Legal

Legal issues, mostly with relevance to Free software

Open source licensing suits settle in short order

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Legal

lawyersweekly.ca: Many open source licences are only two or three paragraphs long and read more like a manifesto than a traditional software licence. The simple but unorthodox nature of open source licences, along with the fact that the software is provided “free,” has lulled many into a false sense that these licences must surely be unenforceable and that the use and redistribution of open source software will have no consequences.

Novell slapped with suit for new mini-OS

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SUSE
Legal

blogs.techtarget.com: Astrum Inc., a software security company in Carrollton, Texas, has filed suit against Novell Inc. Astrum claims that Novell violated its contract regarding development of the mini-operating system appliance that Novell launched last month, Novell’s JeOS.

Unix beardies sue BSI over OOXML

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OSS
Legal

theinquirer.net: A BAND OF BRITISH British Unix beardies has issued a High Court challenge over the national approval of Microsoft's OOXML document standard. The UK Unix User Group has demanded a judicial review.

FreeBSD developer Kip Macy charged with tenant terror

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theregister.co.uk: Prominent FreeBSD developer Kip Macy has been charged with waging a campaign of terror against people renting apartments in a six-unit building he owns. He stands accused of cutting out floor supports to retaliate against a tenant who went to court to keep from being evicted.

Another GPL suit ends with compliance

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OSS
Legal

blogs.the451group: The SFLC has settled yet another GPL lawsuit, this time agreeing to dismiss its case against High-Gain Antennas. Similar to prior agreements to comply, the latest GPL settlement comes with some key requirements for the defendant, which was sued for distributing GPL’d BusyBox code in its wireless connectivity devices without properly sharing source code.

BusyBox Developers and High-Gain Antennas Agree to Dismiss GPL Lawsuit

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OSS
Legal

softwarefreedom.org: The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) and High-Gain Antennas today jointly announced that an agreement has been reached to dismiss the GPL enforcement lawsuit filed by SFLC on behalf of two principal developers of BusyBox.

Software patent case defendant seeks support of FOSS communit

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Legal

linux.com: Barracuda Networks is actively seeking the support of the free and open source software (FOSS) community in its battle against a patent suit brought against it by Trend Micro. The suit revolves around Barracuda's distribution of Clam Antivirus (ClamAV), the well-known FOSS security software, with its firewall and Web filter hardware appliances.

News about LANCOR v. OLPC

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OLPC
Legal

Groklaw: I was reading some cynical documents just filed in the LANCOR v. OLPC litigation. Yes, it's begun in a Nigerian court. LANCOR has actually done it.

BusyBox Developers and Xterasys Corporation Agree to Settle GPL Lawsuit

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softwarefreedom.org: The Software Freedom Law Center today announced that it has settled the GPL violation lawsuit filed on behalf of BusyBox developers Erik Andersen and Rob Landley against Xterasys Corporation.

BusyBox Developers File GPL Infringement Lawsuit Against Verizon Communications

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Legal

softwarefreedom.org: The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) today announced that it has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Verizon Communications, Inc. on behalf of its clients, two principal developers of BusyBox, alleging violation of the GNU General Public License (GPL).

OLPC Sued Over Keyboard Design

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OLPC
Legal

bostonglobe: A Nigerian entrepreneur based in Natick says the One Laptop Per Child Foundation, of Cambridge, stole his company’s design for a multilingual keyboard.

Novell Settles One Antitrust Claim with Microsoft for $536 Million

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SUSE
Legal

linuxelectrons: Novell has announced an agreement with Microsoft to settle potential antitrust litigation related to Novell's NetWare operating system in exchange for $536 million in cash. Novell also said that it will file an antitrust suit against Microsoft in the United States District Court in Utah seeking unspecified damages in connection with alleged harm to Novell’s WordPerfect application software business in the mid-1990s.

BusyBox and Monsoon Settle Litigation with GPL Compliance Achieved

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Legal

groklaw: I've just heard from the Software Freedom Law Center that the BusyBox-Monsoon Multimedia GPL-enforcement litigation has been settled. The plaintiffs agree to dismiss the lawsuit and reinstate Monsoon Multimedia's rights to distribute BusyBox under the GPL, Monsoon Multimedia has agreed to appoint an Open Source Compliance Officer within its organization to monitor and ensure GPL compliance.

IP firm sued, settled with Novell on different patent in August

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Legal

zdnet blogs: The IP firm that filed patent litigation against Red Hat and Novell mounted legal threats against many other U.S. software companies in 2007 including Oracle, SAP, Computer Associates, EMC, Adobe, Autodesk, Apple, SPSS — and Novell.

Plaintiff: Open Source Not on Trial in Linux Suit

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OSS
Legal

internetnews.com: The nation's first Linux patent suit currently facing Red Hat and Novell isn't about open source at all. Or so the plaintiff says.

Linux patent lawsuit: follow the money

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Legal

matt asay: Why sue two companies with nonexistent desktop businesses when Microsoft provides the biggest potential jackpot of all? (After all, this same company sued and settled with Apple earlier this year.) Unless, of course, it is Microsoft funding the whole thing?

IP Innovation LLC: Patsy or Proxy?

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Legal

Linux Today: For the record, (and I realize that I might be opening myself to calls of "naive") I am not 100 percent convinced that this pioneering patent infringement lawsuit is a direct result of Microsoft's planning.

Patent Infringement Lawsuit Filed Against Red Hat & Novell

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Legal

groklaw: IP Innovation LLC has just filed a patent infringement claim against Red Hat and Novell. It was filed October 9, case no. 2:2007cv00447, IP Innovation, LLC et al v. Red Hat Inc. et al, in Texas. Where else? The patent troll magnet state.

Expect a settlement in Monsoon GPL suit

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OSS
Legal

Dana Blankenhorn: I was sent a link to a Hava support thread on the issue, which was still online at this writing. The thread makes it clear that the facts of the case are on the side of GPL advocates, and that many people are checking the tools they get, looking for GPL violations.

First U.S. GPL lawsuit filed

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Legal

linux-watch: Normally, GPL violations have been settled by letters from the FSF (Free Software Foundation) or other open-source organizations, pointing out the violation. For the first time in the U.S., a company, multimedia device and software vendor Monsoon Multimedia, is being taken to court for a GPL violation.

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