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 #447 Period ending 7 May 2012

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

One aspect of the Oracle v Google case is off with the jury as I write this. Good news from the UK as the Cabinet Office gets sensible on its open standards consultation. Barnes and Noble announce a strategic deal with Microsoft. This would ordinarily be tangential, but apparently motivated by resolving patent claims. The EU decides that reimplementing a computer language is not infrining. In Australia this is addressed (not entirely appropriately) by Data Access v Powerflex.

There are a lot of articles about a shareholder lawsuit against Nokia, but they are OT, so you'll have to Google (or Bing ?!) them yourself...

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Open Standards/ODF

RAND: Not So Reasonable?

Of course, there is the obvious question of why any standards body would allow something to become a standard in the first place if one of the companies contributing to it holds a patent on a technique essential to implementing it.

Conflict of interest forces Open Standards consultation extension

UK cabinet office The Cabinet Office has confirmed that the consultation on Open Standards which was due to close next week has now been extended by a month after the facilitator of a round table discussion was discovered to have been directly advising Microsoft on the Open Standards consultation.

The conflict between video on the web and open standards

Yesterday I went to the UK Parliament TV site to tune into a speech by an MP, and failed because “Silverlight does not appear to be correctly installed on this computer. ” At the bottom of a sequence of instructions, it said, “Linux users: please see the help pages for installer”, and I was led, via another page, to an installation page for Novell Moonlight.

***** Off Topic

Europe's more stringent view of online privacy

All the major browser companies have agreed to install do-not-track switches that allow consumers to easily tell businesses they don't want their activity monitored. But privacy and industry groups continue to wrestle over what that will mean at the World Wide Web Consortium, an Internet standards body.

Dan Shapiro’s latest project: What if you could write just one thing each year?

Here’s the basic idea: TheBestThingThisYear — TBTTY for short — allows members to post just one piece to an email distribution list. Once you post, you’ve got 364 days to think about the next thing you’d like to share with the community.

***** Government/Policy

Software industry reclaims open standards debate

Linda Humphries, Cabinet Office official, told a meeting of around 30 mostly software experts that the fields from which the government's opponents had been drawing their evidence was out of bounds for the consultation.

Do We Really Want Intellectual Ventures And Disney 'Governing' The Internet?

But when you look down the actual list, a different story appears. It looks like the list is pretty much dominated by government "IP" officials, as well as people from telcos, and then people in the domain name registration field. And then there's an exec from the world's largest patent trolling firm, Intellectual Ventures.

Programming languages not copyrightable, rules highest EU court

The European Court of Justice ruled this morning that the functionality of a computer program and the programming language it is written in cannot be protected by copyright.

What online social networks may know about non-members

Using simple contact data, it is possible, under certain conditions, to correctly predict that two non-members know each other with approx. 40 percent probability.

Marten Mickos: For Eucalyptus open cloud is more than open code

Mickos said open data does not mean that everybody should expose their data. Rather, the customer should be able to see what data is stored in the cloud, and be able to delete it if they so desire.

Study explains how retailers stop Linux from entering the market

The report, which is titled "Laptop retail oligopoly: the unnoticed digital divide", analyses the current laptop market with the help of game theory and concludes that it is "bound to a configuration which is not efficient" and does not benefit consumers.

Defining Property

A poor student who could afford only rice was eating his rice while enjoying the delicious cooking smells coming from the food shop. The owner wanted the student to pay for the smells he was enjoying. The student was stealing his smells!

The GPL Does Not Depend on the Copyrightability of APIs

There's a dangerous meme going around that if Oracle loses its novel copyright claims against Google that suddenly the GPL will become unenforceable. This idea hinges on a misunderstanding about the difference between linking to a code library and merely using an API.

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

Motorola appeals Seattle judge's temporary restraining order in patent battle with Microsoft

That TRO, issued last month by Judge James Robart of the U. S. District Court of Western Washington, granted Microsoft's request to temporarily prevent Motorola from enforcing a possible upcoming injunction that could stop Microsoft from selling Windows and Xbox in Germany.

Oracle v. Google!/wseltzer/status/196286098459201536

By their very combination, Oracle is arguing, the APIs become a creative, and therefore copyrightable, element of software.

iiNet wins copyright case against TV firms (AU)

iiNet chief executive officer Michael Malone said the judgment proved the claims against the company during the three-year legal challenge were unfounded.

Apple and Samsung ordered to reduce patent claims in IP lawsuits

The order, made on Wednesday afternoon, is the second such that Koh has given. The judge warned that the trial, which is currently set for July 30, could be delayed until 2013.

Furious judge decries "blizzard" of copyright troll lawsuits

"The most persuasive argument against permitting plaintiffs to proceed with early discovery arises from the clear indicia, both in this case and in related matters, that plaintiffs have employed abusive litigation tactics to extract settlements from John Doe defendants. Indeed, this may be the principal purpose of these actions," Judge Brown wrote.

Oracle Claims $777 Million Damages in SAP Infringement Case

Oracle Corp. (ORCL) (ORCL) said it will claim damages of $776. 7 million in its retrial of a copyright- infringement lawsuit against SAP AG (SAP), the biggest maker of business-management software.

Microsoft's E-Book Deal With Barnes & Noble Has Familiar Plot
--NewCo likely to lose money in 2012 --Nook can become attractive app for Windows 8 --Microsoft intends to provide more than operating platform NewCo reprises an old refrain for Microsoft Corp. (MSFT): A money-losing venture with an attractive future.
The Pirate Bay must be blocked by UK ISPs, court rules
File-sharing site The Pirate Bay must be blocked by UK internet service providers, the High Court has ruled.
Open source patent war: Yahoo! says Facebook stole DC patents
“We received a letter dated April 23, 2012 from Yahoo indicating that they believe 16 patents they claim to hold may be relevant to open source technology they allege is being used in our data centers and servers,” the document said.
The Samsung Galaxy S III: The First Smartphone Designed Entirely By Lawyers
The Galaxy S III is. . . well. . . it's ugly.
Nokia takes new steps to protect its innovations and intellectual property
Nokia's actions include a complaint to the US International Trade Commission (ITC) against HTC, suits against HTC and Viewsonic in the Federal District Court of Delaware, US, against HTC and RIM in the Regional Court in Dusseldorf, Germany and against all three companies in the Regional Courts in Mannheim and Munich, Germany. In total, 45 Nokia patents are in suit in one or more of the actions.
Apple Wins Ruling, Sanctions in Samsung Infringement Suit
U. S. Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal wrote in his May 4 ruling that Samsung “plainly violated” a court order requiring it to turn over code to Apple, and ruled that Samsung won’t be able to offer evidence in the case about its efforts to “design around” three patents at issue in the case.
***** Applications/Gadgets
Facebook Opens Up Hardware World With Magic Hinge
Facebook’s Knox prototype was revealed on Wednesday in San Antonio, Texas, during a mini-conference bringing together members of the Open Compute Project, the consortium Facebook created to promote the use of its “open source” hardware designs — and encourage others to share new designs of their own.
Open Source Spotlight -Yabi: Bringing drag-and-drop to supercomputers
However, fitting out the world of supercomputers with a user-friendly, web-based interface is the focus of an open source project based at Western Australia's Murdoch University.
Red Hat OpenShift FINALLY Goes Open Source
With OpenShift the open source project will be operated and known as OpenShift Origin and in a shift (pun intended) from many of Red Hat's other open source efforts, the project will be hosted on Github.
Vivaldi nearly here :)
After another long "getting the details sorted" session on the phone with our manufacturing partner this morning, it looks like I'll be able to sign the purchase order sometime next week so that the first shipments of Vivaldi tablets can be put together.
Oh Certified Asterisk, Where Do You Come From?
MS Open Tech Releases Open Source Metro Theme for jQuery Mobile
Microsoft developer platform evangelist Abu Obeida has confirmed that the Windows 8 "Metro" style theme for JQuery Mobile will now be available on the GitHub web-based hosting service.
Inktank launches to change the face of open-source storage
The company describes Ceph as a “fully open source, distributed object store, network block device, and POSIX-compatible distributed file system designed for reliability, performance, and scalability. ” It’s uniqueness comes in part because Ceph does all these things within a unified platform.
Open Source Ceph Storage Filesystem Goes Commercial
When open source software gets used in production grade environments, commercial support businesses tend to show up. That's exactly what is now happening with the open source Ceph distributed storage filesystem.
***** Reports
LG backs off Windows Phone for now, report says
Smartphone-maker LG Electronics has backed off producing Windows Phone devices for now and will instead focus on Android phones, according to a report.
Apple Drops Android Support From Chomp App Discovery Tool,2817,2403737,00.asp
After buying the mobile application discovery engine Chomp earlier this year, Apple has dropped its support for Google's Android mobile operating system.
IBM ditches Siebel for SugarCRM
According to reports in the Wall Street Journal, SugarCRM is set to snap up the contract to manage sales, marketing and customer relationships for Big Blue. The contract sees Oracle-owned 67,000 Siebel seats swapped out for the open-source vendor.
Linux Rings the Bell in New York
OpenMAMA (Middleware Agnostic Messaging API ) is an effort to standardize and simplify the MAMA APIs that have been in use since at least 2002. The project was first announced in October of last year, and has now 'grown up' according to the Linux Foundation.
Microsoft Open Technologies: It's The Engineering, Stupid. On Windows, Redis, Github and Working With and Like Open Source
Microsoft’s decision to throw its weight behind the open source software movement has been welcomed by industry stalwart Red Hat.
Skype replaces P2P supernodes with Linux boxes hosted by Microsoft
Microsoft has drastically overhauled the network running its Skype voice-over-IP service, replacing peer-to-peer client machines with thousands of Linux boxes that have been hardened against the most common types of hack attacks, a security researcher said.
Open source has become mainstream but still drives innovation
In order to continue to strive, open source vendors must continue to be different. One way open source has been retaining this differentiation is through innovation.
Facebook open source data centre project gains strength
The company provided details about implementations of the open hardware designs and also announced new members of the Open Compute Project, including HP, Advanced Micro Devices, Fidelity, Quanta, Tencent, Salesforce. com, VMware, Canonical and Supermicro. HP and Dell have contributed new server and storage designs that fit into OCP's Open Rack specification, which covers hardware, such as motherboards and power components, that goes inside a server chassis.
Ubuntu and Android: A match made in open source
Today's open source communities, where it's easy to build on the work of others without constantly seeking permission, offer the most fertile soil for seeding new ideas and growing innovation.
***** Snippets
41,822 News Articles Oracle to manage updates for Java for Mac: A good thing?
Why did Target boot Amazon's Kindle?
Nokia files patent suits against HTC, RIM, ViewSonic
Amazon Kindle will stop being sold at Target
Functionality of computer program & programming language can't be protected by copyright
German court rules against Microsoft in Motorola patent fight
Motorola wins Xbox and Windows 7 ban in Germany
BREAKING: European Court decision. Oracle and Google should note.
Finally, a Shark With a Laser
Jury Has Fair-Use Questions in Trial Over Google Android
Jury deliberations continue in Oracle-Google case
LG denies it is leaving Windows Phone
Google Wins U.S. Contract
Red Hat opens up OpenShift platform cloud
Looking to Make a Profit on Lawsuits, Firms Invest in Them
SAP's Sikka Fires Back Against Oracle's 'falsehoods' About HANA
The Fall of the House of Murdoch
Libre Office is taking off 'like a rocket'
Motorola Mobility Defeats Apple ‘Finger Swipe’ Patent Claim
U.K. Report Condemns News Corp.
Boot to Gecko and APIs
Calligra: The Other Office Suite Narrows the Gap
Trisquel 5.5 Review
Linux 3.4 rc5
Fedora 18 Linux will be a Spherical Cow
Mark Shuttleworth Talks About Ubuntu
Two Years Fly By: Ubuntu Precise Pangolin Pads Into Production
7 Reasons to Like and Dislike Ubuntu Unity
GNOME 3.5.1 Development Release Is Here
The Perfect Desktop - Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin)
Mandriva Receives Reprieve, Future Still Uncertain
OpenOffice Moving to Sourceforge
Report: Android a Loss Leader for Google in 2010,2817,2403972,00.asp
Ubuntu 12.04 vs. Windows 7: Intel Sandy/Ivy Bridge Loses On Linux
Ubuntu's Mark Shuttleworth on shaking up system software
KDE Ships May Updates to Plasma Workspaces, Applications and Platform
Linus Torvalds likes the Google Chrome OS Linux desktop
MediaGoblin's One Year Anniversary: What's Next?
Kernel Log: Coming in 3.4 - Filesystems, storage and drivers
Apple Rejecting Apps That Use Dropbox
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Software Patents: Microsoft Jumps the Shark
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