Brendan Scott
+61 414 339 227

lists at
Linked In Profile

OSWALD Newsletter Archives (by issue #, click to view)

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.

[508] [507] [506] [505] [504] [503] [502] [501] [500] [499] [498] [497] [496] [495] [494] [493] [492] [491] [490] [489] [488] [487] [486] [485] [484] [483] [482] [481] [480] [479] [478] [477] [476] [474] [473] [472] [471] [470] [469] [468] [467] [466] [465] [464] [463] [462] [460] [459] [458] [457] [456] [455] [454] [453] [452] [451] [450] [449] [448] [447] [446] [445] [444] [443] [442] [441] [440] [439] [438] [437] [436] [435] [434] [433] [432] [430] [429] [428] [426] [425] [424] [423] [422] [421] [420] [419] [418] [417] [416] [415] [414] [413] [412] [411] [410] [409] [408] [407] [403] [389] [378] [375] [374] [373] [372] [371] [370] [369] [368] [367] [366] [365] [364] [363] [362] [361] [360] [359] [358] [357] [356] [355] [354] [353] [352] [351] [350] [349] [348] [347] [346] [345] [344] [343] [342] [341] [340]

OSWALD #472 Period ending 20 November 2012

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

Away last week (saw the eclipse - was a bit cloudy, but got some looks as well as seeing the totality), so lots of stories have been saved up. Apple has apparently settled a dispute with HTC and now Samsung wants to have access to the terms of that settlement. The UK Government has released its open standards principles. If you have a look at them, they have ample references to level playing fields for open source software. The Portugese Government has also adopted odt as its document storage and exchange format. According to one report, the Republicans in the US released a forward thinking report on copyright (apparently to appeal to younger voters) before being forced to withdraw it within hours (link to copy of report on below).

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



***** Off Topic

Google Launches Stunning '100,000 Stars' Chrome Experiment,2817,2412197,00.asp

"Using your mouse or trackpad, you can zoom in and out to explore our galaxy," Google said. "Zooming in reveals the names of the most prominent stars close to our sun – click each name to learn more about it and see a digital rendition. "

Law Blog Fireside: Chris Hansen, the ACLU’s Longest-Serving Attorney

I think the Fourth Amendment is in real jeopardy. Increasingly, the Supreme Court finds there is no expectation of privacy. It has gradually and fundamentally eviscerated much of the protections of the Fourth Amendment. About the only place where the Fourth Amendment has validly anymore is in the home. One of the biggest examples [of the Fourth Amendment's decline] is the third-party doctrine. If I give my information to a third party, I have given away my privacy. Then there’s this whole doctrine after the hijackings that we consent to a search if we want to fly. You are implicitly consenting to a search if you want to go on the New York subway.

NASA testing 'interplanetary Internet'

The big difference between the two is that IP assumes a seamless end-to-end data path, while BP is built to account for errors and disconnections — glitches that commonly plague deep-space communications.

What is Apple spending to drop Samsung as a supplier?

Mobile analyst Horace Dediu of Asymco theorised on Wednesday that Apple may have shovelled over a cool $2 billion (£1. 3 billion) to struggling Sharp last quarter to ensure that the supplier, which Apple has tapped to provide the touchscreen displays for its new iPhone 5 in lieu of former supplier Samsung, survived in order to actually deliver those parts.

Print Subscribe Share/Save Preserving.exe: A Short List of Readings on Software Preservation

I thought I would start a quick list here of a few of what I think are some nice reads on preserving software. Some of these are posts from our blog, but most are papers and reports that I think do a nice job getting into some of the issues those interested in preserving software face and some of the ways folks are going about preserving software.

***** Government/Policy

That Was Fast: Hollywood Got The Republicans to Retract Report On Copyright Reform


The report had been fully vetted and reviewed by the RSC before it was released. However, as soon as it was published, the MPAA and RIAA apparently went ballistic and hit the phones hard, demanding that the RSC take down the report. They succeeded. Even though the report had been fully vetted and approved by the RSC, executive director Paul S. Teller has now retracted it...

Stop patent mischief by curbing patent enforcement

My suggestion is to change the effect of patents. We should legislate that developing, distributing, or running a program on generally used computing hardware does not constitute patent infringement.

UK Government finalizes Open Standards Principles: The Bigger Picture

This action by the UK Cabinet Office is, in my view, viewed through a larger lens. This is not merely an 'open standards policy. ' It is the latest step and an integral part of the UK’s effort to reform its public sector ICT procurement and complements its emphasis on use of open source software and the Cabinet Office Open Source Procurement Toolkit.

Google Books team open sources their book scanner

It’s no secret that Google has been scanning hundreds of thousands of books in the hope of recreating the Library of Alexandria. Publishers and authors really didn’t like that idea, so the Google books team is doing the next best thing: they’re releasing the plans for a very clever book scanner in the hope others will pick up the torch of creating a digital library of every book ever written.

Tech firms launch new website to fix patent mess

An advocacy group for tech companies has launched a new website, Patent Progress, that provides policy makes and the public with ideas about how to fix the country’s broken patent system.

The Raw Power Of Louis CK: Even HBO Is Opening The Garden Gates

Yes, even the network so infamous for its tight grip on content that fans have literally begged it to take their money can't ignore the overwhelming success of CK's open, inexpensive, highly accessible approach to content distribution.

Let’s Go Back to Patenting the ‘Solution,’ Not the ‘Problem’

Software and internet patents with extremely broad claims seem to be everywhere these days. The result’s been a raft of lawsuits against companies making any products in this space.

Portuguese Government Adopts ODF as Sole Editable Document Format

Instead, the Portuguese government has opted for ODF, the OpenDocument Format, as well as PDF and a number of other formats and protocols, including XML, XMPP, IMAP, SMTP, CALDAV and LDAP.

Open Source Could Clean Up US Elections

Open source software could be a paradigm for a national voting system in the United States that could still allow states and counties to customize and adapt the technology. Taking the Linux operating system model, a common open source core or kernel of the software could be developed and distributed to election officials in each of the 50 states.

German city says OpenOffice shortcomings are forcing it back to Microsoft

But on Friday, German open source developers reacted angrily, saying that the city uses outdated software and did not consider upgrading to a current version of LibreOffice or OpenOffice. org.

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

Apple adds Google Android to Samsung lawsuit,2817,2411825,00.asp

In Apple's latest move against Samsung it has made a bid to extend an existing lawsuit against Samsung to include Samsung's Galaxy Note 10. 1 - and Apple has mentioned the Google Android 4. 1 Jelly Bean operating system as well.

Google and Apple explore arbitration to solve standards patent problems

According to the filing, Google broached the subject of arbitration in court on November 5th. Apple contacted Google about the idea days later, suggesting that they both stand down all legal proceedings in connection with the patents and pursue arbitration. While Apple and Google appear to be largely united in how they would like things to proceed, they emails indicate that they do have differences when it comes to details such as scheduling and the reach the arbitration would have. However, the fact that they are discussing the topic at all is a promising sign for those that have grown weary of constant legal wrangling. - Bryan Bishop, The Verge

Motorola gives its opening statement in Microsoft-Motorola patent trial

Microsoft has been arguing in this trial that royalty rates reached by various patent pools provide a good, comparable benchmark to determine what RAND rates should be.

Apple Wins Patent for Digital Page Turns,2817,2412255,00.asp

The patent seems laughable to some, including The New York Times's Nick Bilton, who wrote in a blog post that he swears he's seen similar animation in Disney or Warner Brothers cartoons.

Samsung goes after HTC deal to undercut Apple-filing

It's an enormously important issue for the broader smartphone patent wars. If all the Apple patents are included -including the "user experience" patents that the company has previously insisted it would not license - it could undermine the iPhone makers efforts to permanently ban the sale of products that copy its technology.

Live By The Patent, Die By The Patent: Extreme Patent Aggressor Medtronic Loses Patent Lawsuit

Medical device maker, Medtronic, is somewhat famous for its aggressive pursuit of patent infringement claims against others.

Promoting Patent Claim Clarity

This commentary advocates the use of a detailed, electronic, claim application form to address this problem. By placing greater responsibility on patent applicants to delineate the precise boundaries of their claims -- by, for example, specifically indicating whether they intend to invoke the means-plus-function claim format by checking a box -- patent examiners could more easily evaluate what is being claimed, competitors could more easily know contested intellectual territory, and courts could more easily construe patent claims.

Kodak gets life-saving loan of $793 million—if it can sell its patents

There's one catch, though: the company has to sell its portfolio of 1,100 patents for at least $500 million to get the rest of the cash, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Famed quotation isn't dead -- and could even prove costly

In late October, Faulkner Literary Rights -- which represents Nobel Prize-winning author William Faulkner's estate -- sued representatives of Woody Allen's "Midnight in Paris" for misquoting the famous line, "The past is never dead. It's not even past. " In the film, about a writer who travels back in time to 1920s Paris, Owen Wilson's character lightly rephrases the line as "The past is not dead. Actually, it's not even past. "

Apple loses bid to nix patent troll's 'screen rotation' suit

U. S. District Judge Sue Robinson said the suit could proceed, ruling that the question of whether iOS devices infringed on the patent, No. 6,441,828, was "suitable for determination by a jury. "

Company wins $368M from Apple, immediately files brand-new lawsuit

Three days ago, Apple was ordered to pay $368. 2 million for infringing domain name security and virtual private network patents for its FaceTime service. Now, it turns out the same company that beat Apple in that case—VirnetX—filed a new lawsuit against the iPhone maker on the very same day.

Federal Circuit Rules that Florida Voting Machines do not Infringe Patentee’s Exclusive Rights

Internet postings as prior art: One prior art reference used to invalidate various claims came from an online posting available through the niche website "Risks Digest. " There was clear evidence of its posting date, however, the patentee argued that the posting did not qualify as a "printed publication" under Section 102(b) because it was not sufficiently accessible to the public interested in the art by the critical date.

Judge denies injunction against Dish's ad-skipping feature

"Dish is gratified that the Court has sided with consumer choice and control by rejecting Fox's efforts to deny our customers access to PrimeTime Anytime and AutoHop," General Counsel Stanton Dodge said in a statement.

Patent suits target Google, Intel, hundreds more for encrypting web traffic

An unknown company's four-year campaign to sue hundreds of companies for offering encryption on their websites shows no signs of abating, with Intel, Yelp, and MovieTickets. com being targeted in the past month, court records show.

Feds to take a closer look at patent trolls with patent trolls

"There's a possibility of competitive harm here," said Joseph Wayland, who was the head of antitrust enforcement at the Justice Department until last week. Wayland just left the government for private practice, and he told the Wall Street Journal there is "huge energy, particularly at a senior level" being spent on scrutinizing the intersection of patents and antitrust.

Apple Continues to Build their Nortel Patent Arsenal

he list totaled up to 1375 patents originating from Nortel, with the vast majority of them being assigned to Apple. Some of the listed patents have yet to be assigned to Apple as shown here and here.

***** Applications/Gadgets

Microsoft open sources Reactive Extensions

Rx logo Microsoft has announced the open sourcing of its Reactive Extensions (Rx). Rx is a model and framework for development which lets developers "glue together asynchronous data streams", a particularly useful capability when many modern applications are built around bringing together data from sources as diverse as tweets, stock quotes, REST requests or event buses.

Samsung Chromebook Series 3,2817,2412006,00.asp

At $250 for the Wi-Fi connected model, the price is right, and the new Chromebook is even cheaper than our current Editors' Choice Budget Laptop, the Acer Aspire 5349-2635 .

Sourcefire Integrates Malware Detection with IPS (Linux Powered!)

The Sourcefire FirePOWER product lineup was initially launched in April of 2011 with the 40 Gbps 3D8260 platform. The FirePOWER lineup is now being expanded with new software as well as new hardware platforms.

Google open sources Android 4.2

New features in Android 4. 2 include increased performance for the platform's Renderscript 3D graphics API, the ability to modify widgets so that they can be placed on a device's lock screen, and improved internationalisation support.

3 Open Source School Management Software for Teachers and Students

Now here is a list of open-source applications that is available to assist educators in teaching as well as in inspiring their students:

***** Reports

Open Source Ubuntu OS Makes Strides in Emerging Markets

That’s according to recent comments from Canonical VP of Sales and Business Development Chris Kenyon, who claimed that Ubuntu will ship on 9 percent of PCs worldwide by 2014.

AMD dismisses numerous open source developers

A look at the patches contributed to the Linux kernel by AMD employees reveals that the closure will cause AMD to lose almost all developers who have recently submitted major changes to support new AMD processors and chip sets in Linux.

Mozilla Foundation to Pay $1.5 Million to Settle Up with the IRS

"In 2008 the US Internal Revenue Service opened an audit of the Mozilla Foundation. I’m happy to note that we’ve settled the issues raised and the IRS recently closed the audit. We entered into a settlement, under which the Mozilla Foundation paid the IRS US $1. 5 million. As a result of this settlement, $15 million in funds we had held in reserve pending the resolution of the audit are now available to support the Mozilla Foundation’s mission to support innovation and opportunity on the web. "

Cross-device cross-platform incompatibility incongruence

We can therefore surmise that an "additional effort" is required from the open-source community to enable automatic mounting of storage media and other aspects of user-friendly behaviour that Android users expect.

How To Use Steam For Linux Right Now, Without A Beta Account

So, how to use Steam even though you don't have a Steam beta account? Some users have reported that you can use Steam for Linux without a beta account, by simply launching Steam from a quicklist.

Contribute to an open source project no matter your experience level

If you're with a company that uses Python or Django, think about encouraging your organization to give back financially. It's true that "open source" means you get to use these projects for free, but at the end of the day, the developers who work on them give up a lot of personal time and give a lot of energy. That code doesn't write itself.

Android 4.2 will scan your apps for safety

The app scanner, which was hinted at last month, is a thin client of the Google Play store's Bouncer software, which scans every app uploaded to the official Android app store.

Mozilla director: We'll make content more webby

Mozilla has research up its colourful sleeves which contends that among a sample of British children aged 8-15, a total of 67% say they are interested in learning how to code, but only a disappointing 3% actually know how to.

Sony now leading Android Open Source Project for Xperia S

Sony has taken the reins of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) for its Xperia S device and is actively working with Google to bring pure Android to at least one of its phones.

Former Google lawyer to lead Silicon Valley patent office

In recent years, patents have become a bugbear in Silicon Valley as a flood of low-quality patents has triggered a litigation arms race and given rise to a scourge of “trolls” — shell companies that don’t make anything but use the threat of lawsuits to extort licenses from companies that do.

In just three years, Android has crushed the smartphone competition

Google's open-source platform Android has done more to shape the ecosystem than iOS has, and in three years it has come from nowhere to crush the competition.

How a $20 tablet from India could blindside PC makers, educate billions and transform comput

He has to repeat himself when he tells me the ultimate price university students will pay for his tablet, after half its cost has been subsidized by the Indian government. It’s $20.

Apple and Microsoft could make 600% more from Android than Google in 2013

Google, on the other hand, though it has not broken out Android revenue, makes as little as $1. 70 per Android device, per year, Asymco calculates, based on data Google was forced to reveal in court filings. Even at $2 a device, that’s only a sixth as much as the combined $12 that Microsoft and Apple could make for each Android smartphone.

How Lightworks Falsely Rides Open Source Publicity Train

EditShare announcedtwo years ago their intention to make Lightworks “open-source” someday, and that’s it. They have never released any source code since then. A code drop was planned for 2011 and it was postponed indefinitely. C

PengPod, A Dual-Booting Android and Linux Tablet

True, the Android operating system is based on Linux, but many dyed-in-the-wool Linux users would prefer a tablet running “real” Linux, which is exactly what Peacock Imports is trying to do with its line of PengPod Linux tablets.

AI Research Goes Open

There are many proprietary Go programs, but much cutting- edge AI research can be found in open source Go programs – and there’s an opportunity to get involved at many levels.

Jaspersoft 5.0 Enables Business Intelligence with HTML5

The new Jaspersoft 5. 0 release is currently only available in a commercial edition. The company also sponsors an open source community edition that will see a new release in the coming weeks. There are a number of major differences between the two releases.

Google declares Flash is now fully sandboxed in Chrome for Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome OS

Google today announced that Adobe Flash Player is now “fully sandboxed” in Chrome on all desktop platforms it supports: Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS. This is a big achievement on the security side of things, especially given the many vulnerabilities and 0-days frequently found in Flash.

Big Switch Emerges with Commercial SDN Portfolio (Linux Powered!)

The CEO and Co-Founder of Big Switch is none other than Guido Appenzeller, the former Stanford Professor that helped to usher in the SDN revolution with the OpenFlow protocol.

Could Ubuntu Power Your Phone?

Ubuntu on smartphones remains a totally theoretical proposition.

Android really is the new Windows

Android has gone into overdrive: unit sales more than doubled year-on-year to 122. 5 million, and the platform has a market share of 72. 4 percent, up from 52. 5 percent a year before. That's in mobile devices, not just smartphones.

Vendor-supported open source software unpacked

“With community support, you will most likely have to filter through 200 answers to your question, but with vendor support, they give you valuable answers in a quick and efficient way,” said Franco Austin, business development manager for application solutions at Dimension Data.

Control vs. influence: Which way for open source?

The same reverse effect applies to open source. Why do open source projects with a vendor tightly controlling the code usually fail to grow? Why do open source projects with relaxed licenses still get plenty of code contributions, though the license does not require them?

LongTail Video Launches New Version Of Its Open Source Video Player

For years, LongTail Video has offered its open source JW Player as a free alternative for businesses that don’t want to put their videos on YouTube or pay SaaS-based content management players like Brightcove or Ooyala.

***** Snippets

The Linux Games Available on Steam

Fedora 18 Linux Delayed to 2013

Beginners Guide To Ubuntu One Personal Cloud

Note to EFF: FDE implementation in Ubuntu Ubiquity is only at 50%

Absolutely Amazing Ubuntu Alternatives

Ubuntu GNOME Remix 12.10 Review

Ubuntu 13.04 Daily ISO Images Are Now Available

Happy Second Anniversary Fuduntu!

Mozilla Firefox turns 8

LinuxCon: The future is cloud and collaboration

Xubuntu 12.10 - All the goodness of Ubuntu without the hassle of Unity

Fallback Mode (Classic Session) To Be Dropped From GNOME 3.8

Linux developer joins Humble Bundle team full-time

Experimentation vs. Tradition: The Future of Innovation on the Linux Desktop

Open Source, Soccer-Playing Robots for All!

openSUSE 12.3 Reaches Another Milestone

Download Linux Kernel 3.7 Release Candidate 5

Titan Claims Supercomputing Crown (Linux Powered!)

Features Coming In For The GNOME 3.8 Desktop

Review: 6 slick open source routers

Fedora 19 Linux Will Be Called Schrödinger's Cat

GNOME 3.6.2 Has Been Officially Released

Empathy 3.6.2 Integrates Better with GNOME Online Account

Unity 4 released, supports Linux

Dropping GNOME Fallback Mode: The Right Decision, Wrongly Handled

Interview: Linus Torvalds – I don't read code any more

50 Android Jelly Bean tips, tricks and hints

XMBC 12.0 Beta 1 Has Support for Raspberry PI

Nvidia 310.19 Video Driver for Linux Supports OpenGL 4.3

Chromium for the Masses

KDE Gets a Homerun

Mageia 3 receives third and final Alpha

Nebula Aims to Deliver OpenStack Cloud Control

Why I think Linux is not going to have native support from Netflix
This Digest is sponsored by Open Source Law
see also:
Join: email with "Subscribe oswald" in subject line
Leave: email with "Unsubscribe oswald" in subject line
Note: This email list is manually generated.
Archives: (not maintained)
General disclaimer: I am a member of Open Source Industry Australia Limited

Recent Papers:

Research Note: Trade Practices Implications of Infringing Copies of Open Source Software
Software Patents: Microsoft Jumps the Shark
Reading the BSD License in Isolation
  View other publications