Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Open source licensing suits settle in short order

Filed under
Legal

Many open source licences are only two or three paragraphs long and read more like a manifesto than a traditional software licence. The simple but unorthodox nature of open source licences, along with the fact that the software is provided “free,” has lulled many into a false sense that these licences must surely be unenforceable and that the use and redistribution of open source software will have no consequences.

This attitude belies the fact that despite a superficial and non-legalistic veneer, open source licences rely on traditional copyright principles and contract law – albeit in a non-traditional way – and therefore are prima facie enforceable. However, despite widespread adoption and significant use of open source software over the past 20 years, little jurisprudence has developed to determine exactly to what extent open source licences will be enforced.

In light of the dearth of case law, many have been carefully watching four recent claims brought by the Software Freedom Law Center (SFLC) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. These are purportedly the first claims in the U.S. regarding the GNU General Public License (GPL), one of the most common and influential open source licences. The New York-based SFLC provides legal representation to non-profit open source developers and projects to protect and foster the development of open source software.

More Here




More in Tux Machines

Battle of the sub-$450 Android phones: ZTE Axon vs OnePlus 2 vs Moto X Style

Over the past two weeks we have seen three new Android phones announced that are priced to challenge Samsung, LG, and HTC devices typically found starting at $600. Read more

The AMD Radeon R9 Fury Is Currently A Disaster On Linux

When AMD announced the Radeon R9 Fury line-up powered by the "Fiji" GPU with High Bandwidth Memory, I was genuinely very excited to get my hands on this graphics card. The tech sounded great and offered up a lot of potential, and once finally finding an R9 Fury in stock, shelled out nearly $600 for this graphics card. Unfortunately though, thanks to the current state of the Catalyst Linux driver, the R9 Fury on Linux is a gigantic waste for OpenGL workloads. The R9 Fury results only exemplifies the hideous state of AMD's OpenGL support for their Catalyst Linux driver with a NVIDIA graphics card costing $200 less consistently delivering better gaming performance. Read more

Remix Mini Is the First Android PC, Runs Lollipop-Based Remix OS

Remix Mini is now on Kickstarter as the world's first true Android PC and its makers, Jide Technology, just might be the first company that takes an Android OS and makes it run like a proper desktop. Read more

Snappy Ubuntu Core 15.04 Gets a Second Stable Release

A second Snappy Ubuntu Core 15.04 iteration has been released by Canonical, and the new version comes with a reworked boot logic for BeagleBone Black, among other features. Read more