“People ought to remember that Microsoft was created by parasites who took other people’s “free labour” (hard work) and used that to create copies, often illegally.”So here we have another lesson in what “Open Source” means to Microsoft. It means “free labour” to harvest, to exploit, and to then use for PR purposes (as in “we love open source”). Microsoft has a long history like that, dating back even to early versions of Windows which took a BSD-licensed TCP/IP stack.
People ought to remember that Microsoft was created by parasites who took other people’s “free labour” (hard work) and used that to create copies, often illegally. Bill Gates famously said: “I went to the garbage cans at the Computer Science Center and I fished out listings of their operating systems.”
Bill Gates is still a parasite, but he has money to employ PR agents who spin it all as “charity”. Even while he makes money investing in Monsanto (which will earn money at the expense of impoverished African people) Gates pretends to help poor Africans. We are very pleased that Gates has received the blinding lights of truth shining into his eyes, revealing to the world his true agenda in Africa [1, 2] (along with Rockefeller). This PR disaster keeps spreading.
This is unfortunate. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has certainly been hard at work trying to improve healthcare around the world, but the latest news is that the Foundation has decided to invest in Monsanto, a company famous for widely abusing intellectual property laws to make people a lot less healthy, to increase the cost of some key foods important to feeding the hungry and to generally scare researchers from sharing important information with one another, for fear that it will be patented and locked up.
Glyn Moody’s response to this (“Gates Foundation Invests in Monsanto”) was: “intellectual monopolists made for each other”
It’s all about artificial scarcity (patents) and exploitation even when it’s called “philanthropy”. The latest Gates PR (Khan Academy) apparently comes from author of “The Silicon Boys”, a book that covers Bill Gates. Watch how the publicists try to spin Gates as a lover of sharing. Gates is just the queen of bees, laying all the eggs and enjoying the labour of “workers”. █
Summary: Microsoft is being crushed by software freedom, so in order to survive it can only invent bogus standards and a bogus definition of the very same paradigm it’s competing against and trying to coopt
MICROSOFT is kind neither to “Open Source” nor to standards. The former subject was covered here a lot recently, after dishonest remarks from “OOXML Paoli” [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] and OOXML itself is proof that Microsoft does not care about standards, either. Rather than go along with everybody towards ODF it just created its own bogus proprietary format and tried to call that “a standard”. It even put its proprietary VML in it, thus harming SVG, the industry standard. This is still going on, even after Mirosoft pretended to have befriended SVG [1, 2]. Penguin Pete has this new cartoon called “The eternal curse” [of Microsoft's violation of Web standards] and it’s a good summary of Microsoft’s ill effects on the Internet. Internet Explorer still lacks SVG support, for example.
If there was any take-away I got from LinuxCon a couple of weeks ago, it was this: open source has finally become mainstream.
I mean, there was really little doubt. Companies and independent developers have been using open source for years now, with little regard to the old FUD that said “if you use this software, little Stallman-like demons will eat your soul!”
But the thing that really drove this home was when Evan Moglen, lawyer to the Free Software stars, described the subtle shift in how developers approach open source.
When open source first started, Moglen said, it was the developers and engineers who truly understood open source, and they were the personnel that would educate and teach others about the notions of free and open source software. This is certainly true, because it goes a long way to also explaining why this training and education took a while for business to understand, since business-types and engineering-types don’t often communicate to each other very well.
That post ought to say Eben, not Evan. Either way, isn’t it fascinating to see Moglen and Stallman mentioned in the context of business? Microsoft — with the help of minions such as Microsoft Florian — has been attempting to paint Stallman as a radical and Moglen as a communist, interchangeably (they try this even in this Web site). The reality is, there is nothing more communistic than a software monopoly where control and special privileges belong to just a few. “Open Source” is free market, it’s capitalism; proprietary monopoly on the other hand is tyranny, it’s more like communism. Any real proponent of capitalism and a truly democratic society should strive to advance software freedom, which much like today’s Western systems possibly embodies few elements of socialism. █
VMware and Novell have already partnered to bring SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) to VMware vSphere virtual machines. During Novell’s earnings call, Novell CEO Ron Hovsepian said that VMware sales staff has incentives to sell SUSE support and services to their customers. Hovsepian added that VMware and Novell would expand on what’s going on with their partnership at this coming week’s VMworld trade show.
Could the two companies announce a merger? There have been rumors for some time that VMware might buy Novell. I don’t know much about those rumors, but I do know that it’s a deal that makes a lot of sense for both companies.
The title of the above post is “VMware should buy Novell” and I asked the author: “should? You want lots of Microsoft execs to own Novell and UNIX??”
“…VMware has been no friend to MSFT, or vice-versa, for the last year or so.” –Steven J. Vaughan-NicholsHe replies by saying “”Should” as in it makes biz sense. Also VMware has been no friend to MSFT, or vice-versa, for the last year or so. Check it out”
There has been some chatter in blogs recently about VMware as Novell’s escape route from Microsoft dependency, but it ought to be known that VMware is now run by former Microsoft executives, so the relationship with Microsoft would not evaporate completely.
Novell and Microsoft are more than happy to help you bridge the gap between Linux and Windows.
Once upon a time, bridging the gap between Windows and Linux in the server room or the office was… difficult. Today, while no one’s going to call it easy, Novell and Microsoft have worked hard on ensuring interoperability doesn’t require either a Linux wizard or a Windows expert.
The two technology giants have been at this since they formed their unlikely partnership in November, 2006. Almost five years later, besides the business benefits the two companies have found in working together, Novell and Microsoft have made considerable progress in getting Linux and Windows to get along both on the server and the desktop level.
It’s all just intended to sell more Windows and less GNU/Linux. We covered this before. █
Update: As raised as a possible explanation by myself in the IRC channel (I was deceived by others), Mono just moved to Git. Nonetheless, news about Mono and Moonlight has been extremely scarce for months, so the project clearly lost a lot of momentum.
Summary: Mono development is nearly non-existent over the past month or so
MONO AND MOONLIGHT begin to show early signs of death. Both Mono and Moonlight are hardly heard from anymore and lack of endorsement from the FSF (the FSF discourages use of C#) could not do much to help, could it? Based on SVN branches [1, 2], either the entire development team at Novell takes a massively long summer vacation or the project is radically de-emphasised. So the question is, what happens to those who depend on Mono in the long term? Novell is up for sale and Miguel de Icaza is busy cleaning their toilets instead of coding or even blogging. The Mono problem was discussed in IRC a short while ago (partial logs below). █
justin__: I had no problem with them writting Mono. I am pissed at Mono because MonoDudes don’t know their place. It is only so we can say every language can run on Linux. It is stupid to write software with it. It is stupid to try and make it default language for GNU / Linux
My advice? Don’t dual-boot. If you need to run that other OS, do so in a virtual machine so that it can clobber its virtual boot-loader and not yours. VirtualBox makes this very easy and you get the added benefit that you can run both OS simultaneously without having to re-re-reboot.
Those in the list are not PC-bound issues, but OS problems. The press should start reporting them as what they really are: the intrinsic flaws of Windows, not of PCs. My Mandriva desktop has none of those. Nor does my Mandriva netbook. As far as I have heard, the other members of the Linux family (Mepis , Pardus, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Fedora, Sabayon, Arch, and the rest) that run on PCs stand solid against viruses.
However, before you migrate to Linux, you must know that, as in any change of OS, a successful migration depends on intelligent choices and understanding of the situation.
You can be assured that no matter how many people around you are using Linux, your computer is a reflection of yourself and not of some faceless marketing mogul. This is because Linux is open source and open source is all about freedom. Freedom is choice and anything which tries to limit our choice is trying to reduce our freedom.
For those not familiar with the GPL-licensed Linux FUSE module, it is a Linux kernel module that has been living within the mainline kernel since the Linux 2.6.14 release and it allows non-privileged users to create their own file-systems in user-space with the FUSE module then providing a bridge to interface with the Linux kernel. FUSE is also available for BSD, OpenSolaris, and Mac OS X operating systems too. With FUSE file-systems living in user-space, they do not need to comply with the GNU GPL since only the FUSE module is loaded against the Linux kernel, but there is an overhead associated with this approach. Besides ZFS-FUSE, there are dozens of other FUSE file-systems including ClamFS, httpFS, ChunkFS, vmware-mount, and GnomeVFS2 FUSE. The most recent release of ZFS-FUSE is version 0.6.9 and is based upon Zpool version 23 (much better than Zpool 18 being used by LLNL/KQ Infotech at this time, with post-18 revisions adding features like de-duplication support) and supports NFS sharing, PowerPC architecture, a multi-threaded ioctl handler, and other improvements. ZFS 0.7.0 is the release presently under development and is expected for release in early October. For our testing of ZFS-FUSE, we used both the latest stable 0.6.9 release and a 0.7.0 Git snapshot as of their latest official code in their Git repository as of 2010-08-28.
0 A.D. (pronounced “zero ey-dee”) is a free, open-source, cross-platform real-time strategy (RTS) game of ancient warfare. In short, it is a historically-based war/economy game that allows players to relive or rewrite the history of Western civilizations, focusing on the years between 500 B.C. and 500 A.D. The project is highly ambitious, involving state-of-the-art 3D graphics, detailed artwork, sound, and a flexible and powerful custom-built game engine.
We at Frictional Games are happy to announce that Amnesia: The Dark Descent has gone gold. We are extremely pleased with our creation and cannot wait to unleash our bundle of madness on the 8th of September. We feel that we have taken a giant leap forward compared to our previous games, the Penumbra series.
There are several ways of being part of the KDE game: you can develop, translate, be an artist, help users, take care of our infrastructure, organize developer sprints. A lot of ways right? But some people just lack the time to join the game in any of the areas that I just listed but still want to contribute in some way to the project.
And you? What are you waiting for? Help KDE and be part of it: Join the Game!
The above combination was never a painless experience, still at some point in past it seemed to be better to have a NVidia card on Linux then anything else, so I continued to buy them whenever my system was upgraded. Lately although it started to make me rather bad.
Of the three distributions mentioned here, I don’t think any of them are likely to become mainstream in the Linux community. Puppy is well established in its niche and seems happy there. The Me-OS project, I feel, has some potential if the developer can keep up with the work which goes into maintaining a distro. Like Puppy, Me-OS is taking a slightly different path and it’ll be interesting to see where they end up. ImagineOS felt like the odd one out of these three. It doesn’t really bring anything new to the table, I didn’t find anything in its approach to be eye-catching. It sits on a strong Slackware base, but I think the project needs to add something if it wants to attract new members.
Today I want to talk about a specialist Linux distro which has saved me from pretty nasty situations more than once, Parted Magic 5.3. I believe that the best introduction to this fabulous distro is its feature list (extracted from the Parted Magic Official SITE).
The managing board of enterprise open-source software company Red Hat has elected a retired U.S. Army officer, General Henry Hugh Shelton, to serve as chairman, the company announced Monday. Shelton takes the place of Matthew Szulik, who was the former CEO of Red Hat.
Creating the default wall paper for Ubuntu is not an easy task. No matter the outcome there will be some who like it and others who won’t.
So why does it matter? Throw something together and call it good.
The answer is the default wall paper in many cases is the first expression of quality. To illustrate; if I am viewing a high quality automobile but hate the color or some other design detail what impression do I walk away with?
As many of you know, I tend to be the first to criticize anything in this community of people who are often afraid to voice their opinion about something. This time, however, I’m not going to do the talking, I’m just going to share some comments.
This month we begin using the new Ubuntu font and a new FCM logo created by Thorsten Wilms!
* Command and Conquer.
* How-To : Program in Python – Part 14, Virtualize Part 3 – OpenSolaris, and ADSL Modem As A Switch.
* Review – SOFA Statistics.
* Top 5 – Favourite Apps.
* plus: MOTU Interview, Ubuntu Games, My Opinion, My Story, and now with all new LoCo and Translation Team interviews!
A story I share at every Ubuntu Developer Summit is that when I started working as the Ubuntu Community Manager I got a lovely email from a kid in Africa who would walk two hours to his local town where he would spend his own money to buy Internet time in an Internet cafe to contribute to Ubuntu and then walk two hours back home. This story was powerful to me. It told me that my job is to help that guy get the most out of his hour, to justify his investment of energy and expense to just get involved in the first place. His story was inspiring, encouraging, and an impressive example of commitment. I always share this story at UDS as an inspiration for us to get the most out of each one-hour session.
Incredibly, I got the incredible** chance to review the Droid Incredible and see if it lives up to its reputation of incredibility of putting out incredible video, picture quality, sound and more. I was incredulous, so you will see how the Incredible fared by after my incredible amount of video scrutiny. Incredible!
Haiti Partners participated in a pilot with Waveplace and OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) of 200 xo laptops in April and May of this year. Last week I (John Engle) visited with about 20 students from our various partner schools to see how they’re progressing. Respecting one of OLPC’s principles, all students in our partner schools keep the laptops so that they can continue learning.
If open source folks know anything, and they do, it’s how to build tools that enable collaborative development. Case in point: ticketing and issue tracking systems. If your shop needs a reliable, flexible, and scalable ticketing system take a look at Bugzilla, Request Tracker (RT), or Trac to find the best tool to keep your projects on track.
Michael Tiemann is the brain behind Cygnus, the first company to offer support to Linux and other assorted Free Software programs. He is now involved in open source ‘affairs’ at the OSI. Swapnil Bhartiya discusses the past, present and the future with Tiemann in this exclusive interview.
The installation is painless…now the true test will be time. If the end-users can get used to a different office suite to handle their templates. But ultimately what this little experience taught me was that as much as people like to claim how cheap the TCO of MS products are to business, there is always a situation that begs to smack that assumption upside the face. This was one of those. Not many business have 10,000 dollars to drop on a software update – especially one that will only serve to solve a printing issue. Yes the printing was a critical aspect of the users’ jobs, but not enough to force the hand to upgrading to Office 2007 on terminal server.
A few days ago, we noted that Diaspora was three weeks away from unveiling their open-source Facebook alternative. But a small update today clarifies one important point. On September 15, Diaspora will release the open source code for the project. But it won’t be until October that the first consumer-facing alpha is available.
The Drupal community has notched up another win with the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) joining the ranks of organisations implementing the open source content management system (CMS) for its web presence.
Rails 3.0 has been underway for a good two years, so it’s with immense pleasure that we can declare it’s finally here. We’ve brought the work of more than 1,600 contributors together to make everything better, faster, cleaner, and more beautiful.
A while back I listed 10 of the most promising real world Open Source projects on this blog, and today I want to add one more contender to that list: Apertus, an Open Source cinema camera project.
Led by Oscar Spierenburg and a team of international developers, the project aims to produce “an affordable community driven free software and open hardware cinematic HD camera for a professional production environment”. Let’s take a quick tour of the hardware and software components that constitute Apertus, before moving on to address some concerns about the overall viability of the project.
Of course, as Luke Welling, Web Team Lead at Message Systems, a digital messaging management company and co-author of the “Bible” of commercial PHP/MySQL programming, PHP and MySQL Web Development, pointed out at an OSCON seminar in Portland, OR, that’s true of many corporate programming projects.
So what can you, as IT management, do about this? Well, for starters, Welling suggested that managers fight the attitude that sloppy programming is acceptable because IT can always “throw more and faster processors” at any performance problem. Sometimes, you can’t fix performance problems with hardware. You need to convince developers and their team leaders that writing to the minimum hardware requirements, rather than the maximum, is the smart thing to do.
The other issue to keep in mind are the “Hollywood” interests. They saw what an open format like MP3 did to their music buddies and are not interested in that kind of disruption. People who own movies and TV are going to want as much DRM as possible, and new video formats that don’t satisfy those requirements are going to be tough to spread. Sure, there’s piracy, but once Hollywood gets it’s act together and figures out a Netflix/Hulu model, I think most people will pay. Most people already pay $80+ a month for cable which a bunch of crap no one wants to watch, so there’s a tolerance for a subscription budget, esp. if it’s for shows you actually want to watch.
It was just earlier this month that we were talking about Lightspark now rendering faster and supporting H263/MP3 video when the first Lightspark 0.4.3 release candidate was made available. This open-source project that only reached beta in May aims to provide a completely free software implementation of Adobe’s Flash/SWF specification, continues to advance rapidly. Lightspark 0.4.3 was already released and this morning the 0.4.4 release has even made it out the door.
You’ve been extremely helpful, so bugger off: What started out as a routine study of group behavior ended up turning a bit surreal. According to the authors of a new paper, they started out trying to find out how long a group would tolerate members that abused the common good. In the process, they found that members who put the most into the common good were quickly expelled from the group. Not entirely believing it, they replicated the findings—twice. Some of the hate comes from the overly officious group members, who viewed those who gave more than they needed to as breaking the rules. But some of it also comes from people who think that altruistic behavior like this simply raises expectations unnecessarily.
Bergen County, N.J., Superior Court Judge Ellen Koblitz doesn’t seem too worried about sparing the reputations of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison and Lowenstein Sandler. In June, you’ll recall, she found that the two firms had filed a frivolous suit on behalf of billionaire Ronald Perelman in a family dispute over hundreds of millions of dollars. On Friday she issued a final opinion (pdf), rejecting the firms’ arguments for mercy and ordering them to pay $1.96 million in legal fees to the defendants, Perelman’s former father-in-law and brother-in-law.
U.S. H-1B, L-1 visa reform under a new border security appropriations act also discriminates against offshore outsourcing providers, critics and advocates alike say, as it penalizes Indian IT service providers while ignoring US IT service providers who are also heavy users of H-1Bs like IBM, Accenture and UST Global.
Conrad Black’s ongoing legal fight in the United States has attracted considerable attention in Canada, yet my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) there is a side courtroom battle at home over alleged defamatory content on the Internet that merits closer attention. The case, named Black v. Breeden, involves postings such as press releases and reports on the Hollinger International, Inc. website that Black claims were defamatory. Several Ontario media organizations published the allegations contained in those releases.
For going to court with an argument referenced from Wikipedia, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) lost an appeal to reverse a decision nullifying a couple’s 19-year marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity.
“The Republic, with all the resources and manpower at its disposal, has all the means with which to counter the expert testimony offered by [the ex-wife]. Most certainly, the Republic has access to government institutions, i.e., National Center for Mental Health, which has qualified psychiatric experts whose opinion it could have sought to evaluate [the woman] and her spouse,” the Court of Appeals special 15th division said in a 13-page decision.
Late last week, there were a ton of press reports about how Blockbuster was preparing to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September. It’s not shutting down, but just trying to restructure its debt, get out from under a bunch of store leases and try, try again. That said, this is yet another example of the fallacy of the claim of many that if you have a good idea some big company will just come along, copy it, and be successful. It also demonstrates the huge difference between idea and execution.
Vivian Schiller, president and chief executive of NPR, came to the public-radio organization in 2009 after 25 years in media, including stints at NYTimes.com and CNN. She talked with Kara Swisher about the rise of Internet radio, getting programs on Apple Inc.’s iPad and forming partnerships with other nonprofit news organizations. Here are edited excerpts of their conversation.
This wouldn’t be the first brush with big cap tech interest, as Skype had been operating under eBay’s (EBAY) ownership from 2005 to 2009. eBay bought Skype in 2005 for $2.6 billion and sold most of the company at an estimated valuation of $2.75 billion to a group of private equity investors in 2009. Ebay, to this date, maintains a 35% ownership interest.
Don’t you love that remarkable moment when roSenQatlh and ghIlDenSten exit the stage and Khamlet is left alone to deliver the immortal words: “baQa’, Qovpatlh, toy’wl”a’ qal je jIH”?
No? Well, it always kills on Kronos. That’s the home planet of the Klingons, the hostile race that antagonizes the Federation heroes of “Star Trek.” We learned back in ’91 in “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country” that the Klingons love them some Shakespeare. Or as he’s known to his ridged-foreheaded devotees in the space-alien community: Wil’yam Shex’pir.
Those of you who have spent time staring at a periodic table are undoubtedly aware of the large insertions that are typically stuck below the chart, since they’d make the table unreasonably wide otherwise. The top of these two rows is typically called the Lanthanide series, and it contains the rare earth metals, like dysprosium, holmium, and praseodymium. Although these exotic-sounding metals find their way into displays and lasers, they’re primarily notable for their use in powerful magnets that appear in everything from electric motors to disk drives. And, according to a new Congressional analysis posted by the Federation of American Scientists’ Secrecy News blog, the world is using them up faster than it can produce them.
The report itself doesn’t really have much information that couldn’t be obtained elsewhere, but it puts it all together in a very readable package. Right now, we’re using about 134,000 tons of rare earth metals a year, but mining only 124,000 tons; the difference is made up using ore stocks that have been mined but not yet processed.
Responding to a court order issued a week ago, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) this morning ordered intramural researchers studying human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) to shut down their experiments.
NIH’s action—probably unprecedented in its history—is a response to a preliminary injunction on 23 August from U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth. The judge ruled that the Obama policy allowing NIH funding to be used to study hESC lines violates a law prohibiting the use of federal funds to destroy embryos.
FLASH: 4:47 a.m. EDT August 28 — Indian e-voting researcher Hari Prasad was released on bail an hour ago, after seven days in police custody. Magistrate D. H. Sharma reportedly praised Hari and made strong comments against the police, saying Hari has done service to his country. Full post later today.
The highlands of southwestern Ethiopia should be ideal for growing coffee. After all, this is the region where coffee first originated hundreds of years ago. But although coffee remains Ethiopia’s number one export, the nation’s coffee farmers have been struggling.
In a half-empty/half-full ruling for KPMG, a New Jersey appeals court on Thursday found sufficient evidence that the accounting giant was negligent in its audits of the books of a ceramic collectibles company but inadequate proof to support a $38 million damages award to another company that acquired it.
“Central bankers alone cannot solve the world’s economic problems,” Mr. Bernanke said in what became a theme of the annual Fed policy symposium here, organized by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
The gathering, at a historic lodge in Grand Teton National Park, brought together about 110 central bankers and economists, including most of the Federal Reserve’s top officials. In 2008, the symposium occurred weeks before the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy nearly shut down the financial markets. At the symposium last year, officials congratulated themselves on weathering the worst of the crisis.
THE American economy is once again tilting toward danger. Despite an aggressive regimen of treatments from the conventional to the exotic — more than $800 billion in federal spending, and trillions of dollars worth of credit from the Federal Reserve — fears of a second recession are growing, along with worries that the country may face several more years of lean prospects.
With couples like the Kordasiewiczs taking advantage of incentives like free breakfast, restaurants and shopkeepers selling items like T-shirts, taffy and jewelry say travelers seem to be thinking twice before opening their wallets, if they do at all.
“They are coming in the door more,” said Belinda Schmitt, the manager of Guertin Brothers Jewelers on Main Street in Hyannis on Cape Cod. “But I am finding that tourists are not interested in buying jewelry as much. We have started carrying jewelry that can maybe more meet the needs of people on a tighter budget.”
Amid all the junk mail pouring into your house in recent months, you might have noticed a solicitation or two for a “professional card,” otherwise known as a small-business or corporate credit card.
If so, watch out. While Capital One Financial Corp.’s World MasterCard, Citigroup Inc.’s Citibank CitiBusiness/AAdvantage Mastercard and the others might look like typical plastic, they are anything but.
Cue the credits: the era of financial thuggery is officially over. Three hellish years of panic, all done and gone – the mass bankruptcies, midnight bailouts, shotgun mergers of dying megabanks, high-stakes SEC investigations, all capped by a legislative orgy in which industry lobbyists hurled more than $600 million at Congress.
The president proudly called the new law “the toughest financial reform since the one we created in the aftermath of the Great Depression.” What Obama left unsaid was that his administration had argued against many of the toughest amendments in the bill. And Wall Street, in the end, didn’t complain about it all that much.
What did the chairman of the Federal Reserve say in Jackson Hole? According to much of the reaction, Ben Bernanke said the “Fed stands by to boost US growth” (FT), or that the “Fed is ready to prop up economy” (NYT) or even that the “Fed stands ready to support recovery” (WSJ).
The Justice Department is focusing in on how Comcast Corp.’s bid to purchase control of General Electric Co.’s NBC Universal television and movie unit could affect the emerging Internet video market, people familiar with the matter say.
If customers don’t find Hulu Plus is worthwhile at $10 a month, especially with Netflix offering considerably more streaming content at $9, maybe Hulu Plus needs more commercials to drive the price lower.
It looks like we’ve got yet another study highlighting exactly the same thing — and this one coming from a guy who is an advisor to the UK government. Gautam John points us to this new bit of research by Professor David Wall which was funded by the EU, which found that counterfeiting isn’t really that big of a problem. The findings were quite similar to the study we reported on last year. It says that there’s a consumer benefit to buying knockoff designer goods, and that the “losses” claimed by companies are way out of line with reality. Furthermore, perhaps most surprisingly, the report says that law enforcement should not waste their time trying to stop the bootleggers. The report also debunks the popular claim from the industry that counterfeit goods fund terrorism and organized crime.
There is, I think, nothing unusual about this today. So I was flummoxed earlier this year when Nicholas Carr started a campaign against the humble link, and found at least partial support from some other estimable writers (among them Laura Miller, Marshall Kirkpatrick, Jason Fry and Ryan Chittum). Carr’s “delinkification” critique is part of a larger argument contained in his book The Shallows. I read the book this summer and plan to write about it more. But for now let’s zero in on Carr’s case against links, on pages 126-129 of his book as well as in his “delinkification” post.
Janis had posted a long article on copyright titled ‘The Internet Debacle: An Alternative View‘. In this article, and it’s follow up, ‘Fallout: A Follow Up To The Internet Debacle‘, Janis covered many of the same arguments I and others had been making since the copyright debate in Canada started to heat up (note that I am not claiming to be the first to have made these arguments – in fact I came late to the game).
The largest copyright pirates are the large corporations, particularly in the content distribution business. Yes, those companies who scream the loudest that their customers are ‘pirating’ movies, songs, books, etc. In this series, we are going to look at cases where these companies have engaged in large scale copyright infringement, or in other ways have been ripping off artists.
wo prominent lawyers in the fight against RIAA P2P lawsuits have taken their battle to the Supreme Court. Today, Harvard Law professor Charles Nesson and “Recording Industry vs. the People” blogger/lawyer Ray Beckerman joined with a few other law professors to ask the Supreme Court not to gut copyright law’s “innocent infringer” defense.
The most significant issue for art like the jazz recordings is that they are considered “orphan works,” still under copyright but for which the artist can no longer be located. In 2008, the Senate passed a bill that would limit the copyrights on such orphaned material. Under the bill, if a good-faith but unsuccessful effort is made to locate the owner, someone else can publish the work. An artist who later steps forward is entitled to reasonable compensation but not the heavy damages now in the law.
A federal judge on Thursday questioned Las Vegas copyright enforcement company Righthaven LLC about the litigation costs it’s expecting defendants to pay.
Righthaven since March has retroactively sued at least 103 website owners around North America after determining copyrights to Las Vegas Review-Journal stories were infringed on, and then obtaining the copyrights to those stories from the Review-Journal’s owner Stephens Media LLC.
A court declined to issue an emergency order forcing Google Inc. to block German access to some music videos on its YouTube website in a dispute over monitoring files on the Internet.
Still, the Hamburg Regional Court said it might ultimately rule in favor of a group of music-collecting societies, including the German agency GEMA, if a new suit was filed under standard court procedures.
The case is part of a dispute over who is responsible for detecting illegal files on YouTube. Google, the owner of the world’s most popular search engine, in June won dismissal of a $1 billion suit brought by Viacom Inc. in a U.S. court for unauthorized use of content from programs on YouTube.
In federal court on Monday, Midcontinent Communications filed a motion to quash a subpoena received from Voltage Pictures, the film’s producers, who allege some of the ISP’s customers used peer-to-peer services to pilfer unauthorized copies of its movie. Voltage seeks to require Midcontinent to identify those customers as well as turn over their home addresses, phone numbers, and other data.
Midcontinent’s lawyers told the court that the subpoena was improperly issued and doesn’t offer to compensate the ISP for gathering the information. In addition, Midcontinent, which has 250,000 customers in North and South Dakota and parts of Minnesota, is skeptical that a U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., where the subpoena was issued, has jurisdiction over it. Midcontinent told the court that its own policy prevents it from providing “customer information to third parties without a valid court order.”
On August 5′th I received an email that was “From: firstname.lastname@example.org”. It had no content, but two file attachments – one HTML and one GIF. Thunderbird warned that it was most likely a scam, given this is a common technique used by spammers to avoid SPAM detection software.
I extracted the file attachments, and I wasn’t all that surprised to learn that it was a form letter originating from the Heritage Minister’s office. This isn’t the most technologically literate Minister or department in Canada, and it was unlikely that ensuring emails wouldn’t be confused as SPAM or scams would be something they would know much about.
Mark Waid’s keynote speech at the Harvey Awards at Baltimore Comics Con last night started by pointing out that copyright was all about putting work into the public domain, rather than preserving it for company ownership, and the concept of public domain should be embraced again. That illegal downloading is inevitable leading to a new culture of sharing. Lines such as “culture is more important than copyright” and “there are more ideas in one week at your comic shop than three years in Hollywood.”
Nicely timed at the start of the new college year, a new BitTorrent site dedicated to sharing knowledge in the form of textbooks has surfaced. Torrent My Book – a project run by two college students – aims to become the world’s largest BitTorrent index of textbooks, following in the footsteps of the late TextBookTorrents.
Summary: An analysis of what makes Amazon unique in the eyes of Microsoft and its patent trolls; why the Interval Licensing case is unlikely to be settled, just like i4i’s
SOFTWARE patentor Amazon was not sued by Microsoft co-founder, who used his patent troll to sue just about every large Internet company [1, 2, 3]. How come? Well, Amazon and Microsoft are neighbours and Amazon has been getting occupied by former Microsoft employees at the highest levels (no wonder Amazon is now paying Microsoft for GNU/Linux, even for Red Hat servers). Writers are mystified by the fact that Interval did not take on Amazon. At Groklaw, for instance, Pamela Jones’ initial reaction was: “He isn’t suing Microsoft or Amazon. He is suing in addition Facebook, AOL, eBay, Netflix, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples, Yahoo and YouTube. Because a billion or more is never enough.”
It is similar to what several other people have said, including this blogger:
Allen is one of the world’s richest people, with a fortune that Forbes magazine estimates as over $13 billion.
“This is yet another example of the cynical use of the American legal system to extort money out of successful companies — in the name of protecting innovation and innovators. Shame on Paul Allen for being part of it,” wrote a blogger at the Web site of Forbes Magazine about this almost classic act of patent trolling. It should not be surprising that Microsoft Florian decided to “redefine open standards, redefine troll, redefine democracy,” according to the FFII, which responds to Florian’s latest posts which defends the indefinsible. “Why Paul Allen doesn’t want to be a troll” is the title of that post.
David Kappos recently said that the patent office he runs actually creates jobs. Jones, a paralegal by trade, begged to differ at the time and now she says: “Don’t anyone ever again tell me that patents stimulate the economy and create jobs. They line the pockets of a few, while killing off creative endeavors by everyone else. What jobs are these patents creating? What jobs do any patent trolls’ patents create? Jobs for lawyers, but really, who else?”
Patent lawsuit du jour: Paul Allen versus the world (but not Microsoft or Amazon)
Fortunately, those companies also can afford the legal bills. That may not be the case for many smaller Web sites. So at what point will the chief executives of America take a break from complaining about the “uncertainty” of Washington economic policy to notice the massive uncertainty created by an out-of-control patent system?
Final point: The vast majority of patent cases settle. Here, however, all of the parties have large amounts of cash-on-hand. In addition, some of the defendants are repeat patent infringement defendants. Those factors tend to make settlement less likely.
Microsoft has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a $290 million patent ruling in a long-running dispute with i4i Inc. of Toronto over the use of technology known as custom XML in Microsoft Word.
i4i is not a patent troll. Fortunately for us, despite its pro-software patents policy it is causing a lot of damage to Microsoft Office and to OOXML. Microsoft should be sued like this a lot more frequently; maybe then it will decide that software patents are no longer its friend. █
Stephen Withers, a longtime Microsoft booster at ITWire (Withers keeps posting advertisements like this one), gets around to promoting/advancing Microsoft’s “open source” spin, which is still circulating after it got seeded by Jon Brodkin at IDG (then spun further by IDG [1, 2] by Bort and Shimel). Withers plays along with similar lines to help an “embrace and extend” strategy which marginalises Freedom and GNU/Linux, making “open source” just another class of third-party applications for Windows. To quote part of his spin piece:
Microsoft has released more than 300 projects as open source. Its contribution to existing projects includes 20,000 lines of code submitted to the Linux kernel in the form of device drivers for use with hypervisors.
She also links to the “Microsoft Open Source Strategy is Upside Down” article which we cited last week, remarking that “[t]his is the clearest explanation of Microsoft’s hateful Open Source position that I’ve read yet. And I have to inquire: Why is Apache helping them do this?”
Microsoft’s PR moves around ‘open’ take another step with a charm offensive in Slashdot (headlines say “Microsoft’s Security Development Lifecycle under Creative Commons License”). Harish Pillay says: “so what? Needs AgLight. FAIL!” █