AI-based code generators are a powerful application of generative AI. These tools leverage AI to assist code developers by using AI models to auto-complete or suggest code based on developer inputs or tests. These tools raise at least three types of potential legal issues:
The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) affirmed a district court ruling that the asserted nonliteral elements of a software program were not copyright protectable, in part, because allegedly copied materials contained unprotectable open-source elements, factual and data elements and other known elements that were not original.…
The number of different open source licenses is growing and the variation in their terms and complexity is increasing. A number of licenses that appear to be, or are commonly referred to as “open source” do not actually meet the Open Source Initiative (OSI) definition of “open source.” Thus, they do not appear on the OSI list of approved open source licenses. We like to say that these licenses are open source-ish! The lack of standard definition of “open source” can lead to potential legal issues and business problems, particularly in connection with investments or acquisitions in companies that use software covered by such licenses. This is relevant to both companies that use open source software (OSS) and potential investors in or acquirors of those companies.
Continue Reading Open Source-ish! What Defines Open Source and Why it Really Matters in Investments and Acquisitions
A controversial new open source license designed for use with decentralized applications was recently approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI). The Cryptographic Autonomy License (CAL) claims to be the first open source license specifically designed to protect end users’ rights and ownership of data and control of their cryptographic keys.
Continue Reading Controversial New Open Source License for Decentralized Apps – Protects Users’ Data and Cryptographic Keys
We previously reported on how popular open source has been under attack from patent assertion entities. The attacks continue. The GNOME Foundation recently acknowledged that it was sued for patent infringement by Rothschild Patent Imaging LLC. The allegedly infringing product is Shotwell, a free and open source personal photo manager. Neil McGovern, Executive Director for the GNOME Foundation says “We have retained legal counsel and intend to vigorously defend against this baseless suit.” The suit alleges infringement of a single patent 9,936,086 titled “Wireless Image Distribution System and Method.”…
Continue Reading Patent Attacks Against Open Source Intensify!
The chances are high that your company uses open source software (“OSS”) in some capacity. While the benefits of OSS are clear, it is also clear that OSS can pose…
Continue Reading Open Source Software Policies – Why You Need Them And What They Should Include
Sound View Innovations is launching patent attacks against commonly used open source software including jQuery and Apache Hadoop. Sound View is targeting end users of these software components. This is a typical tactic of non-practicing patent assertion entities. Unlike some commercial software, most open source software is licensed with a disclaimer of any warranties regarding patent infringement. This makes it harder for end users to look to software publishers for indemnity. The interplay between patents and open source is often misunderstood. For clarification on some of these issues see our paper on Patent Issues with Open Source Software. …
Continue Reading Popular Open Source Software under Patent Attack
This article was originally published on Law360 on March 1, 2019.
The use of open source with cloud-based deployments has become more complicated. Until recently, the OSS license issues with cloud deployments have been fairly straight forward. It is well known that certain OSS licenses have some significant legal implications (detailed below) but that these implications are triggered when software programs that use OSS are distributed. Due to the fact that with most cloud-based deployments the software is not distributed, many developers are lulled into a false sense of security that there are no OSS implications with such deployments. The reality is there are a growing number of OSS licenses that have significant legal implications, even when the OSS is used in a cloud-based deployment. This article will address some of the relevant licenses and their legal implications.
Continue Reading Not Every (Open Source) Cloud Has a Silver Lining
On their own, blockchain technology, open source software, and patents each present legal issues that are often complex and frequently misunderstood. When combined, the complexity and misunderstandings of these three…
Continue Reading 10 Things to Know About The Intersection of Blockchain Technology, Open Source Software, and Patents
James Gatto and Hean Koo published an article titled, “Open Source Software in M&A and Finance,” on June 5, 2018 in Thomson Reuters Westlaw.
Continue Reading Open Source Software in M&A and Finance
James Gatto and Hean Koo published an article titled, “Patent Issues with Open Source Software (OSS),” on June 5, 2018 in Thomson Reuters Westlaw.
Continue Reading Patent Issues with Open Source Software (OSS)