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 #366 Period ending 13 July 2010

OSWALD #366 Period ending 13 July 2010

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

Hmmm.... IP and Gov related issues this week, with reports of open source getting less than a level playing field in Brazil and Switzerland. On the IP front, Linux based NAS vendor Coraid has been threatened with patents over the ZFS file system.

>From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Open Standards/ODF

Lessons learned from a hasty standard

While Microsoft is working with Germany's Fraunhofer FOKUS to document and improve the highly touted interoperability of its office suite, the global standards committee continues to hear complaints that Microsoft's format should not be qualified as an open standard because the criticism voiced during the proceedings did not receive proper consideration.

***** Other

Ridley Scott Plans User-Generated YouTube Documentary

Scott, in a producer role, and director Kevin Macdonald ("The Last King of Scotland") announced on Tuesday their plans to team with YouTube to generate what they're calling "the first user-generated feature-length documentary. "

***** Off Topic

Germany officials launch legal action against Facebook

Mr Caspar said he had received a number of complaints from people who had not signed up to Facebook, but whose details had been added to the site by friends. He accused Facebook of saving private data of non-members without their permission, to be used for marketing purposes. [This, by the way is the whole point of Web 2.0]

***** Government/Policy

Switzerland – 0wn3d by Microsoft

In all european countries there is a concept called vendor-neutral procurement for public authorities. This court decision is a HOWTO on disabling that requirement in Switzerland. And THAT is the dangerous precedent set here.

Reader’s Report and Leak: “Microsoft is Pulling an EDGI on Brazil.”

An anonymous Techrights member from Brazil says that EDGI-like programmes are being used to suppress Brazil's adoption of GNU/Linux; evidence is leaked

IBM, EU Create Research Consortium For Open Source

IBM, in collaboration with the European Union, industry and academia, is launching a research consortium which aims to help businesses more easily take advantage of Internet-based services - or "e-services" - to create collaborative business operations and achieve shared business goals.

Dump Microsoft, Use Linux to Save Money, U.K. Officials Suggest

"In terms of spending less, what about migrating the whole of government (the NHS, education etc. ) from Microsoft products to Linux and open-source software like Openoffice," read one of the suggestions displayed on the Treasury website.

Linux Oz head builds open-source SBR link

John Ferlito, president of Linux Australia, has revealed that he and several associates are developing a way for open-source users to interface with the government's Standard Business Reporting (SBR) system.

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

NetApp threatens Coraid over sales of open-source ZFS technology

Brown wrote: "We made the decision to suspend shipment after receiving a legal threat letter from NetApp Inc. , suggesting that the open-source ZFS file system planned for inclusion with our EtherDrive Z-Series infringes NetApp patents. "

Business method patents nearly bite the dust (Bilski)

Instead, the Court did almost the reverse: it decided the case in an opinion by Justice Kennedy that affirmed the patentability of business methods and said almost nothing about the applicable test beyond rejecting the Federal Circuit's exclusive reliance on a "machine or transformation" standard.

Woot To AP: You Owe Us $17.50 For Copying Our Content

And that something is this: you printed our web content in your article! The web content that came from our blog! Why, isn't that the very thing you've previously told nu-media bloggers they're not supposed to do?

Bilski: business as usual

With ever more people trying to innovate and thus seeking patent protections for their inventions, the patent law faces a great challenge in striking the balance between protecting inventors and not granting monopolies over procedures that others would discover by independent, creative application of general principles. Nothing in this opinion should be read to take a position on where that balance ought to be struck.

Nonlawyer at 9th Circuit Beats Toyota on Trademark Law

Lisa Tabari said that after the district court barred the use of the Lexus domain names, business slowed to a trickle and the family home is now in foreclosure. But if the 9th Circuit's ruling holds, she said, "Please know that we'll be back in business. "

Patent holder sues Apple, Google, others over wireless e-mail

NTP Incorporated issued a press release on Friday revealing its lawsuit against Apple, Google, HTC, LG Electronics, Microsoft and Motorola. The complaint was filed in a U. S. District Court in Eastern Virginia, and covers eight patents related to the delivery of e-mail over wireless communications systems.

Patent Infringement...!?

I am Darren Briggs, the Chief Technical Officer of Landmark Digital Services, LLC. Landmark Digital Services owns the patents that cover the algorithm used as the basis for your recently posted "Creating Shazam In Java".

Defending against laws which threaten user freedom

We have already published a petition condemning ACTA on a number of specific grounds which we urge you to sign if you haven't already. If you would like to know more, please read the rationale for this declaration. Right now, you can take action!

Attorney Fees and Equal Treatment for Plaintiffs and Defendants

Nick Gross was a longtime Netflix user when he came-up with the idea that the service should provide additional user notifications -- such as when the movie queue runs dry. Just before filing suit, Gross and partners formed Media Queue as a holding company. Media Queue then sued Netflix, Blockbuster, and others for patent infringement.

Judge Declares Tenenbaum Fine Unconstitutional, Slashes it By Tenth

According to court documents, the judge wrote, "This copyright case raises the question of whether the Constitution's Due Process Clause is violated by a jury's award of $675,000 in statutory damages against an individual who reaped no pecuniary reward from his infringement and whose individual infringing acts caused the plaintiffs minimal harm. I hold that it is. "

How about a legal penalty for hindering fair use?

Not only does the proposal permit circumvention for fair dealing and public domain purposes, but it establishes equivalent penalties for hindering or preventing the users from exercising their fair dealing rights. In other words, the Brazilian proposals recognizes what the Supreme Court of Canada stated several years ago - over-protection is just as harmful as under-protection.

Brazil's copyright law forbids using DRM to block fair use

Brazil has just created the best-ever implementation of WCT. In Brazil's version of the law, you can break DRM without breaking the law, provided you're not also committing a copyright violation. And what's more, any rightsholder who adds a DRM that restricts things that are allowed by Brazilian copyright laws ("fair dealing" or "fair use") faces a fine.

***** Implementations

Vietnam Banks On Linux

The announcement also marks VietinBank as the country's first Linux on the mainframe customer, enabling the bank to take advantage of the more than 3,150 open source applications compatible with System z.

***** Applications/Gadgets

Cisco Cius Android Tablet Unveiled, Loaded with Business-friendly Features

The table computer trend continues with the announcement of Cisco's Cius Android-powered tablet. The device is targeted at business users providing them access to a wide range of Cisco mobile communication and collaboration tools that include HD video streaming, multi-party conferencing, email, messaging, web browsing, and creating, editing and sharing content or files stored locally and in the cloud.

Goodbye netbook, hello Hoverboard

It offers the perfect middle ground between a full-sized notebook computer and a netbook. The Hoverboard weighs in at about 3 lbs. , which is about the same weight as my old netbook. But it also has a 13'' screen and a full-sized keyboard. Best of all, it's less than an inch thick meaning it can comfortably fit into my work bag, a knapsack, or a laptop bag.

Five of 2010’s Linux-Powered e-Book Readers

Tiny embedded PC offers 1080p video

Norco announced a fanless, Linux-ready mini PC with support for 1080p video.

Twitter to open source MySQL-to-Hadoop tool

Known as Crane, this is a tool for moving data from MySQL into Hadoop, the open source data-crunching platform based on Google's proprietary infrastructure.

The Linux Foundation Delivers New Licensing Terms, Testing Tools for Accessibility Interfaces

The Linux Foundation Delivers New Licensing Terms, Testing Tools for Accessibility Interfaces

Affordable Android-powered iPad-like Tablet Computers Galore

While browsing through dealextreme. com, a popular online shop for electronic products here in Asia, I was really surprised to see several iPad-like tablet computers that are sold for as low as $99 (US). Another surprising thing is that they are all powered by Android.

***** Reports

EMC takes over Greenplum

Greenplum, which uses the open source PostgreSQL database as a base for its data warehousing and business intelligence software, has been acquired by storage company EMC.

The Linux Foundation Delivers Testing Tools for Accessibility Interfaces Under BSD License

The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that its Open Accessibility Workgroup is releasing IAccessible2 for Windows under the BSD license.

Open Core and OSI

Mark Radcliff worries that the anti-open core position will scare away VC investment. So be it. But here's my question: what is OSI's position in this debate? With both men associated with OSI, it's getting confusing.

Superfreakonomics; Superplug for Intellectual Ventures

Side note: when a respected information source covers something where you have on-the-ground experience, the result is often to make you wonder how much fecal matter you've swallowed in areas outside your own expertise.

Dell cuddles Canonical for big Ubuntu fluffer love

Dell is working with Canonical to help customers float Ubuntu-powered open-source clouds while also cozying up to developers.

Two GCC stories

the real problem is that we as a community lack a copyleft license that works well for both code and text.

Open source financial analytics startup OpenGamma comes out of stealth mode

The platform will be made available under a "commercial friendly open source licence" because, says Wylie "that's what customers told us they want" and explained that customers want to be "able to debug all their integration points", "step through the code", know at a individual file level what has changed and "be able to download and play with the code without a sales person getting involved".

Spotify Linux app goes live

Online music streaming provider Spotify has announced a native application for Linux operating systems. This is the first time Spotify has released a Linux client, although some users have previously reported being able to install the Windows application using the Wine emulation environment.

Google's App Inventor Lowers Bar on Android Mobile App Dev

The App Inventor for Android is currently a beta service and requires that users apply for access. As opposed to regular mobile development, which requires a developer to have some kind of IDE (define) and programming skills, App Inventor is a point-and-click visual tool for building mobile apps.

***** Snippets

Monty appeals Oracle's Sun merger

Ubuntu's "Free" Ride Into the Enterprise

Open source compliance: know your obligations

Developers criticise Google's Android Market

Android 2.2 demolishes iOS4 in JavaScript benchmarks

Travels With Teo: Linux Netbook Hits the Road

Mozilla Public License rewrite deletes Netscape

SCO Appeals. Yes. Them Again.

Just what Will be for sale in the Ubuntu software centre Come October?

KVM Adoption Isn't All About Commercial Support

The Fragmentation of Linux: Two Points of View

Could Free Software Exist Without Copyright?

OLPC to add multitouch screen to future XO-1.75 laptop

The Advantages of Using Linux

OSS vs proprietary software quality and usage.

Linux Servers: A Real Data Center Choice

Claimed Proof That UNIX Code Was Copied Into Linux

Is Chrome OS a Threat to Ubuntu or Windows?

The Creativity Crisis

Linux Doesn't Cost Anything - But Maybe It Should
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