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Legal

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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Dr Stoll: Or how I learned to stop worrying and love the GPL

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GNU
Legal

My Free Software journey starts with The Cuckoo’s Egg. Back in the early 90s a family friend suggested I might enjoy reading it. He was right; I was fascinated by the world of interconnected machines it introduced me to. That helped start my involvement in FidoNet, but it also got me interested in Unix. So when I saw a Linux book at the Queen’s University bookshop (sadly no longer with us) with a Slackware CD in the back I had to have it.

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More in Tux Machines

Graphics: Vega and Vulkan

  • Vega 20 GPU Support & VCN Clock/Power Gating Sent In For Linux 4.18
    Last week was the main AMDGPU features update for Linux 4.18 via DRM-Next while today a secondary pull request of further feature work has been submitted. Last week's AMDGPU update included Vega M GPU support for Kabylake G hardware, reserving the initial scan-out buffer prior to the driver initialization for a more seamless console to driver experience, Raven Ridge GFXOFF support, various Vega 10 updates, and more.
  • NVIDIA 396.24.02 Linux Driver Brings New Vulkan Extensions
    The NVIDIA 396.24.02 Linux driver is available today and while it's a beta update, it ends up being quite an exciting release thanks to new Vulkan extensions. The newly-supported Vulkan extensions for the Linux driver build include VK_KHR_draw_indirect_count, VK_EXT_global_priority, and VK_KHR_get_display_properties2.
  • Vulkan 1.1.76 Released With KHR_draw_indirect_count & KHR_get_display_properties2
    Vulkan 1.1.76 has just been released ahead of the US Memorial Day weekend with new extensions to excite Vulkan developers. The two new extensions in Vulkan 1.1.176 are VK_KHR_get_display_properties2 and VK_KHR_draw_indirect_count, both of which are notable additions.
  • Vulkan Adds An Exception To Address Wine's Code License Incompatibility
    The Vulkan's documentation/generator being re-licensed from an MIT-style license to the Apache 2.0 license had caused problems for the Wine project supporting newer than Vulkan 1.0.51, but fortunately that issue has been resolved. The previous re-licensing of Vulkan-Docs has caused some problems for the LGPL-licensed Wine code, as we've covered previously, but that technicality has now been addressed with The Khronos Group adding an exception to their license to benefit the Wine project and others using code generated from the Vulkan vk.xml reference file so as not to have (L)GPL and Apache licenses clash.

TUXEDO InfinityBook Pro 13 Is the First Laptop Preloaded with openSUSE Leap 15

The OpenSuSE Project announced today that openSUSE Leap 15 is available for download as 64-bit installation images, which users would need to write on USB flash drives or DVDs to install the operating system on their personal computers. However, the openSUSE Leap 15 operating system also comes preloaded with the TUXEDO InfinityBook Pro 13 laptop we reviewed last year and Linode cloud images. "Today’s public release of Leap 15 aren’t only released as DVD and Network ISO: Linode and hardware vendor TUXEDO Computers have cloud images through of Leap ready, too. While the brand new TUXEDO InfinityBook Pro 13 is immediately available with Leap 15 preinstalled and ready-to-run, Linode has Leap available for all infrastructure needs," said openSUSE Project's Douglas DeMaio in today's announcement. Read more

Android Leftovers

Thunderbolt Networking Now Supported in Linux's NetworkManager Tool

Implemented by Intel developer Mika Westerberg last year during the development of the Linux 4.15 kernel series, Thunderbolt networking arrived for Linux-based operating systems to enable peer-to-peer (P2P) network connections where you connect two computers directly via a certified Thunderbolt cable to transfer files. But while the implementation was there in the Linux kernel, the userspace bits were missing to make Thunderbolt networking work on a standard installation of a GNU/Linux distribution. By adding a new udev rule in the NetworkManager the two developers managed to load the thunderbolt-net kernel module. Read more