Making commercial open source software

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I recently blogged about making open source software, and the high level steps for how to think about the process. We started with the need for software to seed the discussion, the need for clear motivation as to why to publish as open source software, and then the structural requirements to build a community (license choice, collaboration platform or forge, and governance considerations). » Read more

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Top 10 FOSS issues of 2012

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The year 2012 had many important FOSS legal developments which reflects the continued increase in FOSS use. FOSS projects have increased from 600,000 in 2010 to 900,000 by December 2012. In addition, a Dr. Dobbs' survey in the third quarter of 2012 stated that more than 90% of developers are using FOSS in two of the most rapidly growing areas, cloud computing and mobile computing.

Continuing the tradition of looking back over the top ten legal developments in FOSS, my selection of the top ten issues for 2012 are as follows.

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Abolishing patents: Too soon or too late?

patent stop sign

"Patents are here to stay." This is the sort of statement that makes me uneasy. I guess in the 17th century the common wisdom was "slavery is here to stay." In the 18th century giving voting rights to women seemed absurd and foreseeing open borders between France and German was crazy talk in 1945. At a certain point, fortunately, those things changed for the better. Is it time to change the common wisdom on patents as well? Is the time ripe—will it ever be?—to utter the frightening word abolition? I do not have the privilege to know the answer, but I regard the question as a legitimate one. According to some patent experts, however, questioning the very existence of patents seems blasphemous. » Read more

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FOSS takes precedence in Italy

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At the end of August I wrote a short post about an important reform that modified the rules for software adoption within the Italian public administration.

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Software patents: The talk of 2012

Open law year in review

Looking back over the law channel posts of 2012, I was not surprised to see that software patents were a major concern. The high volume of significant patent lawsuits of competitors and rising levels of NPE (aka patent trolls or patent assertion entities) suits has been the subject of both open source community and mainstream media interest.

There were new ideas on patent reform, and an increasing recognition by the public at large that software patents can hinder innovation. We also saw interesting developments in the areas of internet privacy and freedom and copyright law. I'll go out on a limb and make a prediction: » Read more

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FOSS satisfies government regulations

foss networking

Talend, a licensor of open source enterprise software, has recently received a ruling from the U.S. Customs Service corroborating that its software complies with the Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (19 USC 2511 et seq.) Open source software adoption by the U.S. Federal government must comply with many regulations, some of which can be difficult given the nature of modern software development. And these rules are frequently used as a barrier, or a bar, to the use of FOSS in federal government procurement. One of these issues is the ability of the FOSS company to certify compliance with the TAA which requires a product to be manufactured or substantially transformed in the United States or a designated country. » Read more

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What open source licensing could learn from Creative Commons

Creative Commons

The arrival of the ten-year anniversary of Creative Commons is an opportunity to express gratitude to an organization that has done so much to promote the sharing of cultural works and to challenge traditional assumptions about the appropriate use of copyright. » Read more

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Top 10 articles celebrating Creative Commons' very uncommon last 10 years

Creative Commons 10 Anniversary

To a lot of people all over the world, Creative Commons is more than a license. The organization and their mission is a shining copyleft-light for work rendered by artists, designers, writers, and the list goes on. Here at Opensource.com all of our original content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY-SA) which means that you are welcome to share (copy, distribute, and transmit the work), to remix (to adapt the work), or to make commercial use of the work. And many of our contributors choose to attribute thier work under the same license. Why? » Read more

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Congressional group briefly opens up on radical copyright reform, then takes it back

broken copyright

Open source software licenses and copyright law have a complex relationship. People often say that open source turns copyright on its head and loosely refer to open source licenses as "copyleft" licenses. Indeed, the idea of a license that grants perpetual rights to copy, modify, and distribute a work—and requires licensees to attach the same terms to any downstream work—certainly feels like the antithesis of copyright law's protectionist character. » Read more

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Celebrating 10 years of Creative Commons

Creative Commons

Creative Commons is celebrating 10 years of helping artists, writers, technologist, and other creators share our knowledge and creativity with the world. We've been able to maximize our digital creativity, sharing, and innovation. For example, governments are using Creative Commons for their open data portals.

Earlier this year, the UC Santa Cruz library adopted a Creative Commons (CC-BY) license for all of its content. YouTube now has over 4 million videos available under Creative Commons, allowing everyone to remix and edit the videos. » Read more

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