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08.21.07

Free Software is Regaining Control

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux, GPL, Videos at 11:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GPLv3 gains traction

The GNU GPLv3 is a licence that essentially blocks and annuls some effects of Microsoft’s malicious deals with Linux distributors. GPLv3 is truly on a roll, but no-one in the press seems to notice or care. That’s the humiliating bias that we sometimes speak of. Jack Loftus has some details from Palamida:

Apparently all the GPLv3 haters can go to lunch, because the little license that could is seeing adoption rates of approximately 14% week-over-week.

This is encouraging news which follows this previous enthusiastic report. For those who are tired of seeing Free software abused and “Open Source” as a term misused, this should certainly be a cause for celebration. GPLv3 proponents have gotten their way and no longer will patent FUD be quite as effective.

To add a quick word on the issue of misuse, consider Microsoft’s latest attempt to enter the “Open Source” world. Be aware that Microsoft’s open source projects are often tied to, depend on, or get integrated with proprietary products such as SharePoint, SQL Server, .NET, and Windows. You get the picture. It completely dilutes the meaning of the term because there is no freedom in the stack which gets built. There is not much choice, either. In some cases, it’s akin to Tivoization where a device enables or disables the use of code (e.g. code cannot be run on Linux, patent provisions are required).

Tim O’Reilly has finally published a discussion about his confrontation with Eben Moglen.

He made a strong statement about why the Free Software Foundation ultimately chose not to close the “SaaS loophole” in GPLv3…

Here is the video [OGG], which is half-an-hour long.

Related stories:

ODF/OOXML Watch: Australia, New Zealand, Finland, and the United States

Posted in America, Australia, Europe, Formats, ISO, Open XML, OpenDocument, Standard at 9:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The vote on OOXML’s verdict is approaching. There are still many cases of wrongdoing and the following blog item gives a short and incomplete roundup of the latest observations.

The last two months however have seen reports from various countries questioning the basis on which their votes are being decided. The constitution of the committees and the manner in which the national position is decided seem to me to be flawed.

From New Zealand, the following HTML version of a paper that we previously mentioned (PDF) has finally been published. It explains why only Microsoft can implement OOXML, which makes it unsuitable for standardisation.

This paper examines whether OOXML can be fully implemented by vendors other than Microsoft and concludes that a number of application specific and undisclosed behaviours (as well as a number of other technical flaws) in the
proposed standard make this impossible.

From the UK, an article on OOXML’s setback in the United States has just been published.

In Australia, the following letter of protest was published in response to the nation’s decision. As you may recall, it seemed like a another story where Microsoft ‘shoved’ its own people and partners into the technical panel.

“Opposition to the endorsement of the program comes on top of the suspected stacking by Microsoft of a variety of standards bodies in order to get OOXML approved as the ISO standard. “This was not part of OSIA’s submission and is not anything OSIA has direct knowledge of”, said Scott. “However, there are a number of people who assert that Microsoft is doing as you suggest”, he said.”

Updates from Finland [1, 2, 3, 4] are also available thanks to an anonymous reader.

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