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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 #370 Period ending 9 August 2010

OSWALD #370 Period ending 9 August 2010

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

A bit top heavy with IP cases this week, topped by some pretty important =

GPL litigation news - the award of substantial damages in a busybox case.=

Google has announced some free/open fonts for use on the web and there'=

s a bit of sound and fury about Canonical vs Red Hat and contributions to=

the community.=20

=46rom my blog:





Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Other

The Pants That Stalked Me on the Web

n-tracking-cookies/ =


Then, I abandoned the search and did something else. That's when the wei=

rdness started. In the five days since, those recommendations have been =

appearing just about everywhere I've been on the web, including MSNBC, Sa=

lon, CNN. com and The Guardian. The ad scrolls through my Zappos recomme=

ndations: Hurley, Converse by John Varvatos, Quicksilver, Rip Curl, Volco=

m. Whatever. At this point I've started to actually think I never reall=

y have to go back to Zappos to buy the shorts -- no need, they're followi=

ng me. =20

***** Off Topic=20

Microsoft Quashed Effort to Boost Online Privacy


In the end, the product planners lost a key part of the debate. The winn=

ers: executives who argued that giving automatic privacy to consumers wou=

ld make it tougher for Microsoft to profit from selling online ads. Micr=

osoft built its browser so that users must deliberately turn on privacy s=

ettings every time they start up the software. =


BlackBerry says it won't compromise on security and priavacy

for-enterprises-but-rim-rules-security-roost/37467 =


"As a result of how Blackberry data is managed and stored in their curren=

t form, certain Blackberry applications allow people to misuse the servic=

e, causing serious social, judicial and national security repercussions,"=

the regulator had said last week before announcing the ban date Sunday. =


On the Web's Cutting Edge, Anonymity in Name Only


By contrast, firms like [x+1] tap into vast databases of people's online =

behavior--mainly gathered surreptitiously by tracking technologies that h=

ave become ubiquitous on websites across the Internet. They don't have p=

eople's names, but cross-reference that data with records of home ownersh=

ip, family income, marital status and favorite restaurants, among other t=

hings. Then, using statistical analysis, they start to make assumptions =

about the proclivities of individual Web surfers. =


Did market efficiency cause the sub-prime mortgage meltdown?

ubprime-mortgage-meltdown.html =


Why would some trader at Solomon Brothers push bonds on a customer that w=

ere likely to devalue? Because Solomon Brothers owned the bonds and neede=

d to get rid of them before they devalued more than they had already. =


***** Government/Policy

Open letter to abolish software patents in Australia =20

Software patents are dangerous and costly to business and the community. =

Please sign this letter to support abolishing patents on software. =


Mandatory Use of State Document Format ODF


Jakarta - After all of the computers in government agencies migrated to O=

pen Source is completed in late 2011, the government also plans to migrat=

e all the important documents of the country using open document formats =

(Open Document Format / ODF).=20

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

BusyBox and the GPL Prevail Again =20

Judge Shira Scheindlin of the Southern District of New York has now grant=

ed Software Freedom Conservancy, a wing of Software Freedom Law Center, t=

riple damages ($90,000) for willful copyright infringement, lawyer's fees=

and costs ($47,685), an injunction against Westinghouse, and an order re=

quiring Westinghouse to turn over all infringing equipment in its possess=

ion to the plaintiffs, to be donated to charity. So, presumably a lot of=

high-def TVs are on their way to charities. =20

Protecting Pizza, Port and Parma=E2=84=A2

Canada is currently negotiating two major international trade agreements =

whose success may ultimately depend on the level of protection provided t=

o Parma ham. =20

Patent Litigation Weekly: Data Shows That Troll Problem Persists

gation_Weekly_Data_Shows_That_Troll_Problem_Persists =


PatentFreedom offers operating companies access to exclusive research abo=

ut the non-practicing entities using patents against them. PatentFreedom=

's database contains information about more than 330 NPEs, which between =

them hold more than 23,000 U. S. patents and applications and are involv=

ed in more than 3,000 lawsuits--many of them sprawling multi-defendant af=

fairs. =20

Small PR firms "goosed" by a patent on press releases

esources-patents-press-releases.html =


In Marshall, Texas, a patent that seems to cover the act of distributing =

a press release online (No. 6,370,535) was used to sue six companies tha=

t are in that business; it was filed on Friday June 24--just three days b=

efore the Court ruled in Bilski decision that business methods will conti=

nue to be patentable. =20

Why World War I Recordings Won't Enter The Public Domain Until 2049 =20

The bad news is that no sound recording made before 1972 has federal copy=

right protection. They are instead protected by state common law copyrig=

hts, and will not enter the public domain until in most cases 1 January 2=

049, regardless of when they were recorded. . . . . Note that state pro=

tection is afforded even to European recordings, most of which enter the =

public domain in their home country after 50 years. =


Salesforce pays Microsoft to settle patent infringement suit

atent-infringement-suit/7002 =

=20 =


Neither party is saying whether Microsoft also paid Salesforce as part of=

the settlement. Nor are the two sides disclosing the size of any paymen=

ts made. =20

Microsoft patent win preserves tradition of Xbox Live trash talk

tradition_of_xbox_live_trash_talk.html =


The case came down to the definition of "electrically connected," with th=

e judge finding that Microsoft's game console didn't violate the patent. =


Law360 Calls Lawyer-Owned Shell Company a "Public Interest Group"

arking-shell-company-a-public-interest-group.html =


Last month, it included Americans for Fair Patent Use. Who is so concern=

ed about such fairness? That would be F&B LLP, the Texas law firm that ow=

ns Americans for Fair Patent Use, which is a limited liability company se=

t up to prosecute a false marking lawsuit filed in East Texas on July 14.=

The suit, against Apple, Sprint, Samsung, and Verizon, alleges that var=

ious smartphones made by those companies have false patent marks. =


Eben Moglen on Bilski, software patents, and big pharma

i-software-patents-and-big-pharma.html =


Moglen's position on the subject of software patents--that they should be=

banned--is, to say the least, outside the mainstream in legal circles. =

It has, however, garnered support among software developers and other tec=

hies, especially those who work in the world of open-source and free soft=

ware. =20

Marking and Tagging the Public Domain: An Invitation to Comment =20

We are publishing today for comment our new Public Domain Mark, a tool th=

at allows works already in the public domain to be marked and tagged in a=

way that clearly communicates the work's PD status, and allows it to be =

easily discoverable. =20

***** Implementations

Amadeus systems to sit on Linux by 2012

012/0,339028227,339305021,00.htm?feed=3Drss =


Airline IT systems and transactions business company Amadeus yesterday an=

nounced it will completely migrate its commercial airline transaction pro=

cessing systems onto Linux by 2012, saying proprietary platforms were "ve=

ry limiting" and criticised the lack of open standards in the industry. =


***** Applications/Gadgets

Remember those birthdays with GBirthday

GBirthday is a tool that lives in your notification area and keeps track =

of the bithdays in your Evolution contacts or your Thunderbird/Icebird, L=

ightning, Sunbird/Iceowl events, even CVS files or MySQL databases! =


What are the Google Font API and the Google Font Directory?

The fonts in the directory are all released under open source licenses; y=

ou can use them on any non-commercial or commercial project.

***** Reports

Android Handset Sales Beat iPhone Amid Froyo 2.2 Update Frenzy for Evo, D=


dset-Sales-Beat-iPhone-Amid-Froyo-22-Update-Fre =


Two separate reports today place sales of Android handsets ahead of Apple=

's iPhone for the first time amid a frenzy of Froyo, or Android 2. 2, upd=

ate news for major smartphones including the Evo 4G and Droid. =


Ubuntu vs. Red Hat: Who really contributes the most to Linux

utes_the_most_to_linux =

=20 =

=20 =


-gnome-desktop-project-2010-08-02?reflink=3DMW_news_stmp =


Actually, I think Canonical is doing a lot for Linux. In fact, I'd go so=

far as to say that it is doing as much for Linux as Red Hat these days -=

- just not in code. =


Who You Gonna Call? Q&A With Software Freedom Law Center's Eben Moglen =20

"Our primary task is to help projects do what they want to do in making t=

heir software work with greater efficiency and increase the prospects tha=

t the software will be used by people around the world," says Eben Moglen=

, founding director of the Software Freedom Law Center. =


Wesnoth struggles with App Store's GPL incompatibilities =20

While there are various opinions on whether the App Store can legally dis=

tribute GPL-covered binaries--along with diverging opinions on what benef=

its, if any, the App Store provides to free software projects--it is clea=

r that some people object to their GPL-licensed code appearing in the App=

Store. =20

When To Use Open Source in the Enterprise -- And When To Avoid It =20

RackSpace, a Web hosting provider, and NASA, the nation's space agency --=

which has been developing a scalable, secure cloud for its scientists --=

agreed to donate their code to a non-profit, and 27 companies (mostly te=

chnology vendors) signed up to participate. =


Android Sales Jump 866 Percent Annually; Nokia Keeps Lead

es-Jump-866-Percent-Annually-Nokia-Keeps-Lead.h =


Nokia is still the dominant smartphone vendor worldwide, but the Android =

market has exploded in annual growth and is rapidly catching up with Noki=

a and the number two player, Apple. =


Illumos Aims to Free Oracle's Open Source Software

Oracles-Open-Source-Software.htm =


rd_without_oracle =


omes-to-a-Fork-in-the-Code.htm =


the new Illumos project, founded to provide an alternative for those that=

want to use OpenSolaris technologies, including the ZFS filesystem. =


Five Reasons to Keep NoSQL on Your Radar

Whether you are a fan of NoSQL, cynical of its merits, or just curious ab=

out its development goodies, there's no escaping the presence and growth =

of NoSQL. In the next 18 months, at least half of all new websites will =

use NoSQL databases, reports GigaOM Pro Research. =


Flattr: A Social Micropayment Platform for Financing Free Works

atform_financing_free_works =


It's a voluntary system, without the overhead or chilling effects associa=

ted with "pay walls" and it puts donors in control of how much they spend=

, allowing them to split their donations among beneficiaries based on a m=

onthly "pie" model. The greatest asset of Flattr is its simplicity of us=

e -- similar in many ways to the various social networking services that =

abound on the web today. =20

Android Sales Overtake iPhone in the U.S.

Sales of Google Android phones in the U. S. are rising so quickly, the d=

evices have outsold Apple handsets for the first time on record. =


Design & build your own open source device


BeagleBoard is a low-power, low-cost single-board computer (SBC) that int=

egrates SoC, storage and GPU on one board of size 3" x 3". It was design=

ed with open source and hobbyists in mind. And there are numerous open s=

ource projects around. =20

Userful prepackages Linux and applications for multiseat educational use

ges-linux-and-applications-for-multiseat-educat =


Userful Linux MultiSeat 2010 is a package built around Userful's software=

that allows schools to share one computer between 10 simultaneous users.=


CIA Software Developer Goes Open Source, Instead

source-instead/ =


The program was supposed to work with Analytic Space, an online workspace=

for spooks. No one could come up with A-Space's proprietary development=

specifications. Then came the problem of figuring out ACH's licensing r=

ights. Progress on the project ground to a halt. =


The Corporation has gone Open Source


businesses have been adopting Linux and open-source faster than ever. ...=

That's what Accenture, a global management consulting, technology service=

s and outsourcing company with no particular love for FOSS found in its s=

urvey of 300 large private and public organizations. =


Digg, dug, buried: Linux =20

I strongly suspect, although I am not able to prove as Olson has, that ot=

her groups use similar techniques to ensure that stories about technologi=

es they hate, like Linux, almost never become popular. In turn, this mea=

ns far fewer people will ever see stories about Linux. Friends who also =

write regularly about Linux and open source tell me they see this happeni=

ng. =20

Cloud APIs Get Open Source Treatment

html?articleID=3D226600180 =


But I don't care about the hair-splitting. We need all three of these AP=

I efforts to evolve the cloud, so it connects to many different customers=

and implements varied styles of computing. We are at least headed that =

way. =20

***** Snippets

The Jargon of Freedom: 60 Words and Phrases with Context

hrases_context =


Ubuntu's two big advantages over Windows and Mac

Consider open source appliances for backup


ource.html =20

My life with Debian

Negroponte offers OLPC technology for India's $35 tablet

hnology_35_tablet/ =


A CIO=E2=80=99s Quick Guide To Open Source Licenses

ide-to-open-source-licenses.aspx =


Is Linux Really Harder to Use?

er_to_use.html =


Negroponte: Welcome: $35 tablet for education

Of course Android can be hacked, so what else is new?

-what-else-new =


Linux skills more in demand than Unix for the first time


MeeGo for IVI 1.0 Features and Screenshots =20

Does Ubuntu Contribute its Share to Free Software Projects?

-Contribute-its-Share-to-Free-Software-Projects =


On extending Debian membership to non-programming contributors =20

Microsoft Exchange Alternatives for Linux

es-for-linux- =


DRM and Other Forces Overriding the Three Laws of Robotics =20

11 Free Linux Apps Your Business Needs Now

our_business_needs_now.html =


Why is Ubuntu Succeeding Where Linspire Failed?

ucceeding-Where-Linspire-Failed.htm =


Open Source Business Intelligence Gets Smarter =20

Open Source Contributor Agreements: Purpose and Scope

Novell to Continue Pulse, Its Implementation of Wave, minus Google
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