There’s an Interview on the 19th (but the Internet Keeps Beating Me Down)

Those of you who listen to FLOSS Weekly (Free Libre Open Source Software, a weekly podcast published by Leo Laporte’s network) might have heard, at the end of the last few episodes, that on August 19 Jeff Darlington “and some of his webcomics buddies” will be on the show to talk about free software in the webcomics world. As it happens, I am one of those “webcomics buddies,” so on August 19 I’ll be talking about how much free software is used in the creation and maintenance of my webcomic.

(Short answer: Everything I use is free software. I think.)

Of course, as soon as the Internet learned of the possibility that a bunch of rogue web cartoonists would be talking about free software it began to take steps. VoloMedia was awarded a “patent for podcasting” (patent # 7,568,213, “Patent for Providing Episodic Media,” also mentioned in this article on Slashdot), and the only conclusion I can draw is that it’s an attempt to keep Jeff and I off the air.

It’s a feeble attempt, though — there’s far too much prior art to really justify patenting a podcast. Which is why the Internet upped the ante when eBay announced that due to it’s own stupidity it might have to shut down Skype. As a general rule of thumb: if you spend 2.6 billion dollars to buy a single program, make sure you include the technology that makes it work in the sale package.

Sure, on the surface it looks like Niklas Zenstrom and Janus Friis, the original creators of Skype and the men who still apparently own the license to the keystone that holds up the entire program, are just trying to squeeze more money out of eBay. Naturally, 2.6 billion dollars isn’t worth as much as it was four years ago. But I’m sure you’ll all agree that this entirely plausible apparent rationale is just a front, and their true aim is to force Skype off the air before Jeff and I actually have to use it for the interview on the 19th.

I mention this to you, my readers, so that you will know the true extent of the conspiracy arrayed against us. I also mention it to let you know that on August 19 I’ll be part of an interview on FLOSS Weekly.

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