With a recent op-ed in the Economist and a segment on NPR's Planet Money, it seems as if an awareness of the high cost of the outmoded, traditional patent system is finally creeping into the mainstream.
When the Supreme Court declined to speak to software patenting in the Bilski case, there was wailing and gnashing of teeth in the open source software world. The new Bilski test for patentable subject matter looked at first like the status quo for software patentability. But, being the sort of... Read more
This is the second part of a two-part article critiquing the output of Project Harmony.
Harmony, the Canonical-led effort to provide a comprehensive suite of contributor agreements for open source projects, has quietly released its version 1.0, a year after Canonical general counsel Amanda Brock announced the initiative on opensource.com. During most of that year, Harmony's... Read more
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.
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... Read more
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... Read more
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... Read more
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... Read more
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... Read more