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I guess I should have done this first but better late than never.
Sometime ago, I was invited to be a policy coordinator, working for CLUE to advance political awareness. My focus will be on the provincial government and policy. This requires collaborating with other CLUE members on other levels of government as well.
I have been complaining for years that the incumbent "software manufacturing" firms have been justifying radical FLOSS crippling changes to the law using invalid statistics. The statistical method that the BSA (and it's Canadian arm with the Orwellian double-speak name of "Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft") use largely include the use of FLOSS software as if it were "infringement".
Their methodology is simple: Count the number of computers shipped to a region and "estimate" the demand for software from BSA members. Then count the amount of software BSA members shipped, subtract the two, and declare the difference as "piracy".
I have been invited by the executive to be a policy coordinator, working for CLUE in Ottawa. My focus will be on the federal government and federal policy, but will also be collaborating with other CLUE members on other levels of government as well.
I thought that this being my first foray into the blog world that I would like to address something that is important not only to CLUE but also to other FOSS projects. I am most familiar with OpenOffice.org and its deployment via the Ontario Ministry of Education. This is a significant change for the government to go to Open Source after initially choosing StarOffice.
Okay now to get to the point which is that the Ontario government itself is not considering using OpenOffice.org but is sticking with MSO. To me this is a waste of your and my tax dollars and should be remedied. How? By each of us who use and work with Open Source to lobby our government representives. I started with my MPP, David Caplan, some time ago and will meet again with him, even though I moved from the constituency, to give him charts and spreadsheets that demonstrate that the cost of moving in this direction would cost about half of what it costs annually with the present choice.
Let me introduce myself to the CLUE community. My name is Jim Elliott and I am the advocate for Open Computing (including Linux and Open Source) at IBM Canada Ltd. (which covers Canada and the Caribbean). I have been working pretty much full-time on Linux since mid-1998. First as the launch manager for Linux on IBM mainframes for the Americas and then since January of 2002 in my current role.
My web site is at ibm.com/vm/devpages/jelliott where you will find copies of presentations I have made at public events recently on Linux and Open Source.
As an exhibitor at the LinuxWorld show and conference in April, CLUE can make available free show passes (PDF format) to all our members and supporters. Just follow the link and print out the pass (or just follow its instructions if you are registering online).
Laptop Magazine is a good example of the mainstream IT media's approach to FOSS. It's neither hostile or friendly and generally responds to what its readers are doing.
Until recently the magazine hasn't done much on FOSS, but a couple of articles have indicates one more example of FOSS perception moving from curiosity to gadget to mainstream.
In an article published online, last month OpenOffice.org was named the magazine's top download of the month and received an editor's choice award:
CLUE exists to supplement, not replace, the functions of conventional computer user groups. To that end we have committed to create a network of affiliated groups. While this network does not involve any financial or organizational committments on either side, these relationships enable us to work together with like-minded groups to more effectively accomplish our goals of advancing FOSS.
The Affiliate Organization program has not yet been created. For more information, please check back here or contact us
While the heart of CLUE is its people, we also want to ensure that our representation of the FOSS community includes organizations that sell FOSS-related good or services. To that extent CLUE will be creating a Corporate Sponsor program that will enable such organizations to support CLUE's objectives while themselves gaining the benefits of participating.
The Corporate Sponsor Program has not yet been created. For more information, please check back here or contact us.
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