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 #435 Period ending 13 February 2012

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

Techdirt has collated some figures to show that creative industries are doing just fine despite the Chicken Littlisms we tend to see in the media. New Hampshire in the US has passed an Act supporting open source and open standards. Also, Eolas' patent on the interactive web has been ruled invalid, which should come as a relief to everyone.

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Off Topic

Google Tackles 'Radical' Ideas Via 'Solve for X',2817,2399896,00.asp

The Internet company hasn't said when it will reveal more details, but you can submit your email address to be informed when Google is ready to unveil the project.

***** Government/Policy

The Sky Is Rising!

... we've looked into the numbers to get an honest picture of the state of things. What we found is that not only is the sky not falling, as some would have us believe, but it appears that we're living through an incredible period of abundance and opportunity, with more people producing more content and more money being made than ever before. As it turns out... The Sky Is Rising!

US state of New Hampshire passes open source, open standards and open data bill

(d) To guarantee the succession and permanence of public data, it is necessary that the state’s accessibility to that data be independent of the goodwill of the state’s computer system suppliers and the conditions imposed by these suppliers;

Patent Mass Aggregators: The Giants Among Us

Rather than contributing technological innovations, mass aggregators operate as a tax on current production, burdening existing products and potentially reducing future innovation and productivity.

Facebook is a surveillance engine, not friend: Richard Stallman, Free Software Foundation

With paper printed books, you have certain freedoms. You can acquire the book anonymously by paying cash, which is the way I always buy books. I never use a credit card. I don't identify to any database when I buy books. Amazon takes away that freedom.

Malware devs embrace open-source

Cybercriminals have embraced open-source malware with the creation of 20 unique botnets using the new Citadel malware, which is starting to become the FreeBSD of e-banking fraudsters. Several of those botnets have infected more than 100,000 machines, Raff reports.

Time to dispel open source myths, says Liam Maxwell

Open source and open standards are the direction for UK government IT, the civil servant leading the government's technology change agenda has said, reports The Register.

ACTA: more than just an illegal download ban

ACTA was initially designed to halt the dangerous trade in counterfeit medicines.

Tribler Makes BitTorrent Impossible to Shut Down

Their Tribler client doesn’t require torrent sites to find or download content, as it is based on pure peer-to-peer communication. “The only way to take it down is to take the Internet down,” the lead researcher says.

Simon Phipps: Freedom Doesn't Have Any Lobbyists

We have raised funds in order to hire staff who do the thinking behind public policy that how it effect the liberty. This group works to protect digital liberties of people. They campaign for free culture, they campaign against the enclosure of copyright. Right now we have campaigns running about ACTA. We have campaigns running about parody law because in UK there is no fair use exception that lets you create parody.

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


..."So, good news. The modern, social media-permeated tech world beat the old-style media because it could mobilise people. And if you reach enough people and enough of them care about what you’re saying, you can change things. Freedom is luckily still somewhat important. Unfortunately, when it comes to our fundamental freedoms like communicating privately and without limits, both companies and governments have strong incentives to do the wrong thing and it won’t take long for the next attack to happen."

Apple gets kicked in the teeth by German patent lawsuit decisions

After its world-wide anti-Android patent lawsuit witch-hunt, could Apple having much of its iPhone line and iPads being banned for sale in Germany due to a patent violation happen to a nicer company?

Capitol Records Motion for injunction against ReDigi denied

In Capitol Records v. MP3Tunes, the Court has issued an amended decision granting and denying summary judgment motions, and adhering to its prior rulings, and has denied Capitol Records' motion for certification of an interlocutory appeal.

How Megaupload Was Investigated and Indicted

The bulk of the evidence against Megaupload is from the internal emails, likely taken from this server. I'd guess (and we won't find out for certain until the trial - that is, if this case ever gets to a courtroom) that the FBI and DOJ served Carpathia with a search warrant to gain access to the information on that email server.

Barnes & Noble Backed by U.S. Agency Staff in Microsoft Case

Barnes & Noble Inc. should win a patent-infringement case brought by Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) that threatens to halt imports of the bookseller’s Nook e-reader, according to staff of the U. S. trade agency hearing the dispute.

Apple v World

As a Qualcomm customer, Apple is a third-party beneficiary of that contract. This breach, Apple claims, means that Motorola’s rights to the patent, both in Europe and the U. S. , are exhausted, and it wants the courts to make Motorola drop its claims against Apple for violation of patents in Germany.

Jury rules that Eolas's "interactive web" patent is invalid

Berners-Lee took to Twitter to cheer the decision. "Texas jury agreed Eolas 906 patent invalid," he wrote. "Good thing too!"

Patents for Humanity Announced at White House Event

This 12-month Patent for Humanity pilot has been conceived as one way to advance President Obama’s global development agenda by rewarding companies who bring life-saving technologies to underserved regions of the world, and by highlighting positive examples of humanitarian actions that are compatible with business interests and strong patent rights.

Google, Motorola and FRAND

"Google's letter seems to make clear that they consider 'relevant end products' to be handsets and tablets - the key word here is 'relevant' and it seems far fetched that Google would intend that to cover other products like cars," he told the BBC.

RIAA — Take Us Back To The Days of Illegal Price Fixing.

This is important because in 1999, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the major labels were engaged in an illegal price fixing scheme. The major labels agreed to discontinue their price-fixing practices as part of settlement decree in May 2000. Not surprisingly, once the major labels stopped violating antitrust law, their artificially inflated profits declined and independent competitors saw a significant rise in profits.

Microsoft joins Apple in pledging support for injunction free, FRAND patent licensing

Microsoft has issued a public statement outlining its position regarding standards essential patents, committing itself "to always adhere to the promises it has made to standards organizations to make its standard essential patents available on fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms."

***** Applications/Gadgets

Is Linux Spark Tablet An iPad Killer?

Controlling Liquor Loss with Linux

At first, Carroll's software ran on Windows servers and audits were performed using a PDA. Windows bugs and patches and regular upgrades inspired Carroll to search for another solution, which soon led him to Red Hat Linux.

mutter 3.3.5 Released

Mutter is a window and compositing manager that displays and manages your desktop via OpenGL.

Ready for Another Linux Tablet? Meet the Rugged Trimble Yuma

“Our customers have told us that they need a rugged, military-grade, tablet computer running Linux,” explained Todd Blumer, president of SDG Systems, in the company's press release.

Raspberry Pi benchmarked against Beagleboard, low price is long term

“Raspberry Pi, in terms of multimedia, outperforms any other dev board in existence – which is nice,” explained Eben, “In terms of general purpose computing, it’s got this 700MHz ARM11, and our benchmark shows it’s about 20 per cent slower than a Beagleboard for general purpose computing. But, you know, it’s a quarter of the price. ”

***** Reports

Firefox: Aiming for One Million Contributors

They've also working to identify new contributors and reach out to them. According to Ayala, when a contributor's first patch is being reviewed, they get an email with an acknowledgment for sending the patch to thank them.

Firefox 11 Gets SPDY

SPDY is a web protocol first introduced by Google in November of 2009. SPDY, pronounced 'Speedy', is all about making the web faster by helping to reduce page load speeds. SPDY is a TCP optimization technology that accelerates page loads by using fewer TCP connections.

Are 68 Open Source Licenses Enough? Or Too Many?

The Open Source Initiative (OSI) currently lists 68 approved open source licenses. Sounds like more than enough to suit any needs?

Red Hat Selects New Fedora Project Leader

Smith announced leadership changes at the Fedora project today that will see a new leader in place.

LibreOffice developer shows prototype Android and HTML5 ports

The Document Foundation (TDF) announced plans last year to create mobile and cloud versions of LibreOffice.

NGINX Adds Support for Open Source Web Server

"We are announcing a new version of the commercial support options available on NGINX. com," Andrew Alexeev, co-founder of NGINX, told InternetNews. com. "Quarterly based contracts available are available as part of this new commercial support offerings. "

Knight-Mozilla OpenNews: Building a news ecosystem on the open web

What is OpenNews? Knight-Mozilla OpenNews is about helping journalism thrive on the open web. It's about producing next-generation web solutions that solve real problems in news.

Hardware-software bundling crumbles in France

But the story might soon end, as more and more consumers request refunds from manufacturers for unwanted software licences bundled with computers.

Study says iOS apps crash more often than Android ones

A mobile app statistic service, called Crittercism (www. crittercism. com) has now compiled data on the number of crashes per platform. Turns out it’s not Android, but in fact, iOS apps that crash more often.

Oracle Staking Claim in Open-Source 'R' Language

The vendor plans to contribute to the R open-source project, and in fact has already taken ownership of an R package that had been providing ODBC (open database connectivity)-like linkage to Oracle's database, albeit not with the same sophistication as Oracle R Enterprise provides, Lumpkin said.

The Linux powered LAN Gaming House

Varda points out that he preferred working with Linux clients as they were easier to modify and came with less licensing baggage. Linux still runs the serve

New Linux kernel fixes power-saving issues

According to Matthew Garrett, who developed the patch, the change can reduce the power consumption of a Thinkpad X220 by 5 watts.

Red Hat Brings Gluster to Amazon Cloud

With the new AWS version, Red Hat is taking its virtual appliance to Amazon's virtual environment.

Eight features Windows 8 'borrowed' from Linux

"Good artists borrow, great artists steal!" -- Pablo Picasso said it.

Kickstarter's big moment: 2 projects earn $1 million on same day,0,7607910.story

Not one, but two, projects posted on the crowd-sourced funding website broke the 1 million barrier on Thursday, kicking the previous record of $942,579 to the curb.

Want a Job? Learn Linux

A new study set to be released by career website Dice. com and the Linux Foundation paints a very rosy picture of the Linux job market.

Is GPL usage really declining?

In absolute terms, GPL use has increased - any change isn't down to GPL projects transitioning over to liberal licenses. But an increasing number of new projects are being released under liberal licenses. Why is that?

Phoenix Suns deploy Galaxy Tab 10.1 for use on and off the court

Computerworld - The Phoenix Suns have deployed more than 100 Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets over Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE network for use by the team's business personnel, players and managers in the current basketball season.

***** Snippets

Google Summer of Code 2012 Kicks Off

Beware the power of Google?

Canonical aligns Kubuntu as community flavor

SUSE hits the big 2-0

The Secret to Red Hat's Billion-Dollar Success: Everyone's The Boss

Judge Denies Initial Effort To Shut Down 'Used' Digital Music Seller ReDigi

The Best Cloud Music Options for the Linux Desktop

Chrome Web Browser Finally Comes to Android Phones, Tablets

Introducing Comice OS 4: Mac-Looking Linux

Thoughts about Kubuntu's Status, Canonical, and your distribution's sponsors

RIP Compiz

Nine Rules for Designing a Linux Desktop

Ubuntu sound theme design

50 Open Source Tools That Could Help You Find (or Keep) a Valentine

RIM Commits to Open Source BlackBerry 10 Native SDK

How can the layman get involved with free software?

Linux 3.3 rc3

Symantec should not be afraid of 'open' source code

Flash Player Sandbox Comes to Firefox

Google Chrome 17 Improves Security

Openmoko is dead, long live the Openmoko ...with ”GTA04” project
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