Brendan Scott
+61 414 339 227

lists at
Linked In Profile

OSWALD Newsletter Archives (by issue #, click to view)

The Open Source Law Weekly Digest or OSWALD first launched late in 2002. Since then it has been regularly providing updates on all things open source related. The focus of this newsletter is on business, rather than technical developments in open source. Another strong component of the newsletter is IP news, as it is of interest to me and has an effect on open source.

[508] [507] [506] [505] [504] [503] [502] [501] [500] [499] [498] [497] [496] [495] [494] [493] [492] [491] [490] [489] [488] [487] [486] [485] [484] [483] [482] [481] [480] [479] [478] [477] [476] [474] [473] [472] [471] [470] [469] [468] [467] [466] [465] [464] [463] [462] [460] [459] [458] [457] [456] [455] [454] [453] [452] [451] [450] [449] [448] [447] [446] [445] [444] [443] [442] [441] [440] [439] [438] [437] [436] [435] [434] [433] [432] [430] [429] [428] [426] [425] [424] [423] [422] [421] [420] [419] [418] [417] [416] [415] [414] [413] [412] [411] [410] [409] [408] [407] [403] [389] [378] [375] [374] [373] [372] [371] [370] [369] [368] [367] [366] [365] [364] [363] [362] [361] [360] [359] [358] [357] [356] [355] [354] [353] [352] [351] [350] [349] [348] [347] [346] [345] [344] [343] [342] [341] [340]

OSWALD #348 Period ending 3 March 2010

OSWALD #348 Period ending 3 March 2010

Welcome to the Open Source Law Weekly Open Source Digest (OSWALD)

There's a particularly scary story this week about the motion picture industry beating up on Indonesia because Indonesia wants to use open source software. Outrageous! The BBC have decided to lock open source flash players out of their site and Microsoft have entered into a patent cross licensing deal with Amazon - this is reason to be concerned.

I keep waiting for ARM smartbooks to appear, but presumably (?) that will happen after CeBIT in Germany (just started, finishing on 6 March).

>From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Open Standards/ODF

Ogg Theora vs. H.264: head to head comparisons

Streaming media consultant Jan Ozer conducted a hands-on comparison of Ogg and h264 in order to shed some light on the relative difference in encoding quality and performance. He has published the results of his comparison, including screen captures and sample clips, in a report at the Streaming Learning Center.

***** Off Topic

Philip K. Howard: Four ways to fix a broken legal system

She was wholey unconcerned about the bears, but she was terrified of lawyers. The story started pouring out. She'd just been involved in an episode where a parent had threatened to sue the school because she lowered the grade of the student by 10 percent when he turned the paper in late.

***** Government/Policy

When using open source makes you an enemy of the state

It turns out that the International Intellectual Property Alliance, an umbrella group for organisations including the MPAA and RIAA, has requested with the US Trade Representative to consider countries like Indonesia, Brazil and India for its "Special 301 watchlist" because they use open source software.

Why I Will Not Sign the Public Domain Manifesto

Some flaws are at the level of implicit assumptions. The manifesto frequently uses propaganda terms of the copyright industry, such as "copyright protection". These terms were chosen to lead people to sympathize with the copyright industry and its demands for power.

Public consultation on the European Interoperability Strategy (EIS)

Everyone interested in interoperability within the context of public service delivery is cordially invited to send suggestions aiming at contributing to the implementation of the European Interoperability Strategy.

BBC activates iPlayer Flash verification - Locking out open source - Update

The BBC have activated a protection mechanism on the Flash based streaming system used by iPlayer, stopping open source media players from legally playing BBC content according to a report on The Register.

Italian entrepreneur fights proprietary file formats in Public Administrations

The Chamber of Commerce finances an entrepreneurial mission to Australia from May first to May 9th. Click here to download the full schedule and the participation form. The "click here" in that message is a zip archive of four files in . doc format. On February 10th I complained for the fourth time, after receiving another call for the same mission, with the same kind of attachments:...

Ubuntu Linux Now Available to Fed Customers on GSA Advantage

The addition of Ubuntu isn't expected to drastically alter the U. S. government's use of open-source operating systems and tools, but does give the public sector an additional option that private industry has long enjoyed.

Stallman and Free Software Foundation launch Day Against DRM

Richard Stallman said the day was designed to "raise public awareness to the danger of technology that restricts users' access to movies, music, literature and software; indeed, all forms of digital data".

Watch FedFlix

FedFlix is a joint venture with the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). Each month they send us government videotapes. We upload them to the Internet Archive and YouTube, then send the government back their videotapes and a digital copy for their files. No cost to them, more data for all of us.

Free Software, Private Property

[Not particularly startling. Startling that it hasn't been seen earlier]

In a 2003 essay, BENJAMIN HAK-FUNG CHIAO makes the startling claim that FOSS is actually Private Property, not in the legal sense, which creates a fictional Common Property, but in a economic sense, as individuals and companies can effectively exclude others from using it, thereby achieving one of the key characteristics of private property.

***** Patent/CR/DRM News+Policy

Microsoft, Amazon strike patent deal covering Kindle and Linux

Microsoft says in a news release that Amazon. com will pay "an undisclosed amount of money under the agreement" -- signaling that Amazon is paying to avoid a possible patent claim from Microsoft. No terms of the deal were disclosed.

Open Source's Big Model Train Win - Interesting, but...

Europe 'will not accept' three strikes in Acta treaty,1000000085,40057434,00.htm

"We are not supporting and will not accept that an eventual Acta agreement creates an obligation to disconnect people from the internet because of illegal downloads," John Clancy, De Gucht's spokesman, told ZDNet UK on Thursday.

New ACTA Leak: U.S., Korea, Singapore, Denmark Do Not Support Transparency

Throughout the debate over ACTA transparency, many countries have taken public positions that they support release of the actual text, but that other countries do not. Since full transparency requires consensus of all the ACTA partners, the text simply can't be released until everyone is in agreement.

Universal May Have to Pay the Piper Over Takedown of Dancing Baby

U. S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel ruled late Thursday that Stephanie Lenz can get some limited recompense from the music label for ordering YouTube to drop a 29-second video of her son dancing to the music of Universal artist Prince.

Former Teen Cheerleader Dinged $27,750 for File Sharing 37 Songs

The decision Thursday by the 5th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals reverses a Texas federal judge who had ordered defendant Whitney Harper to pay $7,400, or $200 per song. The lower court had granted her an "innocent infringer's" exemption to the Copyright Act's minimum of $750 per track because she said she didn't know she was violating copyrights and thought file sharing was akin to internet radio streaming.

Facebook Awarded Patent for its News Feed,2817,2360728,00.asp

Facebook applied for the patent back in August 2006, about a month before the social networking site opened its doors beyond college students to all Internet users.

Starr, et al. v. Sony BMG Music Entertainment, et al.

Second Circuit holds that the plaintiff class adequately pled violations of Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act against defendant producers and distributors of digital music, where the defendants' alleged parallel conduct in selling music over the internet plausibly suggested that defendants entered into an agreement to fix prices and to restrain the availability and distribution of music over the internet.

Open Wi-Fi 'outlawed' in Digital Economy Bill,1000000085,40057470,00.htm

The government will not exempt universities, libraries and small businesses providing open Wi-Fi services from its Digital Economy Bill copyright crackdown, according to official advice released earlier this week.

PUBPAT Releases Free Claim Construction Dictionaries

The Public Patent Foundation, Inc. ("PUBPAT") is pleased to announce that Dr. David Garrod, PUBPAT's Senior Litigation Counsel, has decided to release his groundbreaking claim construction dictionaries free of charge through PUBPAT's web site.

***** Applications/Gadgets

Laptop launched to aid computer novices

Microsoft Plays Catch-up -- Sub-$70 Linux Virtual Desktop

Userful Corporation, the world leader in multiseat Linux desktop virtualization, today announced that 30,000 schools worldwide have chosen Userful virtual desktops to reduce computing costs and improve computer-to-student ratios.

Archos 5 Internet Tablet with Android Review Part 1

The Archos 5 Android tablet has some very nice specs under the hood; 4. 8" resistive touch screen with a resolution of 800x480, 800mHz ARM CPU, WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth and capacities ranging from 8GB flash to 500GB HDD.

Nokia to launch Linux-powered N900 tomorrow

It's a case of "hello, goodbye" for Nokia's N900 smartphone, which will make its Australian debut tomorrow at Nokia's first developer conference in Sydney.

***** Reports

Fedora Splits and Goes Faster

The change could mean that Fedora development will now be accelerated, with work continuing for the next major milestone, Fedora 13, while development on what will become Fedora 14 now occurring simultaneously in Rawhide. Fedora 13 is currently scheduled for a May 11 release.

The Apache Software Foundation Announces the 15th Anniversary of the Apache HTTP Web Server

February 23, 1994: Individual patch authors around the world are invited to join the "new-httpd" mailing list to discuss enhancements and future releases of NCSA httpd.

Mandriva Joins ARM Connected Community

We are delighted to join the ARM Connected Community. ARM processors play a key role in the embedded processor arena, and they are a perfect match for Mandriva Linux.

Arduino – the hardware revolution

Enter, the Arduino: a low-cost, open source, tiny hardware board for connecting the real world to your computer, and/or to the whole internet. What can be done with it? Everything. The limit is the imagination, and as you'll see from a few of the example creations we review here, imaginative use is the norm.

Linux kernel R&D worth over 1bn euros

The results came to an estimated total value for the Linux kernel version 2. 6. 30 (released in December 2009) of 1,025,553,430 euros. About 985 developers would be needed over a span of just under 14 years, the researchers claim.

Open Source Re-writes the Rules for Mobile

Have an old HTC Tilt, Polaris, Niki, or Vogue laying around collecting dust because you can't stand using Windows Mobile? Well, according to the XDA Developers forum you may be able to get a little more life out of your old device by hacking it to run the latest version of Android.

Linux 2.6.33 Boosts Graphics, Dumps Android

Kroah-Hartman, who is also a, expanded on the comment earlier this month, in a detailed blog post that indicated that without additional help from Google developers, Android code that's heavily dependent on development in Google's kernel tree can't be merged with the mainline Linux kernel.

EFL brings Ubuntu Netbook Remix to ARM

Canonical developer Jamie Bennett announced in his blog post The New UI for ARM Based Ubuntu Devices how Enlightenment Foundation Libraries (EFL) enabled rich graphical user interfaces even on non-3D-accelerated ARM devices.

Bordeaux Group Announces License Agreement With StormOS to Develop Bordeaux 2.2

The Bordeaux Technology Group announces it has signed an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with StormOS to develop and further commercialise Bordeaux for Unix operating systems.

Novell: Linux finally breaks even

As part of its discussion of its financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2010 ended in January, Dana Russell, chief financial officer at operating system and systems software maker Novell, said that the SUSE Linux business was at break-even, what he called "a significant milestone. "

IFOSSLR Call for papers

Issue 3 of IFOSS L. Rev. will be released on June 8th 2010. To be considered for inclusion in this issue articles must be submitted by April 1st.

1 Second Linux Boot Time

With our advanced analysis techniques and experience in Linux tuning, boot times can be reduced in some cases to less than a second.

Is Open Source Software More Secure?

"Open Source project teams remediated security vulnerabilities faster than all other users of Veracode's application risk management services platform," Veracode stated. "Open Source applications took only 36 days from first submission to reach an acceptable security score, compared to 48 days for Internally Developed applications and 82 days for Commercial applications. "

***** Snippets

Fresh Faces, Universal Access, and Really Plain Text

A Linux Story

Of the powers we choose to lose

Will open source ever be completely free?

Corporate IT won't run Linux desktops because of the 'Skype attitude'

OpenOffice4Kids - Educating kids the right way


Why open source is not always the way to go

Google, under antitrust scrutiny, points its finger at Microsoft

Where is Mozilla Ubiquity?

Windows server revenue outpaced Linux in Q4

The Quake III Test

Get your damn hands off my Internet!

Junior High School students in Monza build their own Ubuntu computers
This Digest is sponsored by Open Source Law
see also:
Join: email with "Subscribe oswald" in subject line
Leave: email with "Unsubscribe oswald" in subject line
Note: This email list is manually generated.
Archives: (not maintained)
General disclaimer: I am a member of Open Source Industry Australia Limited

Recent Papers:

Research Note: Trade Practices Implications of Infringing Copies of Open Source Software
Software Patents: Microsoft Jumps the Shark
Reading the BSD License in Isolation
  View other publications