright.ca/

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 14 Jun 2006 11:09:08 -0400
From: Russell McOrmond
To: FontaJ3@parl.gc.ca
Subject: Re: Invitation about Open Source..

Dear Kevin Langlands,
Office of the Hon. Joe Fontana, P.C., M.P.

I received an announcement through OCLUG

I wanted to introduce myself, and to hopefully set up a future meeting.

I'm the Policy Coordinator for CLUE, Canada's Open Source advocacy and
education group http://www.cluecan.ca/

I'm the co-coordinator for Getting Open Source Logic INto Government
(GOSLING) http://www.goslingcommunity.org

I'm the coordinator for the Digital Copyright Canada forum
http://digital-copyright.ca , as well as the Ottawa coordinator for the
Petition for Users' Rights http://digital-copyright.ca/petition/

While I would like to attend the session, I would also like to speak with
you, other MP staff people, as well as MPs, about some of the policy issues our
sector is facing. While the vendors seem to do a good job at promoting the
business case for the use of Open Source, much of the discussion of the policy
benefits of Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS), as well as the
policies which threaten FLOSS, are left to groups such as those I am involved

Some examples:

- There have been proposals to expand copyright in ways which harm software
competition, such as legal protection for technical measures (1996 WIPO
treaties). There are related techniques being proposed to be legalized (and
legally protected) which remove the rights of the owners of technology to
decide what software they will use based on their own convictions.

As Stewart Baker, US Department of Homeland Security's assistant secretary
for policy, said, "It's very important to remember that it's your intellectual
property -- it's not your computer."

- FLOSS represents the simplest solution to the largest source of software
copyright infringement. By using business models that do not involve counting
or charging for copies, we avoid all the problems that the vendors that are
dependent on charging for copies are allegedly having (Note: Current studies
from software manufacturing(1) lobby groups do not adequately differentiate
FLOSS competition from copyright infringement). Not only does FLOSS reduce
certain costs for customers, it also reduces the large costs associated with
enforcement and policing for the suppliers.

- Some countries are expanding patent law to include information processes
such as software. This favors the incumbent business models over FLOSS, since
FLOSS has no mechanism to license patents as we do not (and can not under the
terms of the FLOSS license agreements) charge customers per copy. In Canada
the expansion of patent law was done unilaterally by the the Canadian
Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) based on one-sided "consultations" with
specialized patent lawyers, and not via a change in the law though a bill
debated by parliamentarians.

- FLOSS requires full public disclosure of all the methods that exist within
software in the form of source code, providing for software all the public
benefit (disclosure) that the patent system was created to offer for tangible
inventions. FLOSS has also demonstrated that the excessively long and overly
broad government granted monopoly of 20 years is not necessary for software
innovation, and that software has an entirely different economic analysis than
the production of pharmaceuticals or tangible hardware.

- Existing procurement policy inadvertently favors software manufacturing
over services based on FLOSS. There are many cases were existing procurement
policy is being ignored to favor incumbent vendors.

(1) Software Manufacturing / Software Manufacturers : This is a term used to
refer to that subset of the software economy who use analogies to compare
software to the production, distribution and funding of tangible products.
Software, as a non-rivalrous intangible, has traits that are very different
from tangible products, including the fact that software has a marginal cost of
zero. These traits are harnessed by FLOSS through Peer Production, Peer
Distribution, and not charging royalties.

Thank you.

Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant:
2415+ Canadians oppose Bill C-60 which protects antiquated Recording,
Movie and "software manufacturing" industries from modernization.
Send a letter to your Canadian MP! --> http://digital-copyright.ca/
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