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 #440 Period ending 19 March 2012

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

There's a video on costs of piracy by Rob Reid which is somewhat funny for the comparisons it shows and somewhat depressing for showing what passes as policy these days. A story on open source textbooks also deserves your attention. Yahoo is suing Facebook, and is being unfriended as a result.

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Other

'Anonymous' Linux sparks concerns

Almost as soon as the release of Anonymous-OS was announced on a new Tumblr page, the activist group stated via its Twitter account that Anonymous-OS is a fake and contains trojans.

***** Off Topic

Immoral tech? IT vendors refuse to bid on Pakistan censorship scheme

As we reported last month, Pakistan currently censors a wide variety of websites, including content that is "obscene," "blasphemous," and potentially embarrassing to public officials. Right now, the blacklists are maintained manually by Pakistani telecom companies, and those firms are overwhelmed. The Pakistani government wants to build a more centralized and automated system.

Encyclopedia Britannica to stop printing books

In truth, Cauz says, the death knell sounded long ago. Though the name "Britannica" calls the print sets to mind, Cauz says they represent less than 1% of the company's total sales.

***** Government/Policy

Open Source Comes to Textbooks

One of the most serious efforts is a project called OpenStax College, based out of Rice University. Later this month, it will release two textbooks: College Physics and Introduction to Sociology. The textbooks will run on an “open education platform” called Connexions—spelled with an x—that already draws a million visitors a month. OpenStax College may well give the standard texts in those two fields a real run for their money.

The Software Patent War Escalates

Patents are already primarily a weapon to chill fair competition rather than a protection for innovation.

Domain seizures for copyright infringement likely to go global

Any domain under a U. S. registry must follow U. S. laws regardless of where the servers are, according to agreements currently in place. The seizure of domains deemed to infringe on copyrights was first carried out by Verisign, the operator of the registry for . net and . com.

Microsoft's Open Standards Fairy Tale

Well, I have to give Mutkoski points for honesty is admitting that Microsoft does not want a "level playing field for open source" - something most of us rather suspected. But his main argument is in the paper referred to, so I shall chiefly address that here.

Have a .com web address? Know the legal risks

With a huge amount of money and people dedicated to addressing the ‘problem’ of overseas companies ‘stealing’ or ‘harming’ US interests, the momentum to take high-profile action is only going to increase.

Terrorism, Money, the Internet, and ICANN

The criminalization of copyright violations (which in the past have generally been considered to be a civil matter) is a dramatic example. The scope of enforcement efforts in this regard have become breathtaking. Domain names are seized and shut down by the U. S. around the world -- without trial -- by leveraging the obsolete DNS (Domain Name System) and ICANN complicity -- often obliterating innocent sites in the process. Unfortunate collateral damage.

Belgian rightsholders group wants to charge libraries for READING BOOKS TO KIDS

If you questioned the sanity of the folks over at SABAM before, now I hope you’ll realize just how plain evil they really are. This morning, word got out in Belgian media that SABAM is spending time and resources to contact local libraries across the nation, warning them that they will start charging fees because the libraries engage volunteers to read books to kids.

Antitrust experts: US gov't should avoid enforcement in tech industry

Microsoft argued that it shouldn't face antitrust enforcement because the tech industry changes quickly and the market works better than lengthy enforcement actions, but it lost that argument, Rule said. With the Microsoft precedent, antitrust enforcement agencies should consider new tools for dealing with the tech industry, but should not abandon antitrust action altogether, he said.

A golden age of open source innovation?

Glyn Moody argues that open source innovation is actually going from strength to strength, creating new opportunities to deliver cheap computing to people corporations would not normally consider.

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

Rob Reid: The $8 billion iPod

Comic author Rob Reid unveils Copyright Math (TM), a remarkable new field of study based on actual numbers from entertainment industry lawyers and lobbyists. - TED

Yahoo sues Facebook for infringing 10 patents

"Unfortunately, the matter with Facebook remains unresolved and we are compelled to seek redress in federal court," the company said in a statement.

Police court order Dotwrong

Internet tycoon Kim Dotcom's cash, cars and property were seized using a court orA judgment from Justice Judith Potter on Friday declared the restraining order "null and void" and having "no legal effect".

Antitrust Battle Against 'Patent Trolls'

In a federal antitrust complaint, Cascades Computer Innovation claims a patent aggregator conspired with Motorola, Samsung, Dell and other electronics giants to fix prices on licenses for patents that optimize applications in Android and other smart phones.

Oracle's hard choice: Dismiss patent claims against Google?

According to the same motion, the '520 patent claims have been confirmed patentable by the USPTO, and the '720, '205, and '702 patents claims rejected. Oracle was planning to appeal these rejections, but they are now willing to drop the appeals if that's what it takes.

A new target for tech patent trolls: cash-strapped American cities

Patent holders will file a lawsuit about anything under the sun these days, but a man named Martin Jones has embraced an alarming new strategy—suing cash-strapped American cities over their bus-tracking systems.

IcedTea and OpenJDK now part of OIN

The Open Invention Network patent agreement now also covers IcedTea and OpenJDK

Judge Orders Failed Copyright Troll to Forfeit 'All' Copyrights

The order is an ironic twist to a copyright trolling saga that began in 2010, when Righthaven was formed with the idea of suing blogs and websites that re-post newspaper articles or snippets of them without permission.

We need to redefine what 'copy' means

The original use of "copy" was in the noun sense. In England, book publishers spoke of owning rights in their "copies," meaning the printed production.

***** Applications/Gadgets

LibreOffice 3.5.1 Continues Open Source Office Cadence

Zytronic encourages creativity with open-source driver for touch sensors

In order to increase the depth of support it can deliver to the market, Zytronic has introduced the first in a series of new software drivers for use with its range of Projected Capacitive Technology (PCT) touch sensors and touch controller products.

Spark Linux tablet renamed Vivaldi

The first 7 inch tablet is expected to ship in May and sells for about €200, although it’s expected to be cheaper if and when it’s available for order in the US.

Alcatel-Lucent Improves Multimedia Fluency (Linux-powered!)

Underpinning Alcatel-Lucent's Application Fluency is its AOS network operating system that runs across the OmniSwitch portfolio. In 2010, the company began to shift the underlying bare metal operating system on which AOS is based to Linux.

Rackspace Open Sources Whiskey Framework for Node.js Testing

Whiskey is an open source test automation stack that Rackspace is using within its own infrastructure. Although Rackspace officially announced the Whiskey project only this week, the company has been using it internally for nearly two years. Since its inception, the project has also been open source.

Brewtarget: Hop into Beer Brewing with Open Source

If you've always wanted to brew your own beer, you'll be glad to know there's an app for that. Created by Philip Lee, Brewtarget is an open source application that helps home brewers create and manage beer recipes.

***** Reports

'Official' Fedora Linux Remix for Raspberry Pi arrives

...the credit-card sized computer that retails for $35, Raspberry Pi Fedora Remix is finally ready to run.

Open-Source A.W.S.: Creating a Thousand Clouds

In the past few years, companies and organizations like Open Nebula; the Open Stack alliance; Cloud. com, which is part of Citrix; and Eucalyptus have been offering various forms of the kind of software that works inside A. W. S.

Putting Lives Before Patents: India Says Pricey Patented Cancer Drug Can Be Copied

Now, remember how people say that without intellectual property, industries protected by those monopolies collapse? Yeah, the opposite happened in India. And yes, many were producing generic versions, but not all of them were.

Oracle updates its Linux kernel with new advanced file system

With this update, Oracle Linux will be among the first Linux distributions to offer full support for the new Btrfs file system, which could help organizations manage large amounts of information.

The Educational Market Could Fuel Early Growth for Raspberry Pi

The editors imagine that Raspberry Pis might show up in "coding classrooms" where kids will experiment with it, and, since Raspberry Pis handle HD video, the credit card-sized devices might show up in very low-cost set-top boxes.

Is the OpenStack Foundation All about Big Money?

The OpenStack foundation is gearing up and figuring out how to organize itself. Part of the discussion involves money and membership class fees.

Group rolls open source Android benchmark

A new open source benchmark aims to give engineers and end users a way to measure the performance of Android-based systems.

Amazon EC2 cloud is made up of almost half-a-million Linux servers

While Amazon has never officially said what it’s running as EC2’s base operating system, it’s generally accepted that it’s a customized version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL).

***** Snippets

The Kubuntu Commitment

Red Hat's Memo List: Where Everyone Has an Opinion

Profits considered immoral by open source community?

Happy 10th Anniversary Arch Linux

How Drupal combines open source, openness, and security

Top Features Of The Linux 3.3 Kernel

Happy Pi Day: 10 Accessories for Math Geeks

Pivoting Linux in a post-PC world

Rackspace Hires Open Source Pro for OpenStack, Cloud Builder Push

Mozilla Cranks Firefox to 11

Linux can be as easy as Windows, but you can complicate it as much as you want

SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP2 review

An interview with author Hans Petter Langtangen

Is Ubuntu becoming a big name in enterprise Linux servers?

Has Ubuntu Linux been Certified on Intel Xeon E5 ?

HP WebOS Community Edition RELEASED

Audacity 2.0 RELEASED

Linux servers keep growing, Windows & Unix keep shrinking

New Tools for Android Developers Arrive (

Apache Tomcat Connectors 1.2.33 Released

VLC 2.0 Review

Nvidia's Excellent Linux Adventure

How to pick the best Linux server for business

Apple’s New iPad Jailbroken on First Day Itself

Ubuntu: Really More Popular Than Red Hat Enterprise Linux?

Task switching in Ubuntu, and a introduction to 'The Spread'
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