They came first for the allofmp3,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a leech.
Then they came for the child pornography,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a pedophile.
Then they came for the pirate bay,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a pirate.
Then they came for the online poker games,
and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a poker player.
Then they came for the online news, chats and forums,
and I didn’t speak up because I didn’t care.
Then they came for me,
and by that time no one was left to speak up.
(unknown, in the spirit of Martin Niemöller)
Beyond Cyberpunk is an interesting collection of historical texts on the “cyber culture”: manifestos, book reviews, and essays on technoculture.
Cyberculture is the lack-of-a-better-word label that is given to the place where computer technology meets popular culture. The current generation of young people have grown up with PCs, LEDs, and MTV. Technology is a seamless part of their lives. Computers are no more foreign to them than transistor radios were to the last generation. As technology has saturated it, youth culture (and avant garde culture) has started to express itself through a “techno-symbiosis” For good AND ill, a new cult of the machine is arising. This is an exciting time where a new domain of cultural expression is being created, debated, and negated. The purpose of this stack is to help fuel this critical debate in the 1990’s.
(Via Boing Boing.)
From the Creative Commons blog:
A new book by author Phillipe Aigrain - “Cause commune : l’information entre bien commun et propriété” (or, in English, “Common Cause: Information Between Commons and Property”) has been released online in French under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license. Selected extracts in English are also available online. Editions Fayard may be one of the first major mainstream French-speaking publishers to facilitate Creative Commons licenses. Let’s hope it serves as an example to open up more French-speaking (and other) content by mainstream publishers for freedom of use.
The book looks like an interesting foray into the politics of the “information age”. I wish somebody will translate it. Unfortunately, translations are forbidden by the license.
WIPO has opened a forum for discussion on IP:
The WIPO Online Forum is designed to enable and encourage an open debate on issues related to intellectual property in the information society, and in light of the goals of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).
I hope the input will be taken into account. Next part of the WSIS process will take place in
Tunis, from 16 to 18 November 2005.
I just spent two days struggling with a server hardware problem. At times, the Internet society is so fragile.
Digital systems are fundamental architectural components of the information society. Therefore it is silly that we need such a strong legalistic approach. Folks on the debian-legal mailing list have spent hours and hours making interpretations on different software licenses. The interpretations are very precise and good but I hope there wasn’t such need. But we’re forced to have such conversations.
Assistant professor Lucie Guibault said that programmers should more carefully mark their copyrights in GPL programs. Otherwise the court might be confused on who is the copyright holder: the FSF, who wrote the license, or somebody else?
The article received strong criticism such as
This “lawyer” is a blithering idiot. The GPL FAQ (http://www.fsf.org/licensing/licenses/gpl-howto.html) explicitly tells you to put your own copyright notice on any GPL’d source.
Maybe the commentor is right, but how many programmers really add their copyright notices? And how many of us who modify a GPL’d program follow this requirement (2 a):
a) You must cause the modified files to carry prominent notices stating that you changed the files and the date of any change.
If Linux kernel contributors actually followed this rule, each of the 15 000 files in the kernel source would have a long changelog at the beginning of the file.
With other infrastructure, we don’t need to negotiate on whether I’m allowed to walk on a public road or what I may use may the electricity for. Free software is a wonderful thing but the forced legalism is a curse.
P.S. A nice paper on trivial software patents.