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[News] Free Software Community Thrives in Europe

  • Subject: [News] Free Software Community Thrives in Europe
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 28 May 2010 21:19:23 +0100
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
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A Thriving FOSS Community on the North

,----[ Quote ]
| Living in Sweden, conferences usually 
| include travelling abroad. This is all fun, 
| but it also means spending time away from 
| family and work. This in turn means catching 
| up on work, i.e. spending even less time 
| with the family. Not exactly what I want to 
| do all my life.
| Recently this has changed. First of all, the 
| free community conference FSCONS (held in 
| Gothenburn Sweden), has gained more and more 
| technical content (without losing the free 
| community angle!). This means that it is 
| more and more attractive to my flavour of 
| geeks. This year, in November, they are even 
| pursuing an embedded track and I 
| definitively plan on both attending and 
| speaking!


The Contributor's Code: What Should be Expected of FLOSS Contributors?

,----[ Quote ]
| Free and open source projects provide an 
| amazing example of what volunteer contributors 
| can do. While many folks are paid to work on 
| open source, there's still an enormous amount 
| of work done by volunteers. Like any volunteer 
| work, though, contributions can be disrupted by 
| more pressing work and personal issues. What 
| do, or should, contributors commit to when 
| volunteering with a project?



EU Patent system taken away from European Court of Justice

,----[ Quote ]
| Business Europe fiercely opposes a role for
| the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in
| patent law. During a conference in the
| European Parliament in Strasbourg, Thierry
| Sueur of Business Europe disclosed the
| United Patent Litigation System (UPLS) was
| aimed to keep the ECJ away from
| interpreting substantive patent law under
| the European Patent Convention (EPC),
| particularly for software patentability.
| Hartmut Pilch analysed in 2007: "In July
| 2005, after several failed attempts to
| legalise software patents in Europe, the
| patent establishment changed its strategy.
| Instead of explicitly seeking to sanction
| the patentability of software, they are now
| seeking to create a central European patent
| court, which would establish and enforce
| patentability rules in their favor, without
| any possibility of correction by competing
| courts or democratically elected
| legislators."
| Benjamin Henrion, President of the FFII,
| comprehends their concerns: "While the US
| Supreme Court can review decisions of the
| Texas patent courts, this recourse would
| not be available to Europeans. A newly
| created UPLS patent court would have the
| final say over software patentability."


Hacking through the Software Patent Thickets

,----[ Quote ]
| Most people in the hacking community are
| well aware that patents represent one of
| the most serious threats to free software.
| But the situation is actually even worse
| than it seems, thanks to the proliferation
| of what are called patent thickets. To
| understand why these are so bad, and why
| they represent a particular problem for
| software, it is necessary to go back to
| the beginning of patent law.
| The patent thicket As their name implies,
| patents are about making something
| âpatentâ, or public, so that others can
| use and build on an invention â but only
| after a certain period, during which time
| the patent-holder has a monopoly right
| (what kind of right is discussed below).
| Indeed, the origin of British patent law â
| and of many anglophone countries that base
| their law on this tradition â is the 1623
| Statute of Monopolies.

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