There was an interesting interview with Microsoft India Chairman Ravi
Venkatesan on software piracy.
The following are some highlights which most of us would not agree,
but nevertheless, we can get some insight as to how they perceive this
Here's what he says about the issue.
1. Almost all developing countries tend to be high-piracy markets.
2. Bulk of the economic success in the near future will depend on
"Intellectual Property", hence it makes sense for India to have a good
regime around "Intellectual Property Rights".
3. Microsoft is trying to "educate" policy makers and governments and
helping in setting up IPR courts.
4. If you are using a pirated version, your experience should be
perceptibly different and worse.
5. NASSCOM has taken a very strong view on the importance of IPR,
genuine software and so forth.
6. Indian businesses today are making record profits, and their
refusal to pay for the software they use is a bit unconscionable.
7. If you have got a non-genuine copy of software, it will not be able
to access those services. This is a very promising trend for software
companies to crack down on piracies.
8. The best Microsoft or any technology company can do is to make it
harder and harder, so that the casual pirate is deterred. It will be
hard to stop the determined pirate.
It doesn't matter whether we agree with any single point mentioned
above, but the lens through which they see the issue of giving freedom
to the users is very different from the lens through which our free
software world looks at it.
A worrying point in the interview may be how Microsoft is trying to
"educate" policy-makers and governments and convince them that sharing
Thanks and Regards,
Yesterday, E-TV Kannada telecast a news story on how the content of the
Wikipedia is being changed by organisations such as CIA, M$, others
I wanted to jot down the points that I had made.
1. Wikipedia is one of the top 10 accessed sites in the world and is a
tool/platform to build a free knowledge society.
2. It is community maintained and peer moderated. All users have the right
to be contributors.
3. People and organisations with vested interest will try to use the
Wikipedia to propagate false/misleading information.
4. Despite this, when the Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica was
compared, Encyclopedia Britannica had 3 errors while the Wikipedia had 4.
Thus the relevance and factual and historical content of the data is
maintained as authentic and close to the truth as possible.
While I was not able to catch the telecast I have to rely upon those who
have to update on the exact contents of the news story.
Nimblex sub100 was released yesterday. From the release notes :
"It was just released - the smallest live CD in the world with KDE.
It's just under 100 MB and gathers together Linux kernel 2.6.21, KDE
3.5.7, xine media player, XMMS, GIMP and other software. NimbleX
sub100 is most likely the fastest distro to boot in KDE and from the
tests that where performed so far the fastest boot time was 35
seconds. You can get it from nimblex.net and use it as your portable
OS. ... This is not a new version of NimbleX; it's just a different
edition that has the technology that will be at the base of the next
Their server did appear less capable though.
Member, Cal. Math. Soc
When was FSF India started, and what led up to its inception?
FSF India was inaugurated by Richard Stallman at Thiruvananthapuram,
in a Conference called Freedom First on July 20, 2001. This came about
because several people took keen interest in the new operating system
called 'Linux' and in the type-setting programme called LaTeX. As they
got to know more about the ideological and ethical aspects of the
software, many of them were attracted to it and thought about starting
a Free Software Foundation of India. A movement called Freedevelopers,
which eventually died out, also helped in drawing many people to the
ideology of Free Software.
The full interview here.
Join The DRM Elimination Crew Now!
DMCA Means You Can't Delete Files On Your PC?
"According to Wired, John Stottlemire found a way to print duplicate
coupons from Coupons.com by deleting some files and registry entires
on his PC. Now he's being sued for a DMCA violation. He says, 'All I
did was erase files or registry keys.' Says a lawyer: '[The DMCA] may
cover this. I think it does give companies a lot of leverage and a lot
of power.' So now the copyright cartels are saying that not only can
we not copy things on our computers, but we can't delete things on our
computers? Time to buy stock in Seagate."
Join The DRM Elimination Crew Now!
"The popularity of Flash has been a big problem for our community, and
we've been urging people not to use Flash for anything. However, we've
just about solved that problem and we're soon going to release a
version of Gnash which can even handle YouTube."
GNU Flash player daily snapshots (source) are available from
Its good to see gnash coming along nicely. It plays most of the flash
movies on the net including youtube (BEWARE: it is very slow) movies.
Well you will definitely find movies which does not work as well as
support for newer versions are getting added.
You will need to have quite a lot of dependencies to build it from
source, but the configure script is so helpful it will tell you which
package to install !! like apt-get install or yum package names. Also
gives a nice summary at the end of configure. I think we should fix
all the configure scripts to behave like this.
The developers are pretty helpful and the list is pretty active.
Join The DRM Elimination Crew Now!
"Malaysia formally embraces open doc format"
Malaysia formally embraces open doc format
By Lynn Tan, ZDNet Asia
Monday, August 13 2007 09:15 PM
The Malaysian government today announced plans to adopt open standards
and the Open Document Format (ODF) within the country's public sector.
The Malaysian Administration Modernization and Management Planning Unit
(MAMPU) last week issued a tender for a nine-month study to evaluate the
usage of open standards in its information communications technology
(ICT) deployment. The study will also look into how the Malaysian public
sector should migrate to open standards and the ODF, according to the
Malaysia Open Source Software Alliance (MOSSA).
"The decision taken has been deliberated carefully for a considerable
amount of time, and much thought process has been put into it," Nor
Aliah Mohd. Zahri, ICT deputy director general at MAMPU, said in a
"These discussions centered on open formats, particularly as they relate
to office documents, their importance for the current and future
accessibility of government records, and the relative 'openness' of the
format options available to us," Nor Aliah explained.
The study will document the benefits of open standards, suggest policies
and guidelines for achieving openness and provide a roadmap for
implementing the ODF in Malaysia' public sector, added MOSSA.
The country unveiled its intentions to consider the ODF as a national
standard for office documents in July last year. A month later,
Hasannudin Saidin, a member of Sirim, the country's standards
development agency, said on his blog that the proposal would have to
gain approval from a higher-level committee within Sirim before it could
In July this year, Japan became the first country in the Asia-Pacific
region to embrace open software standards. Last August, the United
Nations urged countries in the region to adopt the ODF.
Published by OASIS (the Organization for the Advancement of Structured
Information Standards), the ODF--or Open Document Format for Office
Applications--is an XML-based open standard, enabling any office
software to format, save and exchange file documents such as
spreadsheets, databases and text.
Member, Cal. Math. Soc
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: GPLv3 Information <info-gplv3(a)gplv3.fsf.org>
Date: 14-Aug-2007 21:29
Subject: [Info-gplv3] Second discussion draft of GNU AGPL version 3 released
To: info-gplv3(a)gplv3.fsf.org, info-fsf(a)gnu.org, info-gnu(a)gnu.org
The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today released the second discussion
draft of the GNU Affero General Public License (GNU AGPL). This new
license is based on version 3 of the GNU GPL. It has a new requirement to
ensure that users who interact with the software over a network can receive
the source for that program.
The original Affero GPL was intended to guarantee that everyone could
receive the source for web applications that they used, so the software
could always be shared and improved. The corresponding provision in the
GNU AGPL applies this same principle to all software that interacts with
users through a network, but doesn't impose additional requirements when
the same code is used for other purposes. Since the GNU AGPL is based on
version 3 of the GNU GPL, it will also provide improved
internationalization, compatibility with the Apache License, and other
This is the "Last Call" draft; the FSF will hear feedback on this new text
from the public before publishing the final license. The additional
provision is in the first paragraph of section 13, and we ask that comments
be focused there. You can review the draft and provide your feedback at
Licensing Compliance Engineer, Free Software Foundation
Info-gplv3 mailing list
NRCFOSS, AU-KBC Research Centre,