QuestionCopyright.org is a clearinghouse for new ideas about copyright - promoting public understanding of the history and effects of copyright, and encouraging the development of alternatives to information monopolies.
Here is an interesting article by Evgeny Morozov about a Georgian blogger known as CYXYMU, who may have been the real target of cyber-attacks that made Twitter, Facebook, and LiveJournal inaccessible a few days ago.
The Associated Press has become so deranged, so disconnected from reality, that it will sell you a "license" to quote words it didn't write and doesn't own.
Gary McKinnon has lost his latest High Court bid to avoid extradition to the US for hacking into military computers.
Newsnight's Matt Prodger visits Sweden's Peace and Love music festival in Borlange to investigate what it is about the Swedes that has put them at the heart of a raging debate about internet freedom.
From Microsoft's Empty Promise on FSF news:
Last week, Microsoft extended the terms of their Community Promise to implementations of the ECMA 334 and 335 standards. You might think this means it's safe to write your software in C#. However, this promise is full of loopholes, and it's nowhere near enough to make C# safe.
A few days ago I downloaded and watched Steal this Film II and I just donated $10 to the makers.
Conference Board of Canada admits that its publicly funded, plagiarized, biased copyright "research" is junk.
The Free Software Pact is a simple document with which candidates can inform the voting public that they favor the development and use of Free Software, and will protect it from possible threatening EU legislation.
Canadian think-tank spends tax dollars to plagiarize and regurgitate talking points from US entertainment lobby group.
French "three-strikes" copyright law passes - but may be dead anyway.
There are some good articles on TorrentFreak.
The Pirate Google - making the point that Google's as guilty of linking to torrents as The Pirate Bay
Apparently the judge who presided over the Pirate Bay spectrial is an active member of the Swedish copyright lobby. Wouldn't that make the verdict invalid?
Wikimedia Foundation opting out of Phorm.
Amazon has said it will not allow online advertising system Phorm to scan its web pages to produce targeted ads.
The European Commission has started legal action against Britain over the online advertising technology Phorm.
Copyright term extension was dealt another serious blow last week when COREPER, the European Committee representing EU member states and the Council of Ministers, voted against the proposal.
Whereas I think of a "Hacklab" as a place with Internet access and a bunch of old computers running Linux or BSD, WIRED has an article about Hacker Spaces which are much more about general hardware hacking than computer hacking.
Open Letter - Call for major websites to opt out of Phorm.
The Australian communications regulator's top-secret blacklist of banned websites has been leaked on to the web and paints a harrowing picture of Australia's forthcoming internet censorship regime.
Human rights campaigner and former hostage Terry Waite has called on the US to drop charges against British computer hacker Gary McKinnon.
After some very successful tests through 2008 the Norwegian state broadcaster has decided to set up their own BitTorrent tracker and start offering content through this form of distribution on a more regular basis.
What the Pirate Bay trial means for the futer of the Internet, from Command Line Warriors.
The UK Government has said it will accelerate the use of open source software in public services.
Cory Doctorow and Jim Killocj (Open Rights Group) will be on the panel at a lunchtime debate organised by Policy Exchange. The topic will be "Piracy: do we need to rescue our creative industries?" and it will take place in London on Tuesday February 24th at 13:00.
Digital Britain report: Why Lord Carter should get real.
RIAA takes over US DOJ.
The Pig and the Box is an anti-DRM book for kids - it has just been re-launched.
The Open Rights Group are inviting people (and MEPs in particular) to attend an event on 27 January in Brussels to hear academics, musicians and activists discuss the proposed copyright term extension directive with a roundtable of MEPs. I have just emailed all seven of my MEPs, drawing this to their attention.
On December 18th the BBC announced that it had created a version of the iPlayer that works with both Mac and Linux computers. Seems like progress towards the BBC Trust's requirement for progress on platform neutrality? Not so fast! This new iPlayer version uses Adobe AIR Here is section 3.1 (Adobe Runtime Restrictions) of the Adobe AIR EULA:
You will not use any Adobe Runtime on any non-PC device or with any embedded or device version of any operating system. For the avoidance of doubt, and by example only, you may not use an Adobe Runtime on any (a) mobile device, set top box (STB), handheld, phone, web pad, tablet and Tablet PC (other than with Windows XP Tablet PC Edition and its successors), game console, TV, DVD player, media center (other than with Windows XP Media Center Edition and its successors), electronic billboard or other digital signage, Internet appliance or other Internet-connected device, PDA, medical device, ATM, telematic device, gaming machine, home automation system, kiosk, remote control device, or any other consumer electronics device, (b) operator-based mobile, cable, satellite, or television system or (c) other closed system device. For information on licensing Adobe Runtimes for use on such systems please visit http://www.adobe.com/go/licensing.
It is clearly legally tied in to the Microsoft Windows operating system. Platform neutral? I think not!
I use a Mac so I could theoretically use the new iPlayer to download programmes but I have no intention of installing AIR so I am using the excellent get_iplayer command line tool which pretends to be an iPhone in order to download DRM free content from iPlayer.
For more information on how to re-purpose BBC online content check out the Beebhack wikia.
Linux Defenders are encouraging "Defensive Publications" as a way to prevent patenting of prior art.
EFF have been investigating the mysterious yellow dots on colour laser printer output which can be decoded to reveal the printer serial number and (if the printer knows it) the time and date at which the page was printed.
Doj Agrees: IP Enforcement Bill is a Bad Idea.
Joshua Klein is interested in hacking social systems, computer networks, institutions, consumer hardware, animal behaviour and the publishing industry. I just found out about him through following a link to the video of a great TED talk he did about his project to build a vending machine for crows.
New microchipped passports designed to be foolproof against identity theft can be cloned and manipulated in minutes and accepted as genuine by the computer software recommended for use at international airports.
Details of how to copy the Oyster cards used on London's transport network can be published, a Dutch judge has ruled.
Jim Stogdill blogs about his day at the recent Hackers on Planet Earth conference - The Last HOPE.
Check out The Right to Read by Richard Stallman.
On Saturday I attended Open Tech 2008 in London. There was stuff happening simultaneously in three rooms so I had to pick and choose. I was glad I got to see Danny O'Brien who is a great speaker, largely because of his wicked sense of humour, but also because he knows what he is talking about and is passionate about digital freedom. He is Inernational Outreach Coordinator for EFF and was instrumental in setting up ORG - a sort of UK version of EFF. There was also a presentation from No2ID about how the UK Government doesn't really have a clue about what it is trying to achieve with it's national identity scheme. I zoomed of on my bike during the lunch break but still managed to have a few interesting chats with people between sessions. In session four I chose to listen to a talk by Tim Jackson, mysteriously titled "From Stealth Mode to Open Source in 90 days". He requested that we refrain from blogging about it so I won't - if his project is a success you will hear about it in due course. In session six there was an entertaining presentation by David Birch, founder of th Digital Money Forum.
The Open Source Initiative responds to some "Damn disheartening news from OLPC".
If twice as many people in the UK are "filesharing" compared to the number who voted Labour in the last election, doesn't that make filesharing the democratic choice?
In his 2007 book Imaginary Futures: From Thinking Machines to Global Villege, Dr. Richard Barbrook challenges new generations to take the power of the Internet into their own hands, to resist status quo politics and to use the world's most powerful political tool to shape their own, better, destiny.
Riseup Labs are developing a social networking web application called Crabgrass.
Online advert system Phorm is illegal in the UK, the Foundation for Information Policy Research (Fipr), has argued in an open letter.
The Software Freedom Law Center has analysed Microsoft's Open Specification Promise, and concluded that it provides no assurance for FOSS developers. They conclude:
As the final period for consideration of OOXML by ISO elapses, SFLC recommends against the establishment of OOXML as an international standard and cautions GPL implementers not to rely on the OSP.
Ethan Zuckerman has posted a great blog entry summarising his very well received Talk at ETech. It includes some nice examples of how activists in repressive regimes are using the Internet and puts it all in context. See The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech.
Well is seems like the ISO BRM meeting to try to iron out MSOOXML problems ended in chaos.
In contrast, Wikileaks won a decisive victory in court and is once again available at the wikileaks.org domain:
WikiLeaks.org is back. In a blow to Bank Julius Baer, Judge White has now denied the bank's request to silence WikiLeaks. Judge White also denied the bank's request to require that WikiLeaks remove the bank documents that had been reveal by Wikileaks to draw attention to alleged tax evasion and money laundering in the Cayman Islands.
Tim Bray posts from inside the in-progress BRM - that's the Ballot Resolution Meeting which is an important step in Microsoft's attempted railroading of MSOOXML through the ISO process.
The Danish Unix User Group, DKUUG, has filed a formal complaint with the EU Commission regarding Denmark's mandating ECMA 376, better known by us as MSOOXML, for certain procurements.
In A renewed wish for open document standards, Google's Open Source Programs Manager says:
After further technical analysis of the specification along with all the additional data available on OOXML, Google believes OOXML would be an insufficient and unnecessary standard, designed purely around the needs of Microsoft Office.
WikiLeaks is down due to a California injunction granted to a Swiss Bank which forced Dynadot to remove DNS records. This follows a massive DDoS attack and a fire which took out the main servers in Sweden. Wikileaks is still available at mirror sites - from their press release regarding the injunction on the Belgian mirror site:
Transparency group Wikileaks forcibly censored at ex-parte Californian hearing -- ordered to print blank pages -- 'wikileaks.org' name forcibly deleted from Californian domain registrar -- the best justice Cayman Islands money launderers can buy?
On April 29, SCO will finally have its day in court, but not exactly in the way the Unix and Linux litigation company had planned.
The BBC's iPlayer Goes to Parliament, by Sean Daly.
Public Knowledge proposes six-point program for copyright reform.
There is now an excellent illustrated primer by Creative Commons on sharing creative works.
Tim Bray comments on the latest OOXML news.
From a posting entitled Their Own Medicine by T. Colin Dodd:
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) recently released a software toolkit designed to help universities detect instances of potentially illegal file-sharing on school networks. The toolkit is based on the increasingly popular Ubuntu Linux distribution and includes the Apache web server as well as custom traffic monitoring software created by the MPAA. Although the toolkit was previously available from a web site set up by the MPAA, the software was removed last night after the organization received a request from Ubuntu technical board member Matthew Garret to take it down due to GPL violations.
Patent Troll Tracker seem like a good blog by a lawyer.
United States Patent and Trademark Office Orders "One-Click Patent" Reexamination.
The National Open Centre (NOC) is a national policy institute, a think tank to understand and articulate strategies to make effective use of Open Source Software and Open Standards (OS&S) for the benefit of all.
I have been making use of a the aktivix Mailing Lists and Wiki for some time now but have not had time to get involved with the running of the systems. Aktivix is involved with (part of?) the Tachanka collective.
PJ of Groklaw has just won an award for innovation from the Knowledge Trust and the Louis Round Wilson Academy.
Here is an FSF press release on today's news that Microsoft has lost its appeal against a record 497m euro fine imposed by the European Commission in 2004.
I was just looking at the "Truth Happens" section of Red Hat Magazine.
I just read a December 2005 piece by Tim Bray called On Selling Art, which basically reflects what I think about the "whole toxic tornado of DRM and copyright-everything-for-ever and mindless anti-customer litigation".
The Free Software Foundation has issued a press release in response to Microsoft's July 5, 2007 claim that it is somehow exempt from GPLv3.
Go to OpenDocument Format Alliance and check out Google's Position on OOXML as a proposed ISO standard.
Official objections regarding the way matters were handled in Switzerland at the recent vote over whether or not to approve MS-OOXML as an ISO standard have just been filed by Free Software Foundation Europe. FSFE is asking that the outcome be declared invalid, and if not, it threatens legal action. There is also now an official appeal by the Swiss Internet User Group (SIUG).
From an OIN press release:
Open Invention Network (OIN), the company formed to spur innovation and protect the Linux System, today extended the Linux Ecosystem with the signing of Google as its first end-user licensee.
I just signed this petition to ask the national members of ISO to vote "NO" in the ballot of ISO DIS 29500 (Office OpenXML or OOXML).
Transcript of Richard Stallman on GPLv3 in Brussels, Belgium; 1st of April 2007.
I was away in Bristol on Saturday so I could not go to Limehouse Town Hall for Open Knowledge 1.0.
I just received my first email response to one of the 10 Downing Street epetitions I signed - the one about software patents - here is the Government response.
Amnesty International is running a campaign for freedom of expression on the Internet. Check it out at irrepressible.info and consider signing the pledge.
I have also just signed a petition calling for the Prime Minister to promote the use of Open Document Format within the UK government.
The BadVista campaign is an advocate for the freedom of computer users, opposing adoption of Microsoft Windows Vista and promoting free (as in freedom) software alternatives.
Paul Cesarini is an assistant professor of visual communication and technology education at Bowling Green State University. He planned to teach something about TOR in his class so he started using it himself in order to be able to talk about it more authoritatively. One day the network-security technician and two campus police detectives showed up at his office. They claimed that his use of TOR violated the University's responsible-use policy (though Paul had helped write the policy so he knew it didn't) and asked him to not only stop using it, but also to not cover it in class! To his credit he refused the request on the grounds of academic freedom. He wrote about it in Caught in the Network.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has opened a new office in Brussels this week.
I just signed Richard Lightman's petition to "make software patents clearly unenforceable". This petition is one of many hosted on the 10 Downing Street E-Petitions site.
There is a good article at linux.com by Bruce Byfield called Why FOSS isn't on activist agendas. Not sure about linux.com displaying big banner ads for Windows Server 2003 though:-)
I just realised I have not (until now) mentioned the Software Freedom Law Center on my site - I have just added it to the my Hacktivism links.
Mark Webbink of Red Hat responds to Novell's defence of it's recent (indefensible?) patent agreement with Microsoft.
So much for the new UK passports - they have already been hacked.
Tim Bray recently blogged about IBM's litigation against Amazon - apparently IBM are claiming to have a patent on "Ordering Items Using an Electronic Catalogue" - how fscked up is that?
The Samba Team disapproves strongly of the actions taken by Novell on November 2nd.
How To Accelerate Your Internet is a collaboratively written book, published under a Creative Commons licence and available for download in PDF form. It is intended particularly for those running a network on a low budget or in parts of the world where Internet connectivity is a scarce resource. Quoting from the website:
The goal of this book is to provide practical information on how to gain the largest possible benefit from your connection to the Internet. By applying the monitoring and optimisation techniques discussed here, the effectiveness of your network can be significantly improved.
Someone has started an open workgroup and permanent workshop focused on skill sharing, and cooperative software development. The group is (tentatively) called simply "Coders" and has a page on Anarchopedia from which:
Some free-software dev-groups tend to be become quite closed to outside contributors over time. Examples of this can be the Linux dev-group led by Benevolent Dictator Linus Torvalds, or the Debian developers group which even Richard M. Stallman had difficulty joining. Nobody should be rejected simply because of inexperience, everybody can find their place learning, teaching or developing. It is argued that the centralist social model used in some dev-groups actually impairs the development of the software itself, for example leading to unnecessary and wasteful forking.
Sounds like a recipe for chaos to me - but chaos can be good:-)
Microsoft lawyers have been threatening site owners who host copies of FairUse4WM - a simple search will find examples of the letters people have been getting. Here is a humorous spoof letter which explains the basics.
The British Library has launched an IP Manifesto.
gpl-violations.org project prevails in court case on GPL violation by D-Link.
Once my employer paid for me to attend a SANE conference in Maastricht, and because there were lots of hacker types there, there was a session on lock picking (the traditional tools are a set of picks and a torsion wrench). Hackers are fascinated by anything that tries to keep them out. Jongleur has worked out how to get into any car with standard type of keyless entry pad using a specific sequence of a "mere" 3129 key presses. On average the door will open half way through the sequence, ie after about 10 minutes of number punching!
Re:Transmission is a gathering of citizen journalists, video makers, artists, programmers and web producers who are developing online video distribution tools for social justice and media democracy.
Joint Statement of Podcasting Organisations and Podcasters on the Proposed Wipo Treaty for the Protection of Broadcasts and Broadcasting Organisations Presented to 15th Session of Wipo Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights
Boing Boing has an unusual and heartwarming Creative Commons success story from the US Navy.
David Siller and Giles Charle were arrested while dumpster diving in Steamboat Springs and charged with burglary. They were told that they would not receive justice in court and so accepted a misdemeanour charge (for something they did not do) rather than risk being sent down on a felony. The owners of the store in question realised that a gross miscarriage of justice was occurring and attempted to explain this to Assistant District Attorney Kerry St. James, who refused to listen to them and decided to make an example of the two men. Richard Myers started this web page in an attempt to get justice, and people from all over the world came to the defence of the victims. They were released yesterday after serving only 10 days of their six month sentence.
A chilling novel details how everyday technologies could gradually lead to a far more invasive society than even Orwell dreamt of.
Apple is taking a lot of heat as a result of the dominance of its iTMS/iTunes/iPod combo in the so called "legal download" and portable player markets. People are screaming about interoperability without really having a clue what they are talking about. The fact is that the "music industry" (RIAA etc) are effectively holding everyone hostage by refusing to allow the sale of digital versions of music by big name artists unless they are locked up using a DRM (Digital Restrictions Management) scheme. Apple uses "FairPlay" whilst companies like Napster use DRM-protected Windows Media Files. These are essentially two competing proprietary DRM systems and the whole point of DRM is that you can't play the file unless the content provider gives you the key to unlock it. Of course these things are susceptible to hacking but basically you can't play a Napster track without permission from Microsoft nor an iTMS track without permission from Apple. There is of course the possibility of the two companies doing some sort of cross licensing deal but that is unlikely for various reasons. John Gruber explains it in more detail.
Defective by Design is an "Action Alert Network to stop DRM".
The People Speak is a set of ideas and strategies for stimulating conversations and debates in an open-ended and fun way.
From Slashdot - UK Law May Criminalize IT Pros.
Lawrence Lessig is pleased to see a proposal by Mr. Don Foster (Bath) (LD), which would go some way towards mitigating the most damaging effects of an extension of copyright in the UK (although of course it would be much better if it was not extended at all).
A Judge has ruled that Gary McKinnon should be extradited to the USA to face charges of hacking into military systems. For the full story check the FreeGary website.
EFF Motion in AT&T Surveillance Case Draws Government's Eye.
There is another event happening at RampART this Sunday, organised for everyone interested but focusing at members of HackThisSite and Critical Security - see HTSLondon.
Transcript of Richard Stallman speaking on GPLv3 in Torino on 2006-03-18.
Lawyers for Torrentspy have moved to dismiss legal attempts by the US film industry to sue over copyright.
I went to the Hacklabs benefit yesterday and have written a report.
More on the Hacklabs benefit in this Indymedia post.
There will be a Free Culture meeting at Limehouse Town Hall in London on 2006-04-08 "starting roughly at 11am and going on until people can't stand each other any more.
"Bound By Law lays out a sparkling, witty, moving and informative story about how the eroded public domain has made documentary film making into a minefield." -Cory Doctorow, BoingBoing.net
The inventor of the flash mob tells all in an interesting article called My Crowd from Harper's Magazine.
Apparently ns-88.org is one of the oldest Russian neo-nazi websites. Well it was until the Antifa Hack Team took control of it this month in response to attacks on antifascist websites by far right groups.
LiVES is an Open Source Video Editing System and a VJ tool.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has filed a class-action lawsuit against AT&T, accusing the telecom giant of violating the law and the privacy of its customers by collaborating with the National Security Agency (NSA) in its massive and illegal program to wiretap and data-mine Americans' communications.
A Hacklab will be set up for the Second Knowledge Lab at Lancaster University, which starts three days from now.
A newly declassified document gives a fascinating glimpse into the US military's plans for "information operations" - from psychological operations, to attacks on hostile computer networks.
On the weekend of March 18th, people will be doing strange things with electricity at Limehouse Town Hall - it's Dorkfest.
Looks like the EU Commission is gearing up for another attempt to force software patents on us against our wishes.
Groklaw reports on the USPTO announcement that it is partnering with the Open Source community "to expand patent examiner access to software code".
"We've crossed oceans of time for you to find us." Mute announces a new website.
From Cryptome - MPAA Rapes Yet Another Victim.
The Free Software Foundation have announced the GPL Version 3 Development and Publicity Project GPLv3.
So far, 968 people have signed up to this pledge at PledgeBank:
I will create a standing order of 5 pounds per month to support an organisation that will campaign for digital rights in the UK but only if 1,000 other people will too."
The deadline is 2005-12-25, but it would be cool if the target were reached for tomorrow's Digital Rights in the UK: Your Rights, Your Issues meeting in London.
American military begs Canadian hackers to commit crimes for them?
Groklaw has a new permanent page on Sony DRM Litigation.
And what is Microsoft up to now? Rather than support ODF it seems they have decided on the only other option which is to declare war by "opening" their own proprietary "Office Open XML" format. Groklaw is following the story.
Just over two weeks since Mark Russinovich blogged about Sony's XCP rootkit and Sony BMG is now recalling all music CDs that use the controversial software.
Three virus variants have been found that use the Sony rootkit to evade detection.
I just signed the Free John Graham Petition at PetitionOnline even though it is possible that I had already signed it. I did try an advanced Google search to look for all instances of my name at petitiononline.com but it looks like the signature pages are not indexed by Google? It seems to me like they would be better off requiring all signers to create an account first, which could be validated by requiring a response to a confirmation email. Then when anyone wanted to sign a petition they would log in to their account to identify themselves before simply selecting the petition and optionally adding a comment. Additional facilities could then easily be added for the benefit of signers, such as viewing all their previous signatures etc.
Lawrence Lessig was interviewed for "Foreign Policy" about control of the Internet. Here is a key snippet of what he said:
It revealed a way in which the deal was struck to establish the World Summit on the Information Society, which was as long as you don't touch intellectual property you can talk about whatever you want.
Sony is shipping CDs which secretly install a rootkit if they are played on a PC running Windows. This rootkit may harm your system, is difficult to remove and may well be illegal under computer misuse legislation (since it is does not seem to be mentioned in the EULA).
Martin Mickos, CEO MySQL AB, explains why Software Patents are Like Smoking.
NoSoftwarePatents.com have some recommendations for voting in the "Europeans of the Year" poll.
I noticed an interestingly titled article on Cryptome and although I haven't finished reading it yet it seems worth linking to - The Will to Code: Nietzsche and the Democratic Impulse.
James Boyle comments on the lamentable "Broadcasting and Webcasting Treaty" currently being debated in Geneva.
It would have been cool to be in Oregon in August for OSCON, the O'Reilly Open Source Convention. One of the keynote talks was by Dick Hardt, on Identity 2.0:
As the online world moves towards Web 2.0, the concept of digital identity is evolving and existing identity systems are faltering. New systems are emerging that center identity around the user instead of a directory, but will access to these systems be the choke point of proprietary software vendors?
His talk is available in a variety of formats.
In Thanks to corporations, instead of democracy we get Baywatch George Monbiot looks at the failure of the Internet as a democratising force. George also talked about this stuff on Radio 4's Talking Politics today, along with Raphael Behr of the Observer Online, Anthony Barnett of OpenDemocracy.net, and Rebecca MacKinnon of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society.
Cory Doctorow wrote:
Willful Infringement is a feature film about the ways that copyright has harmed free expression and creativity. The movie features clowns talking about the legal threats they got for twisting balloon-animal Barneys, Negativland conspiracists discussing life after being crushed for making music out of samples, as well as lots of legal geniuses and iconoclasts talking about how we got here and where we're going ... Fascinating.
Human rights watchdog Privacy International has called for a worldwide consumer boycott of Yahoo! over its involvement in the imprisonment of a Chinese journalist.
EU plans to make telecommunications companies store details of calls and e-mail traffic for a year or more were criticised by the industry on Thursday.
ECRYPT - European Network of Excellence for Cryptology is a 4-year network of excellence funded within the Information Societies Technology (IST) Programme of the European Commission's Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) under contract number IST-2002-507932. It falls under the action line Towards a global dependability and security framework. ECRYPT was launched on February 1st, 2004. Its objective is to intensify the collaboration of European researchers in information security, and more in particular in cryptology and digital watermarking.
The Frequency Clock is an experimental online + on-air broadcast system by r a d i o q u a l i a. It had two different manifestations, a Free Media System and a Gallery Installation. The Free Media System is a shared resource for building streaming channels, it features a program database, timetabling system + a customised streaming media player.
If you use eFax from j2 Global Communications then stop right now! It seems they have decided to take a gamble on enforcing a dodgy patent they hold. If successful a load of lawyers will get rich, and Internet users will loose the ability to send free faxes. See this announcement on Groklaw.
Jimbo Wales will be attending the Wikimania Conference in Frankfurt, and his keynote opening talk on Friday will be entitled "Ten Things That Will Be Free". He has not completed the list yet, and is seeking input from others on the Lessig blog.
On Saturday I went to a UK launch party for GlobalAware Independent Media. They seemed impressively well organised and the people I spoke to were cool.
Cisco's heavy handed and ill considered action aimed at suppressing the result's of Michael Lynn's research appear to have backfired dramatically. The full story of what happened and why is slowly being pieced together, though some things may never be revealed. See Comments on the Lynn Cisco Presentation at Cryptome.
Schneier on Security: Cisco Harasses Security Researcher - discussion of Cisco's legal action to try to prevent Michael Lynn presenting the results of his research.
Tor is a versatile anonymous Internet communication system which can be used for many things, including anonymous web browsing. It has been made available by the Electronic Freedom Foundation, who also have this useful Legal Guide for Bloggers.
TxtMob is a service which provides a similar function to email based mailing lists but in the SMS world.
Groklaw has an excellent article titled Why Would an Author Choose a Creative Commons License?
Hooray! On 2005-07-06 the European Parliament voted 648 to 14 to reject the Computer Implemented Inventions Directive.
Apache falls victim to OASIS patent shelter.
Open Tech 2005 is an informal, low cost, one day conference about technologies that anyone can have a go at, from "Open Source"-style ways of working to re-purposing everyday electronics hardware. It takes place on 2005-07-23 in London.
Joi Ito wrote a good article about what happened when Creative Commons met BzzAgent.
FFII has a wiki page called How Software Patents Actually Work which includes a link to an easy to follow and fun animation.
The Participatory Culture Foundation has announced a new platform for Internet television and video.
Dana Blankenhorn has named Pamela Jones of Groklaw Blogger of the Year.
Check out The Great Massachusetts Legal Donnybrook by Marbux.
Mark Cuban explains why he is financing the legal effort against MGM in MGM vs Grokster.
The Diceware Passphrase Home Page offers a way to create a strong, yet easy to remember passphrase for use with encryption and security software.
Peter H. Salus is writing "A History of Free and Open Source" and he is publishing it in serialised form on Groklaw - here is the first instalment.
I recently read somewhere that "hits from Metropolitan police server are being logged as exitstrategy.co.uk (for now)". I was sceptical but a quick Google search came up with a very interesting page about the Metropolice Service.
I should probably create a separate page about the software patents directive. But for now, just a link to an article about how the EU Commission acted in collusion with Microsoft when it refused to grant the EU Parliament's request for a restart.
I don't believe it! Could the European Commission possibly get any more un-democratic? It seems like they have turned down the European Parliament's request for a restart of the software patents directive.
The minutes of the Serverday meeting in November have been posted.
A panel of appeal judges in the US has ruled that the FCC has "crossed the line" with an anti-piracy tag. They sensibly concluded that it is not the FCC's job to dictate to manufacturers what kind of equipment they are allowed to sell.
It seems like I ought to find the time to read Coase's Penguin, or Linux and the Nature of the Firm by Yochai Benkler.
The global weblog community is being called into action to lend support to two imprisoned Iranian bloggers.
I only just heard of something which was in fact reported on in the September 2002 edition of Greenpeace Magazine where Michael Friedrich said that "KARMA BANQUE offers a radical, new protest platform on the Internet."
Even the BBC is talking about the EU Software saga now, as it reports that the European Parliament has unanimously rejected the bill:-)
The EU Software Patents Directive is still making headlines. The Dutch Parliament today voted against the directive being approved as an A item, reducing the chances of it being rubber stamped on 2005-02-17.
Brussels, 2005-02-02, the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (JURI) has decided with a large majority to ask the Commission for a renewed referral of the software patent's directive. This is excellent news because it is a huge setback for the anti-democratic forces and corporate lobbyists who have been attempting to force through a flawed directive that had little popular support and had effectively been rejected by the Parliament. Check out this FFII Press Release
Groklaw reports the launch of the Software Freedom Law Center.
Check out the NewsForge article by Joe Barr entitled Why I love the GPL.
LWN has a good European software patent update.
Daniel Carrera explains what OpenDocument is, and why you should care.
From www.whatthehack.org - "It's been a crazy almost four years since the last time all the tribes of the hacker universe camped out in The Netherlands at HAL2001. High time to get together, meet, reflect, show our projects and discuss our ideas". Four day meeting near Den Bosch in July 2005.
A fact-finding mission to Tunisia undertaken by IFEX members has found "serious cause for concern" about the current state of freedom of expression and of civil liberties in the country, including gross restrictions on freedom of the press, media, publishing and the Internet.
The visit, which took place from 14 to 19 January 2005, was the first of the IFEX Tunisia Monitoring Group and was organised in preparation for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), a United Nations intergovernmental conference to be held in Tunis in November 2005.
The Brixton Linux Action Group have their own Linux distribution called "blag". Their website has a link to an article by Eben Moglen called Anarchism Triumphant: Free Software and the Death of Copyright.
Groklaw has the latest on the EU software patent debacle.
IBM Gives FOSS Free Access to 500 Patents - Rethinks IP Management.
From a Groklaw posting EU - Motion to Restart the Software Patents Process:
Both Heise and ZDNET have the news. 61 EU members of parliament from 13 countries, including Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden, led by the Polish ex-prime minister Jerzy Buzek and including a former European Commissioner and three vice-presidents of the European Parliament, are asking that the entire legislative process that led to the software patents directive be begun from scratch.
I just joined the tunis list at riseup, which is a a list for discussing Media Issues during the 2005 UN WSIS Conference in Tunis. For background information please check out this 2004-11-28 Global Call.
I just added my name to this Thank Poland letter.
The EU Software Patent Directive was due to pass without debate at today's meeting of the Agricultural Council. However, in a surprise move, Poland's Minister of Information Society and Technology arrived in Brussels and saved the day by firmly requesting that the item be withdrawn from the agenda (where it never should have been in the first place). Thanks Wlodzimierz, that is the best Christmas present we could have wished for - you're a star!
Last night I went to a party at Freedom Press and spent a while hanging out in the Media Hacklab with a couple of guys, one of whom is a fellow Mac user. I then headed to the nearby RampART Creative Centre and Social Space, whose cool website is hosted on an OpenMute system. It also just happens to be the site of the other Media Hacklab as well as the source of RampART Radio - these things are all good!
On 2003-12-09 I sent a letter to my MP expressing concern about an impending EU directive regarding the patentability of software. She replied to me on 2004-01-05, enclosing a copy of a response from Lord Sainsbury which she had received on 2003-11-20 (must have been a response to a previous query from another of her constituents). Recently I noticed an article by Lucy Sherriff in The Register which stated that Lord Sainsbury had "contacted everyone who wrote to their MP about the bill" regarding a meeting. Well for some reason he didn't write to me, but I was busy with other stuff anyway and fortunately a friend of mine had received his invite. I may still try to find out why I was not invited, but fear not, here is Malcolm's report.
Indymedia have a very good UK Hosting Comparison.
The last few days have been pretty hectic but I made the effort to attend the Models for Collective Servers workshop at Furtherfield, hosted by Irational, Furtherfield and Ivan Pope. I took my laptop along and the fact that I could get instant Internet access through a wireless network was a good sign. It was a great day, with interesting presentations, lively discussion, and Arts Council funded pizza:-) I am too busy to follow up at the moment but eventually I will try to add some stuff to the Wiki.
www.zenatode.org.uk Ian Gregory 2010