Could you scrap Microsoft Office applications?

IBM’s Lotus Symphony is a free-of-charge alternative to the ubiquitous Microsoft Office suite, based on Sun’s open source OpenOffice software. It purports to remain compatible with Microsoft’s “.doc” format (and newer incarnations), while removing licensing costs (but, not of course, support costs, since people still need training, technical support still costs money, etc.). Now they’ve decided to walk the walk.

What does it mean to be in the public domain? Thoughts about the AP licensing scheme.

The AP has begin trying to license content through a payment scheme. Some of the content — as recently demonstrated by James Grimmelmann “purchasing” a Thomas Jefferson quote — is in the public domain. Does the AP have the right to sell/license this public-domain content? What does it mean to be in the public domain?

New law journal launches that focuses on open source

There’s a new law journal in town: “The International Free and Open Source Software Law Review (IFOSS L. Rev.) is a collaborative legal publication aiming to increase knowledge and understanding among lawyers about Free and Open Source Software issues. Topics covered include copyright, licence implementation, licence interpretation, software patents, open standards, case law and statutory changes.”

Thomson Reuters Lawsuit Against Zotero Dismissed

Image via Wikipedia Sean, a Zotero co-director, announced yesterday that the lawsuit filed by Thomson Reuters (makers of EndNote) was dismissed yesterday: I’m delighted to announce that this morning the Fairfax Circuit Court dismissed the lawsuit filed against Zotero by Thomson Reuters. The lawsuit had claimed that the Center for History and New Media “reverse-engineered” […]

"Everything is free" is not a business model

Image via CrunchBase Mike Masnick responds to the complaint of some people that providing “free” information, tools, and so on (open source, for example) is not a sustainable business model going forward because “everything is free” cannot work: No one is suggesting any business model where “everything is free.” Everyone’s been focusing on ways to […]

Copyright as Antidote to DRM

Image via Wikipedia Consider this idea: without copyright protection for digital media, we would have even more Digital Rights Management. Why? Because without it, recouping up-front investment without restricting distribution would be difficult or impossible. Since I often see a confluence of beliefs around those who hate DRM and those who hate copyright laws (I […]

The Long Road to Open Access

An intriguing, far-ranging perspective on scholarly publishing that ties early 3rd century revolutions in scholarly publishing with modern trends towards open access and digital archiving: Instead of using the noble scroll, Origen decided to take advantage of the page structure of the humble codex. Dividing each of two facing pages into three columns each, he […]

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