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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 #474 Period ending 5 December 2012

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

My pick for this week is the story about a person who open sourced his treatment for brain cancer by posting his symptoms and health records on line. In the process he ran into a problem that his health records were unreadable because they were in closed formats. Sort of off topic, but there is a fight going on at the ITU over regulation of the internet. Work on a signed bootloader shim for UEFI has apparently been completed. The usual mobile patent mess continues.

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



***** Off Topic

Google buys parcel storage service BufferBox

Google has bought some more storage, but not the digital kind. The company has acquired BufferBox, a Canadian startup that offers temporary storage lockers where people can receive online purchases when they're not at home.

Windows 8 hasn't lifted US tablet or PC sales, NPD says

Since the highly anticipated operating system was launched Oct. 26, Windows device sales have fallen 21 percent compared with the same period last year, the market research firm said.

Evan Buys a Microsoft Surface

The Microsoft laptop acting as the register immediately crashes. She looks up at me and says “Sorry my computer crashed. Just give me a second to reboot. ”

***** Government/Policy

My open source cure for brain cancer

But when I went home to publish my medical records, all I could do was send them to specialized professionals, either by duplicating the CDs and mailing them or by copying their closed format and uploading them somewhere.

Switching to Linux saves Munich over 11 million

The city government estimated that Migrating from Windows 2000 to a combination of Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010 would have cost it a little over €34 million in total. Switching to LiMux and the OpenOffice. org desktop productivity suite has cost it €22. 8 million, according to a cost comparison published last week that detailed the cost of migrating 11,000 users to open source applications on Linux.

Bitter struggle over Internet regulation to dominate global summit

While specifics of some of the most contentious proposals remain secret, leaked drafts show that Russia is seeking rules giving individual countries broad permission to shape the content and structure of the Internet within their borders, while a group of Arab countries is advocating universal identification of Internet users. Some developing countries and telecom providers, meanwhile, want to make content providers pay for Internet transmission.

Open source software policy is better without open source

Here’s a fun experiment (if, like me, you’re a huge nerd): take an open source policy from your agency, company, whatever, and strike out the words "open source. " Bam, you now have a much more sensible and reasonable "software" policy.

Secure Boot bootloader for distributions available now

I'm pleased to say that a usable version of shim is now available for download. As I discussed here, this is intended for distributions that want to support secure boot but don't want to deal with Microsoft.

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

Mozilla and German lawmakers spar in increasingly furious 'link tax' row,0,1844223.story

The German Bundestag, or parliament, will this week debate a new law that would extend copyright to cover the small chunks of information about an article that Google and other search engines display when including that article in their results. The Federal Association of German Newspaper Publishers (BDZV) has lobbied strongly for this to happen, as it would supposedly mean more cash for the publishers, in the form of royalties.

Apple files patent for true wireless charging technology

In a blow to Android, [Seattle] judge says Moto patents can't get injunctions

"Because Microsoft will pay royalties under any license agreement from the time of infringement within the statute of limitations, this license agreement will constitute Motorola’s remedy for Microsoft’s use of Motorola’s H. 264 standard essential patent portfolio to include the Motorola Asserted Patents. Accordingly, Motorola cannot demonstrate that it has been irreparably harmed. " [OSL: this reasoning is odd bc it could be made of any patent infringement]

The Problems With Software Patents

Software iterates quickly. Most software programs, and features of those programs, have an effective commercial life of only a few years. Then, new software developments quickly render prior innovations obsolete . Contrast this with mechanical innovations, some of which may have commercial lives of decades, and pharmaceutical innovations, which may retain commercial value indefinitely.

Seeking to head off Samsung argument, Apple shortens a patent term

It's not much of a sacrifice. By filing the disclaimer, Apple now links its D'677 patent to the term of an earlier patent, No. D593,087. In doing so it's giving up about 13 months of patent life. Both patents will now expire in May 2023.

Apple wins partial Dutch ban on Galaxy devices in Samsung clash

Samsung last year tweaked a feature on the smartphones to bypass a Dutch injunction. Today’s ban concerns products that are still on the market with the old patent-infringing feature.

Nokia seeks ban on BlackBerry sales

Nokia has laid the ground for a ban on sales of BlackBerrys in the US, UK and Canada in a new wave of hostilities in the smartphone patent wars, which have also seen Sweden's Ericsson file a suit against Samsung over alleged patent abuse.

Two Worlds of Software Patents

As Stallman commented to me after the conference: "There may be weak patents, and there may be strong patents, but they are all bad patents. "

Groups Urge European Commission To Back Strong Copyright In Upcoming Debate

Groups representing European publishers, writers and collective management organisations are urging the European Commission to support their interests as it considers initiatives on copyright policy this week.

TV Broadcasters Tell Appeals Court to Shut Down Aereo

On Friday, the major TV broadcasters made their second attempt to shut down Aereo, the digital TV service that was funded in great part by Barry Diller and launched this past March.

Movie Studios Ask Google To Censor Their Own Films, Facebook and Wikipedia

Perhaps even more crazy is another request sent on behalf of 20th Century Fox for “How I Met Your Mother”. The DMCA notice lists a CBS URL as the official source of the copyrighted material, but the same URL later appears in the list of infringing links.

FTC Says Brand Name Drug Redesign Violates Antitrust Law

The brief is notable because the FTC explains in the brief that it is their learned opinion that minor, non-therapeutic changes to a branded pharmaceutical product harm generic competition and can constitute exclusionary conduct that violates U. S. antitrust laws.

Supreme Court to Review Myriad Case Again

After the Supreme Court issued its decision in Prometheus where it confused obviousness with patentable subject matter, the Court sent the Myriad case back to the Federal Circuit for reconsideration in light of that decision. After reviewing the case again, the Federal Circuit reached the same conclusion that the isolated DNA claims are patentable.

Company collects data on millions of illegal downloaders: first step to crack down on piracy

Logan said while last week’s court case involved only 50 IP addresses, his company is involved in another case that will see thousands of Canadians targeted in a sweep aimed at deterring Internet users from illegally downloading movies and other digital content.

Editorial: NZ must not settle for less than golden deal on TPP

John Key reaffirmed as recently as last week that New Zealand will not give up its public medical purchasing system, Pharmac, under pressure from US pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Unitary Patent Plenary December 2012

The European Parliament (EP) will be deprived of any powers to define a fair and efficient patent policy, for instance by imposing an exception to the rights conferred by a unitary patent with regards to acts related to the use or the development of software.

America's dysfunctional patent system is stifling innovation

When David Kappos became head of the United States Patent and Trademark Office four years ago, there was a brief flurry of hope that he might be to America's dysfunctional patent system what Joseph Kennedy had been to Wall Street back in the Great Depression: a reformer chosen from the ranks of the people who'd created the need for reform.

***** Applications/Gadgets

15 Weird/Surprising devices and Systems that run on Linux

It’s incredible to see how Linux runs on devices of various sizes, power and built for diverse purposes. Linux is, like technology itself, deeply integrated in our daily lives and we don’t seem to even realize it!

Top ten open source gifts for the holidays

The opensource. com team gathered ten of our favorite gadgets to help you pick out that perfect present for that special (open source) someone.

Dell XPS 13 laptop: The Ubuntu developer edition arrives

The planning is done and this top-of-the-line programmer's laptop, the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition is ready to ship for $1,549.

Raspberry Pi what is the secret of his success and what are its potential

Recently the Raspberry Pi Model B with 512MB RAM has been announced and put on the market. So why this small piece of hardware has become so popular ?

Five Best Android Tablets

This week we asked you which Android tablets you thought were the best of the best, and here are the top five based on those nominations.

$100 Android/Linux tablet hits funding goal, ships in January

The project's deadline expired last night, with the PengPod getting a healthy $72,707 from more than 500 contributors.

***** Reports

Red Hat Shifts Open Source PaaS Cloud to the Enterprise

The Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) market is growing fast, as enterprises race to a more efficient cloud model for application development and deployment. While PaaS solutions enable the cloud, they don't always have to reside outside of an enterprise's firewall.

With Google readying its own Nexus Chromebook, will it marry Chrome OS to Android?

The China Commercial Times (Chinese language link) reports that Google has placed hardware orders with Taiwanese manufacturers Compal Electronics and Wintek to produce a Chromebook with a 12. 85-inch touch display. Could this be the start of Google merging Android and Chrome OS?

Beware these open source lock-in schemes

Along with vendors who actually deliver on those open source benefits, a subset use the brand to sell their products without actually making open source freedoms available to their customers.

Dell Laptop is $70 Cheaper with Ubuntu Linux

Dell is now offering a $70 markdown on one laptop model when customers purchase it with Ubuntu instead of a Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) OS. Is this a mistake, or a sign of changes to come on Dell’s part?

Android seven-inchers swipe rug from under Apple

The question is, does Apple’s tablet market share - or Android’s for that matter - actually matter? Apple is certainly selling more of the darn things, but after a brief year’s relief, sales of Android alternatives are rising even more quickly.

Open source community up in arms over proprietary software for Ubuntu

Portions of the Linux community are up in arms that proprietary software has started appearing in the Ubuntu Software Center.

Is Linux better than Windows 8 for gaming?

Drew Bliss, one of Valve’s most famous employees, recently gave a presentation at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Denmark. He had a few good points about why Linux is going to become the platform of choice for game developers in the new future.

Samsung takes aim at rivals with Android camera

The Galaxy camera lets users connect to a mobile network or Wi-Fi to share photographs and video without having to hook up the camera to a computer.

Forrester: open source project explosion driving a "golden era" in app dev

An explosion in the number of open source technologies and projects is driving the new paradigm of application development in the mobile, cloud and big data era.

Splashtop introduces remote Ubuntu to Android and iPhone

The beta Splashtop Streamer, when used with Splashtop 2 a remote desktop app. for Android devices, iPad, and iPhone and iPod Touch, will enable you to connect remotely to Ubuntu 12. 04 systems.

Mozilla Invests in Mobile Startup

Mozilla is participating in a $25 million series C funding round for Everything. me, which is an HTML5-focused mobile startup. Mozilla is joining the venture team of Telefonica Digital as well as SingTel Innov8 in the funding round.

Open Source CRM Zurmo Releases Version 0.8.0, Email and Theming Added

The Open Source CRM project Zurmo today announced the immediate availability of Zurmo Version 0. 8. 0. The most significant addition to the new release is the ability to send emails directly from within the application.

GitHub needs to take open source seriously

Since then, I have heard more and more people mention this trend of regarding the copyright and collaboration terms of a project as irrelevant bureaucracy. Appealing as it may be to treat the wisdom of the years as pointless, doing so creates a problem for the future.

Linux Server Revenues Grow to $2.6 Billion

Not all sectors of the global server market are in decline. In particular, IDC noted that Linux is growing. Linux server hardware revenues for 3Q12 were reported at $2. 6 billion for a 6. 6 percent year-over-year gain.

Drupal Sponsor Acquia Brings in $68.5 Million of Funding

There is a lot of money backing the open source Drupal content management system (CMS). Acquia, the lead commercial sponsor behind Drupal, today announced its latest round of venture financing. The new E round, worth $30 million, will help the company grow its suite of services and its global footprint for delivering a full-featured CMS.

Barnes & Noble Beats Fiscal Q2 2013 Estimates

The standout here (to the extent that there is one) is none other than Barnes & Noble’s Nook business — it raked in $160 million in revenues, a 6% jump from Q2 2012. Barnes & Noble also opted to take a particularly frustrating page out of rival Amazon’s playbook by noting that Nook sales doubled over the Black Friday weekend without any numbers to back up the claim.

Kickstarter, Trademarks and Lies

Arduino is not suing anybody. We never intended to do that in the slightest. We love Kickstarter and , as I said in the post, we think they are important to Makers. We are now in contact with Kickstarter to make sure that in the future the communication between us are more direct and clear.

NYSE OpenMAMA Advances Open Source Messaging

OpenMAMA is an effort to build an open source implementation of the MAMA (Middleware Agnostic Messaging API) that financial services companies use for passing data across messaging applications.

Left wondering why VLC relicensed some code to LGPL

The choice of license makes a big difference: using the Lesser GPL permits use of the library in proprietary programs; using the ordinary GPL for a library makes it available only for free programs.

***** Snippets

Firefox 18 Gets an Ion Boost of Open Source Acceleration (that's better on Linux!)

64 Open Source Tools for the Mobile Workforce

Top 30 Nmap Command Examples For Sys/Network Admins

There's a New Package Manager in Town

Kickstarter and Game Development: Highlighting Games Coming to Linux Part 4

Fedora 18 finally makes beta

The K Desktop Environment is 15

Piwik software installer rigged with back door following website compromise

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS to be Codenamed Brilliant Broccoli

SolusOS and Me

Fedora 18 Linux Rolls Spherical Cow Beta

Oracle Linux on your home or small office server?

Post-Thanksgiving Roundup: Counting Open Source Blessings

FocusWriter Rich in Features, Poor in Some Important Ones

Google Chrome 23 Updates Security Thanks to Address Sanitization

20 Best Android apps this week

40+ Open Source and Free Software

KDE 4.10 To Change Windows Grouping

Two key features star in the new Fedora 18 beta

Will Mozilla Firefox 20 Fix Private Browsing?

Kernel Log – Coming in 3.7 (Part 5): CPU and platform code
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