Ideas & Commentary

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.

Fighting Software Piracy

I know it has been a while since I last posted but Anti-piracy ads on the radio have prompted me to say that there is no reason to use pirated software. We, meaning CLUE members and affiliates, use F/LOSS but I think that we do not do enough to get our message to the general public. As a result, Microsoft Office, one of MS's best money generators, it is also one of the most pirated suites.

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.

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.

How Vista Lets Microsoft Lock Users In - News by InformationWeek

Interesting I think to CLUE

http://tinyurl.com/yfvq69

Tech and Sec - October 2006 an interesting blog entry

I think that the following addresses some of the problem we have with
our politicians and the surrounding bureaucracy.

http://techsec.blog.ca/2006/10/

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.

The power of diversity in FLOSS

There is quite a bit of talk about the Microsoft-Novell deal, Oracle's support for RedHat Linux, Sun's release of Java as FLOSS using the GNU GPL, and many other Linux and Open Source stories. They got me to thinking: We don't know which strategies being carried out by various companies are likely to succeed in the marketplace, but we do know that whoever wins they can't help but be part of the Linux/FLOSS ecosystem.