One of the keys to a successful open source community is appropriate transparency. A community with strong values around transparency will also be likely to respect its participants privacy. Such a community will also be unlikely to have a copyright assignment benefiting a commercial party.... Read more
As I wrote previously concerning indemnity, I constantly encounter both governments and companies claiming they have policies permitting or even favouring open source software. Yet there's still a huge amount of proprietary software being procured by them.
What does authentic open source community governance look like? An open source community will involve many people gathering for their own independent reasons around a free software commons with source code licensed under an OSI-approved open source license. But there's more to software freedom... Read more
A few events took place that affirmed for me that pushing forward with the agenda to rid our room of copyright violations and plagiarism is the right course of action.
Over the holidays I thought a bit about the copyright conundrum. Is copyright a vital source of creativity, or more of a hindrance? Most of us assume that we need strong laws to prevent copying of certain forms of expression, including books, movies and computer programs. We generally take it as... Read more
I wrote last week about the "Typhoid Mary" of internet restriction laws, observing how Wikileaks has confirmed that a wing of the US Government - the US Trade representative (USTR) - has been systematically bullying European and other world governments.
A funny thing happens as a Congressional session comes to a close. Priorities, whether political or policy, rocket to the surface. It becomes a war of attrition, of who can keep things 'out of sight, out of mind' before people get tired and want to go home. But, there are always numerous pieces... Read more
Several years back, I sought one rather elusive cookbook. I first spotted The Use-It-Up Cookbook (A Guide for Minimizing Food Waste) in a used bookshop during a weekend getaway in Seattle. At $8.00, the price was right, but my suitcase had a serious lack of room for additional purchases. I... Read more
Imagine a 20-year-old musician publishing his work today. Let's pretend he's living the fast and reckless life of a rock star and will die young at 45. Because the copyright term has been ratcheted up to life of the author plus 70 years (or 95 years from publication for corporate works), you won't... Read more
Our society and its lawmakers are notoriously bad at predicting the effects of new technologies. I think of the ongoing battles over new distribution formats, like the assumption that "the VCR [would be] to the American film producer and the American public as the Boston strangler is to the woman... Read more