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 #452 Period ending 12 June 2012

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

A lot of noise about IPv6 this week which I have filtered out. It was the final day for submissions to the UK consultation on open standards last week. I put together a report for Linux Australia which I understand they used in their submission (link below). In the US, there are a couple of reports about judges throwing out patent cases. Particularly, Judge Posner (who is somewhat famous on IP related policy making in the US) throwing out a Motorola/Apple case.

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Open Standards/ODF

Microsoft Sneakily Trying to Exclude GPL from UK Open Standards

The Cabinet Office’s Public Consultation on Open Standards formally closed on Monday 4^th June and we have welcomed the opportunity to participate in the process as well as provide our thoughts regarding the important issues raised by the consultation.

Open Source Law Releases Report on Open Standards

Linux Australia commissioned a report from Open Source Law on Open Standards. That report was completed last week and, we understand, Linux Australia used it as a basis for a submission to the UK Open Standards Consultation process.

***** Off Topic

Databases Will Help Lawyers Craft Arguments, Make Lawsuit Decisions

Databases of historical legal information are being built that could help lawyers calculate the odds of winning a case and how to craft the arguments. [OSL: James Popple did a PhD on this 20 years ago, although back then it was called "deep structure". ]

***** Government/Policy

Apple iOS Presents Forensics Challenges in E-Discovery

The encryption component that Apple's included for protecting customer data is terrific, but it makes forensics on the device a little more difficult. " [OSL: if you can't get evidence, you can't enforce your rights. Part of the reason why making it illegal to break DRM is anti-democratic]

US Navy buys Linux to guide drone fleet

Raytheon Intelligence and Information Systems, Dulles, Va. , is being awarded a $27,883,883 cost-plus-incentive-fee, firm-fixed-price contract for efforts required to complete Linux transition on the tactical control system software for vertical take-off unmanned air vehicle ground control stations.

Open source's unlikely enemy: Your procurement rules

In a public discussion last week, I heard one of the speakers -- a spokesman for a large proprietary software company -- alleging that "the lack of any indemnity in open source makes it more risky. " Naive as I am, I had assumed that moldy anti-open-source argument had gone out of favor long ago. Apparently not.

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

Famous judge spikes Apple-Google case, calls patent system “dysfunctional”

In his ruling to dismiss, Posner noted that a trial would “impose costs disproportionate to the harm … and would be contrary to the public interest. ” Posner’s cost-benefit assessment is likely rooted in a worldview anchored in law and economics — a Chicago-school of thought that equates court decisions with maximizing efficient economic outcomes.

Google hit with patent claim over Google Drive

In a suit filed in Houston federal court, Superspeed LLC claims it owns technology that allows multiple computers to quickly access a common disk at the same time.

Patent trolls beware: app makers partnering up with legal community

As a result, the Appsterdam Legal Defense team was started in August of 2011 by a group of iOS developers in response to growing patent threats by non-practicing entities (NPEs).

FTC Expresses Concern Over Handling of Standards-Essential Patents

The Federal Trade Commission is joining a number of regulators across the globe that are concerned with how courts handle battles related to patents necessary for various technology standards.

Samsung fights Apple move to block Galaxy sales

On Tuesday, Apple Inc. asked a U. S. district court to temporarily ban sales of the S III smartphone before its launch in the United States. The maker of the iPhone accused Samsung of infringing two Apple patents.

Judge criticizes both Microsoft and Motorola in patent case

Unless Microsoft and Motorola are able to come to a license agreement before Nov. 19, the two-year patent dispute will go to a jury trial.

Avoiding Subject Matter Problems but Creating Written Description Problems

U. S. Patent No. 8,196,213 issued this week to Microsoft and is directed to a method of verifying un-trusted code.

Dear Hollywood: The 'Stakeholders' For Copyright Policy Don't Fit In A Room

I'm tired of Hollywooders thinking IP policy "stakeholders" fit in a room & don't include the public.

Kobo launches e-book self-publishing platform, “Writing Life”

Unlike competitive self-publishing tools, Kobo allows authors to set their book price to “FREE” at any time without restrictive exclusive agreements, in addition Kobo pays 10% higher royalties on sales in many growing international markets and allows authors much more freedom on pricing.

Oracle sues to smash patent troll Lodsys

Oracle, it seems, is not one for irony. Right after an epic court fight with Google in which it was accused of abusing its intellectual property, the software maker is now trying to dissolve another company’s patents.

The Oracle v. Google aftermath

They all illustrate that the patent system is not working as well as it could be. There are problems with the quality of the patents being issued, there are problems with the potential for high damages. The patent examination is a one-sided process, without other people in the community weighing in.

***** Applications/Gadgets

Pwn Plug Software Release 1.1 Review

Earlier this month, the 1. 1 update hit for commercial Pwn Plug devices followed closely by the free community edition. As promised, this update modernizes and expands the existing Pwn Plug product into a much more capable and flexible tool, and adds some very interesting new features.

Your Cloud, Your Data, Your Way

It's a group or company file / contact / calendar sharing tool, which, from my point of view, makes best of both Dropbox and GroupOffice (except for email integration so far), and is not as cluttered or heavy as Alfresco or Sharepoint.

Facebook unveils Folly, a treasure trove of open-source C++ gold

The collection of reusable C++ library artifacts was developed in-house at Facebook to meet the needs of Facebook’s engineers. As they have done in the past with other open-source projects like Cassandra, HipHop, and Thrift, Facebook’s developers have now placed Folly into the realm of open-source software.

Parrot bets on Android winning in-car device market

Parrot, an upstart French technology company, is betting that drivers want their cars to be fitted with an all-in-one "infotainment" device based on Google's popular Android operating software to give hands-free control of its smartphone, radio, music and satellite navigation functions.

Rails Install and Deployment Get Easier with New OSS Tools

Developers around the world have flocked to Ruby on Rails for its simple-to-use framework. Now, a pair of open source efforts are aiming to make it easier to get started with Rails and to get Rails apps properly deployed.

Introducing the mintBox

The mintBox is a CompuLab fit-PC3 unit, with a green retro-lit Linux Mint logo, and 10% of each sale goes towards Linux Mint.

Holyspirit, Free and Open Source Diablo Like Action RPG for Linux

Holyspirit is a free and open source isometric hack'n'slash game inspired by action role playing game, Diablo. The game is being developed by French game studio Alpha Arts.

***** Reports

Is Linux Maturing as a Gaming Platform? Humble Thinks So...

Time will tell if Pitkin is correct, but given the move toward cross platform HTML5 based development availability of online games for Linux could well be a whole lot easier in the years ahead than it has been in years past.

IPv6 Creates Opportunity for Linux in Embedded Computing: A Case Study

“IPv6 is increasingly important in many industries—especially ours,” says Ferhat Cakrak, Software Development Team Manager at Compunetix. “But it’s not easy to implement in a proprietary OS. ”

Android Ice Cream Sandwich Expands Market Share in May

In its latest statistics on the market penetration of the various iterations of the Android mobile operating system, Google has revealed that Ice Cream Sandwich could now be found in up to 7. 1% of all Android devices.

MapR, HStreaming Hadoop Upgrades Open Big Data Horizons for Integration

MapR Technologies, a provider of distribution of Apache Hadoop, has taken several steps to enhance its open distribution for the Big Data technology.

Red Hat Debuts CloudForms for Cloud Management

Red Hat Cloud Computing At the heart of CloudForms are a number of open source projects that enable the multi-cloud access and control.

Samsung becomes Linux Foundation platinum member, takes a seat on board

The Linux Foundation will announce today that consumer electronics giant Samsung is becoming a platinum member of the organization, the highest tier of membership. This will give Samsung a seat on the foundation’s board of directors.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux's Biggest Cloud Rival: CentOS?

GigaOm claims some CSPs are balking at new Red Hat support fees. The popular media site suggests that some cloud services providers are closing their wallets and opting instead for CentOS.

IBM PowerLinux aims at Linux/x86 market

Coming off of its reported victory in the UNIX sector, where IBM's AIX purportedly has 52 percent of the market and growing, Big Blue is now shifting its attention to capturing a little bit more of the Linux/x86 market, according to Scott Handy, VP of IBM PowerLinux Strategy.

Ubuntu, CentOS, and SUSE Linux comes to Windows Azure

Now, Microsoft has announced that its Azure cloud will support persistent VMs which will enable users to run Linux distributions. These distros are: openSUSE 12. 1, CentOS 6. 2, Ubuntu 12. 04 and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 11 SP2.

Is OpenStack the new Linux?

OpenStack is an evolving mountain of Apache 2-licensed code billed as a "cloud operating system" for the data center.

Netflix delivers using commodity hardware and open source software

The Netflix Open Connect appliance is a rack mounted directed cache appliance that contains as much as 100 TB of Netflix content, limiting the need for the ISP to route traffic elsewhere on the Internet to service their customers Netflix streaming needs.

Ease Big Data Hiring Pain With Cascading

The Apache Hadoop software library is a framework that allows for the distributed processing of large data sets across clusters of computers using a simple programming model.

Gary Kovacs: Tracking the trackers

But just as the Internet has opened up the world for each and every one of us, it has also opened up each and every one of us to the world. And increasingly, the price we're being asked to pay for all of this connectedness is our privacy.

Bad news comes in threes for HTC this week

The HTC One phones are now shipping in the U. S. , but were delayed due to an ITC ruling based on HTC infringing on an Apple patent. The good news is that a software modification last month mitigated the issue enough to get phones delivered, but the bad news is that Apple feels HTC’s workaround isn’t enough.

Great Big Linux Does Great Big Science

Linux and FOSS are key players in science and research, and together they power the biggest research projects in the world. Here are four projects that show four different ways Linux is used in large-scale research.

Open Source Software Extends Robots Reach

The newly formed Open-Source Robotics Foundation (OSRF) wants to take robotics development into the future as fast as possible, and says it will support the development, distribution, and adoption of open-source software for use in robotics research, education, and product development.

Open source meets capitalism: Collaborate by competing

Today, TopCoder boasts a growing list of Fortune 500 and some of the largest tech companies as clients and a community base of nearly 250,000 members worldwide.

Majority of Open Source Azure Cloud Projects, Hosted on Github

According to the data, derived from Black Duck's knowledge based that collects data from the major open source repos, there are some 2,187 open source cloud projects. Amazon represents 44 percent of them, Azure 36 percent, Rackspace comes in at 13 percent and Force. com rounds out the list at 7 percent.

***** Snippets

GTK 3.6 will bring exciting improvements

Linux 3.5 rc1

LibreOffice Has Found its Rhythm

Download Firefox 13 for Linux With Speed Dial

Fedora 17 Enterprise Preview

2 cool features to expect in KDE 4.9

Tiny Core Linux 4.5.4 Is Available for Download

Snowlinux 2 With Cinnamon Has Been Released

Calibre in the Cloud

KDE Announces 4.9 Beta1 and Testing Initiative

Developing Weather Application using Dojo Mobile

Update safer with GNOME 3.6!

How to Install Diablo 3 on Linux

Mozilla Resets Firefox 13

Can Mozilla right the ship?

Xubuntu 12.04: upgrade, how it should be

The Perfect Desktop - Fedora 17

Trading Ubuntu for Chromebox Running Google Chrome OS

GNOME 3.5.2 first sights :p

7 More Heroes of Linux

Fedora Linux 18 Will Boot on UEFI Hardware with Microsoft's Help

Ubuntu 12.10 Alpha 1 Screenshot Tour

openSUSE Back on Track with 12.2 Beta 1

KDE SC 4.8.4 Is Now Available for Download

Where does Linux fit into a BYOD world?;content

29 new things this Google Summer of Code will bring to GNOME :)
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