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[News] Free Software's Strip-mining Advantage

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Strip mining of open source

,----[ Quote ]
| It could be said that the GPL came into existence to prevent strip mining of 
| open source, which can be interpreted as the appropriation of free software 
| code for proprietary gain with no intention of feeding code changes back to 
| the community. The part of the GPL licensing framework that achieves this is 
| known to its friends as copyleft, and is represented by its enemies as "the 
| viral nature of the GPL", and has been a major factor in the success of free 
| software.       



End of the Blog

,----[ Quote ]
| I have decided to end the blog, after doing around 800 postings over about 4
| years.
| [...]
| 2. The Current State of Copyright Law is too depressing
| This leads me to my final reason for closing the blog which is independent of
| the first reason: my fear that the blog was becoming too negative in tone. I
| regard myself as a centrist. I believe very much that in proper doses
| copyright is essential for certain classes of works, especially commercial
| movies, commercial sound recordings, and commercial books, the core copyright
| industries. I accept that the level of proper doses will vary from person to
| person and that my recommended dose may be lower (or higher) than others. But
| in my view, and that of my cherished brother Sir Hugh Laddie, we are well
| past the healthy dose stage and into the serious illness stage. Much like the
| U.S. economy, things are getting worse, not better. Copyright law has
| abandoned its reason for being: to encourage learning and the creation of new
| works. Instead, its principal functions now are to preserve existing failed
| business models, to suppress new business models and technologies, and to
| obtain, if possible, enormous windfall profits from activity that not only
| causes no harm, but which is beneficial to copyright owners. Like
| Humpty-Dumpty, the copyright law we used to know can never be put back
| together again: multilateral and trade agreements have ensured that, and
| quite deliberately.


More on Number 10’s website fiasco

,----[ Quote ]
| The original stylesheet4 is 612 lines in length and is 9234 bytes in size
| (9KB).
| The modified stylesheet5 is 3826 lines long and weighs in at a frankly
| astonishing 63724 bytes (63KB)!
| [...]
| “If” the developers have modified the Wordpress engine, as is being suggested
| as a possibility here, and then sold it to the Government, in my humble
| understanding that means they have distributed their modifications. That
| means those modifications must also be licensed under the GPL. I had a quick
| look on New Media Maze’s web site and couldn’t find an area for software
| downloads or mention of the GPL. That doesn’t say anything to be honest and
| there might be nothing to this, but it would be interesting to find out a bit
| more… Is there a real Wordpress guru who can look at the “footprint” of the
| XHTML the site generates and tell if it is different? Or are there any other
| ways to tell if it has been modified?
| Anyway, what a wheez this all is for us bloggers: It just isn’t Gordon’s year
| is it…

Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (GNU/Linux)


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