Free Software Licensing

Simon Phipps writes why and how both companies and governments should adapt their procurement rules when dealing with Free Software. In short he says that you have to take into consideration that Free Software licenses are not negotiable and that Free Software is not work for hire.

A short article about malparactices in companies that claim to make Free Software like non-Free licenses; "open core"; formally "open API" with iffy ToS; and not taking the community into consideration.

Free Software Business

Canonical joins the OpenStack community

Rumours arise that Nokia is likely to launch MeeGo on a device soon. Although this is very late, I hope its Linux-based mobile OS will make the mobile phone and tablet PC market even healthier.

Jeremie Miller (the creator of XMPP) is launching the Locker Project – a Free Software service that will collect users' activities around the web and offline via sensors, put it firmly in their own possesion and then allow them to run local apps that are built to leverage their data. From what I understand the idea is basically to let the user collect his own data and use apps to e.g. find the nearest restaurant that serves food they like without resorting to clouds. Millers small business called Singly will provide the corporate support.

the Inquirer: Oracle to pay $46 million for Sun making false claims

the Inquirer: Google goes to war with Apple over mobile apps

The Next Web: Android expected to surge in Thailand

Software Patents

In front of the United States Supreme Court in re Microsoft vs. i4i a group filed an amicus brief to express its sentiments how the current patent practice in the USA is bad for innovation. The issue in question is whether preponderance standard, rather than the clear-and-convincing standard, should apply when juries should decide whether to invalidate a patent or not.

In the case of Attachmante's acquisition of Novell's patent portfolio the US Department of Justice sends Novel and Microsoft a second request for more information.

Recent China's patent boom explained: Chinese academics file a huge amount of patents because it's 1) free; 2) they get academic credit for it; and 3) China is trying to to shift from a manufacturing economy to an R&D; economy.

Copyright and Other Legal Act Reforms

EU leaders discuss today proposals for a single patent regime. The European Comission [EC] and the European Parliament [EP] plan to fast-track this issue, with the Parilament votin in mid-February. But in March the European Court of Justice [ECJ] is to decide whether an "EU patent" is compatible with the treaties or not. Last July the Advocat General [AG] said that "The agreement contemplated is, in its current state, incompatible with the treaties". Since the ECJ often follows the AG's opinion, it seems in the near future a common EU patent is not likely and the alternative of an enhanced cooperation between certain member states is likely. Some NGO's (see second link) opose this idea very much though.

European Commissioner Michel Barnier (Internal Market and Services, responsible for "intellectual property") announced that the EC will present new plans to modernize copyright legislation this spring. Comissioner claims to want to make with new legislation a simpler and more transparent royalty collection system and invites the entertainment industry to think about the online distribution of audiovisual work.

Two MEPs (Stavros Lambrinidis and Francoise Castex) allege that the EC's secret talks with industry representatives from IFPI (music) and ETNO (telecoms) could lead to the imposition of Hadopi-style (i.e. "three strikes") copyright enforcement measures through the back door.

Government and Free Software Policies

European Commission consults on the modernisation of the European Public Procurement Market

The US government is eyeing an Internet-based healthcare system for easy sharing of health related data between doctors, medical institutions and patients. For this project it decided to use an "open source approach".

OSOR: GR: Open source and free Linux system for teachers and pupils at elementary schools

OSOR: PL: 'Ninety percent op public administrations use open source'

In its (minor) revision of the internal "open source strategy" the EC prefers Free Software for the development of new information systems planned to deploy outside of its own datacenters and premises. The revision is said to mainly make EC's own Free Software easier to be adopted by others. Sadly it doesn't seem to talk about open standards but "recognised, well-documented standards" and "well-established standards" and some other points seem to leave a bit wiggling place. An interesting part is that the EC plans to clarify the legal context around the internal use of Free Software like licensing, "IPR", equal oportunity in public procurement and FS community participation.

Other interesting links

Ars Technica: Lawyer can't handle opposition, gives up on P2P porn lawsuit

the Register: ICO drops BT, ACS Law probe

TorrentFreak: ACS:Law and MediaCAT Completely Shut Down Both Their Businesses

CreativeCommons: CC and data[bases]: huge in 2011, what you can do

OSOR: OSOR publishes a new “Legal Corner” section and a licence wizard!

MIT Press releases book "Access to Knowledge in the Age of Intellectual Property" for public access.

RacketWare: French Court of Cassation threatens bundled software

Open Knowledge Foundation Blog: Open Public Data: Then What? (part 1)

Open Knowledge Foundation Blog: Open Public Data: Then What? (part 2)

Internet Governance: The US Commerce Dept position paper for the ICANN Board negotiations

miscellaneous factZ: Copyright is a Monopoly! (And isn’t like normal property)

Ars Technica: (Secret) US cables reveal: ACTA was far too secret

La Quadrature du Net: WikiLeaks Cables Shine Light on ACTA History

OpenSource.com: An anthropologist's view of an open source community

hook out → meeting an old colleague at Cyberpipe :3

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