Free Software Licensing

Country court in Bochum, Germany ruled that if someone uses Free Software commercially they have to quote the author and the source code. The code in question was the FreeadhocUDF library which is under LGPL and that Buhl Data Services used in their proprietary office suite called WISO Mein Büro 2009.

Free Software Business

Oracle has agreed to share governance of the OpenJDK Java community with IBM.

Recent Gartner survey shows nearly 46 percent of surveyed organizations have deployed free software applications, and 22 percent use it consistently across all departments. While lowering costs remains a primary factor for adopting free software, businesses are increasingly seeing it as a way to gain a competitive advantage, improving business efficiencies and security. Also it seems Free Software is spreading to core business activities and to mission-critical environments.

HP claims it will not run WebOS also on laptops and PCs and not only smart phones. Analytics state this might come as a shock to Microsoft. WebOS is HP's (previously Palm's) Linux-based mobile OS.

Vyatta's Free Software business model seems to be biting quite a chunk from Cisco's market. This slightly longer post dives into how open (internet) standards in the late 1990's, the paradigm shift to virtualisation and the Free Software model of Vyatta have helped it to tackle this Goliath of networking systems and may in the long run have an even bigger impact.

Myriad showed off its "Alien Dalvik" which enables Android applications to seamlessly run on the MeeGo mobile OS. Great to see more interoperability between Free Software mobile OSes. The sad bit is only that it seems to be a proprietary solution.

Nokia's reorganisation and strategic partnership with Microsoft has shook the press and the blogoshpere. Especially the decision to make Windows Phone 7 the primary OS for Nokia's smartphones has spread like wildfire amongst the MeeGo and Symbian fans, since those platforms have been pushed to play second fiddle. MeeGo is said to be a part of a "longer-term market exploration of next-generation devices". Also a very much tighter cooperation is planned regarding advertising, Nokia Maps, searching via Bing etc.

On MeeGo Planet there one of the developers calls to calm, since not even the Trolls know yet what is happening. Qt is already in part community-driven and a free software foundation exists which would in dire times take over Qt. Intel has stated that they're not leaving MeeGo. Also Pelagicore is a young company that aims at working on MeeGo and Qt.

Qualcomm's subsidiary Qualcomm Innovation Center develops AllJoyn to enable secure, ad hoc, proximity-based communication networks as Free Software.

Make Online: Why the Arduino Won and Why It’s Here to Stay

Rumours say UnXis is to buy SCO.

Software Patents

IBM and Samsung announce a cross-licensing pact, which is said to be the biggest cross-licensing deal so far.

LG Electronics has filed lawsuits over alleged patent infringements in Sony's Playstation 3 console and Bravia TVs. The patents relate to managing data streams, a method for reproducing data, a storage patent for reproducing data, a text subtitle steam, processing web content, a demodulation technology to get better reception, a circuit for error-correcting and a data processor for multi-level symbols.

FSFE: European Patent: FSFE urges European Parliament to wait for legal advice

Copyright and Other Legal Act Reforms

In November the UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced an independent review of how the Intellectual Property framework supports growth and innovation. Chaired by Professor Ian Hargreaves and assisted by a panel of experts, the review will report in April 2011. It aims to identify barriers to growth within the IP framework, which consists of the rules and regulations covering how IP is created, used and protected in UK. In their Call for Evidence they are accepting information on how well the current IP system serves to help promote entrepreneurialism, economic growth, social and commercial innovation until March 4th 2011.

The Obama administration has drafted new proposals to curb Internet piracy and other forms of intellectual property infringement that it says it will send to the US Congress "in the very near future." It's also applauding a controversial copyright treaty known as the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA, saying it will "aid right-holders and the US government to combat infringement" once it enters into effect.

Government and Free Software Policies

In the European Parliament MEP Indrek Tarand started European Parliament Free Software User Group [EPFSUG] partially from desperation with the shortcomings of the current, completely proprietary, desktop infrastructure. As they state themselves: "To improve the IT infrastructure of the parliament, we would need to involve IT procurement and IT policy makers. But we do not want to burden anybody. Rather, this group is to assist all those in the EP that are interested in free and open source software, and are willing themselves to take start using it. We want to increase our knowledge and help one another with using free and open source software."

As oposed to last week's reports about many local administrations in the EU happily switching to Free Software and emphasising the above mentioned article, it seems EU's own institutions are suffering from vendor lock-in is all but helping its member states to cut themselves free. Much critique is aimed against EU's massive use and dependancy on Microsoft Word. In complete contrast to its own rules and strategies e.g. in the European Interoperability Framework [EIF] EU institutions all too often demands documents are send to them in a closed proprietary format.

UK government is said to plan to increase the use of free software by public administrations, implementing it on all levels.

Administrative Court of Lille annuls a public procurement tender included abusive technical specifications imposed the storage of data with a software package in an Oracle database and the provision of Business Objects Universe for the generation of statements and reports of financial data.

The Belgium Federal ICT Department (Fedict) has published new beta versions of several open source components for eIdentity (eID), including the Identity Provider and the Signature Service SDK.

Commercial Open Source Software: The Italian Law on Digital Administration and Software Reuse

Open Standards

A very informative article about the versions of the ODF open format, its history and foreseeable future. It also explains the relation between OASIS ODF and ISO IS 26300. Specifically it is expected that ODF 1.2 will become ISO IS 26300:2011 this year and ODF 1.3 is planned to become ISO IS 26300:2013.

Other interesting links

EDRi's monthly EDRi-gram talks about Data retention law provisions declared unlawful in Cyprus, Commission's proposal for PNR Directive fails to impress MEPs, German study finds the data retention ineffective, UK Supreme Court to hear DNA cases, Spanish sports streaming domain seized by US authorities without warning, France: Increased powers for Hadopi authority and Internet blocking and damage to child protection.

the Inquirer: Network security has stood still for 15 years

Simon Phipps calls for people to score Free Software projects into his scorecard to produce a benchmark of openness and freedom. Interesting idea.

La Quadrature du Net: French LOPPSI Bill Adopted: The Internet under Control?

Computer World UK: Is Open Source Good For Security?

Open Knowledge Foundation Blog: Open Bibliographic Data Challenge

TPP Watch: Open letter demands secret TPPA talks see daylight

Slightly Right of Centre: UK government acknowledges that Digital Economy Act may keep net access from the poor

Arduino: Open Source Hardware definition v.1.0 released

KEI Online: Greens/EFA MEPs Engström, Sargentini, Beliér, Albrecht ask question on ACTA and Vienna Convention

hook out → horrible horrible day …more horror awaits: study time :P

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