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December 23, 2011
» Whose Software Freedom? A 20-year perspective.

According to Google's archive of gnu.misc.discuss, 1992 was the year I became active in the Free Software movement. While the earliest posting I can find appears to be a naive copyright question about the public domain, other messages from the first few months of 1992 suggest I was already engaged in some of the discussions. With the new year approaching, I wanted to offer some thoughts on one of the conversations that has been constant the last 20 years. I then invite you to offer your own thoughts in CLUE's discuss@ mailing list.

December 3, 2011
» Why Heritage Minister James Moore is wrong on Bill C-11 "technological protection measures" (TPMs)

I received a reply from Heritage Minister James Moore dated December 2, 2011. I'm not certain which letter it was in reply to, but it could have been my Who is the Candice Hoeppner for information technology owners? letter I sent to all Conservative MP's back in May/June.

While I am posting the full text of his reply, I wanted to offer a quick response explaining why I think he is wrong on the impacts of the "technological protection measures" aspects of Bill C-11. (See: earlier article for a description of real-world technologies being discussed)

December 31, 2010
» Copyright related policy discussion for 2010

For New Years eve I thought I would be useful to visit our Copyright-related Policy summary in the context of events in 2010. After a summary I will offer some suggestions of what people should do in the coming year to protect our rights and interests.

The Conservative government tabled a copyright Bill C-32 on June 2 which was debated and then passed at second reading on November 5'th. It was sent to a special legislative committee that held 8 meetings before parliament was adjourned until Monday, January 31, 2011. Being passed at second reading doesn't make it law, and there are many more stages for this bill to follow.

August 7, 2008
» FOSS Jumps Over the Great Firewall of China

My longtime colleague Brian Osborn, publisher of Linux Magazine (which is what it's callled everywhere in the world except for the US and Canada where it's "Linux Pro Magazine") has been calling special attention to a recent article they've published, regarding the use of open source software to circumvent China's Internet censorship mechanisms. The article describes the mechaisms, as well as the software used to get around it all. Interesting reading, especially timely considering the Olympics.

July 21, 2008
» The Barenaked Smear Job: A C-61 connection?

By now most Canadians know that Barenaked Ladies lead singer Steven Page has been arrested in New York in relation to alleged cocaine possession.

An interesting observation on news reports about Page's arrest suggest not only a massive smear campaign going on in the media (for instance, he never admitted to using the coke as some reports have asserted), but potentially a nasty motive behind the smear.

» Charlie Angus: Parliament's biggest C-61 foe?

Popular news site TorrentFreak has singled out Canadian MP Charlie Angus (NDP --Timmins-James Bay) as one of the world's more vocal politician critics of DMCA-like laws such as Canada's pending C-61.

Does anyone here know Charlie? Does personal experience here bear out his now-international reputation on the issue? And to what extent is his position backed by his party?

July 18, 2008
» SCO loses in court again, but Sun's the loser this time

I've started blogging on my website, Xunil.com, and this was my first entry. The subject line says it all; I think the real loser today was not SCO (what's one more slap?) but Sun, a newcomer to this soap opera.

April 29, 2008
» Does Windows have a skeleton key?

The Seatlle Times reports that Microsoft has been making available a tool for law enforcement that, amongst other things, decrypts protected files on Windows systems.

April 15, 2008
» CLUE's involvement in Internet issues: ICANN, Net Neutrality and competitive access

As a demonstration of CLUE's involvement in issues beyond "Linux Users", I want to talk about some of the issues that Evan Leibovitch (past executive director) and I (as policy coordinator) are involved in.

Evan has been acting as chair of the North American Region At-Large Advisory Committee of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers). Evan will hopefully be blogging about his involvement soon, and some of the issues that the advisory committee deals with. People may get a taste for the types of issues by listening to the This week in Law episode 13 from last month.

While I spoke at IT360 last week on the issue of Software Patents and Free/Libre and Open Source Software, recent interviews and blogging have been focused on the related issues of "Net Neutrality" and competitive access to telecommunications facilities. While these two issues are often lumped together or even confused for each other, I try to separate them in my articles.

April 4, 2007
» Fighting Software Piracy

I know it has been a while since I last posted but Anti-piracy ads on the radio have prompted me to say that there is no reason to use pirated software. We, meaning CLUE members and affiliates, use F/LOSS but I think that we do not do enough to get our message to the general public. As a result, Microsoft Office, one of MS's best money generators, it is also one of the most pirated suites.

April 3, 2007
» Michael Geist on the EMI DRM Announcement

The EMI DRM Announcement - EMI and Apple jointly announced today that EMI will be making virtually its entire music catalog available without DRM. Their plan is to offer a higher priced version without DRM and with higher quality sound. This is obviously an important development - there is lots of DRM-free music available from independent labels, but the addition of the world's third largest music label is a game-changer.

December 6, 2006
» Copyright-related Policy summary from CLUE: Canada's Association for Open Source

CLUE presented our copyright policy summary to officials at Heritage Canada on December 1, 2006. The proposals include a support for a living "Fair Use" model, as well as an opposition to laws which protect specific brands of technology rather than protecting creativity.