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 #433 Period ending 30 January 2012

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

An EU parliamentary official quits, citing the review of ACTA as a sham, with protests in Poland over it (apparently there is an image of some Polish MPs in parliament with Guy Fawkes/Anonymous masks on). More on the MegaUpload case - apparently 50 million people are set to lose their data later this week, since MegaUpload's assets have been seized and can't pay for storage. Extremadura in Spain is converting 40,000 PCs to Linux.

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Off Topic

Facebook forces users to switch to Timeline, making their pasts more visible

Timeline is essentially a scrapbook of your whole life on Facebook, compared with a snapshot of you today found on Facebook's traditional profile page. Once activated, Timeline replaces the current profile.

***** Government/Policy

The ACTA Fight Returns: What Is at Stake and What You Can Do

This has generated a flurry of furious protest: thousands have taken to the streets in protest in Poland, nearly 250,000 people have signed a petition against the agreement, and a Member of the European Parliament has resigned his position as rapporteur to scrutinize the agreement, concluding that the entire review process is a "charade. "

Spain's Extremadura Moves 40,000 PCs to Linux

The installation of the Debian-based distro on all 40,000 computers will take about three months, during which it will also be prepared to be deployed on all the offices of the regional government, which will be completed in about one year.

PDFpen and iCloud

It’s no longer possible to write a single app that takes advantage of the full range of Mac OS X features. Some APIs only work inside the Mac App Store. Others only work outside it. Presumably, this gap will widen as more new features are App Store–exclusive, while sandboxing places greater restrictions on what App Store apps are allowed to do.

EFF and Everything is a Remix want you to ask the Copyright Office for the right to remix

Please defend our right to remix videos and grant the exemptions proposed. Renew the exemption that lets video artists break encryption on DVDs in order to use video clips in primarily noncommercial videos.

Hawaii may keep track of all Web sites visited

The measure, H. B. 2288, says "Internet destination history information" and "subscriber's information" such as name and address must be saved for two years.

European Parliament Official In Charge Of ACTA Quits, And Denounces The 'Masquerade' Behind ACTA

I want to denounce in the strongest possible manner the entire process that led to the signature of this agreement: no inclusion of civil society organisations, a lack of transparency from the start of the negotiations, repeated postponing of the signature of the text without an explanation being ever given, exclusion of the EU Parliament's demands that were expressed on several occasions in our assembly.

Copyright by the book - a step-by-step guide to killing the economy

So what effect did "copyright by the book" have on my output and productivity? I've already stated the obvious: the whole exercise took about six times as long as it had any right to.

A Permissive Bubble?

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

Similar, but not copied, image found to breach copyright [UK]

Amateur Photographer magazine has published an interesting story about a copyright infringement case of similar, but not directly copied, images.

Would a SOPA Version of the Canadian Copyright Bill Target Youtube

My post this week on the behind-the-scenes demands to make Bill C-11, the current copyright bill, more like SOPA has attracted considerable attention with mainstream (National Post, La Presse) and online media (Mashable, Wire Report) covering the story.


A U. S. online piracy case brought the shutdown of Megaupload. com, one of the world's biggest file sharing sites, along with 4 arrests in New Zealand. It comes just after a massive internet protest over new U. S. anti-piracy laws. (Jan. 20)


Patent licensing outfit Sisvel has acquired 450 patents from Nokia, 350 of which are essential for mobile telephony, but despite appearances this is no desperate attempt to borrow cash from the future.

Apple v Samsung

Apple again lost a bid on Tuesday to have Samsung tablet computers banned in the Netherlands in a Dutch appeals case over infringing copyrights of its iPad tablet computer....A Dutch appeals court dismissed Apple's appeal, confirming the Dutch lower court's ruling. - Reuters

A Sum Greater than its Parts?: Copyright Protection for Application Program Interfaces

... few scholars have addressed whether, and to what extent, APIs are protected under the copyright laws. This article discusses the extent of copyright protection that is afforded to APIs and the defense of fair use as it relates to copyright infringement claims regarding APIs. - Efthimios Parasidis, St. Louis U. School of Law, SSRN


A Maple Leaf Rag: Intellectual Property Analysis of WiLAN v Research In Motion

WiLAN, a Canadian patent licensing, non-operating entity, has sued struggling Canadian Blackberry producer Research In Motion over patent infringement. Again.

RealNetworks to Sell Patents to Intel

Intel Corp. agreed to pay $120 million to RealNetworks Inc. for video software and a large number of patents, in a deal that builds the chip maker's portfolio for streaming media on smartphones, laptops and other devices.

Motorola sues Apple for patent infringement

In the lawsuit, Motorola said it was suing Apple for infringing six of its patents involving technologies related to wireless antennae, software, data filtering and messaging. A spokesperson for Apple was not immediately available for comment.

MPAA Exec Admits: 'We're Not Comfortable With The Internet'

But the real point is his inadvertent admission within that statement: the MPAA (and the rest of "old" Hollywood) simply "is not comfortable with" the internet. And that's really what SOPA and PIPA were about.

Revealed: Proposed new powers over search results

Here's the summary of what the rights holders were asking for: * Assign lower rankings to sites that repeatedly make available unlicensed content in breach of copyright * Prioritise websites that obtain certification as a licensed site under a recognised scheme * Stop indexing websites that are subject to court orders while establishing suitable procedures to de-index substantially infringing sites * Continue to improve the operation of the ‘notice and takedown’ system and ensure that search engines do not encourage consumers towards illegal sites via suggested searches; related searches and suggested sites * Ensure that they do not support illegal sites by advertising them or placing advertising on them, or profit from infringement by selling key words associated with piracy or selling mobile applications which facilitate infringement.

U.S. government invalidates potent Rambus patent

The last of three patents that tech licensing company Rambus (RMBS. O) used to win infringement lawsuits against Nvidia Corp (NVDA. O), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ. N) and others has been declared invalid, according to legal documents.

***** Applications/Gadgets

Google Brings Open Source to the Sky - Why Now?

For thousands of years, astronomers have shared maps of the sky and it's only fitting that Google has decided to open source their tool. Google's decision though isn't about altruism though, the way I see it, it's more about Google offloading - yet another project - as they continue to trim what used to be Google Labs to nothing.

HP plans September open-source release for webOS

HP announced on Wednesday that it plans to release the code behind webOS in September under the Apache License, Version 2. 0.

The Reveal

The first tablet computer that comes with Plasma Active pre-installed.

***** Reports

Couchbase Moving Forward In 2012

Couchbase was formed in February of 2011 as a merger between CouchOne and Membase. Over the past year, the company has evolved and moved beyond being just about CouchDB.

Open-source software can be the answer

No, it's not illegal or unethical. Computer users are lucky to have free, open-source software programs available.

Is a $35 PC the Future of Computing?

In order for super-cheap computing to take off, it would help to have more than one group selling a reliable product. Thankfully, this appears to be on the horizon, even if it's not always at a $35 price point.

Crowdsourcing the State of the Union

Popcorn makes it possible to pull other content and context from across the web right into the story, providing new ways for viewers to interact with video news.

Dell Leans on SUSE for OEM Linux Solutions

SUSE is now officially joining the Dell OEM Partner program, which means that Dell partners can purchase SUSE Linux through Dell's configuration processes.

HTC Partners With IBM in Enterprise Initiative

HTC, a maker of smartphones and tablets, hopes its new partnership with IBM, coupled with the mobility hardware makers success in the consumer space will help launch strong sales into the enterprise market.

Consumer Watchdog Urges EU to Block Google's Motorola Deal

The Commission is expected to approve Google's takeover of Motorola Mobility for US$12. 5 billion by mid-February, after requesting and receiving additional information from Google.

2011: Top Ten FOSS Legal Developments

Last year, 2011, was one of the most active years in legal developments in FOSS. This activity reflects the increase in FOSS use: Laura Wurster of Gartner, noted in the Harvard Business Review blog that open source has hit a “strategic tipping point” this year with companies increasingly focused on using “open source” software for competitive rather than cost reasons

LCA 2012 Bruce Perens on Status of Open Source and James Applebaum on Anonymity

His commentary on the present status of Open Source, throws light on how a handful of commercial open source ventures, such as Canonical, are similar in behaviour with âbrandedâ or proprietary software like Microsoft and says, âAnd we trust very few companies to decide whatâs right for us to consume and what isnât. Open Source is important in a world controlled by big business, and itâs up to us to ensure itâs not squashed like a bug by the interests of these large companies. â

Microsoft seeking open-source expert to help put Linux on Azure

For those still doubting this is on the Microsoft roadmap, I’ve got a new piece of evidence. A contact of mine provided me with a link to a Microsoft job posting for a software development engineer at Microsoft that calls for some serious Linux credentials.

Red Hat Taking Gluster from Open Core to Open Source

Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) wants to return the Gluster filesystem to its open source roots. Red Hat acquired Gluster for $136 million in October 2011 and is now moving to help further accelerate its innovation.

Common Crawl Founder Gil Elbaz Speaks About New Relationship With Amazon

The Common Crawl Foundation’s repository of openly and freely accessible web crawl data is about to go live as a Public Data Set on Amazon Web Services.

Red Hat: A Software Investment For The Next 30 Years

And that captures neatly the essence of a computer operating system, especially for large, enterprise-class deployments: Once it’s in place, and all your middleware, applications and customer data are piled on top, there’s no going back. Sure, you can add blades to your server or hook into the cloud, but the heart, the soul, the, ah, foundation of your architecture isn’t going anywhere.

Canonical HUD Brings Apps to Life on Ubuntu Linux Desktop

In the software context, the HUD provides a dialogue box through which the user can interact with applications and the underlying system.

Chromebooks are the electric car of laptops

The Register asked a Google product manager about where Chrome OS stands, and, to summarize, the answer is that Google doesn’t need to win in the retail sector yet, or maybe not any time soon, because they’re focused on the education field first, then retail and enterprise sectors next.

Ubuntu creator warns businesses to be wary of cloud lock-in

“All the world’s biggest clouds are built on open source technology,” said Canonical's vice president Chris Kenyon in a keynote session at Cloud Expo Europe yesterday. “They’re not all built on open standards, but open source underpins all of the largest plans. ”

Promo Bay

As soon as I learned about it, I decided to participate. Several of my books are there, and as I said in a previous post, My thoughts on SOPA, the physical sales of my books are growing since my readers post them in P2P sites.

***** Snippets

Mandriva Decision Delayed Again

Linux fate lies in the hands of many

Beyond the desktop: Ubuntu Linux's new Head-Up Display

Linux vendors rush to patch privilege escalation flaw after root exploits emerge

KDE Software Compilation 4.8 Officially Released

Chromium-Based Remixes Worth Trying

Apache OpenOffice - The IBM Edition?

Oracle proposal would create single committee to oversee Java specs

Be lazy, be fast

Samsung: Smartphones Up 30 Percent But You Have To Guess How Many We Sold

Btrfs To Go Production-Ready In Oracle Linux

Kernel Log: Coming in 3.3 (Part 1) - Networking
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