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"2006 may be remembered as the year that the Free Software Foundation (FSF) reached out to the community. The FSF has already undertaken an unprecedented year-long consultation process about the revisions to the GNU General Public License, and the Defective By Design campaign against digital rights management technologies. Now, the FSF is planning a third campaign to deliver its message about ethical software to social activists outside the technical communities. "We think that social groups taking on policies about free software can act as a huge lever within schools, trade unions, local governments, and churches," says Peter Brown, executive director of the FSF." -- Read more

"With all the discovery they've taken, plaintiffs are no closer to making any kind of case against Ms. Lindor than when they started this action. There is simply no evidence that she did anything that would subject her to any form of liability. Ms. Lindor has never even used, or even turned on, a computer, in her life. Plaintiffs are content to let the case go on indefinitely, to use it as a convenient platform for a never ending fishing expedition against potential third parties, but it would be unfair in the extreme to the defendant to allow this to continue, as it was unfair for plaintiffs to go this far." -- Read more

How Microsoft and the likes are chasing their users away, shrinking their own market share in favor of the one of Free Software like GNU/linux? By treating them as cash cows and criminals. -- Read more | digg

Who owns me?

One of the most disturbing ideas I've encountered in intellectual property law is the peculiar idea of owning and being able to patent naturally occuring gene sequences, such as those in the Human Genome project. Even though we have been fortunate that most of that information is not under restrictive licensing conditions, that the laws allow such a thing is something I find bad enough. How can it be that this holy of holies, the fundamentally defining data that makes every cell in my body uniquely me, should be treated as property to be owned. And if it is owned, why is it not owned by me?

When talking about the idea of “free software” there are a number of ambiguities. The most popular topic is the distinction between zero-cost and providing freedom. But another ambiguity is who is given the freedom, the user, the developer, or the software itself? We aren't accustomed to assigning agent status to software, but what about when the “software” is a gene sequence, and the “compiler” is your mother's womb?

-- Read more

This p2pnet article picks up on the increasingly visible evidence of inevitability of the "FLOSS" (Free/Libre Open Source Software) future. The inefficiencies of the old proprietary model are becoming apparent and are replaced by the efficient peer production and distribution techniques natural to Free Software. -- Read