Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Legal

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?

Read more

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.

Read more

Qt Licence Update

Filed under
KDE
Legal

Today Qt announced some changes to their licence. The KDE Free Qt team have been working behind the scenes to make these happen and we should be very thankful for the work they put in. Qt code was LGPLv2.1 or GPLv3 (this also allows GPLv2). Existing modules will add LGPLv3 to that. This means I can get rid of the part of the KDE Licensing Policy which says "Note: code may not be copied from Qt into KDE Platform as Qt is LGPLv2.1 only which would prevent it being used under LGPL 3".

Read more

More: Protecting Software Freedom – the Qt License Update

The Gentle Art of Muddying the Licensing Waters

Filed under
Microsoft
OSS
Legal

I've been writing about free software for nearly 20 years, and about Microsoft for over 30 years. Observing the latter deal with the former has been fascinating. At first, the US software giant simply dismissed free software as unworthy even of its attention, but by the early years of this millennium, that was clearly no longer a viable position.

As I've charted elsewhere in my "Brief History of Microsoft FUD", it made various attempts to discredit open source, all of which were dismal failures. As it became clear that this strategy would not work, it adopted another, somewhat more sophisticated. This involved trying to match aspects of open source without actually embracing it. The first manifestation of this was "shared source":

Read more

OSI and Conservancy Announce US Tax Exemption Working Group

Filed under
OSS
Legal

Software Freedom Conservancy and the Open Source Initiative are pleased to announce that they are the founding members of a working group focused on tax exemption issues for organizations in the United States.

Recent activity by the Internal Revenue Service in response to applications for tax exempt status have sparked a lot of interest and discussion amongst free and open source software communities.

Read more

Oracle Embargoes FLOSS (Java)…

Filed under
OSS
Legal

So, Oracle is pushing the limits but apparently is legally doing so. Whether FLOSS can legally be embargoed by government is beyond me. After all, the source is out there and can’t be put back in the bottle. Further, if every country in the world had a random set of embargoes against every other country in he world, FLOSS could not be international at all. That would be a crime against humanity. If Java, why not Linux, itself? If such embargoes apply, Russia, Iran, Cuba etc. could just fork everything and go it alone. They certainly have the population to support a thriving FLOSS community behind their own walls.

Read more

On Navigating Laws and Licenses with Open Source Projects

Filed under
OSS
Legal

A few years ago, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst made the prediction that open source software would soon become nearly pervasive in organizations of all sizes. That has essentially become true, and many businesses now use open source components without even knowing that they are doing so.
For these reasons and other ones, it is more important than ever to know your way around the world of laws and licenses that pertain to open source software. Leaders of new projects need to know how to navigate the complex world of licensing and the law, as do IT administrators. Here is our latest collection of resources to help you navigate in the arena of law and licenses.

Read more

Bad Microsoft Android patents may lie behind Samsung lawsuit

Filed under
Android
Microsoft
Legal

Microsoft's wrestling match with Samsung may just be a contract fight, or it could be the beginning of a war over the validity of Microsoft's Android patents.

Read more

Microsoft files Android patent-royalty suit against Samsung

Filed under
Android
Microsoft
Legal

Microsoft is seeking a ruling as to whether its acquisition of Nokia's handset and services business negates its intellectual-property licensing agreement with Samsung that dates back to 2011. Microsoft also is seeking unpaid interest from Samsung, resulting from the period of time last year when Samsung withheld patent royalties from Microsoft -- royalties which Samsung later paid.

Read more

Lawsuit threatens to break new ground on the GPL and software licensing issues

Filed under
OSS
Legal

GPLv2 is one of the most widely used FOSS licenses, if not the most. It is the license for some of the most important and commercially valuable FOSS projects, including the Linux kernel, whose contributors include such uncomfortable bedfellows as Oracle and Google, Intel and AMD, and Cisco and Huawei. If XimpleWare is right, and a license under GPLv2 offers no protection from the licensor's patents, Linux would be a landmine for these companies, and really for any company with fewer patents than IBM.

Even without an explicit patent grant, lawyers advising businesses on FOSS issues generally agree that GPLv2 protects licensees (at least those in compliance with the license terms) from patent suits by licensors. This is because the law provides for an implied license (or judicial estoppel) where a licensor's conduct leads the licensee to believe it will not be sued, or where fairness otherwise demands that the licensor should be prevented from suing. Because the GPL encourages licensees to copy, modify, and distribute the licensed software—all conduct that would infringe any patents on the software absent a license—licensees can reasonably expect that the software's producers won't sue them for doing those things. (Adam Pugh and Laura A. Majerus of Fenwick & West discuss GPLv2's implied patent license in greater detail in this paper.)

Read more

Syndicate content

More in Tux Machines

Red Hat News

Leftovers: OSS

  • Open-source vs. Proprietary – Keeping Ideology Out of the Equation
    Most users of software sensibly employ a mixture of software tools that span open-source, closed-source, proprietary, ‘free’ and in-house. Many modern software developers also decide to use a hybrid of open-source and proprietary models within an integrated code-base. Advocating either open-source only, or commercial only, software dogmas are both narrow-minded and unhelpful in allowing the researcher or the business the freedom to deliver the best outcomes.
  • Genode OS 16.05 Adds Rust Support, Updated Device Drivers
    Genode OS 16.05 has been released, the research Opearing System Framework project that's been making very good progress over the years and has a loyal open-source following. Genode OS 16.05 has a new API for implementing Genode components, improved documentation, all ported Linux kernel drivers were re-based to their state from Linux 4.4.3, added support for the Rust programming language, new ACPI features, and support for using GDB with the 64-bit version of their NOVA hypervisor.
  • Twitter open-sources Heron for real-time stream analytics
    Heron, the real-time stream-processing system Twitter devised as a replacement for Apache Storm, is finally being open-sourced after powering Twitter for more than two years. Twitter explained in a blog post that it created Heron because it needed more than speed and scale from its real-time stream processing framework. The company also needed easier debugging, easier deployment and management capabilities, and the ability to work well in a shared, multitenant cluster environment.
  • ONF to Release Guidelines for Deploying Secure SDN Controllers
    The Open Networking Foundation’s security working group is preparing to release guidelines for designing and deploying secure software-defined networking (SDN) controllers. The guidelines are currently in review and will be published in June, according to Sandra Scott-Hayward, vice chair of ONF’s security project.
  • What sets PatternFly apart from Bootstrap?
    Last June, Opensource.com gave readers a behind the scenes look of PatternFly, how it came to be, and why developers should know about the project. This time around, I thought it was important to hear from the people who are actually using PatternFly. This series aims to learn more about PatternFly through the eyes of the developer.
  • Open Source Bridge attracts unique speakers and attendees
    Next month, Open Source Bridge is kicking off its 8th year in Portland, Oregon from June 21-24, 2016. The Open Source Bridge conference focuses on topics surrounding building open source community and citizenship.
  • This open source cloud is receiving a lot of hype, but what is OpenStack?
    From being dubbed a science project to becoming one of the most popular open source projects to date. Since its inception in 2010, OpenStack has become a leading cloud option thanks to a broad ecosystem of vendors. OpenStack is basically an open source software platform designed for cloud computing. It is mostly deployed as Infrastructure-as-a-Service.
  • Amazon Debuts Flourish, a Runtime Application Model for Serverless Computing
    Flourish will be open source, and will be launched as a project on GitHub in the coming weeks.
  • EMC and smaller players planning open-source storage middleware
  • EMC Targets Cloud and IoT with UniK, an Open Source Unikernel Tool
  • Hadoop Market Forecasted to Grow at 45.5% CAGR for a Decade
    Another in a string of market research reports has arrived forecasting huge growth for Hadoop in the big data space, but not everyone agrees that Hadoop adoption is going so smoothly. Research and Markets has announced the "Global Big Data Analytics & Hadoop Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report. It finds that the Global Big Data Analytics & Hadoop Market is poised to grow at a CAGR of around 45.5% over the next decade to reach approximately $285 billion by 2025.

FOSS in 3D Printing

  • Open source wifi enabled 3D printer controller Franklin speeds up with new release
    3D printing hit the mainstream a few years ago thanks in part to the open-source 3D printer market. The origins of this transition had to do with expiring patents held by the traditionally held commercial 3D printing companies. Since then, several small businesses have sprung up around the emerging low-cost 3D printer market. Some of these companies embraced the open-source mentality, while others are seeking shelter with patents.
  • Hackaday Prize Entry: Open-Source Myoelectric Hand Prosthesis
    Hands can grab things, build things, communicate, and we control them intuitively with nothing more than a thought. To those who miss a hand, a prosthesis can be a life-changing tool for carrying out daily tasks. We are delighted to see that [Alvaro Villoslada] joined the Hackaday Prize with his contribution to advanced prosthesis technology: Dextra, the open-source myoelectric hand prosthesis.
  • BCN3D Technologies releases open source files for BCN3D Sigma 3D printer
    As our readers will know, an important part of the 3D printing community is the idea of accessibility. Of course, it is more than just an idea, as everyday makers around the world share their 3D designs and models for free, and even 3D printing companies exercise an open-source philosophy with DIY 3D printers and accessible models. Recently, Barcelona based 3D printer developer BCN3D Technologies decided to further embrace the additive manufacturing open-source philosophy with their latest initiative, Open Source 360º. As part of the initiative, the company has announced that it will share all of its engineering, design, and fabrication information used in the manufacturing of their flagship product, the BCN3D Sigma 3D printer.
  • Shellmo: Aquatic 3D printed robot for fun and education
    Recently I came across a very interesting open hardware project called Shellmo. What caught my eye was that it's a 3D printed crustacean that seems to have no apparent real world use, though with a little creativity I can see educational implications. Shellmo is a unique, almost cartoon-like creatures that could captivate the imagination of children while at the same time affording them an opportunity to 3D print their own robot. With the current emphasis on STEM in education, Shellmo appears to be the kind of project that would stimulate student interest.

LibreOffice Liberation

  • Sun, sea, and open source: How Spain's Balearic islands are trying to turn into a tech paradise
    However, work remains to be done, especially on civil servants' desktops. "We started by replacing MSN Office", explains Villoslada. "Thanks to free office suite LibreOffice 5, we may overcome compatibility problems with documents coming in from different versions of MSN Office. We already have 1,000 Office licenses which are not necessary anymore, and we plan not to renew over 5,500 licenses purchased in 2007", he adds.
  • The Document Liberation Project: What we do
    While The Document Foundation is best known for LibreOffice, it also backs the Document Liberation Project. But what exactly is that? We’ve made a short video to explain all…