Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Chicken Little and Age-Appropriate Explanations

Filed under
OSS

n the mid 1990s, when I first began running into open source Latest News about open source in my practice, I noticed that open source had a very strange effect on intellectual property lawyers. It was a Chicken Little situation, but instead of crying "the sky is falling" they were crying "the code is infringing."

Nearly ten years later, very few intellectual property lawsuits have actually been filed relating to open source. Roughly, the scorecard looks like this:

  • Trademark infringement suits: 1 (MySQL-NuSphere)

  • Copyright infringement suits: 1/2 (SCO, after modifying the complaint)
  • Trade secret infringement suits: 1/2 (SCO, original complaint)
  • Patent infringement suits: 0

The sky did not fall.

But it is cheap to laugh at us lawyers, who, after all, are paid to be frightened on behalf of others. The only upside for lawyers being reasonable is that their clients like them. The downside is that lawyers get sued for malpractice if they don't give conservative enough advice.

The lawyer who told Bill Gates' competitor not to sign IBM's non-disclosure agreement -- thereby foregoing his opportunity to become the largest software company in the world -- will never be threatened with malpractice claims. But his client probably didn't like him much.

What Were They Scared Of?

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

OpenSUSE 13.2 Beta

Migrating From Windows 7 To Ubuntu: The Ultimate Guide

Despite what all the Linux haters say, choosing Ubuntu is logical and migrating from Windows 7 to Ubuntu is a breeze. This article summarizes the process and provides solutions to some of the most common beginner hiccups. The Windows Vs Mac Vs Linux debate has been going on for years and doesn’t look to be settled anytime soon. If you are a Windows 7 user and still haven’t made the switch to Windows 8, you may want to consider migrating to Ubuntu 14.04, the latest Linux distro from Ubuntu. In addition to strong support from developers and a massive software repository, it’s free, faster and safer than Windows. Read more

7 killer open source monitoring tools

Network and system monitoring is a broad category. There are solutions that monitor for the proper operation of servers, network gear, and applications, and there are solutions that track the performance of those systems and devices, providing trending and analysis. Some tools will sound alarms and notifications when problems are detected, while others will even trigger actions to run when alarms sound. Here is a collection of open source solutions that aim to provide some or all of these capabilities. Read more

Reader Forum: Accelerating ‘IoT’ with an open-source, embedded platform for connected applications

Providing an end-to-end solution for building and deploying new connected applications extremely quickly, at scale, and at a fraction of the cost compared to conventional processes is key to streamlining M2M development. And, using an open-source, Linux-based platform, companies can run applications on any vendor’s hardware and use any cloud management platform. Read more