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Legal

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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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".

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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":

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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.

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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.

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More in Tux Machines

Programming/Development: fwupd, LLVM and More

  • CSR devices now supported in fwupd
    The BlueCore CSR chips are used everywhere. If you have a “wireless” speaker or headphones that uses Bluetooth there is a high probability that it’s using a CSR chip inside. This makes the addition of CSR support into fwupd a big deal to access a lot of vendors. It’s a lot easier to say “just upload firmware” rather than “you have to write code” so I think it’s useful to have done this work.
  • Skylake Server Scheduler Model Updated In LLVM 6.0 Along With Other Intel CPU Updates
  • Most Software Code Will Be Written By Machines By 2040, Researchers Predict
    Imagine a scenario where a programmer needs to follow a couple of tried and tested procedures to write code that becomes a part of a bigger program that needs some insightful contribution from another programmer. So, is the first programmer really needed? Can’t we find a robotic replacement for the same? In the past, GitHub CEO had already made a prediction which says that future of coding is no coding at all. A similar speculation has been made by the researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee, who have said that machines will write most of their own code by 2040.
  • Hazelcast joins Eclipse, JCache is key focal point
    Open source In-Memory Data Grid (IMDG) company Hazelcast has joined the Eclipse Foundation – and it has done so for a reason. Hazelcast’s primary focus will be on JCache the Eclipse MicroProfile and EE4J. In particular, Hazelcast will be collaborating with members to popularize JCache, a Java Specification Request (JSR-107). So what place does JCache fill in the universe then?

Software: Darktable, VLC, Mesa, Audacity, Toplip, GNUstep

  • Darktable 2.4-RC1 Rolls Out With Windows Support, OpenCL Improvements
    The open-source Darktable RAW photography software that's long been available for Linux and macOS has finally been ported to Microsoft Windows. But fortunately that's not all to be found in Darktable 2.4. While Windows support is their big headline feature of Darktable 2.4, the RC1 release that came out today is also packed with other improvements.
  • Linux Release Roundup: VLC, Mesa, Audacity + More
    Another week has flown by, making it time for another round-up of pertinent Linux app releases that didn’t manage to wangle a full post’s worth of waffle on this site. This week’s crop of curios includes updates to the world’s most popular open-source video player, the world’s most popular open-source audio editor, and the world’s most popular open-source graphics drivers.
  • Toplip – A Very Strong File Encryption And Decryption CLI Utility
    There are numerous file encryption tools available on the market to protect your files. We have already reviewed some encryption tools such as Cryptomater, Cryptkeeper, CryptGo, Cryptr, Tomb, and GnuPG etc. Today, we will be discussing yet another file encryption and decryption command line utility named “Toplip”. It is a free and open source encryption utility that uses a very strong encryption method called AES256, along with an XTS-AES design to safeguard your confidential data. Also, it uses Scrypt, a password-based key derivation function, to protect your passphrases against brute-force attacks.
  • GNUstep Takes Another Step Forward For Implementing Apple's Cocoa Frameworks
    GNUstep is the long-standing free software project working to implement Apple's Cocoa Objective-C frameworks used by macOS. The GNU project has made new releases of their GUI and Back libraries. GNUstep GUI 0.26 is out this morning as the latest update to their graphical user-interface library. GNUstep GUI 0.26 has a number of compatibility improvements, translation updates, mouse tracking logic improvements, bug fixes, and other work.

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