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

Radeon vs. NVIDIA Performance For HITMAN On Linux With 17 GPUs

Last week Feral Interactive released the much anticipated Linux port of HITMAN, which debuted for Windows last year. Now that there's benchmark support for HITMAN on Linux, I have been running a number of tests for this game that's powered by the Glacier Engine and making use of OpenGL for rendering on Linux. In this article are our initial AMD Radeon performance figures making use of the RadeonSI Gallium3D driver compared to NVIDIA's driver and the assortment of GeForce results published yesterday. Read more

How China Mobile Is Using Linux and Open Source

China Mobile is one of the biggest telecom companies in the world, with more than 800 million users in China -- all of whom are served with open source technologies. During the 2016 Mobile World Congress, China Mobile declared that the operational support system running their massive network would be based on open source software. China Mobile is not alone; many major networking vendors are moving to open source technologies. For example, AT&T is building their future network on top of OpenStack, and they have invested in software-defined technology so significantly that they now call themselves a software company. Read more

Today in Techrights

today's leftovers

  • [elementaryOS] AppCenter: Funded
    A few moments ago, we hit 100% funded for our AppCenter campaign on Indiegogo. Thank you, backers! More than 300 people backed us over just two weeks to help bring our pay-what-you-want indie app store to life.
  • Linux Lite To Have These New Features In The Next Release Linux Lite 3.4
    ...we contacted the creator of the Linux Lite “Jerry Bezencon” and enquired the upcoming new features in the latest version of the Linux Lite. We have also done a review of the latest available distro i.e. 3.2 (32 bit) so that the readers can understand easily where are the new features headed towards.
  • Buy or Sell? What Analysts Recommends: CMS Energy Corporation (CMS), Red Hat, Inc. (RHT)
  • What Does The Chart For Red Hat, Inc. (RHT) Tell Us Presently?
  • LEDE-17.01 is coming [Ed: it has actually just come out, just like LWN's paywall]
    For some years, OpenWrt has arguably been the most active router-oriented distribution. Things changed in May of last year, though, when a group of OpenWrt developers split off to form the competing LEDE project. While the LEDE developers have been busy, the project has yet to make its first release. That situation is about to change, though, as evidenced by the LEDE v17.01.0-rc1 release candidate, which came out on February 1. Many of the changes made in LEDE since the 2015 OpenWrt "Chaos Calmer" release will not be immediately visible to most users. The core software has been updated, of course, including a move to the 4.4.42 kernel. There are a number of security-oriented enhancements, including a switch to SHA256 for package verification, the disabling of support for several old and insecure protocols, compilation with stack-overwrite detection, and more. There is support for a number of new devices. Perhaps the most anticipated new feature, though, is the improved smart queue management and the WiFi fairness work that has been done as part of the bufferbloat project. It has been clear for some time that WiFi should work far better than it does; the work that has found its way into the LEDE release candidate should be a significant step in that direction. Your editor decided that it was time to give LEDE a try, but there was some shopping to be done first. Getting the full benefit from the bufferbloat and airtime fairness work requires the right chipset; most of this work has been done on the Atheros ath9k driver. So the first step was to go out and pick up a new router with ath9k wireless. That is where the things turned out to be harder than one might expect.
  • Microsoft Faces European Privacy Probes Over Windows 10
    Microsoft Corp. faces a coordinated investigation by European privacy regulators after it failed to do enough to address their concerns about the collection and processing of user data with a series of changes to Windows 10 last month. European Union data-protection officials sent a letter to Microsoft saying they remain “concerned about the level of protection of users’ personal data,” according to a copy of the document posted by the Dutch watchdog Tuesday. Regulators from seven countries are concerned that even after the announced changes, “Microsoft does not comply with fundamental privacy rules.”