Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Free Software's Anti-Steve

Filed under
OSS

We now know what happens when big hairy software coders work with big hairy lawyers. The result, understandably, is anything but slick. Meet GPLv3, the free software movement's latest legal tool to keep their code from being fenced in.

At least its author, Richard Stallman, has pluck. The coder and richly bearded patron saint of free software is launching this wad of legal jargon Friday — with practically every geek on the planet fixated on the retail debut of the iPhone — looking to steal a bit of Apple Chief Steve Jobs' hype.

The angle: iPhone users won't be free to mess around with all the $500 phone's code, Stallman's Free Software Foundation asserts, while their latest bit of legal mumbo jumbo will give users the ability to tinker with their gadgets freely. Hey, if the circus is in town, you might as well catch a ride in the clown car.

But while it may sound arcane, the latest version of the General Public License (GPL) is important. And not just because it complicates the efforts of Microsoft to get its hooks into so-called open-source software, as some geeks call it.

More Here.




More in Tux Machines

U.S. government releases open source gamification software

The United States' National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has made some of its internally-developed gamification software available for free on GitHub under the MIT free software license. Developers may find it useful as a tool for configuring a server to track "gamification" systems like points or badges against user accounts on apps or websites; at the very least, it offers interesting insight into how the NGA is using game design tenets in its training programs. Read more

Let's Pay for Open Source with a Closed-Source Software Levy

This column has often explored ways in which some of the key ideas underlying free software and open source are being applied in other fields. But that equivalence can flow in both directions: developments in fields outside the digital world may well have useful lessons for computing. A case in point is a fascinating post by James Love, Director of Knowledge Ecology International (KEI), a non-governmental organisation concerned with public health and other important issues. It is called "The value of an open source dividend", and is a discussion of the problems the world of pharma faces because of the distorting effect of patents - problems it shares with the world of computing... Read more

Features Of The Linux 3.18 Kernel

With Linux 3.18-rc1 arriving one week early I didn't have a chance to write a feature overview of Linux 3.18 prior to this first development release that marked the close of the merge window. For those that didn't stay up to date with our dozens of Linux 3.18 kernel articles about changes and new features, here's a concise overview. Read more

Norway closes its open source resource centre

The government of Norway will no longer fund its open source resource centre, Friprog. Activities are wound down and the centre will be closed at the end of the year, Friprog reports. The GoOpen conference, planned for last September but postponed to May 2015, is now cancelled. Read more