Six months of GPLv3: a chat with Ernest Park of Palamida

Six months ago Free Software Foundation released the third version of the most widely adopted free software license, the GNU GPL version 3. To track adoption of the new license, Palamida started a project with the aim

to build a unified view of the status of GPLv3 and LGPLv3 adoption and usage across the community.

I have exchanged a few questions with Ernest Park, VP, R&D GRoup of Palamida.

Stefano Maffulli: Why did you start tracking GPLv3 adoption? We started tracking GPL v3 adoption because is was one of the top questions we kept getting from customers and prospects. We found that customers were coming to us with “We’ve heard this….One of our attorneys heard at a conference that….” And the feedback literally ranged from 0% to 100% adoption. Since we track 884,000 (and growing daily) open source project versions on an ongoing basis, we thought who best to know what projects are doing en masse and when? There seemed to be enough FUD on both the pro and con side of the license, that we thought it would be valuable to publish data that tried to be as neutral as possible – no judgment about the license, no axe to grind on the merits of copyleft, etc. We wanted to let the market speak for itself – by showing GPL 3 adoption rate.

SM: Did FSF ask you to do it? FSF did not ask us to do this. At this point, I would be flattered if they recognized the efforts of our team to provide objective an unbiased, reliable information regarding adoption of specific open source licenses over time. This research project was internally originated and sponsored.

SM: What results do you expect from We didn’t know what to expect from the site. Palamida is a proprietary software company who uses open source products in our software (see the IP Ingredients list for our IP Amplifier product on our web site). This was the first time we shared information from our database to companies outside of our customer base. We know that our customers find the information incredibly valuable, and we’ve been extremely happy to hear from others that they find the information useful. Palamida is constantly trying to figure out ways to give back to the broader community is this seemed like a no-brainer for us.We enjoy being participants in the open source community through projects like this, so even this is an educational experience for us – to be on the side of the originator of licensed works.

SM: Will youtrack Affero GPLv3 adoption too, besides GPL and LGPL? The honest answer is that we don’t know. We would only do it if we got a lot of interest from both our customers and the broader community. If it seems like valuable information to a broad spectrum of people, we wouldn’t hesitate. But to be honest, I cannot recall one request for it. But will look into it to see what kind of interest there is. We do track a significant amount of information beyond what is listed on the site. Our goal is to keep our site topical and relevant to what people are interested in regarding OSS and its licensing. Let me know what you think.

Ernest maintains a blog where comments, advice and opinions are always welcome.

UPDATE: read Ernest’s post GPLv3 – The Year in Review

Il uai e il bicaus

Natale 2007

Buon Natale

Visto che mi è stato chiesto, approfitto e rispondo alle domande di Alessio:

Chi o cosa ti ha spinto a creare un blog?

Principalmente per esercitarmi a comunicare in modo breve e rapido. Non l’avevo mai fatto prima, a scuola raramente insegnano a fare riassunti e i temi più lunghi vengono premiati di più (almeno era così al mio liceo). Invece sentivo di dover imparare ad addensare i pensieri. E dovevo usare la piattaforma che avevo messo in piedi per la Fellowship di FSFE 🙂

Il tuo primo post?

È qui.

Il post di cui ti vergogni di più?

Non me ne ricordo.

Il post di cui sei più fiero?

Questo, perché non è stato facile lasciare un lavoro che ho amato.

Per quanto pensi che continuerai a scrivere sul tuo blog?

Fino a che ne ho voglia. Inizia a piacermi 🙂

links for 2007-12-22

Dove sono finiti i fondi per il Software Libero?

Dove sono finiti i fondi per il Software Libero?Questa mi fa cadere le braccia: i 10 milioni di euro stanziati dalla finanziaria 2007 a sostegno del software libero sembrano spariti, ma spesi altrove dove? Ne parlano Flavia e Roberto facendo notare però che ai cittadini non è dato sapere dove sono stati spesi, come e da chi: serve trasparenza.

Siccome alcuni parlamentari si erano impegnati in campagna elettorale a sostegno del software libero e raccogliendo così qualche voto, direi che il minimo che possiamo fare è chiedere Dove sono finiti?

L’immagine è liberamente disponibile per chi vuole usarla sul suo blog:

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alt="Dove sono finiti i fondi per il Software Libero?" align="left" border="0" /></a>

W3C under siege: developers want free hands

Standards can be a Royal PITA and every developer and hacker knows that. But for users they’re the only way not to go crazy. Web standards give users the possibility to connect to the Internet from any device and blog, check email, get and make information. The debate is heating up on top of the Opera-vs-Microsoft complaint. A nice summary is: Is the Sacred Cow of Web Standards Headed for the Slaughterhouse?

There’s a movement afoot in the web development community that says it’s time to move beyond standards and take the web to a new levels. Unhappy with the pace of innovation at the W3C, many developers are calling on browser manufacturers to go beyond supporting official W3C specifications and develop tools to support new features.

I understand hackers and their frustration, but we must be aware that power in the digital domain is mainly in hackers and developers, users are at their mercy. But powers must be balanced and at the moment I see the W3C as the only organization that can still balance freedom for hackers to innovate with users’ freedom of choice. I wouldn’t trade my freedom as a user with that of developers to push proprietary tools like Flash or Silverlight and patented formats.

Spagna e Italia: lotta a metà  classifica

Un post di Alfonso mi ha ricordato perché non compro e non leggo Repubblica.’  Nell’articolo Ricchezza pro-capite la Spagna sorpassa l’Italia leggo:

accelerazione della Spagna nella classifica del Pil pro-capite […] che scavalca così l’Italia che pure rimane sopra la media della Ue.

In un primo momento non capivo cosa volesse dire ‘rimane sopra la media UE’?’  Il PIL italiano è sopra la media UE? Ma quale UE? L’area Euro? L’UE a 15 o quella a 27?’  Fa molta differenza: la media che include paesi come Polonia e Romania è una cosa, altro è confrontarsi tra pari.’  Allora che senso ha quella frase e perché è messa lì? Mi è sembrata un’aggiunta dal capo redattore solo per equilibrare artificiosamente una notizia negativa, magari per compiacere gli amici al governo.’  Il pezzo del Corriere mi è parso più elegante, anche nello schivare il colpo, buttandola sullo sberleffo Zapatero-Prodi (“te l’avevo detto” “ahaha, vedrai l’anno prossimo vinciamo noi”).

Stranamente non ho trovato menzione della notizia nè su Libero nè su Il Giornale. Che ne pensate? Fosse stato Berlusconi al governo, come sarebbero stati i titoli?

Microsoft, antitrust, EC, interoperability: deja-vu

Here we are again with the European Commission being asked by a competitor to remind Microsoft that competition doesn’t mean abuse of dominant position. I have a sense of deja-vu. Opera Software has asked the EC to investigate if Microsoft is abusing its dominant position by tying its browser, Internet Explorer, to the Windows operating system and by hindering interoperability by not following accepted Web standards.

As in the past antitrust case, won by the EC, there are two parts: one is the bundling IE with Windows and the other is the interoperability issue. As before, the bundling issue is less important because the real problem is interoperability, a word that Microsoft has always interpreted in a monopolist way: I do whatever I please, and I set ‘industry standards’ by myself convincing clients and partners to either follow me or be squashed.

There is little doubt that Internet Explorer doesn’t support W3C standards well as Safari/WebKit, Firefox and Opera do, but nonetheless many web application prefer to support the non-standard browser because of IE has 80% market share. So, the question whether Opera is right to complain to the antitrust authority is a clear yes. Opera made a tactical move to pressure the dominant gorilla and at the same time inform the public about the interoperability issue. If Opera really cares about interoperability it should also support the W3C to keep its power and resist against Nokia’s proposition to remove referent to patent-unencumbered OGG format from HTML5.

Update: Microsoft informed that internal builds of IE8 pass the ACID2 test Together we are Fighting DRM

DBD actions posted a list of actions and campaigns activated and run by FSF in the past year. I really like what the strategy they put in place and the results so far. DefectivebyDesign brought the problem with Digital Restrictions Management (DRM) to a wider audience, reaching also Newsweek. I loved the real-life events, like the raid in Seattle during Microsoft Vista’s launch: brilliant, Peter looked great in his hazmat suit 🙂 The Expert Witness Fund to help families attacked by RIAA to counter their arguments on technical basis, the Play OGG to support OGG format and the new Kindle Swindle, to inform about Amazon’s crippled ebooks.

Plus the international campaign Free Software Free Society designed to inform all organizations, NGOs, coops, civil society about the values of Free Software. I’m glad to see that Legambiente has joined the campaign: almost 5 years ago they were the first to radically switch from Microsoft Windows to cheap and convenient GNU/Linux terminal based workstations. No trash, more useful computers. I remember how traumatic that was but I was happy to help the ~40 employees and volunteers to understand the values of Free Software and now Legambiente is a fully free environment.

So I join Mako and Peter: give yourself a nice present for Christmas become an FSF associate member or make a donation. With the Euro so high anything you donate from Europe will multiply 🙂

links for 2007-12-13

Conflitti e interessi: è normale che in Italia vadano spesso insieme?

Certi personaggi nei governi fanno spavento e il fatto che siano così tanti quasi mi toglie la speranza. Il consigliere regionale (Lombardia) Marcello Saponaro si sta scontrando con un assessore regionale (Pagnoncelli, bergamasco, assessore all’ambiente) in grave conflitto di interesse sul Piano Cave di Bergamo. In poche parole, il Piano Cave è uno strumento provinciale che viene approvato anche dalla Regione: Saponaro ha notato che la Regione ha concesso alla provincia di Bergamo sono stati concessi qualche milione di metri cubi in più rispetto al normale. Stranamente la società  della famiglia dell’assessore regionale Pagnoncelli è in società  con uno dei maggiori cavatori di Bergamo, uno di quelli che beneficerebbero maggiormente del nuovo piano cave qualora venisse approvato. Che orrore.

Il blog di Saponaro contiene altre informazioni, una rassegna stampa e il link alla petizione