Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Apple, Microsoft sign death warrant for oss

Filed under
OSS

A proposal to extend patent protection in Europe could threaten the existence of open-source software unless the European Parliament amends it, say advocates of freely distributed programs such as Linux.

However, companies such as Microsoft and Apple Computer argue that they need broader patent protection to prevent open-source companies, which give away their software and make money through service, from effectively expropriating their development costs.

A European Parliament committee will debate the issue on Monday, and vote on it a month later.

European Parliament member Michel Rocard, a former French prime minister heading up review of the software patent directive, wants to protect open-source software by limiting the scope of patent protection.

Like all programs, open-source software must interact with a computer's other software to work, such as a word processor running on Windows.

Writers of free software cannot properly design their programs without information on how propriatory programs interact with other software.

Rocard and other advocates of open-source software argue that coding essential for interoperation needs only copyright protection, while Microsoft and others want patent protection for portions of software used to "talk" to other programs.

A software directive lacking Rocard's amendment could "be the death knell for open source software," said Thomas Vinje of Clifford Chance, who represents a number of software groups. Allies include Oracle and Red Hat, a distributor Linux.

Patent holders can license their software but open source software is distributed and redistributed at no cost, so there is no way to collect license fees.

"If you allow anyone to get this information for free you have no way of having any kind of license," says Francisco Mingorance, director of public policy for the Business Software Alliance trade association, which includes Microsoft and Apple.

The inventors "are deprived of their original investment," he said, expropriating their property.

Full Story

More in Tux Machines

Linux Kernel 4.15 Reached End of Life, Users Urged to Move to Linux 4.16 Now

After a very busy cycle due to the Meltdown and Spectre security vulnerabilities, which were publicly disclosed earlier this year and later discovered to put billions of devices using modern processors at risk of attacks, the Linux 4.15 kernel series was released at the of January heavily redesign against two critical hardware bugs. Now, nearly three months and only eighteen maintenance updates later, the Linux 4.15 kernel series reached end of life and it will no longer receive support. As such, all those using a kernel from the Linux 4.15 branch on their GNU/Linux distributions are urged to upgrade to the latest Linux 4.16 kernel series as soon as possible. Read more

LibreOffice 6.1 Lands Mid August 2018, First Bug Hunting Session Starts April 27

Work on the next big release of the widely-used open-source and cross-platform office suite for GNU/Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows operating systems, LibreOffice 6.1, has already begun this week with a focus on revamping the online experience and improving the Writer and Calc components. A first bug hunting session was scheduled for the end of next week, on April 27, 2018, when developers will hack on the first alpha milestone of LibreOffice 6.1, which should be available to download for all supported platforms a few days before the event. During the bug hunting session, devs will try to fix as many bugs as possible. Read more

This Chart Shows How The Radeon RX 580 vs. GeForce GTX 1060 Now Compete Under Linux

It was just last year that open-source RadeonSI/RADV developers were trying to get the Radeon RX 580 "Polaris" GPU to be competitive with the GeForce GTX 1060 as it is under Windows given each GPU's capabilities. We've seen the RX 580 and GTX 1060 dancing under Linux the past few months and yesterday's 20-way GPU comparison with Rise of the Tomb Raider was quite significant -- perhaps most surprising being how well the RX 580 performed. Heck, just one or two years ago it was an accomplishment seeing any official Radeon driver support at-launch for new Linux game releases. So here are some extensive tests looking closer at the GTX 1060 vs. RX 580 battle in this latest Vulkan-powered Linux game port. Read more

Linux 4.9.95

I'm announcing the release of the 4.9.95 kernel. All users of the 4.9 kernel series must upgrade. The updated 4.9.y git tree can be found at: git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-4.9.y and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser: http://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-st... Read more