☞ Digging Below The Superficial Gloss
By webmink on Dec 10, 2009
"If you think patents protect plucky innovators and their groundbreaking inventions, you haven't been paying attention." -- All too short article, but it explains the exact problem with patents of all kinds. They aren't used to protect products; they are used by blackmailers to extort protection money in exchange for not seeking injunctive relief. When you create any system, you also create the game that plays it, and over time the game takes over. Like it has here, to everyone's detriment. RPX is just a for-profit version of a number of existing collaborations like OIN, by the way.
Were I free to make public statements on this case I would be doing so, loudly. As it is, it's left to people like Matthew.
He's right, but the solution is more complex than I think he's suggesting. We need to be able to acknowledge open source engagement without endorsing the resulting product activity unreservedly. Companies who are firm friends of open source have been abusing the term for years and have been allowed to do so because of the value of their contribution and because of their perceived lack of hostility to FOSS. Firm friends who are more honest have also been condemned, in my view often unjustly. The problem arises from having a binary view of software freedom ("you're either for it or against it") and failing to differentiate the needs of the community from the needs of the participant. I think 2010 needs to be the year of the software freedom scorecard. But then, you knew that.
EFF say it in calm yet strong, measured tones. I'll summarise: Facebook are probably now sharing stuff you don't want some people to see, and you need to go right now and check your privacy settings. If you find it confusing, ask a friend to help. I've already found photos shared that the owner would definitely not want me to have seen, and there is more and worse out there. Make sure it's not yours.