Posted on March 12, 2010 by Simon Phipps
§ Software freedom has a posse – in Washington DC, at least.
You’ll recall I posted a long analysis of the sick position the IIPA took urging the US Trade Representative (USTR) to discriminate against countries around the world if they have a preference for software freedom. That analysis become an input for the excellent position statement, written collaboratively by the OSI Board and posted by OSI President Michael Tiemann, calling for action by national groups.
I hear today that this has indeed resulted in positive action in Washington DC. Campaigning group Open Source for America issued a press statement yesterday, and wrote a two page position statement that they submitted to USTR. I gather they also met personally with a USTR representative to assert the position on behalf of America’s open source communities. I’m pretty sure this is the first time open source has been actively represented in Washington – about time!
This is an excellent development – kudos to the team that made it happen. We formed OSfA so that software freedom would have a political posse in Washington DC, and this first outing has shown that was the right move.
Filed under: Issues, OSfA | Tagged: IIPA, Open Source, OSFA, OSI, Politics, Special 301, USA, USTR | 1 Comment »
Posted on February 28, 2010 by Simon Phipps
§ A recent blog posting at The Guardian about the US “Special 301” rules has generated deep concern around the global open source community. It points (via a blog posting by Edinburgh University law lecturer Andres Guadamuz) to this year’s recommendations from the controversially-named International Intellectual Property Alliance, which describes itself as “a private sector coalition… of trade associations representing U.S. copyright-based industries” – namely
“the Association of American Publishers (AAP), the Business Software Alliance (BSA), the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)”.
As well as representing a group of organisations with dreadful reputations for disregarding citizen liberty and victimising customers, the organisation’s activities involve engagement with WIPO, activity over TRIPS and ACTA and this “Special 301” review. That is certainly enough to make each of their statements subject to scrutiny. IIPA provides a vehicle that allows companies who are members of its member organisations – that’s a double-opaque arrangement – to exercise influence without accountability and with deniability. Continue reading
Filed under: Issues, Open Source | Tagged: BSA, FOSS, IIPA, Open Source, Special 301, Trade, USA | 3 Comments »