October 2004 Archives

Richard Stallman on The great divide between free and open source software:

Without these freedoms, using software presents people with ethical dilemmas. If a neighbour sees you running a program, realises it would be useful and asks for a copy, what do you do? If the program isn’t free, you have to choose between two evils: either be a bad neighbour by not helping, or violate the software licence. The latter is the lesser evil, he argued, because the organisation supplying the software has already done something bad to you by supplying proprietary software, but you would still be going back on your promise. Furthermore, you are spreading more copies of non-free software that will present a similar dilemma to the recipients. The answer, said Stallman, is to only use free software.

BBC launches open-source video technology

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From BBC launches open-source video technology:

The corporation has gone to great lengths to avoid any patent problems, and has used tried and tested techniques that have prior art. "We are reviewing the literature and will code round the problems as they arise."

To protect the software and the techniques used to develop it, the BBC has taken out its own defensive patents, said Davies, and is releasing the software under the Mozilla licence to ensure "that those patents are licensed for free, irrevocably, for ever."

The terms of the licence mean that Dirac could be used in open source software, said Davies, or in proprietary software in such a way that the company producing that software would not have to divulge their source code.

This is great news! Needless to say, this means fewer restrictions for innovation and development of new ideas and tools. The resulting ripple effect could encourage more open video communication because independent video producers will not have to carry the cost burden of their tools.

Open Source and Open Standards

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Open Source and Open Standards provides a brief 'compare and contrast' between open source and open standards, and the pros and cons associated with each concept and practical implementations.

From PC Pro: News: UN body promises greater recognition for open source licencing:

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is promising greater recognition of Free and Open Source software licensing in a bid to balance the needs of copyright owners and the public.
A group of Non-Governmental Organisations led by the Consumer Project on Technology (CPTech) successfully lobbied WIPO in its 'Geneva Declaration', resulting in a 'development agenda' that includes alternatives such as the GPL.
The group had also spent some time documenting WIPO meetings in order for the public to be better informed of the trademark, copyright, and patent policies being adopted that affect their every day lives.

Genome Model Applied to Software

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Genome Model Applied to Software:

Open-source developers attempting to reverse-engineer the mysteries of private networking software turn to genomics research. They're applying algorithms developed by biologists to decipher the secrets of closed networks.

By Mentor Cana, PhD
more info at LinkedIn
email: mcana {[at]} kmentor {[dot]} com

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