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News/Resources: Blog

Emerging Technologies BLOG

Legal Issues In Open Source: What to Expect in 2012

Posted on Monday, Jan 30, 2012

BY Edward J. Naughton

It’s traditional in late December to take a look back at the past year and review the top stories, and there are plenty of pieces that review the developments in open source in 2011: Sean Gallagher’s article at Ars Technica, Stephen J. Vaughn-Nichols’ recap of the top five Linux stories, and Mark Radcliffe’s take.

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The Accidental Android TouchPad: Further Developments

Posted on Thursday, Nov 10, 2011

BY Edward J. Naughton

As I wrote a few weeks ago, it seems that a few of HP’s now discontinued TouchPads 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.  It’s thought that these were test units that were never meant to be sold.

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Android’s Bionic Problem Is Not “Bogus”: Why Judge Alsup Got It Right And Linus Torvalds Got It Wrong

Posted on Tuesday, Nov 8, 2011

BY Edward J. Naughton

In September, federal judge William Alsup denied Google’s request for a ruling that the Java application programming interfaces (“APIs”) were, categorically, not protected under copyright law.  In that order, which came in Google’s litigation with Oracle over Google’s use of Java in its Android mobile operating system, Judge Alsup ruled that each of the disputed files must be analyzed individually to determine whether it is protected by copyright.

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Poor Software Design as an Unfair and Deceptive Act: The Lessons of FrostWire

Posted on Wednesday, Oct 26, 2011

BY Edward J. Naughton

It was inevitable that malware would eventually target smartphones.  The mobile devices are ubiquitous, and they can store quite a lot of valuable private data.  Downloaded apps – projected to reach a staggering 29 billion for 2011 – provide an easy vector for infection.

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The Accidental Android TouchPad: Why It’s Important to Manage Software Supply Chain Risks

Posted on Tuesday, Oct 4, 2011

BY Edward J. Naughton

For a time, it seemed that HP couldn’t give away its TouchPad tablet.  Then it killed the device and announced a fire sale liquidation.  Giving them away wasn’t the problem any longer – HP couldn’t handle the demand as the remaining inventory flew off the shelves.

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Is the FSF more harmful to FOSS than Android?

Posted on Tuesday, Sep 27, 2011

BY Edward J. Naughton

A couple of weeks ago I noted the conversation in the FOSS community over Google’s closed development of the “open” Android mobile operating system.  That debate was sparked by the publication of some internal Google documents that instructed its Android team: “Do not develop in the open.”

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Google’s Closed Development of Android Opens Old Wounds

Posted on Monday, Sep 12, 2011

BY Edward J. Naughton

Does “open source” mean developing in the open?  Or is it good enough – legally and morally – to publicly release the code after the fact, when the next release is ready for market?  Is transparency a defining value of the open source community, perhaps even the most important value?  Or is it equally valid, and perhaps a better business practice, to keep development closed?

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On the State of Open Source Software: The Marketing and the Reality

Posted on Thursday, Sep 8, 2011

BY Edward J. Naughton

Yesterday Infoworld published a thought-provoking piece by Peter Wayner about the state of open source.  Wayner observes that the “open source” label is ubiquitous, but that the freedoms that open source was supposed to bring are much harder to find.  Many products are built on open source – the operating systems for iPhone and Android phones, for instance, are governed by open source licenses – but they’re locked down and/or kept in a “secret lair.”

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Open Source License Compliance: It’s Straightforwardly Complicated

Posted on Thursday, Aug 25, 2011

BY Edward J. Naughton

Some of my recent posts on the challenges of compliance with open source licenses have generated a lot of discussion in the FOSS community, as I hoped they would, and I’ll have more to contribute to the discussion in coming posts. But for now, consider this:

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Will There Be Any Open Space Left In The Mobile Landscape?

Posted on Friday, Aug 19, 2011

BY Edward J. Naughton

It’s been a topsy-turvy week for open source in the mobile space.

Google’s Android mobile operating system has been marketed as “open source,” free for others to use and modify, in contrast to Apple’s closed iOS and Microsoft’s closed Windows Phone.  One of the defining hallmarks of open source software has been the free availability of the source code.

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