First of all I would like to apologise for yet another late Legal News Update. But things I could not ignore were stealing my time – amongst others were the FSFE GA, which I had to cover the logistics for, and a lot of work in relation to some major change.
For this edition I received immense help from Natalia Evdokimova, regarding gathering and initial evaluation of the articles. If all goes well (and it seems like it) we will cooperate on this in the future as well.
If I would have to select the three most important happenings of the past week, it would be: governments considering Creative Commons licenses (under Free Licensing), the overview of Nortel's portfolio sale, and last, but by no means least the AVM case (in Free Software Business).
Free (Software) Licencing¶
With more and more governments deciding to release (some of) its content under a CC license, the question arises: Is CC enough or should this content be in public domain? Personally, I would argue that such content and data should be in public domain. It follows simple logic that if it is in public interest and is paid by public funding it should be in the public domain.
- Techdirt: Does It Make Sense For Governments To Make Their Content Creative Commons… Or Fully Public Domain?
- Creative Commons: License or public domain for public sector information?
A nice overview about the very sought after Nortel's patent portfolio sale. Google is being the "stalking horse" in this bid for probably the biggest patent portfolio in the mobile phone business. It's a very non-lawyer friendly article.
Glyn Moody uses the above as an example to underline why (software) patents should be abolished. Interesting to see Microsoft involved here.
Xiph.com has written a response to the US FTC's Request for Comments and Announcement of Workshop on Standard-Setting Issues. In it they explain nicely the threat that patents pose to standards.
BitTorrent sued for patent infringement.
- Torrentfreak: uTorrent / BitTorrent Sued For Patent Infringement,
- Groklaw: BitTorrent – It's not just about copyright any more
- Technollama: BitTorrent in patent dispute
Government and Free Software Policies¶
Free Software Business¶
AVM – who makes Linux-based DSL routers – is suing Cybits – who makes child protection filters – that they are infringing on AVM's copyright because they are modfying the GPLv2-licensed software on their routers' firmware. The outcome of this case could have profound implications on Free Software and related freedoms. FSFE maintains a very useful summary of the whole procedure and Harald Welte's blog posts are also a great commentary to the case.
- FSFE: AVM violating license of the Linux kernel
- FSFE: FSFE on AVM vs Cybits: A small computer is still a computer
- Harald Welte's Blog: Court hearing in the AVM / Cybits / GPL case
- Harald Welte's Blog: AVM trying to spread FUD about the Cybits case
- H-online: Battle lines drawn in dispute between AVM, Cybits and FSFE
- Groklaw: Embedded GPL – An Important Case from Germany
- FSFE: Summary of the [AVM vs. Cybits] case so far
Copyright and Other Legal Act Reforms¶
Other interesting links¶
Pam Chestek reviews some of Righthaven's copyright trolling business.
Google will digitise 250 K books (in public domain) from the British library.
- Glyn Moody's blog: British library encloses the public domain
- BBC: British Library makes Google search deal
hook out → back on track :]