OS2G event with Gus Hurwitz

Table of Contents


  • cyber/telecom/admin law, teaches at the school of law
  • various topics, including:
    • licensing
    • licenses
    • discussion of LB67, almost certainly faild Right To Repair law
    • DMCA and exemption process
    • cryptocurrency issues
  • Will talk about as follows
    • Crypto currency
    • OSS licences
    • LB67
    • Evil MicroSucks


  • government perspective
    • property, not money
  • must be taxed like property, and taxed like such
  • has many, many edge cases which are not, and can not easily be covered by the law
  • could theoretically be subject to use taxes
    • these are extremely hard to enforce
  • the issue of use taxes is a good reason to use cryptocurrency, as it’s anonymous, and therefore hard to trace

OSS licenses

  • difference between licenses and contracts
    • original work of authorship, fixed in a tangible media of expression is copyright
      • any time something is written down, copyright is created
      • many distinct rights
      • independent creation is a valid defense
      • facts, functional data are not copyrightable
      • copyright is enforcable, and can generate statutory damages, 750-100K simply by making an unauthorized copy
      • is fixed term
    • contracts – governs usage
    • license – requires assignment of copyright, get statutory damages
  • three licenses
    • mit
      • simplest, easiest to understand
      • don’t sue me, give me credit
      • not gauranty of suitability for any particular use
    • gpl
      • copyleft, expressly opposed to copyright, viral
      • 2 versus 3, 3 deals more with linking, particularly how that must be handled, 3 is more strict
    • apache
      • like MIT, but has twists
      • longer and more detailed
      • very lawyered up
      • for any patent that exists, if the software implements it, the patent holder licenses it to the author, if the patent holder is involved
  • is GPL enforcable?
    • very important that this is a license, for enforcement
    • linksys case, gpl is therefore enforceable and considered a license
  • public domain
    • write source, release, no license, no protections
    • public domain is based on the fixed terms, thus anything that has fallen out of copyright, or is placed in the public domain
    • however, placing in such is very fuzzy and unclear
    • use MIT license instead of placing in the public domain


  • a requirement for varying companies to make repair avialable without official authorizations
  • Nebraska went fast and died hard because of requirements for things outside of just john deere and the like, iphones particularly
  • requires companies to release repair information, specifications and tool plans
  • prevents lock-in and monopolies
  • drm and lock-in can prevent innovation and can insure cash-flow, however, can also encourage innovation and is used for retail price maintenance
  • requires sale of products that do not require circumvention to repair

Evil Microsoft

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