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Free Software legal news

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Read about European concerns with SOPA, dangers of Secure Boot, Nokia's move to sell 450 patents to a patent troll, summary of Free Software developments in 2011, web blocking in Germany and many more.

European concerns with SOPA

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a bill that is currently pending in the US House of Representatives, raise considerable controversy beyond the national territory. How does it effect or already effected European countries? See article at Kluwer Copyright Blog and artcile at IEEE Spectrum;

Secure Boot Dangers

The question of whether Secure Boot technology in UEFI firmware could exclude Linux from PCs running Windows 8 has taken a fresh twist. See article at the Register, article by Matthew Garrett, article by Glyn Moody and our petition here;

German court ruled against web blocking

If we learned anything this week, it was that European courts are coming down increasingly hard on websites that facilitate the sharing of illegal ‘pirated’ content. But for those that believe in an open, uncensored Internet, news that a German court has ruled against ordering Internet service providers (ISPs) to block such websites will be welcomed. See article at TNW, press release (DE) and similar older decision here (DE);

Nokia sells over 450 patents to a patent troll

Nokia sold a group of more than 450 patents and applications to the Luxembourg-based patent licensing firm Sisvel International, Reuters reports. The patents mostly involved wireless technology.See article at Forbes and article at IntoMobile;

Canonical to Offer Genivi Compliant Linux Automotive Infotainment Solution

Canonical and AllGo Embedded Systems today announced the availability of their Linux In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) solution that combines AllGo's IVI Middleware solution RACE with Canonical's Genivi compliant Ubuntu IVI Remix operating system. Together the solution provides advanced features for next generation connected car platforms like personal cloud services based on Ubuntu One, smartphone and tablet Integration in the car and location-based services.See article at Market Watch;

AT&T Joins OpenStack

While there are a number of Free Software solutions emerging for cloud computing, OpenStack remains one of the best backed platforms, with vendors ranging from Hewlett-Packard to Dell to Citrix supporting it. OpenStack got its early momentum from Rackspace and NASA, though, and late last year Rackspace announced Rackspace Cloud: Private Edition, which is an OpenStack-powered cloud platform featuring managed services and--most important of all--operational support. Now, AT&T has announced that it is delivering Free Software cloud platform based on OpenStack.See article at OSTATIC and article at Pc World;

Free Software 2011 and 2012

Year 2011, was one of the most active years in legal developments in FOSS. What happend and what should it do in 2012? See article at Law & Life Silicon Valley and article by Glyn Moody;

Free Software has thrived despite the absence of any legal recognition by the law, if not in spite of rules that clearly are shaped around proprietary software. In many jurisdictions it has passed the enforceability test. So, no laws seem necessary to make it work. Yet, can some legal principle be put forward, and included in some laws, to help? See article by Carlo Piana;

Richard Stallman Was Right All Along

Thirty years ago, when Richard Stallman launched the GNU project, and during the three decades that followed, his sometimes extreme views and peculiar antics were ridiculed and disregarded as paranoia - but here we are, 2012, and his once paranoid what-ifs have become reality. See article by Thom Holwerda;

Intel bets big on Android

Intel has gone beyond simply dropping new hardware into an otherwise-similar device. The company has put dedicated resources into software, too.. See article at TNW;

German cities following Munich's Free Software example

Municipal administrations in Germany are starting to follow the example of the city of Munich, and increase their use of free and Free Software software. Cities of Freiburg and Jena are examples of city administrations following Munich's lead. See article at TNW;

Trial delayed in Oracle's Android lawsuit against Google

A pretrial order issued earlier this month indicated that Oracle's lawsuit against Google would likely head to a jury trial in March. In a new filing, Judge William Alsup decided to delay the trial until Oracle can propose a reasonable methodology for measuring the damages. See article at Ars Technica;

"An Free Software World"? Where's The Free Software?

If we are to believe the early signs, 2012 may well be the year that British schools finally start to address the continuing shame that is ICT teaching. As I and many others have noted, the current approach essentially consists of sitting people in front of Microsoft Word and Excel and making them learn a couple of commands on the menus. See article by Glyn Moody;

Cloud Computing and Data protection reform

The Commission will propose a reform of the current 15-year-old framework in a few weeks. The main issues were already clearly flagged in the Commission communication just over a year ago. See article by Neelie Kroes;