Miriam Ruiz
random thoughts on technology and life

{March 29, 2007}   LinuxTag 2007

LinuxTag 2007 opens its doors from May 30 to June 2, 2007 at the Berlin Expo Center under the Funkturm. LinuxTag has been hosted by the non-profit LinuxTag Association since 1996, and is being organized in 2007 by Messe Berlin.
LinuxTag is a Free Software expo with an emphasis on Linux (but also BSD), held every summer in Germany. It is relatively large, claiming that it is the largest expo of this kind in Europe, drawing visitors from many countries. Its byline is “where .COM meets .ORG”, as it includes both representatives from commercial companies and from not-for-profit/community projects. The latter are given booths, free of charge, in the .org section, as long as there is room.

{March 29, 2007}   Free Software and Composer’s Copyright Societies

We’re trying hard to include Frets on Fire in Debian. FoF is a really great game where you have to try to play a simulated guitar through your computer keyboard. The code is already GPL, and the developers are really nice and collaborative. The game consists of some code in python, some game data, graphics and so, and some songs, including a tutorial.

The problem comes when we try to get the songs into Debian too. It seems that, for being able for someone to be something in the musical scene in Finland, they must sign an abusive contract with Teosto (Finish Composer’s Copyright Society, which AFAIK is a private organization), giving them exclusive rights on whatever songs you make, so you won’t be able to license any song at all without using a license that has been approved by them. More discussion here.

This is wierd. Composer’s Copyright Societies should be there to help composers and artists, not to enslave them. For what I heard it’s not the only country in which that happens. Especially in Europe, the EU is extremelly protectionist to those matters, whether they do right or wrong, or whether they even go against the author’s will. Gosh, it’s the authors who should have the right to choose, not the mafias choose for them. In Spain I think it’s more or less the same, the SGAE seems to have the same attitude towards artists than Teosto. When will they realize they’re being anachronistic and unfair?


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