[Wolves] UK public comment on important issues, due April 21

Shane M. Coughlan shane at shaneland.co.uk
Sat Apr 15 09:31:59 BST 2006

Hash: SHA256

Hi everyone.  I wanted to forward some information about a UK government
consultation process regarding DRM and patents.  That's directly below.
 If you scroll a little further there is some lighter humour :)


The UK government has called for public comment[1] on certain
copyright and patent issues, some of which are of great importance to
the free software community, such as

Copyright -- Digital Restrictions Management
    (Free software to access DRM'd media must be permitted.)
How "IP" is awarded
    (Software patents should never be issued.)

Since all answers will be posted on their web site, a large number of
responses from our community will show up. So please email a response
(deadline April 21), and pass the word on to others.

The request for comment embodies the biased assumptions and
overgeneralization[2] of the term "intellectual property". (It is a
mistake to lump copyrights and patents together as if they were
similar.) We suggest that you avoid adopting that term in your

[2] http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/not-ipr.xhtml

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And now the funny stuff...I just noticed this letter on The Register
today (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/04/13/letters/):

"    I've said it before and I'll say it again..

    Any NASA project that doesn't involve intergalatic space travel,
laser guns or light sabres is a complete and utter waste of money.

    As a taxpayer I demand my money is spent on proper space stuff, not
some crappy mission to collect space amoeba or whatever else these
idiots think they can trick us into believing is extra-terrestrial life.
Does it have 10 arms, blue-glowing skin and a transparent skull? No,
then it's not a bloody alien, it's a bloody rock. I've seen rocks
before, and they're no more interesting just because they come from a
different planet.

    Does water from the Moon cure cancer or enable me to fly? No, then
it's bloody tap water, and I'm having my tax dollars wasted filling up
buckets with something my kids can collect at the bloody seaside.

    For Christ's sake, what don't these people get? If we wanted Moon
water we'd have gone back to that boring, lifeless lump of rock decades
ago. So get a bloody clue.. we want space aliens, holodecks and our own
personal X-Wing fighters, not bloody rocks from Mars or water from the
bloody Moon.

    In my somewhat out to lunch opinion, the greatest opportunity missed
by NASA was not putting Gene Roddenberry in charge while he was still alive.

    But there is some hope, George Lucas is alive and well - and armed
with your average Star Wars special effects budget he'll have space
craft flitting between planets and astronauts duking it out with light
sabres before the year is out.

    I may not have the guile of your average Nigerian Owlseller, but I'm
personally going to see if I can convince NASA to do the right thing and
hire someone who understands what a space agency should be doing.

    Andy Bright"

Personally, I agree.  I just hope they use GNU/Linux to power the


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