The EFF Gets a Blog

With Consensus at Lawyerpoint, the EFF's Broadcast Protection Discussion Group goes public in a big way.

It didn't take long for Cory Doctorow to make his latest career move--literally. As of Thursday, April 4, the Electronic Frontier Foundation's new Outreach Director began presiding over Consensus at Lawyerpoint, a weblog with the tagline "Being a true account of the undertakings of the Broadcast Protection Discussion Group". Cory explains:

This is a radical departure from the way it's usually done. Usually, bright nerds invent something cool and the entertainment industry has a nervous breakdown and runs around telling everyone that the sky is falling. (Marconi got sued over the radio; Sony got sued over the VCR...)

This time around, the entertainment industry wants to take away all that sloppy, inefficient fooling around where technology companies try out lots of different approaches, where garage inventors go from obscurity to posterity under a hail of customers, where you and I get to invent amazing new uses for our stuff that a bunch of engineers in a board-room never would've thought of in a million years. This time around, everything not forbidden is mandatory.

As with everything else the EFF does, Consensus at Lawyerpoint helps us save the Internet's commons from the self-righteous paranoids whose unseen hands operate congressional sock puppets like South Carolina's Fritz Hollings, (prime author of the CBDTPA, which the lawyerly end of EFF officially follows here). In his own blog, Cory calls Hollings' bill the Anti-Mammal Dinosaur Protection Act.

Doc Searls is Senior Editor of Linux Journal.

email: doc@ssc.com

______________________

Doc Searls is Senior Editor of Linux Journal

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Re: The EFF Gets a Blog

Anonymous's picture

They're using non-free BLOG software, and it displays for sh*t on Linux Netscape. Sigh.

Re: The EFF Gets a Blog

Anonymous's picture

EFF is a non-profit.

Movable Type 2.0 is free for personal and non-commercial use.

Cost doesn't enter the picture

Anonymous's picture

> Movable Type 2.0 is free for personal and non-commercial use.

The software has a zero price in that circumstance, but it doesn't alter the fact that there's almost no freedom associated with it. The user is not free to examine, copy, modify, redistribute the software; hence it is non-free.

There's plenty of free software that provides the same function. A civil liberties organisation failing to use software that promotes civil liberties is cause for complaint.

Re: The EFF Gets a Blog

Anonymous's picture

They're using non-free BLOG software

God forbid that anyone make a dime on software development! It's wrong to ask for compensation for the fruits of your labor!
Sorry Sparky, but we're not all 1> college students 2> developing open software with corporate sponsorship (ie, your job is paying you to do this). 3> Chairman RMS.

Sure, it would be great if the fantasy world that the opensource community lived in up until 2000 was real, but it's not. This is a successful company that will be making software well into the future. This is one that bet it's business on open source and is almost dead.

Incidentally, my memory is not the greatest, but when has the EFF ever outright condemed commercial software?
Fscking zealot.

"Non-free" here means "lacking freedom", not "zero price"

Anonymous's picture

> God forbid that anyone make a dime on software

> development! It's wrong to ask for compensation for the

> fruits of your labor!

"Non-free software" has nothing to do with price, and everything to do with freedom.

It's fine to ask for compensation for labour. The developer labours on the software, and can expect to be paid for whatever time and materials go into making the software. The developer labours *not one iota* when I make a copy and give one to my friend, so cannot expect any compensation in that case.

Charging money for software development is a fine way of making a living; value received for value given. Even charging money for distributing copies of software is fine; it's a service and people can expect to pay for convenience. What's wrong is expecting people to agree not to share software, when they are free to share other useful information.

Sure, people who write software can set whatever usage license they like. But when there is truly free software that serves the same purpose, it's sad to see a civil-rights organisation choose non-free software.

Re: The EFF Gets a Blog

Anonymous's picture

"They're using non-free BLOG software, and it displays for sh*t on non-free browser software."

Spot the contradiction?

I can't comment on their blog software, but it displays just fine on Linux Mozilla. But as someone who'd complain about other people using non-free software, you were using Mozilla already, right?

Stuart.

PS Netscape 4.x is the bane of standards compliant web development. Displaying like sh*t in Netscape may be due to IE-specific development, but it might also be because the developers decided to code to standards instead without taking time to worry about the complete and utter devastation that Netscape wreaks on simple applications of standard CSS. Even if you don't care about non-free software, for Deity-of-your-choice's SAKE, use a different browser!

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