☞ Tidying

☞ Anti-Trust Games

  • Fascinating and detailed analysis of the anti-trust complaints against Google. The conspiracy theories Pamela espouses are well-based.

    At the start of last year as I was working on other technology policy issues with colleagues in Brussels, there were constant stories of indirectly-but-identifiably Microsoft-sponsored lobbyists and lawyers forming groups to initiate a variety of cases against Google over there, on the premise that “anti-trust has changed us and now Google are the new monopoly”. I heard the same from colleagues in DC too.

    So, as Pamela says: “Is this perhaps more abuse of the legal and administrative systems for anticompetitive purposes? If so, could somebody investigate *that*?”

  • “OpenIndiana is part of the Illumos Foundation, and provides a true open source community alternative to Solaris 11 and Solaris 11 Express, with an open development model and full community participation.”

☞ Will Run And Run

  • “Google could have avoided all this by building Android on top of IcedTea, a GPL-covered Java implementation based on Sun’s original code, instead of an independent implementation under the Apache License. … It’s sad to see that Google apparently shunned [the GPL’s] protections in order to make proprietary software development easier on Android.”
  • Carlo Piana relays an important message from his Oracle contacts to say that their action against Google is a one-off and not a sign of the commencement of general hostilities. Fascinating how it’s easier for them to do this than speak for themselves.

☞ Transparency: Wrong and Right

  • If you thought there was something fishy about the European Commission engaging in secret negotiations at ACTA behind the backs of the European Parliament and against the interests of Europe’s digital society, you’d be right. I missed this when it was first posted back in April, but it turns out that the Commission sought permission to negotiate not from a relevant part of the Council of the EU such as trade or competitiveness, but from the Fisheries committee.The whole matter around ACTA – both the negotiations and the mandate of the negotiators – is a disgrace to modern democracy, hidden from scrutiny both of citizens and their elected representatives, with the goal of establishing by fait accomplis a set of precedents that will over-rule the instinctive and correct misgivings that we all have about the creation of legislation to protect broken business models in perpetuity.

  • Yes, all that work many of us across Europe put in to call MEPs and ask them to sign Written Declaration 12 succeeded and at the 11th hour it has become the ratified position of the Parliament.
  • The process to revise the Mozilla Public Licence is well under way – today the team released their “Alpha 2” draft, and invite inspection and comment.

☞ Governments Protecting Outdated Business Models

  • Good pointer here by Glyn to an action we can take to check the effects of pro-patent lobbying in Europe. He misses a trick when he doesn’t point out that even RF licensing of patents in standards can be toxic to open source.

    If the patent holder uses a non-royalty-based restriction – such as the requirement that all legal entities must register for a no-charge license – the lack of a single legal entity to take that action for many open source communities makes it a show-stopper. Worse, if any license so obtained is non-sub-licensable then even the existence of a legal entity would still mean an insurmountable practical barrier existed for the project. Any implicit requirement that the license was necessary would also breach the terms of the license for many projects.

    In summary: RF is only of if it means “restriction-free”, not “royalty-free”.

  • Shameful action by the European Commission, who are pressing for patent infringement to be included in the scope of ACTA.
  • If Ruby on Rails is a bit ambitious for you, why not build your next project in Cobol on Cogs?

☏ URGENT: Has Your MEP Signed The ACTA Written Declaration?

Geeks Vote Too logoHere is a list of MEPs for UK constituencies. As of now, none of these MEPs has signed the Written Declaration on ACTA.It’s entirely possible one of them is representing you – or rather, failing to do so.

Since we now only need nine more signatures in the next two days to enact this Written Declaration (which is not extreme – it makes very reasonable statements about the European Parliament’s attitude towards ACTA), you can make a real difference by calling your MEP or if you prefer using WriteToThem, and asking them to sign the Declaration so that the attempt at an end-run round democracy is rejected by the Parliament. You might want to say something like:

As a constituent I am worried that the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement that’s being secretly negotiated internationally may well use a treaty to impose terms that have neither been discussed nor agreed by you in the European Parliament. Please will you sign Written Declaration 12/2010 right away (before it expires on Wednesday night) so that the Commission knows that the Parliament will not accept a fait accomplis?

The following had NOT signed at 11pm UK time on Monday:

  • William (The Earl of) DARTMOUTH
  • John Stuart AGNEW
  • Richard ASHWORTH
  • Gerard BATTEN
  • Godfrey BLOOM
  • Sharon BOWLES
  • Philip BRADBOURN
  • John BUFTON
  • Martin CALLANAN
  • Michael CASHMAN
  • Derek Roland CLARK
  • Trevor COLMAN
  • Nirj DEVA
  • Diane DODDS
  • James ELLES
  • Nigel FARAGE
  • Vicky FORD
  • Ashley FOX
  • Julie GIRLING
  • Daniel HANNAN
  • Richard HOWITT
  • Stephen HUGHES
  • Syed KAMALL
  • Sajjad KARIM
  • Timothy KIRKHOPE
  • Elizabeth LYNNE
  • David MARTIN
  • Linda McAVAN
  • Arlene McCARTHY
  • Emma McCLARKIN
  • Claude MORAES
  • Paul NUTTALL
  • Brian SIMPSON
  • Peter SKINNER
  • Struan STEVENSON
  • Catherine STIHLER
  • Charles TANNOCK
  • Geoffrey VAN ORDEN
  • Derek VAUGHAN
  • Glenis WILLMOTT

If you can’t remember who your MEPs are, open WriteToThem in a new tab or window, enter your postcode and check down the list. If you’re in Europe but outside the UK, the list on Quadrature can be sorted by country for you to check.

☞ Innovation, and how to prevent it

  • The trend for VC-free startups is strong, and Dale’s article makes for interesting reading. ForgeRock is another example of a VC-free startup, and I’d say we fit Dale’s profile pretty well. This is not to say we will never seek investment now we’re bootstrapped, of course, but the idea of a VC-funded company aiming solely at an exit to recoup the initial investment was one we all disliked.
  • Well worth taking the time to read this story of the attempt by Thomas Edison to take control of the nascent movie industry using patent suits, an industry association as a heavy-handed enforcer and then a patent pool as the weapon against any company daring to innovate or meet actual customer demand.

    Yes, there is nothing new in the actions of Paul Allen, the RIAA and BSA or of MPEG-LA, it’s all been done before. Reading this really leaves me wondering why massive patent and copyright reform haven’t both happened already.

☞ Modern

  • This free sampler album (only downloadable by people with US Amazon.Com accounts) has some great electronic/dance tracks on it, especially the ones from Late Night Alumni and Kaskade.
  • “The problem with these sorts of lawsuits is that they have become just part of doing business in the world of technology. They don’t hurt big companies, but they make it harder for smaller ones to innovate without fear of running headlong into a lawsuit that will burn through startup capital. And they’ll continue to be a drain on the technology industry’s ability to innovate until someone manages to ban software patents and put their protection under copyright where it belongs.”
  • It’s just possible this is the most important step towards middle east peace we have yet seen.

☞ Webmink’s Law of Preservation of Win

  • I coined a new (tongue-in-cheek) law yesterday – “For every epic fail there is an equal and opposite epic win” – and this could well be an instance of it. A clever and keen bunch of people are being liberated from the expectation someone else is going to do the job and motivated to establish a fully open, fully Free Unix kernel in the Illumos project. I’m now on the look-out for the counterbalancing “win” for some other “fail”…
    So, I don’t think so. But it does liberate Illumos.


  • It appears that Apple are happy to play open but Facebook aren’t quite so keen to join in. That’s the deal with “open” – it cuts both ways.
  • Another member of the Sun diaspora, with a very worthwhile idea.

⚐ Gosling Webcast

Duke, the Java Mascot, in the waving pose. Duk...

Image via Wikipedia

Next week JavaZone, the conference that brought you Lady Java and Java Forever will be held in Norway. To celebrate the opening of the new ForgeRock Norway office, we’ve arranged for a party just before the conference starts, on Tuesday evening. If you are in Oslo and would like to attend, please send an RSVP to the address on the web site.

As part of that, James Gosling and I will be “beaming in” via webcast to give short talks and maybe even answer a few questions. If you’d like to join the webcast (using DimDim), please register on our website.

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