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Stallman: Fight French copyright law in the street

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Free software campaigner Richard Stallman said French youth should protest against a draft law on copyright that will be voted on Friday.

The bill threatens their freedom to watch DVDs using free software, and is designed to make French citizens submit to the will of media companies, he said, delivering the closing keynote address at the Paris Capitale du Libre conference on Monday night.

Asked what could stop the law, Stallman replied: "Thousands of French youth in the streets."

Stand up or shut up

They don't have long to organise their protests, since Friday is the last day of the parliamentary session before the long summer vacation. Both houses of the French parliament will vote on the bill on that day: the Senate in the morning, the National Assembly in the afternoon. The bill, formally titled "Authors' rights and related rights in an information society," is also known by its French abbreviation DADVSI.

Stallman, president of the Free Software Foundation, won over his Paris audience Monday night by addressing them in French.

"I can explain free software in three words: "liberté, égalité and fraternité", he said.

Full Story.

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Mr Paulwell, we cannot afford to be left behind

As a technology user and enthusiast, I believe in the critical role of open-source software to create the applications and infrastructure necessary to support government-funded technology projects. There is an accelerating interest in and use of open-source software worldwide. Local governments are changing. Forward-thinking municipalities are embracing technology to make countries and cities better for everyone. Innovative government staff are sharing resources, best practices, and collaborating on common problems. Jamaica needs to provide a broad range of resources, programmes and services to support and advance civic innovation. As open-source software becomes the leading information technology day by day, and there are open-source alternatives to most of the commercial software, Jamaica must join this technological revolution, as the national pledge does state, "...so that Jamaica may play her part in the advancement of the whole human race". Open-source software is computer software with its source code made available with a licence in which the copyright holder supplies the rights to study, change, and distribute the software to anyone and for any reason or function. Open-source software is oftentimes developed in a public, collaborative manner. It is the most striking example of open-source development and often compared to (technically defined) user-generated content or (legally defined) open-content movements. Read more