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GNU/FSF/GPL

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GNU
Legal
  • Unifont 9.0.02 Released

    Unifont 9.0.02 is released. The package and related files can be downloaded at ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/unifont/unifont-9.0.02/

  • GCC 7 To Continue Improving Debug Messages, More Helpful Assembly Output

    Early on LLVM's Clang compiler offered much better debugging / error messages than GCC but in the past few years the GNU Compiler Collection developers have been working on generating more helpful messages too.

  • The Last LinuxCon, MariaDB Goes Open Core & More… [Ed: And a day later publicly attacks the Conservancy over GPL compliance against VMware]

    Linus Torvalds being interviewed by VMware’s Dirk Hohndel on the last day of the last LinuxCon North America. Next year’s event in Los Angeles will be renamed Open Source Summit.

  • GPL compliance suit against VMware dismissed

    In a setback to the Christoph Hellwig's efforts to enforce the GPL on code that he wrote in the Linux kernel, his suit against VMware in Germany has been dismissed on procedural grounds. The court ruled that he had not provided enough specificity about the code he was claiming had been used by the company. The merits of the GPL and whether the two main parts of VMware's product constitute a derived work of the kernel were not even considered. There may be another chance for the court to do so, however, as Hellwig will appeal the dismissal.

GNU/Linux Leftovers

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GNU
Linux
Legal
  • World Wide Web became what it is thanks to Linux

    Linux is used to power the largest websites on the Internet, including Google, Facebook, Amazon, eBay, and Wikipedia.

  • SFC's Kuhn in firing line as Linus Torvalds takes aim

    A few days after he mused that there had been no reason for him to blow his stack recently, Linux creator Linus Torvalds has directed a blast at the Software Freedom Conservancy and its distinguished technologist Bradley Kuhn over the question of enforcing compliance of the GNU General Public Licence.

    Torvalds' rant came on Friday, as usual on a mailing list and on a thread which was started by Software Freedom Conservancy head Karen Sandler on Wednesday last week. She suggested that Linuxcon in Toronto, held from Monday to Thursday, also include a session on GPL enforcement.

  • Linux at 25: A pictorial history

    Aug. 25 marks the 25th anniversary of Linux, the free and open source operating system that's used around the globe in smarphones, tablets, desktop PCs, servers, supercomputers, and more. Though its beginnings were humble, Linux has become the world’s largest and most pervasive open source software project in history. How did it get here? Read on for a look at some of the notable events along the way.

Having offended everyone else in the world, Linus Torvalds calls own lawyers a 'nasty festering disease'

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GNU
Linux
Legal

Coding curmudgeon Linus Torvalds has gone off on yet another rant: this time against his own lawyers and free software activist Bradley Kuhn.

On a mailing list about an upcoming Linux conference, a discussion about whether to include a session on the GPL that protects the open source operating system quickly devolved in an angry rant as its founder piled in.

Read more

MariaDB Under Fire for Proprietary Curve

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OSS
Legal

FOSS Licensing

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OSS
Legal
  • Which type of open source license do you prefer?
  • What is copyleft?

    While the GPL family are the most popular copyleft licenses, they are by no means the only ones. The Mozilla Public License and the Eclipse Public License are also very popular. Many other copyleft licenses exist with smaller adoption footprints.

    As explained in the previous section, a copyleft license means downstream projects cannot add additional restrictions on the use of the software. This is best illustrated with an example. If I wrote MyCoolProgram and distributed it under a copyleft license, you would have the freedom to use and modify it. You could distribute versions with your changes, but you'd have to give your users the same freedoms I gave you. If I had licensed it under a permissive license, you'd be free to incorporate it into a closed software project that you do not provide the source to.

    But just as important as what you must do with MyCoolProgram is what you don't have to do. You don't have to use the exact same license I did, so long as the terms are compatible (generally downstream projects use the same license for simplicity's sake). You don't have to contribute your changes back to me, but it's generally considered good form, especially when the changes are bug fixes.

  • Hellwig v. VMware Hits A Rock

    They wanted line by line evidence, not pointers to the lines. You’d think there would be a script for that…

BSD and GNU/GPL

Filed under
GNU
BSD
Legal
  • When BSD and Ubuntu meet on the dance floor, magic should happen

    Jack Wallen takes UbuntuBSD out for a dance to see if it can keep up with the competition. Find out if this new distribution stands a chance at surviving among the already challenging Linux landscape.

  • GPL enforcement action in Hellwig v. VMware dismissed, with an appeal expected

    A decision in the GPL enforcement case in Germany between Christoph Hellwig (supported by the Software Freedom Conservancy) and VMware recently became public. The court dismissed the case after concluding that Hellwig failed to identify in the VMware product the specific lines of code for which he owned copyright. The GPL interpretation question was not addressed. Hellwig has indicated that he will appeal the court’s decision.

  • GNU Tools Cauldron

    We are pleased to announce another gathering of GNU tools developers. The basic format of this meeting will be similar to the previous meetings. However this year the meeting will be immediately preceded by the first ever LLVM Cauldron.

    The purpose of this workshop is to gather all GNU tools developers, discuss current/future work, coordinate efforts, exchange reports on ongoing efforts, discuss development plans for the next 12 months, developer tutorials and any other related discussions.

FSF/GNU

Filed under
GNU
Legal
  • Christoph Hellwig's case against VMware dismissed

    The GPL-infringement case brought against VMware by Christoph Hellwig in Germany has been dismissed by the court; the ruling is available in German and English. The decision seems to be based entirely on uncertainty over where his copyrights actually lie and not on the infringement claims.

  • diffutils-3.4 released
  • Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup: August 12th
  • Licensing resource series: h-node hardware directory

    This is the second installment in the Free Software Foundation's Licensing & Compliance Lab's series highlighting licensing resources.

    While our Respects Your Freedom hardware certification program gets lots of attention from all the new fully free hardware being certified, the FSF has actually had more resources on hardware for quite some time. In the past, we maintained a list of hardware that worked well with free software. But a few years back we made this into a community run project, h-node.

    Hardware listed on h-node doesn't come with FSF certification, but it does come with the information users need to find out the extent to which the hardware is supported by fully free GNU/Linux distros. Members of the community can submit entries to h-node whenever they get a chance to test it against one of these free operating systems. By sharing this information, everyone can help more users to make the switch to a fully free system by making it easier to know what hardware already works perfectly with a free system. Hackers looking to help increase support can also find hardware with some remaining issues and direct their efforts there.

  • GNU dico Version 2.3

    Version 2.3 is available for download from the Main GNU site as well as from its home. Mirrors worldwide are also available.

  • GnuTLS 3.5.3

    Released GnuTLS 3.5.3, a minor enhancement and bug fix release in next stable branch.

On the boundaries of GPL enforcement

Filed under
GNU
Legal

Last October, the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) and Free Software Foundation (FSF) jointly published "The Principles of Community-Oriented GPL Enforcement". That document described what those organizations believe the goal of enforcement efforts should be and how those efforts should be carried out. Several other organizations endorsed the principles, including the netfilter project earlier this month. It was, perhaps, a bit puzzling that the project would make that endorsement at that time, but a July 19 SFC blog post sheds some light on the matter.

There have been rumblings for some time about a kernel developer doing enforcement in Germany that might not be particularly "community-oriented", but public information was scarce. Based on the blog post by Bradley Kuhn and Karen Sandler, though, it would seem that Patrick McHardy, who worked on netfilter, is the kernel developer in question. McHardy has also recently been suspended from the netfilter core team pending his reply to "severe allegations" with regard to "the style of his license enforcement activities".

Read more

The Importance of Following Community-Oriented Principles in GPL Enforcement Work

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GNU
Legal

The GNU General Public License (GPL) was designed to grant clear permissions for sharing software and to defend that freedom for users. GPL'd code now appears in so many devices that it is fundamental to modern technology. While we believe that following the GPL's requirements is neither burdensome nor unreasonable, many fail to do so. GPL enforcement — the process to encourage those who fail to correct problems and join our open software development community — is difficult diplomacy.

Read more

Linux Australia backflips on Appelbaum stance

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Linux
Legal

Linux Australia has done a backflip on its stance over privacy advocate Jacob Appelbaum who was recently thrown out of several software groupings following numerous accusations of sexual harassment.

Read more

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More in Tux Machines

Remembering Vernon Adams

Open-source font developer Vernon Adams has passed away in California at the age of 49. [Vernon Adams] In 2014, Adams was injured in an automobile collision, sustaining serious trauma from which he never fully recovered. Perhaps best known within the Linux community as the creator of KDE's user-interface font Oxygen, Adams created a total of 51 font families published through Google Fonts, all under open licenses. He was also active in a number of related free-software projects, including FontForge, Metapolator, and the Open Font Library. In 2012, he co-authored the user's guide for FontForge as part of Google's Summer of Code Documentation Camp, which we reported on at that time. Read more

Fedora 24 review: The year’s best Linux distro is puzzlingly hard to recommend

Fedora 24 is one of the best Linux distro releases you're likely to see this year. And there are two other releases that I did not have room to cover in depth here: the Server and Cloud variants of Fedora 24, which pack in a ton of new features specific to those environments. The cloud platform especially continues to churn out the container-related features, with some new tools for OpenShift Origin, Fedora's Platform-as-a-Service system built around Google's Kubernetes project. Check out Fedora Magazine's release announcement for more on everything that's new in Server and Cloud. As always, Fedora WorkStation also comes in a variety of "Spins" that are pre-packaged setups for specific use cases. There are prepacked spins of all the major desktops, including Xfce, KDE, MATE, Cinnamon, and LXDE (you can also get alternative desktops in one go by downloading the DVD installer). Spins aren't just for desktops, though. For example, there's an astronomy spin, a design suite spin, robotics-focused spin, a security spin, and several more. None of these spins have anything you can't set up yourself, but if you don't want to put in the time and effort, Fedora can handle that for you. Read more

New NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV Console Shows Up At The FCC

While the Xiaomi Mi Box does seem to be inching closer towards its release and while this is expected to be the next big major device release for the Android TV platform, the last week has seen speculation mounting as to what NVIDIA might have up their sleeves. This is because a new SHIELD Controller popped up on the FCC and this was then followed by new filings for a new SHIELD Remote control. Of course, just because the two controller accessories were passing through the FCC, it does not automatically mean there will also be a new SHIELD Android TV device coming as well. Although on this particular occasion, that looks to be exactly what is happening. Read more

today's leftovers

  • BSODs at scale: we laugh at your puny five storeys, here's our SIX storey #fail
    It's an easy drive-by troll, isn't it? Last week, we asked readers to top the five-storey Blue Screen of Death spotted in Thailand, and examples big and small flooded the inbox. Manchester Piccadilly Station is either vying for the crown with last week's entry, or perhaps it's a display from the same maker. Thanks to James for catching this shot from 2013.
  • Monitoring of Monitoring
    I was recently asked to get data from a computer that controlled security cameras after a crime had been committed. Due to the potential issues I refused to collect the computer and insisted on performing the work at the office of the company in question. Hard drives are vulnerable to damage from vibration and there is always a risk involved in moving hard drives or systems containing them. A hard drive with evidence of a crime provides additional potential complications. So I wanted to stay within view of the man who commissioned the work just so there could be no misunderstanding. The system had a single IDE disk. The fact that it had an IDE disk is an indication of the age of the system. One of the benefits of SATA over IDE is that swapping disks is much easier, SATA is designed for hot-swap and even systems that don’t support hot-swap will have less risk of mechanical damage when changing disks if SATA is used instead of IDE. For an appliance type system where a disk might be expected to be changed by someone who’s not a sysadmin SATA provides more benefits over IDE than for some other use cases. I connected the IDE disk to a USB-IDE device so I could read it from my laptop. But the disk just made repeated buzzing sounds while failing to spin up. This is an indication that the drive was probably experiencing “stiction” which is where the heads stick to the platters and the drive motor isn’t strong enough to pull them off. In some cases hitting a drive will get it working again, but I’m certainly not going to hit a drive that might be subject to legal action! I recommended referring the drive to a data recovery company. The probability of getting useful data from the disk in question seems very low. It could be that the drive had stiction for months or years. If the drive is recovered it might turn out to have data from years ago and not the recent data that is desired. It is possible that the drive only got stiction after being turned off, but I’ll probably never know.
  • Blender 2.78 Is Adding Pascal Support, Fixes Maxwell Performance Issues
  • motranslator 1.1
    Four months after 1.0 release, motranslator 1.1 is out. If you happen to use it for untrusted data, this might be as well called security release, though this is still not good idea until we remove usage of eval() used to evaluate plural formula.
  • Live dmesg following
  • WineTricks has seen a massive amount of improvements this year
    WineTricks has seen allot of development recently, some of the notable changes are better IE 8 support, MetaTrader 4 support, Kindle improvements, Russian translation, A new self update function and a massive amount of other fixes and updates. The full changelog sense February 2016 and August 2016 is provided below with a download link to get the latest release.
  • Sunless Sea expansion Zubmariner releases on October 11th with Linux support
    Sunless Sea is about to get bigger, as Zubmariner has been confirmed for release on October 11th with Linux support.
  • Agenda, control an organization trying to take over the world in this strategy game
  • Clarity (Vector Design) Icon Theme for Linux Desktop’s
    Clarity Icon Theme is completely different from other icon themes because its purly based on Vector design. This theme is based on AwOken and Token, lots of shapes and basic color pallete was taken from these icons. Few icons was taken from Raphael. used some shapes from OpenClipart, Wikipedia, Humanity and AnyColorYouLike Themes. The rest of icons designed by developer by simplifying existed icons or logos. Two types of fonts used Impact and Cheboygan.
  • GUADEC 2016
    I have just returned from our annual users and developers conference. This years’ GUADEC has taken place in the lovely Karlsruhe, Germany. It once again was a fantastic opportunity to gather everyone who works pretty hard to make our desktop and platform the best out there. :)
  • GUADEC 2016, Karlsruhe
    Nice thing this year was that almost everyone was staying in the same place, or close; this favoured social gatherings even more than in the previous years. This was also helped by the organized events, every evenings, from barbecue to picnic, from local student-run bar to beer garden (thanks Centricular), and more. And during the days? Interesting talks of course, like the one offered by Rosanna about how the foundation runs (and how crazy is the US bank system), or the Builder update by Christian, and team meetings.
  • Debian-Based Q4OS 1.6 "Orion" Linux Distro Launches with Trinity Desktop 14.0.3
    Softpedia has been informed today, August 28, 2016, by the developer of the Debian-based Q4OS GNU/Linux distribution about the immediate availability for download of a new stable release to the "Orion" series, version 1.6. The biggest new feature of the Q4OS 1.6 "Orion" release is the latest Trinity Desktop Environment (TDE) 14.0.3 desktop environment, an open source project that tries to keep the spirit of the old-school KDE 3.5 desktop interface alive. Q4OS was used the most recent TDE version, so Q4OS 1.6 is here to update it. "The significant Q4OS 1.6 'Orion' release receives the most recent Trinity R14.0.3 stable version. Trinity R14.0.3 is the third maintenance release of the R14 series, it is intended to promptly bring bug fixes to users, while preserving overall stability," say the Q4OS developers in the release announcement.
  • Antergos installation guide with screenshots
  • Reproducible builds: week 70 in Stretch cycle
  • Ubuntu's Mir May Be Ready For FreeSync / Adaptive-Sync
    The Mir display server may already be ready for working with AMD's FreeSync or VESA's Adaptive-Sync, once all of the other pieces to the Linux graphics stack are ready. If the comments from this Mir commit are understood and correct, it looks like Mir may be ready for supporting FreeSync/Adaptive-Sync. While NVIDIA's proprietary driver supports their alternative G-SYNC technology on Linux, AMD FreeSync (or the similar VESA Adaptive-Sync standard) has yet to be supported by the AMD Linux stack. We won't be seeing any AMD FreeSync support until their DAL display stack lands. DAL still might come for Linux 4.9 but there hasn't been any commitment yet by AMD developers otherwise not until Linux 4.10+, and then after that point FreeSync can ultimately come to the open-source AMD driver. At least with the AMDGPU-PRO driver relying upon its own DKMS module, DAL with FreeSync can land there earlier.
  • Python vs. C/C++ in embedded systems
    The C/C++ programming languages dominate embedded systems programming, though they have a number of disadvantages. Python, on the other hand, has many strengths that make it a great language for embedded systems. Let's look at the pros and cons of each, and why you should consider Python for embedded programming.