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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.

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OSWALD #361 Period ending 9 June 2010

OSWALD #361 Period ending 9 June 2010

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

Google dropping Windows has gotten a lot of attention this week, as well as a change made to the WebM licence. Also lots of stories on the new Linaro group which has been formed by chip makers to support Linux on mobile devices. Also look out for the pretty amazing story on cellbots (although I'm not entirely sure it's open source related).

>From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Other

ubuntu jewelry

This is a durable, gold plated, nice looking flash drive with Linux installed. I would install backtrack on mine but Ubuntu is fine.

***** Off Topic

Google Dumps Microsoft Windows Company-Wide -- Blames Windows For China Hacking Attack

Adding insult to injury, Google is also publicly citing Windows security problems for the decision and blaming Windows vulnerabilities for the China hacking incident.

Microsoft willing to avoid China due to piracy

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer admitted his company is looking to expand outside of China due to the country's disappointing stance on software piracy that runs rampant within its borders.

Hilarious web addresses revealed in new book

***** Government/Policy

'OpenOffice can save UK from doing a Greece'

Perhaps more importantly, the Tories said they would immediately halt planned IT procurement projects to assess proposals and "ensure that small businesses and open source IT providers are not locked out of the bidding process".

The Canadian Copyright Bill: Flawed But Fixable

There is also a "YouTube exception" that grants Canadians the right to create remixed user generated content for non-commercial purposes under certain circumstances. While still not as good as a flexible fair dealing provision, the compromise is a pretty good one.

Open Sourcing Politics

In the sphere of open government, I think the open, modular code maps onto open public data, available in open formats, through open APIs. It's in this area where most of the open government initiatives have been announced, usually under the slightly more generic banner of "transparency".

Quebec broke law in buying Microsoft software

The Quebec government illegally bought software from Microsoft, including Vista and Office, Quebec's Superior Court has ruled. The Quebec government illegally bought software from Microsoft, including Vista and Office, Quebec's Superior Court has ruled.

UK Government Uses BitTorrent to Share Public Spending Data

The UK Government has discovered that BitTorrent is the cheapest and most effective method of sharing large files with the public. As part of the UK Prime Minister's transparency initiative, the Treasury has today released several torrents with details on how the Government spends the public's money.

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

Creative Commons Australia v3.0 licences go live

Creative Commons Australia is pleased to announce the release of version 3.0 of the Australian Creative Commons licences.

United States Patent and Trademark Office Bulk Downloads

Google and the USPTO have entered into an agreement to make the following USPTO products available to the public at no charge:

Mailing Out Patent Absurdity

On the eve of re: Bilski, the anxiously awaited Supreme Court decision on business method patents (with potential implications for software patents), I decided to collaborate with the End Software Patents coalition and send out 200 copies of the short movie they recently produced called Patent Absurdity about why software should not be able to be patented to a focused list of key people.

Words in (AU) Copyright Act vs Time

I have run some numbers on how the size of the (Australian) Copyright Act has changed over the past century or so.

Sneak Peek at Canada's New Copyright Bill

Sources say the government has rejected the flexible fair dealing approach, but that new exceptions will make their way into the bill. The scope of the exceptions -- the last bill contained 12 conditions in order to legally record a television show -- will go a long way to determining whether the bill tries to strike a balance between competing copyright interests.

Blizzard: DRM is a waste of everyone’s time

Pearce also called DRM a "losing battle. " By that he means what we've been saying forever: no matter how robust your DRM is, it will be cracked.

Patent Fast Track Proposed

U. S. Patent and Trademark Office chief David Kappos is proposing a new three-track system for patent applications that would allow applicants to pay an undisclosed amount on top of the standard $1,090 filing fee to jump to the front of the line for expedited reviews.

RIAA seeks to freeze Limewire assets

Although the case hasn't been concluded yet, the RIAA has sought an order freezing the assets of defendants in Arista Records v. Lime Group.

Cancer gene patent faces legal challenge (Australia)

Cancer patient Yvonne D'Arcy says she's ready for a David and Goliath battle challenging a patent over a human gene linked to breast and ovarian cancers.

***** Implementations

BBC Radio uses open source to push out live text service

This use of the open-source XMPP platform, should allow the BBC to more easily enhance its offerings in the future to potentially include graphics, slide shows and other rich media.

***** Applications/Gadgets

Telstra’s Linux-based T-Box to launch mid-June

Telstra today revealed it would launch its Linux-based T-Box integrated media centre set-top box from mid-June at a stand-alone price point of $299, with a sledload of free and pay-per-view content available and an associated revamp of its broadband plans in the works.

Cellbots android powered robots

These are cellbots, if you couldn't think of any reason for getting yourself an Android yet, here is one....The communication is done over serial commands out of the USB port on the bottom of the phone

The Kno, a Tablet for the College Market

The device has two, 14-inch screens, which are big enough to display two facing textbook pages without requiring students to scroll up and down to see the entire pages. It will also have a stylus that will allow students to take notes. It weighs about 5. 5 pounds, with each slab of the tablet a little thicker than half an inch.

PogoPlug II review - your own private cloud!

Linux-based device that requires little time to set up, no computer for connectivity, no monthly fees and only a web browser for access to your files from anywhere in the world? Yes, its radioactive pink colour might seem a bit off-putting upon first glance, but after you connect the Pogoplug and discover its power

TUL shows off DIY AIO PC at Pre-Computex event, Powered by AMD and Ubuntu

EVER WANTED WANTED TO build your own All-in-One PC?

A Review: Ben NanoNote Gets Small with Embedded Linux,2817,2364710,00.asp

The palm-sized notebook is designed to be a hackable hardware platform for Linux developers, akin to what the Arduino board is for electronics projects.

***** Reports

Mobile Linux Gets Support From Chip Vendors [Linaro]

The goal of Linaro is to enable development of Linux on embedded System-on-Chips (SoC) including ARM-based processors. The effort will also leverage engineering help and resources from Ubuntu Linux vendor Canonical.

Landscape 1.5: The Implications for Ubuntu Customers

Moreover, Landscape 1. 5 represents Canonical's latest attempt to make Ubuntu easier for businesses and solutions providers to remotely manage. Here's a closer look at the Landscape strategy.

Tuxera exFAT Now Available for Android and Linux

"To provide necessary patent rights, Microsoft will offer a patent agreement that companies can sign if they are building a device that includes the Tuxera exFAT implementation.


Google, with its Linux-based Android mobile device, is also gaining traction in this field. And unlike Apple, which for some reason never really backed its Apple TV platform, Google, with its Google TV initiative, also gets that the TV too can be turned into yet another center of computing activity.

Risk Report: Five years of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4

Red Hat has published [PDF] a white paper covering the state of security for the first five years of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.

Linux Evolves: Tablets, Smartphones, and TVs

Linux rules supercomputers. It's vitally important to servers. And, Linux is making gains on the desktop. Where Linux is really going to shine in the next twelve months though is in devices: tablets, smartphones, and TVs.

On Teaching Open Source Development

DeKoenigsberg told the attendees of educators, researchers, and students that academic institutions are missing a real opportunity for instruction if they aren't teaching with open source software. For one thing, working on a 5,000-line senior capstone project nowhere near conveys the sheer scale and complexity of a million-line project. And an open source project is the only kind of project a student developer could even get near something that big.

Could Red Hat be Novell's spouse?

Red Hat's CEO Jim Whitehurst declined to dismiss the possibility of buying out his company's Linux rival Novell in a meeting with reporters in London today.

Qt and Open Governance

The change to open the governance model more is the natural continuation of what we've been so far: Open Source is the foundation of the future work in Nokia, as can be seen by the Symbian Foundation, the MeeGo work we're doing with Intel and the Linux Foundation, and especially Qt.

Canonical Rolling Out Ubuntu Advantage for Enterprise Linux OS

On Monday, Canonical is set to officially announce its Ubuntu Advantage program, which combines support, legal indemnification and management into a cohesive services offering.

Android OS and Others Drive Growth of Mobile Linux

Led by the success of Android, Linux-enabled smartphones are expected to make up 33% of the total worldwide smartphone market by 2015, according to a new report from ABI Research.

Being acquired is the best thing for a FOSS project

Daniel Cid discusses how OSSEC has blossomed since it was acquired and turned commercial two years ago.

***** Snippets

HP to cut 9,000 jobs; automate services business

Nearly every supercomputer runs Linux

Remote control house and appliances with Android or Iphone

Here it is: SCO's Reply to Novell's Response to Motion for New Trial - Updated, as text

Goodbye Mozilla Weave. Hello Firefox Sync 1.3

Banshee for MeeGo

FOSS: Free and Open Source Software

Will an open-source alternative to Facebook actually work?

Qualcomm's Dual-CPU Mobile Processor to Juice Up Mobile Computing

Frank Zappa's Influence on Linux

Red Hat's Szulik to resign as chairman

Shutter - Fully Loaded Screenshot App For Linux

If Mono innovates then I’m the King of Canada

Shogo Linux Tablet, a Potential iPad Killer

Google Fixes WebM Licence

New Open-Source OS Will Feature 'Disposable' Virtual Machines

When Will Intel Fix the Poulsbo Mess?

Best Free and Open Source CRM Software

Top 10 Reasons to Consider Open Source CRM

Android and iPhone, and Then Everyone Else
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