This is an assortment of quotations, links, and other information related to freedom in culture. Eventually I hope to structure this.
Gazillions of people probably link to these.
Professor Felten has testified as a paid expert witness in the Eolas patent reexamination, aiming to uphold the Eolas patent on embedding interactive content in webpages. This seems an entirely wrong thing to do (here and here). Apart from the lack of merits of the claim, this software/busineness-method patent madness should be stopped. It does not promote progress, it rewards patent-hoarding and conducting business in court.
The people that built the web had a vision of sharing, enabling and empowering. Not one of a gold-rush where narrow-minded people lay stake to ludicrously simple ideas and get paid for other people doing real work. Yikes. I was trained as a mathematician. Mathematics is full of intricate and complex and beautiful ideas. Nearly all of the hogwash found in software/business-methods patents are but a shrill parody of a real idea. The industrial world should come to grips with the fact that patents do not work when applied to the networked part of a networked society.
Bruce Schneier, security expert.
Groklaw (created) by Pamela Jones, dissecting the SCO-induced idiocy around the litigation involving IBM, Novell, RedHat, and GNU/Linux in general. Hopefully Groklaw will continue to exist after the dust settles (and the smell has gone), and hopefully that will be soon.
kernelplanet a syndication of Linux kernel hackers' blogs. I know zilch about kernel hacking, but it is nonetheless interesting for picking up miscellaneous computing tidbits and getting an idea of where the kernel is heading.
Linux Weekly News, an excellent site for Linux-related news. Subscribe!
"Indeed, I decry the current tendency to seek patents on algorithms (..). I want to encourage people to continue the centuries-old mathematical tradition of putting newly discovered algorithms into the public domain. There are better ways to make a living than to prevent other people from making use of one's contributions to computer science."wrote Donald Knuth in 1973 in the foreword to Sorting and Searching, The Art of Computer Programming, Vol. 3, Second Edition. The issue of software patents is becoming an ever hotter topic in Europe and in other parts of the world. Differently worded, it is a US-cradled craze that threatens to corrupt the rest of the world. There is something terribly amiss with software patents, from highly regrettable patents using sophisticated mathematical techniques (the ancient GIF and RSA patents), to downright as-dumb-as-you-can-get attempted patenting of solutions to primary school exercises (an example of which is the infamous `one-click-ordering' patent by Amazon).
* Creativity and innovation always builds on the past. * The past always tries to control the creativity that builds upon it. * Free societies enable the future by limiting this power of the past. * Ours is less and less a free society.
Professor Lessig teaches and practices law. He's famous for his indepth treatments of (USA) constitutional law and cyberlaw, and he has taken the pivotal Eldred vs Ashcroft case to the USA Supreme Court.