Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Foolproofing Open Source

Filed under
OSS

Imagine Bill Gates sends you an e-mail asking how Microsoft can improve the software license for Windows. He wants to make sure the legal language works better for your business.

Imagine that.

Well, that's exactly what is about to happen with Linux. It's yet another reminder of how Linux and open source are different -- but also good for business. Patents, intellectual property, and software licenses matter in open source. And the legal news on open source continues to be good for companies, consumers, governments, and developers of software.

STRONG FOOTING. Any discussion of open-source software and the law begins with software licenses. The GNU General Public License (GPL) is the world's most widely used open-source software license. It continues to be a very good license for different kinds of software.

The competitors to Linux and open source always stress the risk that users and companies face if they use this software to run their business. You may be surprised to learn that the GPL has never been successfully challenged in court since it was introduced in 1991. That's a very good thing to know if your business runs Linux.

The influence of the GPL extends far deeper than explaining the rights under which tens of millions of people can use software such as Linux. More than 70 percent of all open-source software relies on the GPL.

COURTING CONFUSION. Guess what? In the coming months, your company may very well hear from those involved in updating the GPL. The next version of the license is being drafted now under the direction of the Free Software Foundation. This may be the first time in history that customers themselves have been asked to help define the terms of a software license this important and widely used. That's good for everyone. It also gives another meaning to the "give back" provisions of the GPL. It's a practice that other software creators may want to embrace, I think.

Many advocates of open source, however, have been criticized for the proliferation of too many software licenses. I believe this criticism is justified. Part of my job as the CEO of Open Source Development Labs is working with the development community, large customers of Linux and open-source software, and global information-technology vendors to tap leading legal experts in the industry to try to halt this practice.

Who cares about a lot of licenses? You should.

Full Article.

More in Tux Machines

QNX 7 Can Be Fitted With A Qt5 Desktop

  • QNX 7 Can Be Fitted With A Qt5 Desktop
    While QNX remains targeted as an operating system for mobile/embedded solutions, a BlackBerry developer in his spare time has fitted QNX 7 with a Qt5 desktop. QNX 6 and prior had a desktop option, but was removed in QNX 7, which was released this past March. QNX 7.0 also brought support for 64-bit (and maintaining 32-bit) Intel x86 and ARM platforms along with C++14 support. For those wanting to experiment with QNX 7, a BlackBerry kernel developer has been working on making this operating system more desktop friendly.
  • Building a BlackBerry QNX 7 Desktop
    Having Qt allowed me to port one of my favourite applications, SpeedCrunch. It was a simple matter of running ‘qmake’ followed by ‘make’. Next, I ported the QTermWidget library so that I could have terminal windows.

Kernel Space/Linux

  • Kernel explained
  • [Older] [Video] Audio on Linux: The End of a Golden Age?
  • State of Sway April 2017
    Development on Sway continues. I thought we would have slowed down a lot more by now, but every release still comes with new features - Sway 0.12 added redshift support and binary space partitioning layouts. Sway 0.13.0 is coming soon and includes, among other things, nvidia proprietary driver support. We already have some interesting features slated for Sway 0.14.0, too! Today Sway has 21,446 lines of C (and 4,261 lines of header files) written by 81 authors across 2,263 commits. These were written through 653 pull requests and 529 issues. Sway packages are available today in the official repos of pretty much every distribution except for Debian derivatives, and a PPA is available for those guys.

Supporting Burning Platforms

  • Surface revenue does a U-boat, and dives

    Revenue generated by Microsoft's Surface hardware during the March quarter was down 26% from the same period the year before, the company said yesterday as it briefed Wall Street.

    For the quarter, Surface produced $831 million, some $285 million less than the March quarter of 2016, for the largest year-over-year dollar decline ever.

  • Acer said to me: "do not use our products with Linux. Find another manufacturer"
    Last year, I bought an Acer notebook and it came with Windows 10. As I didn't want spyware neither bloatware, I got Linux installed and asked for a refund of the OEM license. After a little of talking, they were wanting to charge me US$100 (to remove the license, which I already had wiped, as I got FDE Linux installed) to refund US$70 of the OEM license. This year, wondering to buy a new Acer notebook, I asked them again if they would refund me the OEM license without all the hassle (as they did pay me the US$70, without me having to pay the US$100).

today's howtos