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02.24.10

The Copyright Cartel and MSBBC Attack Free Software

Posted in Apple, Asia, DRM, Free/Libre Software, Intellectual Monopoly, Law, Microsoft at 4:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Lobby groups of the maximalists from the United States are trying to eradicate Free software in other countries, using lies of course; the BBC blocks Free software

SOME months ago we showed how the Copyright Cartel controls the United States government when it comes to the field that affect its paymasters. It’s highly imbalanced as it assumes that those with wealth should call the shots and the remainder of the population simply accept anything that’s being decided in secret meetings.

According to this fascinating news story, the Copyright Cartel is traveling around the world and reverses truths; it says that Free software is bad for one’s economy, altogether neglecting the factors that are digital autonomy and control, not to mention the jobs which get generated when a nation builds and maintains its own software.

The US copyright lobby has long argued against open source software – now Indonesia’s in the firing line for encouraging the idea in government departments

It’s only Tuesday and already it’s been an interesting week for the world of digital rights. Not only did the British government changed the wording around its controversial ‘three strikes’ proposals, but the secretive anti-counterfeiting treaty, Acta, was back in the headlines. Meanwhile, a US judge is still deliberating over the Google book settlement.

As if all that wasn’t enough, here’s another brick to add to the teetering tower of news, courtesy of Andres Guadamuz, a lecturer in law at the University of Edinburgh.

Guadamuz has done some digging and discovered that an influential lobby group is asking the US government to basically consider open source as the equivalent of piracy – or even worse.

What?

It turns out that the International Intellectual Property Alliance, an umbrella group for organisations including the MPAA and RIAA, has requested with the US Trade Representative to consider countries like Indonesia, Brazil and India for its “Special 301 watchlist” because they use open source software.

So it’s official. The Copyright Cartel, which is a friend of Apple and Microsoft by the way, has brought its disgraceful and shameless lies over to the software arena. Whose back is it rubbing? IDG, at least in the UK, has got some more coverage, but it uses stupid (and incorrect) words like “piracy” and “pirate”. Cory Doctorow does not make this mistake.

There’s a fantastic little story in the Guardian today that says a US lobby group is trying to get the US government to consider open source as the equivalent to piracy.

The International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA), an umbrella group for American publishing, software, film, television and music associations, has asked with the US Trade Representative (USTR) to consider countries like Indonesia, Brazil and India for its “Special 301 watchlist” because they encourage the use of open source software.

A Special 301, according to Guardian’s Bobbie Johnson is: “a report that examines the ‘adequacy and effectiveness of intellectual property rights’ around the planet – effectively the list of countries that the US government considers enemies of capitalism. It often gets wheeled out as a form of trading pressure – often around pharmaceuticals and counterfeited goods – to try and force governments to change their behaviours.”

Another line of familiar propaganda says that giving something away free of charge is “unpatriotic” or “unamerican” (Microsoft just labels it a "patent infringer" and resorts to extortion). There are many articles out there which expose this pattern of slurs. At least they don’t compare Free software to terrorism just yet (Rob Enderle comes close when comparing Free software advocates to people who crash planes into buildings).

Anyway, Microsoft’s old friends at the BBC [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] are still adopting the same train of thought as the Copyright Cartel. The BBC not only supports Internet policies that are proposed by the Copyright Cartel (e.g. BPI) but it also uses improper insults or daemonisation terms like “piracy” and “pirate”. According to this exclusive new report, the BBC is now rejecting Free software plugins:

The BBC has quietly updated its hugely popular iPlayer with a verification layer that closes the door on open source implementations of RTMP (real-time messaging protocol) streaming, The Register has learned.

The Beeb applied the update to its online video catch-up service on 18 February, just four days after Adobe Systems penned a corporate blog post about its “content protection offerings”.

There is at least one software company that will be pleased. Well, many of its employees are now working inside the BBC.

Microsoft BBC

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3 Comments

  1. Agent_Smith said,

    February 24, 2010 at 8:43 pm

    Gravatar

    Well, it’s good to know what’s going on under the table, but i think they’ll blow this thing for good. Adoption of FLOSS is unstoppable, and even now, at these times of crisis, FLOSS saves millions of dollars. In the other hand, Oracle now owns Open Office. Do you think they will not advance the adoption of Open Office as a serious office suite over M$ Office ??? They will, and there will be no Riaa, Mpaa, or whatever to put roadblocks in the tracks of Oracle. Open Source has a new, powerful and influent friend…

  2. Needs Sunlight said,

    February 25, 2010 at 4:12 am

    Gravatar

    Roy, it’s a distraction from talking about using software. Only a few years ago, computers were used as tools to get other jobs done.

    It’s also a distraction from the billions of dollars of damage that the Microsofters (as distinct from either closed source or open source or free software) cause those trying to get work done using computers.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Who is distracting? Just the lobbyists?

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