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 #436 Period ending 20 February 2012

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

Heaps of interesting policy/gov related stories: problems with EU procurement; the US DoJ has oked Google's purchase of Motorola/Nortel patents; Cory Doctorow argues that illegal downloads of movies are driven by the failure to bring movies to (the EU) market; the EU Vice President talks of taming copyright; Elsevier being boycotted by academics; negative views on ACTA in the EU. So many interesting topics are bubbling up at the one time.

Also have a look at the (off topic) story on data mining "How Companies Learn Your Secrets".

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Off Topic

'Finished' CA. Court IT Project to Cost State Hundreds of Millions for Years

An accountant broke those numbers down to daily averages for each budget year. The overall daily average comes to $242,500 per day, including weekends and holidays, from now until June 2014.

How Companies Learn Your Secrets

“If we wanted to figure out if a customer is pregnant, even if she didn’t want us to know, can you do that? ”

***** Government/Policy

OpenForum Europe finds trademark references in IT procurements widespread, break rules

"Our monitoring exercises suggest that, although EU public procurement rules demand that contracting authorities treat their vendors equally and non-discriminatory; act transparently; not draw up technical specifications in such a way as to exclude products that meet their requirements; and refrain from referring to a specific make, source, or process; explicit references to brands are still made. "

SOPA and the Future of Internet Governance

And it matters even more because the law enforcement regime that SOPA would have put into place reflects an approach to the problems of “Internet law” and “Internet governance” that is outmoded, unworkable, and unjust.

Some comments on the heated debate on SFC/Busybox/Linux GPL enforcement

During the past week[s], there has been a heated debate on the alleged methods of GPL enforcement as it is performed by the Software Freedom Conservancy on behalf of the Busybox copyright holders.

DOJ Statement on Google/Motorola and Nortel Patents

After a thorough review of the proposed transactions, the Antitrust Division has determined that each acquisition is unlikely to substantially lessen competition and has closed these three investigations.

The Patent System – why it fails. (loooong)

I have read many patents. And I have not learnt much from them. The patent language “a method comprising of a computer readable medium doing SomeWeirdLanguage” etc does not teach me anything.

MIT launches free online 'fully automated' course

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), one of the world's top-rated universities, has announced its first free course which can be studied and assessed completely online. An electronics course, beginning in March, will be the first prototype of an online project, known as MITx. The interactive course is designed to be fully automated, with successful students receiving a certificate.

Google wins EU okay for Motorola buy

the European Commission said it would monitor the company and rivals' use of patents to ensure they comply with EU antitrust rules.

BitTorrent doesn't hurt US box-office, delayed international releases drive downloading

The second point is an important one. There's only one Internet, networked culture doesn't respect national boundaries. A particularly effective marketing campaign for a new release in America will stimulate demand in other countries, and if there's no legitimate way to fulfill demand, then some portion of viewers will choose illegitimate routes.

Committed, until the monopoly comes calling

Microsoft, and other corporate entities have lobbied the Cabinet Office to rescind their policy and replace the definition of an open standard with a definition that is termed Reasonable and Non-discriminatory (RAND).

Richard Stallman Weighs In On The Check Engine Light

I agree with you about the "Check engine" light, but that is a symptom of a broader and deeper problem: the owners of cars do not control, what the car's computers do. These computers are running _proprietary_ software, software that controls its users.

Viviane Reding Statement on Copyright v Freedom

Copyright protection can never be a justification for eliminating freedom of

expression or freedom of information. That is why for me, blocking the

Internet is never an option...

ACTA goes too far, says MEP

Acta has triggered public protests in a number of European and other countries, as well as online attacks by the hacking collective Anonymous. The US, EU member states, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan and a number of other countries have signed it, although none has yet ratified it in national legislation.

UK Now Seizing Music Blogs (With American Domains) Over Copyright Claims

As we noted, the process there is even less rigorous than in the US -- often without a court being involved at all. Law enforcement just had to ask, and Nominet would take down the domain. Still, we hadn't heard about any specific domains that were seized -- and we hadn't heard of any non-Nominet (which handle . co. uk domains) being subject to UK claims. Until now.

Academic publisher Elsevier hit with growing boycott

"The feeling has been for some time that the research itself has been paid for by the public purse and the peer-review process and often the editorial process is also being paid for by the public purse in the form of academic salaries; and then the public purse has to again pay to get subscriptions to the work. "

What a Difference a Week Makes: The Fight Against Online Surveillance

The substance of the bill is genuinely bad as there is no need for hyperbole to explain the privacy threats that come from mandatory disclosure of personal information without court oversight. This is an issue that resonates with both sides of the political spectrum with criticism from Conservative MPs and supporters particularly telling.

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

Patent Office Proposes New Trial Procedures

One of the main changes to the rules is the creation of a derivation proceeding, in which an inventor who believes his idea has been stolen by someone else who filed for a patent first can show that the filing party derived the idea from access to the inventor's work.

Chinese city halts iPad sales in trademark row

Local authorities in a northern Chinese city have stopped retailers selling iPads because of a dispute over the trademark for the tablet, a sign of the potential problems that Apple’s intellectual property-rights issues pose to its business in the fast-growing market.

Roscoe's on a Six-Figure Hook for Copyright Case

A Los Angeles District Court ruled for the music companies, however, granting them summary judgment and $4,500 in damages for each of the eight infringed works, totaling $36,000. The court also ordered the defendants to pay $162,728 in attorneys' fees and costs.

No, the Patent System Is Not Broken

Kenny Rogers Gambles on Digital Music Royalties Lawsuit

Musician sues Capitol Records seeking a judicial declaration that 50 percent of online revenue should be handed over to artists with record contracts.

Intellectual Ventures sues three U.S. mobile telcos

Apple scores win against Motorola in German patent battle

Apple scored a victory in its patent battle with Motorola Mobility, as the district court in Munich on Thursday granted an injunction against some of Motorola's smartphones.

Tenenbaum files petition for certiorari in US Supreme Court

Justice Dept seeks to bolster IP enforcement team

The Obama administration on Monday proposed hiring more prosecutors to pursue intellectual property crimes in the new budget as the entertainment industry pressures the Justice Department to crack down on copyright infringement and counterfeiting.

Social networks cannot be forced to filter content, EU court says;content

A court in Brussels initially ordered Scarlet to filter its network to prevent further infringement on Sabam’s works. But the web provider, unhappy in the decision, appealed to the appeals court. The ECJ then took on the case, and it was eventually won, effectively ruling out SOPA-like laws in Europe.

Apple Pushes to Open Kodak Patent Suit

Apple Inc. wants to move forward with patent-infringement litigation that Eastman Kodak Co. 's Chapter 11 bankruptcy halted, fearing that a disputed patent may be put up for sale as part of Kodak's restructuring.

US, WIPO Training Programme On IP Rights In Africa Comes Under Fire

People discussing it note that this meeting doesn't appear to really be about effective intellectual property, but about setting the stage to force ACTA or ACTA-style agreements across Europe:

Does the First Amendment Protect False and Misleading Speech? [Pro-SOPA]

Dowling v. US, 473 U.S. 207 - Is copyright infringement theft?

The phonorecords in question were not "stolen, converted or taken by fraud" for purposes of 2314.

Megaupload Co-Founder Released On Bail

While a lawyer working on behalf of the United States government admitted that no copyright offenses are specifically listed in the extradition treaty, he said that certain offenses which involve trans-national crime are covered by the country’s Extradition Act.

One Reason Why The USPTO Granted Stupid Internet Patents: Examiners Were Banned From Internet

One interesting detail that emerged in the case was that the U. S. Patent Office didn't have access to the Internet in 1994 and was apparently forbidden from going on the Internet in 1997, which would make research into prior art in cyberspace somewhat of a challenge.

GoDaddy settled with Eolas Just Before Jury Tossed Out All Eolas Patents

Public record now shows that Go Daddy settled during [DEL: # :DEL] Eolas trial before jury verdict.

Apple lodged FRAND abuse complaint against Motorola with European Commission

Apple's complaint was submitted to the Competition Directorate-General and asked for the commission to intervene "with respect to standards-essential patents" (SEPs). The iPhone maker alleges that Motorola has breached its Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory commitments for its SEPs.

Patents: Apple wins over Motorola in 'slide-to-unlock' ruling

Apple has won a patent dispute against Motorola Mobility regarding a "slide-to-unlock" feature on smartphones.

***** Applications/Gadgets

Samsung Launches Low-Cost Android 4.0 Tablet

Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (7. 0)The latest addition to Samsung's tablet portfolio is powered by a dual-core 1GHz processor and has a 7-inch screen with a 1024-by-600 pixel resolution.

Spark pre-order registration is open!

Spark tablet pre-order registration is now open on the Make Play Live website.

Raspberry Pi to run BBC Micro 2

The project, tentatively named BBC Micro 2, is not a new hardware platform like the original. Instead, it’s a cross-platform IDE based on Eclipse, the popular open source software development environment.

How To Make the 23" Android MegaPad

I'd like to introduce to you a project I've been hacking on for the last few weeks - a prototype of a product I think will become a mainstream computing device in the next few years.

Hands on: Samsung's Galaxy Note engages, perplexes

Samsung's Galaxy Note is a fascinating, if perplexing, tweener device. It pulls together a full-featured smartphone with a 5. 3-in screen that doubles as a tablet, responding to finger touches as well as input from a stylus-like S Pen.

First look: Mozilla's Boot2Gecko mobile platform and Gaia UI

The B2G team at Mozilla is preparing to give a demo of the platform's user experience at the upcoming Mobile World Congress (MWC) event. Mozilla's Brendan Eich told us via Twitter that the B2G project has already attracted partners, including one that is developing its own custom home screen.

***** Reports

Open source at the movies

Whereas visual effects was once the realm of proprietary software vendors, increasingly users are turning to open source technology to both keep costs down and streamline the processes of handling files between the multiple companies in the production chain. It is no longer surprising to see rival industry participants banding together to develop open standards and tools.

The Remarkable Rise of Android Malware

behind the scenes the search giant was working on a technology called 'Bouncer' which would scan the Android Market (both existing apps and new apps being submitted) looking for malicious code.

Tivoization: A Necessary Evil

Due to requirements put in place by the TV networks and content providers, TiVo had to lock down their hardware so only approved software could run on it. That means no modifications to the original TiVo OS, and no installing a different OS on your TiVo device. The FSF believed this to be in contradiction to the Four Freedoms, claiming that the device had to allow modified versions of its OS to be installed and distributed.

Debian Wheezy: US$19 Billion. Your price… FREE!

In my analysis the projected cost of producing Debian Wheezy in February 2012 is US$19,070,177,727 (AU$17. 7B, EUR€14. 4B, GBP£12. 11B), making each package’s upstream source code wrth an average of US$1,112,547. 56 (AU$837K) to produce. Impressively, this is all free (of cost).

HP readies open-source webOS release

The webOS operating system was developed by Palm for phones and tablets. HP acquired Palm in 2010 and late last year announced it will no longer manufacture devices that use the software. Instead, HP said, it will release webOS to the open-source community.

Linux: Where the Jobs (and Bigger Salaries) Are

While 81 percent of hiring managers recently surveyed said that hiring Linux talent is a priority in the year ahead--63 percent, in fact, say they will hire Linux talent over other skill areas--a full 85 percent of those hiring managers said that finding Linux professionals is difficult.

FSF asks web devs to label JavaScript code

The Free Software Foundation (FSF) is promoting a new program that asks web developers to insert license tags within JavaScript instances so that web page visitors will be able to more easily identify non-free JavaScript content and thus avoid what FSF President Richard M. Stallman called in 2009 "the JavaScript trap. "

Open APIs Are the New Open Source

Open source software continues to be a critical part of software development, systems administration, IT operations and more, but much of the action in leveraging modern cloud computing and services-based infrastructures centers on APIs. Open APIs are the new open source.

Red Hat Graduates Deltacloud for the Open Cloud

One way that Red Hat is helping to prevent vendor lock-in is by way of the Deltacloud project which was started back in 2009. The project was moved to The Apache Software Foundation in 2010 as an incubated effort and now it has finally graduated to become a top level project.

Why Android will never be closed source

The oddest thing about HP CEO's assertion that a Google-Motorola deal will eventually lead the the closing of Android's source code is not that she made the assertion, but that Whitman and her staff are actually trotting out this old chestnut again.

Direct and Indirect Causality

The tension between direct and systemic causality lies at the heart of the endless debate between whether BSD-ish (permissive) approaches to open source software licensing are better or worse than GNU-ish (copyleft-based) ones.

Oracle Turbocharges MySQL Database

Oracle could not be reached for comment, but this week’s news makes it clear that the free MySQL is still alive at Oracle.

Red Hat Extends Cloud Offerings For Amazon Web Services;jsessionid=i4Jt6A4WYTw3Msm0prKkXQ**.ecappj03

Red Hat announced several actions Wednesday intended to further its approach toward open and interoperable cloud computing.

***** Snippets

Do you want to turn your old PC into a digital Jukebox?

CrossOver Games 10.3.0 Fixes Skyrim on Linux

Canonical remixes Ubuntu for business

Fuduntu 2012.1 review – lightweight desktop, heavyweight contender

7 More of the Best Free Linux Task Management Tools

I wish more people understood...

A Network

Mozilla Issues Critical Update for Firefox 10

After BFS, Now Comes The BLD Linux Scheduler

Codename Archimedes- The First release of Chakra KDE 2012-02-12 is here

Why Isn't GNOME Listening?

New Fedora Project Leader Sizes Up Linux

Dueling Desktop Interfaces Are Part of Linux's Ongoing Allure

Open Sourcers Drop Software Religion for Common Sense

Install And Run Ubuntu On Your Android Device With Ubuntu Installer – Download Now

Accessibility Leaders in Linux

Linux has a Place in the Enterprise

Will Fedora 17 'Beefy Miracle' get Cinnamon?

openSUSE 12.2 Milestone 1 Has KDE SC 4.8

SCO and IBM Stipulate on Going Forward with Utah Litigation -- It's Game On ~ pj
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