07.17.07

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Open Standards and the GPL in the United Kingdom

Posted in Europe, Formats, GPL, Interview, Microsoft, Open XML, OpenDocument, Petitions, Samba at 10:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The United Kingdom remains one whose mindset is still align with America’s, at least as far as software is concerned. There are a few new articles that are worth mentioning.

As pointed out just weeks ago, the UK’s National Archives sidled with Microsoft in a most questionable (even controversial) of moves. Let us recognise that an issue which escapes many people’s attention is long-term preservation of information. You see this in DRM, not just in document formats. Only when people wake up and understand that their past gets erased will they actually have regrets. National Archives seems to have taken the wrong route for what appears to be Microsoft promotion. It relies on OOXML — the poison that we know as an enemy to real interoperability and competition in the market.

After a disappointing response from the UK Government, it appears as though the country does not mind lock-in. Competition is a healthy thing. It motivates. It drives innovation. OOXML kills all of this.

With a document formats monopoly (not unification), science will be hindered. But why? Why would anyone want this? The UK government is infatuated with Microsoft. Maybe they like the money, maybe they just like the ‘class’. Tony Blair and Bill Gates are friends. We already know this. The UK is not the only victim however. Look what happened in Portugal just days ago.

We have some links accumulated. They hopefully show how Microsoft misuses its power in the BBC, which is funded by British taxpayers. It’s part of a much broader picture. I fear that the UK will be the last nation to embrace Linux and standards, along with the United States. The rest of the world is transforming more quickly and it’ll give it a competitive advantage.

A respected Free software advocacy site has just created a petition calling the government to stand for the GPL.

Since software patents may threaten this fundamentally important freedom, we propose that software published under the GNU General Public Licence (version 3 and above) be given immunity from prosecution from patent infringement under the Copyright Designs and Patents Act.

A terrific and famous Brit, Jeremy Allison, has offered his positive reaction to GPLv3.

Forget software politics for a minute — what does the new Samba licensing mean for the version you’re actually running, and for the distribution that packages it for you? Samba maintainer Jeremy Allison explains.

It seems to be a transcript of audio that we cited the other day.

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