Oracle

Top 10 FOSS issues of 2012

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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 FOSS in two of the most rapidly growing areas, cloud computing and mobile computing.

Continuing the tradition of looking back over the top ten legal developments in FOSS, my selection of the top ten issues for 2012 are as follows.

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Oracle v. Google and API copyrightability

 Oracle v. Google and API copyrightability

As has been widely reported, the district court in the Oracle v. Google case has issued an order holding that the "structure, sequence and organization" (SSO) of 37 J2SE 5.0 API packages is not copyrightable. Oracle is expected to appeal. » Read more

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Oracle v. Google shows the folly of U.S. software patent law

Oracle v. Google shows the folly of U.S. software patent law

Oracle v. Google has all the ingredients of an epic, high-stakes courtroom battle: a damages claim of up to $1 billion over the use of Java in the popular Android operating system, testimony by both Larrys (CEOs Page and Ellison) in the first week alone, and, of course, the disposition of some interesting legal issues, not the least of them whether APIs can be copyrighted.

But, more than all of that, the case serves as an important teaching moment, illustrating much of what doesn’t work in our patent system. » Read more

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OpenOffice + Apache = Open Content Innovation

True confessions: I’ve been using OpenOffice since 2002 (since I started working at Red Hat, where it was mandated) and… I don’t like it (*gasp* – did he just say that?).  Yep, it’s true.  OpenOffice is just not that great of a user experience.  Microsoft Office, with all it’s bloat, is better.  Apple iWork is even better – that is -  from the perspective of an end user.  But you know what?  It doesn’t matter what I think. That’s because the real value of OpenOffice is not the end-user experience – it’s the fact that OpenOffice is a powerful, open content creation platform. » Read more

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