Naked Law

The legal technology team of lawyers at my law firm. Mills and Reeve , have set up a weblog called Naked Law to discuss technology law in the UK. It’ll be interesting to read things about the law here from the perspective of actual lawyers rather than the armchair activists you normally see on the net, and I can vouch for the Mills and Reeve technology team’s competence because I know them. They’re writing not only about high-falutin’ technology issues, but also those with strong bearings on the sort of people who read this, including software patents, spam, and music downloading. All too much of the commentary on these sorts of issues relate to US law (the Naked Law guys even link to Larry Lessig’s site), and it’s important to remember that the UK is not the same and, in general, is more restrictive.
One interesting divide between the technology world (especially the open-source end of it) and the legal world is exhibited in a post they’ve written about software patents. They say that “[legal] practitioners in the area … have been flummoxed by the vociferous opposition to this directive which is merely attempting to harmonise member states’ laws on the patentability of computer implemented inventions“, and go on to point out that some of the member states already allow software patents, and the UK sort of does (when aggregated with other things). It’s possible that they’re not aware of the full nature of the arguments against software patents, such as those made by FFII and others, and I’m sure they’d welcome a lively debate on this (and other) issues.

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