Reports from or about the Business Software Alliance (BSA), Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft (CAAST) and other regional lobbyists for the legacy "software manufacturing" methods of creation, distribution and funding of software.

Metallica catalog hits iTunes

An article by Jim Welte discusses how Metallica finally decided to offer their songs as downloads on the Internet. Metallica was one of the most vocal bands opposing Internet downloads with their crusade against the old Napster. I was previously a fan, but in April 2000 wrote on all my Metallica CDs and resold them, deciding to no longer support their anti-technology business. Metallica has now joined Apple's platform monopoly and Apples fight against our right to control our own information technology.

Microsoft: Too Big for the Law?

An eWeek article by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols asks whether Microsoft is too big and profitable to worry about the law?

Opinion: A $10 million fine here, a $100 million lawsuit settlement there; it's just another day of Microsoft doing business.

Tthe more that governments pass bad laws, the more that they will have problems enforcing other laws. Many of these lawsuits are related to the harm that Microsoft causes in the marketplace by being a monopoly. The ultimate source of this monopoly is laws which create and protect incumbents in the software field from innovators. These laws are largely PCT (Patent, Copyright and Trademark) related: Software Patents that aren't rendered harmless by Royalty Free (RF) licenses can't be implimented in FLOSS, Microsoft's only real competitor. Various various laws disallow interoperability, such as allowing patents or copyrights on computing interfaces. There are also laws that attack the property rights of owners of information technology (so-called DRM anti-circumvention laws, "broadcast flags", and attempts to close the so-called "Analog Hole") which disallow the owners of information technology to choose software based on their own personal criteria.

Canoe News: Software oops costly for two businesses

I wrote the following letter to the editor in reply to an article by Matt Kieltyka, Vancouver 24 hours.

I'm glad the claim that, "the software piracy rate in Canada is 33 per cent" was put as a quotation and not reported as if it were fact. The reality is that the software marketplace has competing methods of production, distribution and funding and the statistics that CAAST uses is based on a presumption that this competition doesn't exist. Their methodology doesn't adequately take into consideration Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) , where you never have to "count copies" to adhere to the licenses and thus never have to worry about the types of expensive audits that CAAST demands.

ITBusiness: Toronto high school expels Linux lab

An article in by Sarah Lysecki discusses the Linux lab we reported earlier.

Ed Montgomery, a computer science teacher at Monarch Park Collegiate, said in an e-mail to that he was given a note in May, telling him that the Linux lab would be dismantled and replaced with a Microsoft-based Classroom Migration Technology Initiative (CTMI) lab.
Montgomery sent a letter to The Canadian Association for Open Source (CLUE) last week asking for help. Russell McOrmond, an Internet consultant who is also a policy coordinator at CLUE, received the letter.

Law Society of Upper Canada (“LSUC”) promotes non-FLOSS software?

A BLOG article from copyright lawyer Howard Knopf describes a document called the GUIDELINES ON ETHICS AND THE NEW TECHNOLOGY. This document contains some of the same biased "software manufacturing" propaganda that one would normally only expect in a BSA or CAAST press release. They have taken no consideration for the way that FLOSS is legally created and distributed, instead promoting some of the harmful misconceptions that lead people to invalidly believe that that sharing FLOSS is illegal.

SCO's Case at an End?

While the slow death of the SCO case against IBM due to lack of evidence is not really news, I am providing a link to this eWeek story by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols for those less informed managers who believed that it was a threat to the legality of Linux.

"The real concern for SCO being sanctioned now this late in the case, is that without a really good reason for keeping this lawsuit going, SCO ultimately may get saddled with paying IBM's court costs and attorney fees. No doubt a breathtaking sum that could well asphyxiate this struggling company."

I will not weep crocodile tears for SCO, that is for certain. It is only sad that after the loss with IBM there will be nothing left of SCO for Novell or RedHat.

Swedes in good hands with P2P insurance policy?

An article by Greg Sandoval and Amanda Termen, Staff Writer, CNET, includes:

File-sharers in Sweden, which recently began cracking down on Internet piracy, can now buy insurance to protect themselves from government fines.

This is another case where the entertainment companies are missing the boat. While it is clear fans are interested in flat-fee "all you can eat" type services, requiring payment rather than permission like how commercial radio and cable television works, the industry is handing the market over to an insurance company.

France tones down property protection by capitulating to Apple and Microsoft

This Reuters article includes:

PARIS (Reuters) - A French parliamentary commission passed a proposal on Thursday that critics said would soften a law aimed at opening up online content businesses like Apple's iTunes music store to other operators.
The draft was seen as a potential blow to the main media operating systems providers, Apple and Microsoft, by forcing them to make content which can currently be played only on their own systems available to anyone.

Apple condemned the draft as "state sponsored piracy."

Please remember: You own your iPod and your computer, not Apple or Microsoft.

The Ten Commandments of software manufacturers fighting FLOSS

If you read a recent CNet article by Eric J. Sinrod titled Perspective: The Ten Commandments of fighting software pirates you will see one of the problems in the industry. This list that claims to be about fighting software "pirates", but it equally targets the major competition to software manufacturing which is FLOSS.

As you go through the list, think of how the same advise attempts to encourage people to avoid legal FLOSS software, and where the "problems" that software manufacturers have simply do not apply to freely legally redistributable FLOSS.

Bill Gates to relinquish daily duties at Microsoft by 2008

A CBC article reports the following:

Bill Gates, the man who founded and built Microsoft into the most dominant software company in the world, announced Thursday that he would end his day-to-day duties with the company by 2008 to devote more time to his charitable work.

While I personally question how charitable some of his work really is, given some of the pressure I saw for funding going to patented and other royalty-based creativity ("knowledge manufacturing"? see the Jefferson Debate) in health and educational sectors (which would bring him tax and royalty returns), but this change could be quite positive for the future. I expect there will be quite a bit of commentary on the BLOGS and media.

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