Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Legal

Licensing and Compliance

Filed under
Legal
  • New API helps open-source developers 'become license-aware'

    The Open Source Initiative (OSI), the steward of the Open Source Definition (OSD), announced today it has created a machine readable publication of OSI approved licenses.

    According to the organization, the API will allow third parties to "become license-aware", giving businesses everywhere the means to determine if a license is open source or not.

    The Open Source Initiative considers this the next "logical step" and quite important, knowing all the copyright and license legal battles going on nowadays, and how expensive they can be.

    Open Source Lead at GitHub, Brandon Keepers offered, "A canonical, machine-readable source of license metadata is a great step towards enabling developers to build tools around open source licensing and compliance. We can’t wait to see what the community does with it".

  • Oracle's Lead Lawyer Against Google Vents That The Ruling 'Killed' The GPL

    Except, of course, tons of copyright experts predicted exactly this result (and many more argued that APIs should not be subject to copyright at all). Famed copyright scholar Pam Samuelson has been writing extensively about the case, focusing both on why APIs should not be covered by copyright (and, why basically every other court has agreed) as well as why, even if it is covered, it's fair use. Hell, she even wrote a response to the Hurst piece, explaining why Hurst was wrong. It's weird for Hurst to take a position that actually seems at odds with a huge number of copyright experts, and then state that none would take the position that many did.

    [...]

    Once again, this shows a rather unfortunate ignorance of how coding works. It's not about a desire to "copy freely." It's about building amazing and innovative services, and making use of APIs to increase interoperability, which increases value. Copying an API structure is also just much more about making developers comfortable in using new environments. You know, like how Oracle copied SQL from IBM. Because lots of people understood SELECT-FROM-WHERE and it made little sense to create a relational database that didn't use that structure. It's not about copying freely. It's about interoperability.

    And, really, the idea that an Oracle lawyer is "concerned" about the future of the GPL is fairly laughable. Thankfully, many people have weighed in in the comments -- including plenty who are quite familiar with the GPL and software development to explain to Hurst why she's wrong. Somehow, I think she has some fairly strong reasons to ignore those responses.

Licensing and Coding

Filed under
Development
Legal
  • The Oracle v. Google Suit is Still an Anti-Open Move That Shouldn't Have Happened

    All the way back in 2010, when Oracle filed a complaint for patent and copyright infringement against Google regarding parts of the Java code found in Google's Android mobile OS, I wrote a post calling the move "the anti-open move of the year." Fast-forward to today, and in the Oracle v. Google trial that just concluded, a jury returned a verdict in Google's favor. It basically concluded that Oracle's suit against Google, claiming that the use of Java APIs in Android violated copyright law, was bunk.

    Now, in an op-ed piece for Ars Technica, Annette Hurst, an attorney who represented Oracle, equates the jury's decision with the death of open source.

    [...]

    Hurst makes a good point that dual licensing models are increasing, with many open source projects available for free, while commercial versions, often including support, come at a cost. But the Oracle suit originated because Oracle essentially perceived itself as owning a moat around Java that didn't really exist.

    [...]

    Indeed, one of the lasting images of this long running legal skirmish is going to be Oracle behaving in a decidedly anti-open fashion. It may have been wiser for Oracle to simply let this one go.

  • Here’s how to check if software license is open source

    The Open Source Initiative (OSI), the steward of the Open Source Definition (OSD), announced today it has created a machine readable publication of OSI approved licenses.

    According to the Initiative, the API will allow third parties to ‘become license-aware’, giving businesses everywhere means to determine if a license is Open Source or not.

  • 3 Things Infrastructure as Code is Not

    The role of the network engineer is changing. This is not a result of DevOps, although some would claim it is. As DevOps takes center stage in organizations, it can seem like network engineers are being asked to become developers.

    There have been a number of talks discussing this, some of which have surfaced at Interop Las Vegas. The shift has been Infrastructure as Code (IaC), which was fundamental to the start of the DevOps movement. So maybe you could say this is caused by DevOps.

  • Introducing Blue Ocean: a new user experience for Jenkins

    While this project is in the alpha stage of development, the intent is that Jenkins users can install Blue Ocean side-by-side with the Jenkins Classic UI via a plugin.

    Not all the features listed on this blog are complete but we will be hard at work over the next few months preparing Blue Ocean for general use. We intend to provide regular updates on this blog as progress is made.

    Blue Ocean is open source today and we invite you to give us feedback and to contribute to the project.

Google and Oracle

Filed under
Google
Security
Legal

Oracle Desperate

Filed under
Android
Google
Legal

Announcing the Open Source License API

Filed under
OSS
Legal

Over the last 19 years, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) has been the steward of the Open Source Definition (or OSD), establishing a common language when discussing what it means to be an Open Source license, and a list of licenses which are known to be compatible with the OSD.

This is taken to its logic next step this year, with the OSI providing a machine readable publication of OSI approved licenses at api.opensource.org. This will allow third parties to become license-aware, and give organizations the ability to clearly determine if a license is, in fact, an Open Source license, from the authoritative source regarding Open Source licenses, the OSI.

Read more

Win for APIs and FOSS (Android Case)

Filed under
Android
Google
Legal
  • Google beats Oracle at trial: Jury finds Android is “fair use”

    Following a two-week trial, a federal jury concluded Thursday that Google's Android operating system does not infringe Oracle-owned copyrights because its re-implementation of 37 Java APIs is protected by "fair use." The verdict was reached after three days of deliberations.

    "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, listen to your verdict as it will stand recorded," said the court clerk, before polling each of the ten men and women on the jury.

    There was only one question on the special verdict form, asking if Google's use of the Java APIs was a "fair use" under copyright law. The jury unanimously answered "yes," in Google's favor. The verdict ends the trial, which began earlier this month. If Oracle had won, the same jury would have gone into a "damages phase" to determine how much Google should pay. Because Google won, the trial is over.

    "I salute you for your extreme hard work in this case," said US District Judge William Alsup, who has overseen the litigation since 2010. "With the thanks of your United States District Court, you are now discharged. I would like to come in the jury room and shake each of your hands individually."

    Four of the ten jurors declined to comment to reporters gathered in the hallway. The other six went out through a back exit.

    "We're grateful for the jury's verdict," said Google lead lawyer Robert Van Nest before getting into the elevator with Google's in-house lawyers. "That's it." Oracle attorneys had no comment.

  • Google wins Oracle copyright fight over Android code

    Today, a jury in California's Northern District federal court declared that Google's use of copyright-protected code in Android was fair use, freeing it of any liability. Oracle, which controls the copyright on the code, had been seeking $9 billion for the use of the code.

    The case centers around an API developed by Java and owned by Oracle, which allows outside programs to easily interact with Java programs. Android uses the same API, and in 2014 a federal appeals court ruled that Oracle has a valid copyright claim on the API code, potentially putting Google on the hook for billions of dollars in damages. (The Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal.) In the latest round, Google argued that Android's reimplementation of the API constituted fair use, which would allow use of the code without invalidating Oracle's copyright. Ultimately, the jury found that case convincing.

German experts update free software legal review

Filed under
OSS
Legal

Two German legal experts have published the fourth edition of their review of legal issues regarding the use of free software. The book by Till Jaeger, a Berlin-based lawyer specialised in legal issues concerning open source software, and Axel Metzger, professor at the Humboldt University in the same city, appeared in March.

Read more

Linux ZFS Compatibility

Filed under
Linux
Debian
Legal
  • ZFS comes to Debian, thanks to licensing workaround

    The ZFS file system has come to popular Linux distribution Debian, but in a way the distro's backers think won't kick up another row over compatibility of open source licences.

    Ubuntu 16.04 added ZFS, despite pre-release grumblings from Richard Stallman to the effect that anything licensed under the GNU GPL v2 can only be accompanied by code also released under the GNU GPL v2. ZFS is issued under a Common Development and Distribution License, version 1 (CDDLv1).

  • Skirting The Hole In The Ice Of ZFS

    The muddy part is how building and running a ZFS module with Linux is not a violation of copyright when a combined derivative work of Linux+ZFS is created. Making even one copy is probably a violation of both CDDL and GPL., so keep on skating.

  • What does it mean that ZFS is included in Debian?

    Petter Reinholdtsen recently blogged about ZFS availability in Debian. Many people have worked hard on getting ZFS support available in Debian and we would like to thank everyone involved in getting to this point and explain what ZFS in Debian means.

Debian Project Clarifies the Implementation of ZFS for Linux in Debian GNU/Linux

Filed under
Debian
Legal

We reported the other day that Debian developer Petter Reinholdtsen informed the community about the implementation of ZFS filesystem support in the Debian GNU/Linux operating system.

While the Debian community welcomed the native ZFS for Linux implementation in the acclaimed and widely-used GNU/Linux operating system, some were wondering how this stands from a legal point of view, as the license under which the ZFS for Linux project is distributed does not comply with the Debian Free Software Guidelines.

Read more

Syndicate content

More in Tux Machines

Mozilla: Diversity & Inclusion in Open Source, VR, Phabricator, Rust and WebRender

  • Call for Feedback! Draft of Goal-Metrics for Diversity & Inclusion in Open Source (CHAOSS)
    In the last few months, Mozilla has invested in collaboration with other open source project leaders and academics who care about improving diversity & inclusion in Open Source through the CHAOSS D&I working group. Contributors so far include: Alexander Serebrenik (Eindhoven University of Technology) , Akshita Gupta (Outreachy), Amy Marrich (OpenStack), Anita Sarma (Oregon State University), Bhagashree Uday (Fedora), Daniel Izquierdo (Bitergia), Emma Irwin (Mozilla), Georg Link (University of Nebraska at Omaha), Gina Helfrich (NumFOCUS), Nicole Huesman (Intel) and Sean Goggins ((University of Missouri).
  • Introducing A-Terrain - a cartography component for A-Frame
    Have you ever wanted to make a small web app to share your favorite places with your friends? For example your favorite photographs attached to a hike, or just a view of your favorite peak, or your favorite places downtown, or a suggested itinerary for friends visiting?
  • Setting up Arcanist for Mozilla development on Windows
  • Taming Phabricator
    So Mozilla is going all-in on Phabricator and Differential as a code review tool. I have mixed feelings on this, not least because it’s support for patch series is more manual than I’d like. But since this is the choice Mozilla has made I might as well start to get used to it. One of the first things you see when you log into Phabricator is a default view full of information.
  • This Week in Rust 239
    This week's crate is SIMDNoise, a crate to use modern CPU vector instructions to generate various types of noise really fast. Thanks to gregwtmtno for the suggestion!
  • WebRender newsletter #20

Canonical: GNOME Software, Buzzwords, Ubuntu Server, Themes and Zenkit

  • Report from the GNOME Software design sprint
    A couple of weeks ago representatives from across Canonical met in London to talk about ideas to improve the user experience of GNOME Software. We had people from the store team, snap advocacy, snapd, design and from the desktop team. We were also fortunate enough to be joined by Richard Hughes representing upstream GNOME Software.
  • Emerging Trends in Financial Services: IoT, AI and Blockchain
    The answer has its roots at both an infrastructure level, where legacy technology is being replaced with something more akin to what is seen in challengers banks or in technology leaders from Silicon Valley, and in changing mentalities, where a new mindset can be just as important as the technology that’s adopted. Of course, to say that this is simply a technological problem is naive, often, technology implementation is the easy part, with the larger challenge coming with organisational acceptance of the need to change. Often, the case is that an organisation isn’t culturally ready for change, resulting in projects that fail and negatively impact the ability to evolve with an increasingly tumultuous market that is being impacted by regulatory changes and a technology revolution. Mark Baker, Field Product Manager at Canonical, said: “We tend to find that the technology is the easy part once we’ve got the business aligned around a common goal with common sets of objectives and accepting of the change.” However, once an organisation is culturally aligned around a common goal and is accepting of technological change, then it is possible to work with a technology partner like Canonical in order to deploying the technology simple.
  • Ubuntu Server development summary – 19 June 2018
    The purpose of this communication is to provide a status update and highlights for any interesting subjects from the Ubuntu Server Team.
  • Simple Dark/Light GTK/Gnome Shell Theme for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver)
    There are many dark themes for GTK with a simple and good color scheme. But, I have been looking for a simple dark theme especially for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver). I tried many Dark themes on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) and my mind was set on Qogir Dark theme. The simple design and the comfort of the dark colors scheme is quite amazing and gives a relief looking for the desktop environment. Qogir comes with a Dark and Light Theme for GTK 2.0 / GTK 3.0 and Gnome Shell. The Dark or the Light theme integration with the default installed applications such as Nautilus file manager, LibreOffice and Mozilla Firefox are quite good.
  • Zenkit: The influence of developer communities in progressing snaps
    Last month, Zenkit published their project management tool as a snap. For those not familiar with Zenkit, they introduced themselves in a guest blog at the time the snap was published which can be read here. Since then, we caught up with Philipp Beck, Full Stack Developer at Zenkit, to discover his opinion on snaps and the publishing experience. Philipp was introduced to snaps via a developer friend of his and could immediately appreciate the potential benefits for Zenkit to pursue and the advantages it would offer their users. For the former, Philipp comments: “The biggest draw for us was the ease at which we could reach a diverse range of Linux users, without having to specifically package Zenkit for each distribution. There are obvious benefits here in terms of time saved in updating multiple Linux packages too.”

OpenSUSE Tumbleweed Updated

  • Tumbleweed Delivers New Kernel, Applications, Plasma, libvirt
    The past week brought a total of three openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots and a bunch of new features and improvements for KDE users. Snapshot 20180618 updated just a few packages to include an updated GNU Compiler Collection 7, which fixes support for 32-bit AddressSanitizer with glibc 2.27+. Both perl-File-ShareDir and python-numpy were the other two packages that gave users minor fixes. The snapshots earlier in the week were more KDE centric. Snapshot 20180615 delivered KDE Applications 18.04.2. The updated applications focused on bugfixes, improvements and translations for Dolphin, Gwenview, KGpg, Kig, Konsole, Lokalize, Okular and many more. KGpg no longer fails to decrypt messages without a version header and image with Gwenview can now be redone after undoing them. The Linux Kernel jumped from 4.16.12 to 4.17.1 and fixed some btrfs and KVM issues. The newer kernel also ported an arm fix for HDMI output routing and fixed an atomic sequence handling with spi-nor and intel-spi. The hwinfo package tried a more aggressive way to catch all usb platform controllers with the 21.55 version. Libvirt 4.4.0 added support for migration of Virtual Machines with non-shared storage over Thread-Local Storage (TLS) and introduced a new virDomainDetachDevice Alias. Lenovo, HP and Dell tablets gaining greater support with the updated libwacom 0.30 package. Add support for PostgreSQL-style UPSERT were made available with sqlite3 3.24.0. Other tools like mercurial 4.6.1, snapper 0.5.5 were also updated in the snapshot.
  • OpenSUSE Tumbleweed Jumps On Linux 4.17, KDE Plasma 5.13 Riding Well
    For users of openSUSE's Tumbleweed rolling-release Linux distribution, it's been a very busy month on the update front. Last week openSUSE Tumbleweed already upgraded to the phenomenal KDE Plasma 5.13 release as its default desktop along with KDE Applications 18.04.2.

CentOS Atomic Host 7.5 Released for Those Who Want to Run Linux Containers

Coming about a month after the release of the CentOS Linux 7.5 (1804) operating system for 64-bit (x86_64), 32-bit (i386), ARM64 (AArch64), PowerPC 64-bit (ppc64), PowerPC 64-bit Little Endian (ppc64le), and ARM-hfp (armhfp) compatible machines, CentOS Atomic Host 7.5 (7.1805) is now available to download. CentOS Atomic Host 7.5 (7.1805) is built from standard CentOS Linux 7 RPMs and the upstream packages included in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host 7.5 operating system. CentOS Linux is a free and open-source computer operating system for desktops and servers that's always based on the latest Red Hat Enterprise Linux releases. Read more