Tuesday Nov 20, 2007

We're all in Europe now!

I travelled over to Brussels for a meeting of the NESSI steering comittee, to which I have just been appointet; its one of the EU's NGOs in the IT industry, representing major IT vendors, which advises the commission on its ICT R&D budget.

Its a long time since I have been in Brussels, and with these ninja trips, its hard to get to know the town. I'm a bit fed up my rough guide didn't turn up on time, but it won't be the last time I'm here so I have next time to look forward to.

I visited the Sun offices at Rondpoint Robert Shuman, which is opposite the EU Commission building, but I was too busy to take any photographs with my camera, which I had managed to remember to bring, and the picture I took with the phone was so poor I have deleted it. Its undergoing a re-furb, (the building not my cameras), and is not looking its best at the moment. I had a quick look at flickr to see if anyone had some good (CC) pictures, but flickr's default is all rights reserved and I couldn't find any. (Since I publish under a BY-NC-SA creative commons licence, I suppose this is one of the reasons I am so popular with schmapp. Since most people publish on Flickr with the defaults, I am not competing with a lot of people.) The EC head quarters building's name is the Centre Berlaymont, and if you search flickr with Berlaymont as a tag, you can find some pictures. I'll post mine when I get some worth posting. I expect to be back here soon.

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Tuesday Sep 18, 2007

EU 10, Microsoft 0

An exciting day in many ways yesterday! The European Court have confimred the European Commissions fine on Microsoft for ant-competitive activities. The Guardian have reported it with the head line "European appeal court opens Windows to the world and shakes the superdominant". A headline only imagined in the Guardian business section.

Most interestingly they indirectly quote the competition commissioner, Ms Neelie Kroes,  as saying that this ruling strengthens the commissions determinatio to put consumer benefit above innovation. This would be worrying if it wasn't for the fact that only "Author/Publishers" need copyright/patent protection to inhibit competition. There are many other business models that drive innovation in the economy.

 This article at vnunet.com, called "Copyright harms the economy" is further evidence that bit by bit, people recognise that ideas cannot be exclusivly owned and that exclusive ownership is not in the public interest.

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