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 #445 Period ending 23 April 2012

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

Glyn Moody is running some articles based on an FOI request for info about changes to the UK Government's approach on open standards. The EU's Rapporteur recommends rejection of ACTA as inconsistent with civil liberties in the EU. Google v Oracle trial is on in the United States and is generating a lot of media stories.

In Australia, the High Court in a unanimous verdict, found that iiNet was not authorizing primary infringements by its users. For some details see my blog post:

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Open Standards/ODF

How Microsoft Fought True Open Standards

So, without much hope, I put in a Freedom of Information request through the wonderful WhatDoTheyKnow site (highly recommended), asking for details of all the meetings that Microsoft had had with the Cabinet Office on this subject. To my utter astonishment I was sent a real cornucopia of briefing notes and emails that Microsoft used to lobby against Restriction-Free (RF) open standards and in favour for standards based on FRAND licensing of claimed patents.

The Frand Wars: Who’s on First?

The agencies concluded that these transactions did not present significant antitrust concerns, basing their reasoning in part on the interpretations of FRAND offered by Apple, Microsoft and Google.

***** Government/Policy

Tim Berners-Lee urges government to stop the snooping bill

The government's controversial plans to allow intelligence agencies to monitor the internet use and digital communications of every person in the UK suffered a fresh blow on Tuesday when the inventor of the world wide web warned that the measures were dangerous and should be dropped.

ACTA Rapporteur's Recommendations: Reject Treaty, But Ask EU Commission For Replacement

The intended benefits of this international agreement are far outweighed by the potential threats to civil liberties. Given the vagueness of certain aspects of the text and the uncertainty over its interpretation, the European Parliament cannot guarantee adequate protection for citizens' rights in the future under ACTA. Your rapporteur therefore recommends that the European Parliament declines to give consent to ACTA.

Copyright 'three strikes' first infringer? (NZ)

Unlike Rianz, the New Zealand Federation Against Copyright Theft (NZfact), which is owned by the United States Motion Picture Association and represents movie studios, has decided against asking internet providers to issue infringement notices to customers on behalf of its members.

What You Need to Know About CISPA,news-14813.html,42283.html

including protecting a system or network from: ... theft or misappropriation of ... intellectual property ...

Don't let software patents stop us standing on the shoulders of giants

No, the deepest and most pressing problem of intellectual property online is derivative use. What we build is made possible by the work of others who precede us.

Software Patents at Santa Clara

Rather than debating the merits of software patents, the conference will start with the premise that software patents are in need of reform.

Draft Bill to "Fix" CFAA Won't

There, the Court sitting en banc reversed the panel decision and held that violations of an employer's computer use restrictions are not penalized under the statute, because "exceeds authorized access" doesn't mean merely violating a policy, it means obtaining data you are not allowed to see.

Berners-Lee: Don't let record labels upset web openness

The inventor of the web was referring to recent controversial pieces of legislation, including SOPA and PIPA in the US, and ACTA globally, which have all sought to clamp down on piracy and have all been strongly supported by record labels.

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

Ex parte motion for expedited discovery denied in Hard Drive v. Does 1-90

the court will not assist a plaintiff who seems to have no desire to actually litigate but instead seems to be using the courts to pursue an extrajudicial business plan against possible infringers (and innocent others caught up in the ISP net).

The Twitter "Patent Hack"

Specifically Twitter has said that they will only used these assigned patent rights defensively to protect themselves against hostile actions. And further that any company that acquires these patent rights from Twitter will need the inventor's consent to use them in an offensive action.

Apple, Samsung

Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. have agreed to enter settlement talks in a California patent case, one of many the two smartphone giants are fighting around the globe.

Drew Curtis: How I beat a patent troll

Drew Curtis, the founder of fark. com, tells the story of how he fought a lawsuit from a company that had a patent, ". . . for the creation and distribution of news releases via email. " Along the way he shares some nutty statistics about the growing legal problem of frivolous patents.

(US) Supreme Court to Hear International Copyright Exhaustion Case

Copyright exhaustion – also known as the "first sale doctrine" – is codified under 17 U. S. C. § 109(a) and allows the holder of a copy of a work "lawfully made under this title" to sell or otherwise dispose of the copy without the copyright holder's permission.

Hollywood Studios Lose Aussie Download Suit

Walt Disney Co. (DIS) (DIS) and Viacom Inc. (VIAB) (VIAB)’s Paramount Pictures are among Hollywood’s biggest movie studios that lost a piracy lawsuit in Australia as the country’s top court upheld rulings that a local Internet provider wasn’t responsible for customers illegally downloading films.

Flatworld Sues Apple

Hagens Berman has filed a patent lawsuit claiming that Apple has built many of its most popular devices including the iPhone and iPad using intellectual property owned by a Villanova, Penn. company that developed gesture recognition technology for touchscreens in the mid-1990s.

Dotcom trial may not occur - Judge

United States district court judge Liam O'Grady said he didn't know if "we are ever going to have a trial in this matter" after being told Dotcom's file-sharing company had never been formally served with criminal papers by the US.

***** Applications/Gadgets

Netflix to Open Source Army of Cloud Monkeys

The online movie rental company uses a troupe of cloud software — it calls the programs “monkeys” — that poke and prod its online applications and keep the website and its services humming along.

The Great Jitters: Pudding Panic – Review

Time to get our hands on the linux version, and see why this game has caused so much positive hum around it.

Hands-on: getting work done with Google's new Aura interface for Chrome OS

Google is readying the next iteration of Chrome OS, which promises to remedy the deepest deficiencies of the wayward Web-centric software platform. A new user interface layer called Aura, which offers many improvements over the current Chrome OS software environment, has reached the testing stage.

Red Hat Builds In-Memory Data Grid 6 for Java

The Data Grid is a key-value store that is embedded in-memory, providing a performance boost to disk-bound applications.

Check Point Consolidates Network Operating Systems with a Linux Base

The bare-metal OS sitting underneath GAiA is Linux.

CloudBees donates Jenkins plugins to the community

CloudBees, the company specialising in deploying and supporting the Jenkins continuous integration (CI) software, has announced that it has opened sourced two previously proprietary plugins for Jenkins. Three other plugins are now provided free of charge.

Raspberry Pi review – the price is right, but the software is not

In terms of its price-performance ratio, the Pi is hard to beat – and the sheer power of the Broadcom VideoCore IV GPU makes it a great choice for multimedia tasks, especially where hardware accelerated decoding is supported.

Portable encrypted Linux computing environment

Designed as a secure endpoint for Internet and cloud-computing applications, Secure Pocket Drive is the only trusted pocket-sized encrypting USB flash drive that boots Linux or Windows environments without the overhead of a virtual machine.

Ubuntu OS Can Run on Mele A1000 ARM PC

It appears that Aliexpress is selling a small ARM-based device that runs Android 2. 3, but can be easily hacked to run the popular Ubuntu operating system.

***** Reports

Open source driver for Qualcomm Adreno graphics under development

At this point the open source driver is still in its early stages. There’s basic support for 2D graphics acceleration, but 3D graphics support is still on the horizon.

Ubuntu-Friendly HP Cloud Enters Public Beta

Toward that end, the operating systems supported by HP Cloud include Ubuntu versions 10. 04 through 11. 10 inclusive, as well as Debian Squeeze and CentOS versions 6. 2 and 5. 6. HP promises “to add support for more operating systems as our public cloud offering evolves. ”

The Big Switch to OpenFlow

OpenFlow got its start as a research project led by Appenzeller while at Stanford. OpenFlow enables software defined networking (SDN) for programmable networks.

DOE Lab Releases Open Source Attack Intelligence Tool

The U. S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is offering an open-source version of a homegrown tool that gathers an additional layer of intelligence during an attack.

Ubuntu Powers Small-Business Desktops in Marseille

Admittedly, my Ubuntu sighting was a modest one: it involved just one kiosk in my hotel, the Newhotel Select, which was offered to guests for general-purpose computing. But there was no doubt that it was Ubuntu.

Microsoft bigs up open source, then stuffs it under the sofa

Open . . . and Shut Microsoft's new Open Technologies subsidiary may be many things, but one thing it's not is "further demonstration of Microsoft’s long-term commitment to interoperability, greater openness, and to working with open source communities", as Microsoft has positioned it.

Google v Oracle!/jeunice

Although Oracle has spent more money on other companies, Ellison depicted Java as the company's most cherished prize. "Of all the things we have ever purchased, by far the most important we ever purchased was Java," he crowed in typically bombThere were other times during his testimony, though, when he looked bamboozled. At one point, Google lawyer Robert Van Nest reminded Ellison of all the nice things that he had had to say about Android and Google during an on-stage appearance iWith Sun co-founder Scott McNealy standing by his side, Ellison had assured the crowd that he was "excited" and "flattered" about Android's reliance on Java. Ellison hailed his "friends from Google" and said he looked forward to many more mobile devices running on Android. - The Guardian

Making an aaS out of free software

While many in the tech industry and the media have been touting the benefits of various "As-a-Service" models, there are also still concerns that such remote computing models will ultimately harm a fundamental core principle of free software: the ability to truly possess the software in all forms.

HP Certifies Ubuntu Linux

"HP is adding Ubuntu to its global list of operating system partners, and we will be making sure that that the most popular models in the ProLiant range are all certified. "

Red Hat Enterprise Linux plus IBM Hardware equals Performance Computing

What you’re looking for in a hardware/software combined server solution is performance, upgradability, support, scalability and affordability. Red Hat and IBM have formed an alliance to make this perfect recipe a reality with Red Hat Enterprise Linux and IBM Server x series server hardware. open source robot now available to pre-order

Q. bo moves on two wheels and can turn its head, which has built-in web cams Zoom Spanish company TheCorpora is now accepting pre-orders for its Q. bo open source and open hardware robot. TheCorpora founder Francisco Paz spent several years working on the rolling robot, which is about 45 cm tall and can be used both in research and around the home.

VMware: OpenStack Is Immature

During the company's earnings call, CEO Paul Maritz was asked about competitive challenges and in particular about OpenStack. OpenStack is an open source cloud platform that now enjoys the support of IBM, AT&T, Cisco, Dell, Yahoo and HP among other big name tech vendors.

Linus Torvalds wins the tech. equivalent of a Nobel Prize

This year, Linus Torvalds, Linux’s creator, and Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, maker of a new way to create stem cells without the use of embryonic stem cells, are both laureates for the 2012 Millennium Technology Prize.

Marketplace pulls AWS hare ahead of OpenStack tortoise

Today's opening of the Amazon Web Services Marketplace will give cloud customers a lot more convenience in cloud deployment, while sending up clouds of dust for the still-behind OpenStack to inhale.

Apache announces Huawei, GoDaddy and Twitter as new sponsors

ASF logo The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) has announced that GoDaddy, one of the largest domain registrars worldwide, and Chinese networking and telecommunications specialist Huawei have become its newest Silver sponsors.

The Java IP Story

If you don’t care about the “Java” label, you can forgo certification. However, without the certification, you don’t get a license to the software patents buried in the OpenJDK code. Thus, any patent owner who happens not to like you might decide to sue your customers who will turn back on you and will find you without patent defense.

***** Snippets

Siduction 11.1 Review

Announcing the release of Fedora 17 Beta

Linux 3.4 rc 3

How Linux defines success and innovation

MATE 1.2 Desktop Environment Released

History of Ubuntu: Revisited & Updated

Canonical is not interested in the Linux kernel

Mandriva's future to be decided at the end of April

Mavericks Invent Future Internet Where Cisco Is Meaningless

Fedora 17 Beta Advances the Linux Desktop

Firefox Nightly Gets New Built-In Download Panel, More

An Interview with Linus Torvalds
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