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Patents and freedom: Where we stand now

McCoy Smith

Slides

For many years, the existence of software patents, and the threat that certain entities would use them against free software, was an issue of significant concern to the free software community. Since then, there have been many court decisions that have altered the landscape of what may be patented, procedures allowing challenges to patents outside of the court system, industry initiatives to create "patent peace" around parts of the free software world, and changes in the behaviors of certain patent holders once thought to present the greatest threat to free software. This presentation will give an overview, designed for a non-legal audience, of the latest developments, and suggest where the future of patents and free software may be headed.

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3 months, 2 weeks ago

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McCoy Smith · patents · licensing · Free the Future · LibrePlanet conference · LibrePlanet 2020 video · LibrePlanet 2020 · LibrePlanet · lp2020 · video · FSF

License

CC BY 4.0

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This talk was presented at LibrePlanet.

libreplanet.org


LibrePlanet is the Free Software Foundation's annual conference. The FSF campaigns for free/libre software, meaning it respects users' freedom and community. We believe that users are entitled to this; all software should be free.

gnu.org/important


We do not advocate "open source".

That term was coined to reject our views. It refers to similar practices, but usually presented solely as advantageous, without talking of right and wrong.

gnu.org/not-open-source


Richard Stallman launched the free software movement in 1983 by announcing development of the free operating system, GNU. By 1992, GNU was nearly operational; one major essential component was lacking, the kernel.

gnu.org/gnu-begin


In 1992, Torvalds freed the kernel Linux, which filled the last gap in GNU. Since then, the combined GNU/Linux system has run in millions of computers. Nowadays you can buy a new computer with a totally free GNU/Linux system preinstalled.

gnu.org/gnu-and-linux


The views of the speaker may not represent the Free Software Foundation. The Foundation supports the free software cause and freedom to share, and basic freedoms in the digital domain, but has no position on other political issues.

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