Copyright Consultation Running On Open Source Software

Joseph Potvin, an economist at the Chief Information Officer Branch, Treasury Board Secretariat, writes to note that the Government's copyright consultation is running on open source software.  The consultation is using a Mongrel server built in Ruby-On-Rails on a GNU/Linux machine.  Sometimes actions speak louder than words.


  1. Startups use the same thing. This issue is if they ever give anything back. Startups usually don’t.

  2. Aidan Delaney says:

    OSS is copyrighted too
    In the OSS world we also rely on copyright to protect rights. It tends to be the users rights though. So I don’t see a contradiction here.

  3. Sometimes the engineers are smarter than the management
    I doubt that anyone had any say in this other than the web developers.

  4. Third Party
    I’m pretty sure this is a third party running this on behalf of the government, it’s hosted at a colo facility in Hamilton, ON and doesn’t use a subdomain.

  5. Andy Kaplan-Myrth says:

    Could have also used open source microblogging platform Laconica
    I like a lot of what the Government is doing with this copyright consultation, but I was disappointed that they missed another opportunity to showcase Canadian ingenuity and use an open source platform. I encourage Canadian government departments that are looking at Twitter to use Laconica software as part of their microblogging strategy. It is open source, more powerful than Twitter, fully customizable, and comes from Canadian open source guru and entrepreneur Evan Prodromou in Montreal:

  6. Les Nessman says:

    but given that the Copyright Consultation site is SO badly designed…
    this doesn’t necessarily speak volumes about this software. For instance the discussion interface is so non-intuitive (and yet ‘discussion forums’ are such a well understood design pattern) there is no wonder long interesting threads are not developing. Almost like someone wanted to ask for input without really *wanting* it.

  7. Chris Brand says:

    Town hall webcasts
    The end-user requirements for the town hall webcasts are Windows of Mac. I was told that there’s a 50/50 chance that they will work if you run Linux.

  8. Woohoo, 50/50, I’ll take those odds!

  9. Joe Clark says:

    What exactly is being “spoken” by this action?
    As ever, copyleftists mix up unrelated issues (copyright reform has nothing to do with open-source software – sorry, Russell, it doesn’t) in an open-source Cuisinart-like food processor. (The one with a bowl made of tin, razor-sharp blades, and buttons you have to program yourself.)

    The site could be running IIS or WebStar or anything else and it wouldn’t matter. At all.

  10. Recycled Bottle says:

    Who cares?
    Most of websites use open source software. This is a lame nonissue.

  11. Joseph Potvin (as private citizen) says:

    RE: “lame nonissue” & “mix up unrelated issues”
    If the medium is at least to some extent the message, then it is relevant. But not in the superficial sense of “What’s this site running?” What I mentioned to Michael is only that the admittedly minor fact that the outsourced consultation site runs on free/libre software is useful to help highlight the point that copyright legislation ought to be free/libre-friendly. Noticing the terms and conditions of the very software that this site runs on is just something that might cause a few more people to pay just a little more attention to what free/libre-friendly copyright law might be. For some thoughts in this direction, see: “Telecom Trotskyites: A “Who’s Who” Guide (Reply to an editorial by Terence Corcoran, 21 December, 2007. The Financial Post)”

  12. Phil Ossifur says:

    None of it matters if the financial system implodes without gong to public credit.
    Open source doesn’t matter if civilization collapses. Read Larouche