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
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
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?
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
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
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
Last week the Mozilla Foundation released version 2.0 of the Mozilla Public License. Immediately recognized as a free software license by the Free Software Foundation and approved as an Open Source license by the Open Source Initiative, MPL 2.0 is a well-crafted modern license that ought to be... Read more
The fight against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) isn't over. It returns to the Senate table late this month--as does PROTECT IP.
This week FrugalDad posted an infographic about how the patent system has reacted to the rapid pace of technology, inspired by the "When Patents Attack!" episode of NPR's This American Life. As he writes in the graphic, patents were imagined as a way to "promote the progress of science and useful... Read more
As we wrote in last year's year-in-review, patents are a big focus at the intersection of open source and law. This year was no different--2011 saw Microsoft Corp. v. i4i Limited Partnership go before the Supreme Court. It was affirmed, 8-0 on June 9, rejecting Microsoft's request to change the... Read more