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 #437 Period ending 28 February 2012

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

Attempts made to bring DRM to the web. US Dept of Veteran's Affairs may modernise their office systems. MS cries foul on charges for Motorola patents and Intel decides to start distributing LibreOffice.

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Government/Policy

Debian Position on Software Patents

The policy included below intends to provide clear and useful guidance for community members confronted with patent issues, so that the Debian community can coordinate its patent defense free from fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

Help us Open Source

This is why I’m so excited about that NASA has recently released an RFI (Request for Information) for information on how to build a better public website nasa. gov and intranet insdie. nasa. gov. This is a really big step for NASA, but,we truly need your help.

VA could give MS Office the boot

However, as the VA looks for ways to cut the costs of licensed software installed on desktops, officials said one strategy is to examine the possibility of cloud-based and software alternatives to the desktop-installed Office software, according to a Feb. 17 announcement on the Federal Business Opportunities website.

"Unethical" HTML video copy protection proposal draws criticism from W3C reps

Google's Ian Hickson, the WHATWG HTML specification editor, called the Encrypted Media proposal "unethical" and said that it wouldn't even fulfill the necessary technical requirements.

White House pushes online privacy bill of rights

The Obama administration on Thursday unveiled a new online bill of rights intended to protect consumers' privacy when they surf the Web.

Google’s privacy ‘victory’ did not happen by accident

Once disdainful of the lobbying tactics of other companies, Google’s Beltway operations have become nearly indistinguishable from the most powerful corporations that line K Street. Last year, it doubled the amount it spent on lobbying to $10 million and doubled the size of its employee political donation fund to $836,000.

Top EU Court to Examine Anti-Piracy Pact (ACTA)

In a surprise development Wednesday, the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, said it would refer the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement to the European Court of Justice for legal guidance on whether it is fully compatible with freedom of expression and freedom of the Internet.

EuroParliament to exclude Free Software with patents and FRAND

Benjamin Henrion, president of the association complains: "The payment of royalties makes it impossible to distribute free software on the web. It creates an enormous barrier of entry for small companies and independent developers. Authors of the software VideoLAN have been previously threatened by patent holders because they implemented an ETSI standard for a video decoder. "

Debian Position on Software Patents

The Debian Project announces the availability of its patent policy for the Debian archive.

Time runs out for timezone lawsuit

According to a press release from the EFF, Astrolabe has apparently withdrawn the lawsuit, agreed to a covenant not to sue, and has issued an apology to all involved.

The case for open computer programs

We argue that, with some exceptions, anything less than the release of source programs is intolerable for results that depend on computation.

Two Canadian universities sign outrageous email copyright monitoring contract

The universities of Western Ontario and Toronto have signed a deal with Access. Copyright that allows for surveillance of faculty correspondence, unjustified restriction to copyrighted works and two million dollars in fees that will

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

Microsoft plays victim card in FRAND complaint against Motorola, Google

For a $1,000 laptop, Motorola is demanding that Microsoft pay a royalty of $22. 50 for its 50 patents on the video standard, called H. 264. As it turns out, there are at least 2,300 other patents needed to implement this standard. They are available from a group of 29 companies that came together to offer their H. 264 patents to the industry on FRAND terms. Microsoft's patent royalty to this group on that $1,000 laptop? "Two cents. " [osl: this is why patents are per se ridiculous]

Oracle's Java claims now less than $230 million

Oracle has quietly removed the last claim of one of the patents it has accused Google of violating, and sharply reduced the amount of damages it estimates Google's alleged infringement of Oracle's Java software.

Apple's China legal battle over iPad spreads to U.S.

A Chinese firm trying to stop Apple Inc from using the iPad name in China has launched an attack on the consumer electronics giant's home turf, filing a lawsuit in California that accuses it of employing deception when it bought the trademark.

Why Canada Does Not Belong on the U.S. Piracy Watchlist

Canada has appeared on this list for many years alongside dozens of countries. In fact, over 70% of the world's population is placed on the list and most African countries are not even considered for inclusion.

Wapple Wins Trademark Battle Over Apple

The suit, originally filed in 2007, claimed that Wapple was trading on Apple’s brand association and name, although Wapple had filed for a trademark on “Wapple” in 2006.

Do Lexis and Westlaw Infringe Copyright When They Post Briefs Filed in Court?

The question is whether the commercial posting of the briefs is fair use; and fair use law is, as usual, vague enough that there’s no clear answer. I

Leaked Audit in Eminem Royalty Suit Highlights Huge Stakes for Record Industry

The plaintiffs in these cases assert that the music giants have been wrongfully treating digital music purchases as "sales" rather than "licenses," and thus only sharing 10-20 percent of revenue instead of a near 50-50 split they believe is owed.

Chinese Court Rejects Injunction Against Apple's iPad

Proview Electronics Co. has taken its legal battles with Apple Inc. to a U. S. court, claiming the iPhone maker used deception in buying the iPad trademark and shouldn't be allowed to keep it.

Megaupload Founder Kim Dotcom Released From Prison

The Megaupload founder will be the subject of strict conditions including no Internet access after the prosecution expressed fears he might reopen the site.

Supreme Court won't hear Hynix appeal on Rambus

The Supreme Court rejected on Tuesday an appeal by South Korea's Hynix Semiconductor Inc to take up the question of whether chip designer Rambus Inc illegally sued for patent infringement.

Apple forced to suspend push email service in Germany

Earlier this month a German court ruled that Apple's push technology infringed a Motorola Mobility patent.

MPEG LA offers patent license for 3D video

Building the MVC technology for 3D video into a Blu-ray player will cost 10 cents per device, and selling discs costs a penny a pop, according to newly released licensing terms.

***** Applications/Gadgets

LibreOffice Foundation Symbolises Maturity

Ubuntu in your pocket

We’ll show Ubuntu neatly integrated into Android at Mobile World Congress next week. Carry just the phone, and connect it to any monitor to get a full Ubuntu desktop with all the native apps you want, running on the same device at the same time as Android. Magic. Everything important is shared across the desktop and the phone in real time.

Ford's open source OpenXC platform as gateway to future high tech car gizmos

With the OpenXC platform Ford is creating a channel for open collaboration with 3rd party application developers, allowing them to use cars like the Ford Focus to prototype their gizmos.

Aruba Delivers BYOD Control with ClearPass (powered with Linux and FreeRADIUS)

Networking vendor Aruba is now debuting a solution for BYOD, built on Linux and leveraging the open source FreeRADIUS access control solution to help return control to enterprises.

Actionable Control For Open Source Components

Sonatype has released the Nexus Professional 2. 0 open-source repository manager.

How to run an Android phone without Google

Say what you will about Google, which is moving toward a new model of privacy and coming under lots of scrutiny over their iPhone, but they offer at least a novel concept of freedom: a smartphone platform they built, but which doesn’t necessarily require their own apps to run.

Intel distributes LibreOffice, can Microsoft be pleased?

Needless to say TDF is happy. “We are thrilled to add Intel to our existing roster of supporters”, said Florian Effenberger, a TDF board member in a statement, “TDF is first and foremost a vendor neutral project committed to excellence in the office suite space, but we greatly value the support and advice we gain from organizations such as SUSE, Red Hat, Google, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and Software in the Public Interest (SPI). ”

Nook 8GB Tablet coming on February 22nd to better compete with Kindle Fire

we've come across documentation showing a planned February 22nd launch for a Nook 8GB Tablet. It appears to be the same Android slate as Barnes & Noble's current $249 Tablet, but with less onboard storage (matching the Fire's 8GB) and what will very likely be a correspondingly lower price.

***** Reports

NGINX Open Source Web Server Partners With Parallels Hosting

Open source web server developer, NGINX, has partnered with Parallels, a hosting and cloud services provider to enhance Parallels' web hosting products with NGINX web server capabilities.

HP: Stop the FUD and show us the real webOS source.

Why 'Android fragmentation' isn't so bad

New research from Localytics claims that Android fragmentation might be becoming less of a issue.

OpenStack Debuts TryStack

With TryStack users, get their own OpenStack compute instance that lasts for up to 24 hours. The first TryStack deployment zone is hosted on infrastructure that has 156 cores, 1040GB memory and 59. 1 TB of disk storage.

Hortonworks University Launches, and Can Teach You Valuable Hadoop Skills

Hadoop's unique ability to sift large data sets and glean useful information has given rise to some juicy job opportunities for people with Hadoop skills, but there are too few of them. Now, Hortonworks, a spin-off of Yahoo, is addressing that problem with its newly announced Hortonworks University, which focuses on teaching Hadoop skills.

Core Sponsors Announced For Spring 2012 Open Source Think Tank

"Open source, cloud and mobile technologies are an important path to innovation for SAP," said Claus von Riegen, Vice President Industry Standards and Open Source, SAP. "As we expand our use of open source to shorten development cycles while increasing new product innovation, this interchange of ideas and solutions becomes increasingly important. What happens at Think Tank influences how we think at SAP. "

Canonical Continues Ubuntu Cloud Push

Canonical began distributing a short e-book titled Enterprise Cloud Strategy: Six Near-Future Scenarios last Monday.

Open Source Code Is As Good As Proprietary, Says Coverity

During 2011, the company tested open source projects that totalled over 37 million lines of code and the report also details the results of 300 million lines from anonymous proprietary software produced by Coverity Scan users.

Raspberry Pi school computer to run cut-down Fedora

Set to launch next week, the Raspberry Pi started out as the brainchild of a small group of developers and UK games developer David Braben, who together despaired at the state of UK computer education in schools.

OpenStack Promotes Quantum Networking to Core Project Status

The ability to have a multi-tiered network, with isolated network segments for database, web and applications is something that Quantum enables.

Kuhn: Busybox GPL enforcement concerns resolved

As Rob pointed out, his decision to relicense ToyBox from GPL to BSD was his own, and he has every right to license the project the way that he sees fit.

Rebootless updates: now available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux, too!

Before, Ksplice patches were only provided for customers running Oracle Linux with the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel. Today, were extending our support offering: Ksplice zero downtime kernel updates are now available for the Red Hat compatible kernel on Oracle Linux 5 and 6 as well.

Can open source save RIM?

Don't expect RIM to open source its entire operating system, or its radio stack. But the original smartphone company is gambling its future success on open source, and it has an expert on board to help.

If Android is a "stolen product," then so was the iPhone

Innovation within multitouch and smartphone technology goes back decades—the first multitouch devices were created in the 1980s—and spans a large number of researchers and commercial firms. It wouldn't have been possible to create the iPhone without copying the ideas of these other researchers.

Windows 8 and Mountain Lion: Trading Openness for Security and Integration

At the same time, though, I'm worried that these trends lead to a more closed view of computing, one in which Apple and Microsoft play much larger roles as gatekeepers. This is a step away from the openness that has defined the personal computing era.

Mozilla to challenge big players in mobile web

Mozilla is expected Wednesday to announce plans for its own app store, to be called the Mozilla Marketplace, offering mobile apps that could run equally well on an iPhone, an Android phone or a Windows Phone device.

Intel Joins LibreOffice

"We are thrilled to add Intel to our existing roster of supporters", said Florian Effenberger, volunteer and TDF board member

Adobe Flash For Linux Will Only Be Available For Chrome

"According to a blog post by Adobe, after the 11.2 release, Flash Player for Linux will only be available through a new 'Pepper' API as a part of Google Chrome, and won't be available as a separate download anymore.

***** Snippets

First Raspberry Pi SD Card Image Released - Based on Debian Squeeze

Linux 3.3 rc4

What does Ubuntu want to be when it grows up?

What Greg Does

Developments mainstream projects are looking forward to

Apache 2.4 Delivers More Performance

Firefox To Get A New Default Theme, Other Enhancements

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.7 to 5.8 Risk Report

Mozilla Branding BrowserID as Persona - While Personas is Now Left Nameless

Ubuntu's Business Desktop Remix: Taking a Closer Look

Hands On with the Cinnamon Desktop

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.2 vs. Oracle, CentOS, Scientific Linux Benchmarks

Intel 2.18 Video Driver for Linux Released

Gnash 0.8.10 GNU Flash player released

Job Hunting in the Internet Age (Mike Junge, Google)

Apache Foundation launches Apache 2.4 to celebrate 17th birthday
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