The BCCLA, in partnership with the UBC School of Journalism and the Tyee, will be hosting renowned copyright and internet law expert Dr. Michael Geist at the Wise Hall in Vancouver on October 1, 2009 for a unique evening lecture.
Dr. Geist is Canada’s leading technology law expert and the guru of the Canadian movement to prevent copyright restrictions from infringing on key free speech principles including parody, artistic use, fair use, and device transferability.
A national innovator in using Web 2.0 tools like blogs and Facebook for campaigns for law reform and policy change, Dr. Geist’s advocacy, in partnership with Cory Doctorow, resulted in more than 30,000 people joining a Facebook group opposing proposed Canadian copyright law changes and ended in the tabling of the proposed changes by then Industry Minister Jim Prentice.
Freegeek Vancouver is technology heaven and I can prove it. I took photos. It is thriving. It is a beehive of activity. FreeGeek is a ‘non-profit computer re-use and recycling centre’ that only opened in Vancouver a couple of years ago as a branch of the original operation in Portland, Oregon. They have expanded their facilities at least a couple times that I know of just to keep up with the community need to properly recycle computers. If you want to learn about technology, if you want to work in technology, if you want to learn about Free Open Source Software, FreeGeek Vancouver is the place to be. It is computer heaven, because that is where computers go to die and are reborn again.
What you can do at FreeGeek:
Donate hardware, books.
Take short courses in hardware and software, or teach them if you have the background.
Volunteer for 24 hours and take away your own computer.
Shop the computer thrift shop, for super affordable computers and peripheral devices.
Learn to hack computers and technology, everything an engineer learns how to do.
Learn about Ubuntu Linux, and attend the Vancouver Ubuntu User Group meetings.
Take part in cleaning up the environmental problems generated by e-waste.
Receive a grant of computer hardware as a non-profit community organisation.
Donate money or materials for the FreeGeek wish list.
Apply for a paid position, or join it as a board member.
Drupal creator Dries Buytaert has made some copryright changes that are now pissing off the web community. The new trademark policy, indroduced at the end of August 2009, now forbids the registration of domains like drupalSucks.com, and any site using Drupal in the name now must fork over $$$$$. WTF? Its a baffling move from such a well known member of the community, who has prospered from the concept of free software, sharing and free expression.
…it is a pretty impressive piece of software. But people should be free to criticize it in any way they see fit, including the registration of domain names that are less than flattering. (source).
Unfortunately, these greedy assertions in a community that functions because of the freedom of expression, sharing and openness usually only serve to anger people so much as to go out and register domains like drupalSucks.com which they use to spread the word about what a stupid idea this is.
Fallout is starting already. Free Drupal Hosting which, like the name sounds, provides free hosting for drupal sites, may not be willing to do so in the future.
There are draconian restrictions on the use of the word ‘drupal’, which would require us to give up a good part of our income, the truth is that the income from the ads is so low that we barely make enough to pay for hosting and bandwidth. We would not mind that but we refuse to make a loss on this service because of a silly trademark, with restrictions that – if they weren’t so sad – border on the hilarious. (source).
Creating a domain name that uses a preexisting name in the case of drupalSucks.org is covered under ‘Nominative Use‘, as an affirmative defense to trademark infringement. The Drupal community will be set to scream long and loud over this. And companies who market their services using Drupal, making sites with Drupal, and companies that write code in the Drupal framework are bound to think twice about whether they want to use it due to these new restrictions.