Centre for Internet & Society

Free and open source software (FOSS) is a good thing from both the perspective of programmer and user freedoms as well as from the perspective of better and more efficient software production. Also, FOSS forms the backbone of the Internet (BIND/NSD for DNS servers, Apache for web servers, sendmail/postfix/qmail for mail servers, Asterisk for VoIP servers, etc.), and the Internet as we know it would not exist without FOSS.

Event Report: Community Discussion on Open Standards by Karan Saini, Prem Sylvester and Anishka Vaishnav — last modified Aug 02, 2019 06:51 AM
This community discussion organised by HasGeek was held at the office of the Centre for Internet and Society in Bangalore, India on June 20, 2019.
Discussion on Open Standards with Bernd Erk and Jiten Vaidya Jun 20, 2019 from 06:00 PM to 07:30 PM The Centre for Internet & Society, Bangalore, by Admin
Rootconf organised a discussion on open standards at CIS Bangalore office. Zainab Bawa, Karan Saini and Anwesha Das coordinated and organised the event.
Regulating the Internet: The Government of India & Standards Development at the IETF by Aayush Rathi, Gurshabad Grover and Sunil Abraham — last modified Jan 22, 2019 07:29 AM
The institution of open standards has been described as a formidable regulatory regime governing the Internet. Given the regulatory and domestic policy implications that technical standards can have, there is a need for Indian governmental agencies to focus adequate resources geared towards achieving favourable outcomes at standards development fora.
Indian Patent Office updates Guidelines for Examination of Computer Related Inventions, yet again by Anubha Sinha — last modified Jul 05, 2017 07:42 AM
By discarding a test brought into force last year, the updated Guidelines take no concrete position to help clarify the ambiguity around patentability of software inventions in India.
Comments on the Draft National Policy on Software Products by Anubha Sinha, Rohini Lakshané, and Udbhav Tiwari — last modified Dec 12, 2016 02:45 PM
The Centre for Internet & Society submitted public comments to the Department of Electronics & Information Technology (DeitY), Ministry of Information & Communications Technology, Govt. of India on the National Policy of Software Products on December 9, 2016.
(Lack of) Representation of Non-Western World in Process of Creation of Web Standards by Harsh Gupta — last modified Oct 20, 2016 01:44 AM
World Wide Consortium (W3C) as a standard setting organization for the World Wide Web plays a very important role in shaping the web. We focus on the ongoing controversy related to Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) and found that there was a serious lack of participation from people from non-western countries. We also found serious lack of gender diversity in the EME debate.
How we celebrated Software Freedom Day by Subhashish Panigrahi — last modified Oct 07, 2016 02:02 AM
A small group of 6 FOSS contributors from communities such as Mozilla, Wikimedia, Mediawiki, Open Street Map and users of FOSS solutions gathered in Bengaluru to celebrate Software Freedom Day. Subhashish Panigrahi who was a part of the event, reports the developments.
Software Freedom Day: The Importance of Free and Open Source Software by Subhashish Panigrahi — last modified Sep 18, 2016 03:46 AM
Software Freedom Day (SFD) on September 17 celebrates the liberty that free and open software and the philosophy of freedom brings into people’s lives. When SFD was started in 2004, only 12 teams from different places joined. It grew to a whooping 1000 by 2010 across the world. Explaining the aim of the celebration, SFD’s official website says,
ସଫ୍ଟଓଏର ସ୍ୱାଧୀନତା ଦିବସ: ଆମ ହାତେ ଆମ କୋଡ଼ ଲେଖିବା by Subhashish Panigrahi — last modified Sep 18, 2016 03:33 AM
Software Freedom Day (SFD), which celebrates the use of free and open software, was celebrated in many cities today. The piece sheds light on the philosophy of software freedom, and how free and open source software is making a significant social change. I have also shared how anyone can contribute to the FOSS movement in different ways and celebrate SFD.
It's September, and That Means It's Time for Software Freedom Day by Subhashish Panigrahi — last modified Sep 17, 2016 03:42 PM
Software Freedom Day (SFD), which celebrates the use of free and open software, is just around the corner on September 17. When the day first started in 2004, only 12 teams from different places joined, but it has since grown to include hundreds registered events around the world, depending on the year.
Comments on the National Geospatial Policy (Draft, V.1.0), 2016 by Sumandro Chattapadhyay — last modified Jun 30, 2016 09:40 AM
The Department of Science and Technology published the first public draft of the National Geospatial Policy (v.1.0) on May 05, 2016, and invited comments from the public. CIS submitted the following comments in response. The comments were authored by Adya Garg, Anubha Sinha, and Sumandro Chattapadhyay.
Google, Apple and Microsoft may need licence for satellite mapping in India by Prasad Krishna — last modified May 10, 2016 03:20 PM
Cold response from MNCs like Google to India's security concerns is seen as a prime reason for the proposed legislation to regulate mapping of the country, a move that critics call "return of the Licence Raj" and "digital nationalism".
IP Meetup #02: Prabir Purkayastha on the CRI Guidelines and software patenting in India Mar 20, 2016 from 03:30 PM to 06:00 PM The Centre for Internet and Society, B 1/8, Near Crunch Gym, Hauz Khas, Delhi, 110016 , by Anubha Sinha
Adoption of Standards in Smart Cities - Way Forward for India by Vanya Rakesh — last modified Apr 11, 2016 03:04 AM
With a paradigm shift towards the concept of “Smart Cities’ globally, as well as India, such cities have been defined by several international standardization bodies and countries, however, there is no uniform definition adopted globally. The glue that allows infrastructures to link and operate efficiently is standards as they make technologies interoperable and efficient.
The new Guidelines for Computer Related Inventions are a big win for FOSS in India! by Anubha Sinha — last modified Feb 24, 2016 06:30 AM
India is one of the few countries which permits patenting of software – a monopolization that has only benefited established corporations and largely throttled innovation in the software industry, worldwide. CIS has consistently advocated against patentablity of software and in a major victory last week, software patenting in India died a little more. This happened via the newly issued Guidelines for the Examination of Computer Related Inventions, which introduces a new test to restrict software patenting – in essence the same legal test that CIS had been proposing since 2010. This post highlights the new test and other noteworthy changes in the Guidelines.
Pre-Budget Consultation 2016 - Submission to the IT Group of the Ministry of Finance by Sumandro Chattapadhyay — last modified Jan 12, 2016 01:34 PM
The Ministry of Finance has recently held pre-budget consultations with different stakeholder groups in connection with the Union Budget 2016-17. We were invited to take part in the consultation for the IT (hardware and software) group organised on January 07, 2016, and submit a suggestion note. We are sharing the note below. It was prepared and presented by Sumandro Chattapadhyay, with contributions from Rohini Lakshané, Anubha Sinha, and other members of CIS.
ଓଡ଼ିଆ ଉଇକିପାଠାଗାର by Subhashish Panigrahi — last modified Jan 05, 2016 06:30 AM
Odia newspaper Sambad carried this featured column of mine yesterday in their Sunday supplement "Sambada Rabibara" on December 6, 2015.
Guidelines for Examination of Computer Related Inventions in abeyance by Anubha Sinha — last modified Dec 23, 2015 10:06 AM
The CRI Guidelines were heavily criticised for their failure to address the ambiguities created by Section 3(k) and for expanding the scope of software patent eligibile subject-matter, inter alia. Following several representations and submissions by interested stakeholders, the Controller General has moved the Guidelines into abeyance, until discussions with stakeholders are complete and contentious issues are resolved, and is a welcome step.
Hits and Misses With the Draft Encryption Policy by Sunil Abraham — last modified Sep 26, 2015 04:46 PM
Most encryption standards are open standards. They are developed by open participation in a publicly scrutable process by industry, academia and governments in standard setting organisations (SSOs) using the principles of “rough consensus” – sometimes established by the number of participants humming in unison – and “running code” – a working implementation of the standard. The open model of standards development is based on the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) philosophy that “many eyes make all bugs shallow”.
Software Freedom Pledge by Pranesh Prakash — last modified Sep 25, 2015 12:26 PM
On September 19, 2015, celebrated globally as Software Freedom Day, a number of enthusiasts got together and collectively took a pledge.
Comments on the Guidelines for Examination of Computer Related Inventions (CRIs) by Anubha Sinha — last modified Oct 27, 2015 02:46 PM
Recently, the Indian Patents Office released the Guidelines for Examination of Computer Related Inventions (“2015 Guidelines/ Guidelines”) in an attempt to clarify examination of software related patents in India. This post is a pure analysis of the 2015 Guidelines. The new Guidelines, essentially, narrow the exclusions of secttion 3(k), thereby enlarging the scope of software related applications eligible for a patent grant. More alarmingly, there is low emphasis on the application of the subject matter test, increased ambiguity on the nature of subject matter and an exclusionary list of examples appended to the document. In the following post, CIS highlights these concerns and presents solutions, and also proposes a definition of "computer programme per se". Read on to understand how the new guidelines will potentially lead to an increase in software patenting activity by expanding the scope of patentable subject matter – in negation of the legislative intent of section 3(k) of the Indian Patents Act, 1970.
Guidelines for Examination of Computer Related Inventions: Mapping the Stakeholders' Response by Nehaa Chaudhari — last modified Jan 05, 2015 05:01 PM
The procedure and tests surrounding software patenting in India have remained ambiguous since the Parliament introduced the term “per se” through the Patent (Amendment) Act, 2002. In 2013, the Indian Patent Office released Draft Guidelines for the Examination of Computer Related Inventions, in an effort to clarify some of the ambiguity. Through this post, CIS intern, Shashank Singh, analyses the various responses by the stakeholders to these Guidelines and highlights the various issues put forth in the responses.
Analysing Alice Corporation Pty Ltd v CLS Bank International Et Al by Anubha Sinha — last modified Aug 01, 2014 07:09 PM
The US Supreme Court delivered a unanimous decision in Alice Corporation Pty Ltd v CLS Bank International Et Al last month. The decision concerning software related inventions (with respect to carving an exception to “abstract ideas” patent eligibility category) was the most awaited and the final patent ruling of the US’ Supreme Court’s term. This post presents an analysis of the decision and a timeline of landmark US judicial decisions on software patents.
Wikipedia Introductory Session organized for Data and India portal consultants by Subhashish Panigrahi — last modified Jul 17, 2013 06:33 AM
On May 13, 2013, the Access to Knowledge team led by Subhashish Panigrahi conducted a Wikipedia Introductory Session at the National Informatics Centre in New Delhi for the consultants working for Data and India portal. This session was aimed to emphasize how these portals and their useful data could be used on Wikipedia to create good quality articles.
World Day Against Software Patents by Pranesh Prakash — last modified Jan 16, 2013 07:15 AM
A global coalition of more than 80 software companies, associations and developers has declared the 24th of September to be the "World Day Against Software Patents". The Hindu, a national daily dedicated one page of its Bangalore edition to software patents and software freedom. Deepa Kurup contributed written two articles titled "Will patenting take the byte out of IT here?" and "How would it be if you read only one type of book?" which reflects some of the concerns of the Free/Libre/Open Source Software community.