Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Legal

Trademark Actions Against the PostgreSQL Community

Filed under
Legal

The PostgreSQL trademark policy is modeled after policies implemented by other major open source projects and is designed to be flexible and in the spirit of open source software. This policy is in place to ensure that the PostgreSQL trademarks are not used in ways that may confuse people and to help protect and grow the community brand. Uses of the trademark that are outside of fair use are permitted only through a trademark license issued by PGCAC.

There are additional registered trademarks that use the "PostgreSQL" wordmark but are not used to assume the PostgreSQL brand identity or used to make representations of being the PostgreSQL community. Some of these trademarks were registered prior to the updated PostgreSQL trademark policy; PGCAC has and continues to work with these organizations to ensure trademark compliance.

The PostgreSQL Core Team set up the trademark holdings and policies similar to other aspects of the PostgreSQL project. Through decentralization and fair checks and balances, the trademarks are protected from scenarios such as lack of support or a takeover from a hostile entity. Additionally, it is essential that the trademarks are properly used and defended, otherwise there is a risk that they may be deemed invalid or abandoned by the issuing trademark offices.

Read more

Also: PostgreSQL Weekly News - September 12, 2021

FSF copyright handling: A basis for distribution, licensing and enforcement

Filed under
GNU
Legal

Part of the Free Software Foundation (FSF's) core mission is to advance policies that will promote the progress of free software and freedom. Because copyright handling has been a topic of concern lately, we are taking this opportunity to explain the four purposes behind FSF copyright handling, as well as examine the impact of potential alternatives.

For some GNU packages, the ones that are FSF-copyrighted, we ask contributors for two kinds of legal papers: copyright assignments, and employer copyright disclaimers. We drew up these policies working with lawyers in the 1980s, and they make possible our steady and continuing enforcement of the GNU General Public License (GPL).

These papers serve four different but related legal purposes, all of which help ensure that the GNU Project's goals of freedom for the community are met.

One purpose is to give explicit permission to include the material in that GNU package. That is the most basic need.

The second purpose is to empower the FSF to go to court and say, "That company is infringing our copyright when it tramples the freedom of users, denying them the freedom that our license gives them." The assignment does this by transferring the copyright to the FSF. (This form of support for GNU is one of the original purposes for founding the FSF.)

A third purpose is to make it possible to add additional permission to specific pieces of code. For example, to take code released under GNU GPL version-3-or-later and release it under GNU Lesser GPL version-3-or-later.

Read more

Reverse Engineering Software Licencing

Filed under
Security
Legal
  • Reverse engineering software licencing from early-2000s abandonware – Part 1

    This series concerns a software licencing system used in a proprietary software application from circa 2004. The software was available in an unregistered trial mode with limited functionality. A free licence could be obtained by registering online with the software vendor. The software became abandonware circa 2009 when it ceased to be offered, and while the software binary has been archived, to date there has been no effort to restore the functionality once available with a free licence.

  • Reverse engineering software licencing from early-2000s abandonware – Part 2

    In part 1, we reverse engineered the registration code licencing mechanism of this particular software. However, that mechanism was not the mechanism actually in use in 2004; rather, a different mechanism was used based on licence files named license.bin. In this part, we investigate that licencing mechanism.

  • Reverse engineering software licencing from early-2000s abandonware – Part 3

    In part 2, we reverse engineered the decrypted format of the licence file data for this particular software. In this part, we investigate that how exactly that licence file is encrypted.

SCO v. IBM settlement deal is done, but zombie case shuffles on elsewhere

Filed under
Red Hat
Legal

One strand of the ancient and convoluted SCO versus IBM legal mess that sought to determine who owns UNIX – and perhaps has a claim over Linux – may be about to end.

The case commenced in 2003, but its roots go even deeper.In 1998 IBM, the Santa Cruz Operation (SCO – a vendor of UNIX for x86 CPUs) and others teamed to create Project Monterey, with the aim of developing a version of UNIX that worked on multiple hardware platforms.

Which is just what the Linux community had started doing, too.

By 2001, IBM decided Linux was the future and quit Project Monterey, even acquiring some of the participants. By then Big Blue had created an experimental cut of its own UNIX-like AIX operating system that used some SCO code. But once Monterey was abandoned, IBM contributed some of its IP to Linux.

Read more

Tesla publishes Autopilot source code to comply with the GPL

Filed under
GNU
Legal

Tesla uses open source platforms for some of the technologies in its electric cars, but they have never published the code before. Linux and BusyBox are some of the platforms they use, and one of the company's obligations, according to the GPL license, is precisely what they have just fulfilled: publishing part of the source code that is used for their electric propulsion vehicles. That ‘part’ is the one corresponding to the automatic pilot system –the imaging system-, that of NVIDIA Tegra and that of the AutoPilot motherboards.

One of the sections of the GNU GPL, the license for open source software used by Tesla, provides for an obligation to share source code. The company chaired by Elon Musk, after some time using this software, has made public part of the open-source source code. The one that uses the AutoPilot imaging system, that of the motherboard of the same autonomous driving technology, and that of the NVIDIA Tegra system that its electric cars also have. All this is already available on GitHub, in the profile that the American company has.

Tesla publishes the open-source source code of its electric cars, does this pose any risk to your technology?

The source code published by Tesla corresponds only to some ‘parts’ of the technology that its electric cars have, both the Tesla Model X and the S and 3. And more specifically, the majority of the automatic piloting system. This is in no way a risk to owners of Tesla vehicles. It is not a risk that opens the doors for hackers to attack the autonomous driving system of their cars, which would be the most worrying thing, and in no case can they put the company's intellectual property at risk. Quite simply, it has allowed them to comply with the GNU GPL licenses.

And all this means that the 'core parts' of AutoPilot-related code that have been published can be studied and analyzed, and in a way could be applied in other projects. But not in the same way, and not for commercial purposes.
It is not a secret that part of the technologies of the Tesla Model S and Model X, including the famous Autopilot, is based on the Linux and BusyBox platforms. An open-source system that is subject to the GPL license, which forces the Californian firm to publish a part of the source code, something that it had not done until now in relation to the software of the Model S and Model X 2018.12. This code includes the configuration of the Tesla Autopilot system, the motherboard, and the NVIDIA Tegra system.

One of the sections of the GPL license that regulates the license of open source software that Tesla uses contemplates that the brand must share the source code and make it public, in this case on the company's profile on GitHub. In this way, any user can access and see the code that regulates the Autopilot image system, that of the motherboard that regulates autonomous driving, and the NVIDIA Tegra system that serves to give life to the infotainment system of the American brand.

In fact, Tesla has issued a statement regarding this movement in which it explains that it intends to release more parts of its open-source in the near future, all in collaboration with the Software Freedom Conservancy -SFC-, a non-profit organization that preserves and provides infrastructure for free and open-source software projects, as well as ensuring that it is in the public domain. In this regard, Tesla has been working with SFC since 2013, since the first Model S already had technology based on Linux and BusyBox.

Read more

free software does not come with any guarantees of support

Filed under
Development
GNU
Legal

Other free software licenses, such as the BSD license, and Apache 2.0 license also have a similar clause. While maintainers might offer to provide support for free, or perhaps offer a support agreement for a fee, free software is ultimately what you make of it, for better or worse.

By integrating anti-features such as direct messages into software development forges like the proposed GitHub feature, the developers of these forges will inevitably be responsible for an onslaught of abusive messages directed at free software maintainers, which ultimately will serve to act as a Denial of Service on our time. And, most likely, this abuse will be targeted more frequently at maintainers who are women, or people of color.

I urge the developers of software development forges to respect the labor donated to the commons by free software maintainers, by developing features which respect their agency, rather than features that will ultimately lead abusive users to believe maintainers are available at their beck and call.

Otherwise, the developers of these forges may find projects going to a platform that does respect them.

Read more

Mike Gabriel: Chromium Policies Managed under Linux

Filed under
Google
Web
Legal

For a customer project, I recently needed to take a closer look at best strategies of deploying Chromium settings onto thrillions of client machines in a corporate network.

Unfortunately, the information on how to deploy site-wide Chromium browser policies are a little scattered over the internet and the intertwining of Chromium preferences and Chromium policies required deeper introspection.

Here, I'd like to provide the result of that research, namely a list of references that has been studied before setting up Chromium policies for the customer's proof-of-concept.

Read more

The threat of software patents persists

Filed under
GNU
Legal

At the Free Software Foundation (FSF) we have reported extensively on many issues concerning user freedom. In this article, we will reintroduce a problem that has plagued the free software community for many years: the problem of software patents. In the past, we had several successful campaigns against them, and people have mistakenly assumed that the threat has gone away. It has not. Patents have steadily been dominating the software sector, and the situation is bound to get worse.

Before we delve into the complexities of this issue, it's important to know the basics: a patent is a legal tool that gives its owner the right to prevent others from using an invention in any way for a limited period of years. A software patent is a patent that applies to software.

What follows will answer a number of questions: what software patents are; what their history is; what their legal status is today; what problem is posed by their enforcement; how our past successful campaigns were not enough to eliminate them; and finally, how you can help us fight against them, today. Unfortunately, for a proper explanation we ought to get a bit technical, but please bear with us.

Read more

Microsoft-Led GPL Violations and the FSF

Filed under
GNU
Legal
  • GitHub is my copilot [Ed: Microsoft is attacking the GPL using the guise or excuse of "HEY HI" (plagiarism, copy-paste)]

    Your editor has worked in the computing field for rather longer than he cares to admit; for all of that time it has been said that a day will come when all that tedious programming work will no longer be necessary. Instead, we'll just say what we want and the computer will figure it out. Arguably, the announcement of GitHub Copilot takes us another step in that direction. On the way, though, it raises some interesting questions about copyright and free-software licensing.

    Copilot is a machine-learning system that generates code. Given the beginning of a function or data-structure definition, it attempts to fill in the rest; it can also work from a comment describing the desired functionality. If one believes the testimonials on the Copilot site, it can do a miraculous job of figuring out the developer's intent and providing the needed code. It promises to take some of the grunge work out of development and increase developer productivity. Of course, it can happily generate security vulnerabilities; it also uploads the code you're working on and remembers if you took its suggestions, but that's the world we've built for ourselves.

    Machine-learning systems, of course, must be trained on large amounts of data. Happily for GitHub, it just happens to be sitting on a massive pile of code, most of which is under free-software licenses. So the company duly used the code in the publicly available repositories it hosts to train this model; evidently private repositories were not used for this purpose. For now, the result is available as a restricted beta offering; the company plans to turn it into a commercial product going forward.

  • FSF-funded call for white papers on philosophical and legal questions around Copilot

    We already know that Copilot as it stands is unacceptable and unjust, from our perspective. It requires running software that is not free/libre (Visual Studio, or parts of Visual Studio Code), and Copilot is Service as a Software Substitute. These are settled questions as far as we are concerned.

  • FSF job opportunity: Operations assistant — Free Software Foundation

    The Free Software Foundation (FSF), a Massachusetts 501(c)(3) charity with a worldwide mission to protect and promote computer-user freedom, seeks a motivated and organized Boston-based individual to be our full-time operations assistant.

    Reporting to the executive director, this position works on the operations team to ensure all administrative, office, and retail functions of the FSF run smoothly and efficiently, preserving our 4-star Charity Navigator rating and boosting all areas of our work.

GPL Enforcement and Violations: Stockfish and More

Filed under
GNU
Legal
  • Our lawsuit against ChessBase

    The Stockfish project strongly believes in free and open-source software and data. Collaboration is what made this engine the strongest chess engine in the world. We license our software using the GNU General Public License, Version 3 (GPL) with the intent to guarantee all chess enthusiasts the freedom to use, share and change all versions of the program.

    Unfortunately, not everybody shares this vision of openness. We have come to realize that ChessBase concealed from their customers Stockfish as the true origin of key parts of their products (see also earlier blog posts by us and the joint Lichess, Leela Chess Zero, and Stockfish teams). Indeed, few customers know they obtained a modified version of Stockfish when they paid for Fat Fritz 2 or Houdini 6 - both Stockfish derivatives - and they thus have good reason to be upset. ChessBase repeatedly violated central obligations of the GPL, which ensures that the user of the software is informed of their rights. These rights are explicit in the license and include access to the corresponding sources, and the right to reproduce, modify and distribute GPLed programs royalty-free.

  • Stockfish sues ChessBase

    The Stockfish project, which distributes a chess engine under GPLv3, has announced the filing of a GPL-enforcement lawsuit against ChessBase, which has been (and evidently still is) distributing proprietary versions of the Stockfish code.

  • Are you compliant with open-source license obligations?

    A short answer is no. Your piece of software will not be open-source if it doesn’t have an open-source license. Under copyright law, such software is copyrighted by default, with all the restrictions that this implies.

    If you want anyone to use your code freely, you should ensure certain liberties commonly called “the four freedoms“. They say that OS software may be used, studied, modified, and distributed freely, as long as the license is respected.

    For the first three, there are no conditions of any kind; you are free to use, study, and modify the code for any purpose. If you move beyond that and decide to distribute your modified version (or the original), this is when open-source license compliance starts.

    Missing license texts are the number one cause of license infringement cases, which, as we’ve seen above, can lead to the loss of ownership rights and enforcement actions such as an interim injunction.

Syndicate content

More in Tux Machines

Programming Leftovers

  • Announcement : An AArch64 (Arm64) Darwin port is planned for GCC12

    As many of you know, Apple has now released an AArch64-based version of macOS and desktop/laptop platforms using the ‘M1’ chip to support it. This is in addition to the existing iOS mobile platforms (but shares some of their constraints). There is considerable interest in the user-base for a GCC port (starting with https://gcc.gnu.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=96168) - and, of great kudos to the gfortran team, one of the main drivers is folks using Fortran. Fortunately, I was able to obtain access to one of the DTKs, courtesy of the OSS folks, and using that managed to draft an initial attempt at the port last year (however, nowhere near ready for presentation in GCC11). Nevertheless (as an aside) despite being a prototype, the port is in use with many via hombrew, macports or self-builds - which has shaken out some of the fixable bugs. The work done in the prototype identified three issues that could not be coded around without work on generic parts of the compiler. I am very happy to say that two of our colleagues, Andrew Burgess and Maxim Blinov (both from embecosm) have joined me in drafting a postable version of the port and we are seeking sponsorship to finish this in the GCC12 timeframe. Maxim has a lightning talk on the GNU tools track at LPC (right after the steering committee session) that will focus on the two generic issues that we’re tackling (1 and 2 below). Here is a short summary of the issues and proposed solutions (detailed discussion of any of the parts below would better be in new threads).

  • Apple Silicon / M1 Port Planned For GCC 12 - Phoronix

    Developers are hoping for next year's GCC 12 release they will have Apple AArch64 support on Darwin in place for being able to support Apple Silicon -- initially the M1 SoC -- on macOS with GCC. LLVM/Clang has long been supporting AArch64 on macOS given that Apple leverages LLVM/Clang as part of their official Xcode toolchain as the basis for their compiler across macOS to iOS and other products. While the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) supports AArch64 and macOS/Darwin, it hasn't supported the two of them together but there is a port in progress to change it.

  • Dirk Eddelbuettel: tidyCpp 0.0.5 on CRAN: More Protect’ion

    Another small release of the tidyCpp package arrived on CRAN overnight. The packages offers a clean C++ layer (as well as one small C++ helper class) on top of the C API for R which aims to make use of this robust (if awkward) C API a little easier and more consistent. See the vignette for motivating examples. The Protect class now uses the default methods for copy and move constructors and assignment allowing for wide use of the class. The small NumVec class now uses it for its data member.

  • QML Modules in Qt 6.2

    With Qt 6.2 there is, for the first time, a comprehensive build system API that allows you to specify a QML module as a complete, encapsulated unit. This is a significant improvement, but as the concept of QML modules was rather under-developed in Qt 5, even seasoned QML developers might now ask "What exactly is a QML module". In our previous post we have scratched the surface by introducing the CMake API used to define them. We'll take a closer look in this post.

  • Santiago Zarate: So you want to recover and old git branch because it has been overwritten?
  • Start using YAML now | Opensource.com

    YAML (YAML Ain't Markup Language) is a human-readable data serialization language. Its syntax is simple and human-readable. It does not contain quotation marks, opening and closing tags, or braces. It does not contain anything which might make it harder for humans to parse nesting rules. You can scan your YAML document and immediately know what's going on. [...] At this point, you know enough YAML to get started. You can play around with the online YAML parser to test yourself. If you work with YAML daily, then this handy cheatsheet will be helpful.

  • 40 C programming examples

    C programming language is one of the popular programming languages for novice programmers. It is a structured programming language that was mainly developed for UNIX operating system. It supports different types of operating systems, and it is very easy to learn. 40 useful C programming examples have been shown in this tutorial for the users who want to learn C programming from the beginning.

Devices/Embedded: Asus Tinker Board 2 and More

  • Asus Tinker Board 2 single-board computer now available for $94 and up - Liliputing

    The Asus Tinker Board 2 is a Raspberry Pi-shaped single-board computer powered by a Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor and featuring 2GB to 4GB of RAM. First announced almost a year ago, the Tinker Board 2 is finally available for $99 and up. Asus also offers a Tinker Board 2S model that’s pretty similar except that it has 16GB of eMMC storage. Prices for that model start at about $120.

  • Raspberry Pi Weekly Issue #371 - Sir Clive Sinclair, 1940 – 2021

    This week ended with the incredibly sad news of the passing of Sir Clive Sinclair. He was one of the founding fathers of home computing and got many of us at Raspberry Pi hooked on programming as kids. Join us in sharing your Sinclair computing memories with us on Twitter and our blog, and we’ll see you next week.

  • cuplTag battery-powered NFC tag logs temperature and humidity (Crowdfunding) - CNX Software

    Temperature and humidity sensors would normally connect to a gateway sending data to the cloud, the coin-cell battery-powered cuplTag NFC tag instead sends data to your smartphone after a tap. CulpTag is controlled by an MSP430 16-bit microcontroller from Texas Instruments which reads and stores sensor data regularly into an EEPROM, and the data can then be read over NFC with the tag returning an URL with the data from the sensor and battery, then display everything on the phone’s web browser (no app needed).

  • A first look at Microchip PolarFire SoC FPGA Icicle RISC-V development board - CNX Software

    Formally launched on Crowd Supply a little over a year ago, Microchip PolarFire SoC FPGA Icicle (codenamed MPFS-ICICLE-KIT-ES) was one of the first Linux & FreeBSD capable RISC-V development boards. The system is equipped with PolarFire SoC FPGA comprised a RISC-V CPU subsystem with four 64-bit RISC-V (RV64GC) application cores, one 64-bit RISC-V real-time core (RV64IMAC), as well as FPGA fabric. Backers of the board have been able to play with it for several months ago, but Microchip is now sending the board to more people for evaluation/review, and I got one of my own to experiment with. That’s good to have a higher-end development board instead of the usual hobbyist-grade board. Today, I’ll just have a look at the kit content and main components on the board before playing with Linux and FPGA development tools in an upcoming or two posts.

  • What is IoT device management?

    Smart devices are everywhere around us. We carry one in our pocket, watch movies on another while a third cooks us dinner. Every day there are thousands of new devices connecting to the Internet. Research shows that by 2025, more than 150,000 IoT devices will come online every minute. With such vast numbers it is impossible to keep everything in working order just on your own. This brings the need for IoT device management. But what is IoT device management? To answer this question we first need to understand what the Internet of Things (IoT) is.

  • Beelink U59 mini PC with Intel Celeron N5095 Jasper Lake coming soon - Liliputing

    Beelink says the system ships with Windows 10, but it should also supports Linux.

  • Beelink U59 Celeron N5095 Jasper Lake mini PC to ship with 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD - CNX Software

    Beelink U59 is an upcoming Jasper Lake mini PC based on the Intel Celeron N5095 15W quad-core processor that will ship with up to 16GB RAM, and 512 GB M.2 SSD storage. The mini PC will also offer two 4K HDMI 2.0 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, WiFi 5, as well as four USB 3.0 ports, and support for 2.5-inch SATA drives up to 7mm thick.

Graphics: Mesa, KWinFT, and RADV

  • Experimenting Is Underway For Rust Code Within Mesa - Phoronix

    Longtime Mesa developer Karol Herbst who has worked extensively on the open-source NVIDIA "Nouveau" driver as well as the OpenCL/compute stack while being employed by Red Hat is now toying with the idea of Rust code inside Mesa.  Karol Herbst has begun investigating how Rust code, which is known for its memory safety and concurrency benefits, could be used within Mesa. Ultimately he's evaluating how Rust could be used inside Mesa as an API implementation as well as for leveraging existing Mesa code by Rust. 

  •     
  • KWinFT Continues Working On WLROOTS Render, Library Split

    KWinFT as a fork of KDE's KWin X11/Wayland compositor code continues making progress on driving fundamental display improvements and ironing out the Wayland support.  KWinFT has been transitioning to use WLROOTS for its Wayland heavy-lifting and that process remains ongoing. KWinFT has also been working on splitting up its library code to make it more manageable and robust.  Among the features still desired by KWinFT and to be worked on include input methods, graphical tablet support, and PipeWire video stream integration. Currently there are two full-time developers working on the project but they hope to scale up to four to five full-time developers. 

  • Raytracing Starting to Come Together – Bas Nieuwenhuizen – Open Source GPU Drivers

    I am back with another status update on raytracing in RADV. And the good news is that things are finally starting to come together. After ~9 months of on and off work we’re now having games working with raytracing.

  • Multiple Games Are Now Working With RADV's Ray-Tracing Code - Phoronix

    Not only is Intel progressing with its open-source ray-tracing driver support but the Mesa Radeon Vulkan driver "RADV" has been rounding out its RT code too and now has multiple games correctly rendering. Bas Nieuwenhuizen has been spearheading the RADV work on Vulkan ray-tracing support and after more than a half-year tackling it things are starting to fall into place nicely.Games such as Quake II RTX with native Vulkan ray-tracing are working along with the game control via VKD3D-Proton for going from Direct3D 12 DXR to Vulkan RT. Metro Exodus is also working while Ghostrunner and Doom Eternal are two games tested that are not yet working.

Audiocasts/Shows: Full Circle Weekly News, Juno Computers, Kali Linux 2021.3