Photos are not where they seem

Photographer PeteZab, Peter Zabulis, publishes his photos on Flickr.  Here are some of his snow scenes: » Read more

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Welcome to the law channel

We talk about open source a lot at Red Hat, but other interesting things come up. Last week I had a burrito with my colleague Jake Sullivan, who graduated not long ago from the University of North Carolina with a major in American history. Although I'd been working with Jake for more than a year, I had not got around to comparing notes with him about historians. I mentioned a couple of dark chapters of the Civil War that I thought needed deeper scholarship. Jake assured me that there was significant work already out there, and even provided me with a reading list. » Read more

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Is IP another bubble about to burst? A view from another civilization.

As a child growing up in India, one of the first things I learned is a hymn to Saraswati, the Goddess of Knowledge, which says that:

Wonderful is your gift of knowledge
the more we share, the more it grows
the more we hoard it, the more it diminishes

As a grown-up living in a globalized world, I am constantly bombarded by the the term, “intellectual property.” » Read more

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The free software way

On opensource.com you may often encounter references to "the open source way". My colleagues at Red Hat who use this phrase are, I think, looking at the most iconic, mature and commercially significant examples of the development model that is, today, closely associated with open source software, and are distilling certain general principles or values from such examples. Many active contributors to opensource.com are particularly interested in exploring how these same values are being applied in domains far removed from software development. Chief among these “open source way” values are transparency, community, and meritocracy. » Read more

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Orphan Works

"CBS uncovers rare Jack Benny treasures, puts them back and tosses out the key."  We need an Orphan Works Act before we lose more of our social and cultural heritage to time and memory.

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Some thoughts on software patents and the Supreme Court

When the Supreme Court heard oral argument in the Bilski case a few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to be in attendance at their courtroom in Washington, D.C. I'd previously worked on a brief for Red Hat arguing that the Court should address the harm that software patents cause to innovation. Even so, I had my doubts as to whether the Court would fully appreciate the serious problem of software patents, and recognized that it might limit its attention to business method patents and try to avoid the software patents issue. » Read more

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Letting go

When I came to Red Hat, I had to make about a 180-degree shift in my approach to my work. My practice is in trademarks, copyrights and patents, fields that are traditionally all about excluding others. Counseling clients was about how to keep anyone else from using what was yours. » Read more

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What's wrong with champerty?

Let's bring back barratry, maintenance, and champerty for patent lawsuits.  Combine that with a limitation on the assignment of patents and a lot of patent trolls would be out of business.

This is what barratry, maintenance and champerty meant in England in 1916: » Read more

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Start by assuming a GPL violation is an oversight

Bradley Kuhn at the Software Freedom Law Center has posted some advice on reporting GPL violations - "Assume the violation is an oversight or an accident by the violator until you have clear evidence that tells you differently." » Read more

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