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Aaron Williamson testified before the U.S. Copyright Office on Tuesday, in support of SFLC’s proposed exemption to the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). The exemption, if granted, would make it legal for owners of personal computing devices to circumvent DRM for the purpose of installing alternative operating systems and applications.


The Software Freedom Law Center responded on Friday to comments submitted in the DMCA exemption rulemaking process by the Business Software Alliance, Recording Industry Association of America, Motion Picture Association of America, and several other content industry groups. SFLC’s full reply is here; it begins with this summary:


The Software Freedom Law Center submitted comments yesterday to the U.S. Copyright Office proposing an exemption from the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s anti-circumvention provisions. If granted, the exemption would ensure that owners of personal computing devices have the right to install whatever software they choose on their devices.


Software patents increasingly threaten both large technology firms and independent developers. Naturally, this has caused uncertainty in the free software community. To help free and open source software developers better understand patents, the real risks they pose, and the limits to their reach, the Software Freedom Law Center is publishing on its website the Community Distribution Patent Policy FAQ.


The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) today announces with its client, the GNOME Foundation(GNOME), that GNOME has appointed SFLC’s Karen Sandler as Executive Director. Sandler’s dedication to software freedom, her non-profits experience and her involvement in a wide range of free and open source software communities distinguish her as the logical choice for GNOME. “I’m very excited that Karen is joining the GNOME Foundation as Executive Director!”, says Stormy Peters, former Executive Director who has recently joined the GNOME Board as a new Director, “Karen brings a wealth of experience in free software projects and nonprofits as well as a passion for free software. That experience will be invaluable as GNOME continues to expand its reach with GNOME 3.0 and GNOME technologies.”


We are proud to announce a new position at the Software Freedom Law Center: Director of International Programs. Over the past few years SFLC has become an increasingly International organization, working with the European Commission, launching SFLC India, and consulting with governments around the world on issues of free software licensing, policy, and use. Mishi Choudhary, counsel at SFLC and head of SFLC India, has always been at the heart of this work so it is only fitting that she is stepping up to fill the new position. Congratulations to Ms. Choudhary and we all look forward to a stronger international presence ahead.



Eben Moglen Executive Director of the Software Law Center, has a piece in the Guardian today entitled “Liberation by software”. This is the second piece in the Guardian’s “Democracy and digital media” series focusing on how the internet and other digital tools are changing the political balance of power around the world.

Excerpts:

The great promise of the Enlightenment is finally fulfilled: the greatest intellectual, political and moral revolution in the history of humanity.

If that’s the way the network behaves. But it can also be completely controlled, filtered, monitored and surveilled, giving power the most overwhelming conceivable advantage over freedom. Which way the network behaves is determined solely by the software that comprises it. Freedom of the press, freedom of information, freedom of thought itself are now “implemented” rather than “declared”, “protected” or “guaranteed”.

Read more



The United States Supreme Court will decide a case this term that could determine whether free software developers are liable for patent infringement by users of their software. In the case, Global-Tech Appliances v. SEB, the Court will decide whether a person can be liable for inducing another’s infringement of a patent by being “deliberately indifferent” to the likelihood that the patent exists. The Software Freedom Law Center, in the “friend of the court” brief it filed today, argued that this new standard would create uncertainty and discourage free software development.

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