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Remaining Articles About PS3 Settlement Over GNU/Linux

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PS3 Settlement

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Linux
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A Brief History of Free and Open Source Software Licensing

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Open source software licenses may not excite people as much as open source code, but they have been just as important in keeping software free. Open source licensing as we know it today didn't always exist, however. It evolved as programmers developed more sophisticated strategies regarding their intellectual property.

Below is a look at the major milestones in open source licensing history. It doesn't cover every twist and turn. That would take a book.

But it outlines the major arc in open source licensing strategies, from the days when free software promoters disdained licenses altogether through present-day battles about software licensing and the cloud.

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Also: Licensing resources series: A Quick Guide to GPLv3

Licensing and Compliance

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  • New API helps open-source developers 'become license-aware'

    The Open Source Initiative (OSI), the steward of the Open Source Definition (OSD), announced today it has created a machine readable publication of OSI approved licenses.

    According to the organization, the API will allow third parties to "become license-aware", giving businesses everywhere the means to determine if a license is open source or not.

    The Open Source Initiative considers this the next "logical step" and quite important, knowing all the copyright and license legal battles going on nowadays, and how expensive they can be.

    Open Source Lead at GitHub, Brandon Keepers offered, "A canonical, machine-readable source of license metadata is a great step towards enabling developers to build tools around open source licensing and compliance. We can’t wait to see what the community does with it".

  • Oracle's Lead Lawyer Against Google Vents That The Ruling 'Killed' The GPL

    Except, of course, tons of copyright experts predicted exactly this result (and many more argued that APIs should not be subject to copyright at all). Famed copyright scholar Pam Samuelson has been writing extensively about the case, focusing both on why APIs should not be covered by copyright (and, why basically every other court has agreed) as well as why, even if it is covered, it's fair use. Hell, she even wrote a response to the Hurst piece, explaining why Hurst was wrong. It's weird for Hurst to take a position that actually seems at odds with a huge number of copyright experts, and then state that none would take the position that many did.

    [...]

    Once again, this shows a rather unfortunate ignorance of how coding works. It's not about a desire to "copy freely." It's about building amazing and innovative services, and making use of APIs to increase interoperability, which increases value. Copying an API structure is also just much more about making developers comfortable in using new environments. You know, like how Oracle copied SQL from IBM. Because lots of people understood SELECT-FROM-WHERE and it made little sense to create a relational database that didn't use that structure. It's not about copying freely. It's about interoperability.

    And, really, the idea that an Oracle lawyer is "concerned" about the future of the GPL is fairly laughable. Thankfully, many people have weighed in in the comments -- including plenty who are quite familiar with the GPL and software development to explain to Hurst why she's wrong. Somehow, I think she has some fairly strong reasons to ignore those responses.

Licensing and Coding

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  • The Oracle v. Google Suit is Still an Anti-Open Move That Shouldn't Have Happened

    All the way back in 2010, when Oracle filed a complaint for patent and copyright infringement against Google regarding parts of the Java code found in Google's Android mobile OS, I wrote a post calling the move "the anti-open move of the year." Fast-forward to today, and in the Oracle v. Google trial that just concluded, a jury returned a verdict in Google's favor. It basically concluded that Oracle's suit against Google, claiming that the use of Java APIs in Android violated copyright law, was bunk.

    Now, in an op-ed piece for Ars Technica, Annette Hurst, an attorney who represented Oracle, equates the jury's decision with the death of open source.

    [...]

    Hurst makes a good point that dual licensing models are increasing, with many open source projects available for free, while commercial versions, often including support, come at a cost. But the Oracle suit originated because Oracle essentially perceived itself as owning a moat around Java that didn't really exist.

    [...]

    Indeed, one of the lasting images of this long running legal skirmish is going to be Oracle behaving in a decidedly anti-open fashion. It may have been wiser for Oracle to simply let this one go.

  • Here’s how to check if software license is open source

    The Open Source Initiative (OSI), the steward of the Open Source Definition (OSD), announced today it has created a machine readable publication of OSI approved licenses.

    According to the Initiative, the API will allow third parties to ‘become license-aware’, giving businesses everywhere means to determine if a license is Open Source or not.

  • 3 Things Infrastructure as Code is Not

    The role of the network engineer is changing. This is not a result of DevOps, although some would claim it is. As DevOps takes center stage in organizations, it can seem like network engineers are being asked to become developers.

    There have been a number of talks discussing this, some of which have surfaced at Interop Las Vegas. The shift has been Infrastructure as Code (IaC), which was fundamental to the start of the DevOps movement. So maybe you could say this is caused by DevOps.

  • Introducing Blue Ocean: a new user experience for Jenkins

    While this project is in the alpha stage of development, the intent is that Jenkins users can install Blue Ocean side-by-side with the Jenkins Classic UI via a plugin.

    Not all the features listed on this blog are complete but we will be hard at work over the next few months preparing Blue Ocean for general use. We intend to provide regular updates on this blog as progress is made.

    Blue Ocean is open source today and we invite you to give us feedback and to contribute to the project.

Google and Oracle

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Oracle Desperate

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Google
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Announcing the Open Source License API

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OSS
Legal

Over the last 19 years, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) has been the steward of the Open Source Definition (or OSD), establishing a common language when discussing what it means to be an Open Source license, and a list of licenses which are known to be compatible with the OSD.

This is taken to its logic next step this year, with the OSI providing a machine readable publication of OSI approved licenses at api.opensource.org. This will allow third parties to become license-aware, and give organizations the ability to clearly determine if a license is, in fact, an Open Source license, from the authoritative source regarding Open Source licenses, the OSI.

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Win for APIs and FOSS (Android Case)

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Google
Legal
  • Google beats Oracle at trial: Jury finds Android is “fair use”

    Following a two-week trial, a federal jury concluded Thursday that Google's Android operating system does not infringe Oracle-owned copyrights because its re-implementation of 37 Java APIs is protected by "fair use." The verdict was reached after three days of deliberations.

    "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, listen to your verdict as it will stand recorded," said the court clerk, before polling each of the ten men and women on the jury.

    There was only one question on the special verdict form, asking if Google's use of the Java APIs was a "fair use" under copyright law. The jury unanimously answered "yes," in Google's favor. The verdict ends the trial, which began earlier this month. If Oracle had won, the same jury would have gone into a "damages phase" to determine how much Google should pay. Because Google won, the trial is over.

    "I salute you for your extreme hard work in this case," said US District Judge William Alsup, who has overseen the litigation since 2010. "With the thanks of your United States District Court, you are now discharged. I would like to come in the jury room and shake each of your hands individually."

    Four of the ten jurors declined to comment to reporters gathered in the hallway. The other six went out through a back exit.

    "We're grateful for the jury's verdict," said Google lead lawyer Robert Van Nest before getting into the elevator with Google's in-house lawyers. "That's it." Oracle attorneys had no comment.

  • Google wins Oracle copyright fight over Android code

    Today, a jury in California's Northern District federal court declared that Google's use of copyright-protected code in Android was fair use, freeing it of any liability. Oracle, which controls the copyright on the code, had been seeking $9 billion for the use of the code.

    The case centers around an API developed by Java and owned by Oracle, which allows outside programs to easily interact with Java programs. Android uses the same API, and in 2014 a federal appeals court ruled that Oracle has a valid copyright claim on the API code, potentially putting Google on the hook for billions of dollars in damages. (The Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal.) In the latest round, Google argued that Android's reimplementation of the API constituted fair use, which would allow use of the code without invalidating Oracle's copyright. Ultimately, the jury found that case convincing.

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More in Tux Machines

4MLinux 18.0 Distro Released with Support for LibreOffice 5.2, Thunderbird 45.1

4MLinux developer Zbigniew Konojacki has just informed Softpedia today, July 1, 2016, about the immediate availability for download of the final release of the 4MLinux 18.0 operating system. Read more

GNU/Linux Leftovers

  • Not Love
    I had seen GNU/Linux once before in my life. At a previous school, the husband of one of the teachers installed it on a PC in my presence. He couldn’t get it working…. Still, I read that GNU/Linux did not crash. I needed that. I was willing to make the effort to download and install GNU/Linux if I could have only that. Our Internet connection was a few KB/s on dial-up… I spent two weekends and five evenings downloading an .iso CD-image with FileZilla or something on a Mac in the lab. I had never burned a CD before but tried once copying the file to the CD. That wouldn’t boot. I discovered CD imaging… So, on the second try, I had a CD that would boot on the machines. I first did one machine and it wouldn’t start X. Having never seen X before, this was a problem but it turned out all I needed was the scanning frequencies for the CRT in a configuration file. Google helped me find those for each of my five different kinds of monitors. Suddenly, the PCs were useful with GNU/Linux.
  • Linux Under the Hood: Silence of the RAM
    Now that I see the events of the last week chronicled clearly in front of my very eyes, maybe the disparaging old junk man was right after all. I’m shameless enough to admit my own idiocy as long as it leads to learning from my mistakes. Maybe Linux isn’t rocket science, but installing RAM was sure beginning to feel like it.
  • Check out our new issue plus win an ebook bundle!
  • 30 days in a terminal: Day 10 — The experiment is over
    When I set out to spend 30 days living entirely in a Linux terminal, I knew there was a distinct possibility I would fail utterly. I mean, 30 days? No GUI software? No Xorg? Just describing it sounds like torture. And torture it was. Mostly. Some moments, though, were pretty damned amazing. Not amazing enough to help me reach my 30-day goal, mind you. I fell short—only making it to day 10.
  • Bad Voltage Episode 70 Has Been Released: Delicious Amorphous Tech Bubble
  • Tokyo: Automotive Linux Summit
    Engineers will gather in Tokyo July 13-14 for the annual Automotive Linux Summit, a conference where auto-industry stakeholders discuss the adoption of an open-source Linux-based platform for in-vehicle infotainment. The two-day summit brings together automotive systems engineers, Linux experts, developers and other players.
  • Oxenfree, an adventure game with supernatural elements, available on Linux
    This well-received indie title has been ported over to Linux. Combining plenty of elements of 80s teen movies and packaging them in a polished adventure, Oxenfree may be worth checking out if you’re a fan of adventure games.
  • Space station management game, The Spatials: Galactology, is confirmed to be coming for Linux
    This is an expanded and reimagined version of the management sim, The Spatials. It’s yet to be released but the developers have confirmed that a Linux version is in the works.
  • Red Hat Storage VP sees different uses for Ceph, Gluster
    Red Hat Storage showed off updates to its Ceph and Gluster software and laid out its strategy for working with containers at this week’s Red Hat Summit in San Francisco.

Leftovers: Ubuntu and Debian

Leftovers: OSS

  • Google and GitHub are Opening a New Window on Open Source
    Where can you find millions of open source code repositories? That would be on GitHub, of course, and with all those code repositories, one would think that analyzing them would lead to some interesting conclusions about open source in general, correct? That's the thinking behind a new offering from GitHub in partnership with Google. The two have produced a new open dataset on Google BigQuery, a low cost analytics data warehouse service in the cloud, so that anyone can get data-driven insights based on more than 2.8 million open source GitHub repositories. The move brings new data analytics capabilities to BigQuery.
  • Open Source Gospel From Cisco’s Lauren Clooney
    Companies that traditionally focused on proprietary software are now playing catch up in order to compete by utilizing open source development.
  • My condolences, you’re now the maintainer of a popular open source project
    Marc Andreessen, creator of the Netscape web browser, famously said "software is eating the world." I’d like to posit that it’s actually open source software that’s eating the world, and I have a couple of data points to back me up. First, a conclusion from the 2015 Future of Open Source survey: “Seventy-eight percent of respondents said their companies run part or all of its operations on OSS and 66 percent said their company creates software for customers built on open source. This statistic has nearly doubled since 2010.”
  • Tip: Try these open-source investigative journalism tools
    The Investigative Reporters and Editors conference took place in mid-June in New Orleans, and one of the sessions at the event looked at open-source tools for investigations. This 'Steal my tool' session highlighted a number of useful open-source investigative platforms, which Sam Berkhead, engagement editor at IJNet, listed in this article published after the conference.
  • DuckDuckGo: The Little Search Engine That Gives Back Big
    The company’s website says, “DuckDuckGo is a general purpose search engine that is intended to be your starting place when searching the Internet. Use it to get way more instant answers, way less spam and real privacy, which we believe adds up to a much better overall search experience.” [...] Proprietor Gabriel Weinberg says his once-personal project (founded in 2008) isn’t making anyone wealthy, but he and his workers live decently, and he says they’re doing well enough that giving money to open source projects doesn’t hurt their budget.
  • Understanding open source licenses
    Open source licenses are licenses that comply with the Open Source Definition — in brief, they allow software to be freely used, modified, and shared. To be approved by the Open Source Initiative (also known as the OSI), a license must go through the Open Source Initiative’s license review process. There has been an increase release of open source software from the day of Linux. Today most popular frame works like bootstrap and software such as Atom IDE used by developers are open source. We often never worry about using open source code but do you know what the license under which the frame you’re using was released means?
  • Build your own open source solar panels
    Do-it-yourself electricity generation is still difficult and expensive. The inventors of the SunZilla project aim to make it easier, cleaner, portable, quiet, and completely open source. The SunZilla system is designed to replace diesel and gasoline-powered generators for portable and emergency power: camping, events, mobile phone charging station, provide power to refugee camps, or keep the lights on during a power outage. Two people can set it up in a few minutes. It is modular and plug-and-play. Leonie Gildein is one of the five SunZilla engineers, and kindly answered some questions about the project.
  • Lessons From The Downfall Of A $150M Crowdfunded Experiment In Decentralized Governance
    Hype around blockchain has risen to an all-time high. A technology once perceived to be the realm of crypto-anarchists and drug dealers has gained increasing popular recognition for its revolutionary potential, drawing billions in venture-capital investment by the world's leading financial institutions and technology companies. Regulators, rather than treating blockchain platforms (such as Bitcoin or Ethereum) and other "distributed ledgers" merely as tools of illicit dark markets, are beginning to look at frameworks to regulate and incorporate this important technology into traditional commerce.
  • Openfunds launches global standard for fund data interchange
    The standard is published on the openfunds website and can be used by anyone free of charge.