Category Archives: Latest

BBC and Apple – latest

BBC and Apple – latest

Today the BBC Trust is considering our complaint about undue product prominence.

It all started on 2 March 2012 when we approached the BBC expressing concern about undue product prominence amounting to advertising.

On 20 August we sought a status update and received the following by return:

Please accept my apologies for not keeping you updated regarding your appeal.

I am afraid that, due to a large amount of Committee business to be considered in September, your appeal will now be considered by the ESC at their October meeting.

Except of course, it wasn’t.

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Unitary Patent System

Unitary Patent System

proposals by European Commission

Along with other organisations, such as FSFE that consider the latest proposals by the European Commission for a unitary patent system represent a poorly thought out blight on innovation, we have written to MEPs on the Legal Committee asking them to support suitable amendments when they meet to discuss the matter on 17.18 September 2012.

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BBC and Apple – an update

BBC and Apple – an update

Justice delayed…

On 2 March 2012 we approached the BBC expressing concern about undue product prominence amounting to advertising.

On 7 March we were advised that:

This was not an advertisement for the product, as the BBC doesn’t carry advertising.

On 8 March we pursued our complaint. In our original article we promised to update on our progress

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Real Engineers would only use open source software

Real Engineers would only use Open Source Software

Monday 3 September 2012, 7.30pm, IET Teddington

IET Teddington local group has kindly invited Gerry Gavigan to present at a local meeting in their usual venue The Adelaide.

Economists talk the talk but if Engineers don’t walk the walk they’re just tinkering.

Problem solving is about optimal allocation of constrained resources. If all resources were unlimited and free to obtain, everyone could have everything and choices would not have to be made. Real engineers solve the problem of maximising the number of choices available for most people.

This talk will explain why the software used in any solution must be open source.

Free to attend, registration will be accessible from here.

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Private Action in Competition Law Consultation Response

Department for Innovation, Business and Skills Consultation on Private Actions In Competition Law : Our Response

Overall we find the consultation raises important issues for SMEs and consumers and is particularly relevant for providing effective measures to resist market concentration.

As well as looking for an opportunity to enable specific redress we believe that effective mechanisms for private action:

  • provide an institutional response to the actions and behaviours, intentional or otherwise, of large undertakings in direct or parallel markets affecting F/OSS services.
  • will lead automatically to better working and more effective markets.

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Open Standards Consultation Response

Cabinet Office Open Standards Consultation: Our Response

Much of our research and analysis is contained in our recently published report on the importance of royalty free standards in public sector ICT.

Overall we find the consultation to be poorly framed and fails to identify:

  • The effects of the existing policy (the problem identified)
  • The absence of a single formal document delineating the scope of policy relating to the specification and implementation of ICT in the public sector cannot be taken to infer that there is not an existing policy as represented by the sum total of procedure, custom and practice (commission or omission).
  • The intentions of a new policy (the solution proposed)
  • Government should seek to identify the interacting nature of its policy choices and account for their effects.

We are unaware of any economic assessment undertaken in preparation for this consultation and government cannot easily second-guess these values. Such absence might explain the lack of any sense of urgency, neither any proposals for action nor for implementation.

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Open Standards for Open Government?

Open Standards for Open Government?

Monday 30 April 2012, London

The Policy Exchange is holding an open event discussing the role of open standards in UK public policy: Open standards for open government?


  • Adam Afriyie MP | Shadow Minister for Science and Innovation, 2007-2010 | Chair of the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, and President of the Conservative Technology Forum
  • Dr Chris Francis | Technical Relations, IBM
  • Stephen Mutkoski | Worldwide Policy Director, International Government Affairs, Microsoft
  • Phil Archer | Technology and Society, W3C
  • Gerry Gavigan | Chair of the Open Source Consortium
  • Chaired by Chris Yiu | Head of the Digital Government Unit at Policy Exchange


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Open Standards, FRAND, and FOSS

Open Standards, FRAND, and FOSS

Thursday 29 March 2012, London

Cabinet Office is consulting on Open Standards until 3 May 2012. Our friends the BCS Open Source Software Group are staging an open discussion meeting which aims to unravel the relationship between Open Standards, FRAND, and FOSS. The event will clarify what effect this relationship has for the practical application of Open Source Software.

The outputs from the event will be fed into the BCS policy hub to form part of the BCS response.

29 March 2012, 18.00-21.00, London WC2 – Free to attend and open to all

Gerry Gavigan, OSC chair is presenting at this free event hosted at the BCS headquarters in London.

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