Brendan Scott
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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 #363 Period ending 22 June 2010

OSWALD #363 Period ending 22 June 2010

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

A comparatively quiet period all things considered. The FSF has a campaign running against ACTA and there's an interesting story about Iceland setting up a WikiLeaks. Perhaps that's in return for the bad time the EU has been giving the Icelanders recently?

>From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Other

WikiLeaks proposal for ‘new media haven’ passed by Icelandic parliament

The Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (IMMI), proposed by whistleblowing website Wikileaks and Icelandic MPs, has been passed by the Icelandic parliament. The IMMI calls for better laws in the country to protect journalists and their sources, which has the potential to create a haven for investigative journalists in Iceland.

***** Government/Policy

Why The Firm, Simple Declaration Against ACTA

ACTA (1), a treaty designed to attack the rights of computer users in some 40-odd countries -- and others later -- is encountering increasing opposition. ACTA threatens, in a disguised way, to punish Internet users with disconnection if they are accused of sharing, and requires countries to prohibit software that can break Digital Restrictions Management (DRM), also known as digital handcuffs (2).

This Mac devotee is moving to Linux

But this is a disconnect with reality. Central control, no matter how well-intentioned, is itself the problem, not the solution. The "enlightened dictator" is fiction. And dangerous.

NZICT - unwarranted influence on Software Patents?

A few weeks ago Minister Simon Powers came out in support of the Commerce Commission select committee's recommendation that, based on the evidence presented by a number of submitters (including my company, Egressive), computer software should be excluded from patenting. As you can imagine, I was overjoyed, as were most (if not all) of the members of the NZOSS.

Release of IFOSSLR Vol 2, Issue 1

The next edition of the International Free and Open Source Software Law Review is out [disclosure, I'm on the editorial committee] and it’s a great read. I can wholeheartedly recommend the articles in this edition.

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

Political Excesses - Or: Let Schumpeter's Creative Destruction Do Its Work

"You think copyright can't get any more draconian? Think again. In Germany, newspaper publishers are lobbying for 'a new exclusive right conferring the power to monopolize speech e. g. by assigning a right to re-use a particular wording in the headline of a news article anywhere else without the permission of the rights holder.

Amazon gets a patent on "Social Networking",739,139.PN.&OS=PN/7,739,139&RS=PN/7,739,139

Court appoints mediator to facilitate settlement in Jammie Thomas-Rasset case

***** Applications/Gadgets

OpenVBX Provides Google Voice-like Features for Enterprise

Open source telephony service for businesses allows drag-and-drop call routing, text-to-speech, voice transcription and voicemail forwarding.

PocketBook 301+ Comfort review

If you've never had the pleasure of seeing a half-decent eReader first hand, your first few minutes with E Ink is quite an eye opener.

Rugged Android Phone

The phone is not only very rugged and watertight, it's also equipped with all the features you would expect from a modern mobile phone plus everything else.

Android Video Terminal

UMEC has several versions available, depicted above is the CU-702 which is "just" a video terminal running android 2. 1. The terminal is Voip enabled and has a 7 inch touch screen.

Beagle Board Modules Offer Open Source Options

When paired with the Lithium Ion BeagleJuice module, the BeagleBoard acts like a handheld tablet computer with Linux and capable of running the Android operating system. A line of sensors - including accelerometer, GPS, light sensor and heart beat sensor - are easily connected using the BeagleMod prototyping board.

Bluecherry releases a Linux MPEG-4 compression card

"This effectively puts Bluecherry as the first company to produce a multi-input MPEG-4 hardware compression GPL driver written around the Linux kernel's API," the outfit claims. The driver was originally intended for Bluecherry's surveillance software but the outfit thinks other open source applications might make use of it.

***** Reports

Google code hints at Chrome OS Dellbook

Dell isn't among the official Chrome OS partners named by Google, but as noticed by Download Squad, the code repository for Chromium OS -- the open source incarnation of Chrome OS -- includes some rather conspicuous bits that point to Dell as an early manufacturer.

HP: The Linux distributor?

But, no major OEM (original equipment manufacturer) has had a house-brand Linux. . . until now. HP has recently bought not one, but two Linux distributions.

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization: Cheaper than VMware and Microsoft?

The chatter will involve Chuck Dubuque -- a product marketing manager at Red Hat. At the summit, Dubuque is expected to describe how traditional customers typically spend about $5,000 to $7,000 per server for virtualization, with Red Hat apparently charging significantly less for RHEV.

Marten Mickos says the cloud won't kill open source

Mickos (pictured right) says he approached Eucalyptus and asked to be a part of the company. He didn't want to move into cloud computing while abandoning his open source roots.

Open source not immune to ERP vendor consolidation trend (Compiere)

The enterprise software vendor consolidation trend has now reached the open source corner of the market, with Consona's announcement that it is acquiring Compiere, Inc.

Dell back-tracks on Linux being safer than Windows

The explanation for both statements has also changed a bit. When the statement was stronger, Dell's explanation read, "The vast majority of viruses and spyware written by hackers are not designed to target and attack Linux. " Now, it's been watered down to read, "According to industry reports, Ubuntu is unaffected by the vast majority of viruses and spyware. "

***** Snippets

Open Source Software Gaining Acceptance (Opinion)

Firefox Losing Foothold on Linux Distros?

MeeGo 1.0 Review

Improving The Linux Desktop? Why, It’s Elementary

SCO: So die already!

Canonical's (Possibly) Excellent Adventure

Are the shoulders of Linux groaning under the weight of the world?

OpenOffice at the crossroads

Linux: "Free" Software vs "You Get What You Pay For"

The Party of Gno
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