Free Software Licensing¶
Andrew Updegrove expresses his concern about corporations handling Free Software projects. He points out that just offering the code under a Free Software license in not enough security for a project to develop correctly or even stay alive regardless of corporate whims. What is needed are independent foundations that take care of the project. As good examples he states Mozilla, Apache and Eclipse foundations.
Google sent a letter to the judge asking leave to file a motion Count VIII of Oracle's Amended Complaint in Oracle v. Google. In short in it Google says that what it allegedly copied from Oracle's Java into Android Dalvik isn't actionable, being covered by fair use or the files are so few their use is de minimis or they are not copyrightable.
- Groklaw: Google Files Motion for Leave to File Motion for Summary Judgment on Oracle's Copyright Claim
Microsoft forbids use of some Free Software licenses in its Windows Phone Marketplace. Its new Windows Phone Marketplace Application Provider Agreement explicitly forbids any use of GPLv3, AGPLv3 and LGPLv3 and implicitly states other similar licenses as well; in Richard Fontana's view also Microsoft's own MS-PL.
- ZDnet: Microsoft mulls changing Windows Phone Marketplace terms to add more open-source licenses
- Computer World UK: Microsoft Bans Its Own License
Free Software Business¶
Less heated then last week, but the debate about Nokia, it's adoption of Windows Phone 7, future/demise of Qt, MeeGo and Symbian continues. It seems like the decision for the pairing of Nokia with Microsoft – leaving fact that Elop is amongst the top 10 biggest private owners of Microsoft aside – could be a financial injection to Nokia, promotion of Windows Phone 7 and furthermore a patent deal. The idea behind this last claim is that while Apple is happy to sue Nokia on patent infringement, it usually leaves Microsoft alone. As already mentioned last week, KDE has secured Qt in case anything bad happens and regarding MeeGo at least Intel (and recently also AMD) is continuing on it and is searching for new partners. From Elop's comments one can understand that when they drop MeeGo they have no use for Qt either, since don't plan to use it on either Windows Phone nor Symbian. Daniel Kihlberg (Nokia's Director Qt Ecosystem) claims that Qt will continue to be important, and increasingly so, in Nokia.
- Nokia Qt Blog: Nokia new strategic direction. What is the future for Qt?
- the Register: Microsoft, Nokia, and MeeGo: Are they all doomed?
- TechEye: Swingin' Stephen Elop confirms Nokia-MS deal is about patent protection
- the Inquirer: Nokia got it wrong Intel CEO says, spills beans on Elop
- the Inquirer: Intel invests in open source, location mapping for future mobile devices
- Computer World UK: Nokiasoft: Who are the Open Source Winners and Losers?
- Computer World UK: Doomed By The Desire For Control?
- MeeGo Blogs: An Update from Intel
- eWeek Europe: Intel On The Hunt For MeeGo Partners
The Nokia-Microsoft partnership also shakes up the mobile chip manufacturing world. On one hand a bigger demand for chips that are supported by Windows Phone can be predicted, on the other hand Qualcomm will not be the only supplier of such chips anymore, since Microsoft says it will support more chips and ST-Ericsson has already stated they will make such chips when Nokia starts making Windows Phone smartphones.
- the Inquirer: Qualcomm and chip rivals eye up Nokia Windows Phone
- Reuters: Mobile Fair Windows Phone chip platform opening up
Kaltura announced that it has secured an additional 20M USD in a round of financing led by new investors Nexus Venture Partners with participation from Intel Capital, existing investors .406 Ventures and Avalon Ventures, and technology lender Silicon Valley Bank. Kaltura is claimed to be the first and biggest Free Software video platform provider. Its code (or at least some of it) is licensed under AGPL, which is quite impressive.
- Kaltura: Kaltura, Open Source Video Platform Provider, Secures $20 Million in Funding, and Lands Major Customer Wins
It seems MPEG LA is trying to stop its competition, by searching for patents that VP8 might infringe.
- End Software Patents: MPEG LA’s attack on VP8 video highlights need for software patent abolition
- Ars Techica: MPEG LA starts the search for VP8 patents
- ZDnet: MPEG-LA targets Google’s VP8 Video Codec
Google has requested the ex parte reexamination of US Patents 5,966,702, 6,061,520, 6,125,447, and RE 38,104. These are all Java-related patents held by Oracle.
Copyright and Other Legal Act Reforms¶
According to this article China seems to understand that the strict enforcement of the so called IPR is neither in public interest nor in perfect interest of the inventor. It argues that too strict IPR legislature as in the USA and other parts of the western world are counterproductive, since it focuses too much on infringement and not enough on innovation.
Professor Uma Suthersanen says UK copyright law needs an overhaul to bring it into line with pre-industrial cultures and received funding from the Department of Business for it. The Register has a very critical law about it.
Government and Free Software Policies¶
The Estonian ministry of the Environment has saved millions of € over the past ten years by using OpenOffice.org. Its head of IT also stated that by using ODF and PDF to exchange documents, and XML, HTML, PNG and SVG for disseminating information on the internet, they avoid vendor lock-in.
Germany's ministry of Foreign Affairs is planning to switch to proprietary operating systems and proprietary office suites, citing interoperability issues with other ministries among other reasons, according to sources close to the ministry. Although both MPs and FSFE have filed questions, to my knowledge there has not been any official answers yet.
- OSOR: DE: Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ditch open source desktop
- Netzpolitik.org: Interne Dokumente des Auswärtigen Amtes zur Änderung der Open-Source-Strategie [german]
- FSFE: Foreign Office: Will it switch off the Free Software beacon?
MPEG anticipates an ISO/IEC Type-1 Video Coding Standard in March 2011. Which would mean that it would have to be a royalty-free standard, as this is a requirement for ISO/IEC Type-1 licensing.
- Rob Glidden: MPEG envisages royalty-free MPEG video coding standard
- the H Online: MPEG calling for royalty-free web video codec
- LWN: In other news – “MPEG envisages royalty-free MPEG video coding standard”
Simon Phipps talks about why using open standards is needed and already mentions Document Freedom Day 2011, which FSFE is again organising on the last Wednesday of March.
Other interesting links¶
London Stock Exchange successfully and happily migrates to SuSE Linux.
- Computer World UK: London Stock Exchange: The road to Linux
- ZDnet: The London Stock Exchange moves to Novell Linux
W3C confirms that HTML5 should be ready in 2014.
- the Inquirer: HTML5 will not be ready until 2014
- W3C: W3C Confirms May 2011 for HTML5 Last Call, Targets 2014 for HTML5 Standard
US authorities mistakenly took down 84,000 websites as part of its Operation Save the Children campaign.
hook out → tea & cookies & studying :3