COPOWI: a “Free” ISP Provider through Free Telematics

floss, TFF, TFF news 1 Comment »

On a Smart Mobs blog post; i just discovered today about Copowi that is set out to offer a fully FLOSS ISP service, which would include also several additional guarantees for several rights of its users. They plan to release all their code under Affero License, as much as possible. They seemed very aligned towards our same goal of putting users in control of their telematics through social control (“Community” in their language) and FLOSS. It seems that our proposed tecniques of individual control through democratic processes could complement their approach very well.

Here is a letter we wrote to them today:

Hello,we just discovered your project. We have been working on very similar lines. From discussions with Henri Poole (creator of the Affero) and Richard Stallman, we have been working on ways to enable web user to have the same freedom over a web service as they have over a FLOSS app running on a GNU/Linux PC. We are in the process of devising ways in which, certain hosting requirements and joint democratic control by users could achieve such individual control. We’d be interested for example in a partnership in the implementation of a first deployment.Rufo

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How to prevent software patent holders to stop Free Software take-over

floss, general, license, patents, software, TFF, TFF news 1 Comment »

The thousands of generic software patents held by large software giants, and other dedicated private entities, are increasingly becoming a huge and unfair barrier for new software companies, development communities and products to achieve wide market adoption.
In fact, as a software product competes with a product made by one of those large patent holders, they will sue or threaten to sue developers and/or large organization and corporate users for the infringement of their patents.

There are 2 approaches to solve this problem:
(1) The problem would be easily solved politically: (a) Put some sanity in the standards for approval of software patent claims; (b) re-proportion the duration of patent holders rights to the average duration of “useful economic life” of a software invention, so as not to prevent the ability of the wider population to and new creators to benefit from the use and remixing of those ideas. Efforts to enact this changes are under way, but it seems that lobbying efforts in the opposite direction are stronger (see for example the extension of copyright duration in the US and the continued awarding of ridiculous software patents).

(2) Another solutions is represented by the creation of a copylefted” patent pool.
Here’s how it would work: A well founded and solid non-profit organization would:
- aggressively solicit the assignment to it of a large number of software patent rights
- it would instantly issue an irrevocable full license to such patents ideas to anyone in the world, except to anyone who will anytime in the future sue, or threaten to sue, anyone over software patent claims.

This article that appeared today shows encouraging signs for the possible success of this strategy.

Software capital of the world rules out e-voting

democracy, e-voting, general, politics, TFF news No Comments »

It is great news that California – the software capital state of the world, the economy best positioned to benefit from a worldwide e-voting market, and lead state in many areas of legislation – has decided to de-certify all e-voting systems.
Most, or possibly all, e-voting systems available today are just not at all ready for prime time!

Let’s hope well-intentioned world politicians hear this loud and clear message among the PR noise of e-voting system sellers!

At the very least, this should push back lunatic attempts to have, at present, binding web or sms governmental elections.

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