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Posts tagged as “copyrights”

The Great Debian Iceweasel/Icedove Saga Comes to an End

Now that Thunderbird is back in the Debian repositories, the decade long dispute that led to all Mozilla products in Debian being rebranded has ended.

Icedove logoIcedove logo

The hatchet is finally completely buried. Iceweasel was laid to rest a year ago with the return of Firefox to Debian. Now, Icedove gets to go gently into that good night as well, as the Thunderbird email client returns to Debian.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Italian Military Goes LibreOffice, HBO Abuses DMCA & More…

FOSS Week in Review

Also, eight new distro releases, CoreOS raises another $28 million, Mint drops codecs and the women of open source.

The most reported FOSS story this week was the beginning of the court fight instigated by Oracle against Google over Android’s Java implementation. Most interesting as the proceedings get going are the once familiar names that are now back in the news.

So far, we’ve heard from Jonathan Schwartz, pretty much a good guy who you might remember replaced Scott McNealy as CEO at Sun Microsystems in April 2006 and was on hand to pass the keys of the kingdom on to Oracle in 2010 after the company was brought down by the so-called Great Recession.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Tuesday Is ‘International Day Against DRM’

On Tuesday, May 3, people in communities around the world will gather to take a stand against digital rights management.

Tuesday May 3 is International Day Against DRM, which for ten years has been an annual even to protest and build awareness about digital rights management. The event is sponsored by the organization Defective by Design, the anti-DRM initiative of the Free Software Foundation.

International Day Against DRMInternational Day Against DRM

Shuttleworth at SCALE, Google Rolls Over & More…

FOSS Week in Review

Wow. It certainly didn’t take long after the holidays for the FOSS news wire to heat up again. It’s like all the newsmakers have been chomping at the bit to get back to work doing what they do best, which would be, well, making news. Let’s start with some breaking news concerning a well known FOSS personality…

Soyuz Rocket ShuttleworthSoyuz Rocket Shuttleworth
Mark Shuttleworth, rocket man and founder of Canonical/Ubuntu will be a keynote speaker at SCALE 14X in Pasadena, Calif. Presumably, he’ll arrive using a conventional mode of transportation.
To SCALE or not to SCALE: If you live somewhere within driving distance of Southern California and you’ve been sitting on the fence trying to decide whether to attend SCALE 14X (that’s the Southern California Linux Expo for the jargon impaired), then we’re about to give you a tidbit that might help you make up your mind.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Dotcom’s FOSS Cloud Plans

Kim Dotcom vows to again rise from the ashes with a new online storage site, this one free and open source, built on donations, and nonprofit. Funny thing is, most of us didn’t know he needed to again play Phoenix.

Back in the early days of the 21st century, Dotcom seemed to have overcome his checkered past and to have developed the Midas touch with the popular online storage site Megaupload. Like Midas, however, he was to discover that gold is an overrated commodity, the ownership of which often creates as many problems as it solves. For one thing, you can’t eat it. For another, lots of people want to take it from you.

Kim DotcomKim Dotcom
Kim Dotcom at a political rally for the Internet Mana Party on August 4, 2014. (Photo by William Stadtwald Demchick)
Megaupload turned out to be an albatross that continues to curse him. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice brought the site down, claiming criminal copyright infringement. Dotcom, who claims innocence, has been holed up in New Zealand fighting U.S. extradition efforts ever since, and spending big bucks doing so. In January, 2013, he launched a rebranded version of the cloud storage business under the name Mega, which he claimed to be more secure due to encryption, and things seemed to be going swimmingly for him.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Old FOSS Friend & Foe Represents Sony in Hack

Folks who follow news about FOSS, OSS and Linux who also watch the “talking heads” shows the TV networks serve up on Sunday mornings might be excused for not noting that David Boies, the lawyer speaking for Sony on this week’s “Meet the Press,” has on several occasions been involved in news stories affecting Linux. Over the years, he’s played the role of both friend and foe, but it’s been a while since his and the FOSS world’s paths have crossed.

David BoiesDavid Boies
David Boies speaking at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.
Photograph by Doc Searls
Back in the days of the Clinton Administration, Boies became something of a hero to FOSS and Linux supporters when he represented the Justice Department in “United States vs. Microsoft,” which went to trial in May of 1998. This antitrust suit by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Attorneys General of twenty U.S. states, found Microsoft being accused of illegal and unfair competition. In October of the same year, the U.S. Department of Justice also sued Microsoft additionally for violating a 1994 consent decree by including Internet Explorer as part of Windows.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

MPAA Wants to Use DMCA to Effectively Bring Back SOPA

In “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” Winston Smith’s job was to rewrite the past for the Inner Party. Mainly, he made people vanish from the pages of history. Anyone who came under the party’s bad graces suddenly disappeared from all media; from all newspaper articles, books, television archives and any other mentions. In Orwell’s world, anyone declared a nonperson was completely erased. S/he never existed.

According to memos leaked from the recent hack on Sony, the big studios would like to employ a Winston Smith to remove domain name listings from ISPs DNS directories, effectively removing entire websites from the Internet for most users, as if they never existed.

MPAA logoMPAA logo
MPAA Logo
The movie moguls want to do this in the name of fighting their old monster-under-the-bed, content piracy. Not surprisingly, they plan on evoking an old enemy of a free and open Internet in the process, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), while attempting to revive at least a part of the ghost of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which was killed back in 2011.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

ATMs Might Go Linux, MS DOS Source Released & More…

FOSS Week in Review

Is Microsoft reading your Hotmail?

Last week we learned of the arrest of Alex Kibkalo, a Microsoft employee who’s charged with leaking an unreleased version of Windows 8 to a French blogger. According to Wired, during the course of an internal investigation in Redmond, an unidentified source approached Steven Sinofsky, who was then president of Microsoft’s Windows Division.

“The source gave Sinofsky a Hotmail address that belonged to the French blogger (also not named) and said that the blogger was the person who had received the leaked software. Microsoft had already been interested in the blogger, but apparently, after the tip-off, the company’s security team did something that raised alarm bells with privacy advocates. Instead of taking their evidence to law enforcement, they decided to search through the blogger’s private messages themselves. Four days after Sinofsky’s tip-off, Microsoft lawyers ‘approved content pulls of the blogger’s Hotmail account,’ the court filings state.

“By trolling through the Hotmail email messages and MSN Messenger instant message logs, Microsoft learnt how Kibkalo and the blogger pulled off the leak, says Federal Bureau of Investigation special agent Armando Ramirez III, in an affidavit filed in connection with the case. Microsoft handed over the results of its investigation to the FBI in 2013, and Kibkalo was arrested on Wednesday.”

This, of course, created quite a stir among privacy advocates. So much so that the folks in Redmond on Thrusday announced a change of policy when it comes to riffling through people’s Hotmail accounts. They’re still going to do it, but in the future the company will publish stats regarding its breaking into people’s free Hotmail accounts. In other words, we’ll know just how much they do it.

SCO & NSA: The Great Digital Whack-A-Mole Game

Other than PJ, there’s not a character from the SCO saga that I would like to meet face to face.

Not Blake Stowell, even though he knows what went down behind closed doors at SCO and is the most likely candidate to tell what really went on inside the company. In those days he was SCO’s Director of Corporate Communications, the person who had to put a palatable spin on his boss’s actions. These days he’s working as PR Director for Omniture, a data mining company with questionable practices that’s owned by Adobe. Before his tenure at SCO he spent time working for Novell (no surprise) and Microsoft.

I especially have no interest in meeting SCO’s old CEO Darl McBride, the thug who now spends his time being President and CEO of Me, Inc., a renaming of SCO Mobility which he purchased for $100,000 in 2010.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Google Disses Flash, DRM Comes to HTML & More…

FOSS Week in Review

Google wants to do away with Flash?

The day after our own Christine Hall expressed the opinion that Adobe’s Flash “isn’t going to go away anytime soon,” mainly because the Google ad business is hooked on it, we find that the Mountain View company might very well be trying to push Flash out the door. On Tuesday, CNET reported that Google has released a free beta of Google Web Designer, a tool for building animated HTML 5 ads.

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