Statement on open access to scholarly information
The Group of Eight vice-chancellors, representing Australia's
pre-eminent research universities, record their commitment to open
access initiatives that will enhance global access to scholarly
information for the public good.
The vice-chancellors note that:
* information, if it is to achieve maximum benefit for society,
must be readily available to a global audience
* the rapid development of digital communication technologies
provides expanded opportunities for the widespread dissemination
of scholarly information
* new business models are required to ensure that scholarly
publishing is cost effective
* any development in digital publishing must incorporate the
current framework of scholarly publishing standards relating to
the quality of inquiry and reporting
* digital publishing initiatives must appropriately recognise and
protect the intellectual property of the authors and require
accepted standards of attribution
* the Group of Eight universities are providing leadership in the
development of digital publishing initiatives in Australia.
The vice-chancellors support:
* ongoing development of open access initiatives in Group of Eight
* digital publishing practices that underpin the timely,
cost-effective dissemination of the highest quality scholarly
information with a commitment to good practice
* further examination of criteria for promotion in new publishing
Professor Ian W. Chubb AO
Chair, The Group of Eight
The Australian National University
Professor James McWha
The University of Adelaide
Professor Kwong Lee Dow AM
The University of Melbourne
Professor Richard Larkins AO
Professor Mark Wainwright
The University of New South Wales
Professor John A. Hay AC
The University of Queensland
Professor Gavin Brown
The University of Sydney
Professor Alan Robson AM
The University of Western Australia
V. Sasi Kumar <vsasi(a)hotpop.com>
During our recent GNU/LUG meeting in Goa, I had the chance of meeting Prof
Vijay A Singh, the National Coordinator of the Science Olympiads. It was
nice to know that Dr Singh (IIT Kanpur, on deputation at the Science
Olympaids, is also a part of the FSF-Friends list.
Wonder if the ideals of Free Software and FLOSS could be somehow networked
with the National Olympaid, so that we could benefit from each other's
synergies. Incidentally, Prof Singh is at the Homi Bhabha Centre for
Science Education, so it could be easy for Prof Nagarjuna to build the
BTW, we have just shifted the venue of the GNU/LUG meetings in Goa to the
Goa Science Centre, located at a nice setting on the Miramar beach. Our
argument was that while the GSCP (Goa Science Centre Panjim) is promoting
science, we are promoting technology -- as such a made-for-each-other
match. We hope that we can take the idealism of FLOSS to the younger
generation, and thus help take ahead the agenda of the GSCP, while at the
same time gaining from a suitable venue for holding our meets. Let's see
how this works. In the past, our Goa group had also closely networked with
the Computer Society of India (Goa chapter). The only handicap was the
lack of hardware for demos at their office premises, which they were very
generous to loan out to us without any charge for our meetings held over
the past two to three years. FN
Frederick Noronha * Freelance Journalist * Goa, India
f r e d @ b y t e s f o r a l l . o r g
Ph 832.2409490 / 832.2409783 Cell 9822 122436
Phone calls: preferably from 1300 to 0500 (IST)
Try landlines is mobile is temporarily unavailable
JUST OUT: Goa photos http://www.goa-world.com/fotofolio
Bangalore now has a Free Software User's Group (FSUG)!
Starting off from the 'GNUs Grazing' initiative by Rakesh Ambati we have
met up twice already. During Arun's trip to Bangalore earlier this
month, we were able to press out a firm agenda for Free Software related
activities in Bangalore.
Broadly speaking, FSUG (Bangalore) works towards two broad areas:
o Free Software advocacy, lobbying and awareness in Bangalore
o Technical help for Free Software and GNU/Linux
The minutes of previous two meetings are available in the list archives
(not yet web-viewable) and will be put up on a web-site by tomorrow. (Or
I could post them here to the fsf-friends list if that's more
FSUG (Bangalore) discussions happen on the fsub-bangalore mailing list.
To know more about what's happenning, who's involved and how to get
involved, please subscribe to the mailing list by sending an email to
fsub-bangalore-subscribe(a)lists.deeproot.co.in . A lot of activities are
planned for the next few weeks - please do participate and give you
comments and feedback.
Abhas Abhinav <abhas(a)deeproot.co.in>
CEO, DeepRoot Linux
http://www.deeproot.co.in / +91 (80) 2856 5624
Getting Linux to work for you. Faster. Better. Today. Every way.
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
The FLOSS Concept Booklet Wiki is online at
For those who are not exactly clear on what a wiki is, it's a
collaborative Web site comprised of the collective work of many authors.
Similar to a blog in structure and logic, a wiki allows anyone to easily
edit, delete or modify content that has been placed there.
This method of working, apart from being a literal application of the
collaborative opensource methodology will allow many many more people
than would otherwise be possible to contribute. The more the people who
read, comment and modify, the denser will be this resource base, so
please, people, contribute!
The original introduction to the FLOSS Concept Booklet that I had posted
in my earlier mail is appended with the appropriate modifications:
I work in a non-profit organisation (www.sarai.net) that is deeply
involved in and committed to Free/Libre/Open Source Software. We're in
the process of creating and publishing a Concept Booklet on
Free/Libre/Open Source Software that will, hopefully, be accessible even
to people with an extremely limited understanding of computers and
absolutely no knowledge of open source/free/libre software. In
collaboration with one such layperson, we created a set of questions on
FLOSS and are in the process of generating the answers and the
additional content for the concept booklet. We'd be thrilled if you
people would contribute as many answers as you can to the questions that
are outlined in the wiki. Of course, please feel free to comment on the
existing questions and to make additions to them.
All contributions will be gratefully acknowledged. The booklet will
either be published under the Creative Commons/Share Alike License or
the GNU Free Documentation License and distributed free or at a nominal
cost. We will, of course, be providing a full version online, including
This call for contributions from the wider community interested in
free/libre/open source software is an effort to extend the methodology
used in creating free software into the arena of collaborative
publishing. All contributions, no matter how small, trivial or they
might seem, are extremely valuable to us. Please, do take the time to
read the questions and contribute, if possible. I apologise to those who
are subscribed to two or more of the lists to which this is posted for
the crosspost. Please feel free to forward this email to people or
entities that you feel might be helpful.
Aniruddha 'Karim' Shankar
The Sarai Programme
Key ID: 0xA037AD2B
Public Key Fingerprint:
9167 C0E7 A679 0906 7E47 83C0 8499 2B77 A037 AD2B
To get my public key, search http://pgp.mit.edu for my email id.
To directly import my key into your keyring, run
gpg --keyserver pgp.mit.edu --recv-keys A037AD2B .
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v1.2.4 (GNU/Linux)
Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://enigmail.mozdev.org
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
I have answered a few questions. But I guess the questions need a little bit of reordering and rephrasing. I am posting this to the fsf-friends list so that the experts can correct me.
It would be better if this could be done on wiki.
Intro / Concept:
What is free software?
Free software is software that gives the user the following four freedoms
Freedom 0: Freedom to run the program.
Freedom 1: Freedom to help yourself, by studying and modifying the
program to your needs.
Freedom 2: Freedom to help your neighbour, by distributing copies of
Freedom 3: Freedom to help build your community, by publishing a
modified version of the program.
Well tell me what's not "free" about other kinds of
So "free" means that I don't have to spend any money then?
With free software, it might not be possible to "sell" the software
itself. But when you get free software, you might be paying for the
distribution media. Or you might be paying for support bundled along
with the software. Or you might be paying for printed manuals that
come along with the software. So in some cases you might get the
software for zero dollars, in some cases you might be paying a small
amount, and in yet some cases you might be paying a lot!
Whether the software is gratis or not is an unimportant side issue,
what is important is whether you have the above said
freedoms. Proprietary software could also be obtained gratis. For
example Microsoft is giving schools gratis copies of Windows, that
does not make Windows ethically legitimate.
How is Free Software actually made?
You mean, how do people raise funds to develop free software?
Many people who write free software are volunteers, they probably have
an unrelated day time job. These people spend their free time
developing free software.
Commercial organisations that benefit from free software distribution
or that provide free software support also develop free software by
investing portions of their profit. Example of such organsiations are
Redhat and Mandrake.
There are many non-profit organisations that raise funds to develop
free software, through donations from free software users. The Free
Software Foundation is one such organisation. Other examples are SPI,
Gnome Foundation, Mozilla Foundation, and the like.
Some free software packages are developed by universities. The
Festival text to speech engine, Octave - the Matlab clone are examples
of software developed by universities.
Many commercial organisations also contribute to the development of
free software, because these organisations benefit from the existing
free software code base. For example IBM maintains the port of the
Linux kernel to the PowerPC, because it needs a OS for its processor.
So how is this different from the production of other kinds of
Well, freedom three has enabled a new development methodology, in
which a lot of people can collabrate through the internet and can help
make the software better. This has resulted in free software being
superior in quality to other non-free software.
So the term Free Software is a legal definition then?
What do you mean by "Copyleft" ? What's wrong with copyright? How is
One way to make your software free would be put the program in the
public domain. That way there would be no restrictions on the program
and the users of the software would have the above four freedoms. But
there is a problem with this approach. It enables uncooperative
people to take free software make modifications in it and release it
as non-free software. The new features might tempt some of the users
to give up their freedom. And the free software developers would be
forced to compete with improved versions of their own software!
This is not mere speculation, this has happened with the X Window
system and the BSD operating system, where less restrictive free
software licenses were used. Copyleft is a way of using the copyright
provisions to prevent people from parasitically using free software
code in non-free programs. Copyleft ensures that the freedoms are
passed along in every version of a free software program. The GNU
General Public License is a realisation of the copyleft.
What's wrong with copyright is a very different issue. You might want
to read Stallman's essay on "Misinterpreting Copyright - A series of
errors". But remember most of the free software programs are
Is this Copyleft against the law?
What does GNU GPL stand for?
The GNU General Public License.
If this software is free as you say then why do we need legislation to
What is this supposed to mean...
What other licenses exist to protect Free Software?
There are many license that make a software free. But only some of
them preserve the freedom aka copyleft. The non-copyleft license include
MIT, BSD, ... The copyleft licenses include the GPL, LGPL, ...
Check out the latest SMS services @ http://www.linuxmail.org
This allows you to send and receive SMS through your mailbox.
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I support Pai's call for discussions on patent issues
at local groups. I also urge the leadership of the FSF
and also the lovers of free software, and freedom in
general to rise-up against these series of events. I
frankly think that its only awareness that will solve
the issue - "they" can't buy them all.
Rajeev J Sebastian
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