Compsci 82, Fall 2009, Mark Webbink

(from A New Paradigm for Intellectual Property Rights in Software, Duke Law and Technology Review, 2005, Rev. 0012)

Compared to other forms of art covered by either patent or copyright, software is still in its infancy. Let us not assume that a regime that protected other forms of art is suitable to software. Let us not assume that the Diamond and State Street courts were correct in permitting the application of patents to software. It is time to reexamine their conclusions and determine whether an alternative regime would be more appropriate. The future of the U.S. software industry may depend on it.

(from softwarefreedom press release)

"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."

(from New York Law School homepage)

Professor Webbink was formerly the Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Red Hat, the premier Linux and open source vendor. During his tenure with Red Hat he developed a number of groundbreaking intellectual property practices, including Red Hat's Patent Promise and the legal foundations for Red Hat's subscription model for open source software. He has written and spoken extensively on the subject of the U.S. patent system and the need for reform, including testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property; the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice; and the National Academy of Sciences. He is the former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Software and Information Industry Association and a present board member of the Software Freedom Law Center.