Free/Libre and Open Source Software

Lies, Damned lies, and IIPA/BSA/etc statistics.

One of the key tools used by lobby groups like the IIPA is statistics to try to "prove" that there is massive harm to them, and which must be remedied in the way they propose. An analysis of their statistics often indicates that their real target is competitors, not copyright infringers.

These studies need to be debunked as they have a large influence on governments who have outsourced this key policy tool to special interest groups. William Patry documents on his BLOG (Via Google Cache) how, lacking any investigative resources of its own, USTR uses figures given to it by IIPA. If you read transcripts from Canadian parliamentary committees studying "counterfeiting and piracy" or Copyright and patents, you will see that Canadian politicians are no better. It is frustrating to know how many amazing economists are working for Industry Canada and other departments, and yet Industry Committee never bothered to consult them when they are studying critical economic policy.

Those debunking these studies are not apologists for copyright infringement. I document how this infringement harms companies like my own more than the members BSA/ESA/etc. I am very interested to stop software copyright infringement, but believe that the policies promoted by the BSA/ESA/etc have an anti-competitive effect and do not reduce software copyright infringement.

[Read the rest of this entry on IT World Canada's BLOG, or continue below]

Can virtualization help with bigger problems like climate change?

Listening to some recent talks, I noticed what seems like a conflict. Interviewed for CBC's Spark, Nicholas Carr (full interview) says we are moving to cloud computing. Also on a recent Spark show, Bill St. Arnaud explains (full interview) how the Internet causes carbon emissions, and tells us we need to move data centres closer to power and cooling. Then we have Eben Moglen, Director at the Software Freedom Law Center, talking about the technology of memory and the major problems of putting our data out on the cloud, with that data being manipulated by software which we do not control.

Read full article on IT World Canada's BLOG.

Thoughts on Bill Gates eventual “retirement”

John C. Dvorak thinks that Bill Gates is going to leave Microsoft and then come back. I write on IT World Canada why I disagree, and think there will be more than enough interesting things to keep him busy and interested via his foundation.

My XO is here!

Just a quick note for those who have been watching, I received my XO this afternoon. I signed on to the Give 1, Get 1 within an hour of it opening, which suggests that other Canadians should start to receive theirs soon as well.

I dropped the battery in, turned it on, and all is well. I've put it on the power pack just to refresh the battery. Won't have time to play with it much right away, but will post thoughts on it to the BLOG soon.

We’re not thieves. We just can’t read contracts (McAfee and Open Source)

From todays submission to the ITWorld Canada BLOG

McAfee filed a report last month with the Securities and Exchange Commission that made a few statements about risks associated with their use of some Open Source software. These statements received quite a bit of media attention.
...
There is a lot of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) spread about Free/Libre and Open Source (FLOSS) licenses. While companies dependant on older competing business models suggest these licenses are complex or “ambiguous”, the reality is quite the opposite.

New York Times headlines about the OLPC.

I find this New York Times article by John Markoff interesting. First the editors used the headline "demise of One Laptop Per Child" and now uses "Intel Quits Effort to Get Computers to Children". Inside the article John is quite clear that OLPC was really leaving Intel because Intel was harming the project.

At the meeting, the board agreed that Mr. Negroponte should make a final effort to end Intel’s efforts to disrupt One Laptop’s sales.

A rapprochement never happened, however.

“They played another dirty trick in Peru,” he said. “It’s a little bit like McDonald’s competing with the World Food Program.”

It is like some editor refuses to believe that it is Intel that is in the wrong, or that OLPC is doing well and might possibly be better off without Intel's involvement.

CSIA (Canadian Software Innovation Alliance), CLUE, Bob Young and I

I want to clarify the roll I play in CLUE: The Canadian Association for Open Source, and my involvement with the Canadian Software Innovation Alliance. This article is my strong endorsement of CSIA, and my suggestion that all Free/Libre and Open Source Software companies and professionals join CSIA. I also want to promote the CSIA White Paper just released.

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.

Netherlands Government Goes Open Source

In yet another blow to vendor lock-in and proprietary software standards, the Associated Press is reporting that the Dutch Government on Wednesday adopted laws requiring all national agencies to use the Open Document Format by April 2008. Even state and local agencies are required to comply by 2009; though there is flexibility in the new policy - agencies can chose to use proprietary standards, such as MS Office, but they must justify use. The new laws also mandate the use of FOSS in all agencies in a similar manner, for cost savings and accessibility reasons.

GOSLING, eat your heart out!

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