Posts Tagged ‘software libre’

Copyright on languages and APIs: why it’s a bad thing

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

landgrab

Computer languages and software interfaces may fall under copyright protection if Oracle succeeds in its Java lawsuit against Google. Amazingly, “copyfighters” appear to have paid little or no notice to this rare extension of copyright into new realms. But the consequences and costs for the software industry could be enormous.

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Why has Thunderbird turned into a turkey?

Sunday, August 8th, 2010
A while ago I wrote an old bugger’s whinge about the state of email clients in general. I realise this is now a minority interest.

Read more at The Register

Happy Birthday to GNU

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

No longer will the Free Software Foundation be the target of advertisements for novelty condoms, Ibiza package holidays and extreme sports gear. It’s leaving the 16-24 yoof demographic behind.

Today the GNU project celebrates its quarter-century. It was on 27 September 1983 that MIT slacker Richard M Stallman made his announcement that he intended to create a complete Unix-like system that would be completely open and hackable, giving anyone the right to modify and distribute the work. The Free Software Foundation is getting its celebration in early.

The innovation of the GPL software licence only followed some years later, but it was driven by GNU’s needs, and it was to have profound consequences for the computer industry.

25 years ago, Stallman saw the project as a way of continuing the community ethic of shared code, something he felt was in danger of being eclipsed by the arrival of new, commercial software companies, seeking to capitalize on work in the labs. It’s not so strange if you look at it through Stallman’s eyes: software was a tool that had always been open, hackable and redistributable, and now mediocre people in ill-fitting suits were trying to steal that freedom… by making a quick buck with dodgy products, and putting very little back.
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