In the licensing section, the FSF has updated its license recomendation guide.
The biggest item in the Free Software business is the update on the Microsoft interoperability trial in front of the European General Court. Then there is also the issue of Skype (after MS' acquisition) will stop working with Asterisk.
As for software patents, there's patent trolls Lodsys that's suing Apple and Paul Allen who's suing around everyone he can. Also on TechFlash an ex-MS employee writes a nice lenghtly post about why software patents being a distraction.
In the EU the European Commission publishes its "blueprints" for changing and unifying patents, copyright etc. Incidentially there was also a G8 meeting in France and there were talks between the G8 and the biggest few Internet players talking about the future of the Internet. Both were being criticised for sacrificing too much digital rights. Also the EU cookie directive adoption was due.
The US Department of Defence has published a guide about Free Software policy. Also across Europe there has been some nice improvements in that field.
There's big things regarding ODF going on, so be sure to read it in the open standards section. Although Google adds its open image format WebP to its Picasa, Mozilla rejects it.
And be sure to check out the Docracy project amongst other interesting links!
Free Software Licensing¶
FSF publishes a new license recomendation guide, which includes Apache 2.0 as the prefered permissive non-protective license.
Free Software Business¶
The legendary European Commission vs. Microsoft interoperability case has just had yet another hearing. Again with FSFE and Samba were on EC's side. It is very likely that by the end of the year we will see the European General Court decide in favour of interoperabily and condemn Microsoft.
- FSFE: Microsoft case: FSFE in European Court of Justice hearing
- FSFE: FSFE in Samba case: Microsoft's defiance backfired
- Karsten on Free Software: Samba case hearing: How Microsoft’s gamble backfired
- Netzpolitiki.org: Microsoft vs EU: Zu hoch gepokert
- Financial Times: Microsoft in ‘final’ antitrust fray with Brussels
Amongst first issues after Skype got bought by Microsoft, Skype for the popular VoIP solution Asterisk will not be available anymore.
- Digium: Skype for Asterisk will not be available for sale or activation after July 26, 2011.
- the Inquirer: Skype severs its ties with Asterisk
Copyright and Other Legal Act Reforms¶
The European Commission shows its plans for a EU-wide reform and unification of trademarks, patents, copyright and enforcement – "A Single Market for Intellectual Property Rights". European Commissioner Michael Barnier posted a collection of related material alongside with the EC's proposal. La Quadrature du Net criticizes its possible lessening of digital rights. This is something we'll have to look at harder.
- Michel Barnier, EC: Boosting Creativity and Innovation: Commission Sets Out a Blueprint for Intellectual Property Rights
- La Quadrature du Net: EU Commission Sticks to Flawed Copyright Repression
- EurActiv: EU asks mediator to untangle copying levies
- EDRi: Press Release On EU IPR Strategy
- Music 4.5: The European perspective on the Hargreaves Report
- Europa RAPID: Orphan works – Frequently asked questions
- Europa RAPID: Commission sets out "blueprint" for Intellectual Property Rights to boost creativity and innovation
- IPtegrity.com: Red alert! Europe's IPR Blueprint threatens Internet surveillance
- the Inquirer: EU wants to turn ISPs into copyright cops At the e-G8 Forum at the G8 the most powerful eight governments sat down behind closed doors with some of the most powerful companies on the Internet (and only those!) and discussed the future of the global Internet. In general they agreed that the internet should not be censored, that there should be more optical fibers, governments should provide open data etc. But as always the devil is in the details and as many have later commented, it seems that all conclusions are not that rosy. Especially worth concern are that some (with French president, Nicolas Sarkozy at their front) see the Internet as the wild West that needs taming with superinjunctions etc.
- G20-G8 2011 France: G8 Declaration: Renewed Commitment for Freedom and Democracy
- TechDirt: Sarkozy's Attempt To Woo The Digerati Foreshadows The Coming Conflict Between Technology & Regulations
- La Quadrature du Net: Civil Society Statement to the e-G8 and G8
- La Quadrature du Net: G8 Leaders Give In to Special Interests, Fail to Commit to Freedoms
- Jillian C. York: The e-G8: Promises and Problems
- FT Blogs: Secret G8 memo reveals outbreak of internet harmony
- Neelie Kroes, EC: The World’s Most Powerful Join the Digital Revolution
- paidContent.org: UK PM To Resist French Internet Regulation Plans
- the Guardian: Only a fool or Nicolas Sarkozy would go to war with Facebook
- TechDirt: Can We Kill Off This Myth That The Internet Is A Wild West That Needs To Be Tamed
- Ars Technica: Copyfight: EFF co-founder enters e-G8 "lion's den," rips into lions
- G8 vs. Internet
- Ars Technica: G8 summit: laws apply on Internet just like "everywhere else"
- Ars Technica: France attempts to "civilize" the Internet; Internet fights back
The EU member countries should have adopted the EU cookie directive by 25th of May. Most haven't.
- Open Rights Group: Ed Vaizey says cookie directive is in effect meaningless
- the Register: Almost entire EU now violating Brussels cookie privacy law
A new ACTA text and the EU Commission urges for it to be signed, while the European Parliament remains sceptical.
- ACTA Blog: FFII calls upon European Parliament to resolve uncertainties regarding ACTA
- ACTA Blog: New version of the ACTA text
- IPtegrity.com: EU Commission says sign ACTA – Parliament not so sure
Government and Free Software Policies¶
The US Department of Defence has published a guide regarding its experience with policy and adoption of Free Software. The 451 Group has a nice short analysis of it.
- Guide [PDF]: EU Commission says sign ACTA – Parliament not so sure
- 451 CAOS Theory: Need open source policy? Ask the DoD.
OASIS OpenDocument TC successfully defined how to store and exchange recalculated formulas in office documents.
- David A. Wheeler: OpenFormula Success! The Document Foundation – the foundation leading LibreOffice (the community fork of OpenOffice.org) – has published an update on its organisation and plans. Amonsgst others, the members of the Engeneering Steering Committee.
- the Document Foundation Blog: Updates On The Foundation Ars Technica: Mozilla rejects WebP image format, Google adds it to Picasa
Other interesting links¶
Docracy – a Free Software project (and website) where users can share and sign legal documents is emerging. This could prove very handy indeed!
- TechCrunch: Hackathon Winner Docracy Is A GitHub For Legal Documents
- Docracy: Hackathon Winner Docracy Is A GitHub For Legal Documents TechDirt: Please Help Us Figure Out How Much The Public Has 'Lost' Due To Overprotective Anti-Copy Laws
Glyn Moody takes a look on ICC's Building a Digital Economy report.
hook out → woohooo, Python rules :]