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.

Software Patents

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.

Falkvinge: Ten Myths About Patents

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.

The Register: Nokia takes hit in High Court priority-calls patent battle,

The Register: Wireless networking without paying The Man, man,

Groklaw: Oracle v. Google – Posturing Over Damages

Open Standards

Computerworld UK, Glyn Moody's blog: Interoperability and Open Standards: Help Make It Happen

Government and Free Software Policies

OSOR: HU: Government planning to use vendor-independent document format,

OSOR: DE: Updated vendor independent e-ID application based on open source

Netzpolitik: UNESCO-Kommission will Nutzung offener Lizenzen fördern

Computer weekly: UK Government cancels SME contracts and hands IT services deals to Capita

OSOR: Open process and vendor independence dearest to public administrations

Free Software Business

H-online: LexisNexis joins Linux Foundation, open sources HPCC platform,

100%open: Open Business Models

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.

FreeGamer: Some thoughts on commercial FOSS game development

Copyright and Other Legal Act Reforms

Ars technica: Can Microsoft use the DMCA to kill competing Xbox 360 accessories?

TorrentFreak: Ireland Set To Force ISPs To Disconnect Pirates

KEI online: KEI Statement in opposition to a WIPO Treaty for Broadcasting Organizations

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.

hook out → back on track :]

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