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 #409 Period ending 18 July 2011

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

Interesting Slate article this week, basically reiterating what everyone has been saying for the past 15 years, but replacing "music" by "movies". A couple of more articles about (well, criticising actually) Project Harmony (a set of terms and conditions for FLOSS copyright assignments produced by some members of the FSFE's freedom taskforce - of which I am a member). A couple of Apple vs X patent stories. Actually, there's a few memes of interest this week, although none that have garnered everyone's attention.

>From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Government/Policy

Project Harmony Considered Harmful

Project Harmony markets itself as fixing something that our community doesn't really consider broken. Project Harmony is a set of document templates, primarily promulgated and mostly drafted by corporate lawyers, that entice developers to give control of their software work over to companies.

SPDX Readies a New Specification for License and Copyright Reporting

The days of endlessly grepping source code for license and copyright information may be coming to a close. If the new Software Package Data Exchange (SPDX) project becomes popular, such information will be commonly available in a standard format that can be read by developers and business executives alike. Currently in late beta, the first version of the SPDX specification is scheduled for release next month.

ALEC Corporations,0,538121.story

ALEC is not a lobby; it is not a front group. It is much more powerful than that. Through ALEC, behind closed doors, corporations hand state legislators the changes to the law they desire that directly benefit their bottom line. Along with legislators, corporations have membership in ALEC.

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

Community Distribution Patent Policy FAQ

This document presents information about patents and patent liability useful for developers working on community distributions of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS).

Groundhog Decade

The trouble facing the movie industry right now is the same one the music industry had to confront 10 years ago. This is the summing-up sentence I referred to above: ...The easiest and most convenient way to see the movies or TV shows you want is to get them illegally...Again, to belabor the obvious: The illegal version isn't just free. It's better. [Somewhat surprisingly, the author expressly admits to copyright infringement in the body of the article]

Apple HTML5 patent angers W3C

The W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) is seeking to invalidate a pair of Apple patents so the underlying technologies can be used as part of a royalty-free HTML5 stack.

Taiwan's HTC rejects fresh Apple patent claim

"HTC is disappointed at Apple's constant attempts at litigations instead of competing fairly in the market," said HTC general counsel Grace Lei in a statement.

How Apple Led The High-Stakes Patent Poker Win Against Google, Sealing Ballmer’s Promise

New Intellectual Ventures Suit Seeks Payment From Chipmakers

Report: Mattel Should Pay Bratz Maker $108 Million in Lawyers Fees

Zynga's IPO filing shows dog-eat-dog world of social games

"Lawsuits, sadly, have become endemic to the social games business," Pidgeon said.

Nortel patents sale approved by courts [bankruptcy]

Bankruptcy courts in Canada and the United States on Monday approved the sale of 6,000 patents held by defunct Nortel Networks Corp. to a partnership of six leading technology companies in a deal worth $4. 5 billion US.

Belgian newspapers: Google blocking us on searches

The newspapers filed a lawsuit against Google in 2006 claiming the web giant had no right to post links to their articles on Google News without payment or permission. They won, and a Belgian appeals court upheld their victory in May. [well duh]

Judge: Righthaven masquerading as a company

A judge today fined newspaper copyright lawsuit filer Righthaven LLC of Las Vegas $5,000 for misleading a federal court about its lawsuits.

Rights holders priced out of legal action [NZ]

The Society of Authors has said it is disappointed internet providers will be able to charge $25 to process copyright infringement notices under a "three-strikes" regime to crack down on illegal file sharing that comes into force in September.

Can an Apple a Day Keep The Trolls at Bay? IP Analysis of MacroSolve, Inc. and Lodsys LLC

In anticipation of the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference scheduled for June of 2011, attention should be directed to the number of patent infringement lawsuits filed against Apple, Google, and Microsoft application developers in the $10 billion mobile app market.

***** Applications/Gadgets

‘Satchbook’ is a powerful, but pricey, Ubuntu laptop

10% of every laptop purchase is donated to open source applications, amongst them video editor OpenShot and word processor AbiWord.

Dell Chooses Debian for new SMB System Management Appliance

In terms of what runs under the hood, the M300 takes a different direction from Dell KACE's larger K1000 appliance. The K1000 uses an open source FreeBSD operating system as its base. In contrast, the new M300 uses a Debian Linux operating system.

Five Things to expect from the Amazon Android Kindle tablet

12.1-inch netbook runs Ubuntu on dual-core Atom

Asus released a netbook that comes with an unusually large 12. 1-inch screen and -- at least in some markets -- Ubuntu Linux.

***** Reports

Linux Mint signs a partnership with AYKsolutions

Linux Mint signed a new partnership with AYKsolutions. The American hosting company is now the 3rd largest Linux Mint sponsor and provides our project with the bandwidth it needs for its repositories.

Mandriva joins the CompatibleOne consortium

According to Mandriva, cloud systems carry a risk to customers of vendor lock-in. It claims that by improving the interoperability of all the technologies involved, the CompatibleOne project will alleviate this risk, and that it will benefit suppliers by reassuring customers and improving cloud computing adoption.

Google eBooks to Offer Story HD, Its Own e-Reading Device

Google eBooks is partnering with Korean electronics manufacturer iriver to release the Story HD, an e-book reading device integrated with the Google eBooks platform.

What I’ve learned from (nearly!) a year of open source

...This was the first open source application I’d released and I was naïve, it isn’t as simple as throwing an installer and some source code up on to Source Forge. You have to do these things in a particular way otherwise you get reported and go through a process where you aren’t really helped but expected to just understand and fix the thing you have been reported for.

FLOSS: Accept no substitutes

IBM throws its source code and support behind OpenOffice

New Linux Game Store 'Gameolith' Launches with 5 Indie Titles

So, Ubuntu Software Center (USC) is already on a spree adding more and more commercial games to its catalogue. Desura is coming soon to Linux and now here we have Gameolith. Looking at this, there is going to be more choices for Linux users which is good.

10 best (unknown) open source projects,0

OSS presents a natural platform for building large distributed projects because of the low barrier to entry-- open code, open standards, and freely-available robust, high-quality high-performance software.

The Power of Open

As we look ahead, the field of openness is approaching a critical mass of adoption that could result in sharing becoming a default standard for the many works that were previously made available only under the all-rights-reserved framework.

PayPal Announces NFC Payment Support For Android

NFC has decided to ease off every thing for the customers who think its enough to use their wallets. The technology has once again taken a major leap with PayPal's announcement of support for NFC on the Android phones. The announcement was made by PayPal Mobile senior director at MobileBeat 2011 Conference in San Francisco yesterday.

Silver Peak Opens Up WAN Acceleration with Linux

The secret to Silver Peak's ability to virtualize most of its platforms has to do in part with their use of Linux.

Chromebooks: Not Flops!

Amazon's sales charts don't necessarily signify that Chromebooks are a hit. There are lots of other places to buy laptops, and PC makers tend to sell many different models, reducing the chances that any particular one will dominate. But the chart does at least prove that Chromebooks aren't a failure. People are actually buying them.

***** Snippets

Apple Time Machine Come To Linux, Sort Of

Ubuntu Developer Week Kicks Off

Boycott Novell Concluded

BackTrack 5 review – if you’re serious about pentesting don’t leave home without

Cisco Expands Entry Level Routing

Developer creates novel solution for watching video on e-readers

Linux 3.0 rc7

18 Extra Hot Linux Commercial Games (Part 2 of 3)

Judge: It's 'possible' Google knew of Java violation

The Linux Desktop: We've Arrived.

Unix still data center darling, says survey

Why I'm smarter than an Open Source surrender monkey

Google+ is Built Using Tools You Can Use Too

Google Open Source Manager: Android Is The Linux Dream Come True

Open Source Bridge honors open source citizens

Just how "open" is open source vendor-neutrality?

Netbook Optimized Ping-Eee OS Review

Google Code Hosting Now Supports Git

"Android's really on a tear"... "despite the efforts of some of our competitors"
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