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March 11, 2012

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Informal dialog on C-11 at Carleton University

On the evening of March 6, 2012 I attended an informal dialogue about bill C-11 at Oliver’s Pub, Carleton University. It was organized by School of Information Technology Associate Professor Ali Arya, who invited MPs from the C-11 legislative committee, Tamir Israel from the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC), and myself as guests to talk to students and faculty at Carleton. Hon. Geoff Regan, the Liberal MP on the committee, and Liberal Senator Wilfred Moore attended.

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December 31, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Copyright related policy discussion for 2010

(This article originally posted to CLUE's blog)

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.

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October 20, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» New Democrats push “open source” for innovation

An NDP press release was sent out about their motion in parliament.

As part of an effort to make government departments more open and responsive to Canadians, the New Democrats have introduced a Parliamentary Motion (M- 587) calling for support for Open Source technologies.

» Charlie Angus tables motion in support of Open Source/data

From the notices of motions for Tuesday, October 19, 2010:

M-587 — October 18, 2010 — Mr. Angus (Timmins—James Bay) — That, in the opinion of the House, the government should: (a) support open source information and communications technologies (ICTs) in all its tendering processes and throughout the departments of the federal civil service; (b) make available funding in the form of grants for targeted pilot projects involving Canadian companies with an open source mandate; (c) allow Canadian software developers to bid on government ICT contracts; (d) encourage citizen engagement with government through open access to government information and, wherever possible, government services, while respecting privacy and national security concerns; (e) streamline government data and service delivery, and modernize the way in which the government and Canadian citizens interact; and (f) develop strategies to encourage the growth of local businesses and enhance Canadian productivity and competitiveness in the global knowledge-based economy.

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September 27, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» The Defenders of Free Software

One of the many reasons I adopted FLOSS based business models when I formed my company is the knowledge that I would have a large community of support behind me. I wouldn't have the problem that some copyright holders have of the costs of enforcement being greater than the monitory reward of that enforcement.

A New York Times article by Ashlee Vance documents some of that community support. This article focuses on Armijn Hemel who in his free time discusses license violations perpetrated by some of the largest corporations in an attempt to help get compliance. This allows for these fairly easy to understand licenses to receive compliance, even without having to get the copyright holders or any lawyers involved.

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September 18, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» The BSA needs a time machine, not copyright reform

The BSA (Business Software Alliance, or Bad Statistics Alliance, depending on who you talk to) have released yet another one of their comical studies. I have been very critical of these studies (See: Lies, Damned lies, and IIPA/BSA/etc statistics). What I recommend people do is skip to the methodology section and see what they are measuring, and decide for themselves whether what they are measuring is harmful or beneficial for the Canadian economy.

Brian Jackson wrote an article that quotes Michael Geist indicating the study was "shockingly misleading". I will go further and suggest that what the BSA is really asking for is a time machine, not copyright reform.

Read full article on IT World Canada >>

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August 31, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» ZeroPaid Interviews Russell McOrmond 2 – Canadian Bill C-32

Drew Wilson of ZeroPaid has posted a 3 part interview (Part 1,Part 2,Part 3)with me discussing Copyright and Bill C-32.

June 25, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» My impressions of the DyscultureD Canadian audio blog

I am a big fan of audio blogs. Some people call them Podcasts because Apple iPod users seem to claim responsibility for making them popular. Leo Laporte over at TWIT.tv, a large audio/video blogging network with a long history in broadcasting, tried to convince people to call them Netcasts as they were simply broadcasting over the Internet. While I'm a listener to a few TWIT.tv shows, and a few other non-Canadian shows, I have always been looking for Canadian shows that cover some of the technology and political stories from the uniquely Canadian perspective.

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June 4, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Quebec broke law in buying Microsoft software

A CBC article by Peter Nowak includes:

Quebec's government broke the law by buying software from Microsoft without considering offers from other vendors, the province's Superior Court has ruled.

February 21, 2010

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» IIPA would rather people "pirate" than switch to legal competitors

The International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) tipped their hand a bit in this years submission to the “Special 301" report process. While they again attacked Canada for having strong copyright law that is different than the USA, the most telling was their opposition to policies encouraging legally free of charge Open Source in their submissions for Brazil, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Encouraging legally free software is by far the best policy instrument to reduce software copyright infringement for the less financially rich countries and individuals of the world. For the vast majority of the worlds population the only viable options are to infringe royalty-based software or switch to royalty-free alternatives. The fact the IIPA is encouraging countries to have policies which increase infringement rather than have people switch to competing software is telling about their actual goals.

This is consistent with what past Microsoft business group president Jeff Raikes previously stated, "If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else".

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September 19, 2009

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» How to avoid the benefits of Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS)

FLOSS offers many benefits over software that has a sole proprietor and is funded by royalties. Examples of sole proprietor software are packages such as Microsoft Office where there is a single entity which either owns or is relicensing the exclusive rights on the software, and thus is the sole entity which can provide many levels of software support.

While I recommend against this, it is possible to use FLOSS and yet receive none of the benefits beyond lower ($0) royalty payments. Government departments seem to do this all the time, not wanting to accept the advantages of FLOSS (misinterpreting software acquisition policy? Ideologically predisposed to sole proprietor software? Offer your thoughts in the comments...).

The two most common ways to avoid the benefits of FLOSS can be summarized by two acronyms: COTS and DIY.

>> Read full article on IT World Canada's blog

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May 30, 2009

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Requiem for Redmond - Free software will kill Microsoft, says former staffer

An interview by Shane O'Neill of Keith Curtis discusses Keith's book book After the Software Wars: proprietary software is holding us back as a society.

As someone who agrees that the legacy sole-proprietor knowledge creation/distribution model is holding us back, and how Microsoft's (lack of a) future is described in the Innovators Dilemma, I suspect I'll find this a great read.

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May 20, 2009

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Vancouver mulls making itself an 'open city'

A CBC News article by Emily Chung writes about a motion before Vancouver city council discussing open standards, open data and open source.

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May 6, 2009

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Jesse's Search Engine, and this BLOG being quiet...

I'm going to link two seemingly unrelated things. First, check out the last episode of CBC's Search Engine where Jesse Brown and Michael Geist discuss how the Obama administration has embarrassed itself by elevating Canada to their priority watchlist for Copyright. By any objective fact-based analysis Canada shouldn't be on the list at all, and yet this unsubstantiated lobbiest document from the Obama administration unfairly puts Canada in the company of countries that are a real problem to the economic interests of the US "Intellectual Property" lobby. Not Change we can believe in, but Change for the worse?

Then check out an interview between Jesse and Mike Miner about TVO's Search Engine.

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February 28, 2009

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» UK government backs open source

According to a BBC article, "Tom Watson MP, minister for digital engagement, said open source software would be on a level playing field with proprietary software such as Windows.

Minister for Digital engagement? The closest we seem to have is Charlie Angus which is the digital issues critic for the NDP -- nobody in the government or official opposition in Canada seems to be closely following or trying to understand these issues.

February 21, 2009

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» RFI for open source software aimed at wrong target

An article by Nestor E. Arellano for ITWorldCanada.com (NA) discusses the government RFI on "No Charge Licensed Software". The article included some material from a conversation that Nestor and I had. It makes mention of my own submission which I have made publicly available: OpenDocument version, PDF version.

Other submissions made publicly available: Evan Leibowitz of Xunil corporation, Mike Gifford of OpenConcept.

If you know of other published submissions, please let us know (add comment, etc)

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February 14, 2009

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» An open door for open source?

CBC news reporter Emily Chung interviewed a number of people in the community on the Canadian Government RFI on what they called "No Charge Licensed Software (NCLS)".

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February 4, 2009

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Open-source politics breathe fresh air into the Big Smoke

A Globe and Mail article by Ivor Tossell feature's Toronto's Mark Surman and the Centre for Social Innovation.

November 4, 2008

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» 100 Free Open Courseware Classes About Open Source Everything

I was emailed this morning about an article by Jessica Merritt listing 100 different resources for learning about FLOSS.

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October 30, 2008

Digital Copyright Canada
digitalcopyright
Digital Copyright Canada
» Great American Lame Duck Presidential Challenge

Pretty funny stuff at Lameduck.codeweavers.com.