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September 19, 2009
» 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

September 11, 2008
» Free Software and the Canadian Federal Election 2008

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is a donor supported charity founded in 1985 and based in Boston, MA, USA. The FSF has a worldwide mission to promote computer user freedom and to defend the rights of all free software users. They have sister organizations in Europe, India and Latin America.

Since any inclusion of legal protection for "technological measures" in the law regulates what software citizens are allowed to run on their own computer, they have an interest in this issue. Canadians who are part of the Free Software Community really need to get involved in this election to ensure that the rights of Canadian Free Software users are protected. Richard Stallman, founder and president of the FSF, requested that I write this article to give our community some ideas of what to do.

Read the rest of this entry on IT World Canada's blog »

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.

January 15, 2008
» Blogging on IT World Canada

I have started to offer commentary on the IT World Canada Blogs. The first three articles are as follows: