Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Open source licensing suits settle in short order

Filed under
Legal

Many open source licences are only two or three paragraphs long and read more like a manifesto than a traditional software licence. The simple but unorthodox nature of open source licences, along with the fact that the software is provided “free,” has lulled many into a false sense that these licences must surely be unenforceable and that the use and redistribution of open source software will have no consequences.

This attitude belies the fact that despite a superficial and non-legalistic veneer, open source licences rely on traditional copyright principles and contract law – albeit in a non-traditional way – and therefore are prima facie enforceable. However, despite widespread adoption and significant use of open source software over the past 20 years, little jurisprudence has developed to determine exactly to what extent open source licences will be enforced.

In light of the dearth of case law, many have been carefully watching four recent claims brought by the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. These are purportedly the first claims in the U.S. regarding the GNU General Public License (GPL), one of the most common and influential open source licences. The New York-based SFLC provides legal representation to non-profit open source developers and projects to protect and foster the development of open source software.

More Here




More in Tux Machines

Linux Emerging as Alternative to MS Windows

According to industry sources, Linux-based operation systems of Tmax OS and InfraWare are gaining much attention as alternatives to the Microsoft Windows. The latest version of the Linux has been significantly improved in terms of installation and use, providing a user interface similar to that of the Windows and coming with various software tools for documentation, multimedia utilization, etc. In addition, constraints on the Linux in the financial and public sectors are being removed one after another with Internet environments adopting Web standards. Under the circumstances, the software industry is expecting that the utilization of open-source operating systems will spread to the general consumer market as well as the enterprise market. Read more

NethServer 6.8 Linux Server Fights Spam with DNS-Based Blackhole List (DNSBL)

NethServer Community Manager Alessio Fattorini informs Softpedia today about the general availability of the first Beta release of the NethServer 6.8 server-oriented GNU/Linux operating system. Based on the recently released CentOS 6.8 operating system, which in turn builds on the freely distributed sources of the commercial Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.8 distro, NethServer 6.8 is now in development as the newest long-term support release. Read more

Comparing live version upgrade methods

When I review a distribution I always begin by performing a fresh installation of the operating system. This gives the latest version of the project a chance to stand on its own without complications. However, many of us do not perform fresh installations on our operating systems each time we want to upgrade to the latest release. Some of us, in order to preserve settings or installed packages, prefer to upgrade our existing operating system without starting over from scratch. This week I decided to take five open source operating systems through an upgrade process from their penultimate release to their latest version. Read more

Porteus Kiosk 4.0 Modular Linux Web Kiosk Released, Drops Chrome 32-bit Support

Porteus Solutions' Tomasz Jokiel announced on May 30, 2016, the release of the final Porteus Kiosk 4.0.0 Web Kiosk operating system based on the latest GNU/Linux technologies and open-source software. Porteus Kiosk 4.0.0 comes three months after the release of the last maintenance build in the Porteus Kiosk 3.x series, introducing numerous new features and improvements. But first, let's take a quick look under the hood, as the OS is now powered by Linux kernel 4.4.11 LTS (Long Term Support), and it's based on the Mozilla Firefox 45.1.1 ESR and Google Chrome 50.0.2661.102 web browsers. Read more