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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.


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.

New Delhi, India, August 27, 2010//The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) will announce the opening of its new international organization in India at the upcoming Software Patents and the Commons conference in New Delhi. The expansion will allow the SFLC to continue its mission of promoting and defending Free, Libre, and Open Source Software (FLOSS) on a global scale.

The Software Freedom Law Center is seeking a motivated systems administrator for our small office, where we use only free and open source software. This is a full time position on site at our New York City offices. More details, as well as application instructions, are available in the full position listing. All applications should be submitted no later than August 19, 2010.

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