It bothers many of us everytime we hear about yet another non-obvious, overreaching, and abusive patent—particularly a software patent that is getting in the way of innovation and creativity. Additionally, there is an overwhelming sense of frustration when a regular citizen can't do much to change... Read more
Modern copyright law grants copyright automatically to any creative work, including simple things like blog posts – and small pieces of code on github. This default copyright creates an assumption that for someone to do anything further with someone else's creative work requires permission from the... Read more
I’ve recently been involved in several discussions that are variations on, "Which open source or free software license should I choose for my project?" Here is my way of looking at the large and growing collection of licenses in the wild. First, let's make sure we all understand that I Am Not A... Read more
I recently blogged about making open source software, and the high level steps for how to think about the process. We started with the need for software to seed the discussion, the need for clear motivation as to why to publish as open source software, and then the structural requirements to build... Read more
The year 2012 had many important FOSS legal developments which reflects the continued increase in FOSS use. FOSS projects have increased from 600,000 in 2010 to 900,000 by December 2012. In addition, a Dr. Dobbs' survey in the third quarter of 2012 stated that more than 90% of developers are using... 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
At the end of August I wrote a short post about an important reform that modified the rules for software adoption within the Italian public administration.
Looking back over the law channel posts of 2012, I was not surprised to see that software patents were a major concern. The high volume of significant patent lawsuits of competitors and rising levels of NPE (aka patent trolls or patent assertion entities) suits has been the subject of both open... Read more
Talend, a licensor of open source enterprise software, has recently received a ruling from the U.S. Customs Service corroborating that its software complies with the Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (19 USC 2511 et seq.) Open source software adoption by the U.S. Federal government must comply with many... Read more
The arrival of the ten-year anniversary of Creative Commons is an opportunity to express gratitude to an organization that has done so much to promote the sharing of cultural works and to challenge traditional assumptions about the appropriate use of copyright.