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Google and Oracle

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Oracle Desperate

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Announcing the Open Source License API

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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 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.

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Win for APIs and FOSS (Android Case)

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  • 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

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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.

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Linux ZFS Compatibility

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  • 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

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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.

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  • GCC 6.1 Compiler Optimization Level Benchmarks: -O0 To -Ofast + FLTO

    Here are some extra GCC 6.1 compiler benchmarks to share this weekend, complementing the recent GCC 4.9 vs. GCC 5 vs. GCC 6 comparison and the GCC 6.1 vs. Clang 3.9 compiler comparison.

  • LinuxFest Northwest 2016: From TPP to saving WiFi, the FSF fights for you
  • Savannah suffering networking problems

    Last Friday May 6th Savannah was moved to new hosting in the same datacenter with many various assorted related and unrelated changes. Since that time there have been wide spread reports of networking problems. The FSF admins are aware of the problem and are trying to resolve it.

  • Enforcement and compliance for the GPL and similar licenses

    The Free Software Legal & Licensing Workshop (LLW) is a three-day event held every year for legal professionals (and aficionados) who work in the realm of free and open-source software (FOSS). It is organized by the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) and, this year, the event was held in Barcelona (Spain), April 13-15. The topics covered during the event ranged from determining what constitutes authorship, how to attribute it, and what is copyrightable, to the complexity of licenses and how to make them more accessible for potential licensees lacking in legal background. In addition, license enforcement and compliance were discussed, with a particular focus on how the GPL and related licenses have done in court.

FRAND Is Not A Compliance Issue

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The European Commission has been persuaded by lobbyists to change its position on standards to permit the use of FRAND license terms for patents applicable to technologies within those standards. This is a massive mistake that will harm innovation by chilling open source community engagement.

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EU jeopardises its own goals in standardisation with FRAND licensing

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On 19 April, the European Commission published a communication on "ICT Standardisation Priorities for the Digital Single Market" (hereinafter 'the Communication'). The Digital Single Market (DSM) strategy intends to digitise industries with several legislative and political initiatives, and the Communication is a part of it covering standardisation. In general, the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) welcomes the Communication's plausible approach for integrating Free Software and Open Standards into standardisation but expresses its concerns about the lack of understanding of necessary prerequisites to pursue that direction.

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Also: A fresh look at the U.S. draft policy on 'federal sourcing'

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OSS Leftovers

  • Pitt, partners create open source software for cancer genome data
    Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, UPMC and the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center have created software to help investigators more easily navigate genomic cancer data. The free, open-source software, profiled Thursday in the journal PLOS ONE, processes data generated by The Cancer Genome Atlas project. Funding for the new software was provided by the Institute of Precision Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.
  • Starting a Career as an Open Source Developer
    "Disney, John Deere and Walmart. Any idea what these three companies have in common?" The question was asked on Wednesday by Brandon Keepers, GitHub's head of open source. He was about three minutes into a session he was conducting called "Contributing to Your Career" at the All Things Open conference. "All three of these companies are actually software companies," he answered after taking a moment to tease the audience. "They do other things. They build tractors, protect trademarks and build amusement parks, and sell groceraies and things that you need everyday. But they've also become software companies and they've become really active in open source -- and they're not alone."
  • A look at how retail giant Walmart is becoming open source first
    It’s rare that we speak to large, global enterprises that are redesigning their technology stack and culture around an open source first policy. More often than not companies stick to their legacy vendors of choice, or they shift to ‘reliable’ cloud/digital vendors where similar buying rules apply. However, that’s exactly what Walmart is doing. Since acquiring performance lifecycle management start-up OneOps four years ago, in order to implement a DevOps approach to its e-commerce environment, the retailer is also prioritising open source over everything else – with it having made a big investment in OpenStack for its infrastructure.
  • Open source no longer scares the enterprise
    Open source breaks the rules on corporate procurement, but developers never play by the rules and now open source has sneaked in through the back door A study by Vanson Bourne for Rackspace reports that businesses are making big savings by using open source. In the survey of 300 organisations, three out of five respondents cited cost savings as the top benefit, reducing average cost per project by £30,146.
  • Defining MANO: Open Source vs. Standards
    As service providers are working to deploy NFV-based services, they are finding that management and orchestration (MANO) is a pain point. One of the big questions about MANO is how we go from a high-level architecture diagram to interoperable implementations. Do we take the traditional telco path and work through standards bodies? Or do we take a cloud-centric path and focus on open source development projects?
  • Eclipse Kapua IoT Project Gets Code from Eurotech and Red Hat
    The nascent Eclipse Kapua project got a big boost this week from its chief sponsors, open source solutions provider Red Hat and M2M/IoT platform provider Eurotech. The two companies announced their first official code contributions to the recently approved project, through which they are developing a modular, cloud-based platform for managing IoT gateways and smart edge devices. Red Hat and Eurotech collaborated to propose the project last June.

Red Hat and Fedora

  • ESDS Teams Up With Red Hat On Managed Cloud Hosting Services
    ESDS Software Solution has announced that it has joined hands with Red Hat to bring together the benefits of cloud solutions to legacy applications and enterprise databases. Customers can now avail managed data and cloud hosting services on ESDS eNlight Cloud platform that allows vertical auto scaling of virtual machines. ESDS can now offer needed agility to enterprises that may not otherwise reap the benefits of cloud, given the architecture of their systems. eNlight Cloud is a state-of-the-art cloud hosting solution with a built-in ability to automatically scale CPU and RAM on-the fly. Customers can now access the benefits of automatic load sensing and scaling, pay-per-consumption metered billing, root access to enterprise databases and managed OS, database and network services by using Red Hat Enterprise Linux on patented eNlight Cloud. This solution is targeted at customers across several verticals including aviation, banking, manufacturing, oil & gas, shipping and telecommunications.
  • Swisscom, UKCloud Adopt Red Hat OpenStack Platform
    Red Hat announced today that both Swisscom and UKCloud will be leveraging its OpenStack platform as the companies transition toward cloud computing. Swisscom will use the platform to develop its own cloud platform, and UKCloud will provide its customers with the ability to deliver digital services directly to UK citizens.
  • Red Hat Inc. (RHT) Stake Increased by Rail Splitter Capital Management LLC
  • Bodhi 2.3.0 released
    Bodhi 2.3.0 is a feature and bug fix release.
  • Fedora at Ohio Linuxfest 2016
    We arrived at the our hotel around 1PM on Friday. After checking in we headed over to find the new site in the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The first things we noticed was the Columbus Convention Center is doing a major renovation and one of those renovations was they removed the escalators from the food court to the second floor. At first we thought this may be a issue to move the event stuff in but there was an elevator close by. Also no signage for OLF in the Food Court area. After getting off the elevator on the second floor there was a sign pointing around the corner to the Ohio Linuxfest registration table. This year Ohio Linuxfest charged $10 for general attendees (free to students with student ID). We checked in and out our badges (yes insert favorite Blazing Saddles joke here). We walked down to the Vendor Expo hall which this year had a grand total of 28 exhibitors (see website for vendor lists). While the Expo was setup ready for Vendors to move in but the Vendor Expo was not open to the public on Friday.

Android Leftovers

  • Android 7.0 Nougat: 15 hidden tips and tricks
    WE'VE RAIDED THE release notes in pieces past, but this time around (and with Google's Pixel XL in tow) we're running through some of the more useful additions to have found their way into the latest Android build. And for those of you who've skipped to the end, cats and hamburgers both have their uses...
  • Why Apple-to-Android upgrade comparisons are utterly meaningless
    Android upgrades are a contentious topic. Bring 'em up in any way, and you're bound to see some riled up people. I should know: I've observed and analyzed Android upgrades for years now -- all the way back to the now-ancient-seeming Android 2.2 Froyo era, when widespread rollouts for the platform were still an untested concept. And in all of that time, one thing has stayed pretty much the same: By and large, Android manufacturers suck at delivering timely and reliable OS updates. But hang on: Not everything about the Android upgrade situation has remained constant over these past several years. In fact, one very significant area has evolved considerably -- and it's an area that's almost always overlooked as part of the Android upgrade discussion, particularly when iOS comparisons come into the picture. As we think about Google's new Pixel phone and its unique position as the sole current handset guaranteed to get quick and regular Android updates, it's important to step back and put the situation in perspective -- because there really is much more to it than what we see on the surface. And while iPhone-to-Android upgrade comparisons are an inevitable side effect of the discussion (and one I've already heard brought up plenty in the context of the Pixel, especially when it comes to its short-seeming two-year window for support), the truth is that upgrades on iOS and Android are drastically different beasts.
  • BlackBerry reveals its LAST ever Android smartphone
    Marking BlackBerry's third foray into Android devices, the DTEK60 has been designed to take on the likes of Samsung and HTC with a polished look and powerful hardware. The device features a 5.5-inch QuadHD display with a resolution of 2,560x1,440-pixels and a pixel density of 538ppi, which BlackBerry says can display up to 16 million colours. Inside, there's a speedy quad-core Snapdragon 820 processor from Qualcomm, backed up by 4GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, which can be boosted up to 2TB via a microSD card.
  • Latest Strategy Analytics data shows Chinese Android manufacturers eating at Apple’s marketshare
    Apple just reported its latest earnings yesterday evening, and now Strategy Analytics is out with its latest report concerning the smartphone industry. The latest data shows the entire smartphone industry saw shipments rise 6 percent year over year to hit 375 million worldwide during Q3 2016. Shipment rose from 345.2 million units in Q3 2015 to 375.4 million in Q3 2016, which is the industry’s fastest growth rate for a year. Strategy Analytics attributes much of this growth to new product launches from Apple. Individually for Apple, though, the numbers weren’t as bright. The company saw its shipments fall from 48 million to 45.5 million, just as it reported during its earnings call. This fall pushed Apple’s marketshare from 13.6 percent to 12.1 percent, though Apple is holding strong to its #2 spot.
  • Android, Samsung Improve in Third Quarter
    Consumer Intelligence Research Partners (CIRP) released analysis of the results of its research on mobile phone operating systems and brands for the calendar quarter that ended September 30, 2016. This analysis features findings about market share trends in mobile phone operating systems and brands in the US from July-September 2016. CIRP research shows that the two major mobile operating systems, Google Android and Apple iOS, controlled about 97% of US customer mobile phone activations in the third quarter (Chart 1). In the September 2016 quarter, Android accounted for 71% of US activations, the same share as the year-ago September 2015 quarter, and up from 63% in the June 2016 quarter. iOS accounted for 26% of activations, about the same as its 27% share in the year-ago September 2015 quarter, but down from its 32% share in the June 2016 quarter.
  • This Android keyboard trick fixes bad autocorrect suggestions
  • 11 things Android phone makers should copy from the Pixe
  • Review: 7 PDF editing tools for iOS and Android
  • Qualcomm acquires NXP Semiconductors for $47 billion
  • Moto M with metal body and Snapdragon 625 leaks

Linux on Servers

  • The Point Of Docker Is More Than Containers
    Spending time with Docker during Cloud Field Day about a month ago opened my eyes to the larger ecosystem that Docker is building, and that others are building around it. There is so much more to Docker than just the idea of immutable containers. For a start, Docker made using containers easy. That’s no small feat for a tricky piece of technical infrastructure. Making it easy, and specifically easy for developers, to use removed a lot of friction that was no small contributor to the pain of other, earlier methods. It gave developers are really simple way to create a fully functional development environment, isolated from all other dependencies, with which to work.
  • What are the Top NFV Risks for Carriers?
    What are the risks of network functions virtualization (NFV)? As with any emerging technology, moving fast or picking the wrong components can do more harm than good. Let’s spend some time breaking down the NFV risks in building a virtual network. I have spent the few months gathering feedback from various service providers to get their view on whether NFV and its cousin software-defined networking (SDN) are ready for prime time. Even though many service providers expressed optimism that NFV technology is moving toward maturity, there are definitely cautionary tales on what to look out for. This article serves as an introduction to the challenges of NFV component selection – later articles will refer in more detail to the challenges in selecting NFV hardware and software components such as OpenStack and Open vSwitch.
  • “DevOps is a management problem”
    Improving your own organization’s performance – from where they are now to performance levels equal to the industry leaders – seems like a very long and difficult road. What is missing in most organizations? We talked to Damon Edwards, co-founder and managing partner of DTO Solutions and DevOpsCon speaker, about the challenges that accompany DevOps and how a repeatable system that empowers teams to find and fix their own problems looks like.
  • Manage disk image files wisely in the face of DevOps sprawl
    A disk image is simply a file, but that seemingly innocuous file contains a complete structure that represents applications, storage volumes and even entire disk drives.
  • TNS Guide to Serverless Technologies: The Best Frameworks, Platforms and Tools
    Even if you don’t need the servers themselves, serverless technologies could still require plenty of supporting software. Frameworks are needed to codify best practices, so that everyone is not out to reinvent the wheel, especially when it comes to interfacing with various languages such as Go, JavaScript and Python. And platforms are needed to help people avoid spending too much time on configuring the underlying infrastructure, perhaps by handing the work off to a service provider. Just in time for the Serverless conference in London, this post highlights some of the most widely used frameworks and platforms, as well as other supporting tools, that make successful serverless-based workloads happen.