Russell McOrmond

The site below hasn't been kept as up-to-date as I would have liked. If you want to know what I am currently engaged in, the following sites are more current.
FLORA Community Consulting
I keep the homepage of the work site a bit more updated than my personal page.
My BLOG on Digital Copyright Canada
This is the most frequently updated BLOG, given technology law issues are the most critical to me.
IT World Canada's Enterprise Insights BLOG / Ahead of the curve
Less frequent, but hopefully higher quality articles for a wider audience. Moved from Insights to Ahead of the curve in January 2010.
My BLOG on CLUE: Canada's Association for Free/Libre and Open Source
I am the Policy Coordinator for CLUE.
My BLOG on the Green Party of Canada website
While I let my membership lapse in 2002, I renewed my party membership as of April 2007, and then let it lapse again in April 2008. While there are many things about the Global Greens movement I agree with (IE: tax bads, not goods -- and other post-Industrial thinking), I don't seem to do well trying to be a partisan. I like to work with any policy maker doing good work, no matter what party they are in.
Google Profile
Much of my life becomes visible on Google, so this is always a good place to go.
Facebook
I was convinced to join FaceBook by Amber MacArthur who set up the Canadians for Net Neutrality group.
LinkedIn
Another social networking site for contacts.
Profile at Chapters bookstore
I'm building a bookshelf there of books that have really defined who I am.
Twitter
I have to admit that I'm not sure I 'get' this yet.
Identi.ca
A Canadian FLOSS replacement for Twitter. Maybe this makes more sense!
Indense Debate
My contributed comments attached to a few sites including CBC Spark.
The Mark
Canadian publication with a wide variety of different contributors. In my mind a mixture of the diversity you see with blogging, but with the bonus of professional editing.

Russell McOrmond & Rina Sen
(More pictures)

My major interest is to do my part to move economics out of the industrial era and into a post-industrial information/services economy.

This primarily involves the rejection of ideas as a new form of property that is manufactured, bought, sold, rented, or licensed in the same way that traditional forms of property have been during the industrial era.

Without a rejection of "Intellectual Property", there can be no real movement toward a post-industrial economy. In my submission to the 2001 copyright consultation I asked the question whether new interpretations of copyright are compatible with a new economy, or a new product for the old economy?

Note to lawyers: While "Intellectual Property" may be the correct legal term, and lawyers may know the proper meaning of the term, the layperson does not. Lobbyists for a very narrow way of looking at works of the mind have been abusing this confusion to suggest that copyright, patents, etc are something that they are not. The "theft is theft" rhetoric is part of this deliberate misleading of the public.

See: Jefferson Debate: A Godwin's law for copyright discussions?

If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of every one, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it.

- Thomas Jefferson , 13 Aug. 1813

Any 'hardware assist' for communications, whether it be eye-glasses, VCR's, or personal computers, must be under the control of the citizen and not a third party.

- Me, 2002

Corollary: The "content industries", such as the motion picture and recording industries, are not legitimate stakeholders in the discussion of what features should or should not exist in my personal computer or VCR, any more than they are a legitimate stakeholder in the production of my corrective eye-glasses. If a member of a content industry doesn't like the technology that exists in a given market sector, be it consumer electronics in the home or personal computers, they can simply not offer their products/services into that market.


Thoughts on the importance of balance in copyright law

While I worry more these days about the over-protection of copyright under the control of intermediaries, I often need to remind people that I strongly support copyright law as a way to protect creators' rights. I often express it this way:
The protection afforded in copyright is to the creator as water is to humans; too little and you dehydrate and die, too much and you drown and die. Survival requires understanding this delicate balance.

Thoughts on the importance of governance software to be democratic/free/libre software

Once you begin to think of 'code as law' (See: Code and other laws of Cyberspace), you quickly begin to question why governance software is not yet afforded the same public scrutiny (access to information requirements, accountability, public input, etc) as any other public policy. A piece of software that implements public policy should no longer be considered less important than an act of parliament or regulation that implements public policy.

Governance software that controls Information and Communications Technology (ICT), automates government policy, or electronically counts votes, should not be thought of as something that should be bought any more than politicians should be thought of something that should be bought.
I feel that the rights and responsibilities offered by Free Software should be thought of as being much more critical for any implementation of a modern free society than has been understood in the past.

Information process patents

I am a firm believer that patent policy should apply as a temporary market monopoly that regulates only the manufacturing sector. The economic analysis that justifies this policy seems to apply to the manipulation of nature toward the manufacture of a tangible product (a process to manufacture something physical). I do not believe that patent policy should ever be applies outside of the manufacturing sector to regulate hobbyists, nor should it ever apply to the creation of intangibles.

Information processes such as software or business models should not be thought of as being manufactured any more than consent should be thought of as something manufactured. We should not believe that manufacturing consent, software manufacturing or business model manufacturing is the only option, so these information processes should not be thought of as patentable inventions.
For more information on software patents please see the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure site on Software Patents in Europe as well as my own Review of Software Patent Issues.
Other interests:
India
In December, 1998 and 2000 I went to India and many of my thoughts are still about India.

Free Software and modern post-industrial Intellectual Economics advocacy
This includes a submission to 2001 copyright reform consultation, submission to the 2002 Innovation Strategy consultation, and hosting ongoing discussions on the Digital-Copyright.ca forum and the Canada high-tech Competition forum.

New articles are always posted to the FLORA Weblog. The following are articles in draft form -- please offer comments:

Community Networking/Community Communications
Run hardware for FLORA Community WEB and am a member of OX, and ONAG. I was previously a volunteer and supporter of the National Capital Freenet

Freedom of Choice
This includes independent software such as Open Source/Free Software, as well as support for electoral reform via FairVoteCanada.org.
Sustainability
Green transportation and environment volunteer, including hosting websites for Auto-Free Ottawa, Ottawa Transit Riders Association , and the Peace and Environment Resource Center.
Politics
A quick political primer on myself is included in my explanation of the ALIGN=LEFT logo.

If you wish to contact me, full contact information is part of my consulting site.



 [FLORA Community Consulting] hacker 
emblem  [FLORA Community WEB]

Last Modified: $Date: 2011/06/21 15:47:00 $