Op-ed: Oracle attorney says Google’s court victory might kill the GPL

30 05 2016

Annette Hurst is an attorney at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe who represented Oracle in the recent Oracle v. Google trial. This op-ed represents her own views and is not intended to represent those of her client or Ars Technica.

The Oracle v. Google trial concluded yesterday when a jury returned a verdict in Google’s favor. The litigation began in 2010, when Oracle sued Google, saying that the use of Java APIs in Android violated copyright law. After a 2012 trial, a judge held that APIs can’t be copyrighted at all, but that ruling was overturned on appeal. In the trial this month, Google successfully argued that its use of Java APIs, about 11,500 lines of code in all, was protected by “fair use.”

The developer community may be celebrating today what it perceives as a victory in Oracle v. Google. Google won a verdict that an unauthorized, commercial, competitive, harmful use of software in billions of products is fair use. No copyright expert would have ever predicted such a use would be considered fair. Before celebrating, developers should take a closer look. Not only will creators everywhere suffer from this decision if it remains intact, but the free software movement itself now faces substantial jeopardy.

 

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The content in this post was found at http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/05/op-ed-oracle-attorney-says-googles-court-victory-might-kill-the-gpl/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Low-cost IMSI catcher for 4G/LTE networks tracks phone’s precise locations

2 12 2015
Ars Technica
October 28, 2015
Dan Goodin
Researchers have devised a low-cost way to discover the precise location of smartphones using the latest LTE standard for mobile networks, a feat that shatters widely held perceptions that it’s immune to the types of attacks that targeted earlier specifications.

The attacks target the LTE specification, which is expected to have a user base of about 1.37 billion people by the end of the year. They require about $1,400 worth of hardware that run freely available open-source software. The equipment can cause all LTE-compliant phones to leak their location to within a 32- to 64-foot (about 10 to 20 meter) radius and in some cases their GPS coordinates, although such attacks may be detected by savvy phone users. A separate method that’s almost impossible to detect teases out locations to within an area of roughly one square mile in an urban setting.

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The content in this post was found at http://arstechnica.com/security/2015/10/low-cost-imsi-catcher-for-4glte-networks-track-phones-precise-locations/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.

 



Can the APC be discounted or waived?

13 11 2015

Author Services

November 13, 2015

A number of institutions have signed up to an open-access membership scheme with us, which means that you may be eligible to have your APC covered by your institution, or be entitled to a discount on the APC (details on how to confirm your eligibility will be sent to you by email when your article is accepted). View a list of current partners and further information.

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The content in this post was found at http://authorservices.taylorandfrancis.com/hrf_faq/can-the-apc-be-discounted-or-waived/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



The kernel of the argument

10 11 2015

Washington Post

Nov 5, 2015

Craig Timberg

Linus Torvalds — who in person could be mistaken for just another paunchy, middle-aged suburban dad who happens to have a curiously large collection of stuffed penguin dolls — looms over the future of computing much as Bill Gates and the late Steve Jobs loom over its past and present. For Linux, the operating system that Torvalds created and named after himself, has come to dominate the exploding online world, making it more popular overall than rivals from Microsoft and Apple.

But while Linux is fast, flexible and free, a growing chorus of critics warn that it has security weaknesses that could be fixed but haven’t been. Worse, as Internet security has surged as a subject of international concern, Torvalds has engaged in an occasionally profane standoff with experts on the subject. One group he has dismissed as “masturbating monkeys.” In blasting the security features produced by another group, he said in a public post, “Please just kill yourself now. The world would be a better place.”

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The content in this post was found at http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/business/2015/11/05/net-of-insecurity-the-kernel-of-the-argument/and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



“WikiGate” raises questions about Wikipedia’s commitment to open access

17 09 2015
Scientific publisher Elsevier has donated 45 free ScienceDirect accounts to “top Wikipedia editors” to aid them in their work. Michael Eisen, one of the founders of the open access movement, which seeks to make research publications freely available online, tweeted that he was “shocked to see @wikipedia working hand-in-hand with Elsevier to populate encylopedia w/links people cannot access,” and dubbed it “WikiGate.” Over the last few days, a row has broken out between Eisen and other academics over whether a free and open service such as Wikipedia should be partnering with a closed, non-free company such as Elsevier.

Eisen’s fear is that the free accounts to ScienceDirect will encourage Wikipedia editors to add references to articles that are behind Elsevier’s paywall. When members of the public seek to follow such links, they will be unable to see the article in question unless they have a suitable subscription to Elsevier’s journals, or they make a one-time payment, usually tens of pounds for limited access.

Eisen went on to tweet: “@Wikipedia is providing free advertising for Elsevier and getting nothing in return,” and that, rather than making it easy to access materials behind paywalls, “it SHOULD be difficult for @wikipedia editors to use #paywalled sources as, in long run, it will encourage openness.” He called on Wikipedia’s co-founder, Jimmy Wales, to “reconsider accommodating Elsevier’s cynical use of @Wikipedia to advertise paywalled journals.” His own suggestion was that Wikipedia should provide citations, but not active links to paywalled articles.

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The content in this post was found at http://arstechnica.com/science/2015/09/wikigate-raises-questions-about-wikipedias-commitment-to-open-access/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



How Linux was born, as told by Linus Torvalds himself

28 08 2015

One of the most famous messages in all computing was posted exactly 24 years ago today, on 25 August, 1991:

Hello everybody out there using minix –

I’m doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won’t be big and
professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones. This has been brewing
since april, and is starting to get ready.

Many people have read that post by Linus Torvalds in the comp.os.minix newsgroup on Usenet, or at least heard about it. Many more are aware of how that (free) operating system ended up taking over vast swathes of the computing world, and becoming both “big” and “professional.” But what about before that famous moment? What were the key events that led to Linus creating that first public release of Linux?

To find out, in December 1996, I went to Finland to interview Linus in his flat in Helsinki. I used some of his replies in a feature that appeared in Wired magazine in August 1997; more of them appeared in my book, Rebel Code: Inside Linux and the open source revolution, published in 2001. What follows is a more detailed explanation of how Linux came into being, as told in Linus’ own words.

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The content in this post was found at http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2015/08/how-linux-was-born-as-told-by-linus-torvalds-himself/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



How Linux defenders attack bad software patents before they’re approved

23 09 2013
Despite the rise in the number of patent trolls launching lawsuits affecting open source software, there are some glimmers of hope. The America Invents Act that was signed into law in September 2011 has provided new ways to prevent the issuance of over-broad software patents that could fuel future lawsuits.In a session at LinuxCon today, Linux Defenders director Andrea Casillas explained how the group is using rights granted by the new law to fight patent applications. A project of the Open Invention Network, Software Freedom Law Center, and Linux Foundation, Linux Defenders examines the 6,000 new patent applications published each week, attempting to identify those that are potentially threatening to Linux and open source. Then, the group looks for prior art that would invalidate at least some of the claims in the patents.

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The content in this post was found at http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/09/how-linux-defenders-attack-software-patents-before-theyre-approved/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



University of California to allow open access to new academic papers

27 08 2013

The University of California—an enormous institution that encompasses 10 campuses and over 8,000 faculty members—introduced an Open Access Policy late last week. This policy grants the UC a license to its faculty’s work by default, and requires them to provide the UC with copy of their peer-reviewed papers on the paper’s publication date. The UC then posts the paper online to eScholarship, its open access publishing site, where the paper will be available to anyone, free of charge.

Making the open access license automatic for its faculty leverages the power of the institution—which publishes over 40,000 scholarly papers a year—against the power of publishers who would otherwise lock content behind a paywall. “It is much harder for individuals to negotiate these rights on an individual basis than to assert them collectively,” writes the UC. “By making a blanket policy, individual faculty benefit from membership in the policy-making group, without suffering negative consequences. Faculty retain both the individual right to determine the fate of their work, and the benefit of making a collective commitment to open access.”

Faculty members will be allowed to opt out of the scheme if necessary—if they have a prior contract with a journal, for example. Academic papers published in traditional journals before the enactment of this policy will not be made available on eScholarship at this time.

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The content in this post was found at http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/08/university-of-california-to-allow-open-access-to-new-academic-papers/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Oracle v. Google Judge Writes the Book on Software Programming Copyright – For Now, Anyway

6 02 2013

The trial in the dispute between Oracle and Google over the use of Java technology in the Android operating system is over, and the greatly anticipated ruling on copyright in the Java Application Programming Interface (API) has issued. The court ruled that the elements of the Java API, including the structure, sequence and organization, are not protected by copyright. It is important to note that the court did not rule that no elements of an API may be protected by copyright. Although broad in its implications, the opinion is fact-specific to the Java API.

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The content in this post was found at http://newmedialaw.proskauer.com/2012/06/06/oracle-v-google-judge-writes-the-book-on-software-programming-copyright-for-now-anyway/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NewMediaAndTechnologyLaw+%28New+Media+and+Technology+Law%29 and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Twitter joins Linux Foundation’s fight for open source software

27 08 2012

Twitter has joined the Linux Foundation, making its commitment to open source software just a bit more official. Like many operators of high-traffic websites, Twitter relies on open source throughout its data centers, with Linux servers hosting workloads and software projects that make it easier to handle big data and serve up Web content.

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The content in this post was found at http://arstechnica.com/business/2012/08/twitter-joins-linux-foundations-fight-for-open-source-software/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.