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Submission + - Why Does Georgia Hire LexisNexis To Summarize Its Laws? (litigationandtrial.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Following up on the new lawsuit against Carl Malamud, a lawyer (and author of one of LexisNexis' legal guides) raises troubling questions about the relationship between the State of Georgia and LexisNexis. Why does Georgia hire a private firm to summarize its laws, then grant that firm an exclusive license to sell those summaries?

Submission + - Richard Stallman 'Basically' Fine With NSA Using GNU/Linux (itworld.com)

jfruh writes: GNU project founder Richard Stallman can seem a little (if you'll forgive the turn of phrase) proprietary at times over open source software, to the point of insisting on calling Linux "GNU/Linux." But one thing he'll always admit is that nobody can control how properly licensed open source software can be used — even if it's being used by government agencies for purposes he opposes. That was his take on the recent intra-open source debate that arose upon revelations of the NSA's extensive use of free and open source software.

Feed Techdirt: As Companies Go Public, Power Stays Private (techdirt.com)

As we've noted several times, the tech IPO came back in a big way this year, most recently evidenced by VMWare's meteoric launch out of the gate. While this is good news for companies and their investors, Kevin Kelleher argues that we're seeing a disturbing trend in the way these deals go down. In many instances, the terms of the deal are such that the general public shareholder has little power in the newly-public company, with most voting power concentrated in the hands of a select few insiders. What's more, in many instances, the companies have sold stakes in themselves to certain outside investors at a price below what was available to the public. It's easy to argue that such moves represent greed and a desire to keep the spoils concentrated, but there may be other reasons for these actions. As the rise of private stock exchanges suggests, public shareholders are increasingly seen as a liability, whether it's due to the threat of shareholder lawsuits or activist investors. Kelleher's concern is for the "little guy", as he puts it, but it's not clear that most investors actually care about things like voting rights. As long as investors understand where they're at, and can weigh the risks accordingly, certain trends in governance structure shouldn't be particularly worrisome.

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