Free Software Licensing
Interesting read on AGPL. Short answer to the title: no, quite the oposite.
- NetworkWorld: Is the Affero GPL unfriendly to hobbyists? Bradley M. Kuhn: Clarification on Android, its (Lack of) Copyleft-ness, and GPL Enforcement
Free Software Business
David Braben (co-creator of legendardy game Elite) starts Raspberry Pi – a new UK ultra-cheap ultra-mega-nano-mini-computer running GNU/Linux and a foundation around it – to teach UK kids again to tinker with hardware and software and learn how to code.
- BBC: A 15 pound [that's GBP, not weight!] computer to inspire young programmers
- ComputerWorld UK: As British as Raspberry Pi?
- Raspberry Pi Foundation
Sony seems to have really gotten (again?) on the Linux train. Not only have they started using Linux on their TVs and Android on their mobile phones, but now they even encourage users to flash their mobile phones with other Linux distributions and tinker with them. Sadly their recent decision to ban GNU/Linux as the "other OS" from their PS3 still leaves a bad taste in mouth.
Google announces their long-awaited ChromeBooks – ultra-portable "laptops" with ChromeOS on them – where everything except the bare OS is running from the cloud. Simon Phipps points out that these cannot be considered Linux laptops (or rather Free Software). There is also a thought about how Android and ChromeOS go together or compete. (Interesting fact: Chrom(e|ium)OS is derived from Gentoo.)
- the Official Google Blog: A new kind of computer: Chromebook
- ComputerWorld UK: It's Not A Linux Laptop
- Free Software Magazine: Chromebooks – has the future arrived?
- Ars Technica: Google announces Android Ice Cream Sandwich will merge phone and tablet OSes
- TechDirt: Google's Internal Collision Course: Chrome vs. Android
Although Android takes most of the spot-light neither WebOS nor MeeGo are alive and kicking – long live competition!
Canonical is joining the GENIVI Alliance, a non-profit industry alliance which is creating an open source "In-Vehicle Infotainment" reference platform. At the same time Canonical announced a flavour of Ubuntu to run on such IVI ARM devices.
Nokia decides to move to open governance with Qt 5.
- Ostatic: Nokia Update On Qt 5 Provides Open Assurances
- Qt Labs: Open Governance Roles and Responsibilities
the Next Web: WordPress: The Free Software With a Big Economy & How You Can Get Involved
Nokia started a new croudsource portal to raise innovation, but also asking its users to patent their ideas.
- Nokia Conversations: Invent With Nokia, create the future
- he Inquirer: Nokia is asking users for patent ideas
Groklaw has some more information on the Oracle vs. Google patent suit.
- Groklaw: Some Observations on Oracle v. Google, by Mark Webbink, Esq.
- Groklaw: Oracle v. Google – Sweating the details
Copyright and Other Legal Act Reforms
Portuguese Socialist Party announced that it will push for a copyright reform that will make economic rights inalienable and therefore cannot be waived or renounced. This might make CreativeCommons (and Free Software) licenses illegal.
- Open…: Portugal to Make CC Licences Illegal?
- TechnoLlama: Is Portugal about to make Creative Commons illegal?
Ireland is realising that the (current) copyright system is hurting innovation and therefore business and economy and change is needed.
- SiliconRepublic: Radical copyright law reform to boost Ireland’s digital economy?
- Falkvinge.net: Irish Job Minister: “Copyright Monopoly Is Bad For Our Businesses And Economy”
- PoetHead: Silicon Republic article regarding ‘Radical Copyright Law Reform’ in Ireland.
- EDRi: Ireland adopts innovation agenda on intellectual property
TechDirt takes a critical look on US' PROTECT IP Act.
- TechDirt: Son Of COICA: PROTECT IP Act Will Allow For Broad Censorship Powers, Even Granted To Copyright Holders
- TechDirt: Full Text Of The PROTECT IP Act Released: The Good, The Bad And The Horribly Ugly
- TechDirt: PROTECT IP Would Gut Parts Of The DMCA's Safe Harbors [Updated]
It is no news that copyright (as it currently stands and seems to develop) is harming the developing nations and are therefore not happy at all that the developed nations are negotiating changes to global copyright – e.g. via ACTA and TPPA – without them and behind closed doors.
First Spain – which used to be known as a very CC-loving country – considers adopting copyright law that seems under heavy influence of Hollywood, then EU considers to harmonise EU law in the same style. Me no likey.
- EurActiv: Barnier to endorse Spanish-style Internet policing for EU
- Open…: Spain: America's Trojan Horse?
- TechDirt: No Surprise: Wikileaks Leak Shows US Entertainment Industry Wrote Spain's New Copyright Law
As already reported, with the change of government, Brazil is planning a copyright reform that would be a step back.
- IP Watch: Brazil’s Copyright Reform: Are We All Josef K.?
- Kluwer Copyright Blog: A wolf in sheep’s clothing: the new Portuguese proposal on private copying levies
It seems France intends to lead the G8 in the direction of more governmental control and restriction of internet usage.
- La Quadrature du Net: France's G8 Focuses on Control and Restrictions to Online Freedoms
- G8 vs INTERNET
In the UK, a long awaited report on "IP laws" from prof. Hargreaves and his team has been published. There are some interesting suggestions in there about copyright and patent laws – some of which influenced by the success of Free Software.
- MusicWeek: Hargreaves rejects Fair Use
- TechDirt: UK Copyright Review Hardly Surprising Or Radical; But Will Face Opposition
- OER IPR Support Blog: 10 Minute Blog #6
- BBC: Hargreaves review gives copyright law digital makeover
- ComputerWorld UK: Hargreaves Report: Patently Sensible Stuff
- TechnoLlama: Hargreaves report published
Government and Free Software Policies
Critique about recent UK change of their ICT policy (mostly about formats).
- ComputerWeekly.com: International alarm rings over UK ICT policy
- Open Source Consortium: Govt OSS Policy: resilient as a snowflake in June
German Foreign Office's recent decision to go back to proprietary software has raised quite a few questions and the government's even more recent answers have raised even more then solved.
- FSFE: German Government: Lack of knowledge or deliberately offending Free Software?
- OSOR: DE: Interoperability forces Foreign Office to proprietary desktop
[ReadWriteWeb: HTML5: It's Last Call for Comments/a>
Other interesting links
Yet another interesting story of artist Nina Paley how (current) laws can get in the way of making (Free) art.
CreativeCommons Russia launched on 1st of May.
One of this month's biggest news was Microsoft buying of Skype for insane amount of money. It was disclosed that Skype will form a division under Microsoft. Considering MS's recent pairing with Nokia, to me this smells like getting the biggest proprietary VoIP solution, with a proprietary VoIP protocol on a proprietary VoIP mobile OS on one of the biggest mobile phones. There is a lot of talk about Skype on Kinect, but let's face it: VoIP on mobile phones is inevitable and it looks like someone is trying again the(ir) old networking effect with vendor lock-in combination. Also the cynic in me predicts an even less stable client on GNU/Linux (and probably other non-MS OS).
- the Wall Street Journal: Microsoft Near Deal to Acquire Skype
- the Guardian: Microsoft's $8bn Skype deal shocks analysts
- TechCrunch: Ballmer And Bates Sell The Skype Deal: We Think We “Can Reach Everyone On The Planet”
- FT.com: Skype price raises fears of new tech bubble
- BBC: Microsoft confirms takeover of Skype
- the H Open: Skype-ing out an open source future
Some analysists predict that Microsoft might acquire Nokia as well. Nokia says this isn't the case (even though it just pulled the plug on its Ovi services).
- the Register: Russian rumor: Microsoft to buy Nokia for $30bn
- the Guardian: Rumour mill: Microsoft buying Nokia?
- Vision Mobile: Is Microsoft buying Nokia? An analysis of the acquisition endgame
This year there is an outstanding amount of Indian students attending GSoC.
Andy Updegrove talks about how the true way to make semantic web a reality would be through governments pushing for it. A gem that I might add is that EU funded project NEPOMUK, which to my very best knowledge is the best semantic desktop system and actually already implemented in KDE (and is written so it could be implemented in other solutions as well).
- Mass High Tech: Governments can make the semantic web a reality
- Original NEPOMUK framework site
- NEPOMUK KDE
More uglyness from/about Righthaven:
- paidContent: Righthaven Target Hits Back With Class Action Counter-Attack
- paidContent: Judge Puts All Righthaven’s Colorado Cases On Ice
Must read short story about our possible future, IT and law!
Great interview with Carlo Daffara about many issues of Free Software licensing, governance, patents, SaaS etc.
Many of you have already heard it: After PJ announced she is leaving Groklaw, Mark Webbink is taking over. Groklaw is dead, long live Groklaw!
- Groklaw: As of Today, It's Mark Webbink's Groklaw 2.0
- OpenSource.com: Interview: PJ on the beginning, ending, and future of Groklaw
- ZDnet: Groklaw 2.0: PJ Leaves Groklaw but legal news site to continue under new editor
- the H Open: Groklaw – "The blog that made a difference"
hook out → well, that were two surprisingly eventful weeks OJo