Law

How patents hinder innovation
Patents may have been created to help encourage innovation, but instead they regularly hinder it. The US Patent Office, overwhelmed and underfunded, issues questionable patents every day. "Patent trolls" buy too many of these patents and then misuse the patent system to shake down companies big... Read more
8 comments Posted 6 Mar 2012 by Electronic Frontier Foundation (Red Hat) Feed
A cure for the common troll
Our bridge into the 21st Century presently houses a nasty creature who demands a toll from the best and brightest in our community. The dreaded troll is a regular denizen of our current system of patent enforcement and he poses serious problems for technology companies. Despite the great expense of... Read more
25 comments Posted 20 Feb 2012 by Anthony Biller Feed
Why the patent system doesn't play well with software: If Eolas went the other
Everyone take a deep breath: it seems we've had a moment of sanity in the patent wars. Last week, a jury invalidated the dangerous Eolas patents, which their owner claimed covered, well, essentially the whole Internet. The patents were originally granted for an invention that helped doctors to view... Read more
9 comments Posted 17 Feb 2012 by Julie Samuels Feed
The first FOSDEM Legal Issues DevRoom
For FOSDEM 2012, held last weekend in Brussels, I had the privilege of co-organizing (with Tom Marble, Karen Sandler, and Bradley Kuhn) the first-ever DevRoom track devoted to discussion of legal issues relating to free/libre/open source software. With several thousand attendees and hundreds of... Read more
14 comments Posted 9 Feb 2012 by Richard Fontana (Red Hat) Feed
ACTA's back
Technology issues are now a matter for citizens of the internet and not just big corporations. Now that the US bills SOPA and PIPA have been put on ice, attention has returned to their parent, an international treaty called ACTA. I've written extensively about ACTA before, but in summary it is an... Read more
3 comments Posted 6 Feb 2012 by Simon Phipps Feed
The Supreme Court's Golan decision gives short shrift to the public domain
In a decision that favored the 1% (copyright owners) over the 99% (consumers and the public domain), the U.S. Supreme Court recently held that neither the Patent and Copyright Clause of the U.S. Constitution nor the First Amendment prohibits the removal of works from the public domain. Golan v... Read more
0 comments Posted 2 Feb 2012 by Tyler Ochoa Feed
What's not wrong with PIPA and SOPA
Here's one list purporting to be the "10 Major Companies Which Are Supporting SOPA/PIPA" – Philip Morris, Rolex, Dolce & Gabbana, Adidas, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Ford Motor Company, Sony, Wal-Mart, World Wrestling Entertainment, Electronic Art – Notice something about them?
21 comments Posted 30 Jan 2012 by Pam Chestek Feed
Why SOPA and PIPA are bad for open source
The widespread internet blackout last week in protest at unbalanced legislation being rushed through the US Congress was dramatic and notable. I did have some questions though on why it was important to the open source community. The way the laws have been framed by their proponents makes them look... Read more
1 comment Posted 26 Jan 2012 by Simon Phipps Feed
Crushed innovation: When patent lawyers switch to NPEs
When well-known, richly compensated patent lawyers switch from representing world-class tech companies to servicing "non-practicing entities," something's up. Could the sordidness of a business based on bringing patent lawsuits be outweighed by large amounts of cash? At least for some, apparently... Read more
3 comments Posted 25 Jan 2012 by Ruth Suehle (Red Hat) Feed
Did the SOPA blackout work? (And was it really a blackout?)
Yesterday I posted screenshots of 127 websites that “blacked out” to protest the SOPA and PIPA legislation before the US Congress. Another site I came across reported that 7,000 sites had gone black. There was no citation, but I believe it if you include every blog that WordPress enabled to... Read more
8 comments Posted 19 Jan 2012 by Ruth Suehle (Red Hat) Feed

Pages