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With a focus on open source and digital rights, Simon is a director of the UK's Open Rights Group and president of the Open Source Initiative. He is also managing director of UK consulting firm Meshed Insights Ltd.

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Recent Posts

...and the filters don't work/they just make it worse

Default content filtering by UK ISP's is such a bad idea that people are rushing to fund a campaign against it.

A crowdfunding campaign by the Open Rights Group to make a video explaining the issues raised by default ISP filtering raised half its goal in 24 hours. Why is "protecting the children" such a controversial issue?  The UK government has...

OSI Announces New Board

Line-up includes new directors from Europe.

The Open Source Initiative has announced the results of a ballot by its members to select new directors for its board. The outcome sees more diversity and strong community skills introduced, signalling new horizons for the 15 year old organisation. Created in...

New Risks From Data Retention Directive

The striking-down of the European Data Retention Directives creates issues for government and commercial bodies and raises the spectre of the re-animation of the Snoopers' Charter.

In a decision issued yesterday, the European Court of Justice - CJEU - declared the Data Retention Directive to be in breach of Fundamental Rights of the European Union - namely: respect for private life (article 7) and protection of personal data (article 8). This decision creates...

A New Dynamic for Europe

There's a new pan-European political party, one created by and for the continent's geeks.

My colleague Alexandra Combes writes: Recently our team was invited to Brussels for the official launch of the PPEU - the European Pirate Party. MEP Amelia Andersdotter hosted the event, and coordinated the arrival of delegations and supporters. Founded in January 2006 by Rick Falkvinge,...

FFII Lampoons OIN - ROFL

An entertaining April Fool seems more serious in the light of an amicus brief filed by IBM in the US Supreme Court

My colleague Alexandra Combes writes: In a communication released yesterday April 1st, the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure(FFII) lampooned the Open Invention Network (OIN) and its declared objective to defend the Linux kernel thanks to a massive patent pool targetting Linux related systems....

An End-Run Around Your Rights

Those new copyright freedoms you're getting? You probably already signed them away.

As part of the package of copyright law improvements published yesterday, the Open Rights Group is celebrating the publication of copyright exceptions finally legalising in the United Kingdom what we all do anyway with copyrights -- format shifting. Copyright exceptions...

Parody and Quotation To Be Legalised

From June it will finally be legal to create parodies under UK copyright law.

Draft regulations have been published in Britain that will finally end the anomaly where quotation, parody, caricature and pastiche are considered breaches of copyright. If approved by Parliament, they will come into force on June 1st, finally closing the loophole...

Making Document Freedom Freer

A crowdfunding project in Germany will make LibreOffice better for us all -- what a great example for Document Freedom Day!

Today March 26th is Document Freedom Day. It's today that we put the focus on the benefits of using open standards for the documents we use at work and home for spreadsheets, word processing and the like. As Apple demonstrated recently with presentation...

Who Speaks For Peer Creators?

There's more than fan fiction in the world of creative writing online. Narrative role-play sites raise interesting challenges for copyright reform, as my daughter explains.

My daughter is a prolific writer in a world which, until recently, I did not know existed. She has written an introduction to this world, where strangers collaborate to create extensive new works of fiction together. It raises interesting issues...

Patent Trolling is an Art

France's national patent troll is three years old.

My French colleague Alexandra Combes is dismayed: 'France, Mother of Arts...' wrote XVIth century poet Joachim du Bellay in the collection 'The Regrets'. If Patent trolling is an Art, we can indeed only regret to see France coming in first...