Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Slashback: ODF Wars, Duval Layoff, French DRM 274

Slashback tonight brings some corrections, clarifications, and updates to previous Slashdot stories, including a response from Mandriva's CEO, Apple responds to French DRM legislation, Microsoft possibly undermining ODF ISO approval, a more in-depth look at Fedora Core 5, more thoughts on the GPLv3, and Britannica strikes back at Wikipedia -- Read on for details.

Mandriva CEO responds to Duval Layoff. UltimaGuy writes "Duval has detailed his side of the story, 'Fired. Yes. Simply fired, for economical reasons, along with a few other ones. More than 7 years after I created Mandrake-Linux and then Mandrakesoft, the current boss of Mandriva "thanks me" and I'm leaving, sad, with my two-month salary indemnity standard package. It's difficult to accept that back in 1998 I created my job and the one of many other people, and that recently, on a February afternoon, Mandriva's CEO called to tell me that I was leaving.' Mandriva's CEO has responded, stating that 'Gael was not fired. This term would imply something wrong on his part, which was not the case. He was laid off.'"

Apple responds to French DRM legislation. Sardon writes "In the aftermath of France's move to force companies to open their DRM, Apple has shot back. Calling the proposed legislation "state-sponsored piracy," Apple complained loudly about the prospects of opening up their DRM, arguing that DRM interoperability tools would just increase piracy. However, as the article points out, DRM interoperability isn't likely to make a significant contribution to piracy, seeing as how P2P networks are already flooded. If the measure passes the French Senate, Apple may consider closing its music operations in France."

Microsoft possibly undermining ODF ISO approval. Andy Updegrove writes "If you haven't been paying attention to the odf(oasis) vs. xmlrs(microsoft) format wars, here is what is happening... Both formats need iso approval. This process is very thorough all complaints and gripes are heard and reviewed, which takes quite a bit of time. It is easy for voters to slow this process down considerably. And, our good friends Microsoft joined a very small subcommittee called 'V1 Text Processing: Office and Publishing Systems Interface.' It just so happens that this small subcommittee (six companies - including Microsoft) is the entity charged with reconciling the votes that are being cast in the ISO vote to adopt the OASIS OpenDocument Format. So, presumably, Microsoft is going to delay ODF's ISO approval in hopes of xmlrs getting approval first and being the chosen format in Europe."

A more in-depth look at Fedora Core 5. LinuxForums has posted a much more in-depth look at the install process and functionality of the new Fedora Core 5 release. From the article: "I have to say though: this distribution impressed me in a way that no other distribution did before. Some things should of course be improved, such as the automatic hardware detection or, as mentioned above, the menus. But apart from these little details I can confidently say that Fedora Core 5 is the best desktop GNU/Linux distribution available at the moment."

More thoughts on the GPLv3. Guttata writes "Forbes has an interview with Richard Stallman on the upcoming GPLv3, which touches on Linus' stance on keeping the kernel at GPLv2. The article also shows Stallman's take on DRM, especially in reference to areas such as TiVo." Relatedly Glyn Moody writes "The FSF's General Counsel, Eben Moglen, explains why there is no situation in which the brokenness or otherwise of the GPL is ever an issue. Thanks to copyright law, GPL violators are always in the wrong."

Britannica strikes back at Wikipedia. tiltowait writes "Remember that study published by Nature magazine which likened Wikipedia's reliability to that of Encyclopedia Britannica? Well, Britannica has released -- not corrections -- but a corporate response stating that 'Nature's research was invalid [...] almost everything about the Nature's investigation was wrong and misleading.' So then, is this just one more example of how refereed journals can't be trusted?"

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Slashback: ODF Wars, Duval Layoff, French DRM

Comments Filter:
  • by mctk ( 840035 ) on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @08:07PM (#14977008) Homepage
    He was reassigned. He won't need to come into the office. He can do this job from home. Call it early retirement, but without pension.
  • by babbling ( 952366 ) on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @08:10PM (#14977029)
    Ho ho ho. "State sponsored piracy!" I like it. It has a nice ring to it. A bit like "state sponsored terrorism". Those bastard French people are trying to take away our freedom by taking restrictions out of DRM! Oh, wait...

    Yes, naughty little French pirates. They need to be punished. They need to know what it feels like. I implore all Slashdotters to head over to Google Video and pirate some Alizee music videos []. For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past couple of years, Alizee is a hot French babe... uhh, I mean, PIRATE!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @08:23PM (#14977131)
    Since it is stae sponsored wouldn't they be music-privateers?
  • by Experiment 626 ( 698257 ) on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @08:28PM (#14977163)

    I believe the word Apple is looking for is "Privateer". A state-sponsored pirate is a privateer.

    I like it! Maybe France will start granting people Letters of Marque.

  • Jeeezzz.. (Score:3, Funny)

    by jd ( 1658 ) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {kapimi}> on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @08:44PM (#14977277) Homepage Journal
    You'll be telling us next that we should go round to France and collectively punish the French pirate babes by spanking them, or something. You're weird.
  • by Paranoia Agent ( 887026 ) <keithmichael@gGA ... m minus math_god> on Wednesday March 22, 2006 @08:56PM (#14977363) Homepage
    Call it "Freedom DRM".
  • I don't have a problem with that at all; and I don't think anyone else who seriously believes in the Four Freedoms would have a problem with it. If you believe in the Four Freedoms, and you believe that they apply absolutely and without qualification to every user past, present and future and to every piece of software ever written or to be written, then it follows that for anyone to deny anyone else any of the Four Freedoms, ever, is just downright wrong.

    If you try to prevent me from studying a piece of software to satisfy my sense of morbid curiosity, then that is an act of violence. If you tell me I cannot make a copy of a piece of software to help my neighbour, then that is tantamount to you stealing from my neighbour. If you try to prevent me from adapting a piece of software to my own particular needs, then that constitutes you imposing your will on me -- which is a form of violence.

    I would certainly go so far as to say that the use of reasonable force is justified in the pursuit of the Four Freedoms. The environmental protesters of the 1990s called for no harm to life, only property in the pursuit of their goals. I do not think it unreasonable to call for no harm to life or {real, tangible} property, only false, "intellectual property" in the pursuit of the Four Freedoms. By which I mean to say that holding a knife to someone's throat and demanding that they hand over the source code, however romantic that may sound, would not be reasonable force if there was a more benign way to obtain it {perhaps by decompilation, by non-destructively hacking into a file server, or by temporarily misappropriating a laptop with intent to return it}.

    It's not about whether two wrongs make a right. It's about whether liberating proprietary software is even wrong. And clearly it isn't, because it should never have been proprietary in the first place.

    Since this wouldn't be Slashdot without an analogy, I'll provide one.

    If someone has locked a dog in their car on a hot day, and it is in serious distress, anyone has a legal right to break into that car to rescue the dog. Even if they have to cause some damage to the car, as long as they can show that it was no more than necessary then the law is on their side {and the owner can pay for repairs out of the money you will be saving on dog food, because they will be barred from keeping a dog in future}.

    A restrictive EULA is like a locked car on a hot day, and the user so restricted is like a dog trapped in the car.

    RMS also goes on to say that liberating software in the way vendors think of as "theft" probably won't be terribly effective, because the vendors will be in a position to suppress the use of the liberated code. What would be more effective would be for even just one country somewhere in the world to enshrine the Four Freedoms in law. And I do not believe that is too improbable.

"You can have my Unix system when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers." -- Cal Keegan