Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Apple, Microsoft sign death warrant for oss

Filed under

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

TheSSS 20.0 Server-Oriented Linux Distro Ships with Linux Kernel 4.4.17, PHP 5.6

4MLinux developer Zbigniew Konojacki informs Softpedia today, October 26, 2016, about the release and immediate availability of version 20.0 of his server-oriented TheSSS (The Smallest Server Suite) GNU/Linux distribution. Read more

Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) Daily Build ISO Images Are Now Available for Download

Now that the upcoming Ubuntu 17.04 (Zesty Zapus) operating system is officially open for development, the first daily build ISO images have published in the usual places for early adopters and public testers. Read more

Today in Techrights

OSS Leftovers

  • Chain Releases Open Source Blockchain Solution for Banks
    Chain, a San Francisco-based Blockchain startup, launched the Chain Core Developer Edition, which is a distributed ledger infrastructure built for banks and financial institutions to utilize the Blockchain technology in mainstream finance. Similar to most cryptocurrency networks like Bitcoin, developers and users are allowed to run their applications and platforms on the Chain Core testnet, a test network sustained and supported by leading institutions including Microsoft and the Initiative for Cryptocurrency and Contracts (IC3), which is operated by Cornell University, UC Berkeley and University of Illinois.
  • Netflix Upgrades its Powerful "Chaos Monkey" Open Cloud Utility
    Few organizations have the cloud expertise that Netflix has, and it may come as a surprise to some people to learn that Netflix regularly open sources key, tested and hardened cloud tools that it has used for years. We've reported on Netflix open sourcing a series of interesting "Monkey" cloud tools as part of its "simian army," which it has deployed as a series satellite utilities orbiting its central cloud platform. Netflix previously released Chaos Monkey, a utility that improves the resiliency of Software as a Service by randomly choosing to turn off servers and containers at optimized tims. Now, Netflix has announced the upgrade of Chaos Monkey, and it's worth checking in on this tool.
  • Coreboot Lands More RISC-V / lowRISC Code
    As some early post-Coreboot 4.5 changes are some work to benefit fans of the RISC-V ISA.
  • Nextcloud Advances with Mobile Moves
    The extremely popular ownCloud open source file-sharing and storage platform for building private clouds has been much in the news lately. CTO and founder of ownCloud Frank Karlitschek resigned from the company a few months ago. His open letter announcing the move pointed to possible friction created as ownCloud moved forward as a commercial entity as opposed to a solely community focused, open source project. Karlitschek had a plan, though. He is now out with a fork of ownCloud called Nextcloud, and we've reported on strong signs that this cloud platform has a bright future. In recent months, the company has continued to advance Nextcloud. Along with Canonical and Western Digital, the partners have launched an Ubuntu Core Linux-based cloud storage and Internet of Things device called Nextcloud Box, which we covered here. Now, Nextcloud has moved forward with some updates to its mobile strategy. Here are details.
  • Using Open Source for Data
    Bryan Liles, from DigitalOcean, explains about many useful open source big data tools in this eight minute video. I learned about Apache Mesos, Apache Presto, Google Kubernetes and more.