advocacy archive

SA copyright laws outdated and in need of urgent overhaul, says new study

Findings of a new study show that the current copyright regimes in Africa in general, and South Africa in particular, are not promoting access to knowledge and the authors have called for an urgent revision of copyright laws. Published by UCT Press, Access to Knowledge in Africa: The Role of Copyright was launched on Saturday [...]

SA companies registrar wants you … to use Internet Explorer

If you take the time to read the South African government’s free and open source software policy (PDF) you’ll find on page three the following commitment: The South African Government will encourage the use of Open Content and Open Standards within South Africa. So, if that is the case, then how come the Companies and [...]

South Africa must take lead from NZ on software patents

In huge win for anti-software patent activists, New Zealand has announced that it will not change legislation to make software patentable in the country. It is, however, a partial victory only as New Zealand’s Commerce minister, Simon Power, also announced he would instruct the Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand to draft guidelines that would [...]

Software competition to encourage East African developers

The US State Department has thrown its weight behind an initiative to promote software development for the good of East African residents. The Apps 4 Africa contest was launched earlier this month and aims to encourage developers to produce software that will improve the quality of life for residents of this region. The contest is [...]

Is OpenOffice at a crossroads?

OpenOffice.org (OOo) is a flagship product for free and open source software but could be doing so much better than it is. What’s wrong? Michael Meeks a long-time OOo and Gnome developer and Novell employee argues that among the chief problems are a lack of leadership, a half-hearted open source strategy and copyright assignments that [...]

The law behind free and open source software

June 21st, 2010 | No Comments » Tags: , , , ,

The third issue of the International Free and Open Source Software Law Review has been released. And even if you’re not a lawyer there is food for thought. With everything from a profile of the BSD licence, to issues around copyright in free software and a review of case law related to free software, the [...]

Jargon, compatibility major stumbling blocks for new Ubuntu users

June 18th, 2010 | No Comments » Tags: , , ,

Jargon that they didn’t understand, insecurity over compatibility with Microsoft Office and a lack of visual feedback when performing desktop actions were the key stumbling blocks for first-time Ubuntu users.

Conspiracy time: Dell tones down Windows critique

June 18th, 2010 | 1 Comment » Tags: , , , , ,

It was inevitable. Dell has backed away from its earlier statement that Ubuntu Linux was more secure than Windows and now has a much tamer message in its place.

Brazil streaks ahead in Firefox World Cup

June 17th, 2010 | No Comments » Tags: , , ,

If Firefox’s personas are anything to go by then the biggest soccer fans, as well as the biggest Firefox fans are clearly in Brazil.

Free software in Africa: Striding ahead

June 14th, 2010 | No Comments » Tags: , , ,

The Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA) recently elected a new executive which will sit for two years until the Idlelo 5 conference in 2012. Tectonic spoke to the newly elected officials about the successes of the past, new challenges and hopes for the future.

keep looking »