☞ There’s a link

☞ Going Open

  • “participants have reached unanimous agreement that the time is right for making available to the public the consolidated text coming out of these discussions” — About time too. They couldn’t keep it secret any longer because too many people – including those inside the process – thought it was a disgrace. I wonder if they had to surrender any principles to the US in order to gain that unanimous agreement? We’ll know on Wednesday, after which the “you’re wrong and I’ll not tell you why” defence for ACTA’s apologists is also off the table.
  • “any reasonable analysis shows that a monthly password change has little or no end impact on improving security! It is a ‘best practice’ based on experience 30 years ago with non-networked mainframes in a DoD environment” — Given how old this article is, surely corporate security experts should have got a clue by now?
  • Excellent article differentiates open source and crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing is the phenomenon previously known as sharecropping. Sadly it characterises the attitude many corporations have towards the communities they have created and call “open source communities”. But truly open source communities align the fractional self-interest of many around the evolution of a free software commons, and that is almost the polar opposite of crowdsourcing.
  • Good to see a politician taking the need for a leap into the connected era seriously. I fear Tom may have alienated himself from his party leadership, so this initiative is unlikely to spread fast. But he’s a crucial voice of reason in this particular debate and needs our support.

✍ Accommodating Innovators

Lessig Reads from RemixSomething grated throughout the debate that resulted in the Digital Economy Act here in the UK. I couldn’t quite articulate it until I was pointed by a blog posting towards an excellent article by Lawrence Lessig, “Getting out values around copyright right” (PDF), based on a keynote in 2009 at a conference for educators in the US. It’s a fine article.

The observations at the beginning of the article provide an excellent overview of what are, for me, Lessig’s most important observations about copyright – that the current, digital, meshed society presents many cases for which the antique copyright regime we have now is inadequate. He then goes on to consider how we should respond to this challenge if we are educators, and provides a final explanation of the Google book-scanning issue. Continue reading

☞ Understanding Patent Absurdity

  • I was lucky enough to be sent an early copy of this documentary. It’s well worth watching, both for the opportunity to see so many of the people who are influential in software freedom philosophy and law and for the great explanations of the issues around the Bilski case and the mission creep which has led to software patents. Share it with friends as this issue is only going to get more important as ACTA promotes criminalisation of patent infringement.
  • I’m not sure what I think about this fixation on enforcement. It seems to chill confidence in the very objective that software freedom was supposed to achieve – wide usage leading to contribution leading to more software freedom. Chill usage and surely software freedom spreads more slowly?
    (tags: FOSS GPL FSF)
  • Yes, the US Trade Representative really is saying “choose your freedoms”. It seems we can only have process transparency in exchange for an early surrender of citizen freedoms under ACTA. Disgusting.

☞ Inside Politics

✍ Seven Patent Reforms While We Wait For Nirvana

Handwritten sign in a French alleyI spent a few days last week at a workshop with a number of other people concerned about software freedom and the law around it. One of the speakers gave a presentation about software patents, confirming that, regardless of whether software patents “as such” were permitted throughout Europe, it was easy to obtain patents on ‘inventions facilitated by software’. This reminded me that I’ve previously proposed ideas for patent reform that bear repetition. Coming back to it after three years, there was surprisingly little that needed changing so apologies if it’s not new to you (and thanks for being a regular reader!)
Continue reading

✍ Digital Liberty Missing From UK Election

Geeks Vote Too logo§ The election season has finally arrived in the UK, and leaflets have started to pour through the front door – too many to easily scan for The Straight Choice. Meanwhile on the web all sorts of election-related sites are springing up in an attempt to mobilise people, including Democracy Club and Vote Geek organising locally, 38 Degrees pinpointing issues, YourNextMP providing candidate details, Open Rights Group obsessing about the Digital Economy Bill (with some justification) and so on. There are so many of them that we need a web site just to keep track of them. Continue reading

☞ ACTA: Support The Wellington Declaration

  • I signed the Wellington Declaration on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement and I think you should consider doing so too. Sign today and you can be included in the copy presented to the ACTA negotiators on Tuesday 13th April in New Zealand.

✍ Geeks Vote Too – Use The Logo!

Geeks Vote Too logo

Geeks Vote Too

As the election in the UK approaches, I think it’s time to tell the people chasing our votes that actually we do understand the issues around digital liberty and we think it’s time for them to listen to us as well as the lobbyists. After all, we have votes and the lobbyists don’t.

I’ve designed the simple logo you see to the left. It’s meant to capture the idea that I’m a geek with a vote. During the election season, I intend to wear a badge with this logo, or at some events a t-shirt. I’d be delighted if other people did the same, and/or used the image online.
Continue reading

Comment ratings now enabled on all posts

%d bloggers like this: