Brendan Scott
+61 414 339 227

lists at
Linked In Profile

OSWALD Newsletter Archives (by issue #, click to view)

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.

[508] [507] [506] [505] [504] [503] [502] [501] [500] [499] [498] [497] [496] [495] [494] [493] [492] [491] [490] [489] [488] [487] [486] [485] [484] [483] [482] [481] [480] [479] [478] [477] [476] [474] [473] [472] [471] [470] [469] [468] [467] [466] [465] [464] [463] [462] [460] [459] [458] [457] [456] [455] [454] [453] [452] [451] [450] [449] [448] [447] [446] [445] [444] [443] [442] [441] [440] [439] [438] [437] [436] [435] [434] [433] [432] [430] [429] [428] [426] [425] [424] [423] [422] [421] [420] [419] [418] [417] [416] [415] [414] [413] [412] [411] [410] [409] [408] [407] [403] [389] [378] [375] [374] [373] [372] [371] [370] [369] [368] [367] [366] [365] [364] [363] [362] [361] [360] [359] [358] [357] [356] [355] [354] [353] [352] [351] [350] [349] [348] [347] [346] [345] [344] [343] [342] [341] [340]

OSWALD #434 Period ending 8 February 2012

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

There were a lot of Facebook IPO stories this week which I have dropped as too far off topic. Still more on ACTA, but not so much on SOPA this week. Make sure you read the apology for signing ACTA from the Slovenian diplomat (Why I signed ACTA). Innocent MegaUpload members are still locked out of their original copyright works by the FBI. The data may be deleted soon.

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Off Topic

Textbook of the Future: The hardware

I also discussed the flaws in Apple’s iBooks Textbooks publishing model and how it is unlikely that a non-reusable book system will resonate with public school systems, and whether or not with the iPad and iBooks Textbooks we are actually solving a problem with electronic textbooks in the first place.

***** Government/Policy

Examining Stallman's Law

While corporations dominate society and write the laws, each advance in technology is an opening for them to further restrict its users.

Hawaiian Internet-dossier bill is dead... for now

His proposal would have required virtual dossiers to be compiled on state residents: two years' worth of their Internet browsing.

The Bookstore’s Last Stand

What its engineers dreamed up was the Nook, a relative e-reader latecomer that has nonetheless become the great e-hope of Barnes & Noble and, in fact, of many in the book business.

Time to update copyright law?

But when the length of copyright is so long that it hinders creative repurposing of older work, then copyright's purpose isn't being served.


Unless we understand the rotten, anti-democratic process which is causing these bad bills to be introduced, we will be caught off-guard by the introduction of one draconian bill after another … and we will lose the fight for Internet freedom.

Occupy Science?

Genomics research increasingly depends on access to large pools of individuals’ genetic and health data, but there is mounting dissatisfaction with governance approaches that erect barriers between donors and the biomedical research in which they are participating.


For Republicans, opposition to intellectual property laws is starting to look like a political winner, and that should terrify Hollywood as it misreads where the pop-culture power base now lies.

French Court Fines Google EUR660,000 for Offering Free Maps,2817,2399755,00.asp

A French Court this week ordered Google to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages to a French mapping company for stifling competition by offering its Google Maps service for free. [huh??]

The ongoing fight against GPL enforcement

A couple of weeks ago, this page appeared on the elinux. org wiki. It's written by an engineer at Sony, and it's calling for contributions to rewriting Busybox. This would be entirely reasonable if it were for technical reasons, but it's not - it's explicitly stated that companies are afraid that Busybox copyright holders may force them to comply with the licenses of software they ship.

U.S. government, military to get secure Android phones

The phones will run a modified version of Google's Android software, which is being developed as part of an initiative that spans multiple federal agencies and government contractors, these people said.

Why I signed ACTA

I signed ACTA out of civic carelessness, because I did not pay enough attention. Quite simply, I did not clearly connect the agreement I had been instructed to sign with the agreement that, according to my own civic conviction, limits and withholds the freedom of engagement on the largest and most significant network in human history, and thus limits particularly the future of our children.

The GNU Education Project

Many people ask us why we think it is important that educational institutions use and teach free software. They wonder: "What does free software have to do with education?" It is important to note that one of the key concepts at the root of the free software movement is that knowledge is a resource to be shared in freedom so that it can be spread for the benefit of all.

The open source behind revealed

While the UK government's plans for wider adoption of open source have been uneven in their application, the new beta version of the gov. uk web site should give proprietary software vendors and contractors pause for thought, as it is almost entirely built on or with open source.

Google is killing Free Software

The first problem I have with Google is that they are actively working on making the world of Free Software a worse place. The best example for this is Native Client. It’s essentially a tool that allows building web pages without submitting anything even resembling source code to the client. And thereby it’s killing the “View Source” option.

Open source software should be used to secure public sector systems, IT bosses are told

Levy said the public sector should wake up to the realities of how open source technology is created to take advantage of its benefits.

Open Source Tackles Healthcare In Places Microsoft Can't

OpenMRS began as a research project spanning Indiana University and Eldoret, Kenya’s Moi University. Paul Biondich and Burke Mamlin, two physicians and investigators at Indiana’s Regenstrief Institute, had spent time in Kenya, where a local health institution was using Microsoft Access to help support HIV care, and they saw first hand that the database wouldn’t suit the project at hand. OpenMRS was their response.

Google loses app refund appeal in Taiwan, still not selling apps there

Apple responded by amending its App Store policy allowing customers in Taiwan to get a refund on any app within seven days of purchase. Microsoft did the same with Xbox Live. Google responded by refusing to alter its 15-minute refund window and ceasing to offer paid apps in the country.

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

Magnolia Pictures Sends the Most Takedown Notices To Twitter

In total, there were 4,410 claims made to remove tweets, and Twitter's disclosure shows that Hollywood was responsible for many of them. In fact, one film studio accounts for a third of all takedown notices sent to Twitter in 2011.

Apple Loses Patent Bid to Ban Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1N in Munich Court,0,5936893.story

The Munich Regional Court rejected the motion today, in a case where Apple invoked a patent granted last year protecting technology related to touch screens for tablets and smartphones.

Google Chafes as Lawyers It Hired Sue Company’s Android Partners

“In short, Pepper Hamilton is accusing its own client of infringement,” Mountain View, California-based Google said in the filing. “Pepper Hamilton should not be allowed to continue alleging infringement against the products and interests of its current client. ”

Obama wants Hollywood, Silicon Valley to 'come together' on SOPA

"I think that it's going to be possible for us" to find a workable approach, Obama said during the event broadcast on YouTube, predicting that it's possible to protect Hollywood's interests without "affecting the fundamental integrity of the Internet as an open, transparent system. "

Reprieve: MegaUpload's data safe for two more weeks

To do that will cost money. The U. S. government seized most of MegaUpload's assets, including cash, art, and automobiles and other property. In the indictment, U. S authorities said they sought $175 million in criminal proceeds.

Warren Communications Files $19.5M Lawsuit Over Unauthorized Newsletter Copies

According to the complaint (PDF), filed Friday in U. S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Warren Communications is accusing a Michigan company of buying a single subscription to a daily newsletter and then making multiple copies to distribute to present and former employees.

A Crowdfunded Approach To Setting E-Books Free

The newly launched Unglue. it, now in alpha, is a place for individuals and institutions to join together to liberate specific e-books and other types of digital content by paying rights holders to relicense their works under Creative Commons licenses.

Google Victorious Over Function Media Internet Advertising System Patents

This past September, after a jury trial, Magistrate Judge Everingham issued a judgment that two of the patents were not infringed and that all but four of the claims of the patents were invalid over the prior art. The judgment is now on appeal to the CAFC.

Universal Music May Have Inadvertently Exposed a Flaw in the YouTube Takedown Process

But the lawsuit did reveal something that wasn't known -- YouTube had granted UMG the powers to remove videos from the video-sharing website at will, "based on a number of contractually specified criteria. "

Newt Gingrich Sued For Using 'Eye of the Tiger' At Campaign Rallies

The question over the legality of playing music on the stump is one that hasn't yet been tested in the courts. Most political campaigns purchase blanket licenses from performance rights organizations such as ASCAP, and although the Gingrich campaign hasn't yet commented on the new lawsuit, it won't be surprising to see a defense of a copyright lawsuit being grounded upon the existence of a license.

Angry Birds boss: 'Piracy may not be a bad thing: it can get us more business'

Hed explained that Rovio sees it as "futile" to pursue pirates through the courts, except in cases where it feels the products they are selling are harmful to the Angry Birds brand, or ripping off its fans.

Google seeks leave to submit amicus curiae brief in Capitol v ReDigi

Feds Seize Pro Sports Websites

Federal prosecutors seized 16 websites and charged a 28-year-old Michigan man with making thousands of dollars by streaming live sports events over the Internet.

Major Media Want a Bite of LimeWire

Six major movie and TV companies have piled on the defunct file-sharing website LimeWire in Federal Court, months after its founder Mark Gorton settled related claims with record labels for $105 million.

Internet broadcast rights in doubt following court ruling

The court found that the TV Now service provides the same service as that of a personal video recorder, such as Tivo or Foxtel IQ. Currently, the Copyright Act allows individuals to record free-to-air television on their own video recorder to watch at a more convenient time.

We Need Copyright Reform, Not ACTA!

As a Member of the European Parliament, I very much welcome the increased attention the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) has received in the past weeks. It has taken a while for massive outcry to emerge, but we are seeing protest voices getting louder and louder.

Dealertrack v. Huber: Unpatentable

In its simplest form, the court reasoned, the claimed process explains the basic concept of processing information through a clearinghouse. "Neither Dealertrack nor any other entity is entitled to wholly preempt the clearinghouse concept. " Slip Op. at 35.

Canadian Music Industry Lobby: Put SOPA Into C-11 Or Stand With Illegal Sites

The reports that the music industry lobby (along with the Entertainment Software Association of Canada and the movie lobby) is seeking the inclusion of SOPA-style provisions into Bill C-11 has generated considerable discussion online and in the mainstream media (CBC, Financial Post).

Motorola makes Apple pull iPads and iPhones in Germany

Apple has pulled several iPad and iPhone models from its German online store after Motorola Mobility enforced a patent injunction against its rival.

***** Applications/Gadgets

Spark, First Linux Tablet Running KDE Plasma Active

"Plasma Active is a joint project by the KDE community, basysKom and open-slx. The goals for this open source project are to deliver a fast embedded UX platform with minimal memory requirements, provide customizable and modular to support different form factors and design an interface that adapts as users change Activities."Plasma Active is intended for all types of tablets, smartphones and touch computing devices such as settop boxes, smart TVs, home automation or in-vehicle infotainment."Named 'Spark', the tablet features an open Linux stack on unlocked hardware and comes with open content and services market."

Miro Internet TV: Internet TV for Ubuntu Desktop

Miro, a new application for Internet video has been designed to be an easy app that will give users an amazing full-screen show. With over thousands of free videos that can be viewed from the Internet, Miro gives the user the ability to download all the chosen videos they enjoy as soon as they are released.

Samsung Galaxy Note: 1 Month Later (Review)

After nearly a month of use, every other smartphone experience literally pales in comparison. Even the HTC Titan, which I've sung the praises of before, takes some getting used to because the screen is so much smaller.

IBM Lotus Symphony 3.0.1 is now available

This will also likely be the last release of IBM's own fork of the OpenOffice codebase. Our energy from here is going into the Apache OpenOffice project, and we expect to distribute an "IBM edition" of Apache OpenOffice in the future. We have contributed the Lotus Symphony code into the OpenOffice project, along with human resource across development/product management/marketing organizations. I'm excited by what I see happening at Apache, but for now, the new release of Symphony keeps the current project updated for existing and potential customers. - Ed Brill

Spark: The first free-software, Linux tablet is on its way

Thanks to Android, Linux is well represented on tablets, but there hasn’t been a free software tablet, without any proprietary bits, until now.

Raspbmc - XBMC Linux Distribution For Raspberry Pi Announced

First, XBMC playing HD video on rPi was shown shown off at Scale 10x. Now a specific Linux distribution Raspbmc is being developed by Stm Labs which is specially optimized for Raspberry Pi.

Open-source Weave liberates data for journalists, citizens

Data nerds from government and academia gathered Friday at Northeastern University to show off the latest version of Weave, an open-source, web-based platform designed to visualize “any available data by anyone for any purpose. ” The software has a lot of potential for journalists.

HP Opens Up Its Switches to OpenFlow

The move enables over 10 million switching ports that HP has deployed in the field to run OpenFlow. The basic idea with OpenFlow is that enterprises can connect multiple switches and even networks together to create a flow.

***** Reports

Where Mozilla Ubiquity Failed, Ubuntu HUD will Succeed

"We're not limited to one or two applications or to a small scope and we can take this and have a standard systemwide approach for providing the interface," Lea said.

Red Hat Quietly Joins the OpenStack Effort

Word is that Red Hat refused to sign on to OpenStack when it was announced, because it didn't like the governance model. Red Hat also has its own cloud management software projects. But the company that once dismissed OpenStack seems to be coming around.

Pentaho Open Sources Big Data Capabilities with Kettle

Kettle is an Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) technology, which enables applications to take data from outside sources, transform it into a usable format and make it available for loading in a database or business intelligence application.

Meet Bill Gates, the Man Who Changed Open Source Software

For Ramji — who would spend more than three and a half years as the company’s chief open source strategist — the moment Bill Gates stood up was the moment Microsoft turned the corner on its approach to free software.

Linux kernel chief exits SUSE, takes vendor-neutral oversight role

Greg Kroah-Hartman, maintainer of the Linux kernel's stable branch and the Linux driver project, is leaving his position with SUSE to join the Linux Foundation in a full-time fellowship role.

Red Hat extends Red Hat Enterprise Linux lifecycle to ten years

I’m a big believer in “It’s not broke, then don’t fix it. ” So is leading Linux company, Red Hat. The company has just announced that it is extending the production lifecycle of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5 and 6 from seven to 10 years in response to enterprise customer demand and Red Hat’s hardware original equipment manufacturer (OEM) partners.

LibreOffice stats: 400 total contributors, thousands of code commits every month

The Document Foundation (TDF), which launched in 2010 to develop LibreOffice, has published statistics that illustrate the project's rapid growth. Approximately 400 total developers have contributed code to the project. The number of contributors who are active each month generally ranges from 50 to over 100.

OpenStack developers consider dropping Microsoft Hyper-V support

In a newsgroup item titled "Essex dead wood cutting," he included Hyper-V among just two items that could be removed from Essex, the version of OpenStack Compute scheduled for release in the second quarter. He called the Hyper-V code "known broken and unmaintained. "

Alfresco Embraces SaaS and the Cloud with Its New CMS Platform

In a big endorsement of the SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) model, enteprise content management system (CMS) maker Alfresco is embracing cloud- and mobile-based usage of its platform with its new Alfresco 4 release.

Open Source Initiative affiliates announced at FOSDEM

Open Source Initiative (OSI) board member Simon Phipps has announced a group of affiliate organisations who will be providing advice to the OSI as it reforms itself from a self appointed board-based organisation eventually to a member-based organisation.

Oracle Drags Microsoft, Red Hat Into Itanium Lawsuit Swamp

So why did Microsoft and Red Hat get served? They’re the two operating system providers most critical to the success of Itanium — HP aside.

Mozilla awards grants to six international non-profit organizations

We are pleased to announce that Mozilla awards six international non-profit organizations in Europe and the US with grants for projects that will further strengthen open web, free and open source technologies and user sovereignty on the Web in Europe.

What do people use to get stuff done? -- Richard Stallman

I’m Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Movement. I campaign for computer users’ freedom – for instance, your freedom to control the software you use, to redistribute the software to others. Software that respects the user’s freedom is what we call free software.

***** Snippets

Sourcefire FireAMP Brings Big Data Analytics to Enterprise Security

IBM to realign Symphony with Apache OpenOffice

Talks Consider Access to Megaupload Files

Draft 'Carrier IQ' Bill Would Have Carriers Inform, Then Track, Customers

Red Hat Improves Realtime Linux

Linux 3.2 Kernel: What To Consider Before Updating

Do Mandriva's current troubles mark the end of standalone Linux sales?

Say hello to Bootstrap 2.0

Endian Firewall Community 2.5.1 released

Understanding Open Source Licensing

GNUnited Nations 0.5 Released

Radio Software Airtime 2.0 Released With Easier Icecast And SHOUTcast Configuration, More

GhostBSD 2.5 review

Android, Tizen and the End of Java

Moving from Windows to Linux: Easy Steps and Resources

Open Source Migration Checklist

XFS: the filesystem of the future?

Linux kernel 3.2.4 Is Available for Download

Apache releases Commons Validator-1.4.0, Commons Configuration 1.8 and Hive version 0.8.1

Mickos: Facebook Runs on MySQL!/martenmickos/status/164851883947724800

Open Source Versus Free Software

The Engadget Interview: the EFF's Mitch Stoltz talks the legality of jailbreaking
This Digest is sponsored by Open Source Law
see also:
Join: email with "Subscribe oswald" in subject line
Leave: email with "Unsubscribe oswald" in subject line
Note: This email list is manually generated.
Archives: (not maintained)
General disclaimer: I am a member of Open Source Industry Australia Limited

Recent Papers:

Research Note: Trade Practices Implications of Infringing Copies of Open Source Software
Software Patents: Microsoft Jumps the Shark
Reading the BSD License in Isolation
  View other publications