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 #375 Period ending 13 September 2010

OSWALD #375 Period ending 13 September 2010

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

A couple of OT stories getting a lot of press this week. My top pick for a story is technically also an off topic, but I've put it in Government/Policy because the issue is very important. The story is about the Russian police raiding various groups based on whether they are using pirated software. In the IP world, in which everyone is a criminal, authorities can discriminate against anyone they choose. In another story, apparently the film industry is hiring consultants in India to be vigilantes. Ideology, ideology, ideology.

>From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Open Standards/ODF

The Recipe for Open Standards (and Why ISO Can’t Cook)

I freely acknowledge that there are interests out there that attempt to soften these criteria, but that only demonstrates the competitive power presented by truly open standards. We see similar "dumbing down" pressures on other popular marks of distinction, such as the constant pressure by "big agriculture" to allow more permissive use of pesticides in organic/biologique food. It is almost a law of nature that any item of relative scarcity and value will be counterfeited. Dumbing down definitions is just one way to counterfeit an open standard.

***** Other

KDE 3 appears in 'The Social Network' movie?

Of course, this scene is probably completely different in the finished film, KDE will likely be replaced by an Apple desktop, seeing as the characters are seen using Apple computers a couple of times in the trailer.

***** Off Topic

After Apple about-face, Adobe resurrects Flash tool,2817,2368940,00.asp

Adobe on Thursday said it would resurrect a tool that lets developers port Flash applications to the iPhone after Apple did an about-face earlier in the day.

HP: Oracle Partnership Is Under Strain

HP sued its former CEO on Tuesday, alleging breach of contract and threatened misappropriation of trade secrets just one day after Oracle appointed Hurd as co-president.

OS Turf Wars Move to Mobile

Microsoft must be banking on the fact that even if Windows Phone 7 handsets do indeed end up being far less desirable than the latest iOS 4, Android or Blackberry 6 devices, there will still be plenty of organizations that insist on standardizing on Windows Phone 7 mobile devices. They'll do so for the same reasons that they standardized on Windows Mobile devices in the past: Integration with other Microsoft products like Exchange and System Center and so on.

***** Government/Policy

Russian officials raid opposition groups under pretext of searching for pirated MS software

It was late one afternoon in January when a squad of plainclothes police officers arrived at the headquarters of a prominent environmental group. They brushed past the staff with barely a word and carted away the computers. Taken were files that chronicled a generation's worth of efforts to protect the Siberian wilderness. [If everyone is a pirate enforcement of these private rights are the perfect vehicle or legitimating oppression]

More GPL enforcement work again.. and a very surreal but important case

Right now I'm facing what I'd consider the most outrageous case that I've been involved so far: A manufacturer of Linux-based embedded devices (no, I will not name the company) really has the guts to go in front of court and sue another company for modifying the firmware on those devices. More specifically, the only modifications to program code are on the GPL licensed parts of the software. None of the proprietary userspace programs are touched! None of the proprietary programs are ever distributed either.

Oracle vs. Google, not a private rant

To the best of my recalling, I have named Oracle just three more times on my blog, and have never said anything different or contradictory. Do I recant what I said because of its consequences, in the light of the recent developments? No. I still believe that my intervention was the best decision, and I am in good company. I say it again: I stand behind my decision to help the merger 100% and, looking back, I am totally in agreement with myself.

Innovation: CERN collides with a patent reality

[In a remarkable display of misplaced priorities, CERN wants to trade inovation for money.]

The Value of Clear Code is Clear

That's pretty much standard open source practice; what this implies is that open source is needed in order to have confidence in the code running climate science models. In other words, the results of those models aren't enough: you must have access to the code to check the detailed logic too.

FSF: Nothing Can Excuse Oracle's Patent Aggression

FSF has issued a statement about Oracle's patent infringement lawsuit against Google over Android. While Google could have avoided all this by using the GPL'd IcedTea and they have yet to take a stand against software patents, still nothing, FSF writes, can excuse Oracle's patent aggression. "Oracle is wrong to use its patents to attack Android," FSF concludes.

Online appeal sets classical music free

Musopen aims to build a library of copyright free performances, allowing site visitors to do legally do everything from burn them to CD to use them in movies. In some cases this involves simply persuading copyright holders to donate their performances to the project, thus opening them up to the public domain.

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

Sharon Angle faces copyright infringement lawsuit

A Las Vegas-based company filed a federal lawsuit Friday that accuses U. S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle of reprinting two Review-Journal articles on her campaign website without permission.

No, you don't own it: Court upholds EULAs, threatens digital resale

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit today ruled (PDF) on a long-standing case involving used software on eBay, and it came to an important decision: if a company says you don't have the right to resell a program, you don't have that right. Could this mean the end of the resale market for all digital content? Yup. But the court says it had no choice.

Film industry hires cyber hitmen to take down internet pirates

The film industry is using pirate tactics to beat the pirates - by employing "cyber hitmen" to launch attacks that take out websites hosting illegal movies. [The film industry thinks it IS the law?]

NetApp, Oracle End ZFS Litigation

The three-year legal battle between NetApp and Oracle has come to an end as the companies quietly dropped their dueling patent infringement lawsuits over the open source Zettabyte File System (ZFS).

The Information Needed to Avoid Writing Bad Software Patents

***** Implementations

How Stock Photo Agency was Created Using Only Open Source Technology.

Two years ago, three entrepreneurs set out with a common mission; creating the best microstock photo agency in the world! Since resources were scarce and software is expensive, Microsoft, Oracle, IBM and Apple was out the window. Instead, every piece of technology was chosen from the open source community. Here is the story of the technology behind stock photo agency YayMicro. com.

***** Applications/Gadgets

Verizon: Bing Won't Be Exclusive On All Android Phones

The other day, a rumor bubbled forth that Verizon would be making Bing the default search on all Android phones.

SparkleShare – an open source alternative to Dropbox hits beta for Linux

according to developers of Sparkleshare, Dropbox has downsides as well: you can't host your own server; it's not open source and has some freaky things in its license agreement.

Bricscad™ V10 for Linux released

Bricsys is the first to release a . dwg based CAD software for Linux users. Bricsys NV, the developer of Bricscad, announced today that Bricscad V10 for Linux is now available

GNU/Linux powers state-of-the-art hearing aid research

The next generation of digital hearing aids is being developed and tested on real-time GNU/Linux systems from 64 Studio Ltd, using dedicated multi-channel audio interfaces and standard Lenovo notebooks.

More Android tablets break cover

Navigation device manufacturer Rydeen Mobile Electronics announced a seven-inch, Android-based tablet called the "gPad GCOM701" at last weekend's IFA show in Berlin. Also at the show, Foryoudigital demonstrated its five-inch, Android-powered MX10, and Enspert announced that it built the "Identity Tab" Android tablet recently released by Korean carrier KT.

10 Latest Android-Powered Tablet PCs – Can Any of These Take on the iPad?

The question is, which among the current crop of AndPads, including those that would be in consumers' hands within the next few weeks, is likely to carve a niche for itself in the tablet PC industry? Let's take a closer look at the contenders:

First HSPA+ Handset Debuts, T-Mobile G2 Running Android 2.2

T-Mobile today finally unveiled the G2, the first smartphone to run on its HSPA+ network, running Android 2. 2 and capable of 4G data downloads, featuring a 3. 7-inch screen, full keyboard and HD video capture.

Broadcom releases an open-source driver for its wireless chipsets

Broadcom would like to announce the initial release of a fully-open Linux driver for it's latest generation of 11n chipsets.

Robotic Software Platform Behind Projects Like Segway RMP, Lego Mindstorm Going

Yet another important project is going open source. This time, it is the popular robotic software platform called Urbi.

***** Reports

Fair, Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory...Ain't

The problem is that even a tiny licence fee, if levied on a per-copy basis, is impossible for free software because of the way it is distributed. There is simply no way to know how many copies may be shared, and hence no way to collect all those eminently reasonable and non-discriminatory licence fees. contributes $25,000 to Mercurial

Microsoft's open source project hosting site, Codeplex. com, has donated $25,000 to the developers on the GPLv2 licensed Mercurial distributed version control system (VCS).

OrangeHRM clamors to join million-dollar club

OrangeHRM CEO and co-founder Sujee Saparamadu said that following the injection of funds by former MySQL executives Larry Stefonic and David Axmark, the firm is now looking to boost its research and development efforts, particularly in the mobile arena.

Mozilla Labs Announces Gaming Platform

Mozilla Labs announced its newest initiative, a gaming platform appropriately named Mozilla Labs: Gaming. The goal of the platform is to create browser-based games built on Open Web standards.

Smartphone Sales Will Surge: Android to Gain Big

According to IDC, Android-based devices will grow from 16. 3 percent of the total smartphone market this year to almost 25 percent by 2014, eroding share from the likes of Nokia's Symbian-based smartphones, the Apple iOS devices and Research In Motion's (NASDAQ: RIMM) BlackBerry devices.

Is Apple Now Blocking Contributions To GCC?

The belief is that Apple is no longer contributing back as they object to the GNU GPLv3 license. So unfortunately unless things change it doesn't look like Apple's Objective-C 2. 0 support will land in upstream GCC.

Project Canvas Will be *Linux* Based

Project Canvas intends to build, run and promote a platform that solves both problems: providing an upgrade for free-to-air TV, and an open platform of scale that will bring a wide range of internet services to the shared screen.

***** Snippets

Adopting Enterprise Open Source Software

Wave open source next steps: "Wave in a Box"


Eban Moglen: Doing What It Takes: Current Legal Issues in Defending FOSS

General Hugh Shelton Elected Chairman of Red Hat Board of Directors

Android/Linux kernel fight continues

27 good reasons to love Linux (part 1)

Migrating a Small Business To Linux

Could Oracle fracture open source community?

Happy 3rd Birthday To AMD's Open-Source Strategy

Debunking the 1% Myth

GRASS GIS 6.4.0 released

Prying Loose the Grip of Broadband Giants

The Effect of Snake Oil Security

Asus Linux-based Eee Tablet to cost £190

4 Beautiful Firefox Ads You Would Love to Watch

The 6 dimensions of Open Source

Fact or Fiction? Top 8 Linux Myths Debunked

7 Mozilla Labs Projects You Might Not Know About

Open Source Community Types

Biometric Hardware with Linux and GPL violations

Gartner: bullish on Android, bearish on Windows Phone 7

Google Chrome OS is for Netbooks, Android for Smartphones & Tablets
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