For all the debate and litigation around software patents, I thought that there was at least one point on which all sides could agree: the objective of the U.S. patent system is to stimulate innovation. A recent IP blog takes issue with that premise, and proposes an alternative objective:... Read more
By Harvey Anderson Trademarks used for open source projects–like for the Mozilla Firefox browser–will often be misused. It can take the form of a website selling open source software that is normally distributed for free, using the trademark to promote other products and services, or using modified... Read more
While the decision by the US Library of Congress to create exceptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) for unlocking cellphones and jailbreaking iPhones (among other things) in the USA are very welcome, the reaction has been just a touch too euphoric. Not by everyone, mind you.
Recently the NZ govt announced that it was to remove software from the list of items that can be patented. This decision came after hectic lobbying from the open source community on one side and the proprietary vendors on the other side.
The willingness to collaborate brought us free and open source software. Now we continue to see that willingness to collaborate permeate our government agencies. A prime example is the Peer To Patent program developed at New York Law School by Prof.
The Supreme Court case of Bilski v Kappos was billed as a case over business methods, but at its core it was over an application for a patent on software, and the denial of that application sets a good example that may lead to the denial of other software patents.
I had the opportunity to participate as a speaker in the first Open Your World forum. My presentation, "Open Source License Compliance", was an adaptation of a talk I've previously given to lawyers with varying levels of experience in the legal issues surrounding open source software. It is... Read more
The Supreme Court finally issued a decision in the Bilski case today [PDF]. For those troubled by the problems surrounding software patents, the opinion will be disappointing, because it does not resolve those problems. But it would be a mistake to view the opinion as a victory for the proponents... Read more
I had the opportunity to sit down with Larry Lessig last week. Co-founder of Creative Commons, law professor, author, and copyright guru, Lessig is a visionary of law and technology policy. In the FLOSS community, Lessig is best known for his book Free Culture and work on copyright policy. In his... Read more
On 16 June Project Harmony had its first official meeting in Boston, and we're planning another in London on 1st July at Canonical's offices. Its initial goal is to avoid proliferation in contribution agreements across FOSS software projects where those organisations chose to work with... Read more