FOSS

Free Software Foundation to offer seminar on GPL enforcement and legal ethics

free software legal seminar

The Free Software Foundation will be providing a half-day legal seminar titled "GPL Enforcement and Legal Ethics", taking place on Monday, March 24 at Suffolk University Law School in Boston. Anyone can register to attend the seminar, though it is aimed particularly at practicing lawyers and law students. For practicing lawyers in the US, continuing legal education (CLE) credits are expected to be available for many states. » Read more

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Top 10 legal issues for free software of 2013

free software legal issues

The year 2013 continued the trend of the increasing importance of legal issues for the Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) community. FOSS projects have  increased from 900,000 in 2012 to 1,000,000 in 2013, according to Black Duck Software.

Last year, I provided a look at the top legal issues from the year before. Continuing with this tradition, here is my take on the top ten legal developments in FOSS during 2013. » Read more

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How to set up a free and open source environment on your computer

free and open source software on your computer

Previously, I provided several options for organisations wanting to update their current Windows XP environment to a free and open source (FOSS) environment rather than a more recent Microsoft platform when Microsoft officially abandons its venerable Windows XP in April 2014.


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Wrapping up the Summer of Code at the Googleplex

Google Summer of Code annual Mentor Summit

Over 280 attendees representing 177 mentoring organizations gathered for a two-day, code-munity extravaganza celebrating the conclusion of Google Summer of Code with the annual Mentor Summit held at Google in Mountain View, California. » Read more

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Your opinion counts! Take the FLOSS 2013 survey

free open source software survey 2013

In 2002, the GSyC/LibreSoft research group at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos successfully surveyed a broad swath of over 2500 respondents (mostly developers) from open source and free software communities. They have long been researching and collaborating with Free and Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS or FOSS) organizations and groups and are back again to recreate the survey with the goal of assessing where the community stands today after over ten years of evolution and innovation.

This year, the Libresoft research group encourages anyone involved in a FLOSS project (not only developers) to participate in the survey. » Read more

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How did the Outreach Program for Women work out for the Linux kernel this year?

free and open source opportunities for women

The Linux Foundation became a sponsor for the FOSS Outreach Program for Women earlier this year, choosing seven interns to hack on the Linux kernel from June through September. And, the results are in: the intern group ranked among the largest contributors to Linux kernel 3.12.

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FSFE opposes claim that free software harms consumers

balancing free software

Microsoft and Nokia protest "price predation" and play at being prey.


Does no-cost software harm consumers? The FairSearch coalition thinks so, at least when it comes to Google: They say Google engages in predatory pricing when it distributes Android – a Linux-based mobile operating system – without charge. Recently, FSFE (Free Software Foundation Europe) responded in a letter to the European Commission, labeling as "wrong" and "dangerous" FairSearch’s claims, and saying further: » Read more

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Open source as a civic duty

make things better

I occasionally get asked why I spend so much of my free time writing software and giving it away for free. There are a number of reasons for this—I like to build things and I use it as an excuse to practice and improve my skills—but one of the most driving motivators for me is that I see open source contributions as a civic duty, a moral obligation to the rest of the world.

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A guide to teaching FOSS: teachers as learners

teachers as learners

Knowing everything about any open source project is impossible. If you're going to deal with a large community, you're not going to know all the details. This is unlike teaching courses where everything is black-and-white, and there are plenty of reference texts. If you're going to teach open source, you're going to have to change the way you teach. Rather than a lecturer, you're a mentor.

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The Fantec decision: German court holds distributor responsible for FOSS compliance

foss lawyers

Co-authors: Thomas Jansen and Hannes Meyle

The GPLv2 continues to be the most widely used FOSS license, but has been rarely interpreted by courts. Most of these decisions have come from Germany as a result of the enforcement actions of Harold Welte. The recent Fantec decision in Germany is the latest such decision and provides guidance on the requirements for companies to manage their use of FOSS and the lack of ability to rely on statements from their suppliers.

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