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An economically efficient model for open source software license compliance

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"The Compliance Industrial Complex" is a term that evokes dystopian imagery of organizations engaging in elaborate and highly expensive processes to comply with open source license terms. As life often imitates art, many organizations engage in this practice, sadly robbing them of the many benefits of the open source model. This article presents an economically efficient approach to open source software license compliance.

Open source licenses generally impose three requirements on a distributor of code licensed from a third party:

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Artifex v. Hancom: Open Source is Now an Enforceable Contract

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The U.S. District Court recently ruled in favor of Artifex – developer of Ghostscript which is an open-source PDF interpreter and against Hancom Office – a South Korean developer of ”office” apps. The Northern District of California said that General Public License (GPL) can be treated like a legal contract, and developers can sue if the obligations of these licenses are not followed. This ruling provides strong legal support to the enforceability of open source licenses.

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OSS and Sharing

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  • Powering Digital Transformation with In-Memory Computing and Open Source Software
  • GMO Blockchain Open Source Software project enters third phase

    Blockchain technologies keep conquering new territories. GMO Internet Inc. (TYO:9449) has just announced the launch of the third phase of GMO Blockchain Open Source Software Project, introducing its new Region Token. The open source Region Token is a program whereby municipalities and companies can issue their own tokens (points).

    Through storing processing rules of tokens in a blockchain without having to build a dedicated server for managing tokens and employing an administrator, it is possible to issue tokens and register shops as point service participants on the blockchain. The use of such a token is seen as a means for regional revitalization.

  • A ₹1 Crore Fund to Support Open Source Projects in India

    Today Mozilla is announcing the launch of “Global Mission Partners: India”, an award program specifically focused on supporting open source and free software. The new initiative builds on the existing “Mission Partners” program. Applicants based in India can apply for funding to support any open source/free software projects which significantly further Mozilla’s mission.

    Our mission, as embodied in our Manifesto, is to ensure the Internet is a global public resource, open and accessible to all; an Internet that truly puts people first, where individuals can shape their own experience and are empowered, safe and independent.

    We know that many other software projects around the world, and particularly in India, share the goals of a free and open Internet with us, and we want to use our resources to help and encourage others to work towards this end.

  • Open source helps Schiphol fly to multi-clouds

    Amsterdam airport Schiphol is utilising open source software to create and use a multi-cloud platform with an open API

    Schiphol airport, just south of Amsterdam, is on a journey underpinned by open source software, with Red Hat helping the Dutch airport along.

  • Colorado Looks at Open Source Materials to Cut Textbook Cost
  • Culture: The Hazy Glue Between Music & Technology

    Music industry people claim to know tech, and people who work at technology companies say they understand music. Regardless of how true that is in either case, it's clear that music and technology are continuing to converge in entirely new ways in the 21st century. But there’s no way anyone can understand how music and tech work together without examining culture, the unifying, nebulous piece between them. After all, no matter how much a business spends on cultural marketing, culture still belongs to humans, not companies -- and authentic cultural production happens on a street level, not in a conference room.


    Technology advances quickly in large part because of its widely-used open-source cultural model, which encourages an environment where information is shared for the sake of innovation.

  • State to study open source materials to lower textbook costs

    A statewide council is working on how to increase the use of open educational resource materials in colleges to address the high cost of textbooks.

    The council plans to create a digital repository of open educational resources for colleges and to determine how those resources are used in college classrooms across the state. It will make recommendations on how to increase their use.

    Open educational resources can be freely copied and distributed and potentially reduce what students pay each semester.

France: VAT fraud rules allow free and open source

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The French government has clarified its new rules on combatting VAT fraud to allow the continued use of free and open source software. In June, the Ministry of Public Action and Accounts confirms that the scope of the policy will be limited to cash systems and cash systems software. The update follows meetings with the April advocacy group, which worried that the rules could block the use of VAT systems based on free and open source software.

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Mozilla announces a ₹1 crore fund to support Open source projects in India

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Bangalore: Mozilla has announced the launch of “Global Mission Partners: India”, an award program specifically focused on supporting open source and free software.

The new initiative builds on the existing “Mission Partners” program. Applicants based in India can apply for funding to support any open source/free software projects which significantly further Mozilla’s mission.

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Too Few Candidates to Fill Growing Number of Open Source Jobs

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Open source hiring has been hampered by a lack of trained job-takers, according to The Linux Foundation, which released its sixth annual summary of career opportunities in open source last week. The report provides an overview of open source career trends, along with factors that motivate industry professionals, and methods employers use to attract and retain qualified talent.

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How to get an open-source job

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As Dice, the leading technology job site, and The Linux Foundation recently found in their latest Open Source Jobs Survey and Report, there's an abundance of open-source jobs. Here's how you land one of them for yourself.

First, simply having mad open-source developer skills or kick-ass Linux sysadmin abilities isn't enough. You must be able to prove that you can actually walk the walk and not just talk the talk. There are several ways to do that.

SUSE human resources expert Marie Louise van Deutekom said, "Let's face it, open source is all about community. You can elevate your career through contributions to your community. SUSE looks at contributions as part of our recruitment strategy. Not to mention, it's great to see how much people really do contribute to these communities over time, which in turn helps my team understand specific skill levels and where to place potential candidates."

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OSS Leftovers

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  • VMware partners with Pivotal, Google Cloud to launch Kubernetes-based container service
  • Confluent Brings SQL Querying to Kafka Streaming Data

    With ever-increasing volumes of data comes an ever-increasing need to process that data. Confluent has made a business out of helping enterprises handle never ending streams of data with its commercial packaging of Apache Kafka. And now, at Kafka Summit in San Francisco this week, Confluent introduced a new open source project, called KSQL, that it says will allow users to apply SQL queries against streaming data.

  • Upskill U: OPNFV Director on Open Source & Automation

    As service providers strive to reduce costs, drive innovation and increase network capacity, they are exploring the ways white box initiatives, virtualization, open source and SDN can be combined with data analytics to further the automation of network processes. Enabling automation is central to improving network efficiency and customer experience by eliminating human errors and manual process delays.

    As they move forward in this endeavor, operators face a range of opportunities -- such as applying best practices from web-scale companies -- in addition to challenges such as interoperability in multi-vendor architectures.

  • Legal Technology and Smart Contracts: Open Source and Industry Source (Part III)
  • Focus: Open source

    Open source used to be an alternative to commercial off –the-shelf software. Today, the largest commercial software providers are big supporters of open source technologies. Enterprises are finding their software stacks increasingly rely on open source components, and developers have access to extensive open source repositories, which they can draw on to help them produce code more efficiently or to work around a particular technical problem they may have. Some enterprises are also contributing code back, supporting open source development, while at the same time, enabling a wide pool of open source developers to improve the code. Some companies are also starting to use open source to foster interest and develop a community to bolster their digitally-enabled product strategies.

  • Will Data Eat the World? Yes, With Some Help from Open Source

    In the Valley of the Geeks (not to be confused with Silicon Valley) open source magicians are laying place a number of the foundational innovations for enabling the next generation of intelligent software. The first software revolution was made possible by open source technologies such as Linux, Apache, MySQL, PhP, TCP/IP, and Ethernet. Industry creatively co-opted these open source innovations and made it the basis of the first wave of software innovation. A similar dynamic is at play today. Open source, which includes the academic research community, is spawning new technologies and methodologies which are now beginning to be at the data-driven intelligent software.

  • OpenStack sees new use cases in edge computing and fast-growing interest in China

    OpenStack, the massive open-source project that aims to bring the power and ease of use of public clouds like AWS and Azure to private data centers, today launched Pike, the sixteenth major version of its software. As usual, there’s a massive number of updates here, but the core theme is that the various development teams have focused on making OpenStack more composable, so that companies can more easily pick and choose the features they want. In addition, the community has renewed its focus on helping OpenStack operators manage the lifecycle of the various OpenStack tools with services like Kubernetes and Ansible.

    Mark Collier, the OpenStack Foundation’s COO, and Lauren Sell, the organization’s VP of Marketing and Community Services, told me earlier this week that they are now seeing a number of emerging use cases for OpenStack. One of these is edge computing — a trend that Microsoft, Amazon and other public cloud providers are also now addressing. “There is a huge demand for cloud computing in many different forms,” Collier said. “That’s impacting what we’re doing.” Some of the most prominent companies that are now looking at using OpenStack for their edge computing solution include Verizon (TechCrunch’s corporate overlords), Walmart (which wants to do computing right in its stores) and Inmarsat (which is looking at using OpenStack to power the on-board computing power on large ships).

  • OpenStack Pike Debuts Re-Defining the Open-Source Cloud Platform

    The OpenStack Foundation debuted its 16th milestone release today with the launch of the OpenStack Pike cloud infrastructure platform. Pike follows the OpenStack Ocata release which came out in February and had a focus on cloud federation.

    Unlike Ocata, the new Pike release has a particular emphasis on enabling standalone OpenStack services, without the need for an entire set of OpenStack projects. For several years, the OpenStack community debated a definition for a common set of projects, known as Defcore that define what it is to be an OpenStack cloud. Among the projects that Pike now enables to run in a more standalone, composable approach are the Ironic bare-metal and Cinder block storage projectS.

  • MongoDB quits Solaris, wants to work on an OS people actually use

    MongoDB has killed off its Solaris development efforts. The company's director of platform engineering Andrew Morrow calls the decision “bittersweet,” but says “lack of adoption among our user base” made the decision easy and necessary.

    “Of our commercial users, we knew of only a handful who had ever been running on Solaris, and all confirmed that they had migrated away, or were in the process of doing so,” he writes. “Our download numbers for our Solaris builds confirmed this lack of interest, as did stats gathered from our managed operations tools.”

    Morrow also says that the company doesn't think it is a good idea to invest in Solaris expertise. “While several of our senior developers know their way around Solaris well, our junior devs have never touched it. Investing in teaching them is of questionable value,” he writes.

  • Create your own Blog with Jekyll

    Every once in a while I think about creating a personal website. Something I could maybe use as an online CV, portfolio or a little blog. For the beginning, nothing special. It would be easy to spin up a Wordpress page, find a nice template and within short time it would be ready to use. But first of all, I think it would be an overkill to use a big CMS with all it’s crazy features for “just” a small page with few sites that don’t change often plus a bunch of blog posts.

  • How to do open source right: LinkedIn shows the way

    If you want to know how to do open source the smart way, pay attention to LinkedIn. It has delivered some of the industry’s most impressive open source software, most recently its Cruise Control load-balancing tool for Apache Kafka, a distributed streaming platform also developed by LinkedIn that is used to build real-time data pipelines and streaming apps in big data applications.

  • Today is a Good Day to Learn Python

    The cool thing about Linux and FOSS is also an aggravating thing, which is that sometimes there's too much of a good thing. There is such an abundance of goodies that it can be overwhelming. So I am here to help you decide which programming language you should learn next, and that is Python. Oh, yes, it is.

    Why Python? I like it because it is clean and straightforward. It's a great introduction to object-oriented languages. The Python world is beginner-friendly and, as a general-purpose language, Python can be used for all sorts of things: quick simple scripts, games, Web development, Raspberry Pi -- anything you want. It is also in demand by employers if you're thinking of a career.

    There are numerous excellent Python books and tons of online documentation. I want to show off Python's coolness for beginners so you will get excited and go "Yes! I too must love Python!"

    But what about all the other languages? Don't worry, they won't get lonesome, and everything you learn in Python is applicable to many other languages as well.

Operating Systems Genode and Haiku

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  • Release notes for the Genode OS Framework 17.08

    The flagship feature of Genode 17.08 has been in the works for more than a year: The support for hardware-accelerated graphics on Intel Gen-8 GPUs. This is an especially challenging topic because it is riddled with terminology, involves highly complex software stacks, carries a twisted history with it, and remains to be a moving target. It took up a lot of patience to build up a profound understanding of the existing driver architectures and the mechanisms offered by modern graphics hardware. On the other hand, with the proliferation of hardware-based sandboxing features like virtual GPU memory and hardware contexts, we found that now is the perfect time for a clean-slate design of a microkernelized GPU driver. Section Hardware-accelerated graphics for Intel Gen-8 GPUs introduces this work, which includes our new GPU multiplexer as well as the integration with the client-side Mesa protocol stack.

  • Genode 17.08 Now Supports Broadwell Graphics, Xen DomU Support

    Version 17.08 of the Genode open-source operating system framework is now available with a variety of changes.

    Genode OS 17.09 now features support for Intel "Gen 8" Broadwell graphics thanks to its ported open-source Intel Linux driver code and also upgrading to Mesa 11.2.2. They have made other improvements too for their graphics driver stack in Genode, including an experimental GPU multiplexer.

  • BeOS-Inspired Haiku OS Had A Successful GSoC 2017: Swift, Btrfs, Preferences GUI

    With Google Summer of Code 2017 now in the books, the final reports on the various projects carried out within the BeOS-inspired Haiku operating system are now available.

Events: Embedded Linux Conference Europe, Community, MesosCon Europe, Qubes OS

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  • Real-Time Linux Summit, KVM Forum, Fossology, and More Happening Along With ELC Europe in Prague

    The Embedded Linux Conference Europe is just around the corner. This year’s event -- which is co-located with Open Source Summit Europe -- will take place Oct. 23-26 in Prague, Czech Republic. 


    The Real-Time Summit, organized by the Linux Foundation Real-Time Linux (RTL) collaborative project, gathers developers and users of the PREEMPT_RT patch. The aim is to facilitate discussion between developers, tooling experts, and users

  • Building Healthy Open Source Communities: Please Join Me for a Very Special Event

    Community — what a profound difference it can make for projects, businesses and organizations of all types. I’ve spent my entire career helping organizations build communities, ranging from internal communities to developer communities, with a strong focus on open source communities. The goal in fostering a healthy community around open source is to engage consumers, customers, and others and encourage them to contribute. With these thoughts in mind, let us consider a few of the important first steps in setting a community strategy, and then I want to tell you about a very special community-focused event that is coming up.

  • MesosCon Europe Features Expert Talks from Netflix, Verizon, Microsoft, and More
  • The Linux Foundation Announces Agenda for MesosCon Europe

    MesosCon Europe is an annual conference organized by the Apache Mesos community, bringing together users and developers to share and learn about the project and its growing ecosystem. The conference will feature a one-day hackathon followed by two days of sessions focused on the Apache Mesos Core and related technologies. It is co-located with Open Source Summit Europe (separate registration required).

  • "Qubes OS from the POV of a Debian developer" and "Qubes OS user meetup at Bornhack"

    I wrote the following while on my way home from Bornhack which was an awesome hacking camp on the Danish island of Bornholm, where about 200 people gathered for a week, with a nice beach in walking distance (and a not too cold Baltic Sea) and vegan and not so vegan grills, to give some hints why it was awesome. (Actually it was mostly awesome due to the people there, not the things, but anyway…)

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