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Hyperledger Fabric 1.0 Released!

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Hyperledger Fabric just announced the release version 1.0 of its open source distributed ledger framework implementation.  It’s somewhat of a landmark for the business blockchain industry as the release is considered secure enough to be used by corporations to build blockchain-based applications. See: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-blockchain-hyperledger-idUSKBN19W1TT See also: https://techcrunch.com/2017/07/11/hyperledger-fabric-releases-version-1-0-of-open-source-distributed-ledger/

Osler lawyers and software developer participate in Legal Tech Hackathon 2017

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  Osler’s Press Release Reproduced From: Here On June 2-4, 2017, more than 280 coders, designers, lawyers and data analysts came together in Toronto to compete in Legal Tech Hackathon. Hosted by North of 41.org, Dentons, Neesons and the Conflict Resolution Place, with support from partners IBM and other tech providers, the hackathon brought together individuals with a technology background and stakeholders from the legal profession to develop a software solution to a challenge related to the legal industry over a …

Artifex Software, Inc. v. Hancom, Inc. – OSS Licenses as Contracts

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On April 25th, the District Court for the Northern District of California issued an order regarding Hancom, Inc.’s (“Hancom”) motion to dismiss the claim from Artifex Software (“Artifex”). In brief, Artifex is the developer of the Ghostscript software that is dual licensed under: (1) a commercial license; or (2)  under GPLv3 (though today Ghostscript is licensed under the AGPL). Hancom used the GPLv3 version of GhostScript but, among other requirements, did not comply with the source code disclosure obligations of GPLv3. …

TPP and the Open Source Software

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Since the release of  the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) last month, the Open Source Initiative and the Free Software Foundation have both publicly criticized provisions of the TPP as an attack on the principles of open source software. Section 1 of Article 14.17 of the TPP states: No Party shall require the transfer of, or access to, source code of software owned by a person of another Party, as a condition for the import, distribution, sale or use of such …

Software Licensing and the LGPL

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Provisions that prohibit reverse engineering are commonly found in commercial licenses (e.g., EULAs, Terms of Use, Software License Agreements, etc.). While these provisions serve to protect the software developer’s intellectual property, software developers who include such clauses in their software licenses must ascertain there no software components are used that are licensed under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) (called a Library by LGPL). As the use of Open Source Software (OSS) during the development process is prevalent in many organizations, this issue is often overlooked. …

GPLv3 / AGPLv3 – Section 7 (Additional Permissions) Explained

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Section 7 of GPLv3 has caused a lot of confusion amongst software developers. Once explained, one can see how Section 7  enhances license compatibility and why it has been drafted the way it is. Here is Section 7 (in blue) with annotated notes (in black): 7. Additional Terms. “Additional permissions” are terms that supplement the terms of this License by making exceptions from one or more of its conditions. Additional permissions that are applicable to the entire Program shall be treated as though …

GNU Affero General Public License 3.0 (AGPL)

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Not to be confused with another license called the Affero General Public License published by the now-defunct Affero organization, the GNU Affero Public License (AGPLv3) was designed to close a loophole in GPL where one could use GPL licensed software available without ever disclosing source code to their modifications by deploying their software as a service and thus, avoiding a technical “distribution”. The AGPLv3 is identical to GPLv3, with the exception that source code for modifications must be disclosed if AGPLv3 licensed …

Software-as-a-Service and Open Source Software Licenses

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​Generally, it is the distribution of open source software (or derivative works thereto) that triggers the source code disclosure requirements found in many open source software licenses such as the GNU Public License (“GPL”). However, with the prevalence of Software-as-a-Service (“SaaS”), many believe that because their product offerings are based on a SaaS model, there is no distribution, and hence, the source code disclosure requirements in certain open source software licenses are not triggered. Unfortunately, this belief can result in the …

TCLG: Recent Commercial Cases That Could Impact Your IT Practice (Summary)

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Peter Ruby, a Partner at Goodmans LLP, presented an overview of IT-related commercial cases at a recent Toronto Computer Lawyers Group event on April 1, 2015. As the cases discussed have particular relevance to our practice, I’ve summarized them as follows: 1. Email Acceptance (Christmas v. Fort McKay First Nation, 2014 ON SC 373) Facts:  Christmas was an Ontario lawyer hired by a First Nations band in Alberta and now suing for wrongful dismissal. Christmas received the offer of employment in …

Two CASL Fines in One Month

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The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has issued two fines over the spam of this month. 1. Compu-Finder (http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2015/vt150305.htm) -$1,100,000 Compu-Finder, a company offering training products based in Quebec, was fined $1.1M by the CRTC for flagrant violation of the Canadian Anti-Spam Laws.  To put the fine into context: Compu-Finder sent commercial messages to recipients who did not provide consent in 3 different patterns, resulting in 3 separate violations of Section 6(1)(a) violation; the unsubscribe mechanism in the commercial …