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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.

Let's Unlock Our Data

Document Freedom Day March 31, 2010Today is Document Freedom Day. It is a day marked around the world for document liberation. It also highlights the importance of using open standards and open data formats for document interchange between everyone who has information to share - between people, schools, businesses and governments.

Progress is being made.

Welcoming OSI's new board members

The OSI board elections were held earlier this month and the board voted in a new slate of directors starting April 1st, 2010. I would like to welcome our three new board members - Dr. Tony Wasserman of Carnegie Mellon University, Silicon Valley campus, Dr. Fabio Kon of University of São Paulo, Brazil and Mr. Simon Phipps, an Open Source expert and prolific blogger.

Tony Wasserman's thoughts on joining the OSI Board

As a new member of the Board (as of 1 April), I thought that it would be useful to explain why I wanted to join the OSI Board and what I hope to achieve during my term. As you can see from my bio (on the Board member page), I've been involved with software, both proprietary and open source, for my entire career, both in industry and in the research community.

OSI Opposes Barriers To Open Source Software For Television

The Open Source Initiative Board has added OSI to the list of organizations asking that the BBC not be allowed to add digital restriction measures to digital broadcasts in the United Kingdom. The BBC's request to do so is being reviewed by the UK regulator, OfCOM, and OSI is supporting the position statement from the UK's Open Rights Group and encouraging others to do likewise.

The OSI Categorically Rejects IIPA's special pleadings against Open Source

Introduction

Moore's Law, Disk Law, and Fiber Law have created an economic engine for growth, promising exponentially improving computing, storage, and networking performance for the foreseeable future. And yet according to a 2003 UNCTAD report, "there has been no Moore's Law for software," and indeed it is because of software that computer systems have become more expensive, more complex, and less reliable.

Time To Rebut The IIPA's FUD Against Open Source

Turkey VultureA recent blog posting at The Guardian about the US "Special 301" rules has generated deep concern around the global open source community.

I signed the Public Domain Manifesto

You can read about it here and then decide for yourself whether to sign it as well.

Exporting Open Source from the US

If you distribute Open Source software containing encryption from the United States, you are subject to US export controls, yes. But are there any real restrictions? The only thing that the law requires you to do (for Open Source) is send an email to crypt@bxa.doc.gov with the URL. So why do SourceForge and Google impose greater restrictions than the law requires? Anybody know?

WordPress Foundation

Yesterday Matt Mullenweg announced the establishment of the WordPress Foundation. It's goals, among others, are "to further the mission of the WordPress open source project: to democratize publishing through Open Source, GPL software".

He further elaborates:

The point of the foundation is to ensure free access, in perpetuity, to the projects we support. People and businesses may come and go, so it is important to ensure that the source code for these projects will survive beyond the current contributor base, that we may create a stable platform for web publishing for generations to come. As part of this mission, the Foundation will be responsible for protecting the WordPress, WordCamp, and related trademarks. A 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the WordPress Foundation will also pursue a charter to educate the public about WordPress and related open source software.

We hope to gather broad community support to make sure we can continue to serve the public good through freely accessible software.

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