Patents & Copyrights

Open source group: copyright bill will hurt innovators

For immediate release: Ottawa, June 16, 2008

Open source group: copyright bill will hurt innovators
Canadian Software Innovation Alliance comes out against Bill C-61

The Canadian Software Innovation Alliance (CSIA), a coalition of Canadian open source businesses and supporters, worries that Bill C-61, 'An Act to Amend the Copyright Act,' introduced by the Conservative government on June 12, threatens the open source business model.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.