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Legal

The case for educating judges on open source licensing

Filed under
OSS
Legal

Copyright is copyright, and open source licenses are just another license. What this case illustrates is the need for judges and lawyers to understand what open source software is: not just software made available under a license, but software that has an accompanying ethos.

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Oracle raises questions on open-source license for Android with OpenJDK

Filed under
Android
OSS
Legal

Oracle has raised questions whether a version of Google's Android operating system running OpenJDK code will at all get an open-source license.

Google told a court in California that it released on Dec. 24 new versions of its Android platform that are licensed for use under a free, open source license provided by Oracle as part of its OpenJDK project, a redesign that apparently aims to get around charges that the previous versions of Android infringed Oracle's copyrights on Java.

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No single license to success

Filed under
OSS
Legal

OSI (Open Source Initiative) has tracked many licenses and approved some as well, maintaining a list of the nine most widely used and popular. Each license has its unique requirements and benefits from the reciprocity of GPL (GNU General Public License) to the permissive MIT. Each has its strong proponents and opponents. Some feel that without GPL’s compulsion human greed will end open source as we know it. Others feel that freedom is the key to success and such compulsion hinders creative use.

The reality is that the strength of open source is in its diversity, including a diversity of licenses. No single license has been nor will be the pivotal point to open source success. License diversity is very evident from the data gathered by the Black Duck Knowledgebase. A quick view of the top 20 licenses used in open source projects today shows an even spread.

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Linux Foundation quietly drops community representation

Filed under
Linux
Legal

The Linux Foundation is an industry organisation dedicated to "promoting, protecting and standardising Linux and open source software"[1]. The majority of its board is chosen by the member companies - 10 by platinum members (platinum membership costs $500,000 a year), 3 by gold members (gold membership costs $100,000 a year) and 1 by silver members (silver membership costs between $5,000 and $20,000 a year, depending on company size). Up until recently individual members ($99 a year) could also elect two board members, allowing for community perspectives to be represented at the board level.

As of last Friday, this is no longer true. The by-laws were amended to drop the clause that permitted individual members to elect any directors. Section 3.3(a) now says that no affiliate members may be involved in the election of directors, and section 5.3(d) still permits at-large directors but does not require them[2]. The old version of the bylaws are here - the only non-whitespace differences are in sections 3.3(a) and 5.3(d).

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Remix OS GPL Violations and More Android Leftovers

Filed under
Android
GNU
Legal

FSF/GNU/GPL

Filed under
GNU
Legal
  • The Future of the Free Software Foundation: Your Input Requested

    Addressing questions about the Free Software Foundation (FSF)'s future direction seems long overdue. For that reason, the FSF's current online survey seems a step in the right direction.

    In many ways, the survey is a necessity. Although the FSF regularly tackles too many major issues to count, its entire operating budget for 2013 was $1,250,498, approximately five percent of the budget for the more corporate-oriented Linux Foundation during the same year. Under such budget restraints, some selection seems inevitable if the FSF is to avoid spreading itself too thin.

  • Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup: January 15th
  • Qt Does Some Licensing Changes

    Qt will be introducing a "start-up license" to help small companies make use of the Qt tool-kit for commercial desktop and mobile applications. The Qt open-source licenses have also now been updated.

  • Qt is Guaranteed to Stay Free and Open – Legal Update

    The KDE Free Qt Foundation already played an important role when Nokia bought Trolltech, the original company behind Qt, and later sold Qt to Digia, which then founded The Qt Company. The contracts are carefully worded to stay valid in cases of acquisitions, mergers or bankruptcy. The history of the past 17 years has shown how well the legal set-up protects the freedom of Qt – and will continue to protect it in the future.

Qt open source licensing changed and product structure updated to strengthen community and extend adoption

Filed under
Development
KDE
Software
Legal

The Qt Company has announced changes to the open source licensing and product structure of the Qt cross-platform application development framework that will further strengthen the Qt community and make additional functionality available to software developers using the open source license. A new “start-up” license has also been announced that will help small businesses that want to utilize Qt in commercial desktop and mobile applications.

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Top 10 open source legal developments in 2015

Filed under
GNU
OSS
Legal

In 2015 there were a variety of legal issues of importance to the FOSS (free and open source) community.

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Shining a spotlight on free software: the FSF's Licensing & Compliance Lab's interview series

Filed under
GNU
Interviews
Legal

In August of 2012, the Licensing & Compliance Lab kicked off a series of interviews with developers of free software. With 2015 in the rear-view mirror, we take a moment to look back on the series and highlight these great projects once again.

In August of 2012, the Licensing & Compliance Lab kicked off a series of interviews with developers of free software. These interviews were a chance to highlight cool free software projects, especially those using copyleft licenses, and learn more about why they are dedicated to free software. What started as a single interview has grown into a regular feature of the Licensing & Compliance Lab blog. With 2015 in the rear-view mirror, we take a moment to look back on the series and highlight these great projects once again.

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Law schools lag behind on open source law

Filed under
OSS
Legal

Many organizations use at least some open source code within their programs. So it is surprising that recent graduates who work with companies using open source software are usually ill prepared (or not prepared at all) to deal with open source legal issues. However, it is not the attorneys’ fault.

Open source legal training is not easy to find, and if available it is not cheap. In the Bay Area, some law schools support an "open movement" policy. For example, some of them create and promote their own commons, meaning that the journals' articles are uploaded and distributed for free online. The schools' open access policies allow attorneys to stay up-­to-­date on their education, without the stress of paying for a subscription. (See SCU commons and UC Hastings.)

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Also: Why I'm not using your open source project

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More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • How Linux Frustrated Me Into Loving It
    I have been very interested in Linux since my entry into the Wonderful World of Unix in 2006. I found Ubuntu and installed it on a crappy Dell desktop computer I was given when I was doing online schooling. The computer originally came with Windows, and one day while I was browsing, I decided to search for “alternative to Windows.” Linux popped up right away. I had never heard of Linux before, but after voraciously reading article after article, I decided Linux was the path for my future.
  • HP Chromebook 13 is a business-focused Chrome OS laptop with USB-C
    In the grand scheme of things, Chrome OS is hardly a major player from a desktop market share perspective -- for now. With that said, the Linux-based operating system has captured the hearts and minds of many consumers. It has matured quite a bit too, becoming a viable Windows alternative for home users. Actually, it is a great choice for some businesses too -- depending on needs, of course.
  • Summary: Linux Scheduler: A decade of wasted cores - Part 1 - What is NUMA ?
    Last month, a research paper with title 'The Linux Scheduler: a Decade of Wasted Cores' was trending on the front page of HN. As an individual who is interested in Systems, I thought it would be good idea to read this 16 page research paper. I spent a good amount of time learning about different topics which were involved in it. This is the first post in the series in which I will try to summarize the paper.
  • Vulkan 1.0.12 Specification Update Adds VK_AMD_rasterization_order
  • GTK+ 3.22 Is Working On An OpenGL Renderer & Scene Graph
    Matthias Clasen of Red Hat has written an update about changes to GNOME's GTK+ tool-kit for the 3.20 cycle but he also mentions some of the exciting work that's brewing for GNOME/GTK+ 3.22. Clasen's latest blog post covers some of the recent internal changes to GTK+ CSS, theme changes, various changes facing application developers, and more. Those interested about the GTK+ tooling changes can read the blog post.
  • Bunsenlabs Rc2
  • April is almost gone
    The second one was the release of pre-release isos of Mageia 6 and OpenMandriva Lx 3. I must say that both distros are doing a great job; the systems performed so well that they did not seem beta versions to me. I did not like Plasma 5, though... I am sure the KDE team is doing a great work, but I truly do not see what the point of this tablet-ready interface is. After all, KDE missed the tablet train (the Vivaldi tablet never saw the light of the day) and tablets are already in decline...
  • New BlackArch Linux version released, now provides 1400 pentesting tools
    BlackArch Linux version 2016.04.28 released for ethical hackers and security researchers with 1400 pentesting tools
  • Manjaro 16.06 - third preview released
    It took us almost another month to prepare this third preview of our upcoming stable release we call Daniella. The Xfce edition remains our flagship offering and has received the attention it deserves. Few can claim to offer such a polished, integrated and leading-edge Xfce experience. We ship Xfce 4.12 with this release of Manjaro. We mainly focused on polishing the user experience on the desktop and window manager, and on updating some components to take advantage of newly available technologies such as switching to a new theme called Maia, we already using for our KDE edition.
  • IoT Past and Present: The History of IoT, and Where It's Headed Today [Ed: just devices with a network stack. Nothing new.]
  • 1btn – an Open Source Dash
    The availability of cheap radios, omni-present WiFi and powerful web services means the IoT wave is here to stay. Amazon got into the act with its “do only one thing” Dash button. But a more interesting solution would be an IoT “do it all” button.
  • No Time to Panic as One Quarter Shows Minor Dip in Smartphone Sales - Total Smartphone Market Will Grow This Year (and here's why)
    We now have the Q1 numbers from Strategy Analytics and IDC, the two last remaining of the classic four big smartphone industry analyst houses we used on this blog to calculate the industry average of the total market size, back when the 'smartphone bloodbath' started six years ago. And both SA and IDC are in exceptional, near-perfect agreement on the exact size of the market, we get a total smartphone market for Q1 at 334.8 Million units. That is down 18% from the Christmas sales Quarter (normal that Q1 is down) but for the first time ever in this industry, the YEAR-ON-YEAR comparison of Q1, so the January-March quarter last year 2015 vs now, is down. This has not happened in the smartphone industry in any YoY period. And some are now talking about 'peak smartphone'. That number COULD be a signal that smartphone industry growth has stalled and now peaked and smartphone sales will either plateau flat, or decline into the next year(s).
  • GhostBSD 10.3 Alpha Released With ZFS File-System Support, MATE 1.12
    The first alpha release was made available this weekend of GhostBSD 10.3 Alpha 1, a desktop focused operating system built atop FreeBSD 10.3.
  • 3D Printer Crowdfunding projects
    Like every Kickstarter project, there is a risk. But I think that Trinus appears to be a good project, we need to wait to the launch and review a real machine to know if it worth it. Also, the Youtube Channel Maker’s Muse, made a review of the project and the company Konama, creators of Trinus, sent him a the 3d printer and he currently makes the review of this printer that pledged more then 1 million dollars on KickStarter.
  • Refactoring the open-source photography community
    Generally speaking, most free-software communities tend to form around specific projects: a distribution, an application, a tightly linked suite of applications, and so on. Those are the functional units in which developers work, so it is a natural extension from there to focused mailing lists, web sites, IRC channels, and other forms of interaction with each other and users. But there are alternatives. At Libre Graphics Meeting 2016 in London, Pat David spoke about his recent experience bringing together a new online community centered around photographers who use open-source software. That community crosses over between several applications and libraries, and it has been successful enough that multiple photography-related projects have shut down their independent user forums and migrated to the new site, PIXLS.US.
  • DIY recycling, UCONN's open source chemistry book, and more news

Leftovers: Software

today's howtos

Leftovers: Gaming