From the Board

Open Data Definition at OSCON

I'm running a BOF at OSCON on Wednesday night July 21st at 7PM, with the declared purpose of adopting an Open Source Definition for Open Data. Safe enough to say that the OSD has been quite successful in laying out a set of criteria for what is, and what is not, Open Source. We should adopt a definition Open Data, even if it means merely endorsing an existing one.

Will you join me there?

Ushahidi tracks the Gulf Oil Spill: Open Source Crowdsourcing at Work

On April 20th, 2010, a methane gas explosion ripped apart the operational oil rig "Deepwater Horizon" in the Gulf of Mexico. This accident has become a catastrophe - the largest oil spill in US history. It has damaged the entire ecosystem of life in the Gulf. The ocean waters and shorelines of Gulf states all the way to Florida and the Mississippi river delta continue to be ravaged by the gushing oil. The spill is affecting millions of people, marine life and wildlife.

Oh and one more source does support piracy...

And by my earlier criticism of the IIPA position that open source == piracy...there might be something to that. Feel free to copy and distribute any of the open source software I've ever written. Give it to a friend, a neighbor, copy it to whatever devices, run it, use it, rip it and enhance it. I promise...I won't call the cops on you. If that makes you a pirate....ahoy matey...

To Microsoft, Open Source means "Windows Encumbered"

One of the most interesting things to happen in the past couple of years, is Microsoft's embrace of Open Source. This means different things to various people I've spoken with at Microsoft. Some seem genuinely sincere. Some seem less so. What hasn't changed is Microsoft's behavior to the Open Source community at large.

Re: VP8 and WebM--Thank you, Google! (P.S. Let's talk)

It was more than a month ago that I started my pilgrimage to Texas to prepare for and participate in a court case in East Texas, but it still seems like only yesterday. As Groklaw aptly reports, opposing counsel pressed not only the question of whether Red Hat and Novell infringed three patents originally issued to Xerox corporation (which later fell into the hands of a non-practicing entity), but argued before the jury that there was a fundamental conflict between property rights and open source software--a conflict they wanted the jury to resolve in their favor.

While I have been processing the events of the trial, playing and replaying lines of questioning over and over in my mind, I've barely been able to keep up with the extraordinary changes to both the competitive landscape and the competitive rules of the technology industry. Having escaped from one rabbit-hole, I appear to have fallen down another directly.

Patent Absurdity

Our friends over at the Free Software Foundation were kind enough to send me an advance copy of their new documentary to preview. It's entitled Patent Absurdity and it tells the story of software patents through the words of many familiar figures in the world of software freedom, framed by a discussion of the Bilski case that's pending in the US Supreme Court.


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