Going after a troll for barratry

Some time ago, at the very beginning of opensource.com, I wrote a post on the possibility of using some archaic forms of law – champerty, barratry and maintenance – against patent trolls. And lo and behold someone is taking a run at it, although against a copyright troll, not a patent troll. » Read more

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Prolegomena to an evidence-based policy for software patents

The Hargreaves Report issued last month has some thought-provoking things to say about the problems of software patents, lengthy copyright terms, and other intellectual property issues. It doesn't propose complete solutions, but its approach seems directionally sound. Officially titled "Digital Opportunity: A Review of Intellectual Property and Growth," the Report was commissioned by the British government and addresses the UK's IP system, but much of its discussion of the economics of intellectual property applies to the US. » Read more

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The story of St. Columba: A modern copyright battle in sixth century Ireland

I've long been under the impression that copyright began with the Statute of Anne in 1710, as is generally taught. But have you ever heard of Saint Columba (521-597)? If not, the story is going to sound pretty familiar compared to modern copyright battles. But fortunately, mp3 downloads rarely result in 3,000 deaths. » Read more

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Interview: PJ on the beginning, ending, and future of Groklaw

Over the last eight years, Pamela Jones, known as "PJ," wrote volumes at Groklaw—first as a blog about the holes in SCO's claims, then increasingly as a place for wider commentary on the legal issues facing Linux and open source. To summarize the site's mission statement, Groklaw was a full legal news resource, "acknowledged and used by all the parties, including SCO." But it was also a community—a place for open source believers to gather, learn, and share.

» Read more

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Belgian court rules that Google infringes newspaper copyrights

The Belgian Court of Appeals ruled this week that Google is infringing the copyrights of Belgian newspapers by linking to and posting portions of the articles on Google news. Google must remove all articles and photos from Belgian newspapers in French and German or face a fine of 20,000 euros per day.
» Read more

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In remembrance: Keith Aoki

On April 26, the world lost Keith Aoki, author, artist, and distinguished professor at the UC Davis law school. You've seen his work on opensource.com in our Theft! A History of Music series of posts, which previewed the forthcoming comic book by the same name.

Aoki's colleague James Boyle summarized some of his most well-known work in a great memorial post to his friend: » Read more

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Poll: Patents and innovation

Software patents

After you cast your vote, tell us what you think about the FTC weighing in on patent reform or if software patents are too abstract to patent. Comments welcome.

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The FTC weighs in on patent reform

Last month the Federal Trade Commission issued a report that acknowledged important problems in the U.S. Patent system as it affects software. The government doesn't do that every day, so that's good news. The FTC report also suggested some reforms that could mitigate some of those problems. » Read more

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Lessons learned from Groklaw: The power of collaboration

Like many, I was surprised-but-not-really when Pamela Jones announced that she would be retiring original content on the legal analysis site that grew to fame within and without the open source community as it rose to do battle with the incredibly audacious claims by The SCO Group that Linux was directly derived from UNIX. » Read more

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Creative Commons plaintext licenses and using CC0 for software

Creative Commons posted two pieces to their blog today regarding their licenses, and in particular, CC0, the Creative Commons public domain notice.

Plaintext versions of Creative Commons licenses

The Creative Commons licenses are now available in plaintext form: » Read more

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