MongoDB, the developer of a popular document-oriented distributed database server by the same name, has updated the open source license that applies to versions of its software published after October 16, 2018.

Previously, the MongoDB software was licensed under the GNU Affero General Public License v.3 (“AGPLv3”), which is a “strong copyleft” license. Strong copyleft licenses, among other things, require that the source code for the licensed software (including any modifications) be made available to the public, typically when the software is distributed to third parties. AGPLv3 goes further than other strong copyleft licenses in that the obligation to make source code available is triggered not only when the software is distributed, but also when it is accessed over a computer network, such as the Internet.

In an apparent response to attempts by users of MongoDB to architect their services so as to avoid the obligation to make their source code modifications available under AGPLv3, MongoDB has created a modified version of AGPLv3 (see here for a redline comparison) with broader disclosure and licensing obligations. The new license is called the Server Side Public License v.1 (“SSPLv1”).

Continue Reading Understanding MongoDB’s New Copyleft Open Source License

City leaders across the globe are predicted to spend upwards of $41 trillion by 2020 to deploy smart city technologies within their locales. From Toronto to Tokyo, cities are vying to harness the benefits of the Internet of Things (“IOT”) in order to help make their streets safer, transportation more efficient, and their environments greener. While exciting, there are a number of challenges facing cities on their quest to get smart. Resources are scarce, building the required infrastructure is expensive and obtaining the necessary consensus and cooperation amongst municipal stakeholders can be downright impossible. For vendors looking to capitalize on this momentum, learning from successful smart city projects and planning around the common conflicts that tend to arise is crucial. Below are a number of best practices gleaned from the strategies and progress of a number of cities who have found success in implementing smart city solutions.
Continue Reading Covington IoT Update: Best Practices for Outsmarting Common Pitfalls in Smart City Projects

In 2017, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), China’s telecom regulator and industrial policy maker, issued the Circular on Comprehensively Advancing the Construction and Development of Mobile Internet of Things (NB-IoT) (MIIT Circular [2017] No. 351, the “Circular”), which sets out the policy goals and plans for NB-IoT development in China and concrete steps in achieving them. NB-IoT is a form of Low-Power WAN (LPWAN) technology dependent on basic telecom carriers’ cellular networks using licensed frequencies.

Highlighting the advantages of mobile IoT (NB-IoT), namely, wide coverage, large amount of connections and low power consumption, the Circular stresses the importance of stepping up the construction of NB-IoT infrastructure, development of related applications, advancing the deployment of NB-IoT networks, and general promotion of innovation in this area in China.
Continue Reading Covington Internet of Things Update: China’s regulatory environment steps up for Low-Power WAN IoT deployment

On 5 April 2013, the Landgericht Düsseldorf referred questions relating to injunctive relief over standard-essential patents (“SEPs”) to the Court of Justice (“CJEU”) in connection with a patent dispute between Huawei and ZTE relating to an alleged infringement by ZTE of a patent owned by Huawei and declared to be essential in connection with the

On 29 October 2013, the Republic of Ireland’s Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (DJEI) published a report containing proposed amendments to its copyright laws, named “Modernising Copyright” (“the Report”).  Taking account of submissions received during a public consultation that ran between February and May 2012, the DJEI’s Copyright Review Committee (CRC) uses the Report to recommend a series of amendments to the Irish Copyright and Related Rights Act, 2000 (CRRA).

Some of the Report’s key findings and recommendations are outlined below.

Continue Reading Ireland Proposes Amendments to Copyright Law

On 3 October 2013, in the case of Peter Pinckney vs. KDG Mediatech AG, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) confirmed that, with certain qualifications, when a copyrighted work is reproduced in one Member State, and offered for sale online by companies established in another, the author of the work can bring an action for copyright infringement in the courts of their own home Member State if infringing copies are accessible from that State – even if that State is not among the States where the work was reproduced and/or made available online.
Continue Reading European Court Issues Ruling on Jurisdiction in Cross-EU Copyright Infringement Case

This post highlights material recent developments in Europe concerning standard essential patents (SEPs) and FRAND licensing, including Samsung’s commitments proposed in the context of the ongoing antitrust probe of the European Commission (see our previous post).

Samsung’s Commitments Proposal  

In its commitments proposal, Samsung offered not to seek injunctions based on its patents essential

A federal court last week ruled that copyright owners can only sue multiple peer-to-peer users if all of the defendants participated in the same infringement scheme.

In recent years, copyright owners have sued people who have shared their movies, songs, and other content via peer-to-peer networks such as BitTorrent. The copyright owners use proprietary software to obtain the IP addresses of BitTorrent users who are downloading and sharing the copyright holders’ content. Rather than filing individual lawsuits against each user, the copyright owners often name dozens of alleged John Doe infringers in the same complaint. After filing the complaint, the copyright owners typically issue subpoenas to the customers’ Internet service providers to determine the identities of the John Doe defendants.

Although courts have generally approved the subpoenas for the identities of John Doe defendants in copyright infringement cases, plaintiffs are encountering a new obstacle, as illustrated in the September 27 opinion by Judge John Z. Lee, a district judge for the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.


Continue Reading Copyright Suits Against Anonymous Defendants Must Involve Common ‘Swarm’