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Submission + - Open Source -- The Last Patent Defense? (

dp619 writes: A developer might fly under the patent troll radar until she makes it big, and then it's usually open season. Apple just shared that it has faced off 92 lawsuits over just 3 years. Even Google's ad business is at risk. Well known FOSS attorney Heather Meeker has blogged at the Outercurve Foundation on what to consider and what to learn if you're ever sued for patent infringement. Meeker examined how provisions of open source licenses can deflate a patent troll's litigation and shift the balance in favor of the defense.

Submission + - How to construct open source software (

dp619 writes: The Outercurve Foundation has published a guide on how OSS projects can get to a known starting state by making it easier for contributors to fix and enhance the code. "Making it easy to reliably get to a known state allows people to experiment with it and contribute," it says. The guide also suggests that tool platforms are vital to scaling a community of users and developers in the "same way that a software product team could scale development and support to the success of the product."

Submission + - How freeloaders build open source communities (

dp619 writes: The Outercurve Foundation has published a defense of freeloaders as part of a blog series on how businesses can participate in open source. " the end, it's all about freeloaders, but from the perspective that you want as many as possible. That means you're “doing it right” in developing a broad base of users by making their experience easy, making it easy for them to contribute, and ultimately to create an ecosystem that continues to sustain itself. Freeloaders are essential to the growth and success of every FOSS project."

Submission + - Is there a postmodern open source movement? (

dp619 writes: Is there a postmodern open source movement? That’s the question that the Outercurve Foundation is asking. “It’s not about living in a post open source world. Free and open source licensing IS the hack on copyright that turned the distribution channel on its head,” its former technical director, Steven Walli argues. License free software is on the rise. Only about 14.9% of repositories on GitHub are licensed, according to the Software Freedom Law Center. Young software developers are most likely to skip out on a license.

Submission + - Frenemies: How IP Law Helps FOSS Communities (

dp619 writes: Fighting against software patents (New Zealand has banned them) tends to blind FOSS communities to aspects of IP law that actually serve them well. While certainly not perfect, patent, copyright, trademark, and trade secret law each has something to offer FOSS communities. Penn State law professor wrote a guest post for the Outercurve Foundation briefly describing some of the ways in IP law can help open source developers.

Submission + - Your license is your interface (

dp619 writes: License free software has become a thing. Only 14.9% of repositories on GitHub have a license, according to recent Software Freedom Law Center research. Red Monk has observed that this trend is occurring principally among younger software developers. Outercurve Foundation technical evangelist Eric Schultz has offered up his opinion, saying, "As an active developer I want to add a slightly different perspective on the dangers of releasing unlicensed software. My perspective is based on a simple phrase: "Your License Is Your Interface." He adds, "A license similarly defines the interaction between the software, or more precisely the creators of the software, and users. Just like an interface, a license defines intended behavior of users of the software, such as the four essential freedoms or the ten pillars of the Open Source Definition. Just like an interface, a license prevents unintended behavior of users of the software, which depending on the open source license, may disclaim the original author of liability for use of the software, prohibit redistribution without recognizing the original author or prohibit distribution of derivatives under a more restrictive license. When it comes to legal use and distribution of your software, your license IS your interface."

Submission + - NSA Whistleblower Break Cover in Hong Kong (

DavidGilbert99 writes: Edward Snowden, the ex-NSA employee who leaked the Prism files last week has stuck his head above water having gone into hiding on Monday, saying he is "neither traitor nor hear. I'm an American." Speaking to the South China Morning Post he said he chose Hong Kong as his base not to "hide from justice" but to "reveal criminality"

Submission + - Computer memory can be read with a flash of light (

ananyo writes: A new kind of computer memory can be read 10,000 times faster than flash memory using pulses of light, taking advantage of principles used in solar panel design. Researchers built the prototype device using bismuth ferrite. In conventional computer memory, information is stored in cells that hold different amounts of electric charge, each representing a binary '1' or '0'. Bismuth ferrite, by contrast, and can represent those binary digits, or bits, as one of two polarization states, and, because of its photovoltaic properties, can switch between these states in response to visible light.

Submission + - And the Winner of Next-Gen is: PlayStation 4 (Unless Microsoft Fixes Things) (

Deathspawner writes: With both Microsoft and Sony having laid everything out on the table at E3, there’s no better time than the present to peruse it all and see which one comes out ahead. If you've loaded up a Web browser lately, you likely already know the answer. Techgage takes a look at the highlights of the next-gen consoles, and the numerous downfalls that could easily be fixed.

Submission + - Can we DMCA the NSA? ( 1

goldcd writes: The Register has a story indicating that as well as slurping a lot of data they shouldn't have, the NSA also seems to have lifted their Prism logo without giving credit to the author.

Submission + - Patenting open source software (

dp619 writes: The tactic of patenting open source software to guard against patent trolls and the weaponization of corporate patent portfolios is gaining momentum in the FOSS community. Organizations including the Open Innovation Network, Google and Redhat have built defensive patent portfolios (the latter two are defending their product lines). This approach has limitations.

Penn State law professor Clark Asay writes in an Outercurve Foundation blog examining the trend, "Patenting FOSS may help in some cases, but the nature of FOSS development itself may mean that patenting some collaboratively developed inventions is inherently more difficult, if not impossible, in many others. Consequently, strategies for mitigating patent risk that rely on FOSS communities patenting their technologies include inherent limitations. Itâ(TM)s not entirely clear how best to reform patent law in order to better reconcile it with alternative models of innovation. But in the meantime, FOSS still presents certain advantages that, while dimmed by the prospect of patent suits, remain significant."

Submission + - OuterConf open source conference starting today, keynotes online (

dp619 writes: The OuterCurve Foundation's first annual conference, OuterConf, began today. Its speakers will be presenting best practices for open source development and community management as well as background on some Outercurve projects. Links to the keynote presentation slide decks are being live blogged as they become available.

Today’s keynotes are:

        Jono Bacon on "Developing Successful Engaged Communities"
        Ross Gardler on "Understanding Community Governance Models"
        Bertrand Le Roy on "Building the Orchard Community"
        Phil Haack will talk about "Developing a Community and an Ecosystem with NuGet" Managing Conflict in Community: Jeff Handley (NuGet), Rob Mensching (WiX), and Microsoft's Garrett Serack (CoApp) debate the relative merits of their approaches to Windows package management and installation.
        Donnie Berkholz, IT Industry Analyst at RedMonk on community management
        Kohsuke Kawaguchi, Senior Architect, Cloudbees, Inc. on building the Jenkins community

Submission + - Git[/SVN/Mercurial] and Growing a FOSS Community (

dp619 writes: Outercurve Foundation technical director Stephen Walli has written a guide about how configuration management tools make accepting software changes easier so that open source projects can handle many contributions. "The more time you save outside developers that might be interested in contributing, the more time they have to work on the contribution they want to make, rather than losing time and possibly interest in trying to get past building the software," he said.

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