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Mark Webbink Joins Board of Software Freedom Law Center
Wednesday, October 10 2007 @ 10:04 AM EDT

This is good news, that Mark Webbink has joined the board of the Software Freedom Law Center. Good news for the FOSS community. For him, I think the idea of a laid back, restful retirement is now just a dream.

****************************

Mark Webbink Joins Board of Software Freedom Law Center - Software Freedom Law Center

Distinguished Free Software Lawyer to Advise Nonprofit Law Firm

The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC), provider of pro-bono legal services to protect and advance Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), today announced that Mark Webbink has joined its board of directors.

Webbink comes to SFLC from Red Hat, the premiere Linux and open source vendor, where he served as its first general counsel beginning in 2000. In 2004, he became Red Hat's deputy general counsel for intellectual property, a position he served in until his retirement in August 2007. During his tenure with Red Hat, Webbink wrote and spoke extensively on the subjects of open source software, software patents, and patent reform.

Webbink is a Senior Lecturing Fellow with the Duke University School of Law and consults with open source companies on their business strategies. He holds a BA from Purdue University as well as a Master of Public Administration and J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

"During my time at Red Hat, I came to understand that open source developers perform their best work when sound legal advice is available to them," said Webbink. "I look forward to working with an organization that provides this essential role to the Free and Open Source Software community."

"Mark brings his exceptional experience and knowledge of FOSS licensing and the enterprise marketplace to the SFLC at a critical time in the software industry," said Eben Moglen, founding director of SFLC. "I am grateful to Mark for putting his wisdom at the service of our clients, for the good of everyone who makes, distributes or uses free software."

Webbink will be introduced at SFLC's first annual Legal Summit for Software Freedom at Columbia Law School in New York on Friday, October 12th.


  


Mark Webbink Joins Board of Software Freedom Law Center | 116 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections here
Authored by: JamesK on Wednesday, October 10 2007 @ 10:11 AM EDT
Not that PJ makes mistakes. ;-)


---
There are 10 kinds of people, those who understand binary and those who don't.


[ Reply to This | # ]

New Picks
Authored by: JamesK on Wednesday, October 10 2007 @ 10:12 AM EDT
Please include title.

---
There are 10 kinds of people, those who understand binary and those who don't.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Off topic here
Authored by: JamesK on Wednesday, October 10 2007 @ 10:14 AM EDT
Don`t forget links.

---
There are 10 kinds of people, those who understand binary and those who don't.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Mark Webbink Joins Board of Software Freedom Law Center
Authored by: Observer on Wednesday, October 10 2007 @ 05:50 PM EDT
quote: "... open source developers perform their best work when sound legal advice is available to them,"

That, and when they have sharp people looking after the legal aspects of their development, so they can concentrate on what they do best -- being creative. Personally, while I love reading stuff here, I don't want to have to think about the legal ramifications when I'm building something. My thanks to all the lawyers who are involved in FOSS, doing their best to knock the obstacles, road blocks and pitfalls out of the way of the developers.

---
The Observer

[ Reply to This | # ]

Mark Webbink Joins Board of Software Freedom Law Center
Authored by: grouch on Wednesday, October 10 2007 @ 08:03 PM EDT

For him, I think the idea of a laid back, restful retirement is now just a dream.

I don't know whether to congratulate him or send condolences, but I'm glad he's on 'our side'! Software development would be tough enough without the minefields of various laws in the world. It's good to know Mr. Webbink will be adding his expertise and considerable experience to the SFLC.

---
-- grouch

"People aren't as dumb as Microsoft needs them to be."
--PJ, May 2007

[ Reply to This | # ]

A simpler explanation
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 11 2007 @ 08:30 AM EDT
I think you guys are taking it too complex (which makes sense from a US-centric
point of view).

I guess the reason is a lot simpler: MS does not want to clear the comments
because that would get them into legal trouble in the EU.

See, as in most of EU pure software patents are illegal, if MS recognizes that
Ballmer's statement refers to software patents it would amount to MS using
illegal threats to customers which would open them to all sort of attacks.

So, once it has been said they better not clear things up or they may get into
trouble. More so just after a confirmation of their indictment as abusive
monopolists.

Witness the result of e.g. SCO in Germany after they started bullying the same
way and got sued for making unsupported threats. Only MS has a lot more to
lose.

Even if it is not software patents they have already got into trouble waters by
making an unsupported threat. They risk consumer organizations raging against
them all over for bully/extortion practices.

j
--
Jose R. Valverde
EMBnet/CNB

[ Reply to This | # ]

Mark Webbink Joins Board of Software Freedom Law Center
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 16 2007 @ 05:53 PM EDT
The press release, unfortunately, got his credentials wrong. His law degree is
from North Carolina Central University, not University of North Carolina. If I
recall correctly, he went to night law school for 4 years while working during
the day.

[ Reply to This | # ]

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