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Top Ten Open Source Legal Developments: 2008

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OSS
Legal

lawandlifesiliconvalley.com: Last year was the one of the most active years for legal developments in the history of free and open source (“FOSS”). http://lawandlifesiliconvalley.com/blog/?p=27 This year, 2008, has seen a continuation of important legal developments for FOSS. My list of the top ten FOSS legal developments in 2008 follows:

Free Software Foundation Files Suit Against Cisco For GPL Violations

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OSS
Legal

fsf.org: The Free Software Foundation (FSF) today announced that it has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Cisco.

Diebold faces GPL infringement lawsuit over voting machines

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OSS
Legal

arstechnica.com: Artifex Software, the company behind the open source Ghostscript PDF processing software, has filed a lawsuit against voting machine vendor Diebold and its subsidiary Premier Election Solutions. Artifex says that Diebold violated the GPL by incorporating Ghostscript into commercial electronic voting machine systems.

Michael Robertson Sues Me to Impede My Freedom of Speech

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Linux
Legal

kevincarmony.blogspot: As many of you know, I have used my blog as a resource to bring to light the questionable actions of Michael Robertson, and to go public with his treatment of employees and shareholders. Today I was served with a lawsuit by Michael Robertson in an effort to obscure my blog and impede my freedom of speech.

IP Innovation v Red Hat and Novell - 1 Year Later

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Legal

groklaw.net: It's been a while since we last looked in on the IP Innovation LLC v. Red Hat et al patent litigation. In fact, it's been exactly a year. The parties are deep in discovery, with trial set for April 12, 2010[PDF]. That could change, of course. But that's the date set.

Apple awarded patent on the Dock

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Legal

appleinsider.com: It took nearly nine years, but Apple chief executive Steve Jobs and Co. were awarded this week with a patent for their implementation of a software-based computer dock that has since become a trademark of the Mac OS X operating system.

The Purpose of the Fifth Amendment to the Bill of Rights

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Legal

groklaw.net: I'm thinking that we need a few fun classes on the Bill of Rights to the US Constitution. No. Really. If you'll try to pay attention, I'll try to make it enjoyable.

Rule #1: Hold On Loosely

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In the proprietary production world, what matters about a copyright is who owns it. In the free production world, however, who owns a copyright is relatively unimportant. What matters is what license it is offered under. There is a very simple rule of thumb about the best license to use: use a “free, copyleft license”.

The Caldera v. Microsoft Docket - All the Documents To Be Found

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Legal

groklaw.net: Here are all the documents still electronically available from the court in the Caldera v. Microsoft litigation, which settled in 2000. Very little is available any more, mainly orders, but you can learn quite a bit from reading orders. And the docket sheet itself tells quite a tale. What I could get, I've placed as links in the list.

2000 Caldera-Microsoft Settlement Surfaces in Novell v. Microsoft Antitrust Lawsuit

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groklaw.net: The Novell/Canopy/Caldera/DR DOS story continues, and Novell and Microsoft are in the middle of it all, battling in discovery in the Novell v. Microsoft antitrust litigation -- that is the litigation over WordPerfect currently before the US District Court in Maryland in pretrial discovery.

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Leftovers: Software