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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 #455 Period ending 11 July 2012

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

In the last issue, the ACTA was on the rocks in the EU, now it seems to have succumbed - only, of course, until the next wave of treaties. There is a story about Cisco routers being upgraded then spying on their owners. In a world of automatic updates this is hardly remarkable, but the fact that it is a router seems to have upset many people. There is a lot of discussion about UEFI and Ubuntu's approach to it.

In the EU, there's a promising case on resale rights for software. Also, some scientists are claiming Linux played a role in the Higgs-like particle announcement from CERN.

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Off Topic

Facebook to Target Ads Based on App Usage

The company then targets ads based on that data, said people familiar with the company's plans.

Facebook Mimics Google With Underwater Cable To Asia

In buying a ticket with the Asia Pacific Gateway — the consortium that’s building the submarine cable — Facebook says it will be able to “provide a better user experience for a greater number of Facebook users in countries like India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Singapore. ”

Five years after the iPhone, carriers are the biggest threat to innovation

Instead of seeing the benefits of free competition at the consumer level, the carriers are now exerting more control than ever before as demand for mobile devices skyrockets.

IBM’s Augmented Reality App Exposes the Sugary Sins of Breakfast Cereal

To help combat eye-fatigue, IBM is developing an augmented reality shopping app that speeds up the process of determining whether a product meets a shopper’s ingredients criteria. And this unnamed app extends well beyond food.

Google and Smithsonian partner so visitors spend less time lost, more time learning

Google Maps has added 20 popular U. S. museums to its collection of over 10,000 indoor maps, including the de Young in San Francisco, 17 Smithsonian museums, and the National Zoo. The project entailed significant collaboration between the Smithsonian and Google.

Can a publisher use crowdfunding to replace ads?

I think we had assumed it wasn’t possible to do it that way anymore — to operate a site at this scale without advertising dollars — but it occurred to us that we’d never actually asked.

***** Government/Policy

FSF Criticises Ubuntu For Dropping Grub 2 For Secure Boot

FSF's John Sullivan writes that their main concern with Ubuntu's solution is the dropping of Grub 2, which is licenced under GNU GPLv3, in favour of another bootloader with a different license that lacks GPLv3's protections.

Megauploads, WikiLeaks and Independence Day

Megaupload, on the other hand, just might see the case against it dropped. New Zealand has started to question our case, as well as the process by which Dotcom’s assets were confiscated. If the case is dropped, it’ll be a victory for Internet freedom. However, if the U. S. manages to get him to court and prevail, a dangerous precedent will be set. The WikiLeaks case is even more chilling, and there is little doubt that the Justice Department or the military, whichever eventually tries him, will prevail.

Linux Gamers are fewer than too few

Reading the articles about Blizzard banning Linux users for using wine and not giving a refund made me think that the main problem once again, is the number of users using wine to play Diablo III.

Library statement on Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations

IFLA and the international library community urges Governments to take steps to prevent the negotiation of international IP standards behind closed doors, without an open and informed debate with all stakeholders.

Cisco’s cloud vision: Mandatory, monetized, and killed at their discretion

In a plot twist that could’ve been predicted by an eight-year old, users were enraged at having their routers stealth-updated, angry at being forced to register for a cloud service that provides no benefit whatsoever, concerned about privacy implications of the original Privacy Supplement, and unhappy at being initially told that there would be no way to roll back to the earlier firmware. Cisco has since retracted this and has provided a public link to the old firmware and a detailed guide on updating the router.

Will your Internet provider be spying on you?

This month, if everything goes according to schedule, your Internet service provider may begin monitoring your account, just to make sure you aren't doing anything wrong with it -- like sharing copyrighted movie or music files.

The Gates Foundation's Leveraged Philanthropy: Corporate Profit Versus Humanity on Three Fronts

Donor nations were shocked when UNICEF disclosed that it has been forced to pay artificially elevated prices for vaccines under an arrangement called the Advance Market Commitment, which was brokered by Gates Foundation-dominated GAVI alliance, to greatly increase drug company profits. Stakeholders also worry that industry reports of particular vaccine's effectiveness might be skewed by marketing goals.

VICTORY! ACTA Suffers Final, Humiliating Defeat In European Parliament

In a crushing 478-to-39 vote, the Parliament decided to reject ACTA once and for all. This means that the deceptive treaty is now dead globally.

Microsoft Class Action

A federal class action claims Microsoft breaches contract by barring customers from its subscription Xbox Live service if they have their hardware repaired by local tech people.

If you can’t fight City Hall, code for it

Code for America works with 26 fellows (applications end July 29), who take a year off to build applications for local governments.

Eben Moglen: Time To Apply The First Law Of Robotics To Our Smartphones

But now we’ve nearly reached that date. And according to free software pioneer, futurist and activist Eben Moglen, that fundamental law of robot ethics has yet to be coded into the most ubiquitous bots in our lives: our smartphones.

The next GPL: Why it's being shaped on GitHub

For reasons he's not yet explained, Fontana decided now was the time to create a non-FSF-sponsored revision of the GPL. Calling it GPL. next, he has created the project at the popular GitHub project hosting website. On the subject of naming, Fontana provides an interesting history lesson:

>From Tech to Toilet Paper, Berliner Tries to Live Completely Open Source for One Year

He'll need to change his camera too, because it shoots video in the H. 264 video codec, which is not an open source format.

The DRM graveyard part 2: A brief history of digital rights management in video and TV

A few months ago, we outlined a few of the major moments in the history of digital rights management (DRM) in the music industry. This time, we're talking about TV, video, and the events in the ongoing fight over copying. We're still calling it the "DRM graveyard"--but as you'll see, the failures that DRM has seen in the music world aren't quite yet as plentiful when it comes to video.

ACTA Lives: How the EU & Canada Are Using CETA as Backdoor Mechanism To Revive ACTA

According to recently leaked documents, the EU plans to use the Canada - EU Trade Agreement (CETA), which is nearing its final stages of negotiation, as a backdoor mechanism to implement the ACTA provisions.

Chinese Companies Again Using Patents To Punish Foreign Competitors: Apple Sued Over Siri

Of course, for years, we've been warning about just how stupid this is. China recognizes that patents are really a protectionist tool, and is using them as such. It has certainly increased its patenting effort. . . but nearly every single major patent lawsuit in China has been about punishing foreign companies and blocking competition to domestic Chinese companies.

Tech firms fear trade deal loss of freedom (NZ)

"These guys are getting very heavily lobbied by the US and very heavily lobbied by the US entertainment industry who seem to have a seat at the table through the US [Trade Representative]. "

PayPal sets down stricter regulations for file-sharing sites

The payment service, owned by eBay, now requires that "merchants must prohibit users from uploading files involving illegal content and indicate that users involved in such file transfers will be permanently removed from their service," and that "merchants must provide PayPal with free access to their service, so PayPal's Acceptable Use Policy department can monitor the content. "

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

Judgment of the Court: UsedSoft GmbH v. Oracle

Article 4(2) of Directive 2009/24/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the legal protection of computer programs must be interpreted as meaning that the right of distribution of a copy of a computer program is exhausted if the copyright holder who has authorised, even free of charge, the downloading of that copy from the internet onto a data carrier has also conferred, in return for payment of a fee intended to enable him to obtain a remuneration corresponding to the economic value of the copy of the work of which he is the proprietor, a right to use that copy for an unlimited period.

Why I still don't use Apple Products

The broken patent system and companies like Apple who abuse it are destroying our chances for creating the next great thing in tech on open platforms and standards.

High-level ITU talks address rampant patent litigation

However, the definition of what constitutes ‘reasonable’, and whether or not holders of SEPs are entitled to injunctive relief are now emerging as major points of contention.

Organic Farmers File Appeal Against Monsanto

They were forced to act pre-emptively to protect themselves from Monsanto’s abusive lawsuits, fearing that if GMO seed contaminates their property despite their efforts to prevent such contamination, Monsanto will sue them for patent infringement.

Samsung Wins Temporary Stay of Ban on Galaxy Nexus Smartphones

Samsung Electronics Co. can resume sales of its Galaxy Nexus smartphone at least until next week, a U. S. appeals court said today.

Yahoo and Facebook Strike Patent Peace Deal, Significantly Expanding Ad and Content Partnership

Executives at Yahoo and Facebook have completed an extensive strategic deal, as part of a final settlement of their contentious patent infringement lawsuit and countersuit.

Apple's Siri hit with infringement lawsuit in China

The company argues that the patent, which it filed for in August 2004 and was awarded in February 2006, is being violated by Apple's Siri.

Interview: Judge who shelved Apple trial says patent system out of sync

"It's not clear that we really need patents in most industries," he said.

U.S. Judge Allows Megaupload to Seek Dismissal but Not Access to Funds

The U. S. federal judge overseeing the case against Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has decided to allow his attorneys to argue for a motion to dismiss allegations against the company but also has decided for the moment against the unfreezing of assets to pay attorney costs.

HTC defeats Apple in swipe-to-unlock patent dispute

HTC is claiming victory in a patent dispute with Apple after a ruling by the High Court in London.

Scholarship Roundup: A Guide to the Legislative History of the America Invents Act

One of the challenges of working with the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act stems from its legislative history, which is scattered through more than five years of Congressional materials.

Apple says disagrees with Italy antitrust complaint

Apple Inc on Tuesday disputed an order by Italian regulators that the company must clearly offer a free two-year warranty on its electronics or face fines of 300,000 euros ($378,200) and possible temporary closure of its Italian operations.

Apple Pays US$60M for IPad Trademark in China

Apple has agreed to pay US$60 million for ownership of the iPad trademark in China, as part of a settlement with a little-known Chinese firm called Proview that had tried to ban sales of the tablet in the country, according to a local court.

How Big Music Threatened Startups and Killed Innovation

An unprecedented new report has detailed how the destruction of Napster chilled a decade’s worth of innovation in the music industry. Through interviews with 31 CEOs, company founders, and VPs who operated in digital music during the period, we hear how Big Music collapsed startups, turned down ‘blank check’ deals, and personally threatened innovators with ruination for both them and their families.

Microsoft claims collecting royalties on 70% of all Android devices

Aluratek and Coby Electronics are the latest companies to be added to Microsoft’s ever growing patent-licensing list, with Microsoft saying that it now collects royalties on 70% of Android-based devices.

Federal Circuit Rules Computer-Related Claims to be Patentable Subject Matter

The district court ruled that certain system, method, and media claims were not dircted to patentable subject matter under § 101 of the Patent Act. A split panel of the Federal Circuit reversed.

Op-ed: MPAA/RIAA lose big as US backs copyright "limitations"

Indeed, given all this, the incredible thing is that this is, as USTR acknowledges, the first time USTR has included any explicit reference to limitations and exceptions.

Samsung tablet not 'cool' says UK judge

In a statement Samsung welcomed the ruling and added: "Should Apple continue to make excessive legal claims in other countries based on such generic designs, innovation in the industry could be harmed and consumer choice unduly limited. "

Watch out, Apple: HTC ruling could hurt your patent income

"Apple might conclude that it would be better to extract a lower licensing fee from some of their competitors rather than risk further findings that their technology falls short of the patentable standards. "

New Post Grant Patent Trials To Derail Parallel ITC Actions?

The new post grant patent trials of the America Invents Act (AIA) are designed to provide a true alternative to patent litigation.

CLS Bank v. Alice: The "Nothing More Than" Limitation on Abstract Ideas

Unlike other recent opinions involving questions of patent eligible subject matter that have approached the issue in a relatively narrow, case-specific manner, here the majority implements a sweeping rule with significant implications for future cases - a

Senate Holds Hearing on "Standards Essential Patents"

If that patent is essential for implementing a standard that is, in turn, essential to performing the device's function, then you've effectively barred its competitor from being a competitor at all - at least in the U. S.

***** Applications/Gadgets

GWoffice Brings Google Drive To Your Ubuntu Desktop

GWoffice (Google Web Office) is an application that integrates Google Docs (now Google Drive) with the Ubuntu desktop, providing basic synchronization support for offline use. From its interface you can create new documents and edit or download existing documents.

Open Source Code Detection For Cut and Paste Carelessness

Open source development shops looking to tighten up license and copyright compliance in commercial deployment environments now have a new free source code scanner option in the form of JNinka from White Source.

Announcing Ouya: The Affordable Android App Games Console

According to its collective creators, the Ouya is “built to be hacked” with a dev kit thrown in with every box sold to help that along, allowing any developer to publish apps and thereby creating one huge free app gaming eco-system.

Galaxy Nexus no longer available to purchase from Google Play website, will return next week

The company wouldn't get into specifics about why sales stopped, or whether new devices will include a patch that works around the court's preliminary ban, but they will indeed have the new Android 4. 1 update.

Google's Nexus 7 tablet infringes Nokia patents

Google Nexus 7 Announced last week, the Asus built Nexus 7 is Google's first own-brand tablet and boasts Android 4. 1 Jelly Bean, a quad-core processor and a mere £159 SIM free price tag. However, Nokia has alleged that it is not licensed for certain Nokia patents.

Like Open Source? For Collaboration, Try Group-Office 4.0

An improved file upload component has been added as well, as have synchronization photo support, synchronization of multiple calendars, and enhancements to the optional billing module that let it create invoices, quotes, and orders in OpenOffice as well as Microsoft Word, and allow it to handle both purchase orders and stock.

First Peek at LibreOffice Android port Prototype

The news of LibreOffice’s new avatars for Android and iOS is indeed heartening as is the news of the creation of an online edition for LibreOffice applications via HTML 5.

Cuckoo Sandbox: Open source malware analysis

Cuckoo Sandbox is an open source automated malware analysis system. It started as a Google Summer of Code 2010 project with The Honeynet Project and evolved into being one of the most appreciated and popular open source sandbox solutions.

Csync2 a filesystem syncronization tool for Linux

Csync2 is a tool for asynchronous file synchronization in clusters. It can be used to keep files on multiple hosts in a cluster in sync. Csync2 can handle complex setups with much more than just 2 hosts, handle file deletions and can detect conflicts.

OUYA $99 Open Source Gaming Console Blows Up on Kickstarter By Saying 'Hack Me, Please!'

Under the heading, “Hackers welcome,” OUYA invites the jailbreakers in, “Have at it: It’s easy to root (and rooting won’t void your warranty). Everything opens with standard screws. Hardware hackers can create their own peripherals, and connect via USB or Bluetooth. You want our hardware design? Let us know. We might just give it to you. Surprise us!” Right up front, they have de-criminalized hardware hacking.

***** Reports

Firefox OS smartphones due 2013 as Mozilla reveals partners

Mozilla has officially named its “Boot to Gecko” mobile platform, which will now be known as Firefox OS, and has signed up a clutch of carriers who have promised to back the new smartphone competitor. Deutsche Telekom, Etisalat, Smart, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telefonica and Telenor have all jumped on board with the HTML5-based OS, while ZTE and Alcatel One Touch will both be creating devices expected to launch in early 2013.

One day, three deals, $150 million in open source funding

So, a big couple of days for open source investment. Usually these kind of things come in waves, so we will wait to see if any other deals come over the wire next.

Tux and the God Particle,0,475994.story

Linux is getting some credit from at least one CERN staff member for its participation in the tentatively successful find of the Higgs Boson particle this week.

Security Researchers Backtrack on Android Malware Claim

A Google spokesman earlier Thursday issued a statement disputing Mr. Zink’s claim of spam generated from Android phones: “The evidence we’ve examined does not support the Android botnet claim. Our analysis so far suggests that spammers are using infected computers and a fake mobile signature to try to bypass anti-spam mechanisms in the email platform they’re using. We’re continuing to investigate the details. ”

FLOSS Manuals Fee-based Online Books Complement Free Ones

FLOSS Manuals provides free online guides to many open source applications, including this one on Mozilla's powerful Thunderbird email client. If you choose, you can also learn to use Thunderbird through FLOSS Manuals' step-by-step workbook, available here. The workbook consists of a series of educational challenges designed to teach you essential Thunderbird skills.

Red Hat's OpenStack Plans Revealed

Linux vendor Red Hat wasn't an early adopter of the open source OpenStack cloud project. That has changed this year, as Red Hat has fully embraced OpenStack and is now rapidly moving forward on building a commercially supported implementation.

4 Fine Linux ARM Distros

So, in classic Linux fashion, vendors and developers banded together and coordinated and consolidated their efforts, formed the Linaro non-profit engineering organization, and performed a sizable cleanup of redundant and bad code.

Ex-Nokia staff to build MeeGo-based smartphones

According to its LinkedIn page, Jolla consists of "directors and core professionals from Nokia’s MeeGo N9 organization, together with some of the best minds working on MeeGo in the communities. "

Thunderbird: Stability and Community Innovation

Much of Mozilla’s leadership — including that of the Thunderbird team — has come to the conclusion that on-going stability is the most important thing, and that continued innovation in Thunderbird is not a priority for Mozilla’s product efforts.

Introducing the ARM 64-bit Architecture

ARM announced a few days ago, on July 6th, that they posted a set of Linux kernel patches, implementing support for the AArch64 architecture, also known as the ARM 64-bit architecture.

Google releases Android 4.1 source code

Android 4. 1, which the Web giant unveiled last month at the Google I/O developers conference, features a more responsive user interface, better voice transcription, overhauled search, and a major new feature called Google Now that tries to anticipate what a person needs to know at any given moment.

Hardware back in vogue in Silicon Valley

But lately, Casey has noticed a renewed appreciation for nuts and bolts. Silicon Valley is interested in hardware again, and Casey is riding the trend.

Google's Chrome OS Has a Future on Dual-Boot Systems, Starting Now

Chromebooks running Chrome OS have started to gain some traction in schools, and some people are doing what we predicted would happen in the first place: They are loading their favorite Linux distributions alongside Chrome OS on their Chromebooks.

A Linux computer for grandpa and grandma

The company explained, “The WOW! Computer runs on a Linux operating system we’ve customized to support our touch screen capabilities. We chose Linux to avoid frequent problems with viruses and to provide a more secure, problem-free computer environment. ”

***** Snippets

Keeping Kernels Open

Fedora 17 Officially Released for IBM System z 64-bit

WordPress 3.4 Update

Sabayon 9: One Linux Distro, Three Desktop Flavors

The Rapidly Changing Desktop

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean SDK is out now, what you need to know

Linux 3.5 rc5

Bring Back Ubuntu’s Old Menu With ClassicMenu Applet

HP Moving from Unix Itanium to x86 Odyssey on Linux

Grab VLC Player For Your Android!

Zorin OS 6 - One small step for Windows converts

Fuduntu 2012.3 Release

Staging and production release deployment with Git using Capistrano

Dru Lavigne talks about FreeBSD | Interview

Wine development release 1.5.8 is now available

Why Google and Ubuntu don't say 'Linux'

GNOME 3.5.3 Development Release Is Here

Help Mandriva choose a name for its community distribution

Instant WebKiosk, a new browser-only operating system based on Debian

Mageia: A Linux Distro on the Rise

The Future of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7

Android is Not a Single OS

Desktop Matchmaking in Linux Land

Calculate Linux 12 Beta Released, Includes GIMP 2.8

Public Art with Augmented Reality and Blender

Transmission 2.60 Has Been Officially Released

Interview: Sebastiaan Matht talks about Psychological experiments with OpenSesame

First Instance of iOS App Store Malware Detected, Removed

Google+ Hangouts gets live captions for the hearing impaired

Android Director: ‘We Have the Most Accurate, Conversational, Synthesized Voice in the World’

Ubuntu Still Aims For Wayland System Compositor

Android Trojan leaves 100,000 users out of pocket

Linux 3.5 rc6

Why Gnome denies Theming and the new Tweak Tool

Tiny Core Linux 4.5.6 Is Available for Download

Mandriva for Desktop, Mageia for Servers

Doudou 1.2: A Linux 4 Kids | Review

OS4 12.5 Is Powered by Linux Kernel 3.2

Apache Nutch 2.0 indexes at web scale

5 ways to use Puppy Linux
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