August 28, 2010
New Delhi, India, August 27, 2010//The Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) will announce the opening of its new international organization in India at the upcoming Software Patents and the Commons conference in New Delhi. The expansion will allow the SFLC to continue its mission of promoting and defending Free, Libre, and Open Source Software (FLOSS) on a global scale.
Funding for SFLC, New Delhi, an independent not for profit society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, comes from the SFLC’s US donors and from a grant by The Soros Foundation’s Open Society Institute with the charter to provide legal support to Indian institutions seeking to better the lives of people throughout India by making use of, developing, and promoting free software.
Under the direction of founder Mishi Choudhary, the SFLC’s India organziation will provide reliable advice to FLOSS developers about how to organize, license and protect the freedom of the software they make and distribute.
“Advising growing projects and securing respect for their licenses in India and abroad is the core mission of our new branch,” Choudhary said. “As Indian programmers play an ever more critical role in the twenty-first century software industry, the SFLC will be there to assure they thrive.”
Choudhary said the firm’s activities include preparing litigation defenses, filing patent oppositions to fight software patents, engaging in policy work to promote Open Standards, Open Access, and ensure digital freedoms. The SFLC will also do advocacy work surrounding legal issues of concern to FLOSS developers and users.
“India is a country of great promise for free culture and software,” said Vera Franz, Program Manager for the Information Program of the Open Society Foundation, funded by the Soros Foundation. “We are delighted to be working with the SFLC to establish the SFLC India as a resource empowering India’s creative young technologists to make a free and collaborative future that will not only advance learning and improve lives in India, but also contribute to the improvement of the quality of life and access to knowledge around the world.”
The History of the SFLC’s Mission in India
The SFLC has been an active presence in India since 2006. Its inaugural event in New Delhi, included prominent politicians, jurists and policy makers, along with the then Law Minister of the country, the Attorney General of India, and judges from High Court of Delhi. The SFLC has developed relationships with policy makers in the Central and State Governments, Institutions of Higher studies including various Indian Institutes of Technology and Indian Institutes of Managements, Indian media, the Indian software and developer community.
The SFLC works closely with a number of companies and institutions that are actively involved in FLOSS in India. These include: non-profit organizations like the Free Software Foundation, India, Centre for Internet and Society, Society for Promotion of Alternative Computing and Employment, Knowledge Commons, companies like Red Hat, Sun Microsystems, Confederation of Indian Industries, Government of Kerala and various political parties.
Mishi Choudhary, a native of New Delhi, will oversee the firm’s work. Choudhary has been involved in information technology issues and litigation and has worked for the SFLC both in India and the United States, after earning an LLM from Columbia Law School as the first holder of the SFLC’s International Fellowship.
Most recently, she has been at the SFLC’s New York office working on behalf of its clients on non-profit organizational issues, GPL enforcement actions, registration and defense of trademarks and copyrights, patent re-examinations and other FLOSS licensing issues.
About the Software Freedom Law Center
The SFLC provides legal representation and other law-related services to protect FLOSS. Founded in 2005, the Center has represented many of the most important and well-established free software and open source projects, including the Free Software Foundation, the Apache Software Foundation, the Gnome Foundation, the Samba Team, PostgreSQL, the Plone Foundation, Joomla!, and Drupal. For more information, please visit the SFLC web site at: http://www.softwarefreedom.org/
Contact Director Mishi Choudhary with press inquiries by email: firstname.lastname@example.org