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Legal

Two hackers who committed suicide and no one still knows the real reason why

Filed under
Development
Legal
Obits

Two of world’s most wanted hackers had committed suicide and no one still knows why. Aaron Swartz and Jonathan James, both hackers by profession and most wanted by the FBI have committed suicide in face of the federal investigation against their hacking crimes.

Interested thing is both hackers were not connected to each other in any way but were being tried for hacking by the same department and the case was being overseen by the same Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Heymann. Could this have any hand in their suicides.

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SPDX v2 simplifies open source license dependency tracking

Filed under
GNU
Linux
OSS
Legal

The Linux Foundation has updated its SPDX standard to v2.0, enhancing the ability to track complex open source license dependencies to ensure compliance.

The Linux Foundation (LF) released version 1.0 of the Software Package Data Exchange (SPDX) standard in 2011, promoting it as a common format for sharing data about software licenses and copyrights. Now the LF’s SPDX workgroup has released version 2.0 of the standard, with new features that let you relate SPDX documents to each other to provide a “three-dimensional” relationship view of license dependencies.

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Why doesn't the FSF release GPG-signed copies of its licenses?

Filed under
GNU
Legal

While verified copies of our licenses can be useful, this is unfortunately a project that sounds straightforward at first, but all the corner cases found in the wild muck it up.

One relatively frequent request we receive is for the FSF to provide GPG-signed copies of our licenses. GPG is a tool that lets users cryptographically sign or encrypt documents and emails. A GPG-signed document lets anyone who receives it know that they have received the exact same document as the one that was signed. By providing signed documents, users will be able to easily ensure that they have received an unmodified copy of the license along with their software. It's also possible that some system of signing the documents could help projects tracking the use and adoption of various free software licenses. Providing these signed documents is a simple task: run a command and publish the documents. A trivial investment of resources, or at least that is how it appears at first.

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The Weather Company relies on Drupal to manage content

Filed under
Legal

After helping to put the dot in .com by building and configuring enterprise class solutions with WorldCom as a Sun hardware and software engineer, Jason Smith went on to AAAS (The American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the publishers of the journal Science) to direct the technical needs of the education directorate.

Jason has built or architected solutions ranging from enterprise to small business class and has found in Drupal a flexible, scalable, rapid development framework for targeting all levels of projects. A long time beneficiary of the open source movement, Jason—now a senior software architect at The Weather Company—is an avid supporter of open source projects and believes strongly in giving back to the community that supported him.

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Patent Pledges and Open Source Software Development

Filed under
OSS
Legal

For all its benefits, one aspect of open source software does cause headaches: understanding the legal terms that control its development and use. For starters, scores of licenses have been created that the Open Source Initiative recognizes as meeting the definition of an “open source license.” While the percentage of these licenses that are in wide use is small, there are significant and important differences between many of these popular licenses. Moreover, determining what rights are granted in some cases requires referring to what the community thinks they mean (rather than their actual text), and in others by the context in which the license is used.

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The Curious History of Komongistan (Busting the term “intellectual property”)

Filed under
GNU
Legal

The purpose of this parable is to illustrate just how misguided the term “intellectual property” is. When I say that the term “intellectual property” is an incoherent overgeneralization, that it lumps together laws that have very little in common, and that its use is an obstacle to clear thinking about any of those laws, many can't believe I really mean what I say. So sure are they that these laws are related and similar, species of the same genus as it were, that they suppose I am making a big fuss about small differences. Here I aim to show how fundamental the differences are.

Fifty years ago everyone used to recognize the nations of Korea, Mongolia and Pakistan as separate and distinct. In truth, they have no more in common than any three randomly chosen parts of the world, since they have different geographies, different cultures, different languages, different religions, and separate histories. Today, however, their differentness is mostly buried under their joint label of “Komongistan”.

Few today recall the marketing campaign that coined that name: companies trading with South Korea, Mongolia and Pakistan called those three countries “Komongistan” as a simple-sounding description of their “field” of activity. (They didn't trouble themselves about the division of Korea or whether “Pakistan” should include what is now Bangladesh.) This label gave potential investors the feeling that they had a clearer picture of what these companies did, as well as tending to stick in their minds. When the public saw the ads, they took for granted that these countries formed a natural unit, that they had something important in common. First scholarly works, then popular literature, began to talk about Komongistan.

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GitHub: Now Supporting Open Source License Compliance

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OSS
Legal

Ask any developer where to turn for access to the latest software code for open source projects, and you’ll likely be directed to GitHub—one of the largest providers of open source code online.

While GitHub has always been a great site for developers to come together, network and share code, up until a few years ago, the website had a problem. Though it was easy for developers to share code, finding the right software license to go along with it was much harder. The majority of downloads on GitHub, therefore, were taking place without the critical software license component.

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Latest TPP leak shows systemic threat to software freedom

Filed under
GNU
Legal

Key congressional leaders have just agreed on a deal to fast track the fast-tracking of TPP. While the threat of TPP has persisted for years, now is the time to fight back!

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European Commission finalises the draft EUPL v1.2

Filed under
OSS
Legal

After this presentation, a specific point was still under investigation: the possibility of an “opt out” clause regarding the updated list of compatible licences. This list is not only extended to the GPLv3 and AGPLv3, but also to other copyleft licences like the MPL or the LGPL that protect the covered files or the derivatives of the covered works against exclusive appropriation (prohibition of re-licensing the covered files or their derivatives under a proprietary licence) without any ambition to extend their coverage to the whole work or application in which the covered file is integrated or linked.

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Allwinner: "We Are Taking Initiative Actions Internally"

Filed under
OSS
Legal

Allwinner has been taking a lot of heat lately for violating open-source licenses with their Linux binary blob components. They then got caught obfuscating their code to try to hide their usage of open-source code, shifted around their licenses, and has continued jerking around the open-source community.

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More in Tux Machines

today's leftovers

FOSS in the European Union

  • Competition authorities first to implement DMS services
    The DRS are published as open source software using the European Union’s open source software licence EUPL, and are available on Joinup. The software provides connectors for most commonly-used document management systems, and includes scripts to create a database to implement the connecting web services.
  • Czech Republic is at the forefront of an open data international project
    With the beginning of the new year, an international project “Open crowdsourcing data related to the quality of service of high-speed Internet” was launched, which aims to encourage the development of open data in the user’s measurement of high-speed Internet.

Arch Linux News

  • Linux Top 3: Arch Anywhere, Bitkey and Vinux
    Arch Linux is a powerful rolling Linux distribution, that hasn't always been particularly easy for new users to install and deploy. The goal of the Arch Anywhere system is to provide new and old users with the ability to install a fully custom Arch Linux system in minutes.
  • Arch Linux Preparing To Deprecate i686 Support
    Arch Linux is moving ahead with preparing to deprecate i686 (x86 32-bit) support in their distribution. Due to declining usage of Arch Linux i686, they will be phasing out official support for the architecture. Next month's ISO spin will be the last for offering a 32-bit Arch Linux install. Following that will be a nine month deprecation period where i686 packages will still see updates.
  • News draft for i686 deprecation
    Finally found some time to write a draft for news post on i686. Here it is: Title: i686 is dead, long live i686 Due to the decreasing popularity of i686 among the developers and the community, we have decided to phase out the support of this architecture. The decision means that February ISO will be the last that allows to install 32 bit Arch Linux. The next 9 months are deprecation period, during which i686 will be still receiving upgraded packages. Starting from November 2017, packaging and repository tools will no longer require that from maintainers, effectively making i686 unsupported. However, as there is still some interest in keeping i686 alive, we would like to encourage the community to make it happen with our guidance. Depending on the demand, an official channel and mailing list will be created for second tier architectures.

LinuxCon Europe on 100G Networking

  • The World of 100G Networking
    Capacity and speed requirements keep increasing for networking, but going from where are now to 100G networking isn’t a trivial matter, as Christopher Lameter and Fernando Garcia discussed recently in their LinuxCon Europe talk about the world of 100G networking. It may not be easy, but with recently developed machine learning algorithms combined with new, more powerful servers, the idea of 100G networking is becoming feasible and cost effective.
  • The World of 100G Networking by Christoph Lameter
    The idea of 100G networking is becoming feasible and cost effective. This talk gives an overview about the competing technologies in terms of technological differences and capabilities and then discusses the challenges of using various kernel interfaces to communicate at these high speeds.