BBC News: UN backs drive for free software

The UN's International Open Source Network (IOSN) helped promote the first annual Software Freedom Day on 28 August, giving out CDs and booklets about the technology.

See full article on BBC News...

See past articles on the IOSN guide and Software Freedom Day.

Toronto Star: Music industry abruptly changes tune on ringtones

As anyone following the online music debate knows, the recording industry regularly blames teenagers for the popularity of peer-to-peer file sharing. The Canadian Recording Industry Association has often cited the need for "education" so that teenagers might buy into its vision of copyright law.

The success of the ringtone market, which undoubtedly owes much to those same teenagers, contradicts that claim, illustrating not only that teens are willing to pay for digital music, but that they are willing to overpay for such music.

Read full article in the Toronto Star...

BBC R&D works on Open Source video codec

BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) is working on an Open Source video codec. Many video codecs are proprietary, and this has been one of the limitations people observe when trying to operate with a completely free/libre computing platform.

The BBC seems to be doing quite a few publicly-minded projects, including their Creative Archive which will include content under Creative Commons licenses.

Canadians should ask: where is the CBC in this movement? (Hint: CBC download references a large number of proprietary vendors, including referencing proprietary codecs from RealNetworks and Apple for audio/video)

Important MPs

MPs with positions relevant to copyright reform

This page is an attempt to identify the most relevant MPs from
the perspective of copyright reform. If you are a constituent for
one of these MPs, you can help ensure that they are well-educated
on the issues.

Canadian Heritage

Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage (CHPC)

Minister - Hon. Liza Frulla, Jeanne-Le Ber (Quebec)

Wired: Copyright Crusaders Hit Schools

For the third year in a row, software companies are supplying schools with materials that promote their antipiracy position on copyright law. But for the first time this year, the library association is presenting its own material, hoping to give kids a more balanced view of copyright law.

Read full article in Wired News...

See also: “Make it legal: don't litigate, use creative licensing” campaign: Library softwre by librararians for librarians...

From the FAQ:

2. Why did we decide on the open source software model?

We decided on open source for our development model for both pragmatic and philosophical reasons. The open source community is a natural ally of the library community. Both try to enrich their members through sharing and disseminating knowledge, and both are open to everyone, private or public, commercial or non-commercial.

Software Freedom Day: August 28, 2004

On August 28, 2004, we will celebrate the first annual Software Freedom Day. On that day, we will make the world aware of the virtues of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), and encourage its widespread use.

This is a global grassroots marketing campaign in which we are inviting volunteers from around the world to participate.

See also: PR: TheOpenCD 1.4.1 Released--Software Freedom Day Special Edition

A blueprint for better copyright

Imagine an Ontario government initiative that responded to rising concern over speeding on provincial highways by installing hundreds of automated radar guns to identify cars that failed to obey the speed limit. Rather than sending a speeding ticket to those caught by the system, however, the government instead sent a bailiff to confiscate the car keys

Full article by Michael Geist in Toronto Star...

OpenCity FreedomFest (Winnipeg, Manitoba)

OpenCity FreedomFest is a freeform festival celebrating free culture, indy politics and Open Source Software.

It takes place August 20-22 in Winnipeg's Exchange District. It's about an uprising and convergence of social innovation, cultural innovation, and technological innovation, celebrating unmediated interaction.

This event is sponsored by the Prairie Linux User Group

See: OpenCity FreedomFest post to

SPARC Open Access Newsletter and Discussion Forum

Peter Suber offers a great newsletter and forum for Open Access.

I was forwarded a copy of the Aug 2 issue which included references to movements within the UK and US governments to support (or mandate) Open Access for government funded research. This logic can extend to all forms of research funded by governments, as well as to things such as government created software.

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