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Legal

Google, Oracle Java API copyright battle lands at Supreme Court

Filed under
Android
Google
Legal

The legal fracas started when Google copied certain elements—names, declaration, and header lines—of the Java APIs in Android, and Oracle sued. A San Francisco federal judge largely sided with Google in 2012, saying that the code in question could not be copyrighted. But the federal appeals court reversed, and ruled that the "declaring code and the structure, sequence, and organization of the API packages are entitled to copyright protection.

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As patent trolls fade, a group formed to combat them thrives

Filed under
OSS
Legal

Remember the Open Invention Network (OIN)? That's the defensive software patent community set up to protect Linux against patent aggressors. Well, it recently passed 1,000 members, growing nearly 70 percent over the last year.

Growth of this order is an interesting phenomenon. At a time when the tide seems to be turning on patent trolls as a result of the Supreme Court's decision on Alice Corporation v CLS Bank, why are so many companies still seeking mutual protection in use of the Linux System (a term defined by OIN to indicate a vast range of open source software, not just Linux)? Maybe the small trolls aren't the only problem.

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Samsung didn’t pay Microsoft $1 billion for Android, or did they?

Filed under
Microsoft
Legal

Organizations like BloomBerg and ReCode are refraining from such misleading headlines. The court filing is available publicly which you can read on Scribd. Microsoft says in the document that Samsung paid Microsoft $1 billion in second financial year of their patent deal. From what I understand that is *the* total amount Samsung paid Microsoft under the deal. What we don’t know is what all is covered in these patents. The court document doesn’t specifically says that ‘Samsung paid Microsoft $1 billion for Android patents.

[...]

It seems to be nothing more than a PR stunt. Every-time someone creates such a headline, Microsoft scores a PR point. Microsoft drops the keywords Android, Chrome and Linux every-time it signs a deal with a company even if the deal is about using ancient technologies such as FAT 32 in devices running Linux.

"We never heard of any other deal between the two companies (Samsung and Microsoft) so it can be logically concluded that the deal also covers the use of Microsoft technologies in non-Android or non-Chrome devices such as point-and-shoot cameras, DSLRs, music players, photo-frames, BD/DVD players, TV sets and dozen of other things that Samsung sells

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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

Filed under
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

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Microsoft v GNU/Linux

  • Illinois residents sue Microsoft over forced Windows 10 upgrades

    The lawyers who have acted on behalf of the trio are looking to have the case expanded to a class action covering every person who has been affected by a forced upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10. They allege that there are thousands of such cases.

    The trio claim that Microsoft uses various tactics to get users to upgrade and does not give them a chance to refuse.

  • New Windows 10 courts govt deals

    The system was developed by its joint venture with China Electronics Technology Group Corp, a State-owned company. Equipped with tailor-made security {sic} features, it is expected to allow the US tech giant to regain access to China's lucrative government software procurement market.

  • Microsoft One Drive Bug In Chrome OS And Linux Fixed

Linux Mint KDE Review: Easy And Beautiful

Linux mint, the most popular Linux distribution is recommended by almost all Linux users for newbies. By default, Linux mint is released with cinnamon. But thanks to the Kubuntu team, we now have a KDE edition. Well, new users are probably wondering what all this KDE thing is? KDE is a community. KDE is a compilation of software. We will look at it in more detail on the way. Mint is a whole distro, so we will look at some specific aspects, But KDE is more than just a DE and we cannot review all of its features here. I will try to cover as much as possible in limited space. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Puppet Wins Best DevOps Tool for Open Source at the 2017 DevOps Excellence Awards
  • The goal of HP's radical The Machine: Reshaping computing around memory
    Not every computer owner would be as pleased as Andrew Wheeler that their new machine could run "all weekend" without crashing. But not everyone's machine is "The Machine," an attempt to redefine a relationship between memory and processor that has held since the earliest days of parallel computing. Wheeler is a vice president and deputy labs director at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. He's at the Cebit trade show in Hanover, Germany, to tell people about The Machine, a key part of which is on display in HPE's booth. [...] HPE has tweaked the Linux operating system and other software to take advantage of The Machine's unusual architecture, and released its changes under open source licenses, making it possible for others to simulate the performance of their applications in the new memory fabric.
  • Eudyptula Challenge Status report
    Welcome to another very semi-irregular update from the Eudyptula Challenge.
  • Eudyptula Challenge Status report
    The Eudyptula Challenge is a series of programming exercises for the Linux kernel. It starts from a very basic "Hello world" kernel module, moves up in complexity to getting patches accepted into the main kernel. The challenge will be closed to new participants in a few months, when 20,000 people have signed up.
  • Daimler Jumps on Linux Bandwagon
    Not long ago, if a major corporation were to take out membership in an open source project, that would be big news -- doubly so for a company whose primary business isn't tech related. Times have changed. These days the corporate world's involvement in open source is taken for granted, even for companies whose business isn't computer related. Actually, there's really no such thing anymore. One way or another, computer technology is at the core of nearly every product on the market. So it wasn't surprising that hardly anyone noticed earlier this month when Daimler AG, maker of Mercedes-Benz and the world's largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles, announced it had joined the Open Invention Network (OIN), an organization that seeks to protect open source projects from patent litigation. According to a quick and unscientific search of Google, only one tech site covered the news, and that didn't come until a full 10 days after the announcement was made.
  • ONAP: Raising the Standard for NFV/SDN Telecom Networks [Ed: Amdocs pays the Linux Foundation for editorial control and puff pieces]
    This article is paid for by Amdocs...
  • Plamo 6.2 リリース
    Plamo 6.2 をリリースしました。
  • Dominique Leuenberger: [Tumbleweed] Review of the week 2017/12
    What a week! Tumbleweed once again is the first (to my knowledge) to ship the just released GNOME 3.24.0 as part of its main repository. Being shipped to the users in less than 48 hours since the official release announcement is something we can only do thanks to all the automatic building and testing AND the efforts put into the packages! If packagers would not be at the ball the whole time, this would not be possible. Even though the week has seen ‘only’ 4 snapshots (0317, 0318, 0320 and 0322) the changes delivered to the user base is enormous.
  • VMware Workstation 12.x.x for latest openSUSE Tumbleweed
  • Zero Terminal Mini Linux Laptop Created Using Raspberry Pi Zero W And Smartphone Keyboard
  • Zero Terminal: A DIY handheld Linux PC made from a Raspberry Pi and a cheap iPhone keyboard accessory

today's howtos