Archive for September, 2010

Here we are: http://www.documentfoundation.org/


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IPRED2 pulled

It makes you get sentimental, the EU has burried the IPRED2, COD/2005/0127, Criminal measures aimed at ensuring the enforcement of intellectual property rights directive proposal.

As announced in Official Journal C 252 of 18 September 2010, the Commission decided to withdraw this proposal, which had become obsolete.

Ironically the IPRED2 failed to get Council consensus but the EU is negotiating via the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade agreement criminal measures with third nations which go beyond IPRED2, for instance include patent infringments which were explicitly excluded in the IPRED2 process. The ACTA criminal chapter also does not get the European Parliament involved in the legislative process and includes no fair use clause.

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European institutions often receive rather negative public attention and the European Parliament hardly gets appraised for all the good work it does to shape the digital future of Europe.

An example for the work that often stays unnoticed: today a report of MEP Echeverría (EPP) from Spain was adopted by the Strasbourg plenary. His report “on completing the internal market for e-commerce” addresses all the crucial points which businesses face in the digital environment. Among the topics the support of interoperability and open document formats for business communication. I am very excited.

Also Commissioner Neelie Kroes pushes along with her Digital Agenda and meets her tough deadlines. She wants a “a first class internet for Europe“. The long awaited radio spectrum proposal is among her deliverables.

Here Echeverría’s report for instance

43. Stresses the importance of open and neutral access to a high-speed internet connection, without which e-commerce would be impossible;

and finds

Digital Agenda for Europe sets reasonable performance targets for high-speed and ultra-fast broadband coverage and for e-commerce take-up

Parliament and the Commissioners are true movers and shakers for openness. When would the member states take the lesson and follow-up?

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A bit over the top but still… looks like it’s the new mainstream: “We’re all freaking doomed.”, says Alan Greenspan. On top Alan Greenspan recommends to raise taxes.

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The Mandriva developer community founds a new project “Mageia”, a fork of the popular distribution.


As you may have heard, the future of the Mandriva Linux distribution is unclear. Most employees working on the distribution were laid off when Edge-IT was liquidated. We do not trust the plans of Mandriva SA anymore and we don’t think the company (or any company) is a safe host for such a project. Many things have happened in the past 12 years. Some were very nice: the Mandriva Linux community is quite large, motivated and experienced, the distribution remains one of the most popular and an award-winning product, easy to use and innovative. Some other events did have some really bad consequences that made people not so confident in the viability of their favourite distribution. People working on it just do not want to be dependent on the economic fluctuations and erratic, unexplained strategic moves of the company.

Apparently they want development be governed by a non-profit organisation or developer cooperative. A main concern of them seems to be the past business decisions of the Mandriva management. The business model looks unclear.

Consider that Mandriva currently competes with a Russian consortium on a Russian National Operating system contract.

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I don’t know why but this cynical example from Jacques Bughin (McKinsey & Company) on open innovation is not supposed to be fun:

When recently Fiat has called its fans to give ideas and feedback on new Fiat 500, no less than 170,000 designs have been proposed graciously, together with 1,000 accessories. No IP, no wage, but there’s a feeling for contributing fans that their opinion matter,

It is a concept from the news papers business, the letters to the editors. Free content – and from an editorial perspective “improvement of newspaper-reader relations”. Some disillusioned political radicals, and they often become lobby consultants in their business life, regard that the essence of contemporary democratic governance, the Machiavelli style:

…there’s a feeling for contributing fans citizens that their opinion and voting matter

I don’t share a cynical mindset but still Jacques Bughin’s example is not without merits. It advocates Open Innovation via the elitist pipe.

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It is a bit like in the Minne, Courtly love, at the 5th Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The singing knight are Association for Competitive Technology (ACT) lobbyists, the lady of admiration seems to be the German academic Jeanette Hofmann who gets their support. Their own topic seems apparently CIR, the Governance of Critical Internet Ressources or Critical Infrastructure Resilience. It is a bit unclear but the “Brute Cause” logic is telling (“we don’t have the luxury to prioritize fixing problems that don’t exist or fixing things that aren’t broken. Because there are so many things that still need to be done.”). In other words CIR is “critical” but problems don’t exist and there are other things.

William Drake as chair. It is fascinating to observe the pattern of their statements.

  • Ordinary guy in UPPERCASE
  • Naive down to earth
  • Positive spirit
  • Apparent talking point

>> >> WILLIAM DRAKE: Thank you very much, Art. And thank you for your nice comments about the book and also for putting things into a holistic and historical perspective. I think that’s very useful. We now have some time for discussion with the audience. And we very much welcome your engagement here, whether you have questions to the individual authors about their chapter or you want to offer your own views on how the themes have evolved or if you want to offer a more holistic perspective that tie us together to the different themes as Art just did. … So we have Mike Sax, are you here? And ask for the floor. Mike, can you get a microphone?

>> >> MIKE SAX: This is my very first time at IGF. I am from Belgium, but I have a software company in the U.S. and I have been reading this book and the problems and challenges that lie ahead. In the middle of that I wanted to share that for a number of years my company has been working with a software developer who is based in Cape Verde in Africa. And over time this person has become one of our primary business partners. And the software created by this person in Africa has been used in thousands of businesses all over the world. And as the quality of the Internet connection improved, through partnerships between governments and the private sector, our partnership became closer and now this software is being used all over the world. So whatever you’re doing, this magical process really seems to work. And I want to thank you and let you know that this process really touches real people and makes things possible that we could only dream about before. So keep doing it. Thank you.

>> >> WILLIAM DRAKE: Thank you very much, Mike, for that. We go now to Steve Del Bianco. Steve, are you out here somewhere at the mic? Steve never has trouble finding a mic.

>> >> STEVE DEL BIANCO: Thank you, Bill. I wanted to address Jeanette Hofmann’s chap particularly a comment made by Everton. He expressed disappointment that IGF hasn’t resolved the crisis in managing CIR. And we’re always going to be disappointed about a process that doesn’t actually resolve and make everything go away. I’m reminded as a parent, I can never really resolve managing the critical resources that my kids need. Because their needs change continually. And they get more expensive. So I’m always having to manage the critical resources my kids need over time. That’s an evolving process. We’ll never actually arrive at solving CIR. The second point I think that Everton made was he expressed disappointment that the IGF had not taken action on creating new mechanisms. And yet I share your optimism. Especially during the Hyderabad IGF when at the time we called upon governments, private sector and all stakeholders to use the mechanisms that we already have as well as creating new mechanisms. I was very concerned, I remember expressing in Hyderabad, that not enough governments were sending high level and technical personnel to participate in places like ICANN where we were actually working on policy, for who is — or policy for new TLDs. I’m happy to say to Everton that — and ICANN’s independence we have had phenomenally greater participation and deeper participation of governments at a place like ICANN to work out the policies around new TLDs and IDS. So we can always look at IGF and say it’s not all that it can be, but let’s realise it will never actually finish the job on resolving all issues, and let’s realise that it’s really made phenomenal improvements in just the last couple years. Thank you.

>> >> WILLIAM DRAKE: Thank you, Steve. Is Jonathan Zuck in the room? You got the mic.

>> >> JONATHAN ZUCK: My name is Jonathan Zuck from the association for competitive technology.
We represent small businesses all over the world.
I think the IGF has been incredible in bringing about a discussion in a wide range of issues. I want to echo Miss Hofmann’s ideas about the de-politicalization. A lot of the issues — again, surrounding the critical Internet resources, that shift from a political discussion to a practical one I think is critical. And it can’t be emphasized enough. There are so many challenges facing us, the Internet and bringing on the next billion users, et cetera, that we don’t have the luxury to prioritize fixing problems that don’t exist or fixing things that aren’t broken. Because there are so many things that still need to be done. And so I think depoliticizing the issues and focussing on access and infrastructure development, which is the more critical Internet resource has got to be the priority of the IGF.

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