The year 2014 continued the trend of the increasing importance of legal issues for the FOSS community. These are my selections for the top 10 legal issues for last year, shedding a light on what we can expect for the year ahead.
The most-read articles this year on Opensource.com demonstrated a strong interest in the changing aspects of complicated issues. For example, the top two stories this year both relate to a complex series of cases involving a dispute between Versata and Aperiprise surrounding alleged violations of... Read more
The GNU General Public License Version 2 (GPLv2) continues to be the most widely used and most important license for free and open source software. Black Duck Software estimates that 16 billion lines of code are licensed under GPLv2. Despite its importance, the GPLv2 has been the subject of very... Read more
Patent trolling—the aggressive assertion of weak or meritless patent claims by non-practicing entities—is a frequent target of disdain from open source enthusiasts. Thus it may be of some comfort to readers that the highest court in the US has recently decided the issue is worth looking into. Three... Read more
"Patents are here to stay." This is the sort of statement that makes me uneasy. I guess in the 17th century the common wisdom was "slavery is here to stay." In the 18th century giving voting rights to women seemed absurd and foreseeing open borders between France and German was crazy talk in 1945.... Read more