What does the Special 301 really reveal?

This week the United States Trade Representative (USTR) released the annual Special 301 Report. For those of you who are not aware of this report, it assesses the standard to which America’s international trading partners “uphold intellectual property rights protection and enforcement”. Of the ninety five countries assessed, forty one have then been put into the report itself. The report consists of  a series of watch lists, of countries that to a greater or lesser degree fail to meet the standards desired by the USTR.

How effective an indicator of intellectual property rights protection does this survey really offer? Continue reading

Open Source Accounting Solution for Non-Profits

Non-profit organisations are faced with an unappetising choice when deciding on a software solution for their accounting needs. They can either develop and maintain a complicated system of their own or they can use propriety software which undermines their charitable, equality focussed basis. This conflict between ideological desire and practical needs is likely to be particularly heartfelt for open source and free software non-profits.
Software Freedom Conservancy has a solution to propose. They plan to first survey existing solutions developed for for-profit accounting needs and then develop from the best available system an open source solution focussed specifically on the needs of non-profit organisations. When completed this software should save the sector millions each year as well as increasing its collaborative potential.
The Conservancy is itself a charity and is looking for financial help to fund the development of this software. Today they announced the start of a campaign to raise the necessary funds to dedicate a year of developer time to turning the concept into a reality. The project already has a range of endorsements and statements of support but is still seeking donors. This is your chance to contribute to the ongoing success of a range of non-profit charities all in one go.