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Copyleft Licensing: GPL Initiative, Free Software Directory, FSF Policy on 'Commons Clause' etc.

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GNU
  • GPL Initiative Expands with 16 Additional Companies Joining Campaign for Greater Predictability in Open Source Licensing

    Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that Adobe, Alibaba, Amadeus, Ant Financial, Atlassian, Atos, AT&T, Bandwidth, Etsy, GitHub, Hitachi, NVIDIA, Oath, Renesas, Tencent, and Twitter have joined an ongoing industry effort to combat harsh tactics in open source license enforcement by adopting the GPL Cooperation Commitment. By making this commitment, these 16 corporate leaders are strengthening long-standing community norms of fairness, pragmatism, and predictability in open source license compliance.

  • The completion of David's internship work on the Free Software Directory

    One of the main projects of my internship has been importing information about free software extensions for Mozilla-based browsers on the Free Software Directory based on data from addons.mozilla.org. I call this project FreeAMO (AMO stands for addons.mozilla.org) and it exists as part of the directory package on Savannah. After many weeks of work, it generates usable directory entries. In the same project is a script to import entries from the Debian package repository. I also fixed bugs in that script, and got it to a usable state. However, before importing entries to the Directory, we want to solve one remaining issue: making it so we can import the data automatically on a regular basis, but also allow users to edit parts of the imported entry. I hope to complete this work sometime after my internship is done.

    [...]

    There are still packages with nonstandard license names that need to be evaluated one by one. One common issue is explained in the article For Clarity's Sake, Please Don't Say “Licensed under GNU GPL 2”! When people tell you a program is released “under GNU GPL version 2,” they are leaving the licensing of the program unclear. Is it released under GPL-2.0-only, or GPL-2.0-or-later? Can you merge the code with packages released under GPL-3.0-or-later?

    Unfortunately, Mozilla is contributing to this problem because when someone uploads an addon package to addons.mozilla.org, they are asked to specify which license the package is under by selecting from a drop-down list of licenses. Then that name is displayed on addons.mozilla.org. However, the GPL license options are ambiguous and don't specify "only" and "or-later." To accurately specify the license, uploaders should choose "Custom License" and then mention the correct license in the description field. We hope Mozilla will change this, but since the Directory only lists free addons, and anyone can improve the Directory, we encourage people to use it instead of addons.mozilla.org.

  • Recent licensing updates

    We added the Commons Clause to our list of nonfree licenses. Not a stand-alone license in and of itself, it is meant to be added to an existing free license to prevent using the work commercially, rendering the work nonfree. It's particularly nasty given that the name, and the fact that it is attached to pre-existing free licenses, may make it seem as if the work is still free software.

    If a previously existing project that was under a free license adds the Commons Clause, users should work to fork that program and continue using it under the free license. If it isn't worth forking, users should simply avoid the package. We are glad to see that in the case of Redis modules using the Commons Clause, people are stepping up to maintain free versions.

More in Tux Machines

Security Leftovers

  • Microsoft & Pentagon are quietly hijacking US elections (by Lee Camp)
    Good news, folks! We have found the answer to the American rigged and rotten election system. The most trustworthy of corporations recently announced it is going to selflessly and patriotically secure our elections. It’s a small company run by vegans and powered by love. It goes by the name “Microsoft.” (You’re forgiven for never having heard of it.) The recent headlines were grandiose and thrilling: “Microsoft offers software tools to secure elections.” “Microsoft aims to modernize and secure voting with ElectionGuard.” Could anything be safer than software christened “ElectionGuard™”?! It has “guard” right there in the name. It’s as strong and trustworthy as the little-known Crotch Guard™ – an actual oil meant to be sprayed on one’s junk. I’m unclear as to why one sprays it on one’s junk, but perhaps it’s to secure your erections? (Because they’ve been micro-soft?)
  • Netflix Researchers Just Fixed 4 Severe Linux And FreeBSD Vulnerabilities
  • Netflix Uncovers TCP Bugs Within The Linux & FreeBSD Kernels
    As Netflix's first security bulletin for 2019, they warned of TCP-based remote denial of service vulnerabilities affecting both Linux and FreeBSD. These vulnerabilities are rated "critical" but already being corrected within the latest Git code.

Games: Project Zero Deaths, Littlewood, Ravenfield, ENCODYA

  • Project Zero Deaths, a new free to play online platform shooter has Linux support
    A free game to start the day with, as the multiplayer platform shooter Project Zero Deaths recently entered Early Access and it includes Linux support.
  • The peaceful building RPG 'Littlewood' is now available in Early Access with Linux same-day support
    Littlewood from developer Sean Young arrived on Steam in Early Access today and it looks like a very promising and peaceful RPG. Funded thanks to the help of nearly four thousand people on Kickstarter, Littlewood is set after the world has been saved and you're the hero tasked with rebuilding a town.
  • Ravenfield, the fun single-player FPS now has a built-in map editor and destructible object support
    The amount of content being added into Ravenfield is quite impressive and now anyone can easily make their own maps for it, without the need of Unity. Early Access Build 16 went live recently, with a custom-made map editor that works on Linux and it's surprisingly easy to use. You no longer need the Ravenfield mod tools for Unity, making it far more accessible. It comes with all of the official Ravenfield props, meaning you can place down all sorts of things. When ready, it also has Steam Workshop support built in for you to publish it.
  • Science Fiction point-and-click Encodya has a demo released, will go to Kickstarter
    The background story of the upcoming science fiction point and click game Encodya is the Kickstarter campaign for the animation short movie Robot Will Protect You. Getting over 23.000€ from an initial target of 8.750€, it reached several stretch goals, the last one being "We'll start developing a game!". And so they did... The game, named "ENCODYA", grabbed my attention in a Facebook group about point and click adventures. Drawn by the art, I asked if a Linux version would be possible. Indeed it was, and I was asked if I could test it. As it's using Unity, I expected it to a) fail on trying to play a video, b) show graphical problems or c) just run like the Windows version. First a) it was. But the author was eager to make the Linux version and a fix was attempted. After struggling with finding the right output options for the studio's intro video, we found that everything seems to be working just like on Windows. So Hooray for the game engines supporting the OS of our choice!

Graphics: Khronos Group, Radeon Software and Wayland Pains

  • Samuel Iglesias: My last VK-GL-CTS contributions
    Even if you are not a gamer, odds are that you already heard about Vulkan graphics and compute API that provides high-efficency, cross-platform access to modern GPUs. This API is designed by the Khronos Group and it is supported by a new set of drivers specifically designed to implement the different functions and features defined by the spec (at the time of writing this post, it is version 1.1).
  • Radeon Software for Linux 19.20 Brings RHEL 8.0 Support
    Quietly released last week was Radeon Software for Linux 19.20, the latest quarterly update to AMD's packaged Linux driver that consists of their AMDGPU-PRO binary driver option as well as the AMDGPU-Open packaged components using a snapshot of Mesa. Radeon Software for Linux 19.20 only has a sole change listed: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0 support and any other binary compatible downstream like the yet-to-be-released CentOS 8.0. That's it in terms of the official changes but should be also pulling in a newer snapshot of Mesa and their binary OpenGL/Vulkan drivers, newer DRM kernel driver code, etc.
  • Konsole and Wayland
    Wayland needs a different mindset when you are programming, you cannot just assume things works the same way as in as X11. One of my first patches to konsole was the rewrite of the Tab Bar, and a different way to deal with Drag & Drop of the tabs. In my mind - and how wrong I was - I could assume that I was dragging to a konsole main window by querying the widget below the mouse. Nope, this will not work. As Wayland has security by default, it will not give you anything global. What if I was a spy app trying to record another one to send to NSA? Security in Wayland is much stricter, and because of that I had to redo my drag & drop patch.

Red Hat welcomes Oracle to the oVirt community

On behalf of the oVirt community, its contributors and Red Hat, we welcome Oracle to the oVirt community. oVirt is the open source component that enables management of the Linux Kernel Virtual Machine (KVM), the hypervisor for virtualized environments running on the Linux kernel. At Red Hat, we believe that upstream collaboration drives innovation, even among competitors. To this end, Red Hat has a 10+ year tenure of thought leadership, contributions and collaboration in the oVirt and KVM communities. Our development and release processes are designed to ensure that Red Hat contributions to these communities are pushed upstream so the benefits gained from our efforts are available to the community at large and available for any and all to draw from. Read more Also: IBM-Powered Supercomputers Lead Semi-Annual Rankings