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 #368 Period ending 28 July 2010

OSWALD #368 Period ending 28 July 2010

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

Hmmm. Lots of talk this week of Android taking over the world. In Russia, a national operating based on Linux is being planned. Common sense is seeing the light of day in the US with an administrative ruling opening up some exceptions to the DMCA over there, and a court case also limiting its application and in other IP news, a busienss has been started applying to copyright a similar strategy to that of patent trolls.

>From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Standards

WS-I Transitions to OASIS

Today the Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I; announced its decision to transition its assets, operations, and mission into a Member Section of OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards; The transition is expected to take place over the next few months.

***** Government/Policy

Government Computers to Get Linux-Based Operating System

The government is hoping to launch the first version of a "national operating system" for its computers as early as next year, a senior Communications and Press Ministry official said Thursday.

EFF Celebrates 20th Anniversary With New Animation by Nina Paley

EFF's defense of your digital rights is needed now more than ever. From onerous user agreements with monstrous blocks of legalese that take away your rights, to new forms of tracking and surveillance that erode your privacy as you use the Internet, to international efforts to force ISPs to monitor subscribers and become "copyright cops," the threats to our freedom and rights online continue.

Our commitment to the digital humanities

Look at the 10th century Venetus A manuscript, which contains scholia written fifteen centuries earlier about texts written five centuries before that. Almost since computers were invented, people have envisioned using them to expose the interconnections of the world's knowledge. That vision is finally becoming real with the flowering of the web, but in a notably limited way: very little of the world's culture predating the web is accessible online.

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

The DMCA just got a little weaker

The court has ruled that simply circumventing technical measures is not, by itself, a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. "However, MGE advocates too broad a definition of "access;" their interpretation would permit liability under 1201(a) for accessing a work simply to view it or to use it within the purview of 'fair use' permitted under the Copyright Act. Merely bypassing a technological protection that restricts a user from viewing or using a work is insufficient to trigger the DMCA's anti-circumvention provision.

New AntiCircumvention Rule from US Copyright Office

The Copyright Office is conducting this rulemaking proceeding mandated by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which provides that the Librarian of Congress may exempt certain classes of works from the prohibition against circumvention of technological measures that control access to copyrighted works.

Patenting by Entrepreneurs: The Berkeley Patent Survey (Part I of III)

Newspaper Chain’s New Business Plan: Copyright Suits

Borrowing a page from patent trolls, the CEO of fledgling Las Vegas-based Righthaven has begun buying out the copyrights to newspaper content for the sole purpose of suing blogs and websites that re-post those articles without permission. And he says he's making money.

Bratz Dolls Breathe Again After Stunning Ninth Circuit Reversal

It is not equitable to transfer this billion-dollar brand, the value of which is overwhelmingly the result of MGAs legitimate efforts, because it may have started with two misappropriated names, the appellate panel said in its ruling today.

UltraViolet video streaming DRM to launch this Fall

The Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) has branded their system of "Universal DRM", which was first announced at CES 2010, calling the technology UltraViolet. The system is designed to allow consumers the ability to view purchased movies wherever, whenever, over multiple platforms and formats.

Apple among 36 companies targeted in e-mail spam patent suit

A new lawsuit filed this week has accused Apple, Google and numerous others of patent infringement, alleging that the companies are improperly profiting from spam filtering technology created by InNova.

A proposed EU patent on broccoli and tomatoes,,5819653,00.html

There are fears that if the patent is allowed to stand, it will have negative consequences for independent farmers and consumers.

Lawsuit Dropped; Claimed That Copyright-Filtering Violates Copyright

Ironically, Scott targeted Scribd both for trying to block pirated copies of her book, and for failing to successfully do so.

RIAA Appeals Reduction of Tenenbaum P2P Judgment

Disagrees with Judge Nancy Gertner's ruling that the $675,000 fine is "unconstitutionally excessive" and formally appeals the case to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

Bilski to be Expanded in RCT v. Microsoft

While there are at least eight (8) cases before the Federal Circuit that could be the court's first word on patentable subject matter after the Supreme Court's Bilski v. Kappos opinion, my prediction is that the first decision to provide additional guidance for computer software will be Research Corp. Tech (RCT) v. Microsoft.

***** Implementations

Why NASA uses Open Source

In order to save the data from distant spacecraft, satellites and other scientific endeavors, NASA is leveraging open source tech (including Ubuntu Linux) and regular enterprise networking components to meet their mission.

***** Applications/Gadgets

System76 second gen Starling Netbooks look gorgeous, Available to pre-order now

Lenovo to launch Android tablet by year's end

Dubbed "LePad," the tablet will run Google's Android operating system

Why India’s $35 Tablet May Be Just a Dream

The Linux-based tablet from India is priced at $35 with the potential to drop it to either $20 or $10. The tablet will support video conferencing and wireless, have open source software on it including Open Office, and will include a media player. It will also have a solar-power option.

Zbox HD-ID11 nettop review

Pros: This tiny home theatre box is the perfect partner for streaming HD content to your TV, or as a mini Linux entertainment system

***** Reports

Rackspace, NASA launch OpenStack: Can it prevent cloud lock-in?

Rackspace on Monday launched OpenStack, an open source cloud computing operating system, designed to take on the likes of VMware's vSphere and Microsoft's Azure. NASA, Citrix and Dell are among the key partners.

Visual Effects For Project London Movie Made With Blender!

Project London is an independent, no-budget, feature-length, live action movie with vivid, intense, and marrow-vibrating visual effects and animations created with the open source software Blender (and other traditional software) and 250 (or so) worldwide volunteers.

Android Army to Conquer Mobile Market by 2015

Android's a powerful up-and-comer in smartphone market share, but when it comes to non-smartphone mobile devices -- netbooks, tablets, MIDs, etc. -- Google's platform will own a huge chunk of the market by 2015, according to ABI. Several manufacturers have announced plans to offer Linux-based mobile non-smartphone devices soon.

What does Oracle plan for Sun’s open-source projects?

Oracle isn't actively killing any of these projects. Instead, they're simply no longer funding them or assigning staffers to them. So, for example, there may still be servers devoted to one project or another, but there's no longer anyone who can give any outside developers permission to commit changes to the projects hosted on those servers.

Microsoft OpenSource Platform Project

China and the Year of the GNU/Linux Desktop

If so, it would directly compete with Google's Android operating system. New Android handsets are being released quickly in China, and Baidu would like its own operating system to help give it an edge in the increasingly important mobile search market.

Ubuntu Linux Brings IBM DB2 to the cloud

DB2 Express-C is IBM's free community edition of DB2 software. Small businesses and multi-branch companies, as well as developers, can use it as their DBMS (database management system) platform. It has all of DB2's core features and can be used to power in-house DBMS applications,

Why I'm jolly impressed with Jolicloud 1.0

Firstly, it exists now a big plus. More importantly, though, is the fact that Jolicloud offers full cloud integration while retaining the persistent offline functionality of a normal desktop OS (Chrome OS's major Achilles heel, I suspect I look forward to a world of hyperconnectivity, but we're not there yet).

Introducing OpenStack

Today Cloud. com announced that we have joined the OpenStack Initiative, providing our commitment to support, collaborate and contribute to the success of this community and it's efforts to drive open standards and innovation in the cloud computing market.

Google cracks open Android's closed development

Google will crack open more of Android's development process but keep new versions of its mobile OS closed for competitive reasons.

Canonical Offers Cloud Computing Based Virtual DB2 Appliance for Ubuntu

The new IBM DB2 appliance partnership comes as Canonical is ramping up its cloud efforts for both public and private clouds.

FCam adds RAW and HDR capture to Nokia N900

Mobile photography could get a shot in the arm thanks to the combined efforts of Stanford University researchers and Nokia Research, who have pushed a new open-source digital photography platform out the door.

Android may have the phones, but MeeGo may get the cars

Actually, it looks now like MeeGo is going to have its own niche where it will be the embedded Linux of choice: Car entertainment, Internet, and navigation systems.

Sony now facing single class-action for PS3 other-OS removal

Sony did not make many friends in the tech community when the company forcibly removed the option to install Linux via a mandatory firmware update.

Inside Facebook's Open Source Infrastructure

Facebook's open source Web serving infrastructure has a lot more than just the traditional LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP) stack behind it.

HP confirms tablets for both Windows 7 and WebOS

Bradley notably left out mention of a tablet running Google's Android OS, which HP was reported to have temporarily shelved as it focuses on getting its first WebOS product to market. The PC-maker acquired the well-regarded OS during its $1. 2 billion purchase of Palm, earlier this year.

The Sad State of Open Source in Android tablets

Unfortunately, the current crop of Android tablets aren't nurturing open source at all.

Open Source Does Not Need "Monetising"

An open source community is an example of a group of people choosing to synchronise a fragment of their mutual interests, each at their own expense, for the benefit of all involved including themselves^1. While there may be a non-profit organisation for administrative reasons, an open source community is not a non-profit or a for-profit.

FFmpeg's VP8 Decoder Blasts Google's Decoder

The ffvp8 library is this new VP8 decoder created by three FFmpeg developers and after a few weeks of work it's already complete enough to be bit-exact with that of Google's libvpx, while it's much faster than the official decoder.

Deacon: Musings on Starting an Open-Source Project

It's been four months since I founded and announced the Deacon project, and the team and I have learned a few lessons about open source projects along the way. The project is admittedly still a fledgling, but if you're interested in hearing a few impressions from our work so far, feel free to hit the jump. . .

***** Snippets

Droid X sells out as Motorola defends lock-down chip

50 Places Linux is Running That You Might Not Expect

Seven Current Issues on the Linux Desktop

Mozilla Would Like to Pick Your Brain - Revising the MPL

Open source software. The gateway drug to Linux.

The Transcripts from the SCO v. Novell Trial

FOSS dev launches petition against software patents

Resources for Open Source Compliance

Fortune cookie says: To succeed, you must share.

Linux Syncs Great With Droids

Rotten to the (Open) Core?

Drupal looks beyond open source zealots

OSCON: Open Source Lazy About Social Web Services

Not another rehash of Bilski

Can one sponsor sustain a FOSS project on the long term?

Morevna - An Open Source Anime Project Using Open Source Tools Only

Keep Tabs on Your Data with Pygmynote

Dell drops Ubuntu PCs from website... for now

WordPress Theme Thesis Maker Backs Down, Adopts GPL

Living the Linux Lifestyle
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