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Legal

The Licensing and Compliance Lab interviews François Marier, creator of Libravatar

Filed under
GNU
Legal

In this edition, we conducted an email-based interview with François Marier, a free software developer from New Zealand. He is the creator and lead developer of Libravatar. In addition to his passion for decentralization, he contributes to the Debian project and volunteers on the FSF licensing team.

Libravatar is a free network service providing profile photos for a number of Web sites, including bugs.debian.org and git.kernel.org. Its flexible architecture allows end users to host their own images and allows Web sites to use Gravatar as a fallback when necessary. It is licensed under the GNU Affero General Public License version 3, or end user can opt for any later version (GNU AGPLv3+).

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Conservancy Seeks Your Questions on GPL Enforcement

Filed under
GNU
Legal

Historically, Conservancy has published extensive materials about enforcement of the GPL, including blog posts, announcements regarding compliance actions, many sections appearing in the definitive Copyleft Guide (a joint initiative with the Free Software Foundation). After Conservancy's recent announcement of its funding of Christoph Hellwig's lawsuit against VMware, Conservancy has sought to answer as many questions as possible about GPL enforcement.

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Trade agreement could prohibit open source code supply

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OSS
Legal

An international trade agreement under negotiation with Australia, the United States, the European Union and others may have wide-ranging implications for the technology users, according to civil liberties groups.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has analysed leaked drafts of texts for the Trade In Services Agreement (TISA) written in February this year, and claims it would prohibit countries involved from forcing vendors to disclose source code used for applications in their equipment.

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Relicensing Dolphin: The long road to GPLv2+

Filed under
GNU
Legal

Since its resurfacing as an open source project in 2008, Dolphin has been licensed under the GNU General Public License version 2 (GPLv2). This license, created in 1991, is still a fairly common license used in the open source world. But as with anything that deals with technology, times are changing at a rapid rate. More recent projects are using GNU Public License version 3 and Apache 2.0, for their additional freedoms, protections from outside liability, and improved inter-license compatibility. Unfortunately these newer licenses are not compatible with GPLv2, and any project using these licenses cannot link to Dolphin and thus, Dolphin cannot link to them.

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Oracle v. Google: We're not screwed yet

Filed under
Android
Google
Legal

Superficially, the Solicitor General's advice to SCOTUS to find against Google and reject its appeal looks like bad news. But there are some substantial straws to grasp

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Related: Let Oracle own APIs, Justice Dept tells top court in surprise filing

Obama administration asks U.S. top court to decline Google copyright appeal

Allwinner Publishes New CedarX Open-Source Code

Filed under
OSS
Legal

For months now Allwinner has been violating the GPL and have attempted to cover it up by obfuscating their code and playing around with their licenses while jerking around the open-source community. At least today they've made a positive change in open-sourcing more of their "CedarX" code.

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Two hackers who committed suicide and no one still knows the real reason why

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Development
Legal
Obits

Two of world’s most wanted hackers had committed suicide and no one still knows why. Aaron Swartz and Jonathan James, both hackers by profession and most wanted by the FBI have committed suicide in face of the federal investigation against their hacking crimes.

Interested thing is both hackers were not connected to each other in any way but were being tried for hacking by the same department and the case was being overseen by the same Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Heymann. Could this have any hand in their suicides.

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SPDX v2 simplifies open source license dependency tracking

Filed under
GNU
Linux
OSS
Legal

The Linux Foundation has updated its SPDX standard to v2.0, enhancing the ability to track complex open source license dependencies to ensure compliance.

The Linux Foundation (LF) released version 1.0 of the Software Package Data Exchange (SPDX) standard in 2011, promoting it as a common format for sharing data about software licenses and copyrights. Now the LF’s SPDX workgroup has released version 2.0 of the standard, with new features that let you relate SPDX documents to each other to provide a “three-dimensional” relationship view of license dependencies.

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Why doesn't the FSF release GPG-signed copies of its licenses?

Filed under
GNU
Legal

While verified copies of our licenses can be useful, this is unfortunately a project that sounds straightforward at first, but all the corner cases found in the wild muck it up.

One relatively frequent request we receive is for the FSF to provide GPG-signed copies of our licenses. GPG is a tool that lets users cryptographically sign or encrypt documents and emails. A GPG-signed document lets anyone who receives it know that they have received the exact same document as the one that was signed. By providing signed documents, users will be able to easily ensure that they have received an unmodified copy of the license along with their software. It's also possible that some system of signing the documents could help projects tracking the use and adoption of various free software licenses. Providing these signed documents is a simple task: run a command and publish the documents. A trivial investment of resources, or at least that is how it appears at first.

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The Weather Company relies on Drupal to manage content

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Legal

After helping to put the dot in .com by building and configuring enterprise class solutions with WorldCom as a Sun hardware and software engineer, Jason Smith went on to AAAS (The American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the publishers of the journal Science) to direct the technical needs of the education directorate.

Jason has built or architected solutions ranging from enterprise to small business class and has found in Drupal a flexible, scalable, rapid development framework for targeting all levels of projects. A long time beneficiary of the open source movement, Jason—now a senior software architect at The Weather Company—is an avid supporter of open source projects and believes strongly in giving back to the community that supported him.

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More in Tux Machines

Linux Mint 18.1 Is The Best Mint Yet

The hardcore Linux geeks won’t read this article. They’ll skip right past it… They don’t like Linux Mint much. There’s a good reason for them not to; it’s not designed for them. Linux Mint is for folks who want a stable, elegant desktop operating system that they don’t want to have to constantly tinker with. Anyone who is into Linux will find Mint rather boring because it can get as close to the bleeding edge of computer technology. That said, most of those same hardcore geeks will privately tell you that they’ve put Linux Mint on their Mom’s computer and she just loves it. Linux Mint is great for Mom. It’s stable, offers everything she needs and its familiar UI is easy for Windows refugees to figure out. If you think of Arch Linux as a finicky, high-performance sports car then Linux Mint is a reliable station wagon. The kind of car your Mom would drive. Well, I have always liked station wagons myself and if you’ve read this far then I guess you do, too. A ride in a nice station wagon, loaded with creature comforts, cold blowing AC, and a good sound system can be very relaxing, indeed. Read more

Make Gnome 3 more accessible for everyday use

Gnome 3 is a desktop environment that was created to fix a problem that did not exist. Much like PulseAudio, Wayland and Systemd, it's there to give developers a job, while offering no clear benefit over the original problem. The Gnome 2 desktop was fast, lithe, simple, and elegant, and its replacement is none of that. Maybe the presentation layer is a little less busy and you can search a bit more quickly, but that's about as far as the list of advantages goes, which is a pretty grim result for five years of coding. Despite my reservation toward Gnome 3, I still find it to be a little bit more suitable for general consumption than in the past. Some of the silly early decisions have been largely reverted, and a wee bit more sane functionality added. Not enough. Which is why I'd like to take a moment or three to discuss some extra tweaks and changes you should add to this desktop environment to make it palatable. Read more

When to Use Which Debian Linux Repository

Nothing distinguishes the Debian Linux distribution so much as its system of package repositories. Originally organized into Stable, Testing, and Unstable, additional repositories have been added over the years, until today it takes more than a knowledge of a repository's name to understand how to use it efficiently and safely. Debian repositories are installed with a section called main that consists only of free software. However, by editing the file /etc/apt/sources.list, you can add contrib, which contains software that depends on proprietary software, and non-free, which contains proprietary software. Unless you choose to use only free software, contrib and non-free are especially useful for video and wireless drivers. You should also know that the three main repositories are named for characters from the Toy Story movies. Unstable is always called Sid, while the names of Testing and Stable change. When a new version of Debian is released, Testing becomes Stable, and the new version of Testing receives a name. These names are sometimes necessary for enabling a mirror site, but otherwise, ignoring these names gives you one less thing to remember. Read more

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