Law

When I said recently that we still need the Open Source Initiative (OSI), it started a flood of comment. There's no doubt that we need OSI - but we need a better OSI. The one we have now is just too small to be effective and too mired in past successes; a renaissance is needed. You can help.
6 comments Posted 13 Jun 2010 by Simon Phipps Feed
A little over a month ago, the Fedora Project announced a plan to replace the existing Fedora Individual Contributor License Agreement (FICLA) with something new, which we've imaginatively titled the Fedora Project Contributor Agreement (FPCA). After gathering some feedback on the first draft from... Read more
0 comments Posted 10 Jun 2010 by Richard Fontana (Red Hat) Feed
One of the most important aspects of the recent trial victory for Red Hat and Novell was a finding that the asserted patent claims were invalid.  This meant that the jury was persuaded by clear and convincing evidence that the patents were improperly granted.  Getting to this decision involved... Read more
3 comments Posted 18 May 2010 by Rob Tiller (Red Hat) Feed
Red Hat and Novell stood up to a patent bully and got a favorable jury verdict in the IPI trial which invalidated some software patents that should never have been issued. It's hard to see how that's not a good thing for open source. It's also good that the particular battle has inspired discussion... Read more
31 comments Posted 11 May 2010 by Rob Tiller (Red Hat) Feed
The jury verdict last Friday in favor of Red Hat and Novell in a case based on bad software patents owned by "non-practicing entities" is an important victory for the open source community.  Those in the business of acquiring bad software patents to coerce payments or bring lawsuits should be... Read more
81 comments Posted 3 May 2010 by Rob Tiller (Red Hat) Feed
Last week, to the surprise of patent lawyers and the biotechnology industry, advocates for technological freedom won an enormous victory against socially harmful distortions of patent law.  The Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York held invalid patents owned by Myriad... Read more
24 comments Posted 6 Apr 2010 by Eben Moglen Feed
It's Spring 2003.  I'm the Red Hat general counsel.  Total Red Hat revenues the prior year were less than $100 million.  Red Hat's loss on continuing operations was $17 million.  Only the year before did Red Hat launch its Advanced Server offering, the predecessor to Red Hat Enterprise Linux.  SCO... Read more
1 comment Posted 1 Apr 2010 by Mark Webbink Feed
In the technical world, we long ago came to understand, thanks to Larry Lessig, that code is law. The way we build our systems and protocols defines how the Internet and our operating systems work. If we turn to the real world, we see that the reverse holds and that law is code. The way we... Read more
0 comments Posted 31 Mar 2010 by Carl Malamud Feed
There is a fairly common perception among FOSS hackers that there is no community of FOSS lawyers. Scratch the surface, though, and it turns out that- despite our handicaps- the FOSS legal community is there and growing. Since this question recently came up in the context of Mozilla's decision to... Read more
19 comments Posted 29 Mar 2010 by Luis Villa Feed
Updating the MPL
The Mozilla Foundation has announced its process for updating the Mozilla Public License.  While Mozilla's substantive goals for the new version of the MPL (which will probably be numbered 2.0) are quite different from the FSF's objectives in drafting GPLv3, Mozilla is adopting some of the features... Read more
1 comment Posted 11 Mar 2010 by Richard Fontana (Red Hat) Feed

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