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Top FOSS Legal Issues [part1]

Taking about FOSS and law issues could last for years…To be more concrete I found some stuff relate to FOSS lawsuits…In this post I will list the Top 10 legal issues [with some details] for 2007 , as this year was a very active one. Let’s the issues then :

1. Publication of GPLv3. The GPLv2 continues to be the most widely used FOSS license, yet the law relating to software has developed significantly since the publication of the original publication of the GPLv2 in 1991. However the new GPLv3 license is much more comprehensive than GPLv2 and addresses the new issues which have arisen in software law in the last 15 years.

2. SCO’s Attack on Linux Collapses. SCO filed lawsuits claiming that Linux infringed SCO’s copyrights in UNIX. These suits suffered a fatal blow when the court in the Novell litigation found that SCO did not own the copyrights in UNIX. The ownership of the copyrights is essential to prosecute cases for copyright infringement. The melt down of SCO’s strategy was complete when it filed for bankruptcy soon after this loss.

3. First Legal Opinion on Enforcing a FOSS License. In August, the district court in San Francisco surprised many lawyers by ruling that the remedies for breach of the Artistic License were in contract, not copyright. Most lawyers believe that the failure to comply with the major terms of an open source license means that the licensee is a copyright infringer and, thus, can obtain “injunctive relief” (which means that the court orders a party to cease their violation). On the other hand, if the remedy is limited to contract remedies, then the standard remedy would be limited to monetary damages. Such damages are of limited value to open source licensors. The district court decision has been appealed.

4. First US Lawsuit to Enforce GPLv2. The Software Freedom Law Center filed the first lawsuit to enforce the GPL for the BusyBox software in August. Subsequently, it filed three other lawsuits. Although the first three lawsuits were against small companies, the most recent lawsuit was against Verizon. These lawsuits represent a new approach for the SFLC which, in the past, has preferred negotiation to litigation. SFLC has settled two of the lawsuits. Each of the settlements has required that the defendants pay damages, another new development. These suits may be the first of many.

5. First Patent Infringement Lawsuit by Patent Trolls against FOSS Vendors. IP Innovation LLC (and Technology Licensing Corporation) filed suit against Red Hat and Novell in what may be the first volley in a patent war against a FOSS vendor. Acacia is a well known patent troll which has been buying patents for some time and works through multiple subsidiaries. The FOSS industry provides a tempting target because of its rapid growth. These suits could slow the expansion of FOSS because many potential licensees express concern about potential liability for infringement of third party rights by FOSS.

6. First Patent Lawsuit by a Commercial Competitor against a FOSS Vendor. Network Appliances, Inc. (“NetApps”) sued Sun Microsystems, Inc. (“Sun”) for patent infringement by Sun’s ZFS file system in its Solaris operating system. The ZFS file system posed a challenge to NetApps products because it permits the connection of less expensive storage devices to the operating system.

7. Microsoft Obtains Approval of Two Licenses by OSI. Microsoft Corporation continues its schizophrenic approach to FOSS by simultaneously asserting that the Linux operating system violates Microsoft’s patents and submitting two licenses for approval by OSI. In October, the OSI Board approved the Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL) and the Microsoft Reciprocal License (Ms-RL) as consistent with the Open Source Definition.
8. German Court Finds that Skype Violates GPLv2 The enforcement of the GPLv2 in Germany continues with a Munich court finding that Skype had violated GPLv2 by not including the source code with the binary version of the software (instead, Skype had included a “flyer” with a URL describing where to find the source code version). The suit was brought by Harald Welte, who has been the plaintiff in virtually all of the German enforcement actions for GPLv2. Harald runs gpl-violations.org, an organization which he founded to track down and prosecute violators of the GPL.

9. New License Options. Two of the most controversial issues in FOSS licensing, network use and attribution, were addressed in new licenses adopted this year. A “network use” provision imposes a requirement that when a program makes functions available through a computer network, the user may obtain the source code of the program. Essentially, it extends the trigger requiring providing a copy of the source code from “distribution” of the object code (as required under the GPLv2) to include making the functions available over a computer network. An “attribution” provision requires that certain phrases or images referring to the developing company be included in the program. This provision was very controversial on the License Discuss email list for OSI. The Free Software Foundation published the Affero General Public License in the fall which expanded the scope of the GPLv3 to include a “network use” provision. A limited form of attribution was included in the GPLv3. And OSI approved the Common Public Attribution License which included both the “network use” and “attribution” provisions.

10. Creation of Linux Foundation. The Open Source Development Labs and the Free Standards Group merged to form the Linux Foundation. The FOSS industry is unusual because of the extent to which it depends on non profit entities for guidance. These entities include the OSI, Free Software Foundation, Mozilla Foundation, Apache Foundation and Eclipse Foundation. This merger provides a much stronger platform to promote Linux and open standards.

Seems that 2007 brought to the light legal issues , lawsuits and very interesting piece of information related to FOSS. We can see that Free and Open Source software is not only related with software development but also with courts and various lawsuits.

Reference : http://lawandlifesiliconvalley.blogspot.com.es/2007/12/2007-top-ten-free-and-open-source-legal.html

openSUSE Conference 2013 : La “Llamada de trabajos” se extiende hasta el 17 de Junio

Plazos de entrega….Originalmente, la “llamada de trabajos” de la Conferencia de openSUSE 2013 (oSC13),  la reunión anual de nuestra comunidad, ha terminado el 3 de abril.

Sin embargo, algunos de ustedes parecen haber perdido la fecha límite y todavía hay un puñado de ranuras que quedan por cubrir, así que estamos extendiendo la convocatoria de propuestas hasta el lunes, 17 de junio 24:00.

Sin embargo, tenía que haber un pero, esperamos que el programa le llenan rápidamente, así que su “merde juntos”, “no es que francés nuevo”, y presentar sus propuestas lo más antes posible!

Lo que estamos buscando

Su presentación debe ser una charla, una presentación con diapositivas, o un taller en el que se indica a la gente en una experiencia práctica de laboratorio. El foco de su presentación debe ser uno de los siguientes 3 ​​temas:

Comunidad y Proyectos

Presentaciones en esta área deben centrarse en las actividades del proyecto y de la comunidad openSUSE, incluyendo pero no limitado a la gobernabilidad de proyectos, marketing, obras de arte, informes embajador y así sucesivamente.

Geeko Tech

Presentaciones en esta área deben centrarse en las tecnologías de openSUSE como el embalaje, la distribución, la infraestructura, etc openSUSE

openWorld

En esta área , invitamos otros proyectos de software libre para compartir su trabajo y colaborar con la comunidad openSUSE. Las contribuciones no se limitan a contenido técnico, que puede optar por hablar de su proyecto  favorito (“pet project”), como la construcción de un barco, un robot, u otros temas de interés.

y ya que estamos en eso, no olvide registrarse!

El registro seguirá abierto hasta que comience el evento e instamos a que se registre tan pronto como puedas! Las inscripciones nos ayuda a negociar con el lugar de celebración, hoteles y otros proveedores, que hace que sea más fácil para nosotros para planificar para la alimentación y la cantidad correcta de la diversión del partido durante oSC13.

Y recuerde: usted puede apoyar al oSC13 mediante con la compra de entradas de aficionados ($ 50) o boletos profesionales ($ 250) durante el registro. Los fondos provenientes de estas ventas de entradas son una parte muy importante del presupuesto para la conferencia general!

Power to the Geeko!

La conferencia de openSUSE es la reunión anual de los muchos que apoyan el proyecto openSUSE y otros colaboradores de software libre y los entusiastas. El evento en Salónica será nuestra quinta conferencia y esperamos que sea una vez más un gran éxito. Las charlas, talleres y discusiones de interés común constituyen el marco para el intercambio de información y conocimiento. En este marco, se proporciona un gran ambiente para la colaboración y la creación de conexiones y recuerdos duraderos.

El “Poder para el Geeko” lema de la conferencia de este año nos conecta con el pasado de nuestro país de acogida mientras se mira en el futuro a medida que continuamos en nuestro camino a cambiar el mundo.

Vamos a tener diversión!

Los filósofos griegos fueron parte de una revolución que cambió el mundo. Así somos nosotros, y por lo tanto, bajo el lema de “El poder de la Geeko”, nos reunimos y trabajamos en nuestra revolución. Permite obtener los engranajes giratorios presentar sus propuestas de sesiones, registrar su asistencia, nos ayudan a encontrar patrocinadores y hacer que la próxima conferencia de openSUSE un evento impresionante.

 

When Oracle talks about Open Source 2.0 …

Recently i found a very interesting article about Open Source 2.0 (“Open Source 2.0: The Science of Community Management.”) in Oracle web site.

Here i submit the 3 Myths according to the article :

1) Your Open Source Community is a Meritocracy.

“Admit it, the first 10 people to join your project have much more power than the next 10 that join, even the next 100. The first UI person to the project will be “the UI guy,” it will take a serious stumble by him or a person drastically better then him to be displaced. The meritocracy myth is particularly harmful because it creates the promise that if you work really, really hard, you will have the same opportunities as everyone else in the community. Because of human nature, that’s just not true. People are generally creatures of habit and go to the people they already know. It takes real effort to expand the circle/change their ways. For more information, you can read Structurelessness, feminism and open: what open advocates can learn from second wave feminists (this is in part about why open source communities are not pure meritocracies).

2) Open Source is about Collaboration

“The genius of open source is how *not* to work together. It’s about taking complex problems, breaking them into chunks and that individual developers can go work on and then can slide back into the whole. Collaboration is slow, expensive and high touch, community leaders should always think of ways to move from collaboration to cooperation. For example, it used to require long negotiations with the owners of the trunk to get extensions into Firefox (collaboration). With Firefox addons, community members could add functionality and users could pick it up much more easily (cooperation).”

3) Coders Don’t Need Soft Skills

If the success of your open source project is attracting (and keeping) community members, then your soft skills are your differentiator, not your coding chops. Be aware of the assumptions you bring to every conversation (Is this a negotiation? What’s my goal? Is my goal just to prove the other guy wrong?). Your mindset can be resources are scarce, this is a battle, and eveyone else is stupid, crazy and evil. Or, you can believe that the pie can be made bigger, this is cooperative venture and people do what they believe is in their best interest. As a community leader, you can set the tone and maximize the outcome. Your job is not only to listen to what someone is saying, but to find out what are their real interests and concerns. A good solution may be closer than you think.” 

The rest of the article can be found here [1]

True or note is another point of view , maybe not to usual ….

[1] https://blogs.oracle.com/java/entry/open_source_2_0_the

Technical infrastructure in GNOME

1) How to get involved :

http://www.gnome.org/get-involved/

2) Version control system :

Git : https://git.gnome.org/browse/

3) Bug-tracking system :

Bugzilla : https://bugzilla.gnome.org/

4) Mailing Lists :

https://mail.gnome.org/mailman/listinfo/

5) GNOME Translation Teams :

https://l10n.gnome.org/teams/

Interview with Jos Poortvliet

Jos Poortvliet , tell us about yourself. Who are you?

Hey, I’m a Dutch Free Software enthusiast living in Berlin with my Brazilian
wife Camila. I’ve been around Free and Open Source for over 10 years, mostly
active around marketing and community related things.

Which are your main responsibilities and roles inside the openSUSE Project as a community manager?

I’m active in marketing, helping the project communicate to the outside
world. But also internally and between SUSE and openSUSE. I am also active
on the governance side of the project, with strategy or board related things
and helping to handle conflicts if they arise.

How do people from the community understand (or perceive) your role inside the openSUSE Project ?

He, good question. In the beginning, many people expected me to take charge
and play a leadership role. As that is clearly something which does fit
neither openSUSE nor me, I did not do that and made very clear that I did
not see that as my job. Instead, I presented myself as a contributor who had
to earn his place like everybody else. I think I did that, in the last
years, and today people come to me for advice mostly in the areas of
communication, marketing and conflicts – and I happily stay out of
especially technical decisions.

Imagine that you have to build and manage a new community , inside the openSUSE Project. Which are the steps you gonna follow so as to assure that this community will not affect the openSUSE Project? How are you gonna attract  people from the openSUSE Project to participate in the this new community?

Depends on what you are looking for, what you want to create. If it is
something like the ARM project or a new openSUSE derivative, it SHOULD
affect the project – ARM is adding something to openSUSE, so are the
derivatives. That is good!

So, just announce it as that – a cool, new thing in openSUSE. That is not
particularly hard to communicate. I would not communicate it before it has
something to show for and in most cases that means first gathering some
people who want to work on it and making a ‘first release’, then announcing
where you plan to take it and inviting people to join.

Of course, it would be possible to create a project which might not be
naturally seen as an addition. Say, you want to ‘fork’ openSUSE into a more
stable (or more bleeding edge) version. That is an entirely different thing
and should be handled with a little more care: one can imagine that this
takes up resources which otherwise might be put in openSUSE Factory, for
example. But here, too, I think it is important to first talk to some core
people, get a team up, create a ‘proof of concept’ and simply have a clear
plan. Then, based on what objections you expect, make sure to communicate it
in a non-threatening way.

Do you use any tool to manage the information inside the community (e.g bugzilla , statistics in mailing lists,repositories etc) and how?

We have some statistics but these focus around the release, marketing and
user base (number of downloads, page views to our sites, number of active
installations, things like that). And we have some idea about development
(number of commits to Factory, amount of work in devel projects). We have
very little, if any, info on communication related things.

One of the tasks of the community manager is the volunteer management. In terms of measurement and success can you give a percentage of
 “assigned” tasks per volunteer and successfully finished task per volunteer?

I have very little idea here. First of all, because I am restricting myself
to a subset of the community: the marketing area. Second, because my work
frequently shifts and I don’t always interact with the same people. And
last, because I don’t keep metrics like that – I work very much on a one-on-
one base. I’m not saying that that is the best way to do it but I’m not much
of a number man 😉

According to your experience ,  how many months approximately needs a volunteer to be “productive”?

It depends quite a bit in what area and what skills he/she brings. But you
are often looking at quite a long time – a minimum of a month but easily
half a year.

Would you call yourself a mentor? And why?

Sometimes, when I’m actually mentoring new people…

If a project , a task or an idea “assigned” to a volunteer fails, how do you manage this kind failure?
I try to catch it myself but often, I delegate based on trust. So if a
volunteer doesn’t do something, well, it doesn’t get done. That is
responsibility, yes?

Finally tell us , why openSUSE and openSUSE Community rocks?

There are a lot of reasons – but for me, the most important part is the open
mind. Every project has people angry at the world, every project has
friendly and unfriendly people. But overall, openSUSE as a community is very
open to both newcomers and working with others. We’re not such a navel-
gazing community, we pragmatic and willing to look outside our borders,
adopting technologies from other communities and working with them on it.
That is maybe not totally unique, but certainly rare.

Hacking around with the Geekos (openSUSE 12.3 Marketing Hackathon)

kde_party_group_foto

Event

From 31st of January to 10th of February I participated in openSUSE 12.3 Marketing Hackathon.   The Hackathon took place in SUSE Headquarters [Nuremberg,Germany] from 4/02 to 10/02. Before that we participated in FOSDEM by promoting to the crowd the openSUSE Project and the oSC13 as well. Our participation in FOSDEM was really successful cause people asked a lot of questions around the upcoming release of openSUSE and expressed their interest for this year’s openSUSE Conference.  Thanks to Carlos we spread out and informed a lot of people about the oSC13.

Apart from that this year I spent more time in joining presentations. I admit that I liked more FOSDEM 2013 than FOSDEM 2012 because I found the presentations (Developer rooms especially) more interesting.

After FOSDEM we travelled to Nuremberg for the Marketing Hackathon . On the way back to Nuremberg I was impressed by the fact that openSUSE development continued even on the bus  with various hackers (SUSE Employees)  sitting behind their laptops, building packages. Apart from software development we drunk a lot of  openSUSE beers.  🙂

Arriving to Nuremberg , after FOSDEM , we begun to work in the 12.3 RC1 release. SUSE Employees helped us by providing all the necessary equiqment [ok , coffee , meeting rooms etc]  since we worked in the SUSE offices. Interacting with people from the company was really interesting , and i admit that during a release there is a lot of work to be done (bug fixing , artwork, ,writing , promotion , etc) .

Apart from the release we enjoyed a presentation by the SUSE Documentation team  , where we tested  a demo of the new ActiveDoc tool.ActiveDoc is used for the documentation of openSUSE and SUSE as well. Furthermore we had visits from company management , from Ralf Flaxa, VP of engineering, and Roland Haidl. During these meetings we discussed about issues  around openSUSE Project , and how the project can be improved. Ralf Flaxa and Roland Haidl thanked us for our work and they confirmed their willing to help the openSUSE Project as much as they can.

As the KDE 4.10 released during the Marketing Hackathon we all joined the KDE 4.10 release party (in Wednesday). KDE president Cornelius Schumacher and Klaas Freitag, (ownCloud Senior Developer) joined us to the party. We had really interesting discussions about various aspects (KDE , ownCloud ,oSC13 etc).

Work

Here i give a brief summary of my work

– 12.3 Screenshots (Screenshots and related wiki page) [although my laptop was broken for a while]

– 12.3 Package list and Feature (the last days)

–  12.3 Social Media messages for RC1 (and the final release as well)

– 12.3 “We are Hispanohablantes”  , a new project begun , willing to centralize the Spanish speaking communities in openSUSE. Here you can find the English [1] and Spanish [2] version of the wiki page. [if you come from a Spanish spoken country , you can add stuff in the “Information Table”.]

Conclusion

I could blog about this experience for years , but i prefered to write a resume of what i have in my mind 🙂
.  Obviously i would like to thank the following people (participants and SUSE Employees) :

Participants :

Kostas , Bruno (tigerfoot – “Champignon”) , Carlos (victorck), Carlos (CarlosRibeiro), Izabel (IzabelleValverde), Marcel (tux93 or “Silent Power”), Richard (ilmehtar), Michal (|miska|).

SUSE Employees:

Jos, Henne , Ralf, Roland,  James, Jan, Ludwig, Cornelius, Suzanne Augustin, Will, Christopher, Adrian, , Jurgen, Kenneth, Cassio, Alberto,
(if I forget someone ,please let me know 😉 )

I_love_Vietnam

And yes we all love Vietnam 🙂

You can find the photos of the event here and here as well.

And don’t forget!!

See you in oSC13 [18-22 July , Thessaloniki , Greece]  . As the Cfp is open don’t forget to register yourself and why not submit your presentation [or workshop]!!

A lot of Geekings to everybody,

“Power to the Geeko”

[1] https://en.opensuse.org/We_are_Hispanohablantes

[2] https://es.opensuse.org/Somos_hispanohablantes

Statistics around FOSS Projects – Kde-Telepathy

Introduction

KDE Telepathy is an instant messaging (IM) and voice over IP (VoIP) client which supports text, voice, video, file transfers, and inter-application communication over various IM protocols. It uses the telepathy framework as its backend. It’s the slated replacement for Kopete and its main focus is the integration between different components of the KDE Software Compilation that may benefit from real-time communication and collaboration features.

Cost Estimation

According to statics gathered by Ohloh we can see the following piece of information about cost estimation of kde-telepathy project :

Codebase Size : 128,319 lines

Estimated Effort : 32 person-years

Estimated Cost : $ 1,747,556

Commits – Contributors
Information about the commits and contributors is always interesting , let’s see what’s going on :
All Time 12 Month 30 Day
Commits: 6134 2737 250
Contributors: 89 41 10
Files Modified: 3798 1337 356
Lines Added: 511508 112093 20464
Lines Removed: 298275 76633 18870
Languages
Languages in which a FOSS project is being developed can show piece of information usefull for people who wish to contribute into the project. Let’s see what’s going on :
Total Lines : 184,947 Code Lines : 128,319 Percent Code Lines : 69.4%
Number of Languages : 10 Total Comment Lines : 26,800 Percent Comment Lines : 14.5%
Total Blank Lines : 29,828 Percent Blank Lines : 16.1%
Developers Maling list
For getting information for the mailing list of developers [kde-telepathy] , i did use a very usefull and powerfull tool : Mlstats .

With Mlstats we have the following results :

Total messages : 7889

Total people posting in each list:  280

Total messages in each list: 7885

Total messages by email address (only top 10 in total):
Mailing list           Email        #
—————-    ———–    —-
kde-telepathy    kde@davidedmundson.co.uk    1330
kde-telepathy    martin.klapetek@gmail.com    1195
kde-telepathy    daniele.domenichelli@gmail.com    828
kde-telepathy    david@davidedmundson.co.uk    569
kde-telepathy    grundleborg@googlemail.com    468
kde-telepathy    null@kde.org    417
kde-telepathy    francesco.nwokeka@gmail.com    349
kde-telepathy    kiagiadakis.george@gmail.com    231
kde-telepathy    drf@kde.org    191
kde-telepathy    alinm.elena@gmail.com    179

Total messages by year:
Mailing list            Year        #
—————-    ———–    —-
kde-telepathy    2009    89
kde-telepathy    2010    358
kde-telepathy    2011    4313
kde-telepathy    2012    2897
kde-telepathy    2013    228

Total people posting by year:
Mailing list            Year        #
—————-    ———–    —-
kde-telepathy    2009    12
kde-telepathy    2010    30
kde-telepathy    2011    148
kde-telepathy    2012    158
kde-telepathy    2013    20
kde-telepathy    martin.klapetek@gmail.com    1195
kde-telepathy    daniele.domenichelli@gmail.com    828
kde-telepathy    david@davidedmundson.co.uk    569
kde-telepathy    grundleborg@googlemail.com    468
kde-telepathy    null@kde.org    417
kde-telepathy    francesco.nwokeka@gmail.com    349
kde-telepathy    kiagiadakis.george@gmail.com    231
kde-telepathy    drf@kde.org    191
kde-telepathy    alinm.elena@gmail.com    179

Total messages by year:
Mailing list            Year        #
—————-    ———–    —-
kde-telepathy    2009    89
kde-telepathy    2010    358
kde-telepathy    2011    4313
kde-telepathy    2012    2897
kde-telepathy    2013    228

Total people posting by year:
Mailing list            Year        #
—————-    ———–    —-
kde-telepathy    2009    12
kde-telepathy    2010    30
kde-telepathy    2011    148
kde-telepathy    2012    158
kde-telepathy    2013    20