Law

The serious problem of proliferating bad software patents was not solved by the Supreme Court's Bilski decision, but now it's looking like it may be part of the solution. The early case law applying Bilski is much more encouraging than expected. The new Bilski test focuses on whether an... Read more
40 comments Posted 18 Nov 2010 by Rob Tiller (Red Hat) Feed
License compliance is a major and costly issue for proprietary software, but the license involved in that case is an End User License Agreement (EULA), not a source license delivering extensive liberties. When we compare like-for-like, we discover open source software has no such issues. End-... Read more
3 comments Posted 25 Oct 2010 by Simon Phipps Feed
When the Supreme Court decided the Bilski case, it didn't speak directly to the issue of software patents.  But the Bilski majority  emphasized that abstract ideas are not patentable, and recognized that allowing patents for abstract ideas could hinder innovation.  Thus there's still room for... Read more
11 comments Posted 30 Sep 2010 by Rob Tiller (Red Hat) Feed
A collaborative activity dubbed Project Harmony is now under way between corporate and corporate-sponsored participants in the free and open source software communities (not to be confused with the Apache Java project of the same name). The project seeks to harmonise the various participant and... Read more
0 comments Posted 1 Sep 2010 by Simon Phipps Feed
Can–or should–a programming language name be a trademark? The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, the administrative board within the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that adjudicates whether trademarks can be registered, recently decided that the word “Lua” was not a generic name for a programming... Read more
19 comments Posted 31 Aug 2010 by Pam Chestek Feed
I think I was as surprised as anyone when I heard that Larry Lessig was stepping away from Creative Commons. It seemed like a sudden change of direction, because Lessig has been a vocal advocate for freedom and choice for so many years. But as I hear Lessig describe his journey from Creative... Read more
1 comment Posted 24 Aug 2010 by Gunnar Hellekson (Red Hat) Feed
Eben Moglen's keynote address at LinuxCon last week, "Doing What it Takes: Current Legal Issues in Defending FOSS," called for a strategic shift in the free software movement. Moglen, the founding director of the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) and one of the principal drafters of the GPLv3,... Read more
2 comments Posted 19 Aug 2010 by Ruth Suehle (Red Hat) Feed
Maybe you’ve heard of Lawrence Lessig. Maybe as Larry Lessig. Then again, maybe you haven’t. But perhaps you’ve heard of free culture as a movement or Creative Commons or DRM, or copyright law. How about freedom?
1 comment Posted 17 Aug 2010 by Colby Hoke (Red Hat) Feed
For all the debate and litigation around software patents, I thought that there was at least one point on which all sides could agree: the objective of the U.S. patent system is to stimulate innovation.  A recent IP blog takes issue with that premise, and proposes an alternative objective:... Read more
28 comments Posted 12 Aug 2010 by Rob Tiller (Red Hat) Feed
By Harvey Anderson Trademarks used for open source projects–like for the Mozilla Firefox browser–will often be misused. It can take the form of a website selling open source software that is normally distributed for free, using the trademark to promote other products and services, or using modified... Read more
2 comments Posted 9 Aug 2010 by Pam Chestek Feed

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