Archive for May, 2013

Help needed documenting events of May 2013

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

May brought exceptionally good pieces of news for campaigns against software patents, but I’m stuck studying for law exams. If anyone would like to help, it would be great to have better write-ups about these recent events on the ESP wiki:

Update: There’s also a page for documenting part 2 of When Patents Attack!.

USA: Court of Appeals invalidates many software patents!

  • What: The Court of Appeals (CAFC) created software patents in the 80s and upheld them until now. Suddenly they’ve changed their minds, but the exact reasons and scope of the ruling are hard to see.
  • Where to document it: CLS Bank v. Alice ruling by US CAFC on 8 May 2013
  • TODO: Read the articles linked at the bottom of that wiki page and add notes and excerpts from the ruling itself about what the judges agreed on and what arguments they found important. It would also be useful to add links to other articles.

New Zealand: New legislative proposal to abolish software patents!

  • What: The latest version of New Zealands proposed patent legislation includes an exclusion of software patents, but there are questions about whether the text is strong enough to resist the army of patent lawyers that will look for loopholes.
  • Where to document it: New Zealand Patents Bill 235 (section 9 May 2013)
  • TODO: Make suggestions for how the proposed text could be improved and find out what the next steps are in the process and who currently is in a position to change the text.

Germany: Parliamentary committees considering anti-software patents petition

  • What: The German parliament has sent a draft motion condemning software patents to three subcommittees for discussion.
  • Where to document it: German parliament petition against software patents
  • TODO: Check the progress of this; check the accuracy of my summary of what’s happening (my German is weak); and figure out what people can do to influence this.

Google’s VP8 patent protection deal

  • What: Google published information about the protection they’re getting against the patents of MPEG-LA, and how much they will protect users of the VP8, VP9, and WebM video formats.
  • Where to document it: WebM and VP8 (section Google’s deals with MPEG LA)
  • TODO: Review the draft licence in the May 2013 annoucement section and note the important points that help decide if this is enough to make the WebM format safe from MPEG LA.

Subtitle translations: Persian and French

Lastly, two volunteers have recently worked to translate the Patent Absurdity subtitles into Persian, and to improve the French subtitles. If anyone could help reviewing them, please give them a try and add a note if they work fine or if you find any issues: