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03.09.17

Links 9/3/2017: Mesa 17.1.0 Plan, Atom 1.15, virt-manager 1.4.1

Posted in News Roundup at 11:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Teradata releases data lake platform to open source

    Teradata today released its data lake management software platform to the open source community. The project aims to help organizations address common challenges in data lake implementation, including skill shortages for engineers and administrators, learning and implementing governance best practices and driving data lake adoption beyond engineers.

    Teradata is offering the new open source Kylo project under the Apache 2.0 license, and plans to offer services and support for the platform.

  • Forrester Wave Report Highlights The Clear Prominence Of Open Source

    The security industry is recognizing the importance open source has within enterprise applications and ultimately security, according to Forrester research. The Forrester Wave: Software Composition Analysis, Q1 2017 focused on Software Composition Analysis (SCA) and found developers use open source components as their foundation and highlights how security pros are turning to SCA tools to reduce risks.

    The six leading providers, according to Forrester, are Black Duck Software, Flexera Software, Sonatype, Synopsys, Veracode, and WhiteSource Software. The report researched, analyzed, and scored each provider to see how each one measures up to help security professionals make the right choices for their organizations.

  • Why Open Collaboration Is Crucial for Blockchain Tech

    The one-year-old Hyperledger Project has already come a long way in making the innovative blockchain technology used in Bitcoin a viable option for secure business transactions. That was the clear message from Christopher Ferris in his keynote at the Open Source Leadership Summit in February.

    Ferris, the CTO of open technology at IBM and member of Hyperledger’s leadership, said Hyperledger and blockchain technology could be enormously successful in private enterprise securing and verifying rapid, high value, and highly private transactions. Additionally, the collaborative open source foundation is nearing release of its production-ready distributed ledger code base, Fabric.

  • Keynote: State of Blockchain – Christopher Ferris, Distinguished Engineer

    The Hyperledger project has come a long way in making the innovative blockchain technology used in Bitcoin a viable option for secure business transactions; hear more from Christopher Ferris in this keynote at the Open Source Leadership Summit.

  • Open source: Free as in beer, puppy… or mattress? [Ed: This longtime Microsoft propagandist (Branscombe) didn’t get the memo that her masters pretend to love FOSS? The old “puppy” attack recycled?]

    When open source first started to become mainstream in the 90s, there was a good deal of debate about what ‘free software’ meant.

    It wasn’t just about something you didn’t have to pay for, went the philosophy, it was also about being able to see the source code to understand what was going on, and to make your own changes.

  • How to make money from open source software

    Talk about starting a business based on open source software and the conversation will inevitably shift to Red Hat. That’s because the Linux vendor is a shining example of a company that’s making money from an open source product. But how easy is it really to establish an open source startup that makes money? For every success story like Red Hat there are companies like Cyanogen that fail to thrive and projects that are abandoned.

    It’s tempting to believe that the Red Hat business model, which is based around selling subscriptions for support to a maintained and tested version of Linux (or a closely related model that offers consultancy and customization to an open source software solution as well support and maintenance), is the most viable way to make money from open source software. But Sam Myers, a principal at Balderton Capital, a technology venture capital company, says that most open source startups are unlikely to succeed using these business models.

  • The grueling emotional labor of an open source maintainer

    Nolan Lawson is burning up the free/open source web with an essay called What it feels like to be an open-source maintainer, where he describes the contradictory and negative experiences of trying to please hundreds of people who are just trying to get his code to work, where the more emotional and technical work he does to make them happy, the more he ends up with.

  • Introduction to gRPC

    The hot new buzz in tech is gRPC. It is a super-fast, super-efficient Remote Procedure Call (RPC) system that will make your microservices talk to each other at lightspeed, or at least that’s what people say. So this article will take a quick look at what it is, and how or when it can fit into your services.

  • Open source technology in enterprise

    With many organisations having moved to more open source adoption, more than 90% admit there are potential or hidden costs in doing so.

    Up to half admit to not taking the different costs of open source into account in their decision-making, such as training, recruiting and replacing employees with essential data science skills.

    [...]

    What is clear are that many organisations see clear benefits from open source and many are already deploying these solutions, with plans to grow their use of open source.

    Respondents listed a number of customer benefits. Almost half believe it can help bring opportunities in terms of a wider range and more personalised products and services. Around four in 10 feel it can help with faster resolution of problems.

  • Events

    • The Linux Foundation Announces Keynotes and Sessions for Apache: Big Data
    • The Linux Foundation Announces Full Agenda for ApacheCon™ 2017
    • Apache Conferences, BarCamps, and MeetUps

      The Apache Software Foundation, in conjunction with our friends at the Linux Foundation events team, are proud to announce the schedule for ApacheCon North America – http://events.linuxfoundation.org/events/apachecon-north-america/program/schedule – and Apache Big Data North America – http://events.linuxfoundation.org/events/apache-big-data-north-america/program/schedule

    • SCaLE 15x

      This year was the 15th Annual SCaLE (Southern California Linux Expo) event where I was fortunate enough to both attend and speak at. While this is the 15th year of the, now very well known, conference; it was in fact my first time to attend. I spent majority of my time floating between working the Fedora, Red Hat, and OpenShift booths there in the Expo Hall. I had originally planned to spend more time at the Fedora booth than I did, but the OpenShift crew ended up short staffed because of unexpected travel issues of some of their team members so I filled in the best I could. As expected the interest in containers is at full tilt and people were very interested to see what is going on with OpenShift as it is a Kubernetes distribution with advanced features beyond core Kubernetes, and Kubernetes is easily the most popular container orchestration platform around right now. The Project Atomic Community manager, Josh Berkus was kind enough to lend his Sub-Atomic Cluster (Described in this two-part blog series: Part 1, Part 2) to the booth efforts and that made for some very engaging demos of what OpenShift can accomplish (even though the conference network left something to be desired, but this is nothing new). Over all I think we were able to provide event goers a solid booth destination in their Expo Hall travels.

    • #LinuxPlaya 2017, the Fedora and GNOME fest at the beach!

      Last Saturday in Lima, Peru, a group of students and, Fedora and GNOME lovers have celebrated the event called #LinuxPlaya.

    • The presence of Fedora and GNOME at DevAcademy

      Today, I have been interviewed by Lennon Shimokawa (Founder of DevAcademy) to talk about the Free Software situation in Peru and how to get involved in the GNOME and Fedora project since you are interested to do it! This was the preamble for this season:

    • Call for Speakers: DevNet Create, May 23-24, 2017 in San Francisco

      Do you love to code? Are you a trailblazer in secure app development, IoT or bot app development? Want to share your microservices or container success story? If so, DevNet Create wants you as a speaker at its first annual event May 23-24, 2017, in San Francisco.

  • Web Browsers

  • Databases

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

  • Education

    • Open Source adoption in Education Sector: Interview with Patrick Masson from OSI

      With the perceived growth of FLOSS deployments in the world’s education sector, we wanted to try to confirm our intuition. What better way of doing so than going directly to the source. In this instance, we reached out to Patrick Masson, Director and General Manager at Open Source Initiative (OSI). He was kind enough to put a lot of time and effort into answering questions in this area. He provides plenty of reasons to confirm our initial thoughts. Please enjoy reading through the immense amount of information Patrick provided to us.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Funding

    • Netfilter in GSoC 2017

      Great news! The Netfilter project has been elected by Google to be a mentoring organization in this year Google Summer of Code program. Following the pattern of the last years, Google seems to realise and support the importance of this software project in the Linux ecosystem.

    • Over 200 Open Source Orgs Mentoring GSoC 2017

      The list of mentoring organizations for this year’s Google Summer of Code has been posted and there’s a record number of them. The list includes large and well known projects together with smaller and less familiar ones.

  • BSD

    • LLVM 4.0 Compiler Stack Is Getting Prepped For Release

      The LLVM compiler infrastructure stack and Clang C/C++ compiler front-end will see their version 4.0 release within the next few days.

      LLVM/Clang 4.0 has dragged on due to unresolved blockers compared to their targeted release date about two weeks ago, but the good news now that after the additional release candidates, the bugs have been resolved.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Should the U.S. Army Have Its Own Open Source License?

      This question has generated many pixels’ worth of traffic on the OSI License discuss email list. This post is just a brief summary of a little of the discussion, which has been going on for some weeks and shows no sign of slowing down.

      There are currently 80 Open Sourse Initiative-approved open source licenses. It’s nice that the Army (I’m a veteran) wants to not only write software licensed as open source, but OSI-approved open source software. (Go Army!)

      But does the Army really need its own special OS license? Should the Air Force have a different one? Will the Navy want a Coastal Combat Open Source License, along with a separate Blue Water Open Source License? That might sound far-fetched, but Mozilla has three separate open source licenses, Microsoft has two, and Canada’s province of Québec also has three. So why shouldn’t the U.S. Department of Defense have a whole slew of open source licenses?

      There are five different GPL licenses alone, and I assure you that even the Coast Guard dwarfs the Free Software Foundation in both personnel and resources.

    • US Department of Defense Launches code.mil Open Source Effort

      While the US DoD has long utilized open source software as a basic component for development of both classified and unclassified software, this new effort is unique in that it seeks to provide transparent sharing of unclassified software that was developed under DoD contracts.

    • Indian State of Kerala Saves $58 Million Each Year By Using Free And Open Source Software

      In Kerala, IT became a compulsory subject in 2003. It was followed by the phased adoption of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) in 2005. This was done to replace the proprietary software.

  • Licensing/Legal

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Open Source Firmware For A Cheap Programmable Power Supply

        A few months ago, someone clued us in on a neat little programmable power supply from the usual Chinese retailers. The DPS5005 is a programmable power supply that takes power from a big AC to DC wall wart and turns it into a tiny bench-top power supply. You can pick one of these things up for about thirty bucks, so if you already have a sufficiently large AC to DC converter you can build a nice 250 Watt power supply on the cheap.

        [Johan] picked up one of these tiny programmable power supplies. His overall impression was positive, but like so many cheap products on AliExpress, there wasn’t a whole lot of polish to the interface. Additionally, the DPS5005 lacked the ability to be controlled over a serial port or WiFi.

  • Programming/Development

    • Secrets of Maintainable Codebases

      You should write maintainable code. I assume people have told you this, at some point. The admonishment is as obligatory as it is vague. So, I’m sure, when you heard this, you didn’t react effusively with, “oh, good idea — thanks!”

      If you take to the internet, you won’t need to venture far to find essays, lists, and stack exchange questions on the subject. As you can see, software developers frequently offer opinions on this particular topic. And I present no exception; I have little doubt that you could find posts about this on my own blog.

    • Facebook Brings HHVM To ARM 64-bit

      It looks like Facebook could be exploring more from ARM servers in their data centers as they have now brought their HHVM PHP implementation to AArch64.

Leftovers

  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

  • Security

    • Security updates for Tuesday
    • Security updates for Wednesday
    • Google leads ‘guerilla patching’ of big vulnerability in open source projects

      Google has revealed its emergency patching efforts to fix a widespread and “pernicious” software vulnerability that affected thousands of open source projects in 2015.

      Referred to as “Mad Gadget” by Google (aka the Java “Apache Commons Collections Deserialization Vulnerability” CVE 2015-6420), the flaw was first highlighted by FoxGlove Security in November of that year, months after the first proof-of-concept code garnered almost zero attention.

    • Microsoft and Samsung react to Vault 7 CIA leaks — Google, Linux Foundation and others remain silent

      The Vault 7 document and code cache released yesterday by WikiLeaks revealed that many big software companies were being actively exploited by the CIA. Apple, Microsoft, Google, Samsung, and even Linux were all named as having vulnerabilities that could be used for surveillance.

    • Vault 7 fallout: Linux Foundation says it’s “not surprising” Linux is targeted [Ed: “NSA Asked Linus Torvalds To Install Backdoors Into GNU/Linux”]

      In the wake of WikiLeaks’ Vault 7 CIA leaks, Apple has been quick to point out that vulnerabilities mentioned in the documents have already been addressed. Microsoft and Samsung have said they are “looking into” things, and now the Linux Foundation has spoken out.

      Nicko van Someren, Chief Technology Officer at The Linux Foundation says that while it is “not surprising” that Linux would find itself a target, the open source project has a very fast release cycle, meaning that kernel updates are released every few days to address issues that are found.

    • The Linux Foundation responds to Wikileaks’ CIA hacking revelations

      THE LINUX FOUNDATION has become the latest firm to responded to the revelations that its products have been compromised by the CIA.

      Wikileaks on Tuesday published 8,761 documents dubbed ‘Year Zero’, the first part in a series of leaks on the agency that Wikileaks has dubbed ‘Vault 7′.

      The whistleblowing foundation claims the document dump reveals full details of the CIA’s ‘global covert hacking program’, including ‘weaponised exploits’ used against operating systems including Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Windows and “even Samsung TVs, which are turned into cover microphones”.

    • Security updates for Thursday
    • Hardening the LSM API

      The Linux Security Modules (LSM) API provides security hooks for all security-relevant access control operations within the kernel. It’s a pluggable API, allowing different security models to be configured during compilation, and selected at boot time. LSM has provided enough flexibility to implement several major access control schemes, including SELinux, AppArmor, and Smack.

    • Hackers exploit Apache Struts vulnerability to compromise corporate web servers
    • Critical vulnerability under “massive” attack imperils high-impact sites

      The code-execution bug resides in the Apache Struts 2 Web application framework and is trivial to exploit. Although maintainers of the open source project patched the vulnerability on Monday, it remains under attack by hackers who are exploiting it to inject commands of their choice into Struts servers that have yet to install the update, researchers are warning. Making matters worse, at least two working exploits are publicly available.

    • How Safe Are Blockchains? It Depends.

      Blockchain, the distributed ledger technology underlying bitcoin, may prove to be far more valuable than the currency it supports. But it’s only as valuable as it is secure. As we begin to put distributed ledger technology into practice, it’s important to make sure that the initial conditions we’re setting up aren’t setting us up for security issues later on.

    • Three Overlooked Lessons about Container Security

      Last week was an exciting week for me — I’ve just joined container security specialists Aqua Security and spent a couple of days in Tel Aviv getting to know the team and the product. I’m sure I’m learning things that might be obvious to the seasoned security veteran, but perhaps aren’t so obvious to the rest of us! Here are three aspects I found interesting and hope you will too, even if you’ve never really thought about the security of your containerized deployment before:

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Death in al Ghayil

      On January 29, 5-year-old Sinan al Ameri was asleep with his mother, his aunt, and 12 other children in a one-room stone hut typical of poor rural villages in the highlands of Yemen. A little after 1 a.m., the women and children awoke to the sound of a gunfight erupting a few hundred feet away. Roughly 30 members of Navy SEAL Team 6 were storming the eastern hillside of the remote settlement.

      [...]

      His mother’s body was found in the early light of dawn, the front of her head split open. The baby was wounded but alive. Sinan’s mother was one of at least six women killed in the raid, the first counterterrorism operation of the Trump administration, which also left 10 children under the age of 13 dead. “She was hit by the plane. The American plane,” explained Sinan. “She’s in heaven now,” he added with a shy smile, seemingly unaware of the enormity of what he had witnessed or, as yet, the impact of his loss. “Dog Trump,” declared Nesma, turning to the other women in the room for agreement. “Yes, the dog Trump,” they agreed.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Energy Star Wars

      Trump’s budget would get rid of Energy Star.

      The government labeling program for energy-efficient appliances and consumer products is on the chopping block as the president tries to slash spending so he can steer $54 billion more a year to the military.

      About 18,000 companies and other organizations are Energy Star partners, voluntarily putting the label on their products that meet efficiency guidelines. That helps consumers identify products that use less energy and thus cost them less to run, and it helps companies market those products.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • How the CIA’s Hacking Hoard Makes Everyone Less Secure

      When WikiLeaks yesterday released a trove of documents purporting to show how the CIA hacks everything from smartphones to PCs to smart televisions, the agency’s already shadowy reputation gained a new dimension. But if you’re an average American, rather than Edward Snowden or an ISIS jihadi, the real danger clarified by that leak wasn’t that someone in Langley is watching you through your hotel room’s TV. It’s the rest of the hacker world that the CIA has inadvertently empowered.

      As security researchers and policy analysts dig through the latest WikiLeaks documents, the sheer number of hacking tools the CIA has apparently hoarded for exploiting zero-day vulnerabilities—secret inroads that tech firms haven’t patched—stands out most. If the US intelligence community knows about them, that leaves open the possibility that criminal and foreign state hackers do as well.

    • CIA Listed BlackBerry’s Car Software as Possible Target

      BlackBerry Ltd.’s QNX automotive software, used in more than 60 million cars, was listed as a potential target for the Central Intelligence Agency to hack, according to documents released by WikiLeaks.

      CIA meeting notes mention QNX as one of several “potential mission areas” for the organization’s Embedded Devices Branch. The same branch also worked with U.K. spy agencies to develop tools to break into Apple iPhones, Google’s Android system and Samsung smart TVs, according to some of the 8,761 documents WikiLeaks posted Tuesday.

    • China blasts CIA after WikiLeaks reveals extent of agency’s hacking abilities

      WikiLeaks’ publication of documents detailing the CIA’s vast hacking prowess prompted a rebuke from China’s Foreign Ministry on Thursday over concerns surrounding the security risks caused by the agency’s ability to crack the world’s most widely-used electronic devices.

      Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said he was concerned when at asked at a press conference Thursday about Beijing’s response to the latest WikiLeaks release — a cache of documents indicating the CIA can compromise an array of popular tech products, including many made and sold in China.

    • Open Rights Group calls for control of spies’ use of zero-days

      Wikileaks’ publication of documents detailing CIA hacking tools has prompted calls for government to control spy agencies’ use of vulnerabilities in widely used hardware and software

      A digital rights group has called on government to regulate the way their intelligence agencies hoard and use vulnerabilities that affect devices owned by millions of ordinary people.

    • WikiLeaks’ #Vault7 is ‘millennials’ fault says former CIA, NSA chief Hayden

      Michael Hayden, former director of both the CIA and NSA, has blamed the recent WikiLeaks #Vault7 CIA release on millennials, citing Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden as examples of the younger generation having no loyalty or sense of secrecy.

    • Former NSA deputy director says Snowden should make his case in court

      Edward Snowden, a former employee of the US National Security Agency (NSA), who disclosed electronic spying methods used by the US secret services, should have an opportunity to make his case in court, former NSA Deputy Director Chris Inglis told TASS on the sidelines of the World Cyber Security Congress in London.

    • CIA Leaks Unsurprisingly Show The Internet Of Broken Things Is A Spy’s Best Friend

      So if you’ve spent any amount of time around here, you probably already know that the security and privacy standards surrounding the internet of (broken) things sit somewhere between high comedy and dogshit. Whether it’s your refrigerator leaking your gmail credentials or your children’s toys leaking kids’ conversations, putting a microphone and camera on everything that isn’t nailed down — then connecting those devices to the internet without thinking about security and privacy — hasn’t been quite the revolution we were promised.

      [...]

      Again, this might be less of a threat if TV vendors actually took user privacy seriously, utilized system settings that made device functionality transparent, or made it easy to disable functionality of dubious value on demand. But like the rest of the Internet of Things industry, companies were so hyped to use connectivity to hoover up private user data non-transparently, their ethical apathy left the door wide open to intruders (state sponsored or otherwise).

    • CIA and MI5 hacking our “Internet of Things”

      Yet again Wikileaks has come good by exposing just how much we are being spied upon in this brave new digital world – the Vault 7 release has provided the proof for what many of us already knew/suspected – that our smart gadgets are little spy devices.

    • Apple, Samsung and Microsoft react to Wikileaks’ CIA dump

      Several of the tech firms whose products have been allegedly compromised by the CIA have given their first reactions to the claims.

      Wikileaks published thousands of documents said to detail the US spy agency’s hacking tools on Tuesday.

      They included allegations the CIA had developed ways to listen in on smartphone and smart TV microphones.

    • China expresses concern at revelations in Wikileaks dump of hacked CIA data

      China expressed concern on Thursday over revelations in a trove of data released by Wikileaks purporting to show that the CIA can hack all manner of devices, including those made by Chinese companies.

      Dozens of firms rushed to contain the damage from possible security weak points following the anti-secrecy organization’s revelations, although some said they needed more details of what the U.S. intelligence agency was up to.

      Widely-used routers from Silicon Valley-based Cisco (CSCO.O) were listed as targets, as were those supplied by Chinese vendors Huawei [HWT.UL] and ZTE (000063.SZ) and Taiwan supplier Zyxel for their devices used in China and Pakistan.

    • How does it feel to be wiretapped, when you should be doing the wiretapping…

      So the new president in the United States of America claim to be surprised to discover that he was wiretapped during the election before he was elected president. He even claim this must be illegal. Well, doh, if it is one thing the confirmations from Snowden documented, it is that the entire population in USA is wiretapped, one way or another. Of course the president candidates were wiretapped, alongside the senators, judges and the rest of the people in USA.

      [...]

      What I find most sad in this story is how Norwegian journalists present it. In a news reports the other day in the radio from the Norwegian National broadcasting Company (NRK), I heard the journalist claim that ‘the FBI denies any wiretapping’, while the reality is that ‘the FBI denies any illegal wiretapping’. There is a fundamental and important difference, and it make me sad that the journalists are unable to grasp it.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Senator Thune Begins Pushing A ‘Net Neutrality’ Bill That’s Likely To Kill Net Neutrality

      While Trump, the GOP and new FCC boss Ajit Pai really want to kill net neutrality protections for AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, it likely won’t happen at the FCC. As it stands, rolling back the rules via the same FCC process that birthed them would require showing the courts that things have dramatically changed since the FCC’s major court win last year. Such a process would also involve another lengthy public comment period, during which the record-setting four million public comments filed during the rule creation could appear diminutive.

      So if you’re an ISP lobbyist looking to kill net neutrality rules, how do you accomplish this without causing a massive public shitstorm? Why you table a bill that pretends to save and protect net neutrality, while wording it to do the exact opposite, of course!

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • UK Intellectual Property Office Refuses Beer Brewery’s Request To Block Trademark Application For Whisky

        For as long as I’ve spent time screaming about trademark issues in the alcohol industry in these here pages, I’ve repeatedly made the point that trademark laws the world over should be more nuanced when it comes to defining competitive marketplaces. The alcohol industries are perfect examples of this, with a fairly discerning customer base that is quite capable of knowing the difference between a beer and a single-malt whisky, or a bottle of wine, or the horror upon humanity that is sangria. But too many governing IP offices and courts take the lazy route of lumping these micro-markets into a macro-market for the purposes of claiming competition in trademark disputes.

        But the courts don’t always get this question wrong. Some, in fact, do bother to take the time to weigh the sophistication of the likely buyers of products within a marketplace when rendering a decision on a trademark dispute. And that seems to have been at least in part at play in a recent decision to allow a trademark to proceed for a whisky brand despite the objection raised by a beer brewer.

      • Wolfgang Puck Battles Elon Musk’s Brother Over Trademark Rights For ‘The Kitchen’ In Restaurant Industry

        Generic terms that are allowed trademark protection are the bane of those that still believe trademark law serves a useful function. For the law to work as intended, to protect the public’s ability to know what they’re buying and from whom they are buying it, trademarks need to be both unique and identifying. When the USPTO instead allows for laughably broad terms or words to be trademarked, it steals from trademark proponents the argument of utility.

    • Copyrights

      • Won’t Have Perfect 10′s Silly Lawsuits Setting Precedent Anymore: Judge Appoints Receiver For Perfect 10′s Assets

        We’ve written a ton about Perfect 10 over the years. As we’ve noted, while the company officially styled itself as a porn magazine company, it was an early form of copyright troll, focusing on suing basically every large company imaginable for being somehow kinda partially related to any of Perfect 10′s pictures showing up online. As such, Perfect 10 was astoundingly useful in setting some really fantastic and useful precedents concerning intermediary liability protections, and making sure that third parties and platforms weren’t held liable for copyright infringement.

      • Politico publishes (part of) draft copyright report by MEP Comodini Cachia

        I have only seen part of the newly worded Recital 38, but MEP Comodini Cachia proposes to clarify that the obligation of online service providers to conlcude licensing agreements with rightholders only arises when they are “actively and directly involved in the making available of user uploaded content and where this activity is not of a mere technical, automatic and passive nature”.

      • UK Local Government Confirms Surprising EU Position That Viewing Pirated Streams Probably Isn’t Illegal

        A couple of years ago, the MPAA was freaking out about a piece of free software called Popcorn Time. Even though it was hugely popular as a result of its ease of use — and access to large numbers of infringing copies of films — it had a serious weakness. Since Popcorn Time was basically a BitTorrent client with an integrated media player, it was often possible to track down people who were using it. That fact, and the increasingly heavy-handed legal action taken against some sites that only had a vague connection with the Popcorn Time software, led to people moving on to more discreet alternatives that are based on direct streaming. One of the most popular today is Kodi, which describes itself as a “software media center for playing videos, music, pictures, games, and more.” Like Popcorn time, it is also open source, but it does not include a BitTorrent client

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    The Office is scrambling to hide evidence of its out-of-control spendings, which will leave the EPO out of money when the backlog is eliminated by many erroneous grants (or rejections)



  14. In the US Patent System, Evolved Tricks for Bypassing Invalidations of Software Patents and Getting Them Granted by the USPTO

    A roundup of news about patents in the US and how the patent microcosm attempts to patent software in spite of Alice (high-impact SCOTUS decision from 2014)



  15. “Then They Came For Me—And There Was No One Left To Speak For Me.”

    The decreasing number of people who cover EPO scandals (partly due to fear, or Battistelli's notorious "reign of terror") and a cause for hope, as well as a call for help



  16. As Expected, the Patent Microcosm is Already Interfering, Lobbying and Influencing Supreme Court Justices

    The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) is preparing to deliver some important decisions on cases with broad ramifications, e.g. for patent scope, and those who make money from patent feuds are attempting to alter the outcome (which would likely restrict patent scope even further, based on these Justices' track record)



  17. Intellectual Ventures -- Like Microsoft (Which It Came From) -- Spreads Patents to Manifest a Lot of Lawsuits

    That worrisome strategy which is passage of patents to active (legally-aggressive) trolls seems to be a commonality, seen across both Microsoft and its biggest ally among trolls, which Microsoft and Bill Gates helped create and still fund



  18. What the Patent Microcosm is Saying About the EPO and the UPC

    Response to 3 law firms and today's output from them, which serves to inform or misinform the European public at times of Big Lies and fog of (patent) war, revealing the true nature of 21st century asymmetric patent warfare and lobbying



  19. Tough Day for the EPO's Media/Press/PR Team, Trying 'Damage Control' After Important Techrights Publications

    In an effort to save face and regain a sense of legitimacy the EPO publishes various things belatedly, and only after Techrights made these things publicly known and widely discussed



  20. Links 21/3/2017: PyPy Releases, Radeon RX Vega, Eileen Evans at Linux Foundation

    Links for the day



  21. In IAM, Asian Courts That Deliver Justice Are “Unfriendly” and Asian Patent Trolls Are Desirable

    Rebuttal or response to the latest pieces from IAM, which keeps promoting a culture of litigation rather than sharing, collaboration, negotiation, and open innovation



  22. At EPO “I Have the Feeling That Lowering Quality is Part of a Concerted Plan.”

    Growing concern about patent quality at the EPO -- a subject which causes managers to get rather nervous -- is now an issue at the forefront



  23. EPO Reduces the World to Just Seven Nations to Bolster an Illusion of Growing 'Demand' for European Patents

    The unscientific -- if not antiscientific -- attitude of the European Patent Office (EPO) continues to show with the arrival of yet more misleading 'infographics' (disinfographics would be a more suitable term)



  24. Letter to Angela Merkel Expresses Concerns About Impact of EPO Scandals on Germany and Its Image

    Dr. Angela Merkel, arguably the most powerful woman in the world, is being warned about the consequences of Germany ignoring (and hence facilitating) the abuses of Benoît Battistelli



  25. EPO Caricature: Low Patent Quality Not an Achievement

    A new cartoon about the legacy of Battistelli, which ruins both inventors and staff (examination) while handing money to abusers



  26. Are Lithuania and Latvia the Latest Additions to the List of Benoît Battistelli's Vassal States?

    Benoît Battistelli's 'back room' deals came at an interesting, strategic time and the Office uncharacteristically kept quiet about these



  27. Links 20/3/2017: Linux 4.11 RC3, OpenSSH 7.5 Released

    Links for the day



  28. Supposedly 'Pampered' Prisoners Are Still Prisoners of the EPO

    Response to those gross and familiar attempts to portray patent examiners, not politicians who trample all over them, as the cause of all the problems at the EPO



  29. Insulting Reversal of Narratives at the EPO: Team Battistelli as the Victim

    At times of great oppression against staff, in clear defiance of the law in fact, journalists are being asked (or expected) to view the oppressor as the victim, even when this oppressor drives people to suicide



  30. Battistelli's EPO Copies China -- Not the US -- When it Comes to Patenting Software and Expanding Patent Scope

    A detailed explanation of some of the latest reports from China and the US, serving to show that one opens up to software patents whereas the other shuts the door on them (and guess whose lead the EPO is taking)


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