Michael Geist on the EMI DRM Announcement

The EMI DRM Announcement - EMI and Apple jointly announced today that EMI will be making virtually its entire music catalog available without DRM. Their plan is to offer a higher priced version without DRM and with higher quality sound. This is obviously an important development - there is lots of DRM-free music available from independent labels, but the addition of the world's third largest music label is a game-changer.

Québec Free Software Week

2007-09-15 09:00
2007-09-23 18:00
Canada/Eastern

For sustainable development

For the fourth consecutive year individuals and organizations from all corners of Quebec join together for the Quebec Free Software Week.

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.

Getting certificates

As we hear more and more about DRM and other similar technologies, we encounter the need for certificates. Since this is the case, we, in supporting FL/OSS, should be aware that there is a Certificate Authority that is working within the movement. This is CAcert.org.

Changes to Canadian copyright act imminent: Likely to attack FLOSS.

Michael Geist has an article about how Canadian Press is reporting that the introduction of a copyright reform bill is imminent.

Expect to see a lot of Graham Henderson misinformation (lies? Maybe he doesn't understand technology enough to know better) about DRM, and the false claim that there is a need to attack the tangible property rights of Canadians in order to protect the business models of specific copyright holders.

"I've often said, if you've bought it, you're my best friend, knock yourself out," Henderson said of the music his members sell. "You've just bought a valuable piece of property, and you want to be able to use it to the fullest extent you can - without cheating the system."

Policy Coordinator on CHUT radio in Montreal

I was interviewed for a CHUT radio show called L'heure est au libre that airs from 11:00-11:30 on Mondays. The archive for the show aired Monday January 8, 2007 are online.

Copyright-related Policy summary from CLUE: Canada's Association for Open Source

CLUE presented our copyright policy summary to officials at Heritage Canada on December 1, 2006. The proposals include a support for a living "Fair Use" model, as well as an opposition to laws which protect specific brands of technology rather than protecting creativity.

Software and Community in the Early 21st Century

There are many reasons why people become interested in FLOSS. For some it is the cost of the software, and for others it is the simpler economics of using fixed-cost rather than marginal-cost based business models. When I was introduced to Free Software back in 1992 it was the way in which this community protected the interests the smallest entrepreneur from the largest business predators. I now see FLOSS in a much broader historical and international context.

One of the beauties of this movement is that you can have people with very different (and sometimes conflicting) political philosophies who are able to work together towards common goals. FLOSS is non-partisan, even when each of us might be participating for our own partisan reasons.

The most inspirational speaker on the perspective I share is Eben Moglen. As a law historian and professor he has a grasp on the historical context that our movement has. We are worldwide in the beginnings of something as important as the industrial revolution. The questions we ask in the Free Software movement, and how they are answered, will shape many aspects of our lives in the future. Free Software may not solve world hunger, but I happen to believe that the philosophies behind it are a big part of the solution.

To get a taste of this vision, please watch the inspirational keynote speech Mr. Moglen gave at the Plone conference in October 2006.