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While it's provocatively titled, "Beyond the Open-Source Hype", this article is reasonably balanced. While it does give Miscoroft a little too much benefit of the doubt, it does come to a conclusion I agree with: open source is certainly worth using, but in some cases the expectations from it are a bit overstated.
To me, just the appearance of this issue in a magazine that usually has little to do with IT, offering commentary that "Governments may be wise to choose open source", is one more small victory by itself.
There's not much that longtime tech columnist John Dvorak has to has that I find agreeable. He's been wrong on so many issues related to open source it's been hard to keep track.
This week, however, there's finally something on which we can agree, as he implores his readership to Screw the Digital-Rights Bugaboo. Of course, in the US such a plea at this time is somewhat pathetic, as the DMCA is already in place. Where was this opinion when the DRM debate was actually going on south of the border? I guess I shouldn't expect more from Dvorak, but I guess it's (maginally) better late than never.
CLUE is participating with a wide coalition of experts and community groups who are deeply concerned about the legal entrenchment of “digital rights management” (DRM) technology in Canadian copyright law. Today this coalition, led by the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic at the University of Ottawa, today launched the website intellectualprivacy.ca and released a background paper on the issue.
In an open letter to Minister of Canadian Heritage Bev Oda and Industry Minister Maxime Bernier accompanying the background paper, we offer to work with policy makers and politicians on this issue, and seek assurances that:
CLUE will remain an ongoing part of this effort, and work with the coalition to ensure that Canadian copyright laws protect both creators and consumers, and will not impede the ability of developers to create free and open source software.
Comments are invited.
The census debacle is illustrative of how entrenched propietary software is in our public servvice. My question now becomes, "How much money is changing hands?"
We have an obligation to ourselves and our countrymen to try to ensure there is no re-occurrance of this problem. We have an obligation to enusre that our public servants work for our benefit and not their owm. Perhaps we can get our pariliamentarians to have a look at the deparmental budgetary processess and ensure the bureaucrats are working for our benefit. One way would be to make purchase of proprietary software a "show cause" where there are alternatives. Imagine public servants obliged to do the right thing or be fired.
If anyone is interested, on BBC World today begins a 2 part series entitled "The Code Breakers". It airs 4 times this week and Part 2 airs four times next week. Here's the BBC World site blurb:
"For years Microsoft has dominated the world of computing, but its software is beyond the reach of many in the developing nations. This 2-part series investigates that the poorest countries are now changing tack and using Free/Open Source Software (FOSS)."
All information and times can be found here:
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