Open standards and the royalty problem

In December, the long awaited version 2.0 of the European Interoperability Framework (EIF) was released by the European Commission. Version 1.0 had defined “open standard” as royalty-free, a definition of enormous impact on standards policy because it focused on the user perspective rather than the perspective of standards development organizations. Some standards organizations claim that “open standards” refers only to the way the standard was developed – not the terms of availability. » Read more

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Vote for the 2010 People's Choice Award

On January 25, opensource.com will reach its one-year anniversary. As a part of the celebration, we want you to choose your favorite opensource.com contributor for the 2010 People's Choice Award.

Voting will be open through January 27, 2011, and the winner will be announced on January 28, 2011.

Voting is now closed.

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Nollywood and the copyright conundrum

Over the holidays I thought a bit about the copyright conundrum. Is copyright a vital source of creativity, or more of a hindrance?  Most of us assume that we need strong laws to prevent copying of certain forms of expression, including books, movies and computer programs. We generally take it as given that unless unpermitted copying is quashed, creators would have no incentive to create, and society would lose the benefit of their creative work. We've erected a powerful system of copyright laws, with broad scope, lengthy terms, and draconian penalties, based on these basic assumptions. » Read more

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A hazy shade of value: Software patents just took a hit

Much of the problem with the current U.S. patent system involves haze. Whether it is ambiguity regarding what the patent covers or murkiness about whether the technology covered by the patent is actually new, patent plaintiffs regularly use this uncertainty to their advantage. This ambiguity–often planned–allows plaintiffs to leverage settlements against businesses that are forced » Read more

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Copyrights vs. human rights

I wrote last week about the "Typhoid Mary" of internet restriction laws, observing how Wikileaks has confirmed that a wing of the US Government - the US Trade representative (USTR) - has been systematically bullying European and other world governments. » Read more

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Open*Law: 2010 in review

By nature of our interests and where open source commonly intersects the law, we post a lot about patents in the Law channel on opensource.com. And it's been an interesting year for patents.

In May, a verdict was delivered in favor of Red Hat and Novell in an infringement case based on bad software patents owned by "non-practicing entities." Rob Tiller's post on it, Total victory for open source software in a patent lawsuit, was the top article across opensource.com for the year. » Read more

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Poll: Open*Law 2010 best images

The visual components on opensource.com are an important element to the look and feel of our content. The images help set the tone for the site. The imagery embodies several qualities such as motivational, editorial, authoritative (but not authoritarian), human, and optimism.

Without our imagery, the content on the site would be plain and unsightly. We'd like to highlight some of the images from 2010 and give you a chance to pick your favorite. » Read more

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Rise of the fashion trolls

A funny thing happens as a Congressional session comes to a close. Priorities, whether political or policy, rocket to the surface.  It becomes a war of attrition, of who can keep things 'out of sight, out of mind' before people get tired and want to go home.  

But, there are always numerous pieces of legislation that don’t get much love either way. The problem is, although they technically “go away” for now, the ideas behind them aren’t dead.
» Read more

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European Interoperability Framework supports openness

Recognizing the role of open source and open standards in innovation, the European Commission released yesterday its long-awaited “European Interoperability Framework.” This official policy (the “EIF”) » Read more

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The Supreme Court takes a new case on the standard for invalidating patents

The U.S. Supreme Court recently agreed to hear an appeal regarding the evidentiary standard for invalidating patents. The case involves a judgment against Microsoft Corporation in favor of i4i Limited Partnership. If the Court accepts Microsoft's arguments, it could be good news for the FOSS community. » Read more

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