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 #466 Period ending 2 October 2012

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

Quite a lot of off topic stories which seemed interesting enough to include, including googls "street view" for the Great Barrier Reef. Samsung is appealing the Apple v Samsung decision - unfortunately there are also a myriad of not-that-interesting-but-still-relevant patent suit related stories.

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Open Standards/ODF

Openness is Alive and Well (and Living in Europe)

The conversation set me thinking about how much of the energy that had surrounded open standards back then has faded from view in the U. S. That’s not the case in Europe, though, where the promise of openness in all things IT-related, including in open standards, remains a hot topic. Only a few weeks ago, for example, the EU Parliament voted to amend its regulations relating to the use of open standards, and these regulations will flow through to the member states as of January 1 of next year.

***** Off Topic

Apple's Feud With Google Is Now Felt on iPhone

In the latest version of Apple’s iPhone software, which became available Wednesday, Apple removed two mainstay apps, both Google products — Maps and YouTube.

7 Retailers Settle with FTC, Agree to Stop Spying on Up to 400,000 Computer Rental Customers

An FTC complaint earlier this year said the software could be used by retailers to track the geophysical location of rent-to-own computer users, to monitor their online activities and obtain passwords to social media and bank account sites and to photograph individuals near the computer. Several were captured on camera in sexual activities or only partially dressed, according to news reports.

Google releases 'underwater street view' of Great Barrier Reef, more

“Whether you’re a marine biologist, an avid scuba diver or a landlocked landlubber, we encourage you to dive in and explore the ocean with Google Maps,” wrote Brian McClendon, vice president of Google Maps and Earth, in a blog post unveiling the new feature.

Autonomous Vehicles Now Legal in California

California is now the third state to enact autonomous vehicle legislation, following another Google-championed bill that passed in Nevada last February, as well as a Florida law that was approved earlier this year.

Open source militants install Linux on Congressional PC

The burglars just installed Linux on the hard-drive of the server running his campaign. Grimm moaned that the terrorists had wiped the hard-drive because the party which thinks it is a pretty neat idea to open windows on planes thinks that you have wiped the hard-drive if you install Linux on a server.

Evil social networks

So the ideal social network (from an investor's point of view) is one that presents itself as being free-to-use, is highly addictive, uses you as bait to trap your friends, tracks you everywhere you go on the internet, sells your personal information to the highest bidder, and is impossible to opt out of.

Wikimedia U.K. faces ethics probe, funding squeeze

The Wikimedia Foundation is the organization that funds Wikipedia. Here's how it works: Countries are broken into individual chapters. Each chapter, like Wikimedia U. K. , is a charitable, not-for-profit foundation that must adhere to its country's laws for charity status, and must adhere to the Wikimedia Foundation's rules in exchange for using the Wikimedia name and its brand benefits, among other things.

Think We're the Most Entrepreneurial Country In the World? Not So Fast

There isn't a whole lot in common between the countries that outperform us. Sweden is a wintery, socialist wonderland. Brazil is the growth powerhouse of the tropics. Israel has a giant public sector, but prides itself on its tech scene. Italy and Spain are the Latinate basket-cases that might bring down the euro. All told, it's hard to draw any overarching conclusions about why all these places finish ahead of the U. S.

Scientists ask for legal safeguards to keep their work out of court

Recently, both private companies with a vested interest in discounting the results, and private groups with a political axe to grind have attempted to use the courts to get access to that material.

Apple dooms itself [was: The iPhone 5's A6 Chip Could Be Apple's Sweetest Revenge Against Samsung]

[In a case of history repeating itself Apple bets it can do a chip better on its own than the rest of the world.]

***** Government/Policy

Open Sourcer miffed by Raspberry Pi

He said that the Pi is based on the ARM chip, which apparently has closed documentation. It seems every kid in school needs to read documentation to write code and keep track of their pencils. “ARM includes extensions for running Java applications codenamed Jazelle, and the lack of documentation for these extensions prevents any open-source Java VMs from using them and also gives ARM absolute control over the market of JVMs used on ARM processors,”

File-Sharing for Personal Use Declared Legal in Portugal

Contrary to what the anti-piracy group had hoped for, the 2,000 IP-addresses will not be taken to court. Worse for ACAPOR, the prosecutor goes even further by ruling that file-sharing for personal use is not against the law.

Schmidt raps Apple for patent trolling

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt made it clear Thursday that he is against patent wars in the mobile phone industry, expressing his frustration with Apple’s recent move to file a myriad of legal attacks against users of the Android operating system (OS), including Samsung Electronics.

EU regulators set to charge Microsoft over breached deal

U. S. -based Microsoft's more than decade-long battle with the European Commission has already landed it with fines totaling more than a billion euros ($1. 28 billion).

EU Officials Propose Internet Cops On Patrol, No Anonymity & No Obscure Languages (Terrorism

The promise to defend the rule of law has been abandoned. There appears never to have been a plan to identify a specific problem to be solved – instead the initiative has become little more than a protection racket (use filtering or be held liable for terrorist offences) for the online security industry.

Former Copyright Boss: New Technology Should Be Presumed Illegal Until Congress Says Otherwise

However, according to the former Register of Copyrights, Ralph Oman, under copyright law, any new technology should have to apply to Congress for approval and a review to make sure they don't upset the apple cart of copyright, before they're allowed to exist. I'm not joking. Mr. Oman, who was the Register of Copyright from 1985 to 1993 and was heavily involved in a variety of copyright issues, has filed an amicus brief in the Aereo case (pdf).

Government support of open source falls short

But when it comes to legal support, both stop short of advocating real open innovation.

How a rogue appeals court wrecked the patent system

No institution is more responsible for the recent explosion of patent litigation in the software industry, the rise of patent trolls, and the proliferation of patent thickets than the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

David Bismark: E-voting without fraud

Well unfortunately, power corrupts, and so people will do lots of things to get power and to stay in power, including doing bad things to elections. You see, even if the idea of the election is perfect, running a countrywide election is a big project, and big projects are messy. Whenever there is an election, it seems like something always goes wrong, someone tries to cheat, or something goes accidentally awry -- a ballot box goes missing here, chads are left hanging over here.

Net Threat: The Dangers From Global Web Regulation

A grave threat to the Internet as we know it has emerged as part of well-intentioned, but fatally flawed proposals to update an international telecommunications treaty.

Dotcom saga rebounds on Key Government (NZ)

Despite the resulting over-the-top swoop on Dotcom's mansion, featuring armed police and helicopters, Dotcom presented no threat. However, indignant at his treatment, the 39-year-old German tech mogul has since exacted his revenge on Government figures and top public servants.

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

What to do about the "patent troll" problem

A new report titled An Overview of the "Patent Trolls" Debate [PDF] is a balanced but ultimately devastating indictment of "patent trolls. " It was prepared by the Congressional Research Service for members of Congress, who could actually do something about the "troll" problem. It's a useful primer for those new to the area.

Google obeys Brazilian court order, blocks YouTube political video

The legal challenges underscore broader questions about Google's responsibility for content uploaded by third parties to its websites, including an anti-Islam video that sparked a wave of protests and violence in the Muslim world.

Appellate Review of Patent Claim Construction: The Reality and Wisdom of a “Mongrel” Standard

While the Supreme Court’s Markman decision usefully removed claim construction from the black box of jury deliberations notwithstanding its "mongrel" (mixed fact/law) character, the Federal Circuit’s adherence to the view that claim construction is a pure question of law subject to de novo appellate review produced an unusually high reversal rate.

'Innocence of Muslims' Actress Files Bigger Lawsuit in Federal Court

She wants to prove that actors are entitled to a piece of the copyright when "authoring" their performances on film. Further, she continues to fight YouTube, this time asserting that the video-sharing giant cannot lean on the safe harbor provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act because it failed to expeditiously remove the video at the behest of a copyright owner -- namely, her.

Go Daddy patents “announcing a domain name registration on a social website”

U. S. patent number 8,276,057 (pdf) describes a way in which a domain name registrar account could be connected to a social network such as Facebook.

Apple seeks patent for Siri automated assistant

The company's extensive 51-page application with the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office is entitled "Intelligent Automated Assistant. " The patent application continuation, discovered this week by AppleInsider, describes a system that "engages with the user in an integrated, conversational manner using natural dialog, and invokes external services when appropriate to obtain information or perform various actions. "

Apple vs. Samsung - This Time It’s Jury Conduct & Frivolous Suits|home|newslist2

It seems the jury foreman, Velvin Hogan, holds his own patent and may have shared his knowledge with other jurors. This would have introduced information not presented as part of the trial which would violate jury rules.

Amazon seeks to throw out Apple "app store" advertising claim

Amazon added that even Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook and his predecessor Steve Jobs have used the term to discuss rivals, with Cook having commented on "the number of app stores out there" and Jobs referring to the "four app stores on Android. "

LG Display Files Patent Suit Against Samsung

LG Display Co. said it filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against its biggest rival, Samsung Electronics Co. , in a South Korea court over the use of advanced OLED displays in smartphones and tablet computers.

NZ PM apologises to Dotcom for spy bungle

"I'm pretty appalled by what I've seen. The organisation should be able to get this right," Key told reporters. "Of course I apologise to Mr Dotcom. I apologise to New Zealand. "

Even Toys"R"Us can't release a tablet without getting sued

ven Toys"R"Us decided it had to make a tablet of its own, recently making the Tabeo 7 inch Kids Tablet available for preorder at the sub-Kindle Fire price of $149. 99. But Toys"R"Us is now facing the same problem as just about every other tablet maker—it's being accused of ripping off another company's intellectual property.

Righthaven foe says cases are key to free speech

They successfully argued that Righthaven accumulated newspaper copyrights strictly to file lawsuits. That’s not allowed under copyright law. The judges also found that some defendants were protected by fair use, which allows people to use copyrighted material within certain limits.

REO Speedwagon, Boz Scaggs Sue Sony Music (Exclusive)

A 2010 decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that suggested digital downloads should be treated as "licenses" has emboldened many artists to seek a greater cut.

Motorola and Samsung beat Apple (in Mannheim court) [Spanish]

Samsung wins reconsideration of Galaxy Tab sales ban

A U. S. appeals court ruled on Friday that a lower court should reconsider a sales ban against Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10. 1 won by Apple in a patent dispute with the South Korean electronics maker.

Apple battles to avoid embarrassing ads admitting Samsung did not copy iPad

Apple has launched a bid to overturn a High Court judgment that orders it to run embarrassing national newspaper adverts admitting that Samsung did not unlawfully copy the design of the iPad.

Royalty ruckus scuttled iPhone 5 music streaming

Sony/ATV, the world’s largest music publisher, and Apple couldn’t agree on a per-song rights fee, sources close to the situation said. Those rights are usually tenths of a penny per stream, sources said. Sony/ATV was looking for a higher rate. At the same time, Sony/ATV is about to set the musicstreaming sector on its ear as it will pull out of the two main copyright associations, Ascap and BMI, in January, executives close to the matter said.

The Case for Abolishing Patents (Yes, All of Them)

That's the striking suggestion from a Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis working paper by Michele Boldrin and David Levine, professors at Washington University in St. Louis who argue that any patent system, no matter how well conceived, is bound to devolve into the kind of quagmire we're dealing with today.

Motorola Mobility Loses Appeal in Microsoft Xbox Lawsuit

Google’s Inc. ’s Motorola Mobility can’t enforce a German court order preventing Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) from selling its Xbox gaming software in Germany, a U. S. appeals court ruled.

Apple Inc. Loses Ruling in China Against Publisher of Encyclopedia

A Chinese court made a decision against Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in a court ruling, citing that the Cupertino based company has sold illegal digital copies of encyclopedia owned by a Chinese Publishing House.

The six million dollar fair use standard

We can no longer preserve the illusion that all this was about was to provide some certainty about fair use for digital course content. The publishers spent 6 million and now could walk away with a workable, if unpopular, standard. Instead the battle against universities and higher education will continue. How sad.

Do patent and copyright law restrict competition and creativity excessively? Posner

I am concerned that both patent and copyright protection, though particularly the former, may be excessive.

Download 'pirates' face jail under new Japanese law

The new law is a victory for the recording industry's global fight against online piracy, which has seen setbacks in the U. S. and European Union where the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), respectively, has run afoul of the public, which fears it will curb online freedom and privacy.

***** Applications/Gadgets

Cotton Candy Tiny Linux PC Joins a Crowd of Them

"To recap, the ARM-based Cotton Candy is a $199 USB-sized device that “allows users a single, secure point of access to all personal cloud services and apps through their favorite operating system, while delivering a consistent experience on any screen,' in the Norwegian project's own words.

***** Reports

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.9 Nears Release

Red Hat's flagship offering is Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 (RHEL), which was first released back in November of 2010. The company's previous flagship release was Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, which is still being actively updated.

How To Evaluate Open Source Software

The first thing to look at is the what license the code has been released under. If the license is incompatible with the intended final project, there’s really no need to look at the project further.

Baccus open source robotic arm hits Kickstarter

Baccus is an open-source robotic arm project aimed primarily at educators and researchers, but because it is seeking funding on Kickstarter, it also poses value to robotics enthusiasts or people who just want to see the latest and most unique crowdfunded scientific advancements.

NVIDIA to offer up documentation for Tegra graphics core to prove its commitment to open source

Proving that its word is good, NVIDIA will be releasing programming documentation for its Tegra architecture graphics core. The news comes from a talk given by Lucas Stach of the Nouveau project (who develop free drivers for the NVIDIA platform) at the XDC2012 conference.

Google open source code-in contest for school students

>From late November to mid January, students will be able to work with 10 open source projects on a variety of tasks, says Google. The contest starts November 26, 2012.

Android OS Updates: Who's the Decider?

Android operating system is a more complex process. There are different, often competing interests at play, from the software maker to the handset manufacturer to the mobile carrier. Often the result is a delay of weeks or even months.

Infor open source plan: Embrace Red Hat stack, MySQL

Along with lowering costs, the open-source option will allow Infor LN customers to run hybrid deployments spanning on-premises and cloud environments and give the applications "a high degree of portability," said Ali Shadman, Infor's senior vice president of global upgrades and business cloud.

Software release suggests Samsung could soon launch a smartphone running Tizen

The release lends credence to rumors that project member Samsung Electronics is planning to launch a version of its Galaxy S3 smartphone running Tizen instead of Google's Android.

Building a Private Cloud with Open Source Ganeti: Pros and Cons

The project aims to deliver solutions for all types of clouds by being simple to implement, massively scalable, and feature rich. The technology consists of a series of interrelated projects delivering various components for a cloud infrastructure solution.

Linux: It's Where the Jobs Are

Demand for Linux talent is on the rise, but finding those professionals is difficult. Eight in 10 (81%) survey respondents say that hiring Linux talent is a priority in 2012.

Red Hat: We're Not Just About Linux Anymore

Whitehurst added that JBoss sales tend to have longer sales cycles, but when the deals do come in they are typically larger dollar opportunities. So while there is still growth in RHEL, as UNIX to Linux migrations continue, Whitehurst noted that middleware opportunities as part of the big deals are really key.

GNU Octave: An interview with John W. Eaton and Jordi Gutirrez

In a few cases historically we have implemented a feature before Matlab, but then Matlab implemented it in a slightly different way from us. This makes it very difficult to innovate too much at the language level, so we are fairly conservative about it.

Desktop Dis-Unity: Ubuntu Adds Web-Search to the Desktop

The issue erupted with the announcement that, starting with the 12. 10 release next month, searches on the Ubuntu dash (menu) would display suggestions from Amazon along with results from the local system. And the launcher would include an icon to connect to Amazon.

Happy 14th Birthday Google! (and don't forget to thank Linux)

Google's search engine sits on Linux. Gmail sits on Linux, Android sits on Linux.

BlueStacks deals in Android with AMD

BlueStacks's technology for running Android apps on Windows fuels a new way for people with AMD-powered computers to get Android apps on their Windows PCs, the two companies announced today.

New Document Foundation Committee Members Chosen

The Document Foundation recently announced the results of the Membership Committee election.

OpenStack Folsom Release Accelerates Open Source Cloud Stack

Folsom is the second OpenStack release in 2012, following the Essex release, which debuted in February. Folsom is also the first release of OpenStack made under the auspices of the newly minted OpenStack Foundation.

Microsoft's Bing Gets Klout

The game of influence just got a boost. Bing users will now start seeing experts' Klout scores, and Bing will give search data to the social influence measurer to help with accuracy.

BlackBerry's tech appeal: Dev-friendly RIM bets on tools and openness

The answer, going by what I heard at BlackBerry Jam Americas this week, is to put its faith in openness, open source and giving coders a lot of ways into the platform.

Pulling back from open source hardware, MakerBot angers some adherents

With these new products, MakerBot has veered away from open source. In a recent blog post, Pettis says, "For the Replicator 2, we will not share the way the physical machine is designed or our GUI because we don't think carbon-copy cloning is acceptable and carbon-copy clones undermine our ability to pay people to do development. "

nginx's rise within the cloud

That was supposed to happen last month, actually. But that trend has apparently stalled, according to the latest Netcraft survey, as IIS remains in the number two spot with a recent climb in use that nginx was unable to pass.

Open Source Fear Mongering Is Ridiculous With The Advent Of Open APIs

The advent of loosely coupled applications for exchanging data is giving proprietary software providers the opportunity to maintain that open APIs have more importance than open source.

Hacking on code and culture: Failure as validated learning

The open culture that many open source communities embrace is entrenched in organizations like Code for America. It’s obvious as I sit here during the opening day of the Code for America Summit in San Francisco, CA.

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean reaches 1.8 percent market share

With Google now seeing some 1. 3 million new Android device activations every day, there's no shortage of hardware out there running the mobile operating system, but it seems that the bulk of these devices are running older versions of the operating system.

Introducing openSUSE for ARM

Jos Poortvliet from openSUSE has announced earlier today, October 1st, that the first Release Candidate of the upcoming openSUSE 12. 2 ARM operating system is now available for download and testing.

Open Source Python 3.3 Boosts Virtualization

Today, there are still a fair number of Python 2. x applications and code out there, but that's ok – Python 3. 3 has features in it designed for easier porting of code from Python 2. x to 3. x.

The new software hygiene: Declare a license or risk losing participation

I first learned back in May 2012 that one of the most popular software collaboration forges, Github, doesn't require a project creator to choose a license for their software.

How LexisNexis Competes In Hadoop Age

HPCC (High Performance Computing Cluster) is an open source platform from LexisNexis Risk Solutions, a division of the company that focuses on big data products and services. LexisNexis, itself a subsidiary of global publishing giant Reed Elsevier, uses HPCC technology for its risk management business, and to gather data it sells to its clients.

***** Snippets

Why is Open Source WebKit the Weak Link in Apple Security?

ArtistX 1.3 Is Based on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

Peppermint OS Three: between the cloud and the desktop

Mozilla Plans More Non-Invasive Health Reporting in Firefox

Ubuntu 13.04 Release Schedule

Fedora Project Officially Turns 9

Tiny Core Linux 4.6.2 Is Now Available for Download

Linux 3.6 rc7

How to use Inkscape to print 3D!

Google Releases Chrome 22 Stable for Linux

Nvidia 304.51 drivers released

GStreamer 1.0 out now

What's on tap in Zentyal 3?

KDE Plasma Does Gestures Globally

Review: VMware Workstation 9 vs. VirtualBox 4.2

GNOME 3.6 Released - See What's New

Scott McNealy: The World Lacks A Major Corporate Sponsor For Open Source

Juiced: How a DIY newbie built a solar iPhone charger in 3 hours

Intellectual Ventures

Running A Small Business Server With ClearOS 6.3.0 (Community Edition)

Open source hardware answers the problem of mobile device obsolescence

Ubuntu Gnome beta is out and is ready for (ab)use!

Linux 3.6 Delivers Solid Progress

Slackware 14.0 is Finally Here

OpenWorld 2012: What's in store

Joomla 3.0: Major version jump for the open source CMS

Mageia Linux: A Delightful OS for Work or Play

Fuduntu 2012.4 Announced!

Red Hat to change JBoss name for community version
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