Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Legal

Open source's identity crisis

Filed under
Interviews
Legal

For Karen Sandler, software freedom isn't simply a technical matter. Nor is it a purely ideological one.

It's a matter of life and death.

Sandler, Executive Director of the non-profit Software Freedom Conservancy, says software freedom became personal when she realized her pacemaker/defibrillator was running code she couldn't analyze. For nearly a decade—first at the Software Feedom Law Center, then at the GNOME Foundation before Conservancy—she's been an advocate for the right to examine the software on which our lives depend.

Read more

Qualcomm DMCA Notice Takes Down 100+ Git Repositories

Filed under
Development
Legal

Using the US Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA), Qualcomm has forced GitHub to take down over 100 Git repositories on the basis of "Cyveillance has recently discovered the unauthorized publication, disclosure, and copying of highly sensitive, confidential, trade secret, and copyright-protected documents on the below web site. Specifically, we have confirmed that the documents whose locations and filenames identified below are confidential and proprietary to Qualcomm and were posted without Qualcomm’s permission."

Read more

THE NEW 501(C)(3) AND THE FUTURE OF FREE SOFTWARE IN THE UNITED STATES

Filed under
Legal

I believe what the IRS is inadvertently requiring here is copyright assignment. Since Yorba does not require copyright assignment from our contributors, the IRS appears to think our software cannot be a public work.

Copyright assignment is controversial in the free software community. (A nice overview can be found here; the controversy up-close and in-person can be found here and here.)

I hope I’m wrong about this. I doubt they’re going to start enforcing this in the future for organizations that already enjoy exemption. If they do, it will be a royal mess for those projects having to contact every author of every non-trivial contribution and get them to sign over their rights. This is all a big if, of course.

Read more

Something Rotten in the State of...Europe: the Unified Patent

Filed under
Legal

That's particularly the case for software patents, where the US experiences shows us how much damage trolls can cause. The UPC will open up Europe for software patent trolling on a massive scale.

Read more

FSF statement on Court of Appeals ruling in Oracle v Google

Filed under
Android
Google
Legal

The situation then is substantially similar to the situation today. The key difference is that some of Google's affirmative defenses to claim non-infringement have been eliminated by this new ruling. The FSF now sincerely hopes for the next best thing to Alsup's original ruling: that Google is successful in its fair use defense.

Notwithstanding our support of Google's fair use defense, the FSF urges caution to all prospective Android users. Even though the core of the Android system is free, every Android device sold comes pre-loaded with a variety of proprietary applications and proprietary hardware drivers. The FSF encourages users to support the development of Replicant, a distribution of Android that is 100% free software. The FSF also encourages users of any Android-based system to install F-Droid, a free replacement for the Google Play app that allows users to browse, install, and receive updates from a repository of free software Android apps. Replicant uses F-Droid as its default repository.

Read more

A settlement between Apple and Samsung may be on the horizon

Filed under
Legal

The long and drawn out battle between Samsung Electronics and Apple over the ownership of various intellectual properties may be coming to a close.

According to The Korea Times Samsung and Apple have resumed discussion of settling their patent disputes. Recent developments such as Apple’s deal with Google show that times may be changing on how these types of disputes are handled. There is a different air surrounding these discussions compared to the countless court battles and negotiations that preceded.

Read more

Ending the Embedded Linux Patent War Before It Begins

Filed under
Legal

The next big intellectual property battle has been forming over hardwired and programmable chips made for mobile devices that leverage Linux code. However, the Open Invention Network has strategically deployed forces to keep Linux-powered smartphones, tablets and other computer technologies out of harm's way. Its goal is to create a patent litigation no-fly zone around embedded Linux.

Read more

Oracle continue to circumvent EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL()

Filed under
GNU
Legal

So, in the face of a technical mechanism designed to enforce the author's beliefs about the copyright status of callers of this function, Oracle deliberately circumvent that technical mechanism by simply re-exporting the same function under a new name. It should be emphasised that calling an EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL() function does not inherently cause the caller to become a derivative work of the kernel - it only represents the original author's opinion of whether it would. You'd still need a court case to find out for sure. But if it turns out that the use of ktime_get() does cause a work to become derivative, Oracle would find it fairly difficult to argue that their infringement was accidental.

Of course, as copyright holders of DTrace, Oracle could solve the problem by dual-licensing DTrace under the GPL as well as the CDDL. The fact that they haven't implies that they think there's enough value in keeping it under an incompatible license to risk losing a copyright infringement suit. This might be just the kind of recklessness that Oracle accused Google of back in their last case.

Read more

Interview with Ciaran Gultnieks of F-Droid

Filed under
Android
GNU
Legal

This is the latest installment of our Licensing and Compliance Lab's series on free software developers who choose GNU licenses for their works.

Read more

Dangerous Decision in Oracle v. Google: Federal Circuit Reverses Sensible Lower Court Ruling on APIs

Filed under
Android
Google
Legal

We're still digesting today's lengthy decision in the Oracle v. Google appeal, but we're disappointed—and worried. The heart of the appeal was whether Oracle can claim a copyright on Java APIs and, if so, whether Google infringed that copyright. According to the Federal Circuit today, the answer to both questions was a qualified yes—with the qualification being that Google may have a fair use defense.

Quick background: When it implemented the Android OS, Google wrote its own version of Java. But in order to allow developers to write their own programs for Android, Google relied on Java APIs. Application Programming Interfaces are, generally speaking, specifications that allow programs to communicate with each other. So when you type a letter in a word processor, and hit the print command, you are using an API that lets the word processor talk to the printer driver, even though they were written by different people.

Read more

Syndicate content

More in Tux Machines

Leftovers: Gaming

Leftovers: Software

  • What's New in Deepin File Manager 1.4
    Deepin File Manager (DFM) reached version 1.4 at March 2017. Its a bugfix version, but very interesting as it brings many new features. The most noticeable changes are Settings dialog, new disk-space display, new "Format" option on disk storage, and new copying dialog. It's smoother now by having drop shadow on file/folder icons. DFM is much more beautiful and usable in this 1.4 version. Anyway, you can upgrade DFM to 1.4 on deepin OS, or in another distro (Manjaro DDE or Ubuntu).
  • Rock On: Deepin Music is Now Available as a Snap App on Ubuntu
    Deepin envy is a condition afflicting Linux users who like the look of Deepin Linux’s apps, but don’t want to switch entire distro to use then. And there’s finally a cure: Snaps. Snap apps allow applications to bundle in all of their dependencies, which makes it easy for apps that typically rely on a certain set of libraries to run on distributions where those libraries are not normally available (or are, but only through additional repos and installing all sorts of junk that conflicts with your current system).
  • Nord: Modern Design Color Theme Palette for Your Terminal
    Nord is a minimal flat design theme pattern created to enhance your work experience by improving focus and readability for code syntax highlighting and UI. It has 4 main colors namely Polar Night, Snow Storm, Frost, and Aurora, which are further partitioned into a total of 16 dimmed pastel. It has been used to style so many things including iTerm, Hyper Terminal, and Intelli J IDE, among others.
  • PeaZip 6.4 Open-Source Archiver Brings Support for P7ZIP 16.02, Tabbed Browsing
    The development team behind the open-source and multi-platform PeaZip archiver manager utility announced the release of PeaZip 6.4.0, an important update that brings new features and lots of improvements. PeaZip 6.4.0 comes one and a half months after the release of the version 6.3.1, and updates the backend to use p7zip 16.02 on 64-bit GNU/Linux platforms, as well as pea 0.61 for all supported operating systems. Under the hood, there are a bunch of fixes, performance improvements, and code cleanup.
  • GnuCash 2.6.16 Free Accounting Software Adds HiDPI Improvements, Bug Fixes
    The development team behind the GnuCash open-source and cross-platform accounting software announced the release and immediate availability of the sixteenth maintenance update to the 2.6 stable series. GnuCash 2.6.16 comes four months after the release of version 2.6.15, which means that it's also the first to launch in 2017. It also means that a lot of issues reported by users since then have been addressed, including the display of small reports on HiDPI screens, wrong menu entry in the "Tip of the Day" dialog, and much more.
  • Notepadqq – Source Code Editor for Linux
    Notepadqq is a free, an open source code editor and Notepad replacement, that supports several languages (100 languages supported) and helps developers to work more efficiently.
  • Fman is a Powerful Dual Pane File Manager
    If you’re looking for a dual-pane file manager available for Linux (or macOS or Windows) look no further than Fman. Fman is pitched as “modern file manager for power users”. It has a clean design, runs quickly, and its functionality can be extended through plugins.

Leftovers: OSS

  • Blockchain Startups Venture Beyond Bitcoin
    Bitcoin is the most widely-known example of blockchain-based technology, but many of today's startups are looking past the cryptocurrency and towards other, more business-friendly implementations. European blockchain startup incubator Outlier Ventures and Frost & Sullivan have mapped out the blockchain startup landscape, identifying several key areas of activity. It outlines possible paths to success following a busy year for blockchain investments.
  • Another Sandy Bridge Era Motherboard Now Supported By Coreboot
    The Sapphire Pure Platinum H61 is the latest motherboard to be supported by mainline Coreboot for replacing the board's proprietary BIOS.
  • OSI Welcomes the Journal of Open Source Software as Affiliate Member
    The Open Source Initiative® (OSI), a global non-profit organization formed to educate about and advocate for the benefits of open source software and communities, announced that the Journal Of Open Source Software (JOSS), a peer-reviewed journal for open source research software packages, is now an OSI affiliate member.
  • Open source project uses Docker for serverless computing
    Serverless computing has fast become a staple presence on major clouds, from Amazon to Azure. It’s also inspiring open source projects designed to make the concept of functions as a service useful to individual developers. The latest of these projects, called simply Functions as a Service (FaaS) by developer and Linux User contributor Alex Ellis, uses Docker and its native Swarm cluster management technology to package any process as a function available through a web API.
  • PyCharm 2017.1, MicroStrategy 2017.1, Next.js 2.0, and Ubuntu 17.04 final beta released — SD Times news digest: March 27, 2017
  • Open source JavaScript, Node.js devs get NPM Orgs for free
    The SaaS-based tool, which features capabilities like role-based access control, semantic versioning, and package discovery, now can be used on public code on the NPM registry, NPM Inc. said on Wednesday. Developers can transition between solo projects, public group projects, and commercial projects, and users with private registries can use Orgs to combine code from public and private packages into a single project.
  • Slaying Monoliths at Netflix with Node.js
    The growing number of Netflix subscribers -- nearing 85 million at the time of this Node.js Interactive talk -- has generated a number of scaling challenges for the company. In his talk, Yunong Xiao, Principal Software Engineer at Netflix, describes these challenges and explains how the company went from delivering content to a global audience on an ever-growing number of platforms, to supporting all modern browsers, gaming consoles, smart TVs, and beyond. He also looks at how this led to radically modifying their delivery framework to make it more flexible and resilient.
  • Mudlet, the open source MUD client has a new major stable build available
    I don't know how many of you play MUDs, but Mudlet, an open source cross-platform MUD client has hit version 3.0.

today's howtos