europe

Time for OSchoice.eu?

In my previous article I went through the history of the competition cases of the European Commission against Microsoft Corporation that led to the deployment of the website browserchoice.eu to allow consumers to freely choose their browser. Yet this is not enough: the origin of all problems is that most PCs in the market are sold bundled to a single operating system, Microsoft Windows.

I shall analyse how this panorama of poor competition could change if there was such a thing as OSchoice.eu .

The road to browserchoice.eu

We all know about the overwhelming supremacy of proprietary software in the desktop market. But not everybody knows that some steps have been taken to try to limit it, in favour of a more fair competition among vendors, and between the proprietary and free software worlds. A key player in assuring that the markets are not artificially biased is the European Commission for Competition.

FOSDEM: Free and Open Source Developers European Meeting

For the seventh time now, the Université Libre de Bruxelles [1] in Brussels, Belgium, is hosting FOSDEM [2].

The impact of meetings like these on the free software community as awhole is huge. Apart from the obvious attractions of the meeting, such asthe ability to go to different talks and learn about exciting newthings related tofree software or to see demos at different stands, FOSDEM also allowsyou to meet people from all kinds of different backgrounds.

The EPLA Shuffle

In early 2006, the European Commission began talking about a "final attempt" to fix the European patent system.

We heard the standard concerns about Europe's innovation gap. "How can we catch up with the Americans?" "How can we prevent the Chinese invasion?" "We need a better system of intellectual property rights." "We need stronger protection for rights holders." These noises came out of the Commission, in meetings, and speeches; we heard echoes from large software companies and the industry clubs they sponsor. SAP, in particular, began calling very loudly for a cheaper, stronger patent system.

And the focus of all these noises has been "EPLA" (the European Patent Litigation Agreement), a new system designed to make it easier to enforce patents. EPLA is not, superficially, about software patents at all. But dig deeper, and it's exactly that: a third major attempt to introduce software patents, by removing all remaining regulation of the patent industry.

Event review: Sakai day Europe

Hello world, Sakai a well-known learning management system and framework for tool building has had its first European Congress in the beautiful town of Lübeck in Germany. A relatively small campus town Leubeck is well known for its churches and marzipan and related confectionary. I personally enjoyed looking at the two main churches back lit from outside in the dark with good beer and solid traditionally German food inside my nicely warmed stomach.

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