More press. The Danish online newschannel Computerworld today (31 October 2002) ran a follow up story on the standpoint taken by the nordic consumerombudsmen that so-called pop-up ads and curtain ads are illegal. The story - Advokater til forsvar for rullegardiner (Lawyers to the defence of blinds) - quotes me like this:

- Det er min vurdering, at pop op- og rullegardinannoncer som udgangspunkt ikke er i strid med god markedsføringsskik. Om annoncerne virker forstyrrende, må derfor bero på en konkret vurdering af, hvordan de bliver anvendt, siger Martin von Haller Grønbæk.

Brugerne kan selv undgå generende reklamer
Han pointerer, at der bestemt kan være situationer, hvor anvendelsen konkret er i strid med god markedsføringsskik, men at en dommer i en eventuel retssag skal medtage i sin vurderingen, at brugerne generelt selv kan gøre meget for at undgå de generende reklamer.

- Behovet for stærk forbrugerbeskyttelse svækkes i takt med, at forbrugeren har reelle muligheder for at beskytte sig selv, siger han.

- Man kan eksempelvis downloade et gratis program, der forhindrer pop op-vinduer i at åbne. Og hvis hjemmesider bliver indrettet således, at en bruger kan definere sin egen profil og fravælge bestemte annoncetyper, kan man næppe tale om, at annoncerne som sådan er generende, lyder vurderingen fra Martin von Haller Grønbæk.

Han mener således, at det kan være et afgørende elementer i en retssag, hvis et netmediet giver brugerne en reel mulighed for at uden det store besvær at vælge reklamerne fra.
Press. The Danish daily Politiken has a story - Datatilsyn lukker netliste - today (31 October 2002) on a decision by the Danish Data Protection Agency to order the closing down of the web-site Tropetræ (Tropical Tree). The web-site is not accessible at the time this posting was uploaded. Tropetræ contains a list over Danish companies that according to the web-site do not comply with an international environmental standard for the protecting of trees from the rain forest. In the article I am quoted for saying this (in Danish):

»I forvejen er virksomhedernes beskyttelse i persondataloven om advarselsregistre en undtagelse til hovedreglen. Virksomheden skal virkelig være fremstillet på en meget useriøs måde, hvis hjemmesiden skal lukkes«, siger advokaten, som i øvrigt mener, at hensynet til at gennemskueligheden for forbrugerne må være vigtigere end hensynet til den enkelte virksomhed - så længe advarselsregistret er baseret på korrekte oplysninger.


20 participants in the Open Source Forum listening to Tony Stanco and Bruce Perens

Bruce Perens and Tony Stanco

Vilhelm helping Tony and Bruce setting up their gear

Open Source Forum. Tonight (30 October 2002) we held another meeting in the Open Source Forum. This evening's guest speakers were Bruce Perens og Tony Stanco.

Bruce Perens is the primary author of The Open Source Definition which is the formative document of the Open Source movement. He is the founder or co-founder of the Linux Standard Base, Open Source Initiative, Software in the Public Interest, a former Debian GNU/Linux Project Leader and a major Linux developer since 1994.Until 2002 Bruce Perens worked at HP as Senior strategist (Linux and Open Source). He is thus the first Open Source evangelist to gain a role in top management of a multi-billion-dollar corporation. He is now an independent consultant.

Tony Stanco is the founder of FreeDevelopers.net, an international `CommunityCompany' for the development of GPL Software with members from over 50 countries. Before starting FreeDevelopers, he was a senior attorney with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Internet and software group, in Washington, DC. He has a LL.M. in securities regulation from Georgetown University Law Center. Recently Tony was appointed as a Senior Policy Analyst at the Cyberspace Policy Institute, George Washington University.


IPRs. My colleague advokat Kasper Heine and I will participate 11 November 2002 on a panel discussing Intellectual property rights in play at the FagFestival a professional event arranged by the Danish association of Journalists.
Internet advertising. I have recently authored a small piece (in Danish) commenting on the standpoint taken by the nordic consumerombudsmen that so-called pop-up ads and curtain ads are illegal.


Upside. I have been a subscriber to Upside Magazine since 1999 and I have seen the magazine being slimmed down to the mere 80 pages of the September 2002 edition from being a fat plus 200 pages magazine back in its dotcom heydays. However, Upside Magazine has gradually developed its style and substance since the first edition was printed back in 1989. It takes time for a magazine like any other business to mature and achieve the staying power that (hopefully) will see Upside Magazine through these dire times for the IT-publishing industry.

The lesson here, as I see it, is that in order to survive in the new economy you have to build for the long term too. You have to be ready for the long hard haul. Just as was the case in the old economy, any new company cannot be designed from scratch top-down to perform perfectly from day one. Today as always, an entrepreneur must respect the old virtues of building value over time.

Admitted, once in a while I forget why I subscribe to Upside Magazine. But then suddenly, I read a couple of articles that to me justify the full subscription price, such as Capital Quest and VC Metamorphosis.
Open source. There is now online an English translation of chapter 9 (Conclusion and recommendations) in the report on Open Source Software in the digital administration that the Danish Technology Board recently published. This unofficial translation has been produced by the tireless Jesper Laisen.