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Microsoft & Linux & Patents & Tweets

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GNU
Linux
Microsoft
Legal

Fact-checking some tweets about Linux Foundation’s newest member and their harvesting of other members’ money.

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Also: Microsoft Loves Linux Patent Tax

FOSS CMS News

Filed under
OSS
Legal
  • Newly Redesigned Boston.gov Just Went Open Source

    Boston is open sourcing its municipal website, three months after redesigning Boston.gov.

    Taking the source code public, a move overseen by the city’s Digital Team, will speed the rate at which the site evolves through the addition of new features developed by local software designers, academic institutions and organizations.

  • WordPress attacks Wix, and Wix strikes back
  • The WordPress-Wix Dispute
  • The Price Of GPL [Ed: hatred of the GPL]

    Wix’s CEO, Avishai Abrahami, responded with a round of non-sequiturs that carefully evade the point that his product is built from source code for which they have not paid. One of his engineers equally misses the point, focusing on the circumstances surrounding the violation, rather than taking responsibility for the theft.

    Some will take issue with the use of strong words like “stolen code,” and “theft,” with respect to a GPL violation. But that’s exactly what it is: software has been taken and deployed in Wix’s product, but the price for doing so has not been paid.

    [...]

    Many developers understand, and view the price of GPL as perfectly justified, while others (myself included) find it unacceptable. So what am I supposed to do? Not use any GPL source code at all in any of my proprietary products? Exactly. Because the price of GPL is too much for me, and I don’t steal source code.

FOSS Licensing

Filed under
GNU
OSS
Legal
  • Conservancy Promotes Transparency by Publishing Template Agreements for Linux Compliance Program

    Today at the Linux Plumbers Conference, Software Freedom Conservancy hosts its second feedback session on the GPL Compliance Program for Linux Developers. These sessions, which Conservancy is hosting at relevant events over the next year and summarizing for public review, will seek input and ideas from the Linux community about GPL enforcement, answer questions, and plan strategies to deal with GPL enforcement actions that do not follow Conservancy and FSF's Principles of Community-Oriented GPL Enforcement.

  • Eben Moglen on GPL Compliance and Building Communities: What Works

    Software Freedom Law Center, the pro-bono law firm led by Eben Moglen, Professor of law at Columbia Law School and the world's foremost authority on Free and Open Source Software law held its annual fall conference at Columbia Law School, New York on Oct. 28. The full-day program featured technical and legal presentations on Blockchain, FinTech, Automotive FOSS and GPL Compliance by industry and community stalwarts.

    The program culminated in remarks by Moglen that highlighted the roles of engagement and education in building effective, ever-lasting communities. While expressing his gratitude to his colleague, friend and comrade Richard M. Stallman, Moglen emphasized the positive message relayed by Greg Kroah-Hartman and Theodore Ts'o --earlier in the day-- for creating win-win solutions and spreading users' freedom.

  • Freedom In Moderation [Ed: Freedom insistence (in software) equated with “extremism”, worse a term than “purism”]

    I must define some terminology in case readers are unfamiliar. Free software is defined by the Free Software Foundation (FSF) as software that carries four fundamental freedoms: the freedom to run the program for any purpose, the to study and change it, to redistribute unmodified copies, and to redistribute modified copies. The “free” refers not to price but to freedom, and is sometimes called “libre”, from the same Latin root as “liberate”.

    The Free Software Foundation has been campaigning for “users’ freedom” since 1985. They advocate for the release of software under licenses they approve that give users those freedoms. Some of their notable successes include the GNU project, which develops various low-level and mid-level system tools, and their Defective By Design campaign to oppose digital rights management (DRM).

Distributing encryption software may break the law

Filed under
OSS
Security
Legal

Developers, distributors, and users of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) often face a host of legal issues which they need to keep in mind. Although areas of law such as copyright, trademark, and patents are frequently discussed, these are not the only legal concerns for FOSS. One area that often escapes notice is export controls. It may come as a surprise that sharing software that performs or uses cryptographic functions on a public website could be a violation of U.S. export control law.

Export controls is a term for the various legal rules which together have the effect of placing restrictions, conditions, or even wholesale prohibitions on certain types of export as a means to promote national security interests and foreign policy objectives. Export control has a long history in the United States that goes back to the Revolutionary War with an embargo of trade with Great Britain by the First Continental Congress. The modern United States export control regime includes the Department of State's regulations covering export of munitions, the Treasury Department's enforcement of United States' foreign embargoes and sanctions regimes, and the Department of Commerce's regulations applying to exports of "dual-use" items, i.e. items which have civil applications as well as terrorism, military, or weapons of mass destruction-related applications.

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GCC RISC-V Support Allegedly Held Up Due To University Lawyers

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Development
GNU
Legal

While there has been talk about RISC-V architecture support in the GCC compiler and for LLVM too going back months, a developer is reporting that the GCC RISC-V support is being delayed due to UC Berkeley lawyers.

Contributions to the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) require a copyright assignment to the Free Software Foundation for this GPLv3-licensed compiler. It turns out the University of California Berkeley lawyers are taking issue with this, temporarily holding up the compiler back-end from merging.

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FOSS Licensing

Filed under
Legal
  • Making money from copylefted code

    I wanted to put this out there while I still have it fresh in my mind. Here at the copyleft BoF with Bradlely Kuhn at LAS GNOME. One of the biggest take away from this is something that Bryan Lunduke said that people are able to make money off from copyleft if we don’t actually brand it as free and open source software. So it seems that if we don’t advertise something as free or open source or that there is software available, then there is a decent chance that you can make money.

  • Help Send Conservancy to Embedded Linux Conference Europe

    Last month, Conservancy made a public commitment to attend Linux-related events to get feedback from developers about our work generally, and Conservancy's GPL Compliance Program for Linux Developers specifically. As always, even before that, we were regularly submitting talks to nearly any event with Linux in its name. As a small charity, we always request travel funding from the organizers, who are often quite gracious. As I mentioned in my blog posts about LCA 2016 and GUADEC 2016, the organizers covered my travel funding there, and recently both Karen and I both received travel funding to speak at LCA 2017 and DebConf 2016, as well as many other events this year.

  • Copyleft, attribution, and data: other considerations

    When looking at solutions, it is important to understand that the practical concerns I blogged about aren’t just theoretical — they matter in practice too. For example, Peter Desmet has done a great job showing how overreaching licenses make bullfrog maps (and other data combinations) illegal. Alex Barth of OpenStreetMap has also discussed how ODbL creates problems for OSM users (though he got some Wikipedia-related facts wrong). And I’ve spoken to very well-intentioned organizations (including thoughtful, impactful non-profits) scared off from OSM for similar reasons.

OSI Approved Licenses, a Foundation for Federal Source Code Policy

Filed under
OSS
Legal

The Federal Source Code memorandum includes a subject line that clearly communicates the federal government's commitment, "Achieving Efficiency, Transparency, and Innovation through Reusable and Open Source Software," and we applaud the OMB for their compressive work: introducing the benefits of open source software, development and communities to a bureaucracy often challenged to move away from traditional modes of practice and policy; engaging with the larger technology sector in a inclusive and comprehensive review of current, and potential future-states for software development and use within the government, and; actually delivering a policy that can serve as a foundation to build on.

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GNU/FSF/GPL

Filed under
GNU
Legal
  • Unifont 9.0.02 Released

    Unifont 9.0.02 is released. The package and related files can be downloaded at ftp://ftp.gnu.org/gnu/unifont/unifont-9.0.02/

  • GCC 7 To Continue Improving Debug Messages, More Helpful Assembly Output

    Early on LLVM's Clang compiler offered much better debugging / error messages than GCC but in the past few years the GNU Compiler Collection developers have been working on generating more helpful messages too.

  • The Last LinuxCon, MariaDB Goes Open Core & More… [Ed: And a day later publicly attacks the Conservancy over GPL compliance against VMware]

    Linus Torvalds being interviewed by VMware’s Dirk Hohndel on the last day of the last LinuxCon North America. Next year’s event in Los Angeles will be renamed Open Source Summit.

  • GPL compliance suit against VMware dismissed

    In a setback to the Christoph Hellwig's efforts to enforce the GPL on code that he wrote in the Linux kernel, his suit against VMware in Germany has been dismissed on procedural grounds. The court ruled that he had not provided enough specificity about the code he was claiming had been used by the company. The merits of the GPL and whether the two main parts of VMware's product constitute a derived work of the kernel were not even considered. There may be another chance for the court to do so, however, as Hellwig will appeal the dismissal.

GNU/Linux Leftovers

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Legal
  • World Wide Web became what it is thanks to Linux

    Linux is used to power the largest websites on the Internet, including Google, Facebook, Amazon, eBay, and Wikipedia.

  • SFC's Kuhn in firing line as Linus Torvalds takes aim

    A few days after he mused that there had been no reason for him to blow his stack recently, Linux creator Linus Torvalds has directed a blast at the Software Freedom Conservancy and its distinguished technologist Bradley Kuhn over the question of enforcing compliance of the GNU General Public Licence.

    Torvalds' rant came on Friday, as usual on a mailing list and on a thread which was started by Software Freedom Conservancy head Karen Sandler on Wednesday last week. She suggested that Linuxcon in Toronto, held from Monday to Thursday, also include a session on GPL enforcement.

  • Linux at 25: A pictorial history

    Aug. 25 marks the 25th anniversary of Linux, the free and open source operating system that's used around the globe in smarphones, tablets, desktop PCs, servers, supercomputers, and more. Though its beginnings were humble, Linux has become the world’s largest and most pervasive open source software project in history. How did it get here? Read on for a look at some of the notable events along the way.

Having offended everyone else in the world, Linus Torvalds calls own lawyers a 'nasty festering disease'

Filed under
GNU
Linux
Legal

Coding curmudgeon Linus Torvalds has gone off on yet another rant: this time against his own lawyers and free software activist Bradley Kuhn.

On a mailing list about an upcoming Linux conference, a discussion about whether to include a session on the GPL that protects the open source operating system quickly devolved in an angry rant as its founder piled in.

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More in Tux Machines

Devices/Mobile

  • AsteroidOS is an Open Source OS for Smartwatches
    Florent Revest is a French computer science student who has been working on an open source operating system for smartwatches for the last two years. Yesterday, he officially launched version 1 of the alpha for AsteroidOS. The goal for the platform was to create something that gave smartwatch owners more control over their privacy, as well as the hardware they purchased. Florent feels that the current proprietary platforms do not guarantee this, and this was the basis for AsteroidOS. He wanted his open source smartwatch operating system to provide freedom with free software, more privacy than other wearable platforms offer, interoperability so it could communicate with other devices, modularity that enabled the user to tweak and change the OS as they see fit, the ability to port the software to as many devices as possible, and gathering a community who is passionate about the platform.
  • AsteroidOS Brings Open Source Functionality To Smartwatches
    Smartwatches may not have taken off like companies were hoping, but they have come quite far in terms of what they can offer and what sorts of features are available for the many different models of smartwatches that are out there. Even with the updated functionality of options like Samsung’s Gear S lineup and Android Wear platforms, though, smartwatches can still feel a little bit limiting, and part of this undoubtedly includes the reason that the operating systems aren’t as open as platforms like Android. That is now changing thanks to a platform called AsteroidOS which is an open source operating system for smartwatches.
  • Mini Apollo Lake module takes the heat — and the cold
    Congatec’s “Conga-MA5” is a Linux-ready COM Express Compact Type 10 Mini module with Apollo Lake SoCs, up to 128GB eMMC 5.1, and -40 to 85°C support. Congatec was one of the first embedded vendors to announce computer-on-modules based on Intel’s Atom E3900 and other Apollo Lake Pentium and Celeron SoCs. The offerings included a Qseven module, a SMARC 2.0 module, and a COM Express Compact Type 6 Conga-TCA5. The company has now followed up with a COM Express Compact Type 10 Mini Conga-MA5 module.
  • Top 20 Best Tizen Apps for November 2016, Tizen Smartphone
  • Smartphone game: Indian Football League game comes to the Tizen Store

Security News

Red Hat and Fedora

Technical
  • Red Hat Takes OpenShift Dedicated to Google Cloud Platform
    Red Hat has steadily taken significant steps in the cloud computing arena, expanding the focus of its OpenShift open source Platform-as-a-Service hybrid cloud computing offering, including launching a cloud-hosted commercial edition called OpenShift Online. Now, the company has announced the availability of OpenShift Dedicated on Google Cloud Platform. The new offering brings Red Hat’s container platform as a managed service offering to enterprise customers who want to build, launch, and manage applications on OpenShift Dedicated with Google Cloud Platform as their underlying cloud infrastructure. With the availability of OpenShift Dedicated on Google Cloud Platform, users can speed adoption of containers, Kubernetes, and cloud-native application patterns, according to Red Hat. Users also get access to Google’s global, container-optimized infrastructure and can more easily augment their applications with Google’s ecosystem of data analytics, machine learning, compute, network, and storage services.
  • Red Hat Launches OpenShift Dedicated on Google Cloud Platform
    Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced the general availability of OpenShift Dedicated on Google Cloud Platform. The new offering brings Red Hat’s award-winning container platform as a managed service offering to enterprise customers who want to build, launch, and manage applications on OpenShift Dedicated with Google Cloud Platform as their underlying cloud infrastructure. With the availability of OpenShift Dedicated on Google Cloud Platform, users can speed adoption of containers, Kubernetes, and cloud-native application patterns, benefiting from Red Hat’s deep enterprise experience. Users also benefit from Google’s global, container-optimized infrastructure and can more easily augment their applications with Google’s ecosystem of data analytics, machine learning, compute, network, and storage services.
  • Image Gallery: Synnex Cloud Catalyst Conference Featuring Red Hat, XMedius, Plantronics
Financial Fedora/Community
  • Fedora 23 End of Life
    With the recent release of Fedora 25, Fedora 23 will officially enter End Of Life (EOL) status on December 20th, 2016. After December 20th, all packages in the Fedora 23 repositories will no longer receive security, bugfix, or enhancement updates, and no new packages will be added to the Fedora 23 collection. Upgrading to Fedora 24 or Fedora 25 before December 20th 2016 is highly recommended for all users still running Fedora 23.
  • What Is Wayland and What Does It Means for Linux Users
    Fedora 25 is now out. People are buzzing, as the team have decided to make Wayland the default graphical session going forward. For many Linux users Wayland is a new term that has popped up, but one that they do not understand. In this article we’ll briefly go over what Wayland is, what it does, and why developers are flocking to it in droves! What exactly is Wayland? Let’s find out!
  • Korora 25 is Ready
    The Korora Project has released version 25 (codename "Gurgle") which is now available for download. As usual, you can find a list of already known problems at the common F25 bugs page.
  • Fedora Design Interns Update
  • Holiday Break 2016.
    It’s sad I don’t get more time to post here these days. Being a manager is a pretty busy job, although I have no complaints! It’s enjoyable, and fortunately I have one of the best teams imaginable to work with, the Fedora Engineering team.

openSUSE Says Goodbye to AMD/ATI Catalyst (fglrx) Proprietary Graphics Drivers

openSUSE developer Bruno Friedmann, informed the community of the openSUSE Linux operating system about the fact that he's planning to remove the old ATI/AMD Catalyst (also known as fglrx) proprietary graphics drivers. Read more