Great article by Kyle Mitchell on the MIT license, in which he observes with clear affection that “despite some crusty verbiage and lawyerly affectation, one hundred and seventy one little words can get a hell of a lot of legal work done, clearing a path for open-source software through a dense underbrush of intellectual property and contract.”
Here is an article I wrote recently about the growing adoption of AGPL.
TechCrunch reports today that the White House released a policy that favors open source software development for U.S. government agencies. “Federal agencies will be required to release at least 20 percent of new custom developed code as open source software. While this is only a pilot, the hope is that it will encourage cost savings and increased efficiency within the federal government.” The full policy statement is here.
The Netfilter project posted this week that it “regrets to have to suspend its core team member Patrick McHardy” due to allegations regarding “the style of his license enforcement activities on parts of the netfilter software he wrote.” The project did not disclose the allegations or their targets. The project pointed out that it “does not have first-hand evidence” but cited “various trusted sources.”
The SFC then made a stronger statement connecting the dots between its promulgation of community enforcement guidelines, the adoption of those guidelines by the Netfilter project, and the subsequent suspension of McHardy.
The issue of “copyright trolling” to enforce open source licenses has long been a source of concern by technology vendors, but also by organizations like SFC that want to preserve the credibility and mission of enforcement actions. However, licenses like GPL are designed to give authors the power to bring copyright claims for non-compliance, and copyright law is a sharp sword. So those who seek to enforce for pecuniary gain will always have the legal right to do so, and community norms may not convince them to forego those rights.
The newly launched Software Heritage initiative is on a mission to collect and preserve software programs and libraries that are provided under open source licenses.
Most people don’t spend much time thinking about preserving technology heritage, but technology is no less part of our social fabric than paintings, sculptures, and handcrafts. Kudos to those who create museums — virtual or physical — to preserve these parts of human culture. People tend to think software repositories are forever, but then they turn around to find that Google Code and FreshMeat are gone.
The project plans to implement features to help the curious to search and explore software in its archive, which contains over 2 billion source files — and counting.
Great article by Stephen Walli on transitioning private projects to community projects.
Joyent, a veteran cloud computing with heavy involvement in open source software, will become part of Samsung. Recently, Joyent released its SmartDataCenter (container-based orchestration software for the public cloud) and Manta (multi-tenant ZFS-based object storage platform) under open source software licenses. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.