Copyright & Copyleft

Belgian and Israeli courts recently both grant remedies to artists who have licensed their work under a CC license.

The choice of Donald Verrilli for the new Solicitor General in the US has triggered speculations that the government is more likely to take a hard-line position on copyright issues that come before the Supreme Court.

La Quadrature du Net explains further why it is of paramount importance that interested citizens and NGOs take the time to submit an answer to the consultation on EC's report regarding IPRED. A real threat are liablities for ISPs, search engines, hosting providers, Internet access providers, which would force them to take the role of copyright police and start automatically filtering out the Net – basically most of the things we tried to keep out of ACTA. And in case you did not know, FSFE lists IPRED2 as one of its important projects.

MEP Marietje Schaake has sued the EC over ACTA secrecy.

At the EC stakeholders meeting on ACTA EC's represenatative it has become even more apparent that the EC finds ACTA (if approved by the EP) a binding treaty and intends to introduce other similar laws (e.g. IPRED2), imposing stricter "IP" rules upon its member states. It is also odd that on the other hand the US does find ACTA neither binding nor a treaty, but merely as a "strong benchmark" to be imposed upon its trading partners. There were many othe controversial statements from EC's side on the meeting.

Comments arise regarding the aftermath of Oracle buying Sun and the resulting forks of Sun's former Free Software projects, the trouble they have to face by doing so and how this could have been avoided.

Patents & Standardisation

Contrary to recent FUD, a more serious analysis shows that Google's Android is very likely not infringing on Oracle's copyright and patents.

Google has submitted the specification of VP8 video codec to IETF as an Internet Draft. Note that WebM is basically a Matroska(-based) media container including VP8 video and Ogg/Vorbis audio. The downside though is that Google explicitly pointed out that publication of the IETF document is not part of a standardisation process. In related news, the FSF has publicly stated support for WebM.

Microsoft is suing TiVo again claiming TiVo's program time guide, schedule grid, remote interface and program delivery system infringe on Microsoft's patents.

End Software Patents has had some success in Australia – the Australian government will propose changes to their patent law in late 2010 / early 2011, and have highlighted software as a topic for discussion. The good part is that in a 2009 study commissioned by the government one of the conclusions was that:

"[…] particularly in new areas of patenting such as software and business methods, there is strong evidence that existing intellectual property arrangements are hampering innovation."

The bad part is that the only software developer that responded to the public consulation was Microsoft.

Document Foundation – the org. behind LibreOffice – joins OpenDoc Society. OpenDoc Society is an initiative that aims to bring together individuals and organisations in order to promote open document formats like ODF and PDF and share best practes and foster development.

Privacy & Data Protection

Tunisian state secretary Sami Zaoui announced that they will keep blocking websites that are "against decency, contain violent elements or incite to hate" backing up this decision that it is a not undemocratic, since even the western world does it.

The new EU measures to block access to websites which host indecent child images threatens both our freedom and privacy, and is not the most effective way to combat child abuse. Personally I think it is worth pointing out that since the biggest crime in this chain is the actual abuse of the child which is then documented in pictures and videos and shared with perverts. By blocking these pictures we do make it harder for the perverts to obtain, but not do anything to stop the child abuse in the first place! I would go even further and say that such measures are counter-productive as they would just drive the child abusers underground and even harder to find. In short IMHO blocking child pornography is the wrong method to the wrong goal.

EDRi has published a study on the increasing tendency for governments to ask, demand or coerce Internet intermediaries to carry out surveillance, policing, judging and sanctioning measures on their customers.

Other important news from EDRi this fortnight.


Dell has joined the SuSE Appliance Programme, which means it Dell can now deliver applications as ready-to-deploy virtual or hardware appliances powered by SUSE Linux Enterprise.

European Commission has cleared Intel's biggest takeover in history – McAfee. For that Intel had to commit itself to allowing its products to also work with software from other computer security companies and not to actively impede competitors' programs from running on its chips, or hampering the performance of McAfee programs on non-Intel devices.

Belgian antitrust authorities to investigate Apple's iPad magazine subscriptions, based on rumours that Apple will launch a new subscription model and digital storefront for magazines in iTunes that makes it even more difficult, if not impossible, for publishers to sell subscriptions except through iTunes.


Debian decides to remove binary blobs (e.g. binary firmware) from the its Linux kernel.

Simon Phipps writes about how legacy procurement rules that insist on indemnity from open source subscription suppliers are an unnecessary barrier to open source adoption.

In Italy ADUC has filed a class action case against Microsoft regarding its so called "Windows Tax" – the near impossibility of an ordinary user getting a refund if they decide to delete Microsoft's software from a new computer or laptop.

AGIMO responds to last week's public critique of its choice of OOXML as the official document format for the goverment.

JRC publishes its internal free software guidelines.

According to latest news on OSOR it seems like Free Software is becoming quite popular in European local administrations.

Also from the US come news that public procurement should not discriminate against Free Software.

Free Software advocate Slim Amamou becomes (temporary) Tunisian Secretary of State (i.e. Minister) for Youth and Sport.

To avoid similar outbrakes and falling of the government as in Tunisia, the Egyptian government decided to switch of its Internet.

Sourceforge revealed that a number of its servers were attacked and compromised. To survive the attack, has taken down many of its services and said that it will keep them offline until they harden against possible future attacks.

hook out → power nap, then studying Environmental Law and sipping Gunpowder green tea

Related Posts