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News/Resources: Blog

Edward J. Naughton

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RECENT ENTRIES

Mobile App Privacy: Five Things Businesses Can Do To Stay Out Of Trouble

Posted on Friday, Dec 21, 2012

BY Edward J. Naughton and Ryan S. Moore

The business case for offering a mobile app can be compelling: an app can give a business a constant presence on its customers’ mobile desktop, building brand awareness and allowing easy and direct interaction.  But businesses that roll out apps need to pay attention to privacy rules, too, as the recent enforcement action by California’s Attorney General reminds us.

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A New Wave Of GPL Enforcement? Samba and Linux kernel copyrightholders join the fight

Posted on Friday, Jun 29, 2012

BY Edward J. Naughton

Talk about unintended consequences: Rob Landley, a lead developer of BusyBox, announced that he was rewriting that program solely to disarm GPL enforcers. In response, several other copyright holders came forward to hand the enforcers some bigger and more effective weapons.

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The Lore of Linux

Posted on Tuesday, Jun 12, 2012

BY Edward J. Naughton

Advising clients on open source is always hard, because there’s not much law but a lot of lore.  There are a couple of court decisions that discuss open source licensing, but they don’t get at the really complicated and interesting issues that arise in the day-to-day.

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Copyright in APIs: The Sky Won’t Fall, and The Clouds Are Safe

Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2012

BY Edward J. Naughton

It’s “The End Of Programming As We Know It”! Oracle is going to “rewrite software law” to create crushing legal burdens on cloud computing! People will soon be able to copyright anything – there could even be a “land grab” for common words that would allow them to “lockdown” programming!

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Does Android Infringe Oracle’s Copyrights In The Java Platform? What The Jury Will – And Won’t – Decide

Posted on Tuesday, May 1, 2012

BY Edward J. Naughton

It’s now up to a jury in San Francisco to determine whether Google’s Android mobile platform infringes Oracle’s copyrights in the code and documentation for the Java Platform.  Or is it?

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Mayo v. Prometheus: A Facile, and Flawed, Approach to Patent Eligibility

Posted on Wednesday, Apr 4, 2012

BY Edward J. Naughton

A few weeks ago, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories that promises to significantly disrupt well-established (and investment-backed) expectations in the biotech industry.

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Misusing The Defense Of Copyright Misuse

Posted on Tuesday, Mar 6, 2012

BY Edward J. Naughton

Over on Groklaw, a recent post suggested that the copyright claims in Oracle v. Google might give rise to a defense of copyright misuse.   The copyright issues in that case have been fascinating from the start:  Google has argued, for instance, that software APIs are per se uncopyrightable.   Judge Alsup rejected this argument, but I expect that we’ll hear more about it before the case is over.

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GPL Enforcement: Is Copyleft A Force For Good?

Posted on Tuesday, Feb 14, 2012

BY Edward J. Naughton

The debate over GPL enforcement continues, with the two leading GPL enforcers lashing back at the “anti-copyleft” forces.

A few weeks ago, Rob Landley sparked a firestorm of controversy within the FOSS community when he criticized the GPL enforcement campaigns conducted by the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) and Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC).

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HP Releases Source Code For The Accidental Android TouchPad: Do GPL Obligations Arise Even From Unauthorized Distributions?

Posted on Friday, Feb 10, 2012

BY Edward J. Naughton

Back in the fall I wrote about the flap over the HP TouchPad tablets that were shipped with Android 2.2, or FroYo, installed.  The TouchPad was a WebOS-powered tablet, but somehow at least a few units had Android installed.  Most thought that these were test units that were never meant to be sold.

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Is BusyBox Too Dangerous To Use?

Posted on Friday, Feb 3, 2012

BY Edward J. Naughton

Rob Landley thinks so.  One of the principal developers of BusyBox, Landley was a lead plaintiff in some of the enforcement actions brought by the Software Freedom Law Center a few years ago.  He’s now leading up a project, called Toybox, to rewrite BusyBox and release it under a more permissive, non-GPL license.  And for doing that, Landley’s drawn a lot of fire from free software advocates.

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