Hash: SHA1

Call for Equitable Open Source

,----[ Quote ]
| This is not bad as such since this resulted in many more companies
| contributing to the FOSS ecosystem. However this also resulted in a situation
| where the balance of power has somewhat shifted from community-centric to
| commercial-induced interests.
| And since commercial interests don't always correspond (why would they?) to
| the spirit and the principles of free and open source software, there is a
| need to balance more equitably commercial and community interests through new
| initiatives.


Are your Firefox extensions proprietary software?

,----[ Quote ]
| In the last-post, I went through the most popular Firefox extensions and
| talked about whether they were good ideas or not. However, it seems that not
| a lot of people think about another side to this, i.e. what are your Firefox
| extensions licenced under?
| It turns out that a lot of the extensions available through Firefox are not
| free/open source software at all.
| One example is the StumbleUpon Extension.
| [...]
| For example, here are five popular extensions that are free software/open
| source:
| * Firebug: Mozilla Public License 1.1
| * Flashblock: Mozilla Triple Licence (MPL 1.1/GPL 2.0/LGPL 2.1)
| * AdblockPlus: Mozilla Public License 1.1
| * FireGPG: Mozilla Triple Licence (MPL 1.1/GPL 2.0/LGPL 2.1)
| * NoScript: GPL
| Eventually, after a bit of digging and Googling, I found their
| Toolbar-License and guess what? Yes you guessed it, it is proprietary
| software. So if you want to run free software/open source, then get it off
| your system now!


Firefox 3 RC1 forces you agree to EULA before usage

,----[ Quote ]
| While Mozilla has had a EULA since Firefox 1.5 or so they have never brazenly
| shoved it into the end-user's face until now. It immediately set me on edge
| because this behavior is indicative of proprietary software and not something
| you would expect to see when using something that is open source.



"Good enough" ethics and "good enough" open source

,----[ Quote ]
| The Journal defined "ethics" broadly as "socially responsible," and then set
| about trying to determine just how socially responsible consumers demand of a
| company before they'll take their business elsewhere...


Do we need to protect open source from the cloud?

,----[ Quote ]
| Some view this as a simple loophole to be plugged. The GPL was originally
| written very much within the context of Unix programmatic and operating
| system interfaces. Therefore, the reasoning goes, the only reason the GPL
| didn't encompass access via Web services is that there were no Web
| services--at least in anything like their current form--when the GPL was
| created. That the new GPLv3 specifically doesn't address this "loophole"
| either was more a matter of practicality than principle by this view.
| And, in fact, one approach to eliminating this loophole is a straightforward
| enough approach. The Affero GPL is a straightforward extension to the GPLv3
| license that essentially expands the definition of distribution to encompass
| the delivery of services over the network.



Perens: 'Badgeware' threat to open source's next decade

,----[ Quote ]
| Perens said the growth in licenses, especially the emergence of "badgeware",
| or attribution licenses used by numerous open source companies, such as last
| year's Common Public Attribution License (CPAL), is dangerous. Today, we have
| 68 licenses ranging from the well-known GNU General Public License(GPL) to
| the, well... the OCLC Research Public License 2.0 recognized by the OSI.


Google’s open source problem is Affero

,----[ Quote ]
| When the FSF approved Version 3 of the Affero GPL in November, they wrote
| that “It requires the operator of a network server to provide the source code
| of the modified version running there to the users of that server.”
| And there hangs our tale. Google can’t live with Affero. If Google’s services
| are under Affero, Google has to give away its “secret sauce,” the code which
| makes it different. (Its secret source, as it were.)
| [...]
| Right now such losses are no big deal. But as Google gains in power, it’s as
| inevitable as Newton’s Third Law that this Affero controversy will grow.
| For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.


Read the Fine Print on "Open Source" Software

,----[ Quote ]
| The term "open source" was supposed to remove that confusion, and was
| deliberately chosen to emphasize what the software is, rather than what it
| isn't. The good news is that when the term "open source" was coined, just 10
| years ago, the world was ready to listen, and incorporated this term into its
| vocabulary. The bad news is that the open source world is now so diverse,
| with so many licenses and commercial interests involved, that it is often
| hard to know whether a program is truly available on an open source basis
| without reading the fine print. Even when a reporter does a good job of
| describing the software and license, you should double-check the details, to
| ensure that you won't get your organization into trouble.


Microsoft's newest Halloween documents

,----[ Quote ]
| * * * Microsoft is trying to look like it's all about interoperability
| * * through futile projects like Mono, Moonlight, and patent agreements with
| * * Novell and also-ran Linux vendors. But these deals are really nothing
| * * more than a way to tax open-source innovation to ensure open source is
| * * hobbled by Microsoft's fees. * *
| And so on. Microsoft is much more open about its intentions vis-a-vis open
| source. That doesn't mean it's any more supportive of open source. It just
| means that it's getting easier to glean from public documents how the company
| feels about open source. *
| We don't need Halloween Documents to read the tea leaves on Microsoft and
| open source. We just need to pay attention to what the company is doing. In
| the open. On an increasing basis. *


Halloween XII: What’s really behind those Microsoft licenses?

,----[ Quote ]
| Given the OSI’s stated desire to reduce the number of open source licenses,
| not increase them, I asked the OSI board why they had approved it. “We won’t
| approve licenses that are too similar to existing licenses”, board member
| Russ Nelson responded in an email. However he praised the licenses for being
| simply written, for addressing trademarks and patents, and for not naming a
| specific jurisdiction. * *
| Is that enough to differentiate them? Not according to Greg Stein of the
| Apache Foundation, who is opposed to the creation and use of new licenses
| when existing, popular licenses already do the job. “License proliferation,”
| he writes, “slows development and discourages usage by making it more
| difficult to combine and remix code.” * *


Reverse-Halloween: The Marketing Checkbox Strategy

,----[ Quote ]
| Getting Microsoft software licenses OSI-approved and similarly getting
| Microsoft's proprietary document formats approved at ISO are like painting an
| old Chevrolet. *
| [...]
| This may be enough to satisfy the enterprise customer that he is achieving
| something different. Clearly, the substance is no different: it's a lock-in
| in sheep's clothing. *


OSI email group gets catty over Microsoft's Permissive License request

,----[ Quote ]
| Things got really interesting when Chris DiBona, longtime OSI member, open
| source advocate, and open source programs manager for Google, Inc. chimed in:
| * * I would like to ask what might be perceived as a diversion and maybe even
| * * a mean spirited one. Does this submission to the OSI mean that Microsoft
| * * will: *
| * * a) Stop using the market confusing term Shared Source
| * * b) Not place these licenses and the other, clearly non-free , non-osd
| * * licenses in the same place thus muddying the market further.
| * * c) Continue its path of spreading misinformation about the nature of
| * * open source software, especially that licensed under the GPL?
| * * d) Stop threatening with patents and oem pricing manipulation schemes
| * * to deter the use of open source software?
| * * If not, why should the OSI approve of your efforts? That of a company who
| * * has called those who use the licenses that OSI purports to defend a
| * * communist or a cancer? Why should we see this seeking of approval as
| * * anything but yet another attack in the guise of friendliness? * *


Merging "Open Source" and "Free Software"

,----[ Quote ]
| Of course, they are not. Other Shared Source licenses may very well be too
| restrictive to be considered Open Source. But, Microsoft may conveniently
| divert the attention from this little detail to the fact that some of
| Shared Source licenses are Open Source. *


Microsoft not so 'open' after all?

,----[ Quote ]
| Head of open-source group says more than half of licenses don't pass muster
| [...]
| Michael Tiemann, president of the non-profit Open Source Initiative, said
| that provisions in three out of five of Microsoft's shared-source licenses *
| that restrict source code to running only on the Windows operating system
| would contravene a fundamental tenet of open-source licenses as laid out by
| the OSI. By those rules, code must be free for anyone to view, use, modify as
| they see fit. * *
| [...]
| By his count, the OSI has rejected "two dozen" or so license applications for
| language that restricted the use or redistribution of software and its source
| code, even when the restrictions were written with what Tiemann
| called "moral" intent. For instance, the OSI has rejected license
| applications from Quakers and other pacifists who sought to prevent the use
| of software for weapons such as landmines. * *
| "I am highly sympathetic to that point of view," he said. "But the OSI is not
| in the business of legislating moral use. We allow all use, commercial or
| non-commercial, mortal or medical." *


Is Microsoft Hijacking Open Source?

,----[ Quote ]
| What really worries me is what looks like an emerging pattern in Microsoft's
| behaviour. The EU agreement is perhaps the first fruit of this, but I predict
| it will not be the last. What is happening is that Microsoft is effectively
| being allowed to define the meaning of “open source” as it wishes, not as
| everyone else understands the term. For example, in the pledge quoted above,
| an open source project is “not commercially distributed by its
| participants” - and this is a distinction also made by Kroes and her FAQ. * * *
| In this context, the recent approval of two Microsoft licences as
| officially “open source” is only going to make things worse. Although I felt
| this was the right decision – to have ad hoc rules just because it's
| Microsoft would damage the open source process - I also believe it's going to
| prove a problem. After all, it means that Microsoft can rightfully point to
| its OSI-approved licences as proof that open source and Microsoft no longer
| stand in opposition to each other. This alone is likely to perplex people who
| thought they understood what open source meant. * * *
| [...]
| What we are seeing here are a series of major assaults on different but
| related fields – open source, open file formats and open standards. All are
| directed to one goal: the hijacking of the very concept of openness. If we
| are to stop this inner corrosion, we must point out whenever we see wilful
| misuse and lazy misunderstandings of the term, and we must strive to make the *
| real state of affairs quite clear. If we don't, then core concepts like “open
| source” will be massaged, kneaded and pummelled into uselessness. * *


FSF Confirms Xming Restrictions Not Allowed

,----[ Quote ]
| The Free Software Foundation has confirmed that Xming developer, Colin
| Harrison, has overreached his limits by attempting to impose additional
| restrictions beyond the requirements of the GNU GPL and LGPL. *


Open source shouldn't just be a marketing exercise

,----[ Quote ]
| A few years back, open source was the new fad and emerging "cool" technology
| to be a part of, and several major tech vendors made it a point to be
| perceived as avid participants of this growing trend.


Optaros EOS will take the licensing question seriously

,----[ Quote ]
| “We agree that the words open source should refer to programs that meet the
| definition,” said Dave Gynn, director of enterprise tools and frameworks for
| Optaros. “If we lose the common vocabulary all our efforts become useless.” *


Adobe's Apollo and the pressing need to upgrade open-source licensing


When is Open Source not Open Source?

,----[ Quote ]
| The incompatibility between that and the Zimbra license is pretty glaring,
| no further comment needed.
| The reason this matters is that open source, as a development methodology
| and as a culture, depends utterly on the freedom to fork. You can’t have
| open source practices without open source freedoms: the practices depend
| on the freedoms.


Little red hens of open source CRM

,----[ Quote ]
| The people who “steal” your software get almost no value from it. The
| value of business software comes out only when you work with it, when
| you tweak it, when you support it. All open source licenses, especially
| the GPL, protect a program creator’s rights to extract this added value.


Is StillSecure open source?

,----[ Quote ]
| Cobia (to its credit) offers a license FAQ in which it admits
| that its community license structure doesn't match OSI
| definitions of open source. Basically you can't redistribute
| it or bundle it into another, larger product.


Marvell: Hypocrisy enters the LF (twice)

,----[ Quote ]
| Linux Foundation Expands Membership mentions Marvell as a new member
| of the Linux Foundation (LF). Theo de Raadt will soon be enraged...
| Marvell has the bad reputation of providing the "One Laptop Per
| Child" project with a closed-source driver for their wireless chip!

Version: GnuPG v1.4.6 (GNU/Linux)

iD8DBQFIQsg8U4xAY3RXLo4RArKuAJsGI3uH+yj69f8sgzBmwJ hqmFCXzACcCaTV