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Legal

Free Software & Money

Filed under
OSS
Legal

In fact, it is not really that money and Free Software are strange bedfellows. Not only is there nothing prohibiiting anyone to generate revenues with Free Software, it is even encouraged. We have adopted a (sane) practice for years, which is to provide binaries and source code of entire Free Software stacks for free. Reading the GPL you may notice that this is not at all something to be expected; if anything, you may sell your binaries tomorrow, and only give away your source code. The unhealthy part comes when the expectation that not only all this should be free, but that your time, expertise and your entire work should always remain free.

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Google, Oracle Java API copyright battle lands at Supreme Court

Filed under
Android
Google
Legal

The legal fracas started when Google copied certain elements—names, declaration, and header lines—of the Java APIs in Android, and Oracle sued. A San Francisco federal judge largely sided with Google in 2012, saying that the code in question could not be copyrighted. But the federal appeals court reversed, and ruled that the "declaring code and the structure, sequence, and organization of the API packages are entitled to copyright protection.

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As patent trolls fade, a group formed to combat them thrives

Filed under
OSS
Legal

Remember the Open Invention Network (OIN)? That's the defensive software patent community set up to protect Linux against patent aggressors. Well, it recently passed 1,000 members, growing nearly 70 percent over the last year.

Growth of this order is an interesting phenomenon. At a time when the tide seems to be turning on patent trolls as a result of the Supreme Court's decision on Alice Corporation v CLS Bank, why are so many companies still seeking mutual protection in use of the Linux System (a term defined by OIN to indicate a vast range of open source software, not just Linux)? Maybe the small trolls aren't the only problem.

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Samsung didn’t pay Microsoft $1 billion for Android, or did they?

Filed under
Microsoft
Legal

Organizations like BloomBerg and ReCode are refraining from such misleading headlines. The court filing is available publicly which you can read on Scribd. Microsoft says in the document that Samsung paid Microsoft $1 billion in second financial year of their patent deal. From what I understand that is *the* total amount Samsung paid Microsoft under the deal. What we don’t know is what all is covered in these patents. The court document doesn’t specifically says that ‘Samsung paid Microsoft $1 billion for Android patents.

[...]

It seems to be nothing more than a PR stunt. Every-time someone creates such a headline, Microsoft scores a PR point. Microsoft drops the keywords Android, Chrome and Linux every-time it signs a deal with a company even if the deal is about using ancient technologies such as FAT 32 in devices running Linux.

"We never heard of any other deal between the two companies (Samsung and Microsoft) so it can be logically concluded that the deal also covers the use of Microsoft technologies in non-Android or non-Chrome devices such as point-and-shoot cameras, DSLRs, music players, photo-frames, BD/DVD players, TV sets and dozen of other things that Samsung sells

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Open source history, present day, and licensing

Filed under
OSS
Legal

Looking at open source softwares particularly, this is a fact that is probably useful to you if you are thinking about business models, many people don't care about it anymore. We talk about FOSS, Free and Open Source Software, but if we really are strict there's a difference between free software and open source software. On the left, I have free software which most typically is GPL software. Software where the license insures freedom. It gives freedoms to you as a user, but it also requires that the freedoms are maintained.

On the right-hand side, you have open source software which is open for all, but it also allows you to close it. So here we come back to the famous clause of the GPL license, the reciprocity requirement which says, "If I am open, you need to be open." So software that comes under the GPL license carries with it something that other people call a virus. I call it a blessing because I think it's great if all software becomes open.

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Another Open-Source Developer Claims Hyperkin is Illegally Using Code for Retro Console System

Filed under
GNU
OSS
Legal

The makers of the open-sourced emulation software program, RetroArch are the latest to say that video games accessories company Hyperkin is using its program in violation of the GPL license. RetroArch uses a development interface called "libretro" that allows for the "easy creation of emulators and games that can plug straight into this program called RetroArch." It supports 15 different hardware platforms including Android.

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Alice is killing the trolls -- but expect patent lawyers to strike back

Filed under
Legal

Open source software developers rejoice: Alice Corp. v CLS Bank is fast becoming a landmark decision for patent cases in the United States.

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which handles all appeals for patent cases in the United States, has often been criticized for its handling of these cases -- Techdirt describes it as "the rogue patent court, captured by the patent bar." But following the Alice decision, the Court of Appeals seems to have changed.

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IPA Font license added to license list

Filed under
GNU
OSS
Legal

We recently updated our list of various licenses and comments about them to include the IPA Font license. It is a copyleft free software license for fonts, incompatible with the GPL.

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Open Source Software Licenses: Which Should You Use?

Filed under
OSS
Legal

Slowly but surely, open source software is taking over. If you don’t believe it, just look at some of the most popular tools that we all use: Firefox, WordPress, 7-Zip, MediaWiki, BitTorrent, Android, plus all of the free alternatives to paid software. But did you know that not all open source licenses are the same?

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Patent trolls and open document formats with open source thought leaders

Filed under
LibO
Interviews
OSS
OOo
Legal

Over on Gordon Haff's blog, Connections, the senior cloud evangelist for Red Hat talked with Simon Phipps, the president of the Open Source Initiative about U.S. software patent cases and the United Kingdom's decision to make ODF its official document format.

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More in Tux Machines

Review: Linux Mint 18 (Sarah)

If you were looking to jump the Ubuntu ship completely, then we recommend taking a look at our recent Review of Fedora 24. It’s equally as good as Mint 18 and equally worthy of your consideration. Between Linux Mint 18 and Fedora 24, we reckon it’s exciting times in the Linux world. With the exception and onset of the boring world of vanilla Ubuntu releases, Linux feels reinvigorated and fresh once again. Jump on board, because it can only get better from here. Read more

Security Leftovers

GNU News

Leftovers: OSS

  • Mozilla Firefox 47.0.1 Is Now Available in the Arch Linux and Solus Repos
    Mozilla quietly delivered the first point release of the Mozilla Firefox 47.0 web browser to users of Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X operating systems on the day of June 28, 2016. However, because the built-in updater of the Mozilla Firefox web browser doesn't work on GNU/Linux distributions, users have to wait for the latest version of the software to be first pushed by the maintainers of their operating systems on the main repositories before they can upgrade.
  • Questions loom about the future of open source at VA
    The CIO for the Department of Veterans' Affairs sought to reassure stakeholders that the agency was committed to open source in the future, but with Congress pressuring the agency to give up the homegrown health record system VistA, the open source community is a bit perplexed.
  • Watch out for job offers from Google after this open source course
    Over five lakh polytechnic students from 500 colleges across Tamil Nadu would begin training on open source software from Friday, learning more about the nitty-gritties of ‘free’ software under a programme run by the Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay along with the Tamil Nadu government.
  • Bombay Stock Exchange: Open source is a mindset
    Open source is still gaining momentum in the industry worldwide. Despite naysayers, open-source software and hardware are making believers out of a broad array of users. In the case of Bombay Stock Exchange, LTD (BSE), the transition has been cost efficient, as well as has improved order processing power. By switching from proprietary hardware to open source, Kersi Tavadia, CIO of BSE, reported going from being able to process 10 million orders a day to 400 million. Even with the increase, the new open-source hardware is only using 10 percent capacity.
  • GitHub releases data on 2.8 million open source repositories through Google BigQuery
    GitHub today announced that it’s releasing activity data for 2.8 million open source code repositories and making it available for people to analyze with the Google BigQuery cloud-based data warehousing tool. The data set is free to explore. (With BigQuery you get to process up to one terabyte each month free of charge.) This new 3TB data set includes information on “more than 145 million unique commits, over 2 billion different file paths and the contents of the latest revision for 163 million files, all of which are searchable with regular expressions,” Arfon Smith, program manager for open source data at GitHub, wrote in a blog post.
  • How one company is using open source to double its customers’ mobile business
    Most retailers today stay a step or two behind when it comes to modern technology, especially on the mobile side. Sawyer Effect, LLC, a consultant for J.Crew Group, Inc., has been using Red Hat, Inc.’s open-source product Ansible, an IT automation engine, to get its customer’s mobile business up to speed and greatly improve its business.
  • Can Capital One change banking with open source, mobile apps, and NoSQL?
    Oron Gill Haus of Capital One came to MongoDB World to present on Hygieia, an open source DevOps dashboard built on MongoDB. Behind that dashboard lies an ambition to change the customer banking experience – no small feat. Prior to his keynote, Haus shared his team’s story with me.
  • How bank Capital One developed an open source DevOps visualisation tool based on MongoDB
    In order to keep up with customers' expectation of a proactive service available 24x7 on many devices, US bank Capital One moved to an agile DevOps structure and a year ago released its own DevOps dashboard. While visualisation tools were available for continuous integration, scanning and testing, Capital One's development team was unable to find one that provided a complete overview of the whole production process. The dashboard they developed, called Hygieia, was open sourced to encourage rapid development. It is currently in version 2.0. VP of engineering Gil Haus explained some of the thought processes that went into the creation of Hygieia.
  • What is DC/OS?
    What if we could take the total amount of power in any cloud computing datacentre and provide a means of defining that as one total abstracted compute resource? This notion has given brith to DC/OS, a technology base built on Apache Mesos to abstract a datacentre into a single computer, pooling distributed workloads and (allegedly) simplifying both rollout and operations.
  • What's holding your conference back
  • Airtel Leverages Cloudera Enterprise to Improve Customer Experience and Product Personalization
  • Airtel adopts Cloudera for business intelligence
  • Airtel moves customer data on an open source platform
  • ​RightScale can help you pick out the right public cloud
    For example, let's say you need a local cloud in Australia. With the tool, you'll see that Google can't help you while the others can. Or, for instance say you've tied your business to Oracle and you want Oracle Linux as your operating system. The program will quickly and easily tell you that AWS and Azure are the clouds for you.
  • The Apache Software Foundation Announces Apache® Bahir™ as a Top-Level Project
    Apache Bahir bolsters Big Data processing by serving as a home for existing connectors that initiated under Apache Spark, as well as provide additional extensions/plugins for other related distributed system, storage, and query execution systems.
  • Bahir is the Latest Big Data Project to Advance at Apache
    Recently, we've taken note of the many projects that the Apache Software Foundation has been elevating to Top-Level Status. The organization incubates more than 350 open source projects and initiatives, and has squarely turned its focus to Big Data and developer-focused tools in recent months. As Apache moves Big Data projects to Top-Level Status, they gain valuable community support and more.
  • MongoDB launches Atlas, its new database-as-a-service offering
    MongoDB, the company behind the eponymous open source database, is launching Atlas today, its third major revenue-generating service. Atlas is MongoDB’s database-as-a-service offering that provides users with a managed database service. The service will offer pay-as-you-go pricing and will initially allow users to deploy on Amazon Web Services (AWS), with support for Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform coming later.