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Links: Free Software Grows in Europe

Posted in Free/Libre Software, News Roundup at 3:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

British passport

Summary: This week’s news about Free software

Free Software/Open Source

  • Silicos NV ports proprietary software into open source domain

    On June 22, 2010, the Belgium-based computational chemistry company Silicos NV has made a strategic decision to port the majority of its proprietary software into the open source arena. The decision has been made to port all of these tools and the corresponding C/C++ API’s into the Open Babel environment under a GNU GPL licensing scheme. This strategic decision will position Silicos NV as one of the leading computational chemistry services companies to support the open source business model. According to Hans De Winter, Silicos’ CSO, “the decision will allow Silicos to move forward rapidly on the expanding wave of open source software tools, and will significantly expand its possibilities of providing services to customers in the pharmaceutical and biotechnological industry.”

  • TrueCrypt levels up: Hardware acceleration, convenience improvements

    There’s no killer feature update to TrueCrypt 7 as there was in version 6. Still, the latest revision to the popular open-source and free encryption program for Windows, Mac, and Linux debuts some new features and security enhancements that make it worth the upgrade.

  • Why Does FOSS Development Lag the Innovation Curve?

    Are open source developers on the ball about delivering alternatives to cutting-edge proprietary products and services, or do they lag the proprietary innovators? That topic came up at this week’s OSCON conference in Portland, and there is a case to be made for the idea that open source developers don’t deliver key products in key categories fast enough.

  • Libre Graphics Magazine #0 [PDF}
  • Events

    • O’Reilly Open Source Awards announced

      At the OSCON 2010 open source convention taking place in Portland, Oregon, O’Reilly Media’s Edd Dumbill has announced the winners of this years O’Reilly Open Source Awards. The awards have been presented each year since 2005 to individuals for their “dedication, innovation, leadership and outstanding contribution to open source”.

  • Oracle

    • Woah, It Looks Like Oracle Will Stand Behind OpenSolaris

      As the first email of its kind in months, Alan Coopersmith who is a known X.Org contributor and longtime Sun Microsystems employee now working for Oracle, has written a new email entitled “IPS distro-import changes needed for X packages for nv_145.” Alan immediately began this public email by saying, “Just when you thought you’d never see another one of these biweekly mails….”

      The rest of Alan’s email goes on to talk about the X.Org packages in Nevada build 145 that need to be updated. Beyond the technical details for the X IPS package changes needed, no details were given about when we may actually see an OpenSolaris Nevada Build 145 released publicly or the stable release of OpenSolaris 2010.XX. Unless Oracle is just misguiding their employees about the future of Sun’s OS or letting them waste more resources on the OS while knowing it will be killed off, it looks like we may see Oracle starting to get behind OpenSolaris.

      For now we can only hope Oracle issues an official statement shortly, which would ideally be backed by the long-awaited Oracle OpenSolaris 2010 release.

  • BSD


    • Who You Gonna Call? Q&A With Software Freedom Law Center’s Eben Moglen

      The Software Freedom Law Center provides free legal representation and other law-related services to open source software developers. The organization began in 2005 under the direction of Eben Moglen, a professor of law and legal history at Columbia University Law School.

      His law center represents many of the most important and well-established free software and open source projects. The SFLC’s goal is to help non-profit FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software) projects succeed.


      LIN: How is your office organized?

      Moglen: We are an actual nonprofit entity with lawyers on staff. I have six lawyers working in New York City and two lawyers working in India. These people are salaried, working full time on behalf of our clients within the structure of the organization.

  • Project Releases

  • Europe

    • The increasing importance of open source for the EU

      An interesting video message from Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for Digital Agenda, was published last week. The message was recorded in support for GNOME and its events, such as the upcoming GNOME Users’ And Developers’ European Conference.


      Additionally, Kroes stresses the importance of strong communities and the role they play in shaping Europe’s digital future. And now the EU commission has the opportunity to put the money where their mouth is, as it recently announced to fund projects worth 1.2 billion Euros to be launched in 2011. This is a genuine opportunity to invest in open source software and in open source companies to make sure that the open source offering can compete better with companies that offer proprietary alternatives.

    • IT: Bolzano region begins discussion on open source strategy

      The administration of the Bolzano region in Italy will discuss its IT strategy with advocates of free and open source. The director of the IT department has accepted an invitation by the regional Linux user group (Lugbz) and the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE).

    • Idea of her Majesty’s Treasury: Switch to Free Software

      What ideas does her Majesty’s Treasury follow in those days to reduce costs? First they asked 600000 people working for the government about that, got 60000 ideas out of it (that equals one idea per 10 people asked), processed them and put that into 31 proposals. Two of them deal with Free Sofware…

  • Openness/Sharing

    • An Uncommon Commons in Linz

      As its name suggests, a commons is an outgrowth of things held in common, like common land. This has been extended to the digital sphere with great success – notably in the world of free software. But here’s an interesting move that takes the commons back to its common-land roots: the Austrian city of Linz is creating an “open commons region”…

    • Move Commons: Moving Beyond Creative Commons

      Talking of commons, I was reading David Bollier’s Viral Spiral recently, probably the best book about the rise of the commons as a new force (and I want to emphasise that I am not at all bitter about the fact that he didn’t mention Rebel Code once in his description of the early days of free software – nope, not bitter in the slightest.)

      I bought a dead tree version, but it’s freely available online under a CC licence (sadly not an option when Rebel Code came out…for the simple reason Creative Commons was being formulated at the same time I was writing it.) That’s appropriate, since the book is largely about the evolution of the CC licences – and a fascinating tale it is, too.

  • Programming

    • Perl Creator Hints at Imminent Perl 6 Release

      In his annual “State of the Onion” speech at the O’Reilly Open Source Conference (OSCON), Perl creator Larry Wall hinted that the long-awaited version 6 of the Perl programming language might finally be released soon. He also ruminated about the effect that Perl 6 would have, once it is released.

    • PHP 5.3.3 and 5.2.14 Officially Released

      The PHP Development Team just announced today the availability of PHP 5.3.3 and PHP 5.2.14. The PHP 5.3.3 comes on improving the stability and security of the 5.3.x branch with more than 100 bug fixes, some of which are security related so all users are highly encouraged to upgrade to this release.

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Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New

  1. China's Equivalent of PTAB and BoA, the Patent Reexamination Board (PRB), Can Confirm Some Chinese Patents Are of Low Quality

    The Patent Reexamination Board (PRB) of China’s State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) has just tackled SEP (standard-essential patent), but only after a lot of abuse from a CPC-connected patent parasite which targets foreign companies

  2. Team Battistelli and Team UPC Are Both Very Deep in Denial

    The perpetrators of a terrible patent system that permits patents on abstract ideas (which sometimes aren't novel, either) and litigation as a priority refuse to let go of their dream -- a distant, runaway fantasy which may soon cost over a thousand examiners their careers

  3. Guest Post: Battistelli's Former “Padrone” Facing Corruption Charges in France

    Battistelli's former "padrone" made the headlines this week when he was taken into police custody in France and charged with corruption and other breaches of law

  4. Links 23/3/2018: Fedora 28 Beta Delayed, Mintbox Mini 2 is Out

    Links for the day

  5. The Enemies of the Patent System Are Patent Maximalists, Not Those Pursuing Saner Patent Policy

    Taking stock of some recent news and remarking (yet again) on the danger the patent system faces if it allows patent lawyers rather than inventors to steer/influence policy (as seen in Europe with the failed UPC bid)

  6. The European Patent Office’s (EPO) Declining Patent Quality 'Tackled' by Making Appeals/Oppositions Harder and More Expensive

    The so-called 'System Battistelli' is proving to be a disaster which makes both examiners and patents obsolete; Making applications cheaper while making appeals/oppositions harder and more expensive is a recipe for disaster, assuring nothing but more litigation and more workloads for courts, where fees rise to extraordinary levels (in effect externalising the costs/toll of EPO to the public, primarily for gains of patent law firms)

  7. Ericsson, Acting Directly Rather Than Via the Patent Trolls It Habitually Uses, in a Patent War Against Linux/Android

    LG is the latest company to be sued by Ericsson, which doesn't just harass the competition (which actually sells something) through patent trolls but also directly, having won a case in the notorious Eastern District of Texas (EDTX/TXED)

  8. The Federation of International Civil Servants' Association: Frenchman “Campinos is Known for Having Close Ties to Mr. Battistelli Who Strongly Supported His Candidacy.”

    Readers find little or no room for optimism as Battistelli's final day at the Office approaches; FICSA is not optimistic either and the general consensus is that Battistelli's so-called 'reforms' will soon yield layoffs

  9. Links 22/3/2018: Mesa 17.3.7, Mesa 18.0.0 RC5, RawTherapee 5.4, Krita 4

    Links for the day

  10. Japan is Becoming Firmer on Patents, Whereas China Goes in the Opposite Direction

    Japan has become less tolerant of patent aggressors and more conscious/concerned about patent quality, which is why the patent microcosm would rather hail China as a role model (even when China's overall share of patents in Europe, for example, is about the same as tiny South Korea and a lot smaller than Japan's)

  11. Aggressive New Activities of Microsoft-Connected Patent Trolls: Finjan, Intellectual Ventures, and Dominion Harbor

    The extensive group of Microsoft-connected patent trolls is still very much active; Microsoft funds them, arms them, and gives them instructions while offering people 'protection' from them (if and only if they choose Azure)

  12. Battistelli's Ongoing Attacks on the Boards Are Helping Unitary Patent (UPC), Which in Turn Helps French Patent Trolls

    Battistelli will likely be remembered not only as the man who attacked justice (and judges) but also rendered staff redundant, issued a lot of highly controversial patents, and by doing so helped the insurgence of patent trolls in Europe

  13. Links 21/3/2018: Cutelyst 2, More on webOS

    Links for the day

  14. SUEPO: “Today May Be Your Last Chance to Demonstrate Against the Seriously Flawed Reforms That Mr Battistelli Has Imposed” on EPO Staff

    Benoît Battistelli will likely remain involved in EPO affairs for a long time to come (even through a fellow Frenchman, Campinos, whom he swaps two chairs with at the Office and CEIPI), but today is the last opportunity for EPO staff to march in protest against the Battistelli regime, which for the first time ever will result in major staff cuts and growing irrelevance for the Office

  15. Links 20/3/2018: GStreamer 1.14.0, Freespire 3.0, Endless OS 3.3.13

    Links for the day

  16. BIO, MDMA and PhRMA Are Pushing the PTAB-Hostile STRONGER Patents Act While IAM and Patently-O Continue to Bash PTAB

    The patent microcosm, which compares the Board to the above (crude analogy from Judge Rader and other patent extremists), is still trying to kill inter partes reviews (IPRs), in effect overlooking its own hypocrisy on the matter (they don’t want patent justice, they just want to metaphorically ‘shoot down’ the judges)

  17. 35 U.S.C. § 101 is Still Effectively Tackling Software Patents in the US, But Patent Law Firms Lie/Distort to 'Sell' These Anyway

    The assertion that software patents are still worth pursuing in 2018 is based on carefully-constructed spin which mis-frames several court decisions and underplays/downplays/ignores pretty much everything that does not suit the narrative

  18. Battistelli's EPO Became Extremely Reliant on China for Distraction and on Endless Supply of Applications (Supply Which Doesn't Exist)

    Discussion about the EPO granting machine (or patent-printing machine) and figures the way EPO management would rather the public won't ever see them; the concept that China means redemption for this patent system is as laughable as always

  19. The US International Trade Commission (USITC) Against Comcast, Courtesy of the Intellectual Ventures-Connected Rovi

    The USITC/ITC, which mostly serves to impose embargoes (sometimes in shocking defiance of PTAB decisions), is being invoked by a firm connected to the world’s largest patent troll, Intellectual Ventures

  20. Tinder/Match Group Uses Software Patents to Sue a Rival, Obviously Choosing to Sue in Texas

    Software patents are being used for leverage, but only those which were likely granted before Alice and only in courts at districts somewhere around Texas

  21. Links 19/3/2018: Linux 4.16 RC6, Atom 1.25, antiX 17.1, GNU Mcron 1.1

    Links for the day

  22. From PTAB Bashing to Federal Circuit (CAFC) Bashing: How the Patent 'Industry' Sells Software Patents

    The latest tactics of the patent microcosm are just about as distasteful as last month's (or last year's), with focus shifting to the courts and few broadly-misinterpreted patent cases (mainly Finjan, Berkheimer, and Aatrix)

  23. Patent Maximalists Keep Coming Up With New Terms and Buzzwords to Bypass the Practical Ban on Software Patents

    The fightback against Section 101 and the US Supreme Court (notably Alice) seems to concentrate on old and new buzzwords, such as "Software as a Medical Device" ("SaMD") or "Fourth Industrial Revolution" ("4IR"), which the EPO recently paid European media to spread and promote

  24. News About Patents is Often Just Advertisements Composed Directly or Indirectly by Companies That Sell Patents and Patent Services

    Infomercials are still dominant among news about patents, in effect drowning out the signal (real journalism) and instead pushing agenda that is detached from reality, pertinent facts, objective assessment, public interest and so on

  25. Blocks and Paywalls Won't Protect the Patent Trolls' Lobby From Scrutiny/Fact-Checking

    Joff Wild and Benoît Battistelli have much in common, including patent maximalism and chronic resistance to facts (or fact-checking)

  26. China Has Become Very Aggressive With Patents

    China now targets other Asian countries/firms -- more so than Western firms -- with patent lawsuits; we expect this to get worse in years to come

  27. UPC/Battistelli Booster IAM Blames Brexit Rather Than EPO Abuses

    While the EPO is collapsing due to mismanagement the boosters of Team Battistelli would rather deflect and speak about Brexit, which is itself partly motivated by such mismanagement

  28. European Commission Again Urged to Tackle Abuses at the European Patent Office (EPO)

    Rina Ronja Kari is the latest MEP attempting to compel the Commission to actually do something about the EPO other than turning a blind eye

  29. Links 18/3/2018: Wine 3.4, Wine-Staging 3.4, KDE Connect 1.8 for Android

    Links for the day

  30. TXED Courts Are Causing Businesses to Leave the District, Notably For Fear That Having Any Operations Based There is a Legal Liability

    A discussion about the infamous abundance of patent cases in the Eastern District of Texas (TXED/EDTX) and what this will mean for businesses that have branches or any form of operations there (making them subjected to lawsuits in that district even after TC Heartland)


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