U.S. Copyright Office Fumbles, Bit by Bit

The U.S. Copyright Office is soliciting opinions, through August 22d, about it’s planned website upgrade that will require the use of Microsoft Internet Explorer, effectively banning most technically-advanced users and all Linux and open-source advocates from its service.

According to the Copyright Office’s website, “[I]t is not entirely clear whether the [preregistration] system will be compatible with web browsers other than Microsoft Internet Explorer versions 5.1 and higher. Filers of preregistration applications will be able to employ these Internet Explorer browsers successfully. Support for Netscape 7.2, Firefox 1.0.3, and Mozilla 1.7.7 is planned but will not be available when preregistration goes into effect. Present users of these browsers may experience problems when filing claims.”

It sounds as if support for other browsers is planned, but won’t immediately be available, but what does this mean?

Dave’s Opinion
I can’t understand why the U.S. Government, as well as commercial e-business developers, doesn’t use open-source development tools that are designed to be browser independent, such as PHP and MySQL? Come on folk, let’s build websites that work well, under as many conditions as possible.

The U.S. Copyright Office is a division of the Library of Congress, a part of the United States Government. Wasn’t it the U.S. Government that sued Microsoft over antitrust issues? It seems as if the government and Microsoft have patched their relationship.

Oh, by the way, if you’d like to submit your comment about the Copyright Office’s plans, you’ll have to do so via snail mail, in sextuplicate.

Call for Comments
What do you think? Leave your comments below.

Library of Congress Announcement


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