Wednesday, 30 December 2009


Curious news items:

Bruce Schneier was interviewed by ZDNet three weeks ago now and the subject of copyright and the increasingly invasive laws surrounding this concept came up. What is striking is the following comment:

we live in a world where anything legal can be done. As long as they are allowed, companies will do it — because otherwise they would be crazy not to.

Which is why we have to be careful about what is allowed in our laws. In the past, the difficulty of bringing a prosecution has had a mitigating effect. However, digitally actionable laws like the old S92a would be easy to enact and therefore will be - frequently.

ComputerWorld-UK's Glyn Moody makes a meal out of a Microsoft job advertisement, to great effect. The article is primarily concerned with open source rather than free software but Moody does this deliberately, understanding the difference. The main focus is that Microsoft consider to be a competitor of major concern to Steve Ballmer and similar. Moody is especially interested in what it says about Microsoft's relation to Open Source projects:

Microsoft's new-found eagerness to “engage” with open source has nothing to do with a real desire to reach a pacific accommodation with free software, but is simply a way for it to fight against it from close up, and armed with inside knowledge.

Not really a surprise - corporations exist for only one reason: to make money for themselves. Everything else is secondary or irrelevant. When we deal with these entities, it is only good business to approach with caution and make sure we get value for money.

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