Software Freedom Law Center

Jeremy White jwhite at
Tue Feb 1 07:38:42 CST 2005

Hi Folks,

There is an exciting announcement out today:

Essentially, OSDL has funded a community oriented pro-bono
legal service for Free and Open Source Software Projects.
The Center is led by Eben Moglen, the chief counsel for
the FSF.

I've been speaking privately with Eben Moglen about this
new effort, and he tells me that they would like to
have the Wine Project as one if their very first clients.

Candidly, this seems fantastic to me; one of the difficult
things that I face when promoting Wine is peoples Fear,
Uncertainty, and Doubt about the legality of Wine.
Having an opportunity to clarify these legal issues
is probably the most important thing that could happen
for Wine, in my opinion (well, okay, maybe it's
less important than support for Pirates! <grin>).

However, before I go off to request the services of
the SFLC, I thought I would post this announcement here
and open it for any discussion.  I'd particularly
like to hear if folks can think of any reasons
why this might be a bad thing.

Finally, the key objectives from my standpoint are
as follows:
   1.  Get an opinion written on Wine and copyright
       issues (imho, we have no IP issues here)
   2.  Get some legal research done on Patent issues
       I don't know how this will turn out, so I think
       we should wait for the research.
   3.  Investigate the legal doctrine surrounding what
       use a monopoly can make of its patents; I know
       that US antitrust law provides some restraints,
       but it would be great to have a legal opinion on
       the matter.

Thoughts?  Comments?



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