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Legal

The case for educating judges on open source licensing

Filed under
OSS
Legal

Copyright is copyright, and open source licenses are just another license. What this case illustrates is the need for judges and lawyers to understand what open source software is: not just software made available under a license, but software that has an accompanying ethos.

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Oracle raises questions on open-source license for Android with OpenJDK

Filed under
Android
OSS
Legal

Oracle has raised questions whether a version of Google's Android operating system running OpenJDK code will at all get an open-source license.

Google told a court in California that it released on Dec. 24 new versions of its Android platform that are licensed for use under a free, open source license provided by Oracle as part of its OpenJDK project, a redesign that apparently aims to get around charges that the previous versions of Android infringed Oracle's copyrights on Java.

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No single license to success

Filed under
OSS
Legal

OSI (Open Source Initiative) has tracked many licenses and approved some as well, maintaining a list of the nine most widely used and popular. Each license has its unique requirements and benefits from the reciprocity of GPL (GNU General Public License) to the permissive MIT. Each has its strong proponents and opponents. Some feel that without GPL’s compulsion human greed will end open source as we know it. Others feel that freedom is the key to success and such compulsion hinders creative use.

The reality is that the strength of open source is in its diversity, including a diversity of licenses. No single license has been nor will be the pivotal point to open source success. License diversity is very evident from the data gathered by the Black Duck Knowledgebase. A quick view of the top 20 licenses used in open source projects today shows an even spread.

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Linux Foundation quietly drops community representation

Filed under
Linux
Legal

The Linux Foundation is an industry organisation dedicated to "promoting, protecting and standardising Linux and open source software"[1]. The majority of its board is chosen by the member companies - 10 by platinum members (platinum membership costs $500,000 a year), 3 by gold members (gold membership costs $100,000 a year) and 1 by silver members (silver membership costs between $5,000 and $20,000 a year, depending on company size). Up until recently individual members ($99 a year) could also elect two board members, allowing for community perspectives to be represented at the board level.

As of last Friday, this is no longer true. The by-laws were amended to drop the clause that permitted individual members to elect any directors. Section 3.3(a) now says that no affiliate members may be involved in the election of directors, and section 5.3(d) still permits at-large directors but does not require them[2]. The old version of the bylaws are here - the only non-whitespace differences are in sections 3.3(a) and 5.3(d).

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Remix OS GPL Violations and More Android Leftovers

Filed under
Android
GNU
Legal

FSF/GNU/GPL

Filed under
GNU
Legal
  • The Future of the Free Software Foundation: Your Input Requested

    Addressing questions about the Free Software Foundation (FSF)'s future direction seems long overdue. For that reason, the FSF's current online survey seems a step in the right direction.

    In many ways, the survey is a necessity. Although the FSF regularly tackles too many major issues to count, its entire operating budget for 2013 was $1,250,498, approximately five percent of the budget for the more corporate-oriented Linux Foundation during the same year. Under such budget restraints, some selection seems inevitable if the FSF is to avoid spreading itself too thin.

  • Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup: January 15th
  • Qt Does Some Licensing Changes

    Qt will be introducing a "start-up license" to help small companies make use of the Qt tool-kit for commercial desktop and mobile applications. The Qt open-source licenses have also now been updated.

  • Qt is Guaranteed to Stay Free and Open – Legal Update

    The KDE Free Qt Foundation already played an important role when Nokia bought Trolltech, the original company behind Qt, and later sold Qt to Digia, which then founded The Qt Company. The contracts are carefully worded to stay valid in cases of acquisitions, mergers or bankruptcy. The history of the past 17 years has shown how well the legal set-up protects the freedom of Qt – and will continue to protect it in the future.

Qt open source licensing changed and product structure updated to strengthen community and extend adoption

Filed under
Development
KDE
Software
Legal

The Qt Company has announced changes to the open source licensing and product structure of the Qt cross-platform application development framework that will further strengthen the Qt community and make additional functionality available to software developers using the open source license. A new “start-up” license has also been announced that will help small businesses that want to utilize Qt in commercial desktop and mobile applications.

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Top 10 open source legal developments in 2015

Filed under
GNU
OSS
Legal

In 2015 there were a variety of legal issues of importance to the FOSS (free and open source) community.

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Shining a spotlight on free software: the FSF's Licensing & Compliance Lab's interview series

Filed under
GNU
Interviews
Legal

In August of 2012, the Licensing & Compliance Lab kicked off a series of interviews with developers of free software. With 2015 in the rear-view mirror, we take a moment to look back on the series and highlight these great projects once again.

In August of 2012, the Licensing & Compliance Lab kicked off a series of interviews with developers of free software. These interviews were a chance to highlight cool free software projects, especially those using copyleft licenses, and learn more about why they are dedicated to free software. What started as a single interview has grown into a regular feature of the Licensing & Compliance Lab blog. With 2015 in the rear-view mirror, we take a moment to look back on the series and highlight these great projects once again.

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More in Tux Machines

Red Hat encourages open source adoption at Asia Pacific Forum in Philippines

Red Hat, Inc. yesterday hosted the Red Hat Forum Asia Pacific in Manila, the Philippines. The conference provided an outlet for local businesses to discuss and learn about open source technology innovations, successes, and best practices. With this year’s theme, “Energize Your Enterprise,” the Red Hat Forum focused on the IT solutions enterprises are using to help innovate and transform the way business is done. In addition to Red Hat’s technology vision keynote, speakers covered a range of topics, from containers to the Internet of Things (IoT). Read more

today's leftovers

  • Readers Say ‘No’ to Antivirus on Linux
    A few weeks back when Ken Starks wrote an anecdotal column on an experience with a false positive from Avast antivirus on GNU/Linux, we started thinking. We run antivirus on our LAMP servers with the intent of protecting poor suckers on Windows, but on our Linux desktops and laptops? Pretty much, no. Some of us had tried the open source ClamAV at one time or another, mainly out of curiosity, but none of us had stuck with it. To our knowledge, until Starks wrote his column none of us even knew anybody who had ever run proprietary AV on Linux boxes.
  • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2016/4 & 5
  • Almost weekend again – what’s in store
    I updated my packages for calibre and chromium with new versions. I updated the set of “compat32” packages for a multilib setup on slackware64-current to match the Slackware packages contained in the new Slackware 14.2 Beta 2.
  • Slackware 14.2 Beta 2 Announced
    Good news for everyone. Slackware 14.2 is getting close to release as Pat now announced Slackware 14.2 Beta 2 on the latest changelog. This update also brings some security changes for all supported Slackware releases back to Slackware 13.0!!!
  • Make a $40 Linux or Android PC with this tiny new Raspberry Pi 2 rival
    If you want to build a powerful $40 Linux or Android PC with 4K video support, consider Hardkernel’s Odroid-C2 computer. The developer board is an uncased computer like the popular Raspberry Pi 2, which sells for $35. But South Korea-based Hardkernel claims Odroid-C2 has more horsepower than its popular rival and can be a desktop replacement.

Kernel Space: Linux, Graphics

  • Unikernels
    When Linux applications have bugs that are difficult to diagnose (EG buffer overruns that happen in production and can’t be reproduced in a test environment) there are a variety of ways of debugging them. Tools such as Valgrind can analyse memory access and tell the developers which code had a bug and what the bug does. It’s theoretically possible to link something like Valgrind into a Unikernel, but the lack of multiple processes would make it difficult to manage.
  • Robert Hallock: GPUOpen is AMD’s Long-Term Open Source Strategy
    Last week AMD completed a major step in its initiative to open things up to the public under GPUOpen — a collection of tools for graphics, high performance compute and heterogeneous computing – as open source under the MIT license model. So when a company does something out of the ordinary, especially one with a large indirect influence in the mobile community, it’s worth looking further into it. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Robert Hallock, AMD’s Head of Global Technical Marketing, and ask a few questions about what this all means.
  • A Ton Of Direct3D 9 "Nine" State Tracker Improvements Hit Mesa
  • xf86-video-geode 2.11.18
    Yesterday, I pushed out version 2.11.18 of the Geode X.Org driver. This is the driver used by the OLPC XO-1 and by a plethora of low-power desktops, micro notebooks and thin clients. This release mostly includes maintenance fixes of all sorts. Of noticeable interest is a fix for the long-standing issue that switching between X and a VT would result in a blank screen (this should probably be cherry-picked for distributions running earlier releases of this driver). Many thanks to Connor Behan for the fix!

Leftovers: Software

  • Kodi 16.0 "Jarvis" Gets Third RC Build, Fixes Possible DVD Menu Problems
    The Kodi development team has just announced the release and immediate availability for download and testing of the third RC (Release Candidate) build of the upcoming Kodi 16.0 "Jarvis" media center.
  • Support for 8/10/12 bit color depths in HandBrake!
    HandBrake is now using a freshly built x265 library that enables full color depth support at 8, 10 and 12 bits. You can now convert videos in these format! This has been enabled in the 64 bit builds of the x265 library; for both Fedora 23 and CentOS/RHEL 7.
  • bitmath-1.3.0 released
    It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted any bitmath updates (bitmath is a Python module I wrote which simplifies many facets of interacting with file sizes in various units as python objects) . In fact, it seems that the last time I wrote about bitmath here was back in 2014 when 1.0.8 was released! So here is an update covering everything post 1.0.8 up to 1.3.0.
  • Docker 1.10 Linux Container Engine Brings over 100 Changes, Removes LXC Support
    Docker, the open-source and powerful Linux container engine software, has reached today, February 4, a new milestone, version 1.10, which promises to introduce a whole lot of fresh features.