Free/Libre and Open Source Software

September 20 is Software Freedom Day

While I will be at the Ottawa event, their wiki contains details The Wiki contains details for other teams in North America (Calgary, Quebec, Vancouver)

FACIL launches lawsuit against Quebec government to close loophole

FACIL sent out press release (english press release, which includes a link to a translation of their court filing) that documents their launching of a case in Quebec Superior Court. The case is intended to end a loophole being used by the Quebec provincial government to award contracts to proprietary software suppliers without an adequate evaluation of all the options, including Free/Libre and Open Source Software options.

I was interviewed by Peter Nowak for CBC News last evening about the case. Even though I hadn't read the documents from FACIL yet, guessed which loophole they were trying to close.

Read full article on IT World Canada »

More Analysis Of How Software Piracy Helps Proprietary Software

The most recent in a series of article by Dave Gutteridge discussing how "software piracy is proprietary software's best ally in keeping legally free software at bay."

Mark Surman to become ED at Mozilla Foundation

Mark Surman is one of those cool fellow travellers who I keep bumping into around anything online and open -- CopyCamp, Penguin Day, etc. Recently an open philanthropy fellow at the Shuttleworth Foundation, he is now moving to becoming the Executive Director at the Mozilla Foundation.

Great stuff, Mark!

US appeals court confirms that conditions of a liberal FLOSS license are enforceable

The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (considered THE US court for patent, copyright, trademark and related law) ruled on August 13'th (08-1001.pdf , Jacobsen v. Katzer) that the FSF and OSI approved "Artistic License" was enforceable. This license is best known for its use by the PERL language.

Plaintiff Robert Jacobson was using this license for JMRI: A Java Model Railroad Interface, and Matthew Katzer operating as KAM Industries incorporated parts of the JMRI in their software without adhering to the conditions of the Artistic License. The license is conditional on attribution (the authors names, JMRI copyright notices, references to the COPYING file, an identifcation of SourceForge or JMRI as the original source of the definition files, and a description of how the files or computer code had been changed from the original source code). A district court had misinterpreted the license and suggested that the defendant didn't need to adhere to the terms, requiring the case to go to the appeals court to be correctly interpreted.

Details about the case are offered on the JMRI website.

Read the rest of this entry on IT World Canada's BLOG »

Canadian open source community upset over proposed copyright law

An article by Ian Palmer for discusses the impact of Bill C-61 on the Free/Libre and Open Source Software sector. It includes quotes from Sean Hurley (Tillsonburg, Ontario-based Open Computing), Ken Clark (intellectual property lawyer), and myself (CSIA member, CLUE policy coordinator, FLOSS developer).

Ken Clark spoke as a lawyer, and not as someone with any technical background. He suggested that "DRM might provide a way to prevent rampant copying", which anyone with a technical background would realize is not the case.

It's not the Gates, it's the bars

I've been wanting to write about the alleged retirement of Bill Gates, but never got around to it. I think this article published in the BBC by Richard Stallman does a pretty good job.

Corcoran's no capitalist

David F. Skoll, President, Roaring Penguin Software Inc, Ottawa, had a letter to the editor published about Terence Corcoran's attack on opponents of C-61, claiming that they were somehow anti-capitalist. David rightfully points out that it is Mr. Corcoran that is presenting a very anti-capitalist viewpoint, just as I had done.

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.

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