copyright

Copyright statements proliferate inside open source code

Copyright statements emerging in source code

I was looking at a source file for the OpenStack Ceilometer docs one day and noticed that there's a copyright statement at the top. Now, in no way do I want to pick on Nicholas. There are hundreds of such copyright statements in the OpenStack docs and code, and this is just the example I happened to be looking at.

(Note that my employer has its share of copyright statements in the OpenStack code. Pretty much every company participating in OpenStack does this. I think we need to stop.)

» Read more

11 Comments

The participatory nature of the Internet strengthens fan communities

media remix

Whether the big media producers like it or not, digital technologies have made it easier than ever for popular culture fans to create remixes or derivative works from their favorite movies, TV shows, books, and other media. And the participatory nature of the Internet has arguably helped broaden the popular definition of a "fan community" from something exclusive to comic and sci-fi fans to being inclusive of many genres and people. This includes giving wider exposure to a vast and yet often overlooked demographic in pop fandom—women—and their influence on mainstream media stories. » Read more

3 Comments

Should I use a permissive license? Copyleft? Or something in the middle?

copyleft

The open source license you choose for your project, or for the projects you choose to contribute to, can have significant effects on how what you contribute is used. One question that has garnered quite a bit of interest recently is the fall in popularity of copyleft licenses in favor of permissive licenses. An article last year looked at the issue of large number of projects on GitHub that have no explicit license and posited the question about whether we live in a 'post open source software' world, where seemingly open source software has no license. After some time, GitHub agreed that licensing is important and worked to improve the situation with a license chooser. » Read more

8 Comments

Teach kids about copyright: a list of resources from Creative Commons

Lessons in copyright

Open curriculum alternatives to MPAA’s new anti-piracy campaign for kids.

It has come to our attention that the Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America, and top internet service providers are drafting curriculum to teach kids in California elementary schools that copying is wrong, or as the headline on Wired.com reads: "Downloading is Mean!" » Read more

6 Comments

Open source under the lens of an intellectual property lawyer

open source and intellectual property
All Things Open eBook

Download the free All Things Open interview series eBook

Have you ever wondered what, from a business perspective, the world of sharing, free, and open source looks like to a lawyer?

Challenging! Chaotic? Creative.

Pam Chestek is an intellectual property lawyer. She runs Chestek Legal, a practice that focuses on giving practical, legal advice on branding, marketing, and protecting and sharing content. In this interview she shares with me what caused her to challenge traditional wisdom back in law school, the kind of chaos involved in analyzing free and open source software through the lens of the law, and how creativity is at the heart of it all.  » Read more

3 Comments

New report: What the Government Accountability Office has to say about Non-Practicing Entities

patent reform

During the August Congressional recess, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its long-awaited study on Non-Practicing Entities (NPEs), required under the America Invents Act (AIA).

The report paints a rather grim picture of the current patent system. It reinforces the call by key leaders in Congress for legislative reforms that address abusive patent litigation as well as action by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the courts, and the US PTO.

» Read more

5 Comments

Post open source software, licensing and GitHub

SHARE

Few would deny that the rise of GitHub as a popular hosting service for software projects is one of the most significant developments to affect open source during the past five years. GitHub's extraordinary success is necessary context for understanding the criticism leveled at it during the past year from some within or close to the open source world. This criticism has focused on licensing, or rather the lack of it: it is claimed that GitHub hosts an enormous amount of code with no explicit software license. Some critics have suggested that this situation results from a combination of the ignorance of younger developers about legal matters and willful inaction by GitHub's management. In a followup article I will discuss the measures recently taken by GitHub to address these concerns; this article explores aspects of the complaint itself. » Read more

5 Comments

Does your code need a license?

licensing intellectual property

Copyright, copyleft, or copy none?

The Open Source Initiative (OSI) is concerned that some open source software developers are not choosing a license for their work, so they want to educate software developers and anyone else working on open source projects that simply not choosing a license is not enough. » Read more

5 Comments

The EFF covers Google's open patent non-assertion pledge

patents for open innovation

The flood of software patents has created an environment where companies are afraid that innovation leads to being hit by patent lawsuits. Every dollar spent fighting patent trolls and or waging patent wars is a dollar not spent researching, developing, and creating jobs. The situation is so bad that, in 2011, Apple and Google spent more on patent litigation and buying patents than they did on research. So it’s no surprise that some companies are looking for new ways to navigate the patent system while promoting openness and innovation.

» Read more

0 Comments

Open, collaborative effort to improve US patents

make things better

Late last year, I wrote about the EFF’s project to leverage the Patent Office’s new Preissuance Submissions procedure to promote open 3D printing technology. Here we are, several months later, and the fight for open 3D printing continues. Now, the EFF has partnered with Ask Patents to facilitate crowdsourcing of prior art searches for various 3D printing-related patent applications.

» Read more

0 Comments