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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 #467 Period ending 9 October 2012

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

There seem to be a lot of stories this week which have a policy angle to them. NZ is under pressure to further restrict the rights of its citizens and there is a report of bogus DMCA notices sent to Google. There is an interesting patent argument being run on gene patents in the US - whether the sale of a seed "exhausts" the patent on the seed. Like Zombies, continually rising from the dead, software patents are back on the agenda again in the EU.

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



***** Off Topic

Apple, Microsoft may be forced to reveal internal documents

The parliamentary committee investigating IT pricing disparity in Australia may look to force Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, and the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) to reveal documents used in creating their submissions to the inquiry, as the three tech giants have continued to resist appearing before the committee.

***** Government/Policy

Jane Kelsey: Hollywood lays down its own law (NZ)

Hollywood is determined to succeed. The movie and music industries are the two most powerful copyright lobbies in America. Their dominance of the global entertainment industry is threatened by rapidly evolving technologies they cannot control and competing production centres in India, South Africa and Brazil. To stem their decline, they have invested substantial financial and political capital in securing global rules that protect their power and profits into the 21st century.

Microsoft DMCA Notice ‘Mistakenly’ Targets BBC, Techcrunch, Wikipedia and U.S. Govt

Claiming to prevent the unauthorized distribution of Windows 8 Beta the software company listed 65 “infringing” web pages. However, nearly half of the URLs that Google was asked to remove from its search results have nothing to do with Windows 8.

DOJ Announces $2.4M in Grants to Fight IP Piracy

The money will be used to enforce, investigate, prosecute and prevent IP crimes, according to the Justice Department. “These new investments are coming at a critical time,” Holder said in a statement. “As our country continues to recover from once-in-a-generation economic challenges, the need to defend IP rights—and to protect Americans from IP theft—has never been more urgent. ”

Patents to the people: USPTO sends staffer to live among NYC startups

The agency announced today that one of its patent examiners will be stationed at the new Cornell University applied sciences campus in order to provide expertise and guidance to students and entrepreneurs in the New York City area.

Open source equals software freedom, not free software

These anachronisms and more arise from the "price frame" surrounding open source software. A result of misunderstanding the meaning of the word "free" in "free software," the price frame has been the Rosetta Stone for decoding open source for the past decade.

The Unitary Patent back in the European Parliament on October, 11th 2012

A discussion on the unitary parent is planned for the 11th of October, from 10:45 to 12:00. It is thus the moment to mobilise and to inform MEPs on the threat of the return of software patents, before new decisions are taken on the future of the regulation.

Open Source and FRAND

Are royalty-free technologies the only compatible with Open Source development? The workshop will address the possibilities of developing open software using fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms (FRAND) licenses.

US court to rule on ReDigi's MP3 digital music resales

One-year-old start-up ReDigi is battling music giant EMI over whether digital music can be retraded after it has been legally purchased.

Daily Report: When Patents Become Weapons

Last year, for the first time, spending by Apple and Google on patent lawsuits and unusually big-dollar patent purchases exceeded spending on research and development of new products, according to public filings.

Standards and the Status Quo

What standards “freeze” is not innovation, but base layers of technology that allow unlimited innovation above that layer.

The iEconomy: The Patent, Used as a Sword

When the first lawsuit went to trial last year, Mr. Phillips won. In the companies’ only courtroom face-off, a jury ruled that Mr. Phillips had not infringed on a broad voice recognition patent owned by Mr. Ricci’s company. But it was too late. The suit had cost $3 million, and the financial damage was done. In December, Mr. Phillips agreed to sell his company to Mr. Ricci. “We were on the brink of changing the world before we got stuck in this legal muck,” Mr. Phillips said.

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

Self Replicating (and Alive) Inventions: Supreme Court Grants Certiorari in Monsanto v. Bowman

In this case, the Federal Circuit refused to find exhaustion where a farmer used seeds purchased in an authorized sale for their natural and foreseeable purpose - namely, for planting. The question presented is: Whether the Federal Circuit erred by (1) refusing to find patent exhaustion in patented seeds even after an authorized sale and by (2) creating an exception to the doctrine of patent exhaustion for self-replicating technologies?

Do You Think Software Patents Are a Problem? Then Come to This Conference, SCU, Nov. 16

Ancedotally, everything I'm seeing and hearing indicates that software patents remain a significant problem, even after the America Invents Act (AIA).

Google, publishers settle book-scanning dispute

Google and U. S. publishers have settled a longstanding dispute over Google's book-scanning project. A lawsuit filed by authors remains, though, leaving the project in question.

The Federal Circuit, Not the Supreme Court, Legalized Software Patents

I read this as holding that the patent meets the requirements of the law precisely because it’s not a software patent. Rather, the patent covers a physical machine whose purpose is “transforming or reducing an article to a different state or thing. ” The key principle is that the “post solution activity”—in this case, opening the rubber mold at just the right time—has to be more than trivial.

Apple v Samsung

So far, he have not come up with good answer to support the fact that he is fair to Samsung. Significantly, instead of claiming that he did not know about the potential link to Samsung in his prior lawsuit, he said that he did not disclose the lawsuit because he believe the judge is asking about the past 10 years only. That suggests strongly that he knew about the link then. Not good for him. Anyone trying to be fair to Samsung would disclose it regardless whether he thinks the judge’s instruction is about the past 10 years only.

[PJ: I never thought of this angle, but he's right. If Hogan says he didn't tell about the Seagate case because he thought he was only supposed to tell about the last ten years (which is not what he was asked), it means he didn't forget about the two cases he didn't mention. He held them back.] - CyberTech Rambler

Are patent pools the solution to smartphone lawsuits?

Another potential roadblock: current Android litigants are the ones using standards-essential patents to defend themselves—a controversial practice. They're hardly going to want to assign those patents to a pool organization when they're trying to use them in court.

Startups and Patent Trolls

The impact of PAEs on startups is crucial, because startups contribute to job creation and innovation, making them potential targets and sources of patents.

MegaUpload users will get their day in court

O'Grady is responding to a motion filed by Kyle Goodwin, an Ohio-based sports videographer. Goodwin has sought the return of the video files, mostly of high school sports action, that he stored at MegaUpload, the Internet storage locker that was taken offline by the U. S. government.

Vringo Enlarges Pipeline of Lawsuits Based on Portfolio of 500 Nokia Patents

Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Motorola wins patent case against Microsoft in Germany

It may not be on the same scale as some recent court victories, but Google-owned mobile maker Motorola has won a patent case against Microsoft.

***** Applications/Gadgets

Blender 2.64 released

An Open Source Dyslexic Font

I have been searching for a font that helps with dyslexia for some time, but in all cases there has been some licensing problem or other to deal with. Now we have an open source font that claims to be dyslexic friendly. It is a modification of the Bitstream Vera font to give each letter a "heavy bottom".

Arduino Uno open-source prototyping board comes to market

The Uno has 14 digital input/output pins (of which 6 can be used as PWM outputs), 6 analogue inputs, a 16 MHz crystal oscillator, a USB connection, a power jack, an ICSP header, and a reset button. There are 3 different options to power the board: via a USB cable, an AC-DC adapter or a battery.

Google readying Android 4.2 for November debut on LG Optimus G Nexus

In terms of spec, the Optimus G Nexus is likely to closely resemble the LG Optimus G. That device is a true powerhouse smartphone, featuring a 4. 7in display with a resolution of 1280 x 768 pixels at 317 PPI.

Take your project management application open source with ProjectLibre

ProjectLibre is an open source alternative to Microsoft Project.

Will a Chromebook be your next PC?

ou could buy a Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook starting at $449 and have a great Linux-based desktop that you already know how to use.

***** Reports

Ubuntu 12.10: More to Um Bongo Linux than Amazon ads

A new Lens in the Unity Dash will poll Amazon to find results relevant to your search terms. And yes, if you click the link and buy the item Ubuntu-maker Canonical gets a small percentage of the income, much like Mozilla makes a bit of money for allowing you to search Google from Firefox. Here's what the new Lens looks like:

Oracle Linux honcho 'personally hurt' by Red Hat clone claims

Coekaerts argued that although Red Hat markets a Linux distribution that's put together a specific way, it has no exclusive rights to the code for the various software packages that make up that distribution.

300,000 Android 'Phones' Roam a Virtual Town

In the future, they hope that their software, which will be freely available through an open-source license, will be used by groups designing social network applications like Foursquare, military battle planners, disaster relief workers and American hackers who are building mesh wireless networks intended to make the Internet available inside nations controlled by dictators, among others.

Open Source CMS MODX Launches Cloud Service

Today open source content management company MODX is launching a hosted cloud service to commercialize the product, much as Acquia and WordPress. com have done for Drupal and WordPress.

HP webOS: Open Source Software Reaches 1.0, Marks New Life

As webOS failed to become a competitive mobile operating system, HP acquired now defunct-developer Palm. The former recently announced that webOS would become open source, and the first release of the new software is available.

TomTom launches Android app that doesn’t work with top devices

Devices including Samsung’s popular Galaxy S3 and HTC’s One X and new X+ are not supported, and Google’s own flagship Nexus 7 tablet, and Samsung’s Galaxy Note is also not compatible. TomTom says its apps support devices running Android 2. 2 or higher, using either 800 x 480 or 854 x 480 resolutions. It says the business is "committed to supporting higher resolutions on an ongoing basis. "

OpenStack Tops IT Wish List, But Concerns Remain

This week, Zenoss — a company that makes open source IT monitoring and management tools — released the results of a poll about open source cloud adoption. Zenoss queried 100,000 of its users — systems administrators, developers, and other IT professionals — and six hundred responded.

The history of OpenOffice shows why licensing matters

Governance and licensing aren’t glamorous but getting them right is vital to open-source software’s long-term health.

The Cloud Requires More Transparency

"It's not like we think that any outsourced cloud provider is less secure than our own infrastructure," Reavis said. "It's just that we don't have the same transparency. "

Tizen 2.0 Alpha code and SDK released

Note that while a production-ready version of Tizen is yet to be release, the buzz in the industry several weeks ago is that Samsung Electronics will launch a Tizen-based Galaxy smartphone sometime next year. The code name for the said smartphone is i9300.

Microsoft, Nook: Partners Now, E-Reader Rivals Later?

Most of the news released Thursday simply reaffirmed information previously disclosed April 30. Microsoft gets a 17. 6% stake in Nook Media. In exchange, Microsoft pays Barnes & Noble $300 million and drops patent claims it had previously filed against the bookseller. Nook Media must also pay license fees to Microsoft for technologies covered by patents that were at issue in the lawsuit.

Samsung Galaxy S3 sales hot despite iPhone 5

The focus on Samsung and the notion that its phones were similar in some ways to the iPhone may have contributed to the sales bump, suggests Localytics. Many users may also have feared a ban on Samsung products in light of the jury verdict, causing them to rush out to buy a device before it was too late.

Another Way Apple's Fight With Google Is Hurting Users

Google told us the app was not only finished, it had been submitted to Apple. Almost two months have passed since then. So where is it?

Linux Does Beer: Raspberry Pi Moonlights as Dutch Brewmeister

Beer is as old as civilization itself, but beer brewers are still finding new ways of improving the way the stuff is made. Case in point: BrewPi, a fermentation temperature control system powered by the tiny Rapsberry Pi computer that’s taking the tech world by storm.

Linux Kernel 3.7 Will Support All ARM Platforms

“This is a pretty significant branch. It's the introduction of the first multiplatform support on ARM,” said Olof Johansson in the Git commit page.

Linux on the Desktop Dead? More Alive then Never - 750 Desktops at Portugal

Portuguese Insurance company Tranquilidade made the transition to Linux of 750 Computers. The success made a study case and granted them an award of ESOP (Portuguese Association of Opensource Software Companies).

Samsung Creates New File System F2FS For Linux, Good News For Android

Greg KH, the lead Linux kernel developer applauded the file system on his Google+ page, "Sweet, a new Linux file system from Samsung that is faster than existing ones when running on flash storage devices, submitted in a clean, easy-to-apply manner. This will be great for Android-based systems. "

Access Ubuntu Software Center with any Distro!

Ubuntu Software Center (USC) other than making software installation easy, it is more important because it helps us to discover Apps and the see their ratings and comments from people that they already have used them.

Catalyst notes shift in open source attitude

Two years ago the company started Catalyst Open Source Academy, training up about 25 students between the ages of 14 and 18 each January at its Willis St offices.

Motorola's Broken Upgrade Promise Gives Android a Bad Rap

Motorola recently did by reneging on a promise to update all devices to Android 4. 0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS).

Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and others join forces to launch new Web standards resource

In an attempt to create the “definitive resource” for all open Web technologies, Apple, Adobe, Facebook, Google, HP, Microsoft, Mozilla, Nokia, and Opera have joined the W3C to launch a new website called ‘Web Platform‘

Samsung Releases Kernel Source Code For The Galaxy Note II

Although the kernel source will be of little use to regular consumers initially, ROM developers may be able to use it to ensure that their software performs as well as it can do on the phone.

***** Snippets

Linux is Full with Educational Software

Is Linux market growth stagnated (at least)?

KDE 4.9.2 Has Been Officially Released

How every detail matters for Gnome developers

5 Open Source Projects That Need Developers

What's holding back mainstream Drupal adoption?

Ubuntu's New DNS: Unknown Host

Oracle Pushes both MySQL 5.6 and Oracle Database 12c Forward

openSUSE 12.3 Milestone 0 already out

LibreOffice Updated to 3.6.2

Dreamlinux is no more

GNOME 3.6 Review . Against the Grain

Pear Linux 6 Alpha 4 Features New Dock

23 Changes in Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal [Screenshots Tour]

Three Linux distros get key updates, plus one fades away

Open source hobbyists now in high demand

Linus Torvalds Will Answer Your Questions

Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook: Day one
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