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Fenech responds to his competitive ban in November in a lengthy YouTube message.

Electronic Arts has banned controversial 25-year-old Maltese FIFA esports player Kurt "Kurt0411" Fenech from all EA games and services. The move is an unprecedented escalation in punishment for a player EA has been struggling to deal with publicly for well over a year.

EA says Fenech has "continued to post abusive and threatening messages and videos about EA employees and competitive players on social media and he has encouraged others to do the same. His messages have crossed a line of decency into very personal attacks and breach our Terms of Service. We will not tolerate threatening behavior."

An Important message regarding FIFA player Kurt0411. pic.twitter.com/RcHu1hMCup

— Electronic Arts (@EA) February 24, 2020

Fenech, who has been banned from EA's professional FIFA esports competitions since November, has continued to host popular FIFA streams on Twitch in a personal capacity in recent months (despite previous threats to quit the game). He wrote on Twitter Monday that "I have never said anything I shouldnt have. This is just deeper than anyone thinks. They didnt want me competing at events [because] they were scared Id win them, now Im the 2nd biggest streamer of their game and theyre scared Ill overtake their golden boy. But when everything is said and done well beat them trust me. They have money but we have numbers. Fuck [them] and everyone on their side."

"Banning me from their esports events wasnt enough, trying to get my Twitch and YouTube channels banned wasnt enough, they now shut down my 10 year plus [FIFA Ultimate Team] Founder account," Fenech tweeted. "No words."

How did we get here?

Enlarge / In a message posted in November, EA banned Fenech from its professional FIFA tournaments.EA / Reddit

Fenech was banned from the EA-sponsored FIFA Global Series competition in November, following what EA calls "Code of Conduct violations… in which he threatened employees and other players." At the time, EA noted that Fenech had already been suspended from competition multiple times since late 2018 but that he continued "posting or uploading materials that we have determined are abusive, harassing, and vulgar," which led to the permanent disqualification from professional competition.

"[Fenech] had many chances and we were explicit that each subsequent violation would result in escalated penalties," EA wrote in a November statement. "The above violations go beyond acceptable 'smack talk' as the consistent harassment targeting fellow competitors, EA employees, and a previous on-air talent during the live broadcast, are unacceptable."

That mention of on-air talent likely refers to a time Fenech interrupted a livestreamed interview with top-rated FIFA streamer Edwin "Castro1021" Castro. "All of that would have been avoided if you gave me the microphone so I can speak to the people that were watching which were watching for me," Fenech said of that incident.

Fenech has a reputation for emotional rants against EA, including an infamous clip where he spit on a scarf with the EA logo in response to a bad beat.

This is the VOD that Kurt got banned for, I am all for freedom of speech but this is disgusting behaviour. How are you going to spit on the logo of a company that you want to be a professional esports athlete for. I know I am going to get stick for this but he deserves the ban. pic.twitter.com/oJmlifBFLU

— DrJarba (@JarbaFifa) November 1, 2019

In response to the competitive ban, Fenech defended his conduct, including alleged "obscene gestures towards your opponent and targeted harassment of EA staff" ("why haven't Twitch banned me" for that conduct, he asked rhetorically). That also includes a stream where he urged an opponent to "suck on my balls you son of a bitch… my only regret here is that I didn't call him more names."

Following the competitive ban, Fenech also continued a long history of publicly criticizing EA and the FIFA games for perceived gameplay deficiencies and allegedly turning a blind eye toward cheating methods. That includes generalized statements against EA employees, of whom he said in November, "the truth is none of you [FIFA developers] should still be in the job and you should be ashamed of the product you put out."

"Could you give me examples of when I have threatened your incompetent employees?" Fenech asked on Twitter Monday, in response to his publisher-wide ban.

"Truth is they don't want me competing [because] they're scared I'll say something about their broken game live at their event," Fenech continued in November. Fenech wouldn't be alone in that kind of criticism: in a recent post-match interview, pro FIFA player Tekz said that "no one enjoys playing" FIFA 20 "because this years game is so unrewarding, anyone can win, guys who arent good can win on FIFA 20."

In November, Fenech went on to call EA "a tyranny [that] doesn't like it when someone says something they don't like and holy shit I've said plenty they don't like."

A fake statement posted to a hacked <em>FIFA</em> community manager account in the wake of Fenech's competitive ban in November.
Enlarge / A fake statement posted to a hacked FIFA community manager account in the wake of Fenech's competitive ban in November.Eurogamer

In the days following Fenech's competitive ban, a number of EA staff members saw their social media accounts hacked andRead More – Source

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Enlarge / ESAs ExoMars rover (foreground) and Russias stationary surface science platform (background) are scheduled for launch in July 2020,ESA/ATG medialab

The European and Russian space agencies have announced they will decide the fate of their ExoMars mission at a meeting on March 12.

The joint mission to deliver a rover and suite of scientific instruments to the surface of the red planet is set for a July on a Proton rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. However, serious questions were raised about the viability of the lander's complicated parachute systems last year and ongoing problems in testing them.

According to a spokesperson for the European Space Agency (ESA), a "working-level review" for the project was held among ESA and Roscosmos officials in late January, and a preliminary assessment was forwarded to the respective heads of the space agencies, Jan Wörner of ESA and Dmitry Rogozon of Roscosmos, on February 3.

"They instructed the respective inspectors general and program chiefs to submit an updated plan and schedule covering all the remaining activities necessary for an authorization to launch," the ESA spokesperson said. "This plan will be examined by the two agency heads who will meet on 12 March to jointly agree the next steps."

It appears that the European and Russian officials will make a public announcement about ExoMars next month. Their options include pressing ahead with a launch this year or delaying two years until the next favorable window for a launch to Mars opens. Given multiple issues with the mission, a source said a delay is the most likely option.

Parachutes

ExoMars has a two-part system of parachutes to safely bring its the European-built Rosalind Franklin rover and the Russian-led surface platform, Kazachok, to the surface. The first pilot parachute and a 15-meter main parachute are deployed while the lander is still traveling at supersonic speeds through the thin, upper Martian atmosphere. The second set of pilot and main parachutes, which are larger, are deployed at subsonic speeds.

In May 2019, damage occurred to both main parachute canopies during a high altitude drop test from 29km. After assessing the problem and making changes to the design of the parachutes and their bags, the agency conducted another high-altitude test on August 5, this time focusing solely on the larger canopy that deploys in the lower atmosphere. This test, too, was not successful.

The mission has yet to complete a successful high-altitude test of its parachute system and was planning to work with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in February to complete such a trial. Despite promising results from ground-based tRead More – Source

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Enlarge Alexander Koerner / Stringer / Getty Images

Volkswagens chief executive has pledged to employ a young climate campaigner to “aggressively” challenge the companys environmental policies, as he acknowledged the worlds largest carmaker was moving too slowly in the race to roll out electric vehicles.

“Im looking to hire an activist,” Herbert Diess told the Financial Times. “We have so many ideas, but they take too long to implement in our big organization, so I need someone really aggressive internally.”

In a rare move for a multinational, the appointee will be granted direct access to Diess and other top VW executives.

The 61-year-old boss, who is overseeing the German groups €33 billion push into battery-powered vehicles, has been increasingly vocal about the need for a CO2 price—a carbon tax that applies to all industries as opposed to individual sectors—and has called on Brussels to crack down on coal-fired energy plants in Europe.

Volkswagen hopes to sell 1 million emissions-free cars in the next three years, which would see it eclipse the likes of Tesla and other electric vehicle pioneers. Its first mass-market electric hatchback, the ID.3, is due to go on sale later this year, as is VW-brand Porsches luxury Taycan sports car.

But the company has faced the ire of activists in Germany and beyond for its reliance on the profits generated by fuel-intensive sport utility vehicles, described by campaigners as “climate-damaging city tanks,” and for not abandoning the production of combustion-engine cars fast enough.

“We are too slow,” Diess admitted. “We have established management teams in strategy departments, in communication departments, and many others and I think we need some more internal challenges.”

The German auto giant already has a sustainability advisory board, which was established in the wake of Dieselgate, and counts Margo Oge, former director of the US Environmental Protection Agency, and former EU climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard among its members.

However, Diess, who has already identified some candidates for the role, said he wanted a climate activist to report directly to him, and dismissed suggestions that their recommendations would ultimately hurt VWs bottom line.

“I think this transition [to electric vehicles] is a chance for growth,” Mr Diess said. “I dont think it will doom the industry.”

He also forecast that SUVs would become less popular. “Electric cars will change peoples priorities in body styles. You lose a lot of range iRead More – Source

Tech
Enlarge / Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush.Indiana Supreme Court

An Indiana man may beat a drug prosecution after the state's highest court threw out a search warrant against him late last week. The search warrant was based on the idea that the man had "stolen" a GPS tracking device belonging to the government. But Indiana's Supreme Court concluded that he'd done no such thing—and the cops should have known it.

Last November, we wrote about the case of Derek Heuring, an Indiana man the Warrick County Sheriff's Office suspected of selling meth. Authorities got a warrant to put a GPS tracker on Heuring's car, getting a stream of data on his location for six days. But then the data stopped.

Officers suspected Heuring had discovered and removed the tracking device. After waiting for a few more days, they got a warrant to search his home and a barn belonging to his father. They argued the disappearance of the tracking device was evidence that Heuring had stolen it.

During their search, police found the tracking device and some methamphetamine. They charged Heuring with drug-related crimes as well as theft of the GPS device.

But at trial, Heuring's lawyers argued that the warrant to search the home and barn had been illegal. An application for a search warrant must provide probable cause to believe a crime was committed. But removing a small, unmarked object from your personal vehicle is no crime at all, Heuring's lawyers argued. Heuring had no way of knowing what the device was or who it belonged to—and certainly no obligation to leave the device on his vehicle.

An Indiana appeals court ruled against Heuring last year. But Indiana's Supreme Court seemed more sympathetic to Heuring's case during oral arguments last November.

"I'm really struggling with how is that theft," said Justice Steven David during November's oral arguments.

“We find it reckless”

Last Thursday, Indiana's highest court made it official, ruling that the search warrant that allowed police to recover Heuring's meth was illegal. The police had no more than a hunch that Heuring had removed the device, the court said, and that wasn't enough to get a search warrant.

Even if the police could have proved that Heuring had removed the device, that wouldn't prove he stole it, tRead More – Source

Tech
  • Diamond City Fenway Park in Boston, as seen in Apple Maps' Look Around feature. Samuel Axon
  • The US Capitol Building in Look Around.
  • The Philadelphia Museum of Art in Look Around. Samuel Axon
  • Boston Public Garden in Look Around. Samuel Axon
  • The White House in Look Around—or about as close as you can get, anyway. Samuel Axon
  • Philly's Reading Terminal Market in Look Around.
  • Harvard Square in Look Around. Samuel Axon
  • DC's Washington Monument in Look Around. Samuel Axon

Apple Maps has been slowly expanding regional coverage for its Google Street View-like Look Around feature, and now MacRumors forum members have spotted rollouts for the feature in the US cities of Philadelphia, Boston, and Washington DC.

Look Around was added as a feature in iOS 13 last September, but it launched with coverage only in or near San Francisco. Like Google Street View, the feature allows users to zoom in to street-level photography of most streets in an urban area. Apple displays Yelp listings and other data on real-world buildings and monuments in the viewport when Look Around is displayed in full screen.

Generally, we have observed that the resolution and quality of the photography is better than what we've usually seen in Google's version, and Apple applies some slick anRead More – Source

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Enlarge / World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus gives a press conference on the situation regarding the COVID-19 at Geneva's WHO headquarters on February 24, 2020. Getty | Fabrice Coffrini

As outbreaks of the new coronavirus flare up in several countries beyond China, experts at the World Health Organization on Monday tried to rein in fears and media speculation that the public health emergency will become a pandemic.

“I have spoken consistently about the need for facts, not fear,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a press briefing Monday. “Using the word pandemic now does not fit the facts, but it may certainly cause fear.”

As always, the director-general (who goes by Dr. Tedros) and his colleagues at WHO tried to shift the conversation away from speculation and worst-case scenarios. Instead, they want to focus on data and preparation. In doing so, though, Dr. Tedros noted that some of the latest figures in the epidemic are “deeply concerning.”

Since last week, officials have reported rapid increases in COVID-19 cases in several countries, namely South Korea, Iran, and Italy. As of Monday, February 24, South Korea has confirmed 763 cases and 7 deaths—a dramatic rise from the 30 cases and zero deaths it had tallied just a week ago.

The situation in Italy, likewise, went from 3 cases at the start of last week to 124 confirmed cases and two deaths Monday. Iran went from zero to 43 cases in the same period and has reported eight deaths.

The figures have led to many media reports over the weekend speculating on whether the new coronavirus outbreak is or would become a pandemic. For now, Dr. Tedros said, it is not.

“Our decision about whether to use the word pandemic to describe an epidemic is based on an ongoing assessment of the geographical spread of the virus, the severity of disease it causes and the impact it has on the whole of society,” he explained. “For the moment, we are not witnessing the uncontained global spread of this virus, and we are not witnessing large-scale severe disease or death.”

Assessing risk

Dr. Tedros summarized some of the latest data on cases and disease from China, noting that cases there are in decline and have been declining since February 2.

In Wuhan, where the outbreak began in December, the COVID-19 fatality rate appears to be between 2 percent and 4 percent. US experts have noted that this high fatality rate may partly reflect the fact that health systems in the city have been extremely overwhelmed by the outbreak and facilities have run short of medical supplies.

Outside of Wuhan, the COVID-19 fatality rate in China is approximately 0.7 percent, Dr. Tedros said. But many public health experts have suggested that even that figure may be higher than the actual fatality rate because many mild, nonfatal cases may have gone uncounted. If counted, they would dilute the death toll, leading to a lower fatality rate.

For people who have mild infections—which is over 80 percent of cases, according to Chinese data—recovery takes about two weeks. More severe infections can take three to six weeks until recovery.

Dr. Tedros also reported that the coronavirus itself does not appear to be mutating.

“The key message that should give all countries hope, courage, and confidence is that this virus can be contained,” Dr. Tedros said of the latest assessment from China.

“Does this virus have pandemic potential? Absolutely, it has. Are we there yet? From our assessment, not yet.”

Tomorrow, a team of experts from WHO and China will reveal more details on a technical repoRead More – Source

Tech

Online retailers in Italy have found an easy way to take advantage of widespread coronavirus panic: hawking sold-out products for exorbitant prices.

While pharmacies run out of sanitizing products and masks, the same items appeared online at inflated prices set by individual merchants.

A 250 ml. bottle of Amuchina — a popular hand sanitizer which normally costs €7.50 — was sold for €50 on eBay Monday. A one-liter bottle of the same product reached a record price of €799.

Overpriced common products were displayed as specifically conceived to protect against the virus, even if they are not.

Politicians and consumer groups promptly pointed the finger at online merchants and platforms.

“This is not free market [but] a shameful speculation that has to be stopped immediately,” reads a parliamentary question submitted Monday by Partito Democratico MP Marianna Madia. The center-left group is part of the governing coalition.

Codacons, a major Italian consumer organization, filed a complaint Monday with 104 public prosecutors offices across the country. It also notified the Italian antitrust watchdog, accusing vendors of fraud and unfair commercial practices.

Even if prices displayed on e-commerce websites such as Amazon or eBay are freely determined by merchants according to supply and demand, the organization believes that platforms should share the blame.

Amazon made clear in a statement that only sellers have the power to determine prices, and promised to delete pages which do not comply with internal rules. Consumer groups, however, see things differently.

Even Read More – Source

Tech
Enlarge / Katherine Johnson sits at her desk with a globe, or "Celestial Training Device." NASA

Katherine Johnson, a trailblazing mathematician best known for her contributions to NASA's human spaceflight program and who gained fame later in life due to the movie Hidden Figures, died Monday. She was 101 years old.

"At NASA, we will never forget her courage and leadership and the milestones we could not have reached without her," said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. "We will continue building on her legacy and work tirelessly to increase opportunities for everyone who has something to contribute toward the ongoing work of raising the bar of human potential."

Born in rural West Virginia on August 26, 1918, Johnson showed an aptitude for mathematics early in life. “I counted everything," she said late in life of her formative years. "I counted the steps to the road, the steps up to church, the number of dishes and silverware I washed… anything that could be counted, I did."

When West Virginia decided to integrate its graduate schools in 1939, Johnson and two male students were selected as the first black students to be offered spots at the states flagship school, West Virginia University. Katherine left her teaching job and enrolled in the graduate math program.

In the wake of the Soviet Union's launch of the Sputnik spacecraft in 1957, Johnson supported some of the engineers who went on to found the Space Task Group, which morphed into NASA in 1958. At the new space agency, Johnson performed the trajectory analysis for Alan Shepard's flight in May 1961, the first time an American flew into space.

Most notably, in 1962, she performed the critical calculations that put John Glenn into a safe orbit during the first orbital mission of a US astronaut. NASA engineers had run the calculations on electric computers, but when someone was needed to validate the calculations, Glenn and the rest of the space agency turned to Johnson. “'If she says theyre good,” JohRead More – Source

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Enlarge / Most open source projects are vastly more restrictive with their trademarks than their code. OpenBSD's Puffy, Linux's Tux, and the FSF's Meditating Gnu are among the few FOSS logos that can easily and legally be remixed and reused for simple illustrative purposes.OpenBSD, Free Software Foundation, Larry Ewing, Seattle Municipal Archives

Most people have at least heard of open source software by now—and even have a fairly good idea of what it is. Its own luminaries argue incessantly about what to call it—with camps arguing for everything from Free to Libre to Open Source and every possible combination of the above—but the one thing every expert agrees on is that it's not open source (or whatever) if it doesn't have a clearly attributed license.

You can't just publicly dump a bunch of source code without a license and say "whatever—it's there, anybody can get it." Due to the way copyright law works in most of the world, freely available code without an explicitly declared license is copyright by the author, all rights reserved. This means it's just plain unsafe to use unlicensed code, published or not—there's nothing stopping the author from coming after you and suing for royalties if you start using it.

The only way to actually make your code open source and freely available is to attach a license to it. Preferably, you want a comment with the name and version of a well-known license in the header of every file and a full copy of the license available in the root folder of your project, named LICENSE or LICENSE.TXT. This, of course, raises the question of which license to use—and why?

There are a few general types of licenses available, and we'll cover each in its own section, along with one or more prominent examples of this license type.

Default licensing—proprietary, all rights reserved

In most jurisdictions, any code or content is automatically copyrighted by the author, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise stated. While it's good form to declare the author and the copyright date in the header of any code or document, failing to do so doesn't mean the author's rights are void.

An author who makes content or code available on their own website, a Github repository, etc—either without a stated license or with an express declaration of copyright—maintains both usage and distribution rights for that code, even though it's trivially simple to view or download. If you execute that code on your own computer or computers, you're transgressing on the author's usage rights, and they may bring civil suit against you for violating their copyright, since they never granted you that right.

Similarly, if you copy that code and give it to a friend, post it on another website, sell it, or otherwise make it available anywhere beyond where the author originally posted it, you've transgressed upon the author's distribution rights, and they have standing to bring a civil suit against you.

Note that an author who maintains proprietary rights to a codebase may individually grant license to persons or organizations to use that code. Technically, you don't ever "buy" software, even when it's boxed up in a physical store. What you're actually purchasing is a license to use the software—which may or may not include physical media containing a copy of the code.

Home-grown licenses

The short version of our comment on home-grown licensing is simple: just don't do it.

There are enough well-understood, OSI-approved open source licenses in the world already that nearly any person or project should be able to find an appropriate one. Writing your own license instead means that potential users of your project, content, or code will have to do the same thing the author didn't want to—read and understand a new license from scratch.

The new license will not have been previously tested in court, which many (though not all) of the OSI-approved open source licenses have been. Even more importantly, your new license will not be widely understood.

When a person or company wants to use a project licensed under—for example—GPL v3, Apache 2.0, or CC0 (more on these licenses later), it's relatively easy to figure out whether the license in question grants enough rights, in the right ways, to be suited for that purpose. Asking a competent intellectual property lawyer for advice is cheap and easy, because that competent IP lawyer should already be familiar with these licenses, case-law involving them, and so forth.

By contrast, if your project is licensed "Joe's Open Source License v1.01" nobody knows what that means. Legal consultation for a project under that license will be much more expensive—and dicey—because an IP lawyer would need to evaluate the text of the license as an entirely new work, unproven and untested. The new license might have unclear text, unintentional conflicts between clauses, or be otherwise unenforceable due to legal issues its author did not understand.

Failure to choose an OSI-approved license can also invalidate a project from certain rights or grants. For example, both Google and IBM offer royalty-free usage of portions of their patent portfolio to open source projects—and your project, no matter how "free" you consider it, may not qualify with a home-grown license. (IBM specifically names OSI license approval as a grant condition.)

OSI-approved licenses

The Open Source Initiative maintains a list of approved open source licenses, which comply with the OSI's definition of "open source." In the OSI's own words, these licenses "allow software to be freely used, modified, and shared." There is a lot of overlap among these licenses, many of which probably never should have existed—see "home grown licenses," above—but at some point, each of them gained enough traction to go through the OSI license approval process.

We're going to break this list of licenses down into three categories and list some of the more notable examples of each. Most authors don't need to read and understand the OSI's entire list—there usually aren't enough differences between common and uncommon variants of a general license type to make it worth straying from the most commonly used and well-understood versions.

Strong copyleft licenses

A copyleft license is a license that grants the permission to freely use, modify, and redistribute the covered intellectual property—but only if the original license remains intact, both for the original project and for any modifications to the original project anyone might make. This type of license—sometimes dismissively or fearfully referred to as "viral"—is the one attached to such famous projects as the Linux kernel, the GNU C Compiler, and the WordPress content management system.

A copyleft license may be "strong" or "weak"—a strong copyleft license covers both the project itself and any code that links to any code within the covered project. A weak copyleft license only covers the original project itself and allows non-copyleft-licensed code—even proprietary code—to link to functions within the weak-copyleft-licensed project without violating its license.

Some of the more popular strong copyleft licenses include:

  • GPLv2—the GNU General Public License allows for free usage, modification, and distribution of covered code, but the original license must remain intact and covers both the original project and any modifications. No attribution or patent grants are required in the GPLv2, but the seventh section does prohibit redistribution of GPLv2 licensed code if patents or any other reason would render the redistributed code unusable to a recipient. The GPL also requires that anyone distributing compiled versions of a project make original source code available as well, either by providing the source along with the distributed object code, or by offering it upon request.
  • GPLv3—Version three of the GNU General Public License is for most intents and purposes similar to GPLv2. It handles patents differently, however—the GPLv2 forbade redistribution under the GPLv2 if doing so would potentially require royalty payments for patents covering the work. The GPLv3 goes a step further and explicitly grants free usage rights to any patents owned, then or in the future, by any contributor to the project. The GPLv3 also expressly grants recipients the right to break any DRM (Digital Rights Management) code contained within the covered project, preventing them from being charged with violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act or similar "tamper-proofing" laws.
  • AGPL—the Affero GNU General Public License is, effectively, the GPLv3 with one significant additional clause—in addition to offering GPL freedoms to those who receive copies of AGPL-licensed software, it offers those same freedoms to users who interact with the AGPL-licensed software over a network. This prevents an individual or company from making significant valuable modifications to a project intended for widespread network use and refusing to make those modifications freely available.

We're going to give a little more ink to the AGPL outside of our bulleted list above, because it's a little harder to explain its impact to someone who isn't already very familiar with copyleft. In order to better understand its impact, we'll look at one real AGPL licensed project and a fictitious scenario involving a large company that might wish to adopt it.

The Nextcloud Web-based file-sharing suite is an AGPL-licensed project. Because it's licensed under a GPL variant, any person or company can freely download, install, and use it, either for themselves or to offer services—including paid services—to others. Let's imagine a hypothetical company—we'll call the company PB LLC, and their product Plopbox—that decides to spin up a large commercial site offering paid access to managed, hosted Nextcloud instances.

In the course of making Plopbox scale to millions of users, PB LLC makes substantial modifications to the code. The modified code consumes far fewer server resources and also adds several features that Plopbox's users find valuable enough to distinguish Plopbox substantially from vanilla installations of Nextcloud. If Nextcloud—the open source project PB LLC consumed in order to create the Plopbox service—had been licensed under the standard GPL, those modifications could remain proprietary, and PB LLC would not be required to provide them to anyone.

This is because the standard GPL's restrictions only kick in on redistribution, and PB LLC did not redistribute its modified version of Nextcloud. Since PB LLC only installed Nextcloud on its own servers, it's not obligated to provide copies of Nextcloud—either the original or the modified versions—to anyone, either automatically or upon request.

However, Nextcloud is not licensed under either standard version of the GPL—it's licensed under the Affero GPL, and the Affero GPL grants all of the rights associated with the GPL to networked users of a covered project, not merely to recipients of distributed code. So PB LLC actually would be required to make their scalability and new-feature modifications available, in source code form (and object code form, if applicable) to anyone who had both used the project (eg, by opening a Plopbox account) and requested a copy.

Weak copyleft licenses

A weak copyleft license is essentially similar to a strong copyleft license, but it does not extend its "viral" protection across linkage boundaries. Modifications to the weak-copyleft library (or other project) itself must retain the original license, but any code outside that project—even fully proprietary code—may link directly to functions inside the weak copyleft-licensed project.

There are relatively few weak copyleft licenses. The most commonly encountered are:

  • LGPL—the Lesser GNU General Public License. Sometimes still referred to by its original name, GNU "Library" General Public License, since it's most commonly used in shared libraries. Compatible for use with GPL-licensed projects.
  • MPL 2.0—the Mozilla Public License. MPL 2.0 is compatible for use with GPL-licensed projects; prior versions were not.
  • CDDL v1.0—The Common Development and Distribution License, originally authored by Sun Microsystems. CDDL is famously considered incompatible with the GPL, although this incompatibility has not been tested in court.

The major difference between the LGPL and the MPL is attribution—in order to link to an LGPL project from a non-GPL-compliant project, you must "give prominent notice… that the Library is used in it (and) covered by this license." The MPL does not have any attribution requirements; you may redistribute MPL projects, and link to functions within an MPL project, without any need to announce that you're doing so.

The Mozilla Public License is also notable for offering "forward migration." The Mozilla Foundation, as license steward, may create updated versions of the MPL in the future, with unique version numbers. Should it do so, any user of a project licensed MPL 2.0 may choose to use it under the original MPL 2.0 or any later version of the license.

The CDDL similarly allows forward migration but defines the license steward as Sun Microsystems rather than the Mozilla Foundation. Unlike the LGPL and MPL 2.0, CDDL is generally considered incompatible—possibly deliberately—with the GPL. Some organizations have chosen to dynamically link CDDL and GPL licensed code anyway—most notably Canonical, makers of the Ubuntu Linux distribution, who announced their decision to do so by distributing a Linux port of the ZFS filesystem in early 2016.

We at Canonical have conducted a legal review, including discussion with the industrys leading software freedom legal counsel, of the licenses that apply to the Linux kernel and to ZFS.

And in doing so, we have concluded that we are acting within the rights granted and in compliance with their terms of both of those licenses. Others have independently achieved the same conclusion. Differing opinions exist, but please bear in mind that these are opinions.

One significant dissent to Canonical's position comes from the Software Freedom Conservancy, which states that linking CDDL and GPL code is necessarily a GPL violation. Although the SFC states this in no uncertain terms, it expresses "sympathy" to Canonical's goals, and its conclusion focuses on asking Oracle (the CDDL's license steward, as the current owners of Sun Microsystems) to resolve the issue.

Should Oracle make the original ZFS codebase available under a GPLv2 compatible license—including any of the compatible permissive licenses—this availability would, in turn, grandfather in the later OpenZFS project without need for laborious consultation of every individual contributor.

We do not recommend modern use of the CDDL license—it is neither generally useful as a permissive license due to its GPL incompatibility, nor is it likely to be useful as a "GPL poison pill" given the strong stance Canonical and others have taken in belief that legal challenges to the linkage of CDDL and GPLv2 code would fail in court.

Permissive licenses

Permissive licenses make very few restrictions in the usage, distribution, or modification of covered projects. As a result, one permissive license tends to be very similar to another.

The most common restriction in permissive licenses is attribution—in other words, these licenses generally require statements giving credit to the original project in any projects derived from them. (We cover permissive licenses that do not require attribution in the next section on public domain equivalent licenses.)

Notable permissive licenses include:

  • BSD four-clause license—the original 1990 Berkeley Software Distribution license allowed for free usage, modification, redistribution, and even relicensing of covered software. Four clauses provided the only limiting factors: any redistribution must include the copyright notice of the original project (clauses one and two), any advertising materials for the project or any derivative project must acknowledge the use of the source project (clause three), andRead More – Source
Tech

Digital Politics is a column about the global intersection of technology and the world of politics.

As Europe lays out its grand vision for a digital future, there is at least one area where the bloc remains unrivaled — creating obstacles for itself.

When the European Commission unveiled its proposals for competing with the United States and China on everything from artificial intelligence to the data economy, President Ursula von der Leyen made it clear the 27-country bloc would do things its own way.

“We want to find European solutions for the digital age,” she told reporters in Brussels.

Those solutions include creating vast pools of data from industry to spur innovation in machine learning and other next-generation technologies — all while upholding the blocs fundamental rights like data privacy, which set the European Union apart from the worlds other powers.

Such balanced rhetoric is appealing. Amid a global techlash, who wouldnt want greater control over digital services?

The bloc is already working from a weak position compared with its global competitors in terms of money invested into technology and expertise to turn capital into global champions.

The problem is the EUs promise to embed its values into all aspects of technology is likely to hamstring its efforts to compete in the Big Leagues of tech against the U.S. and China.

And theres one reason why: Rivals wont follow its lead.

Where Europe wants to put limits on how facial recognition can be used, China is quickly rolling out a countrywide network of smart-cameras equipped with machine learning algorithms that make George Orwells “1984” look like a kids nursery rhyme.

Brussels is adamant that firms operating anywhere from Ireland to Greece must comply with its tough privacy rules. But in the United States — where debate about federal privacy standards has stalled — giants such as Amazon face no equivalent restrictions, leaving them free to harvest Americans personal information in ways that could lead to new business, but that would be illegal in the EU.

Now, Europe wants to write rules for artificial intelligence by baking in these restrictions from the get-go.

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen | Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP via Getty Images

But in so doing, it ensures that local companies will be competing with one hand tied behind their backs.

The bloc is already working from a weak position compared with its global competitors in terms of money invested into technology and expertise to turn capital into global champions. Piling on more restrictions is not likely to close the gap.

Europes sales pitch

For policymakers in Brussels, European values — including the fundamental right to privacy, a long track record of government intervention in markets and a growing skepticism of international tech companies — are a source of strength, not weakness.

In that, they are correct.

Over the last five years, the bloc has been at the center of almost all global regulatory fights to check the powers of digital giants.

The EU has put its fingerprints on landmark antitrust fines, digital taxes and online privacy upgrades that are the envy of much of the Western world. It also has led the conversation on hot-button issues like how social media platforms should be regulated and what sort of ethical principles should guide the development of AI.

As the bloc looks to cement its claim on the next generation of tech, the “rules first” approach is looking more like an obstacle without a reward.

South Korea, Brazil and Japan have all followed Europes lead in developing similar privacy standards. And even parts of the U.S., like California and Washington state, have jumped on board the EU regulatory train.

But as the bloc looks to cement its claim on the next generation of tech, the “rules first” approach is looking more like an obstacle without a reward.

Take the flagship proposal from Thierry Breton, the EUs internal market commissioner: a European strategy for data.

Over 35 pages of often opaque prose, the French politician and his team lay out a vision based on widespread sharing of EU data, the creation of locally owned cloud computing infrastructure to compete with Big Tech and new rules to protect citizens rights.

They also describe giving companies the right to access this digital information to spur new advances in machine learning, medicine and other high-tech industries.

“The Commissions vision stems from European values and fundamental rights and the conviction that the human being is, and should remain, at the center,” the proposal proclaims.

Bretons grand plan

But its easy to spot holes in the plan.

EU Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton | Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP via Getty Images

While much of the data shared will be so-called non-personal data — or anonymized digital information that can be used legally for industrialized number crunching — the EU also wants to tap more sensitive personal information such as, say, patient medical records or, eventually, autonomous driving statistics.

These areas fall under Europes strict data-protecRead More – Source