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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 #407 Period ending 5 July 2011

OSWALD #407 Period ending 5 July 2011

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

Google+ has been released, with a number of articles related to it (strictly speaking off topic). The bid for the Nortel patents is now over, with a consortium outbidding Google - which as bidding famous mathematical constants. Censorship seems to be the flavour of the month with a number of censorship related articles, including one in which the OECD decides for private censorship rights because of copyright lobbying.

In unrelated news, the University of California have (pretty much) removed their (previously excellent archive of podcast lectures. Some are now available from Youtube and iTunes - unless, of course, you're someone on a free operating system, in which case you're stuffed. Details at:

>From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Other

Harvard Classics (Bookshelf)

The Harvard Classics, originally known as Dr. Eliot's Five Foot Shelf, is a 51-volume anthology of classic works from world literature, compiled and edited by Harvard University president Charles W. Eliot, that was first published in 1909.

Policy dispute leads Google to disable Android app sales in Taiwan

A consumer protection law in Taiwan requires Internet software retailers to offer potential customers a week-long free trial of any application that can be purchased via download. According to the government of Taiwan, Apple's App Store and Google's Android Market both fell afoul of the policy.

***** Off Topic

Microsoft seeks patent for spy tech for Skype

A technology called Legal Intercept that Microsoft hopes to patent would allow the company to secretly intercept, monitor and record Skype calls. And it's stoking privacy concerns.

Kinect Hackers Are Changing the Future of Robotics

New Google Data Shows How Governments Seek To Control Online Content

Google fears web crackdown after Arab uprisings

Google chairman Eric Schmidt on Monday warned that the ongoing Arab uprisings could lead to an upsurge in internet censorship and an increased risk of arrest for colleagues working in restive nations.

First Night With Google Plus: This is Very Cool

The fundamental value proposition is around privacy: it's the opposite of Facebook and Twitter's universal broadcast paradigm. Google Plus is based on the Google Circles feature, which lets you share and view content to and from explicitly identified groups of your contacts, and no one else.

***** Government/Policy

Damon Horowitz calls for a "moral operating system"

Those are the kinds of things we can do with the data that we have. But I'm not actually here to talk about what we can do. I'm here to talk about what we should do. What's the right thing to do?

Hollywoodonomics: how Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix "lost" $167M

The original post holds this out as an example of why only a fool accepts "net-participation" compensation for work associated with a film, but I think this is also a great example of why all financial numbers released by the entertainment industry should be treated as fiction until proven otherwise. Especially piracy "loss" figures, alleged contributions to national GDP, and job creation numbers.

New Executive Order in Italy - Gov. Can Block Websites Without Notice

Starting from July 6 the Italian gov will have the authority to block websites without notice

Microsoft Says It Will Give Your Data to the U.S. Government, Even If It's Not in the U.S.

The issue, according to ZDNet's Zack Whittaker, is that because Microsoft is a U. S. company it has to comply with the Patriot Act, and that means handing over data that may be offshore. The same rules would apply to Amazon Web Services and any other U. S. based cloud provider that has servers overseas.

Google Is No Microsoft

Let's remember the past. (I should, I was an FTC staff attorney who worked on the FTC Microsoft investigation in the early 1990s).

Danish police proposal: Ban anonymous Internet use

The Danish police had proposed abolishing all anonymous Internet access, under the rubric of fighting terrorism. ISPs and companies would be required to gather strong proof of identity (official ID cards and similar) before connecting users, and would be required to retain records.

Court Orders ISPs To Disconnect File-Sharers (Finland)

Copyright Interests Force Private Censorship into OECD Communiqué

The Failed Experiment of Software Patents

It is hard to conclude from the above findings that software patents significantly increased R&D incentives in the software industry.

Despite the U.S. CIO's Exit, Open Source Is Entrenched in the Federal Government

"95% of all agencies that I've talked to have begun looking at Android. [The agencies are intrigued by] 'the ability to bring an operating system like Android and really call it your own, develop around it. "

Regulating the Internet in a Multifaceted World

FUD Barriers For Open Source Non-Profits?

The problem is that, for unexplained reasons, the US tax authorities (IRS) are not approving applications from open source organisations for tax-exempt status very quickly - if at all. As Jesse von Doom notes in the blog posting that drew attention to the matter, "no one wants to draw the ire of the IRS", but Bradley observes that this is a problem he has been hearing about for over a year.

No Opposition to Software Patent Exclusion from NZ Software Companies

By far the largest number of submissions were received from patent lawyers who may see the exclusion hurt their practises. An exclusion of software patents would in a single stroke eliminate the risk of patent infringement for New Zealand software development companies. It is understandable that those earning a living from patent litigation would be opposed. While it may be understandable it is not desirable to follow a path leading to increased litigation like experienced in the United States.

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

The 4.5 billion-dollar bid,2817,2387973,00.asp

Analysts said the winning bid, by a group that includes Apple Inc. , Microsoft Corp. , Sony Corp. , Ericsson AB and EMC Corp. , raises the bar on the value of intellectual property assets and may push up licensing costs for Google.

Kodak patent claim against Apple, RIM goes back to judge

Righthaven disputes judge’s criticism on disclosures

Las Vegas copyright enforcement company Righthaven LLC is disputing assertions by a federal judge that it was involved in a "factually brazen" misrepresentation to the court.

Supreme Court takes Two More Patent Cases

In Kappos v. Hyatt, the Supreme Court will decide (1) whether a patent applicant who files a Section 145 civil action has a right to present new evidence to the Federal District Court that could have been (but was not) presented during the proceedings before the USPTO and (2) when new evidence is presented, whether the court may decide the related factual questions de novo and without deference to prior PTO findings.

Going after a troll for barratry

Removal of Printed Photo Credit Qualifies as DMCA Violation, Court Says

The radio station that employed these two "shock jocks" scanned this image from a magazine and posted it on their web site without permission, and without the photo credit that appeared in the magazine.

Unbelievable statements in GPL related case in the Supreme Court of Mauritius

I've recently received some documents regarding a court case at the Supreme Court of Mauritius.

Samsung Wants to Ban Apple Products in U.S.

Samsung is seeking to ban Apple products in the U. S. , as the patent litigation war between the companies escalates.

PJ: Might this be prior art on Lodsys? June 1982 study; 1979 conference

Patent case has high stakes for medical tests

The anti-inflammatory drug azathioprine is tricky to dose. If doctors give too much, it is toxic and potentially deadly. Too little and it doesn't work.

Newspaper chain fights for copyright troll's survival

The media outlet, which did not respond Wednesday for comment, is seeking essentially risk-free dividends on the back of the Copyright Act, which allows for damages of up to $150,000 an infringement. Righthaven and its chief executive, Steve Gibson, would assume the litigation risks and costs, and Stephens media would get a 50 percent cut from any settlements or verdicts.

***** Applications/Gadgets

nD, New $10 Gaming Handheld Device Runs Custom Embedded Linux Firmware

Robert and his team are all set to develop an indie handheld gaming console which will run a number of indie games. The device will support 2D games only and will run a custom developed embedded Linux firmware. nD will have its own Game Store which will allow users to download games from the device itself and well as from a PC game store. The SDK will be released soon in upcoming days and is based on open source gaming standard - SDL. In a recent blog post, the team behind nD claimed to have a working nD prototype.

Cisco Cius Android Tablet Set For Release

Cisco today announced that the Cius will become generally available in July and will include a new enterprise AppHQ component for the delivery of mobile applications. Cisco is trying to differentiate the Cius from consumer tablets like the Apple iPad as well as other Android tablets by providing enterprise grade collaboration, security and applications. The device isn't just a tablet, it can also be docked with a phone and a keyboard as well.

GitHub's Linguist open sourced

The Data Liberation Front Delivers Google Takeout

***** Reports

Birthday of Project Gutenberg of Canada eBooks!

Today marks the fourth anniversary of the launch of Project Gutenberg Canada on July 1st 2007.

After OpenOffice and Hudson, will Oracle stick with open source?

"In each case, project leaders threatened to start competing projects rather than work under Oracle's leadership. Oracle struggles with this kind of open source community turmoil and conflict. "

Nonprofit helps government expand open source software usage

While OpenStack demonstrates the role open source can play in cloud computing, mobile technology for smartphones and tablets is another opportunity for open source.

Enterprise Apps Today: Actuate Adds Hadoop to Open Source Business Intelligence

Microsoft open sources code to calm WiFi snooping fears

PROPRIETARY SOFTWARE DEVELOPER Microsoft has taken the unusual step of open sourcing code that it uses to collect WiFi access point data in a bid to calm privacy fears.

Who Says You Can’t Make Money with Open Source?

Canonical releases Ubuntu One for Android devices

Canonical has brought its cloud storage that it calls Ubuntu One to Android devices, saying that in order to stream files, it stores them as plain text.

Backlash Against Nokia CEO Overshadows ‘Sea Ray’ Excitement: The Week in Tweets

Dealtalk: Google bid "pi" for Nortel patents and lost

"It became clear that they were bidding with the distance between the earth and the sun. One was the sum of a famous mathematical constant, and then when it got to $3 billion, they bid pi," the source said, adding the bid was $3. 14159 billion.

***** Snippets

Firefox update policy: the enterprise is wrong, not Mozilla

Android momentum not at risk even as iPhones sales jump, says analyst

One Year Post-Bilski: How the Decision is Being Interpreted

A Tale Of Two HPs? Total Control Of WebOS And Licensing Both On The Table

Firefox in the Enterprise

Why the Linux netbook crashed and burned

GCC 4.6.1 Released

Linux 3.0-rc5

Facebook reveals next-gen Open Compute wares

Yahoo! seeds Hadoop startup on open source dream

Sony CEO blurs line between Linux and piracy at shareholders’ meeting

Sweden-based Designer Wins 20th Anniversary of Linux T-shirt Contest with Flying Penguin Design

How to teach the next generation of open source with Scratch

Red Flag Linux - Going critical

Open Source is not a Sin, It's a blessing

Mozilla Thunderbird 5.0, a look at new features!| PPA Ubuntu

EnterpriseDB Extends PostgreSQL for Itanium

The kernel column #102 with Jon Masters: celebrating 20 years of kernel history

Are Ubuntu's Glory Days Over?

Vint Cerf: Father Knows Best!
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