Monthly Archive for September, 2008

Positive change: Green Party on copyright

Along with their commitment to free and open source software in government, the Green Party of Canada takes an excellent stance on copyright reform. According to a response from Green Party candidate Glenn Hubbers and the Green Party response to the Canadian Conference of the Arts questionnaire, the Green Party will:

  • Remove the Levy on Blank Audio Recording Media and replace it with private copying exemptions;
  • Introduce a formal notice-and-notice mechanism for dealing with copyright infringement online, thereby affirming common carrier status for Internet Service Providers (ISPs);
  • Renounce the Crown Copyright applied to all government produced documents, thereby immediately releasing them into the public domain;

It seems almost coincidental that the Green Party’s stated goals so closely match my own. Let me elaborate on why these reforms are necessary.
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Clarifying the restrictions on DVD playback

A recent article on Slashdot, Canonical Offers Sale of Proprietary Codecs for Ubuntu, opens with the following line:

Playing DVDs on Linux that required proprietary codecs has been a source of much pain.

This statement is misleading. The primary reason that DVDs cannot be played by default under most distributions is CSS. To play a DVD with CSS, you need a licensed player that has a key to unlock the CSS or you need to circumvent the CSS. In both cases, the openness of free software is at odds with the desires of the motion picture industry.
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StarCraft Power Saver 0.2 released

Version 0.2 of StarCraft Power Saver fixes a problem with checking StarCraft executables that made it unable to patch some of them. If you had trouble with version 0.1 please try version 0.2, which is available from the StarCraft Power Saver web page. If you have any questions or concerns about StarCraft Power Saver, feel free to add them as a comment to this post.

Thanks to everyone who added information about their StarCraft executables on my previous post.