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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 #469 Period ending 24 October 2012

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

This is one of those weeks with a wide ranging selection of topics. Of particular interest is a presentation from Otto Kekäläinen of the FSFE detailing some open source implementations within the public sector in Europe. Also a lot of stories critical of patents. Kim Dotcom launching a new file locker site - claims all content will be encrypted so even his servers won't be able to decrypt it. Finally, yet another appalling remote wiping story from Amazon.

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



***** Off Topic

Apple removes Java from OS X browsers with Mac update

On Wednesday, Apple released a Mac update for Lion and Mountain Lion that strips all Mac browsers of the Java plugin, another move in the company’s effort to distance itself from Oracle’s Java software.

Nokia's Q3 show phone sales down by a fifth

The company also sold 6. 3 million smartphones in the quarter, while volumes of its flagship Lumia Windows Phone devices decreased quarter-on-quarter to 2. 9 million units.

Expanded coverage of building footprints in Google Maps

These building footprints, complete with height detail, are algorithmically created by taking aerial imagery and using computer vision techniques to render the building shapes. This process enables us to provide more building footprints and a more comprehensive and detailed map than ever before.

Software Engineers Are In Demand, And GitHub Is How You Find Them

”I was talking to my friend [who] runs a tech screening process for looking at engineers. I said, ‘What do you use for recruiting?’ He said GitHub. I said why not LinkedIn? He said, ‘why would I look at their resume when I can look at a body of work?’ And since he said that to me, I ask everybody [what they use] for engineer recruiting, and everybody uses GitHub. That’s a big deal. It means if you’re an engineer and you don’t use GitHub, you don’t exist. ” CEO Benioff: Windows 8 will mark 'the end' of the Microsoft OS

Microsoft's Windows 8 will mark "the end" of the computer industry's dominant OS thanks to rapidly increasing competition and choice, according to Salesforce. com CEO Marc Benioff.

Here's Why Google [Search] Could Disappear in Five Years: Pro

The reason? Consumers are searching more and more on mobile devices, yet advertisers aren't as willing to buy advertisements formatted for mobile devices, because these ads are not as prominently displayed.

Britain will not extradite hacker with Asperger's,0,1751182.story

Speaking in Parliament, May told lawmakers that because of his mental health problems, 46-year-old Gary McKinnon would not be extradited to the U.S. McKinnon has Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism, and suicidal thoughts. Handing him over for prosecution would breach his human rights, even though he stands accused of "serious crimes," May said.

***** Government/Policy

Mobile patent wars hurting innovation, experts say

Patents on software and on business methods are fueling a huge war in the mobile industry and holding back innovation, according to a group of patent experts.

Numbers don't lie: Patent trolls are a plague

An academic paper from law professor Colleen Chien of Santa Clara University looks more closely at the challenges patents pose for startups. She found 40 percent of the respondents to her survey reported trolls causing significant operational impact on their young businesses, including delays in hiring, undesirable changes of strategy, and loss -- or elimination -- of value.

Dirty Tactics v. LibreOffice in Public Administration and How to Overcome Them [PDF],%20and%20how%20to%20overcome%20them.pdf

FSFE is an independent organization and you might heard of its sister organizations like the US-based Free Software Foundation. FSFE has offices in Berlin and Dusseldorf and country teams all around Europe. As said I volunteer as the Finnish country team coordinator. FSFE's accomplishments include among others working as a third party in the EU vs. Microsoft monop- Otto Kekäläinen, FSFE.orgoftware in general and promoting LibreOffice in particular, and I'm going relate it all to the experiences we've had in Finland.

Minnesota Gives Coursera the Boot, Citing a Decades-Old Law

Coursera has been informed by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education that under Minnesota Statutes (136A. 61 to 136A. 71), a university cannot offer online courses to Minnesota residents unless the university has received authorization from the State of Minnesota to do so. If you are a resident of Minnesota, you agree that either (1) you will not take courses on Coursera, or (2) for each class that you take, the majority of work you do for the class will be done from outside the State of Minnesota.

French media to Google: pay us for news searches

A new proposed law would force Google to make payments when French media show up in news searches; but Google has responded, in a letter to French ministers, that it "cannot accept" such a solution and would simply remove French media sites from its searches.

Open source science helps Peninsula father's genetic quest

One tiny flaw in one gene in one little girl. That explains why Beatrice Rienhoff, 8, is so lean and leggy. But it took the communal contributions of many researchers -- in an open-ended, open-source scientific search, led by her father -- to solve Bea's singular mystery. Most medical research is secret and proprietary. At Saturday's Open Science Summit in Mountain View, however, Bea's father, Hugh, described a needle-in-a-haystack quest made possible by the pitchforks of so many.

Amazon’s Remote Wipe of Customer’s Kindle Highlights Perils of DRM

Imagine having every book on your Kindle remotely wiped, with no way to get it back. If you’ve invested hundreds or even thousands of dollars, that may seem frightening, if unlikely. Yet it’s exactly what happened to one Amazon customer in Europe.

Why Google is Right and the Authors Guild is Wrong About Book Scanning

Quoting from a previous court decision, Judge Baer said: “A copyright holder cannot pre-empt a transformative market.” And he dismissed the Authors Guild argument that scanning and in “The use to which the works in the HDL are put is transformative because the copies serve an entirely different purpose than the original works: the purpose is superior search capabilities rather than actual access to copyrighted material… Plaintiffs’ argument that the use is not transformative merely because defendants have not added anything ‘new’ misses the point.”

Eben Moglen Talks About Free Software in the Second of Two Video Interviews

Systems of selling you a computer which limit how you can install software on them are inherently working against your freedom.

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

Apple loses tablet copyright appeal against Samsung

Apple has lost its appeal against a ruling that cleared rival Samsung of copying its registered designs for tablet computers, in a decision which could end the two firms' legal dispute on the subject across Europe.

U.S. Museums Concerned About Unartful Impact of SCOTUS Copyright Case

So how does the outcome of this case affect art museums? The first-sale doctrine not only gives the owner of a work the right to resell it, but also to display and lend it without obtaining permission from the copyright holder.

Megaupload's Kim Dotcom returns with “Mega” file-sharing service

Mega encrypts all files before uploading, and each downloader receives a unique decryption key to read the file once it’s downloaded. This means the site itself cannot readily view the files themselves, which Dotcom and his associates claim will clear them of any liability.

Apple v. Samsung and awards of defendant’s profits: the potential for overcompensatory damages

in 1946 Congress eliminated this option for utility patents on the ground that the calculation of the defendant’s profits was often too complex and time-consuming. Congress did not eliminate this third option in design patent cases, however, where it remains today in section 289.

Patent Trolls Be Gone: How to fix our broken system for stimulating invention

while they can be challenged in court, jurors tend to be biased in favor of patent holders. That is one reason that even a patent granted for a minor invention of little value can be a potent competitive weapon.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos calls for governments to end patent wars

Mr Bezos told Metro that innovation and society itself was threatened by the patent lawsuit culture.

Prior Art for Apple Heuristic Search Algorithm (Pub No. 2012-0166477)

The USPTO has identified two relevant references: Patent Nos. 6,185,567 and 6,070,158, but I suspect that others are available. Prior art must be submitted to the USPTO before December 28, 2012. Directions for Sending Prior Art to USPTO

One in Six Active U.S. Patents Pertain to the Smartphone

Smartphone patents account for just over 16% of all active U. S. patents. Yes, you read that right. One-sixth of all active U. S. patents* regulate smartphone development and innovation, using recent estimates from defensive patent aggregator RPX:

Internet providers to begin warning customers who pirate content

They use a service called MarkMonitor, which uses a combination of people and automated systems to spot illegal downloading. It will collect the IP addresses of offenders, but no personal information. The IP addresses are turned over to the Internet providers, which will match up the address with the right customer and send the notification.

UK judge pokes Samsung, but slaps Apple

"It is not about whether Samsung copied Apple's iPad," Jacob wrote in the opinion, according to the BBC. "Infringement of a registered design does not involve any question of whether there was copying: the issue is simply whether the accused design is too close to the registered design according to the tests laid down in the law. "

Max Planck publishes Top 12 Reasons why the unitary patent proposals might prove "disastrous"

These concerns of the Max-Planck-Institute are shared by experts throughout Europe. Likewise, considerable parts of the industry harbor doubts as to the proposed system’s efficiency. Large undertakings might indeed benefit from a reinforcement of their patent portfolios through the proposed system. Particularly small and medium-sized enterprises are however likely to experience significant obstacles to their innovation activities.

Despite Big Fine, Samsung Shows Assertive Stance

In the ad, Samsung phone owners, all young and hip, are shown casually lauding features in the new Galaxy S3 model that aren't available on iPhone 5.

Righthaven agrees to turn hard drives over to creditor

She gave Righthaven two weeks to surrender the drives or mirror images of them and said noncompliance would result in a daily sanction of $500 against the company and its CEO.

The EU declares war on blind pirates

Instead of trying to help one of the world´s most culturally disadvantaged groups the EU´s copyright specialists guided by Commissioner of Internal Market Michel Barnier are busy launching violent preemptive strikes against the possibility of a clear, exception to copyright for the non-profit production and distribution of works formatted for visually impaired persons.

Dotcom raid officer headed bike gang probe

Mr Wormald also supervised the joint FBI-police raid on Dotcom's Coatesville home for the Organised and Financial Crime Agency. He is facing allegations he lied under oath about illegal spying on the German millionaire.

***** Applications/Gadgets

Samsung S5 550 Chromebook: All in after a week

The recent purchase of a Chromebook surprised me by proving how well it works for me. After a week of using the Chromebook, that surprise has morphed into total satisfaction.

Meet NimbRo-OP, Teen Size Open Source Robot

NimbRo-OP, which can be seen in action as a football player above. is 95 cm tall (37.4 inches) and weighs 6.6 kg (14.55 pounds). It uses 20 Robotis Dynamixel servos, 6 per leg, 3 per amr and 2 in the nexk. It has a dual-core AMD E-450 processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 64GB solid state drive. It also come equipped with WiFi, a wde-angled video camera (Logitech C905) and a Robotis CM-730 controller with 3-axis accelerometer, and 3-axis gyro. The GNU/Linux software is based on DARwin-OP.

Review: The ARM-powered Samsung Chromebook

I was already a big Chromebook fan before I got my hands on Samsung's just-released ARM-powered Chromebook. Now, after a weekend with it and with its amazing price of $249 I think it's going to find a few million more fans.

Google to announce 10-inch Nexus tablet with Android 4.2?

Google has scheduled an Android event for the 29th. As you might expect, leaks are emerging about what the search giant is planning to announce at that event, including the long-expected larger sibling to its Nexus 7 tablet.

Introducing Deezer WebApp for Ubuntu 12.10

So, with today’s article we are proud to announce one of the first third-party developed WebApps for Ubuntu’s Unity interface. It is called Deezer WebApp.

32-Bit Arduino Due Released

Perhaps the biggest improvement on the Due over the previous models of the Arduino is the switch from the traditional 16MHz 8-Bit processor to the Atmel SAM3X8E, a 32-Bit ARM Cortex-M3 clocked at 84MHz. This is a quantum leap in processing power, making it possible to sample data from connected sensors thousands of times faster than on the older models.

***** Reports

Metacloud Gives OpenStack Some Spine

Spine is an open source technology for provisioning and scaling that was originally built by Ticketmaster and then released as open source.

Kickstarter and Game Development - Highlighting Games Coming to Linux Part 1

However, with the ‘rediscovery’ of Kickstarter by many game studios, both independent and well known developers have taken to crowd sourcing their games.

Can Open Source Solve Car-Tech Problems?

But recently, open-source software has made a move. The Genivi Alliance was founded three years ago as a nonprofit industry group “committed to driving the broad adoption” of an open-source development platform for infotainment.

Raspberry Pi now ships with more RAM

Starting from today, any unfulfilled or future orders for the Model B will come with 512 MB of RAM, and the best part is, the price is staying at the promised $35 (£22). A firmware update will be made available in the next couple of days so that the new boards will work, but the actual boards themselves will be showing up to folks from today.

Education is the new oil that will drive the information revolution

“This may sound subtle, but the results are profound. Many economists estimate that well over half of all activity is waste. In reducing this waste lies the next great leap forward in human welfare,” Whitehurst said.

Cisco Debuts Its Own OpenStack Distribution

The OpenStack project is an initiative to build an open source cloud computing platform and was announced in July 2010. The first OpenStack release came out at the end of October, after benefitting from the contributions of over 35 technology vendors.

OpenStack Open Source Cloud Distributions Take Shape

The OpenStack open source cloud project is a lot like Linux. While there is a core upstream base, there's also a community of distributions that packages the technology together in a way to make it easier to use and deploy.

Open Source Project Red Dwarf Brings Database as a Service to the OpenStack Cloud

Most applications in the cloud rely on a database. While the cloud is all about the ability to elastically scale and resize compute capacity, scaling and resizing databases in the cloud hasn't always been that simple.

Why This EU Meeting on FRAND in Open Source?

That's because proprietary companies are using it as a last-ditch attempt to subvert open standards by allowing encumbered technologies to be included. That is, the standards may be "open", but they certainly aren't open, since you will need a licence from companies to use them.

Ubuntu Helps Accelerate OpenStack Deployments

>From an Ubuntu perspective, the tool they use to deploy OpenStack is Juju. Juju is a technology that defines and encapsulates everything administrators needs to know about how to deploy the necessary pieces for a cloud deployment onto server infrastructure.

Ubuntu Phone And TV Ready For 14.04

The real news here is that Mark is teasing Ubuntu 14. 04 on phone and TV

VMware vSphere Embraces OpenStack

Herrod stressed that VMware is not an open source company, but it's not an entirely closed source company either.

How to Make Money with OpenStack

Open Source is not an altruistic undertaking for Floyd. He commented that OpenStack has grown tremendously since being created two years ago.

Developers, Android users get early look at Firefox Marketplace

The storefront lets people find and install Web applications delivered via the browser, and gives developers a place to publicize their apps.

Open Source Ammo for the SMB Security Arsenal

In many cases, open source security software can fill the gap when funding for heavy, commercially supported, closed-source security tools is hard to come by. For SMBs, having a few open source security tools in their back pocket to meet specific security challenges can be a godsend.

NASA achieves data goals for Mars rover with open source software

But, dig beneath the hood of this story—and the diagram included—and you’ll see another story. One that points to the key role of open source software in making this phenomenal mission work and the results available to so many, so quickly.

***** Snippets

Built-in malware scanner for Android on the way?

Open Source Search Engine Apache Lucene/Solr Gets Big Update

Santoku a new Linux distro focused on Security

New Unity 4.0 Beta Build Improves Linux Support

The Perfect Desktop - OpenSUSE 12.2 (GNOME Desktop)

Mandriva Foundation is Now Known as OpenMandriva

60 OS Replacements for Storage Software

Make application rules with Drools

How to improve your Android security

Motorola calls stock Android 'the right thing,' but bows to Verizon customization

Open source is still a software licence, says Digia Qt executive

Ubuntu Needs a "Project Butter" like Android

Raspberry Pi Gertboard deliveries begin

Is Windows 8 an existential threat to Android tablets?

Inktank Expands Open Source Cloud Partnerships

Canonical Ubuntu 12.10 brings the Internet closer to the desktop

Ubuntu Linux 12.10 review: Better, but slower

Ubuntu 13.04 a.k.a. Raring Ringtail

The Growth of Google Summer of Code (Interview with Chris DiBona)

Android malware, FUD, and the FBI

Where iCloud and the cops fail, open source seizes the day

Ubuntu 12.10 Review – Linux User's biggest ever super test

Fuduntu - And now for something the same but different

Hadoop helps solve Oracle customers' big data problems

Munich shifts to LibreOffice

Ubuntu moves some Linux development inside

Ubuntu Tweak Stops Development, Claims No Longer Free

Prefer GNOME Shell? Download Ubuntu GNOME Remix 12.10

Things to do After Installing Ubuntu 12.10

Linux 3.7 rc2

Cairo-Dock / GLX-Dock 3.1 is now available

Ubuntu 12.10 and AMD Catalyst problem (solved)

GNOME 3.6.1 Has Been Released
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