Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Top Ten Open Source Legal Developments: 2009

Filed under
OSS
Legal

As the use of free and open source software (“FOSS”) has become more ubiquitous, legal issues relating to FOSS have become more common and important. This year has seen a mix of new and old issues. Even more so than 2008, this year has seen an increase in the importance of the top ten legal issues. My list of the top ten FOSS legal developments for 2009 follow:

1. MySQL Delays Sun/Oracle Merger. The European Commission (“EC”) delayed the closing of the Sun/Oracle merger because of concerns about the future of the MySQL database software. MySQL software is the most widely used open source database. The use of FOSS in the European Union is much higher than in the United States and the EC is very concerned about a potential reduction in competition in the database market. The EC concerns seem to fundamentally misunderstand the nature of FOSS and the ability of the community to continue the development of the software even without ownership of the copyright in the particular software. This approach has been widely criticized http://www.economist.com/businessfinance/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14861553. In mid December, Oracle offered ten commitments with respect to MySQL software. http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/Oracle-Corporation-NASDAQ-ORCL-1090000.html. The EC will make its decision next year.

2. First Lawsuit by a Commercial FOSS Vendor.

Rest Here




More in Tux Machines

Android Leftovers

Availability of Qt Free Edition

In my last blog posts, I explained the KDE Free Qt Foundation, which guarantees the free availability of the Qt Toolkit. Today, The Qt Company introduced a new Qt online installer that requires users to accept additional license terms. Many people have contacted me with concerns about this change. I share this concern. Even before this, I have already been concerned about the structure of the qt.io download page, since it blurs the lines between the Qt Toolkit itself and additional, proprietary products. Read more

Valve's Mods Blunder Prompts Reddit Community to Create Open Source Steam Replacement

Valve has recently gone through a major PR debacle after the company announced that it's implementing paid mods for games and Skyrim in particular. Their decision was short-lived, and it was retracted, but they have managed to incur the rage of the community. Independent developers are now working on a new game launcher that will make Steam obsolete. Read more

Biicode goes open source early after outpouring of community support

After the announcement, our community growth skyrocketed. Our investors were so impressed by the welcoming of our open source announcement that they let us go ahead with open sourcing biicode early. We worked hard to release most of it in biicode 3.0. Read more