The year 2014 continued the trend of the increasing importance of legal issues for the FOSS community. These are my selections for the top 10 legal issues for last year, shedding a light on what we can expect for the year ahead.
The most-read articles this year on Opensource.com demonstrated a strong interest in the changing aspects of complicated issues. For example, the top two stories this year both relate to a complex series of cases involving a dispute between Versata and Aperiprise surrounding alleged violations of... Read more
The GNU General Public License Version 2 (GPLv2) continues to be the most widely used and most important license for free and open source software. Black Duck Software estimates that 16 billion lines of code are licensed under GPLv2. Despite its importance, the GPLv2 has been the subject of very... Read more
On revolutionizing American agribusiness from the ground up, one seed at a time. Could "open source" join the ranks of food labeling like "organic" and "fair trade"? Do patents threaten food security and national security at large? Should governments invest in public plant breeding?
On Gordon Haff's blog, Connections, the senior cloud evangelist for Red Hat talked with Simon Phipps, the president of the Open Source Initiative about U.S. software patent cases and the United Kingdom's decision to make ODF its official document format.
North Carolina became the latest state to take a stand against patent trolls when NC Governor Pat McCrory signed a new law last week aimed at preventing bad faith assertions of patent infringement. Patent trolls (more officially called "patent assertion entities" or "non-practicing entities") are... Read more
We live in an age of ever-expanding copyright law. The length of time that elapses before a creative work enters the public domain is now so long that many items published early last century are still protected by copyright.
When Versata Software sued Ameriprise Financial Services for breaching its software license, it unwittingly unearthed a GPL violation of its own and touched off another lawsuit that could prove to be a leading case on free and open source software licensing. This post takes a look at the legal... Read more
This morning the U.S. Supreme Court issued an important decision concerning software patents and took a small-but-meaningful step in the right direction. In Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank, the Court reaffirmed that abstract ideas are not by themselves patentable and unanimously held that the software at... Read more
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is finally on the cusp of its long-anticipated study to examine the harmful effects of Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs).