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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Software Patents

It seems MPEG LA is trying to stop its competition, by searching for patents that VP8 might infringe.

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.

Michael Geist: Copyright Lobby Group Makes the Case for Flexible Digital Lock Rules

Michael Geist: CETA and Copyright: My Appearance Before the Standing Committee on International Trade

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.

OSOR: IT: Updated law presses public administrations to share software

Cuba Headlines: Cuba Announces Migration to Open-Source Software

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.

Open Standards

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.

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.

W3C confirms that HTML5 should be ready in 2014.

US authorities mistakenly took down 84,000 websites as part of its Operation Save the Children campaign.

H Open: Is the open source cloud computing dream evaporating?

the Inquirer: Walled gardens, open systems and people on the agenda at RSA

PaidContent: Pandora’s IPO Filing: Copyright Fees Eat Up Half Its Revenues

Michael Geist: B.C. Court of Appeal Upholds Internet Ad Keyword Decision

the Register: EU agency calls for clear consent on indelible and zombie cookies

hook out → tea & cookies & studying :3

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