Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts published in “Copyright”

SCO, the Not-Walking Dead, Returns

It appears that the once cancelled SCO Show has again been rebooted after a federal judge okays an appeal.

SCO LogoSCO Logo

SCO. There’s a name I’ll bet you thought you’d never hear again. Guess what? It’s back.

Wasn’t there a Bond film called “Live to Die Another Day.” Even if there wasn’t, that applies here.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

The DMCA as Ransomware

Actually, the incident reads more like vandalism than ransomware, but it still illustrates that the DMCA is bad law.

DMCA as ransomwareDMCA as ransomware
© User:Colin / Wikimedia Commons, via Wikimedia Commons

I’ll betcha never figured that one of the things you could do with a DMCA take down notice was use it as ransomware. In a case that proves that if you write bad law it’ll be exploited in more ways than you can imagine, that’s now been done. Forget the record and movie industries moves to take down innocent YouTube posts by misidentifying content as infringing — or misunderstanding fair use.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Should the Fair License Replace the GPL?

It seems to us that enterprises have adopted “permissive” licenses because they see them as a way to “have their cake and eat it too.”

fair license gplfair license gpl

Roblimo’s Hideaway

The GPL has many good points, as well as restrictions that make it unappealing to many commercial software producers and users. Plus, over the years, it has accumulated tons of political baggage only marginally related to its utility as a software license. So should we consider the Fair License as a possible replacement? And, whether we like it or not, are permissive licenses — like the Fair License, BSD License, and MIT License taking over anyway?

Robin "Roblimo" MillerRobin "Roblimo" Miller

Robin “Roblimo” Miller is a freelance writer and former editor-in-chief at Open Source Technology Group, the company that owned SourceForge, freshmeat, Linux.com, NewsForge, ThinkGeek and Slashdot, and until recently served as a video editor at Slashdot. Now he’s mostly retired, but still works part-time as an editorial consultant for Grid Dynamics, and (obviously) writes for FOSS Force.

Should the U.S. Army Have Its Own Open Source License?

Should the U.S. armed forces begin releasing software under an OSI approved open source license rather than as public domain?

Roblimo’s Hideaway

Army software open source licenseArmy software open source license

This question has generated many pixels’ worth of traffic on the OSI License discuss email list. This post is just a brief summary of a little of the discussion, which has been going on for some weeks and shows no sign of slowing down.

There are currently 80 Open Sourse Initiative-approved open source licenses. It’s nice that the Army (I’m a veteran) wants to not only write software licensed as open source, but OSI-approved open source software. (Go Army!)

But does the Army really need its own special OS license? Should the Air Force have a different one? Will the Navy want a Coastal Combat Open Source License, along with a separate Blue Water Open Source License? That might sound far-fetched, but Mozilla has three separate open source licenses, Microsoft has two, and Canada’s province of Québec also has three. So why shouldn’t the U.S. Department of Defense have a whole slew of open source licenses?

Robin "Roblimo" MillerRobin "Roblimo" Miller

Robin “Roblimo” Miller is a freelance writer and former editor-in-chief at Open Source Technology Group, the company that owned SourceForge, freshmeat, Linux.com, NewsForge, ThinkGeek and Slashdot, and until recently served as a video editor at Slashdot. Now he’s mostly retired, but still works part-time as an editorial consultant for Grid Dynamics, and (obviously) writes for FOSS Force.

Just Because It Says ‘Open Source Hardware’ Doesn’t Mean It Really Is

Is it “organic,” or just merely “natural?” Is it really “open source hardware,” or merely hardware with a degree of openess? David Jones explains the problem in identifying which is which and who is whom.

The Video Screening Room

David L. Jones, an electronics design engineer based in Sydney Australia, explains his pragmatic solution to the use of the open source hardware logo — inspired by the varying gradations of the Creative Commons licenses.

Phil ShapiroPhil Shapiro

For the past 10 years, Phil has been working at a public library in the Washington D.C.-area, helping youth and adults use the 28 public Linux stations the library offers seven days a week. He also writes for MAKE magazine, Opensource.com and TechSoup Libraries. Suggest videos by contacting Phil on Twitter or at pshapiro@his.com.

LibreOffice and Nextcloud: It’s Almost Deja vu All Over Again

It’s easy to be tempted to draw a parallel between the recent fork of ownCloud by Nextcloud and The Document Foundation’s fork of OpenOffice six years ago. Slight differences are there, but they’re probably meaningless.

There are more than enough similarities between the recent forking of ownCloud to Nextcloud and the creation of LibreOffice out of OpenOffice six years ago to draw comparisons, but there are also many differences. As Yogi Berra might say, they are the same but different.

fork owncloud for nextcloudfork owncloud for nextcloudOpenOffice, if you’ll remember, was forked by a group of developers who had been frustrated for years by roadblocks to what they saw as necessary development by Sun Microsystems, which had created the open source project out of Star Office, a proprietary suite it purchased in the late 1990s. When the situation worsened after Oracle took ownership, the developers created The Document Foundation, forked OpenOffice and released it as LibreOffice under the GPL. Improvements became evident right away, with much of the early work centering on cleaning up the bloated code base.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

SuperTux Returns, Proprietary Open Source & More…

Also included: Google in a TKO over Oracle, four distro releases and Microsoft’s latest trick to force Windows 10 upgrades.

FOSS Week in Review

Today I’m finally old enough to officially take my seat on the council of the elders and let taxpayers pick up the tab for a large portion of my medical expenses. As you might notice, I’m spending the day working. But I did get a really special birthday present Thursday when Google beat Oracle. Of course, that just ends the regular season for this battle. Next up, Oracle appeals to see if there’s going to be any post season play. Read the closing play-by-play on Ars Technica.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Italian Military Goes LibreOffice, HBO Abuses DMCA & More…

FOSS Week in Review

Also, eight new distro releases, CoreOS raises another $28 million, Mint drops codecs and the women of open source.

The most reported FOSS story this week was the beginning of the court fight instigated by Oracle against Google over Android’s Java implementation. Most interesting as the proceedings get going are the once familiar names that are now back in the news.

So far, we’ve heard from Jonathan Schwartz, pretty much a good guy who you might remember replaced Scott McNealy as CEO at Sun Microsystems in April 2006 and was on hand to pass the keys of the kingdom on to Oracle in 2010 after the company was brought down by the so-called Great Recession.

Christine HallChristine Hall

Christine Hall has been a journalist since 1971. In 2001, she began writing a weekly consumer computer column and started covering Linux and FOSS in 2002 after making the switch to GNU/Linux. Follow her on Twitter: @BrideOfLinux

Latest FOSS News: