Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Apple, Microsoft sign death warrant for oss

Filed under
OSS

A proposal to extend patent protection in Europe could threaten the existence of open-source software unless the European Parliament amends it, say advocates of freely distributed programs such as Linux.

However, companies such as Microsoft and Apple Computer argue that they need broader patent protection to prevent open-source companies, which give away their software and make money through service, from effectively expropriating their development costs.

A European Parliament committee will debate the issue on Monday, and vote on it a month later.

European Parliament member Michel Rocard, a former French prime minister heading up review of the software patent directive, wants to protect open-source software by limiting the scope of patent protection.

Like all programs, open-source software must interact with a computer's other software to work, such as a word processor running on Windows.

Writers of free software cannot properly design their programs without information on how propriatory programs interact with other software.

Rocard and other advocates of open-source software argue that coding essential for interoperation needs only copyright protection, while Microsoft and others want patent protection for portions of software used to "talk" to other programs.

A software directive lacking Rocard's amendment could "be the death knell for open source software," said Thomas Vinje of Clifford Chance, who represents a number of software groups. Allies include Oracle and Red Hat, a distributor Linux.

Patent holders can license their software but open source software is distributed and redistributed at no cost, so there is no way to collect license fees.

"If you allow anyone to get this information for free you have no way of having any kind of license," says Francisco Mingorance, director of public policy for the Business Software Alliance trade association, which includes Microsoft and Apple.

The inventors "are deprived of their original investment," he said, expropriating their property.

Full Story

More in Tux Machines

Stable kernels 4.16.3, 4.15.18 and 4.14.35

ExTiX 18.4 – “The Ultimate Linux System” – with LXQt 0.12.0, Refracta Tools, Calamares Installer and kernel 4.16.2-exton – Build 180419

I have made a new version of ExTiX – The Ultimate Linux System. I call it ExTiX 18.4 LXQt Live DVD. (The previous version was 17.8 from 171012). Read more

Migrating to Linux: Network and System Settings

Linux gives you a lot of control over network and system settings. On your desktop, Linux lets you tweak just about anything on the system. Most of these settings are exposed in plain text files under the /etc directory. Here I describe some of the most common settings you’ll use on your desktop Linux system. A lot of settings can be found in the Settings program, and the available options will vary by Linux distribution. Usually, you can change the background, tweak sound volume, connect to printers, set up displays, and more. While I won't talk about all of the settings here, you can certainly explore what's in there. Read more

Meet Bo, an Ubuntu-Powered Social Robot with AI Capabilities

Meet Bo, a social robot with AI (Artificial Intelligence) capabilities, powered by Canonical's Ubuntu Linux operating system and optimized to welcome customers, as well as to help them navigate to find products and areas in your organization. Bo was already used by several well-known brands like Etisalat and BT in a bunch of scenarios, including hospitality and retail scenarios, and it's being tested in large shopping centers in the United Kingdom, such as Lakeside. Read more