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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 #448 Period ending 14 May 2012

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

Apparently, a US State (New Hampshire) has passed an Act requiring consideration of open source and to move towards open data.

Apparently, the issue at stake in Oracle v Google is 9 lines of code. Neelie Kroes declares ACTA "dead". In other news Dell is releasing an open source laptop for developers.

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Off Topic

Who's Afraid of a Big, Bad Hacking Story?

Yes, that's right -- it's Barnes & Noble Linux Girl is referring to; specifically, its decision to yank the very excellent Linux Format magazine from its U. S. shelves -- apparently because of a cover story on the topic of "hacking. "

Google raises concerns over browser restrictions in Windows 8

Mozilla's initial complaint related to two issues: first, that "Microsoft has a browser that runs in Classic mode on Windows ARM," something that no other company will be able to do. Second, it claims that Microsoft's Metro browser "has access to rich APIs that they are denying to third-party" browser vendors.

***** Government/Policy

HB418 (2012): Signed by the Gov. of New Hampshire

This bill requires state agencies to consider open source software when acquiring software and promotes the use of open data formats by state agencies. This bill also directs the commissioner of information technology to develop a statewide information policy based on principles of open government data.

'ACTA is dead,' says Europe's digital doyenne

The European Commission's VP for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes has signaled that the controversial Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is dead, and the world's copyright industry will have to change to suit people, rather than vice versa.

Open source for an open government

GOSLING has argued that the Canadian government could save $1 billion (with a ‘b’) if it embraced free or open-source software inside its walls.

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

Why Patent Injunctions Are Even Worse For Open Source

But as a fascinating new paper by James Boyle explains, the threat to open source, particularly from patent injunctions, is even greater because of the special characteristics of that software development methodology:

Adam Yauch Sued Over Beastie Boys Sampling the Day Before He Died

Talk about ill timing: Just one day before Adam Yauch died, he and other members of Beastie Boys were sued for illegally sampling music.

Judge: Proview Can't Sue Apple in California in iPad Trademark Battle

A California judge threw out Proview Electronics Co. 's lawsuit against Apple Inc. over the iPad trademark in China, the latest twist in the legal fight over the rightful owner of the tablet's name.

Federal Circuit smacks trolls in holdover multidefendant suits

A coalition of tech companies filed an amicus brief in the EMC case, urging the Federal Circuit to address the "egregious misjoinder of scores of defendants" in suits predating patent reform.

Judge scolds Microsoft and Motorola for ‘hubris’ and arrogance in patent case

After listening to three hours of arguments from Microsoft and Motorola in a patent dispute today, a federal judge in Seattle deferred his rulings on the motions before him but leveled sharp criticisms at both companies in the case.

The Abe Lincoln Facebook-Patent Hoax and the Future of Innovation

You may have heard this week that Abraham Lincoln filed a patent for Facebook in 1845. Rest assured, it’s as untrue as it sounds.

Top judge: ditching software patents a "bad solution"

After Michel finished his speech, Ars Technica asked him what seemed to us the obvious question: given that many software startup founders find the patent system to be more of a hindrance than a help, shouldn't excluding software from patent protection be considered as a reform option? The judge didn't agree.

Samsung v Apple

The Regional Court in Mannheim was set to rule in a case Apple brought against Samsung alleging that the South Korean electronics manufacturer had infringed on a utility model, a patent-like intellectual property right available under German law. According to Apple, Samsung's touch devices infringe on its utility model for "List Scrolling and Document Translation, Scaling, and Rotation on a Touch-Screen Display. "

Epilogue: Intellectual Ventures’ New Deal With Cypress Semiconductor

Reading between the lines, a possible arrangement may be in the works where Cypress pays below market rates for a global IV license, while offloading patents to an IV-controlled company and potentially participating in generated revenue streams from any resulting licensing programs, similar to the arrangement believed to exist between IV, Micron and Round Rock.

German court delays Motorola patent suit against Microsoft

A German court has decided to hold off on allowing Motorola Mobility to enforce patents it owns that would affect a variety of Microsoft products distributed there.

***** Applications/Gadgets

Have You Played OpenMW (Open Source Morrowind)?

OpenMW is released under the GNU General Public License version 3, and all source code has been written completely from scratch. It also builds on various other open source tools, most notably OGRE for graphics, and Bullet for collision (and possibly physics).

Alcatel-Lucent Embraces 40G and Shortest Path Bridging (Linux Powered!)

Alcatel-Lucent announced at Interop Las Vegas it is doubling down on 40 gigabit Ethernet (GbE) hardware and the shortest path bridging (SPB) standard in a new data center mesh rollout today.

Apache OpenOffice 3.4 Arrives. Does Anyone Care?

Oracle and/or Sun no longer run OOo, it is (in theory) a fully open source project run under the standard rule of Apache governance. This means there is proper governance and oversight and a commitment to the Apache Way of developer meritocracy. It's important to note that Apache is still an incubated project at Apache and isn't yet a full project.

Two EA Games Arrive in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

Wait! Don't get too excited, 'cause the two games, Lord of Ultima and Command & Conquer Tiberium Alliances, are web-based games that could be already played on any platform, via your web browser.

***** Reports

Dell tests open-source laptop for developers

Sputnik looks like Dell’s attempt to wrest the attention of the many web developers that have defected to OS X, but chafe at the restrictions Apple’s walled garden imposes on them.

Open-source cloud frameworks: A work in progress

Among other advantages, Cloud Foundry makes it easier to scale an application by adding more instances without downtime, Miles says. Because of the way it works with other open-source software, new features can be added in minutes rather than hours.

Sneak Peek: Vivaldi Content Store Shows Ankles For The Cinematograph

Opentablets. org is the official Vivaldi tablet community, having received blessings from Aaron Siego himself.

Automakers Betting on Linux for Future Infotainment Systems

That’s why many automakers are starting to bet on Linux. Linux is a robust and versatile computer operating system, which is used in popular mobile devices (seen at the right) like those powered by Android.

What Would I Tell Developers About Using Open Source Software?

One theme involved the idea that open source license compliance is not a legal problem, but an engineering and software problem. Discussions around SPDX touched upon this; specifically, that compliance in the supply chain must begin with creating a bill of materials that can be read and understood upstream and down. In order to create such a bill of materials, the work must be done before the product enters the supply chain, ideally during the development process.

Oracle might only receive $150,000 in damages from Google,0,1923611.story

Judge William Alsup warned Oracle at the U. S. District Court of Northern California on Thursday morning that the “most” the plaintiff might end up with is statutory damages over the nine lines of code in the rangeCheck method — the only item on the verdict form during phase one of the trial in which the jury found Google’s conceded use was copyright infringement.

Open source Java moving to Linux, AIX on PowerPC

The project would provide a full-featured version of OpenJDK for the two platforms. OpenJDK serves as the open source implementation of standard Java.

Hands On With Boot2Gecko, the Mobile OS Built Entirely on Web Standards

The B2G operating system, its user interface, and all the apps it runs are built entirely using modern web standards, such as HTML5 and JavaScript. On the backend of the OS, everything runs on Gecko, the HTML rendering engine Mozilla uses for its Firefox browser — hence the somewhat clunky, consumer-unfriendly name, Boot2Gecko.

Canonical Will Make an Ubuntu Filesystem for Embedded Devices

Canonical announced at UDS (Ubuntu Developer Summit) that they plan to create a truly embedded rootfs builder, in order to make an absolute minimal filesystem to make Ubuntu run on hardware with extremely limited diskspace

Will app stores help or hinder FLOSS distribution?

Indeed, within Facebook's App Center Guidelines, there are a number of interesting qualifications an app must have in order to be listed on the App Center--but software licensing is not among them.

Do robots need a Linux or a Mac OS to thrive?

Robotics company Willow Garage yesterday created an open-source body to shepherd the development of its ROS (Robot Operating System). Called the Open Source Robotics Foundation, the goal is get more people writing software for robots, particularly for commercial and consumer use, say its creators.

***** Snippets

5 Best Linux Business Intelligence Suites

Download Linux Kernel 3.4 Release Candidate 6

ArchBang Linux 2012.05 released, new versions to be quarterly

Open source enables high-volume searches

The Perfect Server - Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (nginx, BIND, Dovecot, ISPConfig 3)

Ubuntu Will Ship on 5 Percent of PCs Worldwide

Ubuntu 12.04's Great Flaw: No Hibernation Feature

Why Android developers aren't getting paid

Has Microsoft ruined computer education?

85 Percent of Citrix VARs See CloudStack Opportunities

SolusOS 1 Has Firefox 12 and Linux Kernel 3.0

Unity 2D To Go Away In Ubuntu 12.10

Linus Torvalds: EFI sucks

Richard Stallman falls ill at conference

To GNU or Not to GNU? That Is the Question

Linux Hardware Support Myths and Legends

Ubuntu 12.10 Daily ISO Images Are Now Available

Is Android Worth the Trouble?

KDE Plasma Netbook Revisited

Fedora Project is naming names

Fragmentation on the Linux Desktop (Is it Normal?)

Top 50 Open Source Companies: Where Are They Now?

Google Firestarters 5 Visualised

Oracle would not exist if IBM had SW patents on RDB...

Blue Systems: No Plans to Change Kubuntu

Encrypt Your Data With EncFS (Debian Squeeze/Ubuntu 11.10)

Getting snappy – performance optimizations in Firefox 13

Free Software, Open Source, FOSS, FLOSS – Same same but different
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