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Legal

‘German law mandates vendor-neutral ICT standards’

Filed under
OSS
Legal

Germany’s constitution makes the use of vendor-neutral ICT standards mandatory, according to the PhD thesis of Felix Greve, a German lawyer. The constitution demands minimum requirements for interoperability standards, Greve argues. The current lack of interoperability rules are a major barrier to the country’s uptake of free and open source software, in public administration and elsewhere.

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FCC: Open source router software is still legal—under certain conditions

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OSS
Web
Legal

With the Federal Communications Commission being criticized for rules that may limit a user’s right to install open source firmware on wireless routers, we’ve been trying to get more specifics from the FCC about its intentions.

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Universal Permissive License added to license list

Filed under
GNU
Legal

We recently updated our list of various licenses and comments about them to include the Universal Permissive License (UPL). The UPL is a lax, non-copyleft license that is compatible with the GNU GPL. The UPL contains provisions dealing explicitly with the grant of patent licenses, whereas many other simple lax licenses only have an implicit grant. While making the grant perfectly clear is a reasonable goal, we still recommend using Apache 2.0 for simple programs that don't require copyleft. For more extensive programs, a copyleft license like the GNU GPL should be used to ensure that all users can enjoy software freedom.

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The EPA Deserves Software Freedom, Too

Filed under
Linux
OSS
Legal

The issue of software freedom is, not surprisingly, not mentioned in the mainstream coverage of Volkswagen's recent use of proprietary software to circumvent important regulations that exist for the public good. Given that Volkswagen is an upstream contributor to Linux, it's highly likely that Volkswagen vehicles have Linux in them.

Thus, we have a wonderful example of how much we sacrifice at the altar of “Linux adoption”. While I'm glad for some Free Software to appear in products rather than none, I also believe that, too often, our community happily accepts the idea that we should gratefully laud a company includes a bit of Free Software in their product, and gives a little code back, even if most of what they do is proprietary software.

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Also: VW scandal highlights irony of EPA opposition to vehicle software tinkering

Yes, the FCC might ban your operating system

Filed under
OSS
Legal

Over the last few weeks a discussion has flourished over the FCC’s Notification of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) on modular transmitters and electronic labels for wireless devices. Some folks have felt that the phrasing has been too Chicken-Little-like and that the FCC’s proposal doesn’t affect the ability to install free, libre or open source operating system. The FCC in fact says their proposal has no effect on open source operating systems or open source in general. The FCC is undoubtedly wrong.

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WordPress brings the freedom to the front

Filed under
GNU
OSS
Legal

About 75 million Web sites depend on WordPress. If you are one of its many users who recently upgraded to Version 4.3, you may have noticed something new. Recently, a coop worker-member, Pea, informed me that this version includes a new tab with a reference to the GNU General Public License. With some quizzical interest, I ran the upgrade on a WordPress instance I maintain.

I eagerly waited for the upgrade to finish. When it loaded, what I saw was typical for a WordPress upgrade, a description of the version's new features. Then I saw a tab prominently named "Freedom." I clicked on it, and boom: right there were the four freedoms of free software, starting with Freedom 0. Take a look for yourself.

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Jonathan Riddell Mocks Canonical with His Own Intellectual Property Policy

Filed under
Ubuntu
Legal

In some more relaxing news, Jonathan Riddell, leader of the Kubuntu Linux distribution, has had the great pleasure of announcing his own IP (Intellectual Property) policy, mocking Canonical's.

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Original: Jonathan Riddell™ IP Policy

FCC Fires Wi-Fi Router Salvo in Battle of DRM vs. Open Source

Filed under
OSS
Legal

Digital Rights Management (DRM), the backbone of copyright protection for every form of digital property from games and software to ebooks and music is finally coming to blows with its natural enemy: the open-source software movement.

The fight is rooted in the longstanding belief of organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the Free Software Foundation (FSF) that DRM and open source are "fundamentally incompatible" and comes to the fore on an unlikely front: Wi-Fi routers.

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How to make money from open source software

Filed under
GNU
OSS
Legal

Last month we looked at the argument that the open source business model is flawed because selling maintenance and support subscriptions doesn't provide companies with enough revenue to differentiate their products from the underlying open source software or to compete with the sales and marketing efforts of proprietary software companies. The argument was advanced by Peter Levine, a venture capitalist at Andreessen Horowitz.

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Also: Community Versus Funding: What Open Source Needs Most

Deb Nicholson Talks (What Else?) Software Patents

Filed under
Interviews
Legal

My work at OIN involves a lot of research. I read academic papers on litigation trends and try to stay on top of who’s getting sued this week. It also involves a lot of behind the scenes emailing. I have lots of informal conversations with people about how you run a free and open source software project. Sometimes, they don’t realize that lots of other companies are succeeding with FOSS business models and shared community resources. Once they see that it can be done, they often feel more confident.

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More in Tux Machines

New Blackmagic and Wine

Linux Foundation and Linux

  • Google, Samsung, Radisys join CORD project
    The Open Networking Lab (ON.Lab) and The Linux Foundation have spun off the Central Office Re-architected as a Data Center (CORD) initiative into its own, new open source project, and Google, Samsung Electronics and Radisys are joining the CORD and ONOS Projects as new partners. Google plans to host the first CORD Summit on July 29 at Google Sunnyvale Tech Corner Campus in California, where industry leaders, network architects and administrators, developers and engineers will convene.
  • CORD Project Aims to Bring Cloud Agility to Service Providers
    The CORD Project recently became an independent project hosted by The Linux Foundation. CORD (TM) (Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter), which began as a use case of ONOS®, brings NFV, SDN, and commodity clouds to the telco central office and aims to give telco service providers the same level of agility that cloud providers have to rapidly create new services. Major service providers like AT&T, SK Telecom, Verizon, China Unicom, and NTT Communications, as well as companies like Google and Samsung, are already supporting CORD.
  • Linux Kernel 4.4.16 LTS Released with Over 150 Changes, It's Already in Solus
  • Linux Kernel 4.6.5 Has Numerous Nouveau Improvements, ARM and ARM64 Fixes
  • Linux Kernel 4.6.5 and Kernel 4.4.16 released
    Just after a couple of weeks,Linux Kernel 4.6.4 and 4.6.15 release was announced,here comes the next release in both series of Linux kernel 4.6 and 4.4. Both the releases are to bring fixes and improvements in performance.There are some workarounds made in GPU drivers,Wireless,USB,Sound and others can be checked in the change log,Of Course. In the Kernel 4.6.5 there are 220 files changed,1754 files inserted newly and 998 deletations are made.On the other hand,Linux kernel 4.4.16 has 156 files are changed,1475 insetations and 845 deletations are notified as per the announcement.
  • Linux 4.7 now out with enhanced security and advanced graphics support

BSD Leftovers

  • FreeBSD Q2'2016: EFI Improvements, Prepping For FreeBSD 11.0, Package Updates
    For FreeBSD fans not closely following its development on a daily basis, the FreeBSD project has released their Q2'2016 quarterly status report that covers various activities going on around this BSD operating system project.
  • EuroBSDCon 2016 schedule has been released
    The EuroBSDCon 2016 talks and schedule have been released, and oh are we in for a treat! All three major BSD's have a "how we made the network go fast" talk, nearly every single timeslot has a networking related talk, and most of the non-networking talks look fantastic as well.

Security News

  • Linux Security Automation at Scale in the Cloud
    Ten years ago it didn’t seem like Linux growth could increase any faster. Then, in 2006, Amazon launched Amazon Web Services (AWS). Linux growth went from linear to exponential. AWS competitors sprang up and were acquired by IBM, Microsoft, and other big players, accelerating Linux expansion even more. Linux became the platform of choice for the private cloud. But this movement wasn’t confined to the cloud. A rush to create Linux applications and services spilled over to traditional on premises. Linux had evolved from that obscure thing people ran web servers on to the backbone operating system of the majority of IT.
  • Don’t want to get hacked? Close your laptop.
    My friends often leave their computers open and unlocked. I tell them they should probably get in the habit of locking their computers, but they don’t listen to me. So I’ve created a simple project to hack my friends and show them the importance of computer security. All I need to do is wait for them to leave their computer unlocked for a few seconds, open up their terminal, and type a single, short command.
  • Citibank IT guy deliberately wiped routers, shut down 90% of firm’s networks across America
    It was just after 6pm on December 23, 2013, and Lennon Ray Brown, a computer engineer at the Citibank Regents Campus in Irving, Texas, was out for revenge. Earlier in the day, Brown – who was responsible for the bank’s IT systems – had attended a work performance review with his supervisor. It hadn’t gone well. Brown was now a ticking time bomb inside the organisation, waiting for his opportunity to strike. And with the insider privileges given to him by the company, he had more of an opportunity to wreak havoc than any external hacker.
  • Explo-Xen! Bunker buster bug breaks out guests from hypervisor
    A super-bug in the Xen hypervisor may allow privileged code running in guests to escape to the underlying host. This means, on vulnerable systems, malicious administrators within virtual machines can potentially break out of their confines and start interfering with the host server and other guests. This could be really bad news for shared environments. All versions of open-source Xen are affected (CVE-2016-6258, XSA-182) although it is only potentially exploitable on x86 hardware running paravirtualized (PV) guests. The bug was discovered by Jérémie Boutoille of Quarkslab, and publicly patched on Tuesday for Xen versions 4.3 to 4.7 and the latest bleeding-edge code.
  • Intel Puts Numbers on the Security Talent Shortage
    The cybersecurity shortfall in the workforce remains a critical vulnerability for companies and nations, according to an Intel Security report being issued today. Eighty-two percent of surveyed respondents reported a shortage of security skills, and respondents in every country said that cybersecurity education is deficient.