3/08/2002

Apartment for rent! As my wife and I are moving from to another apartment in the same building, we are offering to rent out our present apartment on a 2 year time limited lease. The apartment is 240 m2 on two floors with 6 rooms (2 large and 4 small), 2 bathrooms and a large kitchen. The monthly rent is DKK 25.000. 3 months rent deposit and 3 months rent prepaid. Heathing and electricity is not included. The apartment is available from May 15th. 2002.


To get more information, contact us at martin@groenbaek.net.



The address is Store Kannikestræde 10, 2nd. floor - Admiral Gjeddes Gaard - in the heart of Copenhagen. St. Kannikestræde is a very quiet street with no traffic. The street connects Vor Frue Plads with the Cathedral with Rundetårn at Købmagergade.

The staircase leading from the ground to the apartment at the second floor.

The living room.

The courtyard.

The inner facade. The apartment occupies the two upper floors.

3/07/2002


(Nicolai Seest, chairman of the Danish Entrepreneur Association gives the opening speech at the workshop)

(Martin von Haller Groenbaek talks on the role and the duties of the board in startup companies)


VentureCup workshop. Venture Cup Oresund is a business plan competition primarily for students, scientists and entrepreneurs in Denmark and the south of Sweden. The competition helps participants develop their business idea into a professional business plan, with support from an extensive network of venture capitalists, corporate managers and academics. Venture Cup Oresund also offers frequent motivative events, educational workshops and seminars, together with a first-class handbook on how to write a high-quality business plan. From kick-off in September 2001 through the finale in May 2002, participants will have free access to all these services. The winning prize is DKK 200,000.


I have been a jury and advisory board member since the first Venture Cup Oresund competition in 2000. It is hard but rewarding work. A lot - luckily the majority - of the business plans that are submitted to the competition are good and quite interesting to read. Yesterday - March 2, 2002 - vonhaller lawfirm hosted a workshop for entrepreneurs on legal aspects of setting up and running a startup company. My colleague Benjamin Lundström and I did the legal presentations. Nicolai Seest of the Danish Entrepreneur Association opened up the workshop with a speech on why legal stuff matters seen from the entrepreneur's perspective.


3/05/2002


(left to right: Peter Toft, Eric S. Raymond and Peter Møller Christensen)



(left to right: Knud Erik Hansen, Kim Østrup, Mads Bryde Andersen, Allan Jensen, Michael Reich, Børge Klit Johansen, Jesper Laisen, Søren Alain Mortensen, Jan Trzaskowski, Peter Toft, Eric S. Raymond, Martin von Haller Grønbæk, Peter Møller Christensen, Thomas Mygdal-Madsen)


Open source meeting with Eric S. Raymond. This evening vonhaller lawfirm together with SSLUG hosted an informal dinner with Eric Raymond. Eric is known as the editor of The New Hacker's Dictionary. But it's his paper "The Cathedral and the Bazaar," published on his Web site and passed around the Net, that is making industry headlines. The document's argument for open software development convinced Jim Barksdale to release Netscape's browser source code to the world. Now Raymond has become an unofficial spokesperson for the open-source development philosophy. Thousands of programmers working together to improve code "is intrinsically superior to the commercial development process," argues Raymond. "Bill Gates is wrong."


A slate of Danish opinion leaders with respect to open source participated: Knud Erik Hansen, former MP from the Danish Social People Party; Kim Østrup, associate director at IBM Denmark; Mads Bryde Andersen, professor of law at Copenhagen University; Allan Jensen, partner at Siticom Fischer & Lorenz; Michael Reich, CEO of Tele2; Børge Klit Johansen, general secretary of the Danish Christian Peoples Party; Jesper Laisen, vice chairman of the Danish Free Software Association; Søren Alain Mortensen; project leader at the Danish State's Information Agency; Peter Toft, chairman of SSLUG; Peter Møller Christensen, journalist at Børsen; Thomas Mygdal-Madsen, founder of Reboot and Protein and Nikolaj Nyholm, CTO and co-founder of Ascio Technologies.

The reckless network administrator. Børsen - the Danish daily business newspaper - ran a story today (Tuesday March 5, 2002) in the Informatik section p. 6 with the title Sikkerheds-boomerang truer (Security boomerang poses a threat) (registration is necessary). The article is based on the article Den Uforsvalige Netværksadministrator (The Reckless Network Administrator) that Bill Reilly and I published in the November 2001 issue of the Danish monthly accounting journal Revision & Regnskabsvæsen. In the Børsen article I am advocating that the Danish IT-industry should take the initiative in laying down and promoting rules on a self-regulatory basis to give business guidelines as to what level of IT-security is considered good and reasonable practice. The same rules could be used by the courts to determine what constitutes the actions and omissions of a reckless network administrator.

3/04/2002

Danish anti-terror legislation. New legislation to combat terror proposed by the Danish government will increase law enforcement surveillance capabilities. Most worrying is the proposal to mandate ISP's and telecom operators to retain traffic data for the sole purpose of law enforcement. Similar initiatives are discussed in a number of European countries, in EU and in the US. Read more at Digital Rights' web-site.


The Danish IT-weekly Computerworld published on 26. February 2002 my following comment on Danish anti-terror legislation:

Folketinget behandler i øjeblikket et lovforslag om den såkaldte terrorpakke. Lovforslaget har givet anledning til omtale og debat, hvilket er helt naturligt og nødvendigt, når lovgiver ønsker at begrænse borgernes ret til privat liv. Terrorpakken indeholder bl.a. er forslag, der udvider overvågningen af borgernes elektroniske kommunikation ved at give hjemmel til at Justitsministeren administrativt kan fastlægge hvilke trafikdata Internet og teleudbydere skal pålægges at gemme om brugerne og i hvor lang tid. Dette er alvorlige indgreb, som kræver gode grunde. Dr. jur. Mads Bryde Andersen, der er formand for regeringens IT-sikkerhedsråd, der bl.a. i spørgsmålet om kryptering har stillet sig på borgernes side, giver en god grund, når han i Computerworld udtaler: ”I valget mellem at lide terrordøden eller opgive en lille bid af privatlivet, vælger de fleste at være i live - med et reduceret privatliv - fremfor at dø i en terroraktion, som ikke blev opdaget på grund af regler, der skal beskytte privatlivet.”


Spørgsmålet er imidlertid, om en øget registrering af trafikdata vil forhindre terrorhandlinger. Dette er meget svært at svare på. Et udmærket pejlemærke vil være at undersøge, om man har fundet et så drastisk skridt nødvendigt i andre sammenhænge særligt i andre lande. Foreningen Digital Rights har i et brev til folketingets retsudvalg den 11. februar 2002 forsøgt at give et overblik over internationale og andre landes tiltag på dette område. Brevet findes på www.digitalrights.dk/DRfile79.htm. Det kan her konstateres, at registrering af trafikdata har været overvejet nøje i en række internationale fora. Dels har spørgsmålet været diskuteret i forbindelse med Europarådets konvention om IT-kriminalitet (Cyber-Crime), der blev underskrevet i oktober 2001. Derudover har det været diskuteret intenst i både rådet og parlamentet i forbindelse med revisionen af EU's direktiv om privatlivsbeskyttelse i elektroniske netværk (COM(2000)385). Det konstateres, at der ikke synes at være international enighed om at tvungen registrering af trafikdata er den rette løsning til bekæmpelse af terrorisme og IT-kriminalitet. Hverken i USA, som ramtes af terroren, i EU, i Europarådet eller i andre europæiske lande, som Danmark normalt føler sig på linje med, har man vedtaget eller står i begreb med at vedtage så strenge regler om øget registrering af trafikdata, som Danmark er på vej til. Faktisk er det således, at Danmark ved at vedtage det foreslåede regler, alene vil komme i båd med England og Frankrig.


Hvis terror skal bekæmpes effektivt, vil dette kun kunne ske ved at gå på kompromis med borgerrettigheder. Dette erkendes og accepteres. Men der er ingen grund til at gå videre, end hvad der er strengt nødvendigt. Den samfundsmodel, som terror ønsker at ramme er netop baseret på stærke borgerrettigheder. Vi vil fremme terroristernes sag ved at lade os tvinge til at give køb på vores frihedsidealer. Folketinget bør derfor ikke pålægge danskerne strengere regler om registrering af trafikdata, end hvad resten af den civiliserede verden pålægger sine borgere.
ChillingEffects.org. From the press release:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and four major law school legal clinics announced the launch today (25. february 2002) of a project and website to empower Internet users with detailed information about their legal rights in response to cease-and-desist letters designed to restrict their online activities.


The project brings the EFF together with Internet law clinics at Harvard, Stanford, the University of California at Berkeley, and the University of San Francisco, and is expected to grow to include additional law schools.


Called Chilling Effects in reference to the way legal threats can freeze out free expression, the project invites Internet users to add their cease-and-desist letters to an online clearinghouse at ChillingEffects.org. Students at the participating law school clinics will review the letters and annotate them with links to explain applicable legal rules.


The Chilling Effects project works by publishing cease-and-desist letters received by Internet users and providing detailed information about the relevant law. For example, if an Internet user receives a letter demanding that she remove a synopsis of a "Star Trek" episode from her website, members of the Chilling Effects team would post the letter online, embedding it with links to information about basic copyright protections, the rules governing synopses, and the fair use doctrine.


The project currently provides basic legal information on issues like fan fiction, copyright and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, trademark and domain names, anonymous speech, and defamation. New topics will be added as new issues arise. In addition to publishing cease-and-desist letters, the Chilling Effects team will offer periodic "weather reports" assessing the legal climate for Internet activity. The reports will seek to answer such questions as what types of Internet activity are most vulnerable to the chilling effects of legal threats.


The Chilling Effects project website.


My law firm - vonhaller - has already received a request from the Chilling Effects team to look into an apparant cease-and-desist action against af Danish web-site. More on this later!


(this picture is used in anticipation of a permission from Ascio Technologies who I guess owes some credit to Roy Lichtenstein)

Digital Identity. In the old days the saying was that On the Internet, Nobody Knows You're a Dog (from page 61 of July 5, 1993 issue of The New Yorker, vol.69 (LXIX) no. 20). Not so any more! These days there's a race with important and powerful players not only to control but also to effectively own your identity on the Internet. Who the winner will be is very much dependant on techincal standards for communication, retrieval, authentification, storage, metadata etc.

Under the auspices of the Danish eBusiness Association, I will be the (interim) chairman of a special interest group (text in Danish) on Digital Identity. First meeting is in Copenhagen, Thursday 7. March at 14:00. All interested are welcome to attend this first meeting of the group. Sign up here.

At the first meeting a representative from Ascio Technologies will present the standard for Digital Identity that they have spend considerable time to develop. I am pretty excited about Ascio's Digital Identity concept. First of all, it is a totally open standard based on open and already widely accepted standards such as PKI, DNS and XML. Secondly, it seems to bridge the two often incompatible notions of authentification and privacy. Finally, applications complying with the Digital Identity standards should be interoperable with Microsoft .NET and Hailstorm.

Okay, I admit it: My views on Ascio's Digital Identity concept might be slightly biased as the concept is the brainchild of Nikolaj Nyholm - an Ascio Technology co-founder - and a good friend of mine. Judge for yourself: Visit Nikolaj's Digital Identity weblog.

Free Software. Two new associations formed in the backyard: The Nordic Association for Free Software (NAFS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering free software in all Nordic countries. It does this by supporting other organizations in all aspects of free software, supporting individuals working with free software and coordinating work related to free software. Foreningen Fri Software (The Free Software Association) is a Danish association that supports the dissemination of free software. I guess that Foreningen Fri Software will become one of the beneficiaries of NAFS.

3/03/2002


OpenContent. A Swedish network of webpublishers of OpenContent has emerged. The web-site OppetInnehall (open content in Swedish) collects links to web-sites where owners make their content freely accessible to everyone.

What is OpenContent?. According to Magnus Cedergren - the chief-editor of the OppetInnehall web-site - OpenContent is (1) disinterested or idealistic (as in uncompensated) production of content, (2) freedom for anybody to use the content and (3) freedom for anybody to redistribute the content for instance mechanically.

I generally applaud any initiative to facilitate voluntary (as opposed to mandatory) exchange information based on different on new and different models. We need to create platforms that provide strong competition to the prevalent models of proprietary information. OppetInnehall is definitely interesting in this perspective. The OppetInnehall concept seems a little unclear or undeveloped to me, though. What will be the legal basis of OpenContent? Is it free content or open content, cf. the discussion of the distinction between OpenSoftware and Free Software? Will users of OpenContent have to sign and respect a license (like the GPL) that ensures that OpenContent stays OpenContent?