Debattartikel för Open Office i skolan

March 3rd, 2005

Skolans IT-pengar kan användas effektivare skriver gymnasieläraren Sven Järgenstedt i dagens GP och argumenterar för att skolorna ska välja OpenOffice.org i stället för Microsofts kontorsprogram. Artikeln är välskriven och tar, förutom kostnaderna, även upp de principiellt viktigare frågorna om inlåsning i proprietära filformat och om inte skolan borde undervisa mer generellt i datoranvändning.

Självfallet ska elever lära sig behärska olika funktioner och färdigheter inom datorområdet. Detta innebär emellertid inte att ordbehandling är detsamma som att kunna just Microsofts ordbehandlingsprogram. En skola ska lära ut funktioner inom datorområdet, inte ett utvalt företags ordbehandlings- eller kalkylprogram.

Makten över internet

March 3rd, 2005

Jag har just sett en inspelning av kvällens Mediemagasinet, Makten över internet. Första intrycket är att det var ruskigt bra. :-)

PÃ¥ ett enkelt och provokativt men ändÃ¥ korrekt sätt tog man upp flera av de viktigaste frÃ¥gorna pÃ¥ detta omrÃ¥de, sÃ¥som upphovsrätt, DRM, patent och övervakning. Det är precis sÃ¥dan här uppmärksamhet det behövs mycket mer av. Dessa frÃ¥gor mÃ¥ste ut i “vanlig” media som SVT sÃ¥ att fler fÃ¥r upp ögonen.

Repriser: lördag14.00 och onsdag 16.05.

Lawyers to Study Ethics

March 2nd, 2005

I just saw this on Groklaw. Hilarious! :-)

A federal judge in Fresno, Calif., has ordered the entire 80-lawyer firm of Lozano Smith back to school for a refresher course in ethics as a sanction for repeated misrepresentation of facts and the law in a dispute over aid for a learning-disabled student.*

Commission Refuses Restart

March 1st, 2005

The Commission has turned down the European Parliament’s request for a restart of the software patents directive. Despite a virtually unanimous vote in the European Parliament’s responsible JURI Committee and a unanimous request by the whole European Parliament in plenary.

via FFII

Yttrandefrihet är dyrt

February 27th, 2005

Medan den amerikanska kongressen funderar pÃ¥ att höja bötesbeloppen för “indecency” i radio och TV har tidskriften Rolling Stone publicerat en översikt över andra böter.

for the price of Janet Jackson’s ‘wardrobe malfunction’ during the Super Bowl, you could cause the wrongful death of an elderly patient in a nursing home and still have enough money left to create dangerous mishaps at two nuclear reactors.*

via Slashdot

Creative Commons Licenses too Restrictive?

February 26th, 2005

I’m still something of a newbie in the blogosphere but as I “surf” from blog to blog I can’t help but notice the popularity of Creative Commons licenses. Most blogs seem to display a “some rights reserved” button these days. Since I, by default, am hardly allowed to do anything with content I find on the web, I think this is a good thing. Any explicit license grant is much better than no license at all and a standardised license like a CC license is even better. (Certifying non-control is a good thing.) However, I think that most people choose unnecessarily restrictive licenses, even when using CC. From my random observations, Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike seems to be the most common CC license. Today, this was confirmed by statistics from Creative Commons that show that 37% of the pages that link to a Creative Commons license link to Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike.

I fail to see a good reason for this. Attribution I can understand, but the others? Blogs are made available for free (as in no cost) on the web. Most bloggers want as many people as possible to read what they have to say. So why prevent someone from, say, printing one of your blog posts in a newspaper or magazine?

I would actually have more sympathy for an Attribution-NoDerivs License. This is similar to what, e.g., Richard Stallman and the Free Software Foundation use in many cases. Their essays (like these) are typically equipped with a copyright notice and “Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.” For political texts this makes much more sense than a requirement that any use be non-commercial.

As a general rule, I don’t believe that it is essential for people to have permission to modify all sorts of articles and books. The issues for writings are not necessarily the same as those for software. For example, I don’t think you or I are obliged to give permission to modify articles like this one, which describe our actions and our views. – Free Software and Free Manuals

You want to spread the article as much as possible and the only necessary requirement is that people do not change it so that your oppinions are misunderstood. Many blog posts belong to this category. Bloggers express opinions by commenting on news, other blogs etc.

So why the restrictive licenses? Bloggers, please comment! 😉

Book Review: Open Source Licensing

February 26th, 2005

I have (not so) recently finished reading Open Source Licensing : Software Freedom and Intellectual Property Law by Lawrence Rosen. The overall impression is that the book is very good and it examines all the major licenses. Things I do not like as much:

  • Too vague use of the term “intellectual property”
  • Perhaps not “legal” enough for me. Most people will probably appreciate this. 😉

I started writing this when I had finished reading the book, which is now months ago. I will probably never write a longer review so I decided to just post this.

SVT lyssnar på kritiken?

February 26th, 2005

Patrick skriver att han kontaktat Lilla Aktuellt angående veckans program.

Jag kan med glädje rapportera att de tog till sig av mina synpunkter (och jag antar att andra mejlat in förutom jag) och har korrigerat sin artikel och de ska enligt uppgift från webbredaktören ta upp det i nästa program där de ska förtydliga sin rapportering så att den speglar verkligheten.

De har i alla fall tagit bort bilden.

via Copyriot

WIPO Courses

February 25th, 2005

WIPO is offering free online courses, starting next week.

The introductory general course on intellectual property issues is offered free of charge in seven languages from some 80 teachers and tutors and is a pre-requisite to any other WIPO Academy course, it said.

The general course includes such areas as copyright, patents, trademarks, geographical indications, industrial design, plant breeders’ rights, unfair competition and international registration systems. Some 38,000 people from over 180 countries have taken it since the Academy was founded in 1998.

via Groklaw

Update: Ah, well, once I read the linked articles properly it turned out that registration was closed. :-(

SVT har fel om piratkopiering

February 25th, 2005

Jag kan inte riktigt släppa detta…

SVT och SR har tyvärr spridit en del felaktig information det senaste dygnet.

I “Lilla Aktuellt” (24/2) fick tittarna höra att

  1. det är förbjudet att ladda ner datorprogram,
  2. dela med sig är förbjudet
  3. det kommer en ny lag som “helt förbjuder nerladdning av film och musik frÃ¥n internet”

Detta är antagligen ett försök till förenkling men resultatet blir att totalt felaktig information sprids.

  1. Det finns självklart inget generellt förbjud mot att ladda ner datorprogram. SÃ¥väl fri programvara som “shareware” är exepel pÃ¥ datorprogram som är fullt tillÃ¥tna att ladda ner.
  2. Det finns mängder av information som det står var och en fritt att dela med sig av. Exempel: fri programvara, Project Gutenberg
  3. Det som förbjuds är kopiering (“nerladdning”) av verk som lagts ut i strid med upphovsrättslagen.