Free/Libre and Open Source Software

If Software Companies Ran the Country (1987)

I was recently pointed to this essay from Whole Earth Review #57 (Winter 1987) by Jay Kinney. I think it is useful for people to go back 20 years to realize that many of the things we are now debating are not new problems, but predicted before they happened. This was written 2 years after the founding of the Free Software Foundation, long before the nastiness of the backward-facing 1995 USA NII, 1996 WIPO treaties, or the 1998 USA DMCA.

Software Cooperatives: Infrastructure in the Internet Era

I found this interesting paper as it references an earlier article I wrote on a related topic of Software models for Cooperatives.

Why "pirating" Windows hurts Linux more than it hurts Microsoft..

While I have written about this topic in the past, I never wrote something as extensive as Dave Gutteridge on the topic The impact of pirated software on free software.

In addition to the points made in his article, I would want to add two important details. The first is that Microsoft has already admitted that they consider infringement of their software to be a benefit to them. (See: Microsoft's Jeff Raikes says : If you must pirate, use counterfeit Windows)

ITWorld Canada: Linux experts look for lessons from SCO suit

An ITWorldCanada article by Shane Schick quotes from both FLOSS proponents (Mike Gifford, Shad Young) and opponents (Barry Sookman) looking at the impact of the recent court decision against SCO.

As you read Mr. Sookman's comments about FLOSS licensing, remember that his ideas actually apply more to non-FLOSS licensing than FLOSS licensing. As a lobbiest for CRIA and other businesses promoting the knowledge as property ideology he may be unaware that the licenses of his own clients are "more of a philosophical document than a precise legal document" and often stray far outside the boundaries of what is legally enforceable to promote that ideology.

Stallman's dream and GPLv3

Jeremy Allison,one of the lead developers on the Samba Team, writes an article for ZDNet explaining his strong support for the GPLv3 and the vision of the founder of the Free Software Foundation, Richard Stallman. While I personally get more of my inspiration for being part of the Free Software movement from Eben Moglen over Mr. Stallman, I agree with Mr. Allison that Stallman has been a long-term consistent moral compass.

Google joins open-source patent network

An article by Matthew Broersma for CNET discusses the recent addition of Google to the The Open Invention Network, an organization created to help take the pressure of patent litigation off FLOSS developers. See also the OIN press release: Open Invention Network™ Extends The Linux Ecosystem As Google Becomes Its First End-User Licensee.

Ubuntu leader and Canonical CEO Mark Shuttleworth speaks about patent issues..

An e-Week article by Peter Galli includes a discussion with Mark Shuttleworth about software patents, Microsoft, and the new GPLv3.

Vancouver law firm trades in MS for desktop Linux

Interesting that the upgrade from Windows to Linux of Vancouver boutique law firm Whitelaw Twining became a top news story at

Maybe it is because lawyers are thought of as a conservative profession, and thus their migration to Linux was seen as proof that this is a mainstream decision?

See also: Businesses having second thoughts about Vista

ConnectIT: Hard to track Linux stats

An article by Paul Weinberg in ConnectIT talks about the fact that, "nobody has come out with a perfect way to count the amount of open source software in use, which makes it difficult to fully track the strength or weakness of Linux in the market." As discussed elsewhere in this BLOG, it also makes it very difficult to track alleged software infringement given the numbers that BSA/CAAST use are strongly influenced by the estimated usage of perfectly legal FLOSS.

Business Week: Microsoft Should Welcome Piracy in India and China

An article in BusinessWeek by Henry Chesbrough suggests that Microsoft should deliberately allow/encourage infringement of its software as an anti-competitive form of "dumping" to fight off FLOSS competition. Once they obtain their monopoly status in these emerging markets, they can collect their preferred level of excessive monopoly rents.

This isn't the language he used, but it is a free market translation to the activities advocated by this person who alleges to support "open business models" and "more open approaches to intellectual property management".

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