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Legal

FRAND Is Not A Compliance Issue

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OSS
Legal

The European Commission has been persuaded by lobbyists to change its position on standards to permit the use of FRAND license terms for patents applicable to technologies within those standards. This is a massive mistake that will harm innovation by chilling open source community engagement.

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EU jeopardises its own goals in standardisation with FRAND licensing

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OSS
Legal

On 19 April, the European Commission published a communication on "ICT Standardisation Priorities for the Digital Single Market" (hereinafter 'the Communication'). The Digital Single Market (DSM) strategy intends to digitise industries with several legislative and political initiatives, and the Communication is a part of it covering standardisation. In general, the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) welcomes the Communication's plausible approach for integrating Free Software and Open Standards into standardisation but expresses its concerns about the lack of understanding of necessary prerequisites to pursue that direction.

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Also: A fresh look at the U.S. draft policy on 'federal sourcing'

A perfect marriage: YOU and Ubuntu 16.04

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GNU
Ubuntu
Legal

Canonical claims it has taken legal advice and that it is allowed to ship OpenZFS with its Linux.

What ever the legal rights and wrongs, Ubuntu's support is clearly aimed primarily at the server use case. ZFS is not an option within the installer. In fact you'll need to install the userland parts of ZFS yourself before you can format disks and get everything working. Still, if you're interested in trying Ubuntu atop ZFS, Canonical has a guide to using ZFS.

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Anti-innovation: EU excludes open source from new tech standards

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OSS
Legal

It's no surprise that the Commission was trying to keep that particular detail quiet, because FRAND licensing—the acronym stands for "fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory"—is incompatible with open source, which will therefore find itself excluded from much of the EU's grand new Digital Single Market strategy. That's hardly a "balanced IPR policy."

The problem for open source is that standard licensing can be perfectly fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory, but would nonetheless be impossible for open source code to implement. Typically, FRAND licensing requires a per-copy payment, but for free software, which can be shared any number of times, there's no way to keep tabs on just how many copies are out there. Even if the per-copy payment is tiny, it's still a licensing requirement that open source code cannot meet.

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FSF on GPL and ZFS

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GNU
Legal

Is Source Code covered by the PSI Directive?

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OSS
Legal

Concerning France, the court decision may have a considerable impact, as the source code of any software produced by or for the various national or local administrations becomes legally “libre” or open source under no or very permissive conditions. Therefore the interest to clarify the applicable licence: when communicating it, relevant administration should then apply the EUPL or the French CeCILL, according to the 12 September 2012 prime minister Ayrault circular.

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Free 'law for Linux developers' class opens its virtual doors

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OSS
Legal

No one becomes a programmer to become an intellectual property (IP) expert. But, in today's lawsuit-happy world, with patent trolls ready to attack and licensing becoming increasingly complicated, developers needs to know some IP law.

So, at the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit, Jim Zemlin, the Linux Foundation's executive director announced the availability of Open Source Compliance Basics for Developers (LFC291), This free course is designed to provide software developers with the basic knowledge about legal and licensing issues they need for building and using open-source software.

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BMW complies with GPL by handing over i3 car code

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GNU
Legal

BMW has sent Terence Eden a DVD containing GPL-licenced code used in its electric i3 model .

Why should you care? Because Oxford resident Eden last month inadvertently caused something of a global stir when he pondered the quality of the i3's software and the security of BMW's update mechanisms. Along the way he noticed that the i3's on-board “About” screen mentioned it uses some GPL-licenced code and idly wondered if the auto-maker complies with the licence.

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Also: All’s Well That Ends Well With The GPL

Friday Free Software Directory IRC meetup: April 1st (not a joke)

Are you legally open source compliant?

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OSS
Legal

Meeting legal requirements is one of the key elements that large software companies factor in to their release cycles. They have teams that check for software patents that may impact their code, make sure that every copyright is acknowledged and look at the detailed usage clauses in any third-party software that they use.

One of the reasons for doing this is to avoid expensive litigation from companies often referred to as patent trolls. These are companies that have purchased large software patent libraries. Their business model is to then use those libraries to bring lawsuits against developers and over the last decade we’ve seen a number of high profile lawsuits against companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Google and others. Some of these have been dismissed by the courts but others have been upheld costing hundreds of millions of dollars in both fines and costs.

While open source developers might think that they are immune from this type of issue they are not. It may be that a piece of software that has been released as open source is later alleged to have infringed a software patent. This would mean that anyone using that software could be found guilty of an infringement.

To help reduce the impact of patent claims Google, IBM, Red Hat, SUSE, NEC, Philips and Sony created the Open Innovation Network. The goal was to create a pool of defensive patents that could be used to protect Linux and developers using Linux. This has been successful with over 1946 companies signing up to the OIN to use their patents to defend themselves from attack.

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More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

  • How Linux Frustrated Me Into Loving It
    I have been very interested in Linux since my entry into the Wonderful World of Unix in 2006. I found Ubuntu and installed it on a crappy Dell desktop computer I was given when I was doing online schooling. The computer originally came with Windows, and one day while I was browsing, I decided to search for “alternative to Windows.” Linux popped up right away. I had never heard of Linux before, but after voraciously reading article after article, I decided Linux was the path for my future.
  • HP Chromebook 13 is a business-focused Chrome OS laptop with USB-C
    In the grand scheme of things, Chrome OS is hardly a major player from a desktop market share perspective -- for now. With that said, the Linux-based operating system has captured the hearts and minds of many consumers. It has matured quite a bit too, becoming a viable Windows alternative for home users. Actually, it is a great choice for some businesses too -- depending on needs, of course.
  • Summary: Linux Scheduler: A decade of wasted cores - Part 1 - What is NUMA ?
    Last month, a research paper with title 'The Linux Scheduler: a Decade of Wasted Cores' was trending on the front page of HN. As an individual who is interested in Systems, I thought it would be good idea to read this 16 page research paper. I spent a good amount of time learning about different topics which were involved in it. This is the first post in the series in which I will try to summarize the paper.
  • Vulkan 1.0.12 Specification Update Adds VK_AMD_rasterization_order
  • GTK+ 3.22 Is Working On An OpenGL Renderer & Scene Graph
    Matthias Clasen of Red Hat has written an update about changes to GNOME's GTK+ tool-kit for the 3.20 cycle but he also mentions some of the exciting work that's brewing for GNOME/GTK+ 3.22. Clasen's latest blog post covers some of the recent internal changes to GTK+ CSS, theme changes, various changes facing application developers, and more. Those interested about the GTK+ tooling changes can read the blog post.
  • Bunsenlabs Rc2
  • April is almost gone
    The second one was the release of pre-release isos of Mageia 6 and OpenMandriva Lx 3. I must say that both distros are doing a great job; the systems performed so well that they did not seem beta versions to me. I did not like Plasma 5, though... I am sure the KDE team is doing a great work, but I truly do not see what the point of this tablet-ready interface is. After all, KDE missed the tablet train (the Vivaldi tablet never saw the light of the day) and tablets are already in decline...
  • New BlackArch Linux version released, now provides 1400 pentesting tools
    BlackArch Linux version 2016.04.28 released for ethical hackers and security researchers with 1400 pentesting tools
  • Manjaro 16.06 - third preview released
    It took us almost another month to prepare this third preview of our upcoming stable release we call Daniella. The Xfce edition remains our flagship offering and has received the attention it deserves. Few can claim to offer such a polished, integrated and leading-edge Xfce experience. We ship Xfce 4.12 with this release of Manjaro. We mainly focused on polishing the user experience on the desktop and window manager, and on updating some components to take advantage of newly available technologies such as switching to a new theme called Maia, we already using for our KDE edition.
  • IoT Past and Present: The History of IoT, and Where It's Headed Today [Ed: just devices with a network stack. Nothing new.]
  • 1btn – an Open Source Dash
    The availability of cheap radios, omni-present WiFi and powerful web services means the IoT wave is here to stay. Amazon got into the act with its “do only one thing” Dash button. But a more interesting solution would be an IoT “do it all” button.
  • No Time to Panic as One Quarter Shows Minor Dip in Smartphone Sales - Total Smartphone Market Will Grow This Year (and here's why)
    We now have the Q1 numbers from Strategy Analytics and IDC, the two last remaining of the classic four big smartphone industry analyst houses we used on this blog to calculate the industry average of the total market size, back when the 'smartphone bloodbath' started six years ago. And both SA and IDC are in exceptional, near-perfect agreement on the exact size of the market, we get a total smartphone market for Q1 at 334.8 Million units. That is down 18% from the Christmas sales Quarter (normal that Q1 is down) but for the first time ever in this industry, the YEAR-ON-YEAR comparison of Q1, so the January-March quarter last year 2015 vs now, is down. This has not happened in the smartphone industry in any YoY period. And some are now talking about 'peak smartphone'. That number COULD be a signal that smartphone industry growth has stalled and now peaked and smartphone sales will either plateau flat, or decline into the next year(s).
  • GhostBSD 10.3 Alpha Released With ZFS File-System Support, MATE 1.12
    The first alpha release was made available this weekend of GhostBSD 10.3 Alpha 1, a desktop focused operating system built atop FreeBSD 10.3.
  • 3D Printer Crowdfunding projects
    Like every Kickstarter project, there is a risk. But I think that Trinus appears to be a good project, we need to wait to the launch and review a real machine to know if it worth it. Also, the Youtube Channel Maker’s Muse, made a review of the project and the company Konama, creators of Trinus, sent him a the 3d printer and he currently makes the review of this printer that pledged more then 1 million dollars on KickStarter.
  • Refactoring the open-source photography community
    Generally speaking, most free-software communities tend to form around specific projects: a distribution, an application, a tightly linked suite of applications, and so on. Those are the functional units in which developers work, so it is a natural extension from there to focused mailing lists, web sites, IRC channels, and other forms of interaction with each other and users. But there are alternatives. At Libre Graphics Meeting 2016 in London, Pat David spoke about his recent experience bringing together a new online community centered around photographers who use open-source software. That community crosses over between several applications and libraries, and it has been successful enough that multiple photography-related projects have shut down their independent user forums and migrated to the new site, PIXLS.US.
  • DIY recycling, UCONN's open source chemistry book, and more news

Leftovers: Software

today's howtos

Leftovers: Gaming