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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 #369 Period ending 2 August 2010

OSWALD #369 Period ending 2 August 2010

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

Not a heap of important stuff this week. Lots of coverage of the decision to exempt jailbreaking etc from the DMCA. Some hullabulloo about Dell changing its online Ubuntu options. Also an interesting story about fonts being deliberately poor on Linux to avoid some patent issues, and that those patents have recently expired so font rendering will get better.

>From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Off Topic

Privacy Lawsuit Targets Net Giants Over ‘Zombie’ Cookies

A wide swath of the net's top websites, including MTV, ESPN, MySpace, Hulu, ABC, NBC and Scribd, were sued in federal court Friday on the grounds they violated federal computer intrusion law by secretly using storage in Adobe's Flash player to re-create cookies deleted by users.

How 100 million Facebook users ended up in a list on BitTorrent

While alarming that Facebook's information should be harvested in this way, it is not illegal. Rather, it is a useful exercise in reminding people what 'public' really means, and that once your information is out there, you don't have any say over what happens to it.

***** Government/Policy

Govt Mandates Windows/IE to access Unemployment benefits Site:

U.S. military adopts more open source: is that secure enough for you?

The U. S. military and researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are putting their heads together to help the military adopt more open source software. The military wants in on the cost savings, speed and flexibility which OSS offers to users, as opposed to being stuck waiting on proprietary software vendors to modify their tools when changes are needed. If the open source model can be secured enough for the military, surely it can be secured enough for the enterprise.

Killed by Code: Software Transparency in Implantable Medical Devices

As patients grow more reliant on computerized devices, the dependability of software is a life-or-death issue. The need to address software vulnerability is especially pressing for Implantable Medical Devices (IMDs), which are commonly used by millions of patients to treat chronic heart conditions, epilepsy, diabetes, obesity, and even depression.

The U.S. Government and Its Partners Open Up To FOSS

In this article, I will take a hard look at the great inroads being made by FOSS into the processes and programs of the U. S. government and its partners.

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

EFF wins enormous victory against DRM: legal to jailbreak iPhones, rip DVDs for mashup videos,2817,2367037,00.asp

The Electronic Frontier Foundation drove three deep wedges into the US prohibition on breaking DRM today. EFF had applied to the Copyright Office to grant exemptions permitting the cracking of DRM in three cases:

Gene Patenting Produces Profits, Not Cures

Genae Girard had been astonished, too, when she learned that women like herself who need genetic testing to quantify their risks and to define the best treatment for their cancer could obtain it only by paying Myriad's $3,400 fee, enabled by the monopoly that the BRCA patents bestow. She resorted to wide-angle legal buckshot, suing not only Myriad and the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and other companies who hold patents on human genes.

USPTO concludes patent validity for i4i

Loudon Owen, Chairman of i4i, says, "Put simply Microsoft lost the trial, lost the appeal, and lost the reexamination. The PTO agreed with i4i. i4i's patent is clearly and unequivocally valid" Mr. Owen adds, "The protection of patents and intellectual property is vital to small inventors and pioneers like i4i, especially when confronted by giant infringing industry competitors like Microsoft. "

Collaborating on patent examinations

Peer To Patent works by posting patent applications that have been voluntarily submitted by their owners to the Peer To Patent review process. Once posted, any member of the public may come to the Peer To Patent website, www. peertopatent. org, and participate in a discussion about the merits of the patent and what might constitute prior art,

USPTO Asks for Comments on New Interim Guidance on Bilski

Apple Seeks Patents on Travel, Hotel and Fashion Apps

Earlier this week Apple, Inc. had three patent application publish on what most would consider strange, overbroad and/or dubious inventions.

***** Applications/Gadgets

Announcing the world’s fastest VP8 decoder: ffvp8

Kmart touts $150 Android tablet

Kmart has begun touting a seven-inch "Gentouch78" Android 2. 1 tablet for $150, as well as a Linux-based seven-inch color e-reader called "TheBook eReader," both from Augen. Meanwhile, TheStreet quotes analyst Ashok Kumar as saying Motorola will release a 10-inch tablet this November running Android 3. 0.

Linux-based hybrid video server supports 40 channels

Exacq Technologies is shipping a line of Linux-based hybrid video surveillance appliances with Intel Atom processors. The ExacqVision EL-S systems offer eight or 16 analog inputs and up to 24 IP inputs, allowing creation of systems with up to 40 channels overall, says the company.

Apple iPad's rivals are coming

Kmart, of all places, is advertising the Augen 7-in. tablet, the GENTOUCH78, on sale for just $150 through July 31. Don't rush out to your local Kmart, though. The demand has already been so high for this tablet, even sight unseen, that most Kmart retail stores are handing out rain checks.

Lockheed Goes Open Source. Blankenhorn Hates It.

I was really pleased to read the announcement that Lockheed Martin's social networking platform, EurekaStreams, was released as an open source project today.

***** Reports

GPLv3 now dominates at Google Code #oscon

According to data presented by DiBona, the GPLv3 license now represents more than half of the GPL licensed code that Google hosts on its Google Code site.


Richard Stallman answers your top 25 questions.

If Oracle Bought Every Open Source Company...

That would be eminently possible, since the largest such company - Red Hat - is worth around $6. 25 billion; the other candidates would be fractions of that sum. And since Oracle would only need to buy one company per sector - one for enterprise content management (ECM), one for CRM, one for business information (BI) etc. - and already owns MySQL, the total required for a complete "set" would be relatively modest. It could certainly afford to do it. But why might it want to take this course of action?

Open games with closed content

If you want to modify the game engine and release your own modified version of the game called Schnitzel, for example, then you need to create your own maps, textures, skins, and music to go with Schnitzel.

Prettier Fonts Coming Your Way

But all that is history. As of May 2010, those patents have expired and as of July 12 with version 2. 4. 0, Freetype ships with the Bytecode Interpreter enabled. Version 2. 4. 1 was released July 18 to address a small bug found in 2. 4. 0. Freetype is released under a BSD-style FreeType License and the GPL.

Dell expands Ubuntu Linux desktop offerings

The latest panic in desktop-Linux-land was that Dell would no longer be selling Ubuntu pre-installed on laptops and netbooks. Alas, for those who love drama, it wasn't true. In fact, Dell is expanding its Ubuntu desktop offerings.

Open source startup takes over OpenSSO

A Norwegian startup is assuming responsibility for maintaining an open source web authentication technology originally developed by Sun Microsystems, and seemingly neglected by Oracle, which purchased Sun in January. The company, ForgeRock, has released a new version of Sun's Open Single Sign On (OpenSSO) Enterprise software, called OpenAM, that adheres to the OpenSSO roadmap established by Sun.

Why Android won

Groups like LiMo, and Symbian, OpenMoko, Microsoft and even Palm's WebOS all made one or more of these mistakes. Some were too small, others too greedy. Apple had the size to blow by them, and Google had the wisdom to follow in the correct way.

Novell opens Linux appliance gallery

on the first birthday of the SUSE Appliance Program, Novell is opening up what it calls the SUSE Gallery.

OpenStack: Open Standards Meet The Cloud

We're pleased to see OpenStack, the new open source project for cloud computing projects from Rackspace and NASA. In the past, only large institutions like NASA had access to super computing functionality to complete large-scale computational projects. NASA has donated the code they have developed to manage their environments to the OpenStack project to allow others to tap into the same power.

Don't Be Too Quick to Dismiss Open Core

I've been taking some shots at open core lately, because I've come to the realization there are inherent flaws in this business model as it relates to open source.

Oracle shuts down open source test servers,oracle-shuts-down-open-source-test-servers.aspx

Oracle has shut down servers Sun Microsystems was contributing to the build farm for open source database software, PostgreSQL, forcing enthusiasts to scramble to find new hosts to test updates to their software on the Solaris operating system.

Dell and HP to Certify, Resell Oracle's 3 OS's: Solaris, Linux and VM

Oracle today announced Dell and HP will certify and resell Oracle Solaris, Oracle Enterprise Linux and Oracle VM on their respective x86 platforms.

MeeGo Selected as Platform to Power In-Vehicle Infotainment Devices

GENIVI, the nonprofit industry alliance that was founded by BMW, Delphi, Intel, GM, PSA, Wind River and Magneti-Marelli, announced that MeeGo would become the operating platform for the next generation of In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) devices.

A Linux experiment gone horribly...perfect!

After nearly a week without hearing from him I just couldn't take it any longer and called him. His reaction? "Oh my God this is so wonderful! Thank you!" I wasn't expecting that for certain. And after prodding him a little further he nearly knocked my on the floor when he asked: "Would you mind installing this Linux on the rest of my computers?"

***** Snippets

Mobile Tools: Android Vs. iPhone for Small Business

The most popular Web server Linux is...

Using Linux To Create a Music Blog

When and how to add proprietary software to your desktop Linux

Ten Reason to Ignore Ten Reasons to Dump Windows and Use Linux

Periodic table of the open source graphics and design apps

Why Ubuntu Linux Is a Good Business Choice

No Operating System is Replaceable

Is Oracle trying to kill VirtualBox?

Is Linux Just Another Unix Flavor?

Android vs iPhone vs Palm Pre vs Maemo: which is best?

Red Hat, 16%. Canonical, 1%.

35 Dollar Indian Pad? Go Indians, Go!

RIAA Attorney on Viacom v. YouTube and DMCA

A new contributor agreement for Fedora

CodeWeavers Releases CrossOver 9.1 And CrossOver Games 9.1 For MAC And Linux

Dell release OpenManage Server Administrator for Ubuntu

Where do you find Linux?

EVO 4G's Froyo features detailed in pictures, car dock coming in September?

Microsoft should starve on radical penguin diet
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