[clue-volunteers] Help with a CLUE brochure for LinuxWorld

Russell McOrmond russell at flora.ca
Tue Apr 18 09:21:26 EDT 2006

Evan Leibovitch wrote:
> Hi all,
> Just wondering if a couple of folks can help me in the next 48 hours to
> create a "why join CLUE" brochure to give out at LinuxWorld. I know
> Scott offered... is there anyone else who could lend a hand?

   Should we brainstorm content online?

  - There are many changes to government policy, at all levels of 
government, that affect FLOSS users and developers.  The FLOSS community 
needs a voice in these political discussions, and a membership driven 
organization like CLUE is ideal. The more members that CLUE has, the 
greater the beneficial influence we can have on government policy.

   Some areas of interest:

     - Government procurement:  Governments are trying to "simplify" the 
counting of existing proprietary licenses by negotiating government-wide 
licenses with specific vendors such as Microsoft.  We need to ensure 
that this roadblock to FLOSS is not erected.

     - Government use of Standards:  We need to ensure that when 
governments offer documents or otherwise interact with the public that 
they do so only using vendor-neutral standards.  We need to ensure that 
our own governments don't continue to impose specific vendor choices on 
fellow citizens.

     - Copyright : The Federal Government is moving towards implementing 
a US DMCA type law in Canada.  Among other things this law would seek to 
disallow the owners of computers to "run, copy, distribute, study, 
change and improve software" which can access digital content, meaning 
that people will be forced to choose between being able to legally 
access the digital content from the mainstream media or run FLOSS 
software.  We need to ensure that the rights of computer owners, 
including the right to choose FLOSS, is protected.

    - Software Patents:  For software to be FLOSS you need to have the 
right to "run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve software" 
without additional permission or payment.  Software patents impose a 
regime where this permission and payment is required to even author your 
own software if it impliments specific techniques, with patented 
techniques being added to many interfaces (Internet protocols, file 
formats, interfaces to hardware, etc).  Licenses that claims to be 
Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (RAND) impose per-unit payment 
systems, which are incompatable with FLOSS.  The Canadian Patent Office 
has been granting software patents based on a controvercial 
re-interpretation of the law, and we need to get the law clarified to 
eithor exclude software from patentability, or provide a "fair use" 
exception for royalty-free software and standards.

   This is too much for a broshure, but the concepts might be included.

  Russell McOrmond, Internet Consultant: <http://www.flora.ca/>
  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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