Join RIT’s FOSS@MAGIC program for our April FOSS Talk as we’re visited by Deb Nicholson
from the Open Invention Network, who will be talking about Patents, Copyrights &
Trademarks: Or Why the Future Might Curse Us.
Patents, copyrights and trademarks form a trio of legal tools often referred to as
"intellectual property" law. While each of these tools originally grew from a
desire to help new businesses and individual creators find their way to success, today
these advantages are better at creating inequity than opportunity. The litigious
application of patents, copyrights and trademarks has become so distorted in modern times
that their usage often amounts to bullying. In court, the larger, more monied, more
experienced party disproportionately wins.
As free software developers, we want to keep building software without the threat of
expensive and/or frivolous lawsuits. Some of our best and most innovative ideas come from
small, underfunded projects. Without outside help or protection, these vulnerable projects
tend to lose their legal battles. In order to keep the future from cursing us for letting
things get worse, we need to participate in the creation of policy.
Deb Nicholson is a free software policy nerd and passionate community advocate. She is the
Community Outreach Director for the Open Invention Network, the largest patent
non-aggression community in history which serves Linux, GNU, Android and other key FOSS
projects. She’s won the O’Reilly Open Source Award for her work on GNU MediaGoblin and
Registration for the event is free but registering lets us know how much food to order.
Who: Open to the public (not just RIT Students) just be sure to RSVP.
When: Wednesday, April 12th. 4:30pm-6pm.
Where: RIT Center for Media, Arts, Games, Interaction, and Creativity (MAGIC). Building
87, Room 1600. Parking is available in "S" Lot, near crossroads dining hall.
Be sure to save the date for our next hackathon, NASA Space Apps, on April 29th &
30th. Registration will open later this week!
FOSS@MAGIC Research Associate and Community Liaison
Rochester Institute of Technology