Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

OSS

Openwashing Leftovers

Filed under
OSS

Invasion of The Ethical Licenses

Filed under
OSS
Legal

About 23 years ago, I created the Debian Free Software Guidelines to help the Debian developers decide what software was permissible to include in Debian, which aspired to be 100% Free Software, and what should be consigned to a “non-free” repository upon which Debian would never depend. Nine months later, those guidelines became the Open Source Definition, and I announced Open Source to the world.

                        
                        [...]
                        
                        Despite the seeming impossibility of its enforcement, the Vaccine License is the most professionally constructed of this pack, carefully targeting the approval process of the Open Source Initiative – and IMO missing it. But all three licenses appear to be unlikely to obtain the agreement of a court in enforcement, and scaling their requirements would be a sort of full-employment act for lawyers.

Let’s work through how these licenses would be enforced.

When these licenses are enforced, the copyright holder is the plaintiff, a fancy word for someone who makes a complaint. Their complaint is that the defendant, the licensee, committed a tort, a violation of civil law. The tort is copyright infringement.

The important point here is that the complaint isn’t that the license was violated, the complaint is that the defendant did not have a license at all, and is infringing copyright. The defendant then has to prove that they did have a license, and that they were obeying the license’s terms, or that the court should for some reason not honor those terms.

Licenses are also contracts, and thus the tort can be breach of contract. But contracts require the consent of both parties – the copyright holder, and the licensee. Real consent is indicated by signing the contract, but that doesn’t ever happen with this sort of license. Instead, there is a lesser indication of consent by the action of using, distributing, or modifying the software.

Read more

Chrome users gloriously freed from obviously treacherous and unsafe uBlock Origin

Filed under
Google
Moz/FF
OSS
Web

Thank you, O Great Chrome Web Store, for saving us from the clearly hazardous, manifestly unscrupulous, overtly duplicitous uBlock Origin. Because, doubtlessly, this open-source ad-block extension by its very existence and nature could never "have a single purpose that is clear to users." I mean, it's an ad-blocker. Those are bad.
Really, this is an incredible own goal on Google's part. Although I won't resist the opportunity to rag on them, I also grudgingly admit that this is probably incompetence rather than malice and likely yet another instance of something falling through the cracks in Google's all-powerful, rarely examined automatic algorithms (though there is circumstantial evidence to the contrary). Having a human examine these choices costs money in engineering time, and frankly when the automated systems are misjudging something that will probably cost Google's ad business money as well, there's just no incentive to do anything about it. But it's a bad look, especially with how two-faced the policy on Manifest V3 has turned out to be and its effect on ad-blocker options for Chrome.

It is important to note that this block is for Chrome rather than Chromium-based browsers (like Edge, Opera, Brave, etc.). That said, Chrome is clearly the one-ton gorilla, and Google doesn't like you sideloading extensions. While Mozilla reviews extensions too, and there have been controversial rejections on their part, speaking as an add-on author of over a decade there is at least a human on the other end even if once in a while the human is a butthead. (A volunteer butthead, to be sure, but still a butthead.) Plus, you can sideload with a little work, even unsigned add-ons. So far I think they've reached a reasonable compromise between safety and user choice even if sometimes the efforts don't scale. On the other hand, Google clearly hasn't by any metric.

Read more

Mastodon 3.0

Filed under
OSS
Web

It’s finally here! Mastodon 3.0 is live! The team has been hard at work on making sure that this release is one of our most user-friendly yet with some exciting new features! Here are just a few: [...]

Read more

Free software is not an ethical issue, its a user right issue

Filed under
GNU
OSS

Ethics of free software

Anything happens in our life or society can be seen through lens of ethics. So software also has that. But that ethics is comes from the perspective of developer. Stallman says he dont want develop software that chains its users. That is a strong ethical point. But it comes from developer. Some egoistic developers and companies sees this as a charity from software developers or companies.

User’s right is above developer’s ethics

Software developer or company is just a worker. We cannot rely on them for our rights. We have our rights. So I think its user right issue. For example, I want to use some software. but I can say that (1) I should get the right to run the software, (2) I should get the right to see the source code, (3) I should get the right to share the software and source code, (4) I should get the right to modify and share the modified version. If I am not getting these rights I dont want your software. I will ask somebody else to write softwares with those rights for me. Thats all. Simple.

But it can become ethical issue when somebody taking a decision on it. A school management can think like should we impose software that cannot be shared in school. Or somebody asks you can copy of the program. Usually we tell kids to share things. But its a rare case compared to huge individual use of software.

Read more

Events: Conferences, FOSDEM Community Devroom and Mozilla's "Developer Roadshow"

Filed under
OSS
  • Molly de Blanc: Conferences

    I conducted this very scientific Twitter poll and out of 52 respondants, only 23% agreed with me. Some people who disagreed with me pointed out specifically what they think is lacking: more regional events, more in specific countries, and more “generic” FLOSS events.

    Many projects have a conference, and then there are “generic” conferences, like FOSDEM, LibrePlanet, LinuxConfAU, and FOSSAsia. Some are more corporate (OSCON), while others more community focused (e.g. SeaGL).

    [...]

    So far in 2019, I went to: FOSDEM, CopyLeft Conf, LibrePlanet, FOSS North, Linux Fest Northwest, OSCON, FrOSCon, GUADEC, and GitLab Commit. I’m going to All Things Open next week. In November I have COSCon scheduled. I’m skipping SeaGL this year. I am not planning on attending 36C3 unless my talk is accepted. I canceled my trip to DebConf19. I did not go to Camp this year. I also had a board meeting in NY, an upcoming one in Berlin, and a Debian meeting in the other Cambridge. I’m skipping LAS and likely going to SFSCon for GNOME.

    So 9 so far this year, and somewhere between 1-4 more, depending on some details.

    There are also conferences that don’t happen every year, like HOPE and CubaConf. There are some that I haven’t been to yet, like PyCon, and more regional events like Ohio Linux Fest, SCALE, and FOSSCon in Philadelphia.

    I think I travel too much, and plenty of people travel more than I do. This is one of the reasons why we have too many events: the same people are traveling so much.

  • Ismael Olea: Next conferences

    At WMES 2019 I will lead a Wikidata workshop about adding historical heritage data, basically repeating the one at esLibre.

    At LAS 2019 I plan to attend to the Flatpak workshops and to call for a BoF for people involved in opensource conference organizations to share experiences and reuse tools.

    Lots of thanks for the Wikimedia España association and GNOME Foundation for their travel sponsorship. Without their help I could not attend both.

  • FOSDEM Community Devroom 2020 CFP open

    We are happy to let everyone know that the Community DevRoom will be held this year at the FOSDEM Conference. FOSDEM is the premier free and open source software event in Europe, taking place in Brussels from 1-2 February 2020 at the Université libre de Bruxelles.

  • The Mozilla Developer Roadshow Talks: Firefox, WebAssembly, CSS, WebXR and More

    The Mozilla Developer Roadshow program launched in 2017. Our mission: Bring expert speakers and technology updates to local communities through free events and partnerships. These interactive meetup-style events help developers find resources and activities relevant to their day-to-day productivity and professional skill development.

Where do all the censored developers go?

Filed under
OSS

Being censored by an organization that claims to be promoting Free as in Speech is no small feat. It raises an interesting question: where do I go from here?

The answer has been right under my nose all along: the Uncensored Speakers Toastmasters Club in Dublin.

Uncensored Speakers meets on the second and fourth Friday of each month at The Central Hotel (Open Street Map).

Most Toastmasters groups have some community guidelines against overtly political or religious speeches or use of profane language. Uncensored Speakers claims to be different: a speaker may well choose to say what they really think about Brexit, choosing from some of the most colourful words that the English language has brought us.

Tonight's meeting is an exception: there will be a Table Topics and Humorous Speech contest, I've been invited to join the judging panel.

Censorship credentials

Let's look at how the Free Software censorship scandal has evolved.

In 2017 the Fellowship elected me as their representative to the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE).

FSFE had just banked that huge €150,000 bequest. In fact, €50k had been withheld by the lawyer pending confirmation that FSFE doesn't lose their charitable status while the other €100k had reached the bank account. FSFE decided to appoint all their staff as voting members of the association, remove the elections from the constitution, put the €100k in reserve to underwrite future obligations to staff and then the two most senior staff, the president, Matthias Kirschner and the executive director, Jonas Oberg, went on extended periods of paternity leave.

Read more

How a business was built on podcasts for Linux: The story of Jupiter Broadcasting

Filed under
Linux
Interviews
OSS

I spend a lot of time on the road and enjoy listening to podcasts about a variety of topics. One of my interests is keeping up with the latest news and information about Linux and open source, and that led me to Jupiter Broadcasting, an open source (both in topics covered and its own license) podcasting network. I met Jupiter's cofounder Chris Fisher when I visited System76's Denver headquarters in late 2018.

Jupiter Broadcasting emerged from The Linux Action Show, a podcast that began in 2006 and ended 10 years later in early 2017. The show was such a success that, in 2008, Chris and co-founder Bryan Lunduke decided to start Jupiter Broadcasting. Back then, the company only had two shows, The Linux Action Show and CastaBlasta. Now it offers 10 Linux-related podcasts with titles like Linux Headlines, Linux Action News, Choose Linux, Coder Radio, Self-Hosted, and more.

I was interested in learning more about Jupiter, so I was grateful when Chris agreed to do this interview (which has been lightly edited for length and clarity).

Read more

5 ways to contribute to open source during Hacktoberfest

Filed under
OSS

There's always a lot to get excited about in October: sweater weather, pumpkin spice, Halloween costumes, and for the last three years, Hacktoberfest.

Hacktoberfest is a "month-long celebration of open source software." It's organized by DigitalOcean and DEV and open to anyone. In my experience, Hacktoberfest is an easy way for users of open source to become contributors to open source. It's also celebratory and community-oriented and always includes some beautifully done artwork, which is later turned into stickers.

Read more

Torrential – An Open-Source Torrent Client for elementaryOS

Filed under
OS
OSS

We have covered several torrent client applications on FossMint in topics such as 10 Best Cloud Torrent Service Providers and Best BitTorrent Client Apps for Linux in 2019. But as you already know by now, at least one new open-source application is created every other week.

Today, I bring you an open-source application developed for the torrenting world and it goes by the name of Torrential.

Torrential is a simple open-source torrent client designed for elementary OS users to download torrents in style while enjoying speed and minimalistic design experience.

It doesn’t have any settings unique to it, though, so technically it is another torrent client alternative that hopes to provide users with a speedy torrenting experience. However, as is expected of all Linux client applications, you can customize Torrential’s look using themes.

Read more

Syndicate content