Patents and Copyright The Open Source [Read-Only] Open Source Open Source --origins origins Software...

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Transcript of Patents and Copyright The Open Source [Read-Only] Open Source Open Source --origins origins Software...

  • Patents and Copyright: the Patents and Copyright: the Open Source battleOpen Source battle

    Belgrade Belgrade –– Nov 2010Nov 2010

    Simon Simon DaviesDavies

    Partner, D Young LLPPartner, D Young LLP

    [email protected]@dyoung.co.uk

  • IntroductionIntroduction

    �� “Open source and software patents “Open source and software patents are generally regarded as two things are generally regarded as two things that go together like peanut butter that go together like peanut butter

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    that go together like peanut butter that go together like peanut butter and a punch to the face”and a punch to the face”

    �� (The Register: 11 September 2009)(The Register: 11 September 2009)

  • The FSF Perspective …The FSF Perspective …

    �� “Any free program is threatened “Any free program is threatened constantly by software patents”constantly by software patents” �� GPL v2.0GPL v2.0

    �� “Every software patent is harmful, “Every software patent is harmful, and every software patent unjustly and every software patent unjustly

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    and every software patent unjustly and every software patent unjustly restricts how you use your restricts how you use your computer”computer” �� Richard Stallman Richard Stallman ((http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/fightinghttp://www.gnu.org/philosophy/fighting-- softwaresoftware--patents.html)patents.html)

  • The Microsoft PerspectiveThe Microsoft Perspective

    �� “Linux is a cancer that attaches “Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches sense to everything it touches …. …. Our goal is to try to educate Our goal is to try to educate

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    sense to everything it touches sense to everything it touches …. …. Our goal is to try to educate Our goal is to try to educate people on what it means to protect people on what it means to protect intellectual property and pay for it intellectual property and pay for it properly” properly” �� Steve Ballmer (Microsoft CEO)Steve Ballmer (Microsoft CEO) �� http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/06/02/ballmer_linux_ishttp://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/06/02/ballmer_linux_is

    _a_cancer/_a_cancer/

  • IP Protection for SoftwareIP Protection for Software 1960s/1970s perspective1960s/1970s perspective

    �� Copyright Protection for SoftwareCopyright Protection for Software

    �� similar to literary work; verbatim + digital copyingsimilar to literary work; verbatim + digital copying

    �� no formalities (US copyright registration)no formalities (US copyright registration)

    but software not part of the “arts”but software not part of the “arts”

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    �� but software not part of the “arts”but software not part of the “arts”

    �� what about binary code ?what about binary code ?

    �� Patent Protection for SoftwarePatent Protection for Software

    �� pprotects functionalityrotects functionality

    �� searching problems ? (lots of binary distributions)searching problems ? (lots of binary distributions)

    �� is software an “invention”is software an “invention”

    �� ppolicy issues, e.g. IBMolicy issues, e.g. IBM

  • Legal Basis for Copyright Legal Basis for Copyright ProtectionProtection

    �� Copyright protection formalised in lawCopyright protection formalised in law

    �� European Copyright Directive European Copyright Directive –– 19901990

    �� rrecent ECJ referral by UK courts (SAS)ecent ECJ referral by UK courts (SAS)

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    �� rrecent ECJ referral by UK courts (SAS)ecent ECJ referral by UK courts (SAS)

    �� WIPO Copyright Treaty 1996 WIPO Copyright Treaty 1996

    �� special agreement to Berne Conventionspecial agreement to Berne Convention

    �� computer programs explicitly protected as computer programs explicitly protected as literary workliterary work

    �� (also required via WTO)(also required via WTO)

  • US Copyright caseUS Copyright case--lawlaw

    �� Whelan Whelan –– 19871987 �� structure sequence organisationstructure sequence organisation

    �� Computer Associates v Altai Computer Associates v Altai –– 19921992

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    �� Computer Associates v Altai Computer Associates v Altai –– 19921992 �� abstractionabstraction--filtrationfiltration--comparisoncomparison

    �� Apple v Microsoft Apple v Microsoft –– 19891989--19921992 �� graphical user interface graphical user interface –– “look and feel”“look and feel”

    �� Apple lostApple lost

    �� Lotus v Borland Lotus v Borland –– 19961996 �� US Supreme Court US Supreme Court –– no rulingno ruling

  • Patents Patents –– EP LawEP Law

    �� Article 52(2) EPC excludes software “as such”Article 52(2) EPC excludes software “as such”

    �� EPO EPO –– VicomVicom; T208/84 ; T208/84 �� software implementation and hardware software implementation and hardware implementationimplementation

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    implementationimplementation �� hence invention was underlying image processing method hence invention was underlying image processing method (technical process)(technical process)

    �� allowed method and apparatus claimsallowed method and apparatus claims

    �� EPO case law postEPO case law post--VicomVicom generally favourable generally favourable to “technical subject matter”to “technical subject matter”

    �� Confirmed (not overturned) by G03/08Confirmed (not overturned) by G03/08

  • Patents Patents –– US LawUS Law

    �� US s101US s101 �� inclusive rather than exclusive inclusive rather than exclusive

    �� US Supreme Court became more favourable US Supreme Court became more favourable

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    �� Gottschalk v Benson, 409 Gottschalk v Benson, 409 U.S.U.S. 6363 (1972) (1972)

    �� Diamond v. Diamond v. DiehrDiehr, 450 , 450 U.S.U.S. 175175 (1981) (1981)

    �� CAFC CAFC –– State Street BankState Street Bank �� business business methodsmethods

    �� BilksiBilksi –– US Supreme Court US Supreme Court �� aa little more limiting (probably)little more limiting (probably)

  • Patents v Copyright c1990Patents v Copyright c1990

    �� CopyrightCopyright �� clear coverage in lawclear coverage in law

    �� but casebut case--law problematiclaw problematic

    �� OK for verbatim copying (e.g. piracy) but difficult to OK for verbatim copying (e.g. piracy) but difficult to

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    �� OK for verbatim copying (e.g. piracy) but difficult to OK for verbatim copying (e.g. piracy) but difficult to extend to software functionalityextend to software functionality

    �� PatentsPatents �� legal position less certainlegal position less certain

    �� but casebut case--law favourablelaw favourable

    �� more natural (only ?) way to protect functionalitymore natural (only ?) way to protect functionality �� so lots of people went down this route so lots of people went down this route –– US + EPUS + EP

  • Software Patents by Stealth?Software Patents by Stealth?

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    �� or is it just the march of technology …or is it just the march of technology …

  • Open Source Open Source -- originsorigins

    �� Software made freely available, e.g. public Software made freely available, e.g. public domain, in 1960s and 1970sdomain, in 1960s and 1970s �� only minimal restrictions on end useronly minimal restrictions on end user

    �� Major shift with GNU projectMajor shift with GNU project

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    �� Major shift with GNU projectMajor shift with GNU project �� started by Richard Stallmanstarted by Richard Stallman

    �� 1985 Free Software Foundation (FSF)1985 Free Software Foundation (FSF)

    �� opposed to copyright opposed to copyright –– too restrictive (“too restrictive (“copyleftcopyleft”)”)

    �� “free” as in liberty, not in price“free” as in liberty, not in price

    �� virulently opposed to software patents virulently opposed to software patents –– limit freedomlimit freedom

  • GPLGPL

    �� v1 in 1989, v2 1991 and v3 in 2007v1 in 1989, v2 1991 and v3 in 2007

    �� vv2 is philosophy2 is philosophy--based licensebased license �� reads bit like a manifestoreads bit like a manifesto

    “freedom” is selective“freedom” is selective

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    �� “freedom” is selective“freedom” is selective �� complete freedom for end usercomplete freedom for end user

    �� highly restrictive for highly restrictive for distributersdistributers

    �� most significant of modern open source licenses most significant of modern open source licenses (~50%)(~50%) �� covers Linuxcovers Linux

  • Open SourceOpen Source

    �� Open Source Initiative (OSI) Open Source Initiative (OSI) -- 19981998 �� community based developmentcommunity based development

    �� less antagonistic towards business than FSFless antagonistic towards business than FSF

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    �� d