A brief report on the workshop I just attended in Switzerland, St. Gallen
Where the Government in Pakistan, Intellectual Property Organization, Federal Investigation Authorities and the Business Software Alliance BSA are initiating a crackdown on Software Piracy in Pakistan, there is hardly any awareness of piracy and its implications within society apart from members of the IT Industry. It is crucial to the basic Human Rights of the citizens of Pakistan that they first be provided Anti-Software Piracy Literacy and trainings on Free and Open Source Software as an alternative to pirated software. ICT Software Freedom is their basic human right in the Information Society!
Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), a government entity has drafted “Electronic Data Protection Act 2005” by outsourcing the work to an individual Mr. Aslam Hayat Khan. As per PSEB, the proposed Act aims to prevent unauthorized access and theft of electronic data and to ensure intellectual property rights with regards to the processing of electronic data in Pakistan.
Here’s an early initiative to flow out of the APC South Asia Consultation: BytesForAll has just launched a new mailing list, specifically focused on Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS, or FOSS). Details of the group are below. We invite all interested to join.
“When a hammer is all you have, everything begins to look like a nail…
Colombo-based Professor Rohan Samarajiva : "As civil society organisations, we tend to forget the less obvious things. Like submarine cables. But these are things that have massive payoffs. You need to be a bit opportunistic about it (while campaigning on that)."
Can a lack of information be solved simply by setting up telecentres? Should poor-governance sought to be sorted out just by building e-governance? And, if the problem is a lack of market information, can this be met merely by building up e-commerce portals?
"Whatever is the state of localisation in India, the government is definitely responsible for framing the policies. We have dreams of software superpowerdom, yet basic tools are not in place. They have spent crores (tens of millions by Government of India organisations) CDAC and TDIL, and that too all in the name of undertaking work in Indic computing and benefitting the people," says Ravikant of New Delhi, who has been closely keeping track of Free Software localisation efforts in India.
It is assumed that everyone who buys a cheap illegally-copied ("pirated") copy of music or software CD would actually buy
the costly ‘official’ version. Links have been made by piracy and terrorism, which are actually quite ludicrous. ‘Intellectual property’ is used as a term, instead of ‘creative expression’. When something is called property, we are stealing, poaching and pirating. Instead of what we should be really see it as being — sharing, creating and enhancing cultural products.
Technology is changing. But the mindset stays the same. And so are the laws. Now, you can start working your networking from a single room. You can start small, keep on deploying, moving out from there, and cover an entire country as you encourage the demand to expand. But is there any recognition to this?
Because the technology has changed, it has a huge impact on how investments will be made, and how the people will use