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Free Software legal news


Read about launch of cloud computing interoperability intitiative, US Supreme Court decision on copyright extension, plan of Spanish region to use 40.000 Linux based desktops, patent inflation and more.

Quick Navigation: › Antitrust concerns › Copyright and the Public Domain › IT Public Policy ›  patents and copyright litigations › Business and markets

Antitrust concerns

UEFI and bugs

The fundamental problem is that UEFI is a lot of code. And I really do mean a lot of code. Ignoring drivers, the x86 Linux kernel is around 30MB of code. A comparable subset of the UEFI tree is around 35MB. UEFI is of a comparable degree of complexity to the Linux kernel. See article by Matthew Garrett;

Apple's iBooks Author EULA restrictions invite antitrust concerns

Forcing users to sell content through the iBookstore, governed by a separate contract with its own terms, might not survive an antitrust challenge in court if it were to come up. See article at Ars Technica;

The US Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld Congress’s right to extend copyright protection to millions of books, films and musical compositions by foreign artists that once were free for public use. See article at Washingtonpost, article by Tyler Ochoa and text of decision;

IT Public Policy

ACTA Makes Its Way to the EU Parliament

After the huge online protests against the extremist SOPA and PIPA copyright bills discussed in the United States, the EU Parliament starts working on their global counterpart: ACTA, the anti-counterfeiting trade agreement. Citizens across Europe must push back against this illegitimate agreement bound to undermine free speech online, access to knowledge and innovation worldwide. See article at La Quadrature du Net, article at Siliconrepublic and article at Forbes;

Measures Governments Can Use to Promote Free Software

This article suggests policies for a strong and firm effort to promote free software within the state, and to lead the rest of the country towards software freedom. See article by Richard Stallman;

Why we need a sound Do-Not–Track standard for privacy online

A blog post on how Neelie Kroes want to ensure privacy and user control when you’re browsing online. See article by Neelie Kroes;

Extremadura CIO plans Linux rollout on 40,000 desktops

The CIO of Spanish autonomous region Extremadura says it is planning to move the administration's 40,000 desktop systems to a Debian distribution. See article at H-Online;

Kodak declares bankruptcy, presses on with patent suits, digital strategy

Eastman Kodak, after 120 years in business, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today. It may not be surprising, given the way today's digital technologies are making photographic film a relic. But Kodak says it has a plan to rebuild, based heavily both on its own patent portfolio and its own digital technologies. See article at Ars Technica and article at the Economist;

Israel to recognize software patents

The Israeli patent registrar have reverted previous ruling regarding patents on software and published a draft for the procedures to accept such patents. The procedures are open to public comments for the next 30 days. See article by Lior Kaplan and relevant documents;

Paper: Patent Inflation

Because the PTO will grant nearly any plausible patent, the vast majority of rejected applications that are appealed to the Federal Circuit will concern boundary-pushing inventions that are unpatentable under current law. Occasionally, a particularly patent-friendly panel of Federal Circuit judges will elect to reverse the PTO and grant a patent that the Agency has denied. The Federal Circuit’s decision will create a new, inflationary precedent. See article at The Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom and paper by professor Jonathan Masur;

Trial delayed in Oracle's Android lawsuit against Google

Judge William Alsup decided to delay the trial until Oracle can propose a reasonable methodology for measuring the damages. See article at Ars Technica and article at Groklaw;

Business and markets

How China Ate Android

Sony Ericsson posted an atrocious 4Q11 handset performance, extending the losing streak of Android vendors. This wasn’t expected to be a stellar quarter for SE, but the numbers are way below expectations – handset volumes dropped by 20% YoY. See article at Forbes;

Survey: 80% Linux-using enterprises will increase Linux use

Almost 80% of enterprises that use Linux will be increasing their use of Linux over the next five years, and 84% of them increased their Linux use in the past year, despite the economic climate. More of these companies will be reducing the number of Windows servers they use (25.9%) than increasing them (21.7%) too. See article at H-Online;

Samsung says no final decision on bada/Tizen merge

According to reports, Samsung has been contacting sites such as AllThingsD to say that a "final decision" regarding a merger of its proprietary bada mobile operating system and the Meego/Samsung Linux Project blend Tizen, has not yet been made.See article at H-Online;

OASIS launches cloud interoperability initiative

The Organisation for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) has launched a new standards initiative to enhance the portability of cloud applications. The aim of the Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications (TOSCA) project is to create a standard for interoperable cloud platforms.See article at H-Online and wiki of cloud computing standards;

World IPv6 Launch on 6 June

The Internet Society is organising World IPv6 Launch for 6 June 2012, when participating internet service providers, network equipment manufacturers and other service providers will permanently enable IPv6 on their connections, devices and services. See article at H-Online;