Time to abandon AIM

According to this, AOL have modified their terms and conditions to read:

Although you or the owner of the Content retain ownership of all right, title and interest in Content that you post to any AIM Product, AOL owns all right, title and interest in any compilation, collective work or other derivative work created by AOL using or incorporating this Content. In addition, by posting Content on an AIM Product, you grant AOL, its parent, affiliates, subsidiaries, assigns, agents and licensees the irrevocable, perpetual, worldwide right to reproduce, display, perform, distribute, adapt and promote this Content in any medium. You waive any right to privacy. You waive any right to inspect or approve uses of the Content or to be compensated for any such uses.

If this is true, then nobody should use AIM. Useful though it has been, it’s time to call a halt.

EU Council approves software patents

Despite being told by the European Parliament to think again, the EU Council of Ministers has adopted the software patent directive, in the face of requests from Denmark, Poland and Portugal to reject the directive. An EU Council representative said that the Computer Implemented Inventions Directive had been adopted but was unable to give more details. As it now stands, the directive would legalize software patents. This is Really Bad News because the only people really in favour of this are a number of very large and powerful software companies, including a noted abusive monopolist based in the US. The Directive now goes back to the Parliament. If you don’t know who your MEP is, now is the time to find out. This madness has to be stopped. Among other things, it could wipe out Open Source software. The European Parliament can stop it, but will only do so if its members understand the full implications of what is being proposed.