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Three Areas of Open Source Economics

These days, I get involved in a lot of discussions about open source economics. Usually, they lead to an invitation to present our research and clarify “how open source works” to the audience. I’ve found it helpful to distinguish these three rather different areas of open source economics: (1) direct profits, (2) public welfare, (3) labor market. In more detail: […]

March 11, 2010 · 1 comment · miscellaneous

The Beginning of the End of Data Retention

Last week, the German Constitutional Court issued a much-anticipated decision, striking down its data retention law as violating human rights. It was an important victory for Europe’s Freedom Not Fear movement, which was formed to oppose the EU Data Retention Directive. But it was also a reminder of the political work which remains to be done to defeat it. When […]

March 11, 2010 · 0 comments · privacy and licensing

Blue Skies Thinking for Cloud Security?

As cloud computing moves data and services from local systems to remote centres, the question of security for organisations must be addressed. A research paper published in the International Journal of Services and Standards suggests that a cloud-free security model is the best way forward and will circumvent the fact that cloud service providers are not yet meeting regulations and […]

March 11, 2010 · 0 comments · security

Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Steal

In 2003, after I unveiled a prototype Linux desktop called Project Looking Glass*, Steve called my office to let me know the graphical effects were “stepping all over Apple’s IP.” (IP = Intellectual Property = patents, trademarks and copyrights.) If we moved forward to commercialize it, “I’ll just sue you.” My response was simple. “Steve, I was just watching your […]

March 9, 2010 · 0 comments · privacy and licensing

Future of Broadband: Where Data Is Broadcast Using Desk Lamps

In the future, getting a broadband connection might be as simple as flipping on a light switch. In fact, according to a group of researchers from Germany, the light coming from the lamps in your home could one day encode a wireless broadband signal. As of now, the majority of wireless in homes and businesses is achieved through a radio-frequency […]

March 9, 2010 · 0 comments · miscellaneous
Federal Intellectual Property Enforcement Gears Up

Federal Intellectual Property Enforcement Gears Up

The Obama Administration has been slowly ramping up its attention to intellectual property issues. Over the past few months, we’ve seen an IP “summit” at the White House. We’ve seen the successful nomination of a new cabinet-level “IP Czar” position. We’ve seen the announcement of a new DOJ task force for IP issues. What does it all portend? Unfortunately, many […]

March 5, 2010 · 0 comments · privacy and licensing