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<title>Free Software legal news</title>
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<h1>Free Software legal news</h1>
<p>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.</p>
<h3>European concerns with SOPA</h3>
<p>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? <i>See</i>
<a
href="http://kluwercopyrightblog.com/2012/01/18/european-concerns-with-sopa/">
article at Kluwer Copyright Blog</a> and <a
href="http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/telecom/internet/spains-sopa-law-how-it
-works-and-why-it-wont-work">artcile at IEEE Spectrum</a>;</p>
<h3>Secure Boot Dangers</h3>
<p>The question of whether Secure Boot technology in UEFI firmware could exclude
Linux from PCs running Windows 8 has taken a fresh twist. <i>See</i> <a
href="http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/01/18/windows_8_linux_secure_boot/">
article at the Register</a>, <a
href="http://mjg59.dreamwidth.org/9844.html">article by Matthew Garrett</a>, <a
href="http://blogs.computerworlduk.com/open-enterprise/2012/01/is-microsoft-
blocking-linux-booting-on-arm-based-hardware/index.htm">article by Glyn
Moody</a> and our petition <a
href="http://www.fsf.org/campaigns/secure-boot-vs-restricted-boot/statement">
here</a>;</p>
<h3>German court ruled against web blocking</h3>
<p>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. <i>See</i> <a
href="http://thenextweb.com/eu/2012/01/14/german-courts-are-bucking-the-trend-
ruling-that-isps-shouldnt-block-illegal-websites/">article at TNW</a>, <a
href="http://www.vg-koeln.nrw.de/presse/pressemitteilungen/01_120112/index.php">
press release (DE)</a> and similar older decision <a
href="http://www.justiz.nrw.de/nrwe/lgs/koeln/lg_koeln/j2011/
28_O_362_10_Urteil_20110831.html">here (DE)</a>;</p>
<h3>Nokia sells over 450 patents to a patent troll</h3>
<p>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.<i>See</i> <a
href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericsavitz/2012/01/13/nokia-sells-more-than-
450-wireless-patents-to-patent-troll/">article at Forbes</a> and <a
href="http://www.intomobile.com/2012/01/16/nokia-sells-over-450-patents-some-
them-deemed-essential-gsm-patent-troll/">article at IntoMobile</a>;</p>
<h3>Canonical to Offer Genivi Compliant Linux Automotive Infotainment
Solution</h3>
<p>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.<i>See</i> <a
href="http://www.marketwatch.com/story/allgo-systems-and-canonical-to-offer-
genivi-compliant-linux-automotive-infotainment-solution-and-cloud-services-to-
cars-2012-01-09">article at Market Watch</a>;</p>
<h3>AT&amp;T Joins OpenStack</h3>
<p>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&amp;T has announced that it is delivering Free Software cloud
platform based on OpenStack.<i>See</i> <a
href="http://ostatic.com/blog/at-t-makes-a-big-bet-on-linux-and-open-source-in-
the-cloud">article at OSTATIC</a> and <a
href="http://www.pcworld.com/article/247574/atandt_joins_openstack.html">article
at Pc World</a>;</p>
<h3>Free Software 2011 and 2012</h3>
<p>Year 2011, was one of the most active years in legal developments in FOSS.
What happend and what should it do in 2012? <i>See</i> <a
href="http://lawandlifesiliconvalley.com/blog/?p=664">article at Law &amp; Life
Silicon Valley</a> and <a
href="http://www.h-online.com/open/features/What-should-free-software-do-in-2012
-1401813.html">article by Glyn Moody</a>;</p>
<h3>Equal legal standing for Free Software</h3>
<p>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? <i>See</i> <a
href="http://www.piana.eu/laws">article by Carlo Piana</a>;</p>
<h3>Richard Stallman Was Right All Along</h3>
<p>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. <i>See</i> <a
href="http://www.osnews.com/story/25469/Richard_Stallman_Was_Right_All_Along">
article by Thom Holwerda</a>;</p>
<h3>Intel bets big on Android</h3>
<p>Intel has gone beyond simply dropping new hardware into an otherwise-similar
device. The company has put dedicated resources into software, too.. <i>See</i>
<a
href="http://thenextweb.com/mobile/2012/01/11/intel-bets-big-on-android-and-the-
smartphone-ecosystem-could-benefit/">article at TNW</a>;</p>
<h3>German cities following Munich's Free Software example</h3>
<p>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. <i>See</i> <a
href="http://joinup.ec.europa.eu/news/german-cities-following-munichs-open-
source-example">article at TNW</a>;</p>
<h3>Trial delayed in Oracle's Android lawsuit against Google</h3>
<p>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. <i>See</i> <a
href="http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2012/01/trial-delayed-in-oracles-
android-lawsuit-against-google.ars">article at Ars Technica</a>;</p>
<h3>"An Free Software World"? Where's The Free Software?</h3>
<p>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. <i>See</i> <a
href="http://blogs.computerworlduk.com/open-enterprise/2012/01/if-its-an-open-
source-world-wheres-the-open-source/index.htm">article by Glyn Moody</a>;</p>
<h3>Cloud Computing and Data protection reform</h3>
<p>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. <i>See</i> <a
href="http://blogs.ec.europa.eu/neelie-kroes/cloud-data-protection/">article by
Neelie Kroes</a>;</p>
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