Copyright & Copyleft

The Court of Justice of the EU ("ECJ") has been asked to clarify the issue of whether the intellectual effort and skill involved in creating data for a database may be taken into account when considering whether the database copyright subsists therein. The question of whether copyright can exist in any other form in a database has also been referred. The dispute is over football (soccer for our US members) fixture lists.

China is fighting hard against copyright (and other "IPR") infrigement. Since November the government has already arrested 4000 people and further 2000 cases have already been reported.

Nigeria's movie industry blooms although/because its copyright system is completely ineffective.

Patents & Standardisation

Apple withdraws VLC from its App Store in order not to infringe GPLv2.

À propos last week mentioned selling of Novell's patent portfolio: early this week there were reports that Microsoft, Apple, EMC and Oracle have withdrawn their idea to form a consortium and buy the said patents. This was later reported to be just a tactical retreat and the plans to acquire the portfolio are still there. FSFE and others are concerned were this to happen it would endager many Free Software projects.

Earlier this week, the US Federal Circuit removed a bit of the haze by invalidating the "25% rule" a.k.a. "rule of thumb". This means that now the patent holder is not by rule of thumb eligible to 25% of the infringers profits. While this neither eliminates software patents nor brings immense changes to the patent legislation, it should still diminish the impact. (And yes, for once we can celebrate a win from Microsoft's side.)

Google has decided to remove the patent-encumbered H.264 codec from Chrome and concentrate on its open video format WebM.

Privacy & Data Protection

German data protection officials say Google may be voilating German data protection laws by tracking IPs with its Google Analytics tool.

EU Parliament is to decide whether to block websites in order to stop child abuse. La Quadrature du Net and EDRi [European Digital Rights] are very oposed to it, of course.


Black Duck Software acquired Olliance Group. After, and SpikeSource, this is its fourth FOSS-related acquisition.

Ubuntu and Dell will release together the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud [UEC] which will be based on Dell's servers, Ubuntu, Eucalyptus and OpenStack.

On the other hand there are still businesses that apparently do now know how to develop FOSS.

CROSS – the open source resource centre of the Italian autonomous region of Friuli Venezia Giulia finds in its report that public administrations should use the savings they realise by their use of generic free software applications, to pay for development of specialised IT solutions. Also that cca. 60% of the 192 municipalities in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region use free software.


The EU Comission report on application of directive 2004/48/EC on the enforcement of IP rights has been published. It mainly concentrates on infringements of "IP rights" and concludes that the Directive is good, but does not address all issues that the internet brings. Especially worrying are the circumvention of the E-Commerce Directive, plans to overturn the ban on imposing a "general obligation to monitor" on Internet providers, and the intended weakening of the EU's data protection regime for the benefit of copyright holders. It also calls all interested parties for comments until 31. III. 2011.

Michael Geist gives his predictions about the upcoming year in technology law and policy in Canada.

BSA loses IBM, HP, EMC, SAP, Cisco, Borland, Microsoft and many other members.

hook out → going to a presentation of a book from my great-great-great-grandfather

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