Freedom isn’t free

Open SourceLaw

Eben Moglen

 

 

Columbia University Law Professor Eben Moglen today announced the formation of the Software Freedom Law Center, whose mission is to provide pro-bono legal services globally to eligible non-profit open source software projects and developers.

“’As the popularity and use of free and open source software increases and proprietary software development models are threatened, providing necessary legal services to open source developers is becoming increasingly important to prevent liability and other legal issues from interfering with its success,’ Moglen said. ‘The Law Center is being established to provide legal services to protect the legitimate rights and interests of free and open source software projects and developers, who often do not have the means to secure the legal services they need.’

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“’OSDL is committed to supporting initiatives such as the Law Center to help protect the legitimate development and use of Linux and open source software,’ said Stuart Cohen, CEO of OSDL. ‘We encourage other companies and organizations like OSDL who are dedicated to securing the future of open source software to contribute to the Law Center and participate in its good works.’

“Overseeing the Law Center will be a distinguished board of directors comprised of Moglen; Diane Peters, General Counsel at OSDL; Daniel Weitzner, Principal Research Scientist at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory; and Lawrence Lessig, Stanford Law Professor and author.

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“’Free software projects often face legal issues that need expert advice, but it can sometimes be difficult or prohibitively costly to obtain that advice through traditional legal channels,’ said Andrew Tridgell, head of the Samba project. ‘We are delighted that the Free Software Law Center is being setup under Eben Mogeln’s excellent guidance. I think this is an important milestone in the maturity of the free software community.’

“Legal services provided to eligible individuals and projects include asset stewardship, licensing, license defense and litigation support, and legal consulting and lawyer training. The Law Center will be software license neutral and intends to participate directly in work currently underway around revisions to the GNU General Public License (GPL) with the Free Software Foundation. The Law Center will also work on issues around the proliferation of open source licenses.” . . . (full article)

Source: Technology for You

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Newcomb’s commentary:

Alcibiades: “But it holds thus, and I shall begin from here to take care of justice.”
Socrates: “I would like you also to continue; but I am shuddering, not from any mistrust of your nature, but from viewing the strength of the state, lest it prevail over both me and you.”

– Plato

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