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Slashback: GPLv3, Firefly, iTunes 275

Slashback tonight brings some corrections, clarifications, and updates to previous Slashdot stories, including Stallman's comments on GPLv3, Firefly fans clinging to hope, sentence handed down in student felony webpage refresh case, GP2X GPL issues resolved, Korean cloning scientist may get to keep his patents, Apple changes their tune for iTunes ministore, and much more -- Read on for details.

Richard Stallman speaks on GPLv3 and patents. Elton J. Won writes "A public forum on the updated GPL was held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Although Stallman solicited comments from forum attendees. he made clear that the GPL version 3 will not alter the license's basic stance on software patents. From the article: 'the GPL version 3 is explicitly meant to discourage litigation based on software patents. "This is not a placeholder. This is the text we currently plan to go with unless we're surprised by seeing a better idea," Stallman said.'" Relatedly RMS also recently expounded on some of these thoughts in an interview with PCPro.

Firefly fans refuse to go quietly into the night. CMGaretJax writes "The Browncoats, a fan group based around the hit cult TV show Firefly, and the more recent movie, Serenity, have set up a website for donations from people who want to see another season of Firefly. So far they have raised $840 dollars against an estimated cost of 1 million per episode. An admirable attempt, and one that will hopefully pick up steam, the show really is too pretty to die."

Student receives sentence for felony web-page charge. EMB Numbers writes to tell us that Michael Stone, the student who was recently charged with a felony for encouraging others to bog down a school server with web page refreshes, has cut a deal with the prosecutor for a lesser misdemeanor offense -- criminal mischief. Stone was given a suspended sentence of 60 days in jail along with 20 hours of community service. Although he declined to comment on camera Stone's mother stated that she appreciate all the support he received from the online community.

GP2X GPL issues resolved. gizmateer writes to tell us that after quite a bit of noise from the online community it appears that Gamepark has bowed to the pressure and will be releasing the source for the most recent version of the GP2X firmware. From the article: "Please stop posting to this board about GPL. Dignsys will post up the sources to the new firmware version 1.3.0 next week on They intend to release it once the binaries to said firmware have been released."

Korean cloning scientist may get to keep his patents. Billosaur writes "According to an article on the New Scientist web site, disgraced Korean cloning researcher Hwang Woo-Suk may get to keep his patents for the process of creating embryonic stem cells via cloning human embryos. Already the UK patent office is looking into the validity of the patents in Europe. From the article: 'As long as an invention is not clearly contrary to scientific laws - like time travel - research has no bearing on the grant of a patent.'"

Apple changes their tune for iTunes mini store. jjbelsky writes "Apple has modified the iTunes MiniStore in response to the anger caused by its release of personal information. All users of iTunes, whether or not the music store is enabled, are now presented with a page informing them that when a song is selected 'information about that item is sent to Apple.' Users who do not click on the 'Turn on MiniStore' button will not have their privacy invaded."

Targets of RIAA lawsuit turn on i2hub operator. Doros writes "After being forced to fork over thousands of dollars to the RIAA, students want i2hub operator Wayne Chang to cover their losses. From the article: 'At least 42 students have been named as defendants in John Doe lawsuits filed by the recording industry. The industry trade group has offered to settle each case for $3,750, lawyers for the students said Tuesday. "Had the students known that they were exposing themselves to copyright infringement liability by using the i2hub service, they likely would not have used the service," the legal group wrote.'"

Adults exempt from Chinese online limits. Dotnaught writes "The Chinese government has yielded to pressure from adult online gamers and exempted them from its online gaming addiction policy. The rules, which went into effect last October, require that after five hours of consecutive play, players cease earning any virtual rewards such as experience points or beneficial items. To avail themselves of the exemption, some 26 million gamers will have to register their real names and identity card numbers with the authorities. The system hasn't proven particularly effective -- minors reportedly skirt the limits by logging onto different accounts or switching to another game after reaching the time limit."

Bill Thompson follows up Mac security remarks. Bralkein writes to tell us that in response to the overwhelming amount of feedback Bill Thompson received on his recent Mac security article, he has penned a response to his critics. In his reply, he admits that there were a few flaws in his article, and he acknowledges the high level of security provided by OS X's UNIX foundations. However, he stands by his assertion that the Mac cannot boast complete immunity to all security problems. As a Mac user himself, he still believes that the Mac community needs to remember that security is still an issue for them, too.

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Slashback: GPLv3, Firefly, iTunes

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