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From "Lawrence Rosen" <lro...@rosenlaw.com>
Subject Open Standards and Open Source
Date Sat, 14 Feb 2015 18:39:05 GMT
To: Apache friends

 

I'm going to be at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit 2015 in Santa
Rosa next week. If there are any Apache folks there, please say hello. There
is an extensive legal track with some really good speakers and topics.
(Sorry, I believe it is too late to register.)

 

I'll be speaking on Thursday about Open Standards, a topic that has
occasionally interested the participants on this legal-discuss@ list. I'm
mostly avoiding patents in my talk because important software standards
organizations in the US already have strong royalty-free patent policies.
Instead, I've been focused recently on the gymnastics performed by some
standards organizations and their major large members to avoid giving open
source communities the copyright to create derivative works. I will also
discuss how these policies contradict the same companies' own arguments in
the Oracle v. Google lawsuit, which is also about the effect of copyright
law on open standards.

 

I'm reading an interesting book about The Innovators: How a Group of
Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution, by Walter
Isaacson. He writes:

 

"These patent disputes [about the invention of the computer] were the
forerunner of a major issue of the digital era: Should intellectual property
be shared freely and placed whenever possible into the public domain and
open-source commons? That course, largely followed by developers of the
Internet and the Web, can spur innovation through the rapid dissemination
and crowdsourced improvement of ideas. Or should intellectual property
rights be protected and inventors allowed to profit from their proprietary
ideas and innovations? That path, largely followed in the computer hardware,
electronics, and semiconductor industries, can provide the financial
incentives and capital investment that encourages innovation and rewards
risk.... In 2011 a milestone was reached: Apple and Google spent more on
lawsuits and payments involving patents than they did on research and
development of new products." [Citing Charles Duhigg and Steve Lohr, "The
Patent, Used as a Sword," New York Times, Oct. 7, 2012.] 

 

Lawrence Rosen

"If this were legal advice it would have been accompanied by a bill."


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