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Open source history, present day, and licensing

Filed under
OSS
Legal

Looking at open source softwares particularly, this is a fact that is probably useful to you if you are thinking about business models, many people don't care about it anymore. We talk about FOSS, Free and Open Source Software, but if we really are strict there's a difference between free software and open source software. On the left, I have free software which most typically is GPL software. Software where the license insures freedom. It gives freedoms to you as a user, but it also requires that the freedoms are maintained.

On the right-hand side, you have open source software which is open for all, but it also allows you to close it. So here we come back to the famous clause of the GPL license, the reciprocity requirement which says, "If I am open, you need to be open." So software that comes under the GPL license carries with it something that other people call a virus. I call it a blessing because I think it's great if all software becomes open.

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Another Open-Source Developer Claims Hyperkin is Illegally Using Code for Retro Console System

Filed under
GNU
OSS
Legal

The makers of the open-sourced emulation software program, RetroArch are the latest to say that video games accessories company Hyperkin is using its program in violation of the GPL license. RetroArch uses a development interface called "libretro" that allows for the "easy creation of emulators and games that can plug straight into this program called RetroArch." It supports 15 different hardware platforms including Android.

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Alice is killing the trolls -- but expect patent lawyers to strike back

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Legal

Open source software developers rejoice: Alice Corp. v CLS Bank is fast becoming a landmark decision for patent cases in the United States.

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which handles all appeals for patent cases in the United States, has often been criticized for its handling of these cases -- Techdirt describes it as "the rogue patent court, captured by the patent bar." But following the Alice decision, the Court of Appeals seems to have changed.

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IPA Font license added to license list

Filed under
GNU
OSS
Legal

We recently updated our list of various licenses and comments about them to include the IPA Font license. It is a copyleft free software license for fonts, incompatible with the GPL.

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Open Source Software Licenses: Which Should You Use?

Filed under
OSS
Legal

Slowly but surely, open source software is taking over. If you don’t believe it, just look at some of the most popular tools that we all use: Firefox, WordPress, 7-Zip, MediaWiki, BitTorrent, Android, plus all of the free alternatives to paid software. But did you know that not all open source licenses are the same?

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Patent trolls and open document formats with open source thought leaders

Filed under
LibO
Interviews
OSS
OOo
Legal

Over on Gordon Haff's blog, Connections, the senior cloud evangelist for Red Hat talked with Simon Phipps, the president of the Open Source Initiative about U.S. software patent cases and the United Kingdom's decision to make ODF its official document format.

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Qt Licence Update

Filed under
KDE
Legal

Today Qt announced some changes to their licence. The KDE Free Qt team have been working behind the scenes to make these happen and we should be very thankful for the work they put in. Qt code was LGPLv2.1 or GPLv3 (this also allows GPLv2). Existing modules will add LGPLv3 to that. This means I can get rid of the part of the KDE Licensing Policy which says "Note: code may not be copied from Qt into KDE Platform as Qt is LGPLv2.1 only which would prevent it being used under LGPL 3".

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More: Protecting Software Freedom – the Qt License Update

The Gentle Art of Muddying the Licensing Waters

Filed under
Microsoft
OSS
Legal

I've been writing about free software for nearly 20 years, and about Microsoft for over 30 years. Observing the latter deal with the former has been fascinating. At first, the US software giant simply dismissed free software as unworthy even of its attention, but by the early years of this millennium, that was clearly no longer a viable position.

As I've charted elsewhere in my "Brief History of Microsoft FUD", it made various attempts to discredit open source, all of which were dismal failures. As it became clear that this strategy would not work, it adopted another, somewhat more sophisticated. This involved trying to match aspects of open source without actually embracing it. The first manifestation of this was "shared source":

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OSI and Conservancy Announce US Tax Exemption Working Group

Filed under
OSS
Legal

Software Freedom Conservancy and the Open Source Initiative are pleased to announce that they are the founding members of a working group focused on tax exemption issues for organizations in the United States.

Recent activity by the Internal Revenue Service in response to applications for tax exempt status have sparked a lot of interest and discussion amongst free and open source software communities.

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Oracle Embargoes FLOSS (Java)…

Filed under
OSS
Legal

So, Oracle is pushing the limits but apparently is legally doing so. Whether FLOSS can legally be embargoed by government is beyond me. After all, the source is out there and can’t be put back in the bottle. Further, if every country in the world had a random set of embargoes against every other country in he world, FLOSS could not be international at all. That would be a crime against humanity. If Java, why not Linux, itself? If such embargoes apply, Russia, Iran, Cuba etc. could just fork everything and go it alone. They certainly have the population to support a thriving FLOSS community behind their own walls.

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today's leftovers

  • Podcast Season 4 Episode 8
    In this episode: Bitcoin scandal. RMS wins an award. Savers and rich people can buy the DragonBox Prya (thanks Canseco!) and Devuan reaches beta. Plus loads of Finds, Neurons and a long-stewing Voice of the Masses.
  • Interop: SDN Growing to $12.5B, SD-WAN to $6B
    "Open source is not just at the bottom of the networking stack, it now goes from layer 2 all the way up to network and security services," Casemore said. "It's significant fact in the market landscape and vendors have to give it due consideration."
  • RcppArmadillo 0.6.700.6.0
    A second Armadillo release 6.700.6 came out in the 6.700 series, and we uploaded RcppArmadillo 0.6.700.6.0 to CRAN and Debian. This followed the usual thorough reverse-dependecy checking of by now 220 packages using.
  • Vivaldi Browser's New Snapshot Adds Editable Mouse Gestures, Tab Improvements
    We've been informed by Vivaldi's Ruarí Ødegaard about the availability of a new snapshot build of the proprietary Vivaldi web browser for all supported platforms, including GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows. Vivaldi Snapshot 1.2.470.11 is now live for those who want to get an early taste of what's coming in the next stable update of the cross-platform web browser, which it looks like it gets a lot of attention lately, especially from those who want to migrate from Chromium-based browsers like Google Chrome or Opera. And today's snapshot introduces editable mouse gestures.
  • GNOME's Nautilus File Manager: "Its Best Moment Since It Was Created"
    At various points in GNOME's history the Nautilus file manager has been less than maintained, but these days the situation is much brighter. GNOME developer Carlos Soriano has come out to write about how great the Nautilus situation is these days. Soriano wrote in a new blog post, "as far as I can see the development status of Nautilus it’s in its best moment since it was created, and part of that is thanks of the status of gtk+ development and the values and vision of GNOME as a project."
  • Neptune Linux 4.5.1 ISO Out Now with USB 3 Boot Support, KDE Plasma 5.6.2
    Neptune developer Leszek Lesner announced the release and general availability of a new Live ISO image for his Neptune Linux rolling operating system, version 4.5.1. The new Neptune Linux 4.5.1 ISO is now ready for download and includes all the updated packages and security patches released in the distribution's main software repositories since Neptune 4.5.
  • My free software activities, April 2016
  • m23 rock 16.2 brings support for Ubuntu 16.04 clients
    From this version on, m23 offers support for m23 clients using Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Xenial Xerus. A set of desktop environments is, of course, included for the new Ubuntu. Friends of the Univention Corporate Servers will be happy to hear that the m23 app is now available in the Univention App Center. As always, several small improvements have also been made to various parts of the software.
  • Unity 8 and Snaps Are the Future of the Ubuntu Desktop, After Ubuntu 16.10
    Today, May 5, 2016, is the last day of the Ubuntu Online Summit 2016, and we've just attended a very exciting session where the Ubuntu developers have discussed the future of the Ubuntu Desktop after Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak). You can watch the entire session below if you don't want to read the next paragraphs, but as usual, we'll try to detail and explain a few things for you so that you know now what to expect from future versions of the Ubuntu Linux operating system, on the desktop, of course.
  • Router hackers reach for the fork: LEDE splits from OpenWRT
    A split seems to have emerged in the Linux-router-OS community, with a breakaway group splitting from OpenWRT. OpenWRT is the chief open router firmware implementation, but it has run into headwinds of late. For example, downtime for the group earlier this year was traced back to the small organisation running a single, small, server without redundancy.
  • Samsung’s 360 degree camera will cost just about $350, oh and it runs Tizen !
    Samsung is one of those big guns from the consumer electronics market who has been betting huge on Virtual Reality. After partnering with Oculus for the Gear VR headset which has set its own benchmark for the best untethered VR solution one can buy, now that the headset has been in good shape, Samsung is working out ways to deliver content on it. Samsung have joined hands with multiple partners to provide VR experiences on its Milk VR platform and had also unveiled its own 360 degree camera at Unpacked 2016 event back in february- Gear 360 to let almost anyone to produce 360 degree content that can be viewed on the Gear VR.

Windows Desktop 'Fun'

Phoronix on Graphics

Leftovers: OSS