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GNU is Not Unix Government The Courts News

Launch of First International FOSS Law Review 30

Posted by kdawson
from the peer-reviewed-copyleft dept.
Graeme West writes "A group of tech lawyers has announced the release of the inaugural issue of the International Free and Open Source Software Law Review (IFOSS L. Rev.) — a place for high-level discussion of issues and best practice in the implementation of FOSS. You can view the announcement, or skip straight to Volume 1, Issue 1. A downloadable PDF file is also available. The journal is open access, and articles are CC licensed."
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Launch of First International FOSS Law Review

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  • This is gunna take me days to read.

    • You must be new here, despite that ID number. Slashdotters don't rtfa. They barely rtfs.

      Saves time that way. :)

      • In the good old times, everyone on slashdot read tfa.

        • Except the Natalie Portman trolls. I don't think they EVER read the articles.

        • Oh yeah. Of course. My thinking was flawed. There's no other way that "slashdotting" could have started if /.ers didnt' rtfa.

          Clearly, I am new here.

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by sigxcpu (456479)

            You know how hard it was to slashdot a site when there were only five of us?
            Instead of having 5 million people each load a site once we had to each do it a million times...

      • by peetm (781139)

        You must be new here, despite that ID number. Slashdotters don't rtfa. They barely rtfs.

        Saves time that way. :)

        What ID, where?

  • EU legals (Score:3, Interesting)

    by buchner.johannes (1139593) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @02:14AM (#28700619) Homepage Journal

    I hope the EU issues a GPL3-compatible version of the EUPL [europa.eu], so devs in Europe are on the legally safe side.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by aaribaud (585182)
      Er... I don't see how a license, even one backed by the EU, would change anything legally: it is not a law, and would not change a iota to the legal situation of anyone *not* using it. It *could* affect those using it, though, but its mere existence would not make it legal per se.
      • Sure, but Europeans could then choose a license for future projects. And possibly for derivatives of GPLv3 projects?

        • by aaribaud (585182)
          Yes, they could, and then what? The fact that this license would be written or endorsed by the EU would not make people using it any safer than any other license on a legal standpoint.
          • The fact that this license was written by the EU with translations to the languages of the various countries, that it includes the necessary sections to cover the individual state of law in the various countries and that it generally considers a European legal systems point of view makes it safer to use than the GPL.
            On the other hand, since there are no software patents in the EU, I guess GPLv3 doesn't have that much momentum. Also the EUCD/Electronic Commerce Directive is not the DMCA.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by aaribaud (585182)
              I understand your point, but I'm afraid this is a false sense of safety you're relying upon. The question of translations aside (as translations are not a legal tool per se) the EUPL has indeed been carefully designed so as to be legal in any european country--or more precisely, as legal as it goes. As for the GPL, I fail to see how, as you seem to imply by comparison, it would "not consider the european legal systems", since it has been tested in French and German courts during actual trials, and found leg
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      On the subject of the GPLv3 and internationalisation, it's worth reminding people that one of the key objectives of it was to be more legally sound in jurisdictions other than the US. There are several ways it does this - replaces references to US laws with international references (e.g. WIPO), the patent license (GPLv2/BSD/etc in the US have an implied patent license, some other countries do not), and watching the wording in general.

      -

      Whatever the 'downsides' attributed to the GPLv3 by some people (mostly a

  • by Dunbal (464142) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @02:31AM (#28700687)

    I don't remember clicking on the EULA for this crap. Why do I have to be bound by what "a group of lawyers" thinks "best practices" are? Oh wait, I don't...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I think you've kind of missed the point. The "best practices" are likely more related to how you need to cover your ass to avoid being sued for IP issues or how to file your own patents if you're interested. It makes sense if you think about it. While businesses are trying to build up their software patent portfolios open source projects often ignore this side of things. While you may not be interested in filing patents the minefield will only get bigger over time and it helps when a group of lawyers is thr

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The paper seem to focus on case law. That only involves some former British colonies. Most countries create their laws and regulations through their political system, not their judicial system. Separation between legislative and executive powers are a really good thing from a democracy viewpoint. It means people are less likely to get abused by the legal system and that the process of creating, and decisions and motivations behind, a law or regulations become easy to follow, criticise and rectify for common

    • by aaribaud (585182) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @04:50AM (#28701127)
      As someone living in France, where law is created by representatives and not judges, I would like to respectfully disagreee on the 'people being less likely to get abused by the legal system' when law come fro the legislative power. You just look at what's going through our reps at this time, mostly dealing with intellectual property. Basically, the HADOPI laws are designed by the executive power, with tacit acceptance, if not approval, of the legislative power, to actually evade control by the judicial power; and this is not because the judicial power would be unfair to the citizen: that's because the judicial power would bar the administration (thus the executive power) from assuming citizen guilty and stamping on their right for fair trial, freedom of speech and privacy. And this is not a dangerous activist saying so; this is the Conseil Constitutionnel, the very institution whose mission is to ensure that french laws respect the french Constitution.
      • As someone living in France, where law is created by representatives and not judges, I would like to respectfully disagreee on the 'people being less likely to get abused by the legal system' when law come fro the legislative power.

        Speaking as a European lawyer I find it interesting that it's only in France that I've seen this kind of legislation survive (in any form), and there are plenty of other European countries where legislation is created by representatives.
        Note that I said "survive", because it has been suggested in other countries as well. I don't remember it surviving in any other countries, however please correct me if I am wrong.
        As far as I can see your statement is too broad and wide ranging with France as the only exam

        • by aaribaud (585182)
          I don't think I've made a broad statement; rather, I gave a specific counter-example to the broad statement that 'a separate legislative power makes people less likely to be abused by the legal system' by showing that France, at least, was a case with a separate legislative power *and* abusive laws passed by this power.
          • I don't think I've made a broad statement; rather, I gave a specific counter-example to the broad statement that 'a separate legislative power makes people less likely to be abused by the legal system' by showing that France, at least, was a case with a separate legislative power *and* abusive laws passed by this power.

            While I understand your argument I don't see that your one example of it happening in France disproves the wider theory. I see France as the exception to the rule.

            It was this statement I found too broad, it did not prove that it was common in states such as ours. However it's not my specialty so I will leave it at that :)

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Hal_Porter (817932)

      Yeah, I know that even something that only involves two countries could be called "international", just like you could create a "internet" containing only two networks.

      Or a World Series [wikipedia.org] where teams from two countries compete.

    • by gwest (1598417) on Wednesday July 15, 2009 @08:21AM (#28701995)
      I'm an editorial coordinator for IFOSS L. Rev. (and the submitter of this story), so I thought I should point out a couple of things.

      The paper seem to focus on case law.

      Actually, there's only one case law report in the journal. Out of the main articles, only Lawrence Rosen's article could be said to rely primarily on case law.

      Yeah, I know that even something that only involves two countries could be called "international"

      If you take a look at the current make-up of the Editorial Committee [ifosslr.org], you'll see that it is truly international. The Committee works on a rotating basis, so it'll always have a diverse make-up.

    • "people are less likely to get abused by the legal system"

      Somehow, the point fails to be made. Isn't Sarkozy backing yet another attempt to pass censorship and 3-strikes laws, AFTER being defeated the last time around? Oh - wait, maybe you DO make a good point. People are being more directly abused by the legislative branch, and the judicial branch is being cut out of the loop. Hmmmm.

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