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 #446 Period ending 30 April 2012

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

The Oracle "All Your APIS Are Belong To Us" v Google trial is underway at the moment, so lots of news stories on that. Glyn Moody is running a series of articles on open document formats in the UK based on an FOI request he sent in. The EU is calling for an end to "digital handcuffs". The NSW Police Force are being sued for copyright piracy. I wonder whether criminal charges will be laid. Canonical has also generated a fair bit of publicity for the most recent release of Ubuntu.

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Dud

***** Open Standards/ODF

Open standards in government: one week to make it happen [UK]

The Government are currently deciding whether they should commit to 'open standards'. If they do, when they publish information or data to the public or share documents within governments, they would have to use formats that are not 'owned' by one particular vendor.

Does Microsoft Office Lock-in Cost the UK Government £500 Million?

The evidence we have for this is that a study by CEDI for the Danish Government showed that they could save up to £68. 4m by moving to a flexible two standard rather than a single ODF Standard. For the UK Government, the cost would be far greater and is estimated to be up to £516. 42m by moving to a flexible two standard rather than a single ODF Standard.

Cabinet Office Acts On Discovery Of Undisclosed Conflict Of Interest

In a remarkable development last night resonant of the revelations in the Leveson inquiry, the Cabinet Office voided the findings of the first open standards consultation round-table on the grounds that it's facilitator had a previously undisclosed relationship with Microsoft.

***** Off Topic

Hackers turn MIT building into giant Tetris game

When the brainiacs at MIT get bored, they light up the place by turning the tallest building on campus into an iconic video game.

Google Drive: It's slick, integrated...and not exactly free;topStories

"You can take all your data, regardless of which device you're on, and make it seamlessly available to you," said Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Google's Chrome and Apps projects. "We want you to think of this as the center of your Google apps experience. "

Content rights confusion greets Google Drive

That became apparent shortly after Tuesday's release of the long-awaited Google Drive service. Before the day was over, technology blogs and Twitter users were picking apart a legal clause that made it sound as if all the users' content stored in Google Drive automatically would become the intellectual property of Google Inc.

Facebook and many other sites also bypass Internet Explorer privacy controls

If Google is being asked to set proper P3P headers (and it appears that they have already altered at least some of their servers) then Facebook should also he held to the same standard.

***** Government/Policy

Get rid of 'digital handcuffs', says European commission vice-president

The openness of the web needs to be protected and "digital handcuffs" need to be removed, Neelie Kroes, the vice-president of the European commission with responsibility for Europe's digital agenda, has said.

Reddit Cofounder, The Band's Ex-Tour Manager Debate SOPA, Antipiracy, And Levon Helm's Legacy

The debate--which covered everything from antipiracy to SOPA to the current state of the movie and music industries--was vigorous, to say the least, with both Ohanian and Taplin passionately arguing their positions.

Copyright Lawsuit against Patent Firms Continue: Firms Claim Fair Use and Copyright Misuse

The crux of Wiley's argument is that the firm infringed Wiley's exclusive rights by submitting these documents to the USPTO as well as by allegedly sharing the articles with the inventors and storing a copy in the firm's files.

NSW Police in legal battle with software giant

"The licenses were for police only. Yet police were out there handing out our software like confetti," he said.

Open source medicine puts health above profits

Open source is powering a revolution in medicine and health care in multiple ways. Open source software and methods make large-scale collaborative research projects feasible, multiplying the brainpower applied to a project, expanding the data pool, and creating transparency and accountability. This is a huge win for the advancement of new treatments and cures, and cutting the costs of research. Open source practice and records software cut the costs of running medical practices, and puts practitioners in charge instead of software vendors.

IP's contribution to the US economy

The entire US economy relies on some form of IP, because virtually every industry either produces or uses it.

Microsoft backs away from CISPA support, citing privacy

Microsoft is no longer as enthusiastic about a controversial cybersecurity bill that would allow Internet and telecommunications companies to divulge confidential customer information to the National Security Agency.

What the Government Won't Tell You Today About the Canada - EU Trade Agreement

The speeches will emphasize the benefits of the proposed agreement to many areas of the economy, yet what is most noteworthy is what won't be discussed. Industry Minister Christian Paradis is speaking, but he won't be discussing copyright, patents, pharmaceuticals, or cultural policy as his speech will emphasize the pork industry.

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

Greg Ham Death Linked To Kookaburra Hearing

The feeling that I have in looking back at it was that it was avoidable. The huge cost of litigation for three years was probably avoidable if they came in not wanting 60% of ‘Down Under’ which is a ludicrous amount to want in the first place.

Motorola Mobility Wins [ITC] Ruling in Microsoft Xbox Patent Case

Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. (MMI) won a U. S. International Trade Commission judge’s ruling in its attempt to block imports of Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)’s Xbox gaming system.

Oracle's dangerous claim: APIs can be copyrighted

I like being a contrarian, and I had hoped that a morning spent watching the Oracle/Google trial here in San Francisco would convince me that it's been overhyped and not worth the worry. No way.

Oracle v. Google Shows the Folly of U.S. Software Patent Law,1

But, more than all of that, the case serves as an important teaching moment, illustrating much of what doesn’t work in our patent system.

Facebook buys AOL patents from Microsoft for $550M$550m/

Facebook is paying Microsoft $550 million in cash for a chunk of the patent portfolio that Microsoft recently acquired from AOL.

Apple infringes on Motorola Mobility patent: ITC judge

ITC Judge Thomas Pender said in a preliminary ruling that Apple infringed on a patent for eliminating noise and other interference during voice and data transmissions.

Apple could lose iPad trademark, Chinese official warns

Apple Inc. risks losing the right to use the iPad trademark in China, a senior official suggested Tuesday, as a Chinese court was seeking to mediate a settlement between the technology giant and a local company challenging its use of the iPad name.

How the Aussie government "invented WiFi" and sued its way to $430 million

The recent settlement means that the nine defendant companies (Acer, Atheros, AT&T, Broadcom, Gateway, Lenovo, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sony) will avoid yet another courtroom showdown in East Texas. CSIRO officials now claim that 90 percent of the WiFi-enabled device market has licensed its patent.

The Righthaven Experiment: A Journalist Wonders If a Copyright Troll Was Right to Sue Him

A few days later, facing a PR maelstrom for suing a journalist who had written about the company, Righthaven was forced to admit that the filing was “an internal error,” a “clerical mistake,” something that had happened because the machinery of mass suing lacked a decent check against a reporter’s fair use. The lawsuit against me was soon dismissed with prejudice.

Nokia and HTC win European patent ruling against Ipcom

Intellectual property licensor Ipcom had demanded a ban on the two smartphone makers' handsets after they refused to meet its terms.

Microsoft, Pegatron Ink Patent Deal for Android, Chrome Devices,2817,2403540,00.asp

Microsoft has inked a patent licensing deal with Pegatron that covers Android- and Chrome-based devices.

Litigation Fatigue Cited in Apple, Microsoft Patent Fight

Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook, in the wake of a preliminary finding yesterday that it infringed one of four Motorola Mobility smartphone patents, said the company would “highly prefer to settle versus battle” over patents.

Claims of Two Rambus Memory Device Patents Rejected by PTO Board of Appeals

The Patent Office Board of Appeals dealt Rambus a major setback yesterday by affirming the anticipation rejection of the two independent claims in reexamination of U. S. Patent Nos. 6,266,285 and 6,314,051, two of the so-called “Farmwald Patents” that have been the subject of an ITC investigation and several District Court infringement actions.

Apple: "[we are out of touch]"

Finally, one analyst dared ask a question about Apple's litigation battles when it comes to patents. "I've always hated litigation and I continue to hate it," Cook said, but "we just want people to invent their own stuff. "

ITC Judge Issues Sanctions Against Apple over Counsel's Misrepresentations

An International Trade Commission administrative law judge has sanctioned Apple Inc. for its counsel's misrepresentation of facts during an opening statement and in a pre-hearing brief.

Cultural Insanity: You Can't Show A Painting In A Movie Without Paying The Copyright Holder

And it gets even worse, when you find out that the ridiculous position of the Artists Rights Society (think the RIAA/MPAA for artists) is that the newly released 3D version of Titanic needs a new license, because its use of artwork is somehow not covered by the original license:

Yahoo Asserts Two New Patents Against Facebook

Yahoo Inc. returned legal fire against Facebook Inc. Friday in the companies' ongoing patent dispute, calling Facebook's recent countersuit slapdash and asserting two new patents against its younger peer.

***** Applications/Gadgets

Open source gives Arx Fatalis new lease of life

What’s interesting about Arx Fatalis is that development of the game started up again last year. Arkane Studios released patch 1. 21 and with it open sourced the engine. That led to an new project called Arx Libertatis, which aimed to update the game to be played on multiple modern operating systems including Windows and Linux.

IBM pushes new integrated, lower-cost Linux servers

The PowerLinux systems contain integrated hardware, software, networking and storage, and are configured to cater to specific requirements. The servers, which combine IBM's Power7 processors with the Linux OS, are priced as low as US$20,000 and go beyond $100,000, depending on client configuration choices.

Pentaho 4.5 Visualizes Big Data Analytics

Open source business intelligence vendor Pentaho aims to make it easier to get a grip on Big Data by offering user-driven data visualization in its latest software release.

Gameplay 1.2, open source game development framework, released

Gameplay 1.2, a cross-platform, C++ game framework designed for learning and writing mobile and desktop games, has been released.

An E-Book That Glows in the Dark

***** Reports

Open source is driving business app development

While survey finds that open source usage is on the rise, many companies lack key internal controls and processes, software firm Sonatype warns

The day my mind became open sourced

Bruce breezily explained, "The people who invented this game are no smarter than you or I, even though they're adults. We can come up with better rules for this game than they did. Much better rules. "

Red Hat and SUSE join IBM in new Linux system, Canonical opts out

According to IBM, “The new PowerLinux Solutions and supporting systems are designed to provide customers with lower deployment time and costs, and greater performance, dependability and workload density than competitive x86 platforms at similar price points. ”

How to set up the Raspberry Pi

The idea behind the Raspberry Pi is to provide a computing environment where children can have the freedom to program without having to worry about the consequences of possibly breaking the family computer.

OpenStack Community Seeks Talent, Cloud Certification

OpenStack OpenStack is a global collaboration of developers and cloud computing technologists producing the ubiquitous open source cloud computing platform for public and private clouds.

Nginx poised to become number 2 web server source upstart Nginx has edged out Microsoft IIS (Internet Information Server) to hold the title of second-most widely used Web server among all active websites.

BitcoinATM code is now officially an open source effort

BitcoinATM code is now officially an open source effort.

Introducing CloudOpen: Why Now and Why The Linux Foundation?

In 2012, The Linux Foundation will introduce a new annual technical conference, CloudOpen, designed to provide a collaboration and education space to advance the open cloud.

Is GPL licensing in decline?

A debate has raged for months about open source licensing trends. It all started with assertions that the GNU General Public License (GPL) is rapidly falling from favor as an open source license, replaced largely by the Apache License. Free software advocates couldn't disagree more.

SugarCRM Pulls IBM Seats Out From Under Oracle

As Oracle falters, SugarCRM is making points with the big boys. Rumor has it that IBM is planning to replace Oracle’s Siebel CRM with a license for tens of thousands of seats from SugarCRM. This comes as Oracle announced Siebel Loyalty Management 8. 2. 2 this week, noting that "organizations increasingly look to adopt loyalty programs that stand-out from the competition and attract and retain customers. " Ironic, isn’t it?

Forrester: Hire software developers who take part in open source projects

Analyst firm Forrester has encouraged businesses to recruit software developers who take part in open source projects, as it shows they are keeping their skills current.

The Open Source CEO: Jim Whitehurst

The very nature of a company like Red Hat is to shrink the costs one has to pay, such that the market is redefined.

The Kaffe Virtual Machine

Kaffe is not an officially licensed version of the Java virtual machine. In fact, it contains no Sun/Oracle source code at all, and was developed without even looking at the Sun/Oracle source code. It is legal -- but Oracle controls the Java trademark, and has never endorsed Kaffe, so technically, Kaffe is not Java.

Samsung Passes Nokia to Become World’s No. 1 Phone Maker

A continued drop in sales at Nokia allowed Samsung to grab the title of world’s NNokia sold 83 million units, while Samsung sold 92 million phones, according to IHS iSuppli. That’s a reversal from last year’s fourth quarter, where Nokia shippeOn the smartphone side, Apple retained its top spot, shipping 35 million iPhones, followed by Samsung, which sold 32 million smartphones. - Ina Fried, AllThingsD

***** Snippets

Release of Ubuntu 12.04LTS

Internet Hall of Fame inducts first members

Canonical has put out a call for more Ubuntu application developers

If my mother-in-law can use Ubuntu Linux, anyone can

GNOME 3.6 is getting serious with Initial System Setup

Linux 3.4 RC 4

Google Stops Supporting Picasa For Linux

Long-term maintenance for Linux 3.2

Replace Oxygen with ROSA theme on any KDE-powered distribution

Scientific Linux 5.8 Is Based on RHEL 5.8

Fedora 17 beta review - Miraculously beefy

Things To Do After Installing Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

Google Drive for Linux Is on the Way

Will Apple's vision upset Unity cart?

Pentaho 4.5 Visualizes Big Data Analytics

Linux Kernel 3.3.4 Is Available for Download

Opera Forges Ahead With Plan to Support WebKit Prefixes

The Liberated Pixel Cup: proving the potential for free culture and free software game development

VeriSign Set to Support up to 220 New Internet Top Level Domains

ApacheCon 2005 - Apache Harmony and Sun's Simon Phipps
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