Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

French bill casts chill on open-source DRM & P2P

Filed under
OSS

On May 4, the French Senate will debate a copyright bill that is widely expected to have a chilling effect on the development and distribution of open-source software for digital rights management (DRM) or P2P (peer-to-peer) file-sharing. That's because the bill's provisions include a penalty of up to three years in prison and a fine of $363,171 for publishing, distributing or promoting software in France that is "manifestly intended" for the unauthorized distribution of copyright works.

The developers of the open-source multimedia player VLC, which can read DRM-protected DVDs, consider themselves targeted. But the legal uncertainty over the term manifestly intended makes the bill's coverage so broad that it could even cover the open-source Web server Apache, which hosts over 60% of Web sites, opponents of the bill say. Open-source projects are thought to be more vulnerable than commercial operations because they typically have few resources at their disposal to defend legal actions.

France has been a strong supporter of open-source software, with many publicly funded bodies either using it or developing it. Legislation that punishes development and distribution of open-source applications could weaken projects based there, and tarnish the image of the open-source movement with users.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

OPNFV Plans Next Steps for Open Source NFV, SDN

OPNFV, the open source software-defined networking and network-functions virtualization project, said development of both code and community will be its focus for 2015. Read more

2014: A Banner Year for Open Source

Open source was initially adopted for low cost and lack of vendor lock-in, but customers have found that it also results in better innovation and more flexibility. Now it is pervasive, and it is challenging proprietary incumbents across technology categories. It is not only mainstream, open source is truly leading innovation in areas like cloud, mobile, big data, the Internet of Things, and beyond. As we embark on a new year, I cannot help but reflect on the speed with which technology is changing. Rapidly delivering technology is about much more than just the technology – it is about people and culture. More than ever, this is why executives are looking at key technology companies – including Red Hat – as their partner instead of as a vendor. Read more

IsoHunt releases roll-your-own Pirate Bay

Open Source Meritocracy Is More Than a Joke

In January 2014, Github removed the rug in its office's waiting room in response to criticism of its slogan, "United Meritocracy of Github." Since then, the criticism of the idea of meritocracy has spread in free software circles. "Meritocracy is a joke," has become a slogan seen on T-shirts and constantly proclaimed, especially by feminists. Such commentary is true — so far as it goes, but it ignores the potential benefits of meritocracy as an ethos. Anyone who bothers to look can see that meritocracy is more of an ideal than a standard practice in free software. The idea that people should be valued for their contributions may seem to be a way to promote fairness, but the practice is frequently more complicated. Read more Also: Unmanagement and unleadership