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 #421 Period ending 19 October 2011

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

Dennis Ritchie, aptly described as the shoulders on which Steve Jobs stood, has died. Rather too many IP stories this week with a heap of Apple v Samsung stories. A very concerning story about the maintainers of a timezone database in broad use being sued, resulting in the taking the database off line. Since then others have stepped into the breach.

Check my Posts on Authorization in AU/iiNet:

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Off Topic

Long-running Novell, Microsoft antitrust case going to trial in federal court

But the court has scheduled an eight-week jury trial to resolve one outstanding issue: Did Microsoft delay releasing Windows 95 to keep Novell's WordPerfect word-processing program and Quattro Pro spreadsheet application from gaining a place in the market?

A little more on RMS v Steve Jobs

People feared and respected Microsoft, but they love and worship Apple – and that is precisely the problem, precisely the reason Jobs may in the end have done more harm than gooRMS, for all his flaws, understands that the stakes in this argument go beyond narrow issues like what computer or smartphone to buy.

***** Other

Dennis Ritchie: The Shoulders Steve Jobs Stood On

The tributes to Dennis Ritchie won’t match the river of praise that spilled out over the web aft“When Steve Jobs died last week, there was a huge outcry, and that was very moving and justified. But Dennis had a bigger effect, and the public doesn’t even know who he is,” ...

***** Government/Policy

The cost of closed data & the economics of open data

Increased fraud, corruption, poor regulation. This is a very difficult one to guess, as by definition much goes undetected.

Supreme Court Switches Over To Ubuntu 10.04 [India]

Now, the Supreme Court of India has directed all the courts across the nation to switch over to Ubuntu 10. 04. The apex court has also given all the courts customised Ubuntu Linux DVD for installation.

Copyright and time zones: A virtual end of time,guid,43233782-4994-4d61-95d9-26b69558208d.aspx

FOR years millions of the world's computers co-ordinated time-zone differences by pointing to a not-for-profit database run by an American university professor and a government researcher. But on October 6th (at exactly 15:16:02 GMT) it was shut down, following a lawsuit claiming that the database infringed copyright.

Paraguay gov't project targets exclusive use of OSS for all government agency websites in 2012

"The first and most evident aim is to save resources. " He noted that the saved resources can be allocated to other areas and that assessments performed by the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare foresee savings of about $ 4 million (approx. € 2. 9 million) for the ministry alone.

Open source developer objects to news hackathon’s 11-page contract

“The contest has been promoted as an open source pro-community contest: “the idea is to do it a in very open-source, for-the-community, by-the-community mode” but it actually disallows the use of copyleft GPL open source code … and requires entrants to license derivative works of their entry back to King5,” writes Reifman in a blog post. “Both of these points go against the very values of open source software and community development. ”

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

SonicWALL Moves To Defend Hotels, Restaurants From Innovatio WiFi Lawsuits

The Innovatio patent-lawsuit campaign we reported on two weeks ago is starting to produce some pushback. SonicWALL, a San Jose company that sells internet-connection and security hardware, is stepping up to defend some of the companies targeted by Innovatio.

Apple v Samsung

On October 4, Samsung told the court it would scrap the release of the Galaxy 10. 1 if the injunction were granted because missing the Christmas season would make the new tablet "dead" by the time it reached market. However, Justice Bennett said she had to weigh this consideration against the loss and injury that could be caused to Apple should Samsung be allowed to sell the iPad rival.

High Court [UK]: Computer simulations can get patent protection

The High Court said that the UK's Intellectual Property Office (IPO) had wrongly applied UK patent law when assessing four patent applications for computer simulations of designs made by oilfield company Halliburton Energy.

Bosch v. Pylon: jettisoning the presumption of irreparable harm in injunction relief

This is a very important Federal Circuit decision that firmly eliminates the presumption of irreparable harm in the context of injunctive relief.

A New Balance between IP and Antitrust

The goal of the IP and antitrust laws should be to seek a robust balance between competition and monopoly in the service of dynamic efficiency. When IP laws are strong, antitrust laws should also be strong, and vice versa.

Microsoft's Subtle Knife Through the Heart of EU Software Industry

it is striking that there seems to be no empirical studies or analyses providing conclusive evidence that an IP system is indeed worth the cost. Every study I have ever seen is either neutral or ambivalent, or ends up condemning part or all of IP systems.

Insanity: Judge Rules That Copyright Holder Of 10-Sec. Sample Owed 84% Of Royalties (Denmark)

The article details how the musicians went to great lengths to work out a deal with the copyright holder, but ran into some problem as they dealt with one person who later turned out not to be the actual copyright holder. When they did discover the real copyright holder, again, they worked hard to come to an agreement. And, again, this is a 10-second sample, and one of dozens of elements in the song.

Private equity firm considering "meaningfully superior" bid for Mosaid: company

Under the agreement, Mosaid is buying Luxembourg-based Core Wireless Licensing, which has a portfolio of Nokia patents. Mosaid will pay for the acquisition through royalties from future licensing and enforcement revenues.

Man Tussling With Kickstarter Over Patents Says He Is ‘Stunned And Disappointed’ By Lawsuit

Patenting business methods, as ArtistShare has, is a trend some tech commentators take issue with on principle. And the dispute may be getting more attention because it calls into question whether patents should be issued on the fan-funding business that some artists use to finance their creative projects.

Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet hit by patent lawsuit

Smartphone Technologies is owned by Acacia Research, a firm that buys and licenses patents and is seen by many as a patent troll. Acacia has kept the courts busy launching suits against the likes of Apple and Research In Motion.

Microsoft’s Failure in Second Reexamination Attempt of I4I Patent Final

Of course, a grant of the December petition would not have had any real impact on the now settled dispute. The recent USPTO endorsement is just a bit more icing on the cake.

Patent Chaser MacroSolve Has A Trump Card: A Deal With Donald Trump

The announcement comes at the same time that the dispute between Lodsys and app publishers for iOS, Android and BlackBerry devices over in-app transactions could see some developments, with the news that Apple has filed a patent application of its own for in-app payments.

Patent Reform's Reduced 'Best Mode' Requirement Creates Uncertainty

That approach has left many patent lawyers scratching their heads. As Joseph Hosteny, an IP lawyer at Niro, Haller & Niro in Chicago, puts it: "Why have the requirement at all, if there's no remedy?"

Creative Commons 4.0 on the horizon

Without question, the most-discussed topic was the upcoming 4. 0 release of the licenses, including related issues and a lively debate regarding whether the licenses should be ported to specific countries – or whether we should instead try to create a new international license.

Can We Just Admit That It's Insane Microsoft Has 'Licensing Program' For Someone Else's Products

I'd be interested to see if anyone can explain how a system that allows a company like Microsoft to set up a licensing business on someone else's products without any proven legal basis other than the implied threat that they might sue, is a functioning system? It's a huge joke.

Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal

“Everyone’s afraid of Amazon,” said Richard Curtis, a longtime agent who is also an e-book publisher. “If you’re a bookstore, Amazon has been in competition with you for some time. If you’re a publisher, one day you wake up and Amazon is competing with you too. And if you’re an agent, Amazon may be stealing your lunch because it is offering authors the opportunity to publish directly and cut you out.

Chinese Trolls And Privateers

If you have the next big app, they’ll find a way to get to you. . It’s a lot like the mafia—Michael McCoy, Appsterdam Legal Defense Fund.

Digital piracy casts shadow over ebook world

Ebook readers -- devices such as the Kindle by Amazon and Apple's iPad -- are fuelling demand for digital books, which account in the US for about 20 percent of book sales, Claire Holloway, of publishing services provider Bookmasters said.

How Much Will Post Grant Proceedings at the USPTO Cost?

If initial rumors out of the USPTO are correct, the filing fee for IPR and PGR will be on the order of $48,000. This is a significant increase over the current fee for IPX ($8800) and is intended to cover the increased effort of the agency to conclude these proceedings within 12-18 months. Likewise, as the Office will be assigning three APJs to every filing, and will be managing discovery, oral proceedings and a trial, there will be additional burdens on resources.

***** Implementations

Open Source Drupal Marks the Spot for eBay's

“We found that Drupal offers more tools and does so faster,” Neal Sample, chief technology officer of open commerce at eBay, told Wired.

***** Applications/Gadgets

Ubuntu Evernote Clone ‘NixNote’ Update Adds Minor New Features

A new release of open-source Evernote ‘clone’ ‘NixNote’ has been made available for download.

Linux-based CUE system to debut on 2012 Cadillacs

Cadillac announced a Linux-based in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) and navigation system that will debut in the 2012 Cadillac XTS.

***** Reports

Mozilla's 2010 Revenues Hit $123 Million

So yeah, Mozilla had money in the bank, but without Google that money will dwindle very quickly. Will Google renew the contract?

Plasma Active One released!

A mobile device should be more than a collection of applications. It should reflect who you are. Plasma Active infuses your tablet with the smarts to support what you are doing, when you are doing it with the all-new, touch-based Activities user experience.

Ubuntu Juju Delivers Cloud Server Magic

With Juju, Ubuntu is aiming to deliver a cloud orchestration technology for server admins.

Intel's Brewing A New Linux Driver Release Cycl

Intel's Open-Source Technology Center (OSTC) team responsible for the open-source Linux graphics driver stack is drafting new plans for how they release their driver code.

NGINX Goes Open Core

"We're not going to close functionally in the open source project, but rather we will address the items that small companies don't need but the bigger companies do need. "

The kernel column with Jon Masters #106

But even more interesting than the Hexagon perhaps is the fact that Linux 3. 1 will be the first shipping kernel to support the OpenRISC open source CPU architecture. Those who enjoy playing with FPGAs (field-programmable gate arrays) can build an OpenRISC computer at home and run a stock Linux 3. 1 kernel on it without making modifications.

The Linux Foundation Adds Seven New International Members

Now, with LinuxCon Europe coming up in Prague at the end of this month, The Linux Foundation has named seven European companies who are joining its ranks:

IBM Evolves from On Demand to SmartCloud - with a little help from Linux

IBM (NYSE: IBM) is rolling out a new set of SmartCloud services and software, providing new opportunities for enterprises to move their applications to a cloud model.

Microsoft Signs Kindle Fire Manufacturer To Patent-Licensing Deal

The company behind Amazon’s Kindle Fire became the latest licensee of Microsoft’s mobile patents Thursday, when Quanta signed a deal that covers hardware using Google’s Android and Chrome OS operating systems.

UEFI "Secure Boot" and Microsoft Windows 8: The danger for free software

The threat is not the UEFI specification itself, but in how computer manufacturers choose to implement the boot restrictions. Depending on a manufacturer's implementation, they could lock users out of their own computers, preventing them from ever booting into or installing a free software operating system.

***** Snippets

LibreOffice - a dive into the unknown

Open Source: Why Military Forces Should Use Linux

Ubuntu Linux heads to the clouds

Fedora 17 Will Be a Beefy Miracle

Kontron Servers Buyer's Guide

Watch Large Hadron Collider Collisions with an Android App

What’s next for MeeGo? Join openSUSE, says Jos Poortvliet

Another Linux Project Hacked

Open Source Is Powering Pretty Much Everything

Red Hat Updates JBoss SOA and Business Rules for Decision Making

How open source can help you build a voice-activated robotic arm

Universities foster the next big tech innovation through open source

Top Free Android E-book Readers

Duck Duck Go

Linux Just Got Better With The Fedora 16 Beta Distribution

MeeGo & SUSE: What's Up With That?

Online, Android, and iOS versions of LibreOffice are on the way

Hadoop: A Linux even Microsoft likes

Fifteen years of KDE

Key Milestones Over 10 Years of Eclipse

Google: Microsoft is Competing in Mobile by Harassing Customers

The Apache Software Foundation Statement on Apache

Samba now accepts corporate copyright.

Code names and other coelacanths

Welcoming the new Ubuntu Community Council

Florian Mueller is being paid by Microsoft...

If DOJ Really Wants To Review Anticompetitive Patenting, Why Not Look At Intellectual Ventures?
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