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New free software license takes aim at patents

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OSS

The free software foundation said on Tuesday it would start adapting rules for development and use of free software by including penalties against those who patent software or use anti-piracy technology.

Free software needs to be licensed under specific rules to guarantee that it can be freely studied, copied, modified, reused, shared and redistributed. The Linux operating system kernel is one of the best known examples of free software.

The most popular rule book, the GNU General Public License (GPL) developed by Richard Stallman, was developed 14 years ago, before big Internet shops and web services.

The license needs to be adapted to a world in which e-commerce firms like Amazon.com have patented 'one click ordering' which prevents software makers from freely using such a feature in their programs, said the president of the Free Software Foundation Europe, Georg Greve.

"Software patents are clearly a menace to society and innovation. We like this to be more explicit," Greve said.

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today's howtos

Chew on this: Ubuntu Core Linux comes to the uCRobotics Bubblegum-96 board

Linux and other open source software have been in the news quite a bit lately. As more and more people are seeing, closed source is not the only way to make money. A company like Red Hat, for instance, is able to be profitable while focusing its business on open source. Ubuntu is one of the most popular Linux-based operating systems, and it is not hard to see why. Not only is it easy to use and adaptable to much hardware (such as SoC boards), but there is a ton of free support online from the Ubuntu user community too. Today, Canonical announces a special Ubuntu Core image for the uCRobotics Bubblegum-96 board. Read more