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 #463 Period ending 4 September 2012

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

Still more on the Apple decision in the US. I have included a recent Japanese case (in favour of Samsung) under the general Apple heading, but have separated out the "gee patent law needs to change" articles. Despite the slap-you-in-the-face obvious poor public reaction to the Apple decision and the repeated judicial restrictions on the scope of software patents from the US Supreme Court over the past couple of years the NZ Government has apparently gone soft on their rejection of software patents after being lobbied. One article describes it as being thrown under a bus. You might think NZ would learn from others' mistakes rather than repeating them, but governance is not always a demonstration of rationality.

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Off Topic

The Sweetness Of The Open Source Pop Star

Gotye worked through a pile of original videos (links displayed below) and made his own quirky version of the song from remixed and overlayed bits of his fans’ versions, to produce “Somebodies,” (see above. ) “All audio and video in Somebodies is from the YouTube user videos featured, each of them a cover or parody of Somebody That I Used To Know.

Original Apple 1 Headed to Auction,2817,2409094,00.asp

The retro computer, which comes from the estate of former Apple employee Joe Copson, is expected to fetch around $127,000 when it hits the auction block this fall.

High-Res Interactive Panorama Lets You Stand on Mars With Curiosity

Best viewed in full-screen mode, the interactive panorama is adjusted to show how the Martian surface would appear if lit under Earth-like brightness and colors.

***** Government/Policy

Digital IPA: The QR-Packing Open Source Beer

Digital IPA, from New Zealand’s Yeastie Boys brewers, is designed to keep the customer engaged in the beer making process. It features QR codes on the label which allow smartphone enabled drinkers to connect and talk about the beer on various social networking sites, and download the recipe so they can try to make their own version. Over time, variations of the recipe can make their way back upstream to the Yeastie Boys, improving the brew for everyone.

IBM and MS deciding New Zealand legislation

Details of the 8 June meeting only emerged when lawyer Steve Lundberg accidentally posted a confidential meeting summary on his blog. Lundberg quickly deleted the blog entry, but the content was preserved in Google's cache. ^ The emails were then published by the government in response to a request by Peter Harrison (of NZOSS) under the Official Information Act.

Software Patents: Thrown Under A Bus [New Zealand]

With the removal of the explicit software patent exclusion, and the addition of two tiny words, "as such", the Commerce Minister, Craig Foss, has more or less thrown kiwi software developers under a bus.

How Do You Define Open Source? #LinuxCon

Apparently that's enough. Fontana has some criticisms of the OSI, an organization that is now undergoing a period of transition. Fontana like the Free Software Foundation (FSF) approach to understanding and labelling open software. "Institutions should be providing rationale for how they reach a decision on what is and isn't open," Fontana said.

Russia Yanks Google From Android Tablets

If you're not happy with your Android phone or tablet collecting your data and sending it to Google, you're not alone. The Russian defense ministry announced a stripped-down and encrypted version of Google's operating ssytem, destined for government and military devices, will also be on sale to the public.

California Passes First Open Source Textbook Legislation

The legislation creates a competitive “Request for Proposals” (RFP) process inviting faculty, publishers, and others to develop high quality digital open source textbooks and related courseware. The materials would be placed under a “Creative Commons” licensing structure that would not only allow students and faculty free access, but would also allow instructors to create customized materials from the textbooks and other courseware. To ensure the materials meet the rigorous standards of college core curricula, all material would be reviewed and approved by subject matter experts.

How copyright enforcement robots killed the Hugo Awards

Last night, robots shut down the live broadcast of one of science fiction's most prestigious award ceremonies. No, you're not reading a science fiction story. In the middle of the annual Hugo Awards event at Worldcon, which thousands of people tuned into via video streaming service Ustream, the feed cut off — just as Neil Gaiman was giving an acceptance speech for his Doctor Who script, "The Doctor's Wife. " Where Gaiman's face had been were the words, "Worldcon banned due to copyright infringement. " What the hell?

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

NZ court allows Kim Dotcom to take out $4.8 million in loans for legal bills

On Wednesday, the New Zealand High Court ruled that Kim Dotcom, the founder of Megaupload, will be allowed to take out a $4. 8 million loan to pay the corporation’s legal bills and rent on Dotcom's mansion.

Patent Law Needs Update in Age of Apple

Whether Samsung actually copied seven features of the Apple iPhone is hardly in doubt: Its devices replicate the iPhone from the exterior casing down to the color of application icons on the home screen. What is in doubt is whether such copying is something courts should prevent.

HTC has no intentions to settle with Apple, says company chairperson

Apple's iOS and Google's Android have been fighting a patent war. HTC's patent lawsuits with Apple have been a center of attention as well. Wang noted that HTC has great skills in innovation and has the confidence to face legal lawsuits with Apple. Samsung's loss, added Wang, does not mean the failure of the entire Google Android ecosystem.

Joint Infringement: Federal Circuit Changes the Law of Inducement

Rather, the court now holds that the underlying direct "infringement" of a process claim can still lead to inducement liability so long as all of the steps of the method were actually performed. "[I]t is no longer necessary to prove that all the steps were committed by a single entity. "

Apple Escapes Liability for its Cover-Flow & Spotlight OS Features: More on Inducement

In the present case of Mirror v. Apple, an E. D. Texas jury found Apple liable for infringing several of Mirror's patents and awarded over $600 million in damages. However, on motion from Apple, district court Judge Davis set aside the jury verdict and instead entered a judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) in Apple's favor – concluding that the patentee had failed to provide sufficient evidence of infringement.

***** Applications/Gadgets

PC-in-a-Keyboard Comes with Ubuntu Linux Preloaded

Packing a full-fledged PC into the case of a keyboard, the new U310 sells for as little as $239 and comes with Ubuntu Linux preloaded.

Diaspora Is Now Community Property: It Was Never Supposed to Be a Startup

Earlier this month, Diaspora cofounder Max Salzberg told Betabeat that the team would turn away from the highly-anticipated, but daunting enterprise of building the anti-Facebook and instead devote its “main focus” towards Makr. io: a photo remixing tool that makes sharing and creating image macros more social.

Samsung Unveils New Pen-Equipped Phone to Defend Lead on Apple

Samsung Electronics Co. unveiled a new version of the pen-equipped Galaxy Note device as the world’s top smartphone seller seeks to defend its lead over Apple Inc. amid global patent disputes with the iPhone maker.

Amazon serves up Glacier: Slow moving storage for backup and archives

Amazon has added a new cloud offering dubbed Glacier, where for less than a penny per gigabyte per month users can store files that aren’t accessed very often. The new product could put the hurt on backup and recovery offerings from other vendors.

***** Reports

Can Android Revolutionize Spacecraft Design?

The project, known as PhoneSat, will see the Android powered Nexus One and Nexus S phones command their very own small scale spacecraft this year in a first of its kind research mission.

Is Twitter open source-washing its image?

The timing for joining the Linux Foundation seems rather suspect--observers have already called Twitter on trying to spin the negative response it received when the company announced the changes to version 1. 1 of the Twitter API on August 16.

Can Open Source Hardware Companies Survive Clones?

He aims to sell it at $1,299 for a dual extruder model (so you can print in two colors simultaneously). Compare this to $1,999 for a dual-extruder MakerBot. Strong will find his savings by manufacturing in bulk in China, something MakerBot has thus far avoided.

LinuxCon and the Promise of CloudOpen

The fourth annual LinuxCon conference is getting underway this week here in Sunny San Diego. Over the last four years, LinuxCon USA has emerged as one of the preeminent Linux events on Earth, bringing together the best and brightest in a weeklong Linux love-in.

F-Droid: The Android Market That Respects Your Rights

Enter F-Droid, an application repository for Android featuring only free and open source software.

How Apple killed the Linux desktop

Some might blame the slow progress of desktop Linux on the fragmentation of the desktop user interfaces used by the major Linux distributions.

MongoDB gets richer query commands

Overall, this release -- the first major one since MongoDB 2. 0 a year ago -- has gotten 600 new tweaks.

Look out, world! SUSE Linux's OpenStack control-freak is loose

The OpenStack Essex release is arguably the first variant of the cloud control-freak that is ready for prime-time, and that is why both Hewlett-Packard and Dell are building clouds based on it and why Red Hat has just announced a preview of its own OpenStack roll-up this month.

Android users finally buying paid apps

The theory that Android smartphone users don't buy apps is wrong, according to new data that shows 93 per cent of Android phone owners are buying apps rather than just downloading free ones.

Apple, Microsoft, VMware: Everyone's building open-source software

Why is it important for businesses to master open source? Zemlin said it's because “Software is the future of IT. Hardware is important to enable software, but what I mean that the value that end-users sees from technology increasingly comes from the software. ”

Huawei demonstrates custom "Emotion UI" for Android

Huawei says that it designed the interface based on customer feedback and a desire to improve human interaction with technology. The core theme is to "Design with Empathy" for the user.

Galaxy S III Sales Spike After Patent Verdict

According to a survey of 16 retailers conducted by Trip Chowdhry, the managing director for equity research at Global Equities, two Costco stores were sold out of Galaxy S III phones that run on the AT&T and T-Mobile networks, another sold out all its AT&T models and two out of three Sprint stores were sold out.

Ho ho ho! Apple's Samsung ban bid pushed back to Christmas

US Judge Lucy Koh has postponed any decision to permanently ban sales of Samsung's mobiles until 6 December - just in time for the Christmas rush. The request to remove Sammy's gear from shop shelves came from Apple, which had just trounced its tech rival in their ongoing epic patent lawsuit.

Friend and foe; Samsung, Apple won't want to damage parts deal

"Apple needs Samsung to make the iPhone and iPad. Period. Samsung is the sole supplier of Apple's processing chips and without Samsung, they can't make these products," said James Song, an analyst at KDB Daewoo Securities in Seoul. "Samsung might be considering lots of options to leverage its components business' importance and pressure Apple, and Apple could be also well aware of this. "

If Linus Torvalds Got Hit By a Bus Would Linux Die? #Linuxcon

"What if Linus gets hit by a bus?" "I always have the same answer to that question," Torvalds said. "I won't care. "

Canonical thrusts Ubuntu towards the cloud #Linuxcon

Ubuntu developer Canonical is making a push to establish itself as a force in the Linux server and cloud computing markets.

The dead reanimates as HP ships Open webOS beta

As promised, HP has shipped the beta release of Open webOS, the open source version of the web standards–based webOS mobile platform that was the last hurrah of the former Palm before HP absorbed it in 2010.

Oracle CIO: Linux is Fundamental

"Linux is our platform of choice across a wide variety of services," Sunday said. "It is how we build products and how we provide services to our customers. "

How to Put the E in Enterprise Linux #LinuxCon

Burke said that the difference between Unix and Linux is that Linux enables user innovation, and provides freedom from vendor lock-in.

Beer brings people together: Obama, homebrewers, and online communities

Last Wednesday, open source homebrewing got a lot of press. In an impromptu AMA (ask me anything) on Reddit, President Obama answered 10 questions that users asked. One of the Redditors asked about the recipe for the homebrewed White House Honey Ale. The president replied, "It will be out soon! I can tell from first hand experience, it is tasty. "

Android phone makers back platform but consider other options

Some phone makers are quietly exploring alternatives to the Android operating system implicated in the Samsung-Apple ruling, industry watchers say, despite their public pronouncements they are sticking with the technology.

China search provider Baidu launches full-fledged Android browser, invests in the cloud

Already holding a dominating lead in desktop search, China's Baidu today continued its push to extend that advantage into mobile with the launch of a web browser that runs on the company's forked Android OS.

Op Ed: Apple-Samsung patent fight: Fuzzy math,0,3981673.story,0,6151229.story

***** Snippets

ownCloud: The cloud sharing service you control

Open source is not limited to software

Linux Mint 13 - Everybody's mate?

Linux Kernel 3.5.3 Is Available for Download

Gnome 3.8: Fallback Mode - The first feature under discussion

Seven Reasons for Choosing LibreOffice over Microsoft Office

Ubuntu One Added to Thunderbird 15 Filelink

Firefox 15 Accelerates Browsing for Desktop, Phones and Tablets

GNOMEbuntu Will Be Released on October 18th

Linux Mint 13 with a hint of Cinnamon

Open source Java projects: GitHub

Canonical Drops Alternate CDs from Ubuntu 12.10

Gnome Games heading towards 3.6

RPG ‘Sacred Gold’ Arrives on Ubuntu

Open Source in Action: LinuxCon 2012

Is open source cloud computing too cloudy?

Xfce 4.10, the Sane Linux Desktop

Introducing Ubuntu GNOME Remix 12.10

Linus Torvalds on the Linux desktop's popularity problems

SolusOS 1.2 Legacy Features Firefox 15

Linux Mint 13 Cinnamon: Not Quite There Yet

The truth about Goobuntu: Google's in-house desktop Ubuntu Linux
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