The defense of the GNOME Foundation

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In August 2019, GNOME was notified that it was being sued in the state of California over a broad patent which allegedly covered Shotwell, a photo management application. The plaintiff? A prolific filer of patent suits, and a patent assertion entity. This was the first time that a free software project has been sued for patent infringement.

Original story by LibrePlanet 2021 and the Free Software Foundation. Published 2021-03-22, Originally published 2021-03-20.
This work is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.


Video Copyright LibrePlanet 2021 / Free Software Foundation. License: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike

This talk is the story from the executive director of the GNOME Foundation, on how he responded and the strategies taken to not only defeat the suit, but to secure a groundbreaking agreement which means that this particular PAE will never be able to sue any free software project ever again.

See GNOME Project Hit By Patent Troll, Over $100k USD Defense Fund Raised for some historical background.

This talk was previously given at the Seattle GNU/Linux conference in 2020 with the title Patently Obvious: The Year The Lawyers Came To FOSS.

"Talk by Neil McGovern, a long-term contributor to free software. Neil McGovern has held posts on the boards of Software in the Public Interest and the Open Rights Group, and served a term as the Debian Project Leader. Neil currently works as the Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation."

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