Free Software Licensing¶
Presses are full of yet another alleged copyright infringement in Android – this time it’s the Bionic C library and yet again about headers that are claimed to have been copied from Linux. From what I can see it’s just another FUD attempt (intended or spun out). If nothing else it might just be that the headers in question are just standard POSIX headers.
- Bradley M. Kuhn: Questioning The Original Analysis On The Bionic Debate
- ZDnet: Does Google's Android violate Linux's Copyright?
Free Software Business¶
A recent Gartner study shows that not only more and more businesses are using Free Software, but increasingly so for the right reasons too!
Andy Updegrove writes how it seems the car industry may finally get a consortium-led standard called Terminal Mode to connect smart phones, netbooks etc. to the dumb terminal that is the car’s computer. Andy Updegrove predicts much of this may be Free Software. So far on board are: LG Electronics, Nokia, Samsung, Daimler, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai Motor Company, Toyota, Volkswagen, Alpine and Panasonic. That’s a great step forward. I’d still very much like to see Free Software actually running my car and not just the gadgets. Maybe this is the field where Nokia still sees a market for Qt…
Simon Phipps explains what’s wrong about ”parallel filling” and calls for the big players in Free Software to step up and share the burden of protection from patents with the communities in which they participate. As he writes, the issue is not solved by just promising not to sue for a few certain patents and that a realistic threat arises when a company with such patents is bought or its patent portfolio is otherwise acquired (sc. Novell).
Free Software OpenGL drivers are shipped without S3TC support to avoid patent infringement. A debate arose online about how this should be solved. I didn‘t check whether these patents are valid only in the US as some comments suggest.
Copyright and Other Legal Act Reforms¶
Francis Gurry (Director General, WIPO) recently held a talk at the Blue Sky conference in Sydney, on the subject of “Future Directions in Copyright Law”. His talk was centred around how the internet and other digital technologies have massively changed our lives and the access to culture. He pointed out that the law can’t play catch-up and even hinted that maybe other tools would be better suited to give people the best access to culture and at the same time make sure its creators are getting a fair share. He also highlighted three main principles to guide policymakers going forward: technology neutrality, comprehensiveness and coherence, and simplicity. When the head of the WIPO already acknowledges this, we can be sure it’s high time copyright (and other so called “IPRs”) change substantially along with many other things around it.
- WIPO: The Future of Copyright (Sydney, February 25, 2011)
- IP Watch: Copyright System Must “Adapt Or Perish,” WIPO Director Says
Government and Free Software Policies¶
It is reported that the UK government could save millions on if it only took its own Free Software promises serious and fixed its procurement rules. These are also blamed to discriminate SME. The CTPR analyses the latest policy pronouncement rules and their history.
- the Centre for Technology Policy Research: 10 years on, where next for open source and open standards in UK Government?
- 10 Platform: The Government can save millions, but only if it is open to having open IT procurement processes
- Flax: UK Government IT – a closed shop to SMEs and OSS?
Google decides to stop support for its Free Software Gears and concentrate on HTML5 instead.
Other interesting links¶
hook out → sleepy sleepy … should be preparing my lecture for Saturday and the (postponed) Fellowship meeting, oh and study