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 #477 Period ending 22 January 2013

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

Many many stories about Aaron Swartz this week, including related stories about the overcriminalisation of everything. Mathematicians are setting up an open peer reviewed journal. Lots of device/application stories off the back of CES. There is an undercurrent to them to the effect that Android tablets are going to sweep the market.

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



***** Open Standards/ODF

Microsoft goes its own way with Web audio/video spec, despite W3C rebuff

Perhaps the most specific complaint was that WebRTC was quite deeply linked to a specification called SDP, an open industry standard used extensively for VoIP and video conferencing systems in conjunction with SIP, with Microsoft arguing that this is over-complicated and hinders interoperability with non-SDP systems. SDP is used to negotiate the parameters of the connection; things like the bandwidth, the IP addresses and port numbers to use, and so on. It just happens that Microsoft has non-SDP products of its own—Skype (which remains stubbornly proprietary and undocumented) and Lync (which can bridge with SIP systems, and hence understands SDP, but offers alternative APIs too).

***** Off Topic

Cable Industry Finally Admits Caps Not About Congestion

The problem of course was that real data from researchers like Andrew Odlyzko repeatedly showed that well-run fixed line networks don't have serious capacity issues, and that looming video growth was easily handled by even modest network investment.

Report: Microsoft in talks to invest up to $3B in Dell to help take the PC maker private

The investment would be a huge bet by Microsoft in one of its critical PC maker partners — perhaps giving it more control over the future of how personal computers are built and sold. Shares of Dell are up more than two percent on the news, with Dell now boasting a market value of $22 billion.

***** Government/Policy

Aaron Swartz American Hero,1&source=fssr,0,648108.story,0,2027289.story,0,3846502.story

I worry that Swartz’s prosecution is a sign that America is gradually losing the sense of humor that has made it the home of the world’s innovators and misfits. A generation ago, we hailed Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg as a hero. Today, our government throws the book at whistleblowers for leaking much less consequential information.

Copyright Unbalanced

the publishers are making the book available for free download here (scroll down to see the free download link). Nice! Come and get it! [OSL: not as at 21 Jan??]

Mathematicians Aim To Take Publishers Out of Publishing

"Mathematicians plan to launch a series of free open-access journals that will host their peer-reviewed articles on the preprint server arXiv. The project was publicly revealed in a blog post by Tim Gowers, a Fields Medal winner and mathematician at the University of Cambridge, UK. The initiative, called the Episciences Project, hopes to show that researchers can organize the peer review and publication of their work at minimal cost, without involving commercial publishers. '

After a year in the grave, can SOPA and Protect IP return?

There are, on the other hand, some hints that SOPA -- or its sibling, or cousin -- could return. The White House has endorsed SOPA-esque legislation targeting offshore Web sites, Hollywood's top lobbyist said he was "confident" that more could be done, and the new chairman of the House Judiciary committee said he remains "committed to enacting strong copyright laws. "

New report shows Congress' favorite BitTorrent downloads

Still, it turns out that digital copies of pirated movies and TV shows aren't just the subject of committee debates on Capitol Hill—they're also being downloaded onto Capitol Hill computers. A post today in US News & World Report's tech blog published new information from anti-piracy forensics company ScanEye, a company that offers BitTorrent monitoring services in the name of fighting piracy. The ScanEye report [PDF] shows apparently pirated movie files being downloaded via IP addresses associated with the US House of Representatives.

German government advised to opt for open source

Germany should change a law to enable public administrations to make their software available as free and open source, a German parliamentary committee has advised.

ITA signs agreement with Intel to promote open source software

In line with ITA’s efforts in spreading a Free and Open Source software culture for the past two years, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in support of the Open Source Intel Global Challenge in Oman was signed here recently between the Information Technology Authority (ITA) and Intel Corporation.

Microsoft won't release study that challenged success of Munich's Linux migration

By switching from Windows to its own Linux distribution, LiMux, Munich has saved over ¬11 million (US$14. 3 million) so far, the city announced in November.

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

A CNET Reporter Resigns Amid CBS-Dish Tussle

... The Verge reported that, contrary to the statements of CBS last week, the Hopper was not “removed from consideration” for the award but in fact had already won the internal vote among CNET editors for “Best of Show” before being blocked by CBS executives worried about its impact on their ongoing lawsuit. The Verge reports that the dictum came directly from CBS CEO Leslie Moonves. (UPDATE: CNET has now confirmed the Dish device won the award. )

A Kodak Moment As Ericsson Feeds A Troll

“Unwired Planet will pay Ericsson a cut of the license revenue it generates from the portfolio, including 20% of the first $100 million; 50% of revenues between $100 million and $500 million; and 70% for amounts above $500 million.

Supreme Court conundrum: How far does a soybean seed patent go?

The farmer argued that under the doctrine of patent exhaustion, as interpreted most recently by the Supreme Court in the 2008 case of Quanta Computer v. LG Electronics, Monsanto only had the right to control use of the first-generation seeds. Using second-generation seeds, the farmer said, was akin to reselling a patented product you'd already paid for.

Patent Trial Awards Soar With Some Big Ones Cut by Judges

Patent awards kept rising in 2012, with seven topping $100 million, including three of $1 billion or more. Those verdicts remain the most volatile, with courts reversing almost half of the 25 largest patent awards in U. S. history, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

After Losing Injunction Bid, Apple Tries to Leapfrog Panel Review

In an unusual move, Apple Inc. 's lawyers are asking the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to bypass review by a three-judge panel and instead have the larger en banc court review the district court's ruling to clarify what they consider an impossible new standard for obtaining permanent sales bans in patent cases.

US FTC Finds Sharp Rise In ‘Pay-For-Delay’ Deals Blocking Generics

The United States Federal Trade Commission, which keeps an eye out for anticompetitive behaviour, has issued a study finding that in 2012, a record number of deals were struck between brand-name and generic drug companies to keep the lower-priced generics off the market. Such deals, which arise from patent disputes, cost American consumers billions of dollars annually while piling on the federal deficit, it said.

Ct. Definitively Rejects AFP's Argument That Posting Photo to Twitter Grants License to Use It

In a nutshell, Morel took photos of the Haiti earthquake, uploaded them to Twitpic and posted to Twitter. Someone else took Morel's photos and uploaded the same photos to their own account. An AFP staffer found the photos on the second individual's Twitter account, communicated with him, and thought AFP obtained a license. AFP then distributed the photos to Getty and other downstream third parties. Morel was understandably unhappy and started firing off takedown letters and requests.

Warner Music Sued for Millions by George Gershwin Heirs

The heirs of composer George Gershwin have filed a lawsuit that seeks at least $15 million from Warner Bros. Music for the underpayment of royalties and other accounting discrepancies.

Prenda Law can't ditch unhappy judge

Judge Wright’s conduct simply does not demonstrate any pervasive bias against Plaintiff or other copyright holders of pornographic or erotic material. At most, Plaintiff demonstrates that Judge Wright is concerned with the potential for discovery abuse. "

Ontario Court Rejects U.S. Government Demand for Full Access to Megaupload Servers Seized in CA

Megaupload did not contest the seizure of the computers. It did argue, however, "that there is an enormous volume of information on the servers and that sending mirror image copies of all of this data would be overly broad, particularly in light of the scantiness of the evidence connecting these servers to the crimes alleged by the American prosecutors. "

Galaxy tablets do not infringe Apple patents, says Dutch court

Samsung's Galaxy tablets do not infringe Apple's design patents relating to the iPad, a court in the Netherlands ruled today.

Patent trolling surges, but righteous cavalry on the way

"There's a great quote from Scientific American," congressman Peter DeFazio told his audience at a CES 2013 panel. "They say, 'It is almost as though we have taken our collective creativity and placed it in a lockbox, where the main benefactors are lawyers and profiteers'. " DeFazio disagrees only slightly with Scientific American. "In fact," he says, "there is no 'almost' about it. "

Apple Granted 27 New Patents, Including 2 Design Patents

Additionally, Apple was granted another Nortel based patent titled Wireless System which relates to LTE technology that may be found in Apple's iPhone 5.

Amazon One-Click Patent still lingering in Europe after 15 years

The main claim and its subclaims in a variety of auxiliary requests teaches a way of using standard data processing equipment, i. e. a “program for computers” unpatentable according to Art 52 EPC, to operate an equally unpatentable method of doing business.

US court hears organic farmers' appeal in Monsanto case

“Under the law as it stands, if Monsanto’s genetically modified seed contaminates an organic farmer’s property, Monsanto can sue them for patent infringement. And Monsanto’s done this in the past,” Attorney Daniel Ravicher, who is representing the farmers pro bono, told reporters after the hearing.

Design Patent Suits Becoming Less Prevalent in U.S. Courts

the number of design patents suits filed in 2012 appears to have dropped precipitously in popular court venues, according to a new analysis.

Means Plus Function Claiming

As the chart shows, the percentage of applications that include at least one means-plus-function term is well under 10% and seemingly in continued decline. A decade ago, about 1/4 of all applications included this type of claim.

Analysis: Apple bid for Samsung sales ban faces skeptical court

Apple Inc faces long odds in its attempt to overturn a U. S. appeals court ruling that threatens to undermine its smartphone patent war against Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.

Steve Jobs threatened patent suit to enforce no-hire policy: filing

Apple co-founder Steve Jobs threatened to file a patent lawsuit against Palm if that company's chief executive didn't agree to refrain from poaching Apple employees, according to a court filing made public on Tuesday.

Explaining the Supreme Court's Interest in Patent Law

Since 2000, the U. S. Supreme Court has been extremely active in patent law. The Supreme Court not only is taking more cases but also is addressing issues at the core of patent law, such as the law of obviousness and the doctrine of equivalents and its limitations.

***** Applications/Gadgets

Track Photo Locations on Android Device using GPS Map

The app allows you to add so-called placemarks to the map, and you can use photos stored on your Android device as markers.

Microsoft Windows Small Business Server Alternative: Zentyal?

When Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) killed Windows Small Business Server SBS) in 2012, some partners started seeking alternatives and replacements. Eager to fill the void, Canonical, Zarafa and Zentyal have been promoting an Ubuntu small business server to channel partners

Linux for the Masses at CES 2013

Here we look at six major CES stories involving Linux or Android that you are not likely to forget by the time CES 2014 rolls around.

The Cave Game Announced for January 23 on Linux

Sega announced today, January 15, 2013, that the upcoming The Cave game development by Double Fine and designed by Ron Gilbert, will be made available for Linux-based operating systems and Apple’s Mac OS X next Wednesday, January 23.

Open source groupware suite Kolab 3.0 goes live

Kolab is an enterprise-scale email, calendar, contact and task management suite that is fully open source, freely available, and interoperable with multiple web, desktop, and tablet clients.

AMD Roadrunner Platform Opens Server Design

Open 3. 0 was originally codenamed "Roadrunner" and is a new server motherboard approach that conforms to standards being developed by the Open Compute Project.

With Lenovo's entry, Chromebooks are gaining popularity fast

The people have spoken, and they want Google's Linux-based, Chrome OS-powered Chromebooks. . The ARM-powered Samsung Chromebook is still Amazon's top selling laptop, and now Lenovo is getting ready to offer a ThinkPad Chromebook: the ThinkPad X131e for the education market.

Amazon Dodges Apple Tax With Mobile MP3 Store

Google's Chrome browser for iOS apparently can also be used to purchase and download songs, provided the Amazon Cloud Player app is installed -- trying to download an MP3 purchase from Amazon on an iPhone without the Cloud Player app produced an error when attempted using Chrome for iOS.

It Will Be Awesome if They Don't Screw it Up: 3D Printing, IP, and the Fight Over the Next Tech

These machines, generically known as 3D printers, are not imported from the future or the stuff of science fiction. Home versions, imperfect but real, can be had for around $1,000. Every day they get better, and move closer to the mainstream.

Rock and Paper, the Android Personal Computer's new looks

VIA Technologies, Inc. has just announced two new incarnations (Paper and Rock) of the APC, an ARM-based computer that runs a customized Android 4. 0 operating system.

Open Source Handheld GCW-Zero Nears Kickstarter Goal

There’s only 8 days until the end of Game Consoles Worldwide’s Kickstarter campaign for their open source handheld, GCW-Zero. With another $28,000 to go, the GCW-Zero is very close to hitting it’s funding goal of $130,000; but also dangerously close to missing it.

Official Android Community app launched: we go hands-on

This Is the First Game for Ubuntu Phone OS

The player’s objective is to create intelligible words, composed of two or more letters and obtain a higher score until the screen gets filled with letters. And I am safe in affirming, that this game has its roots in Scrabble and Tetris.

OLPC announces XO Tablet with 7-inch screen

One Laptop Per Child is back in the tablet race, announcing a new 7-inch tablet with the Android OS that will be sold commercially and include its learning software.

***** Reports

The 10 oldest, significant open source programs

Does open-source software still seem "new" to you? Think again, its roots go back decades.

Touchscreen proliferation could open desktop to Android

As touchscreens become standard in PCs, they will eliminate an obstacle to moving Android to the desktop. If Android can obtain a beachhead on the desktop, it's very likely to pull its following—now numbering in the millions—with it.

Fedora still has issues with secure boot

While the image mentioned above can now be installed on a secure boot-enabled machine unlike the last time I tried with the previous testing image, one cannot reclaim space from a hard drive, that has plenty to spare, for installation.

Linux Foundation to Launch Free, Online Educational Q&As This Week

In an effort to build new, structured and free opportunities for community members to learn about Linux, The Linux Foundation is launching a series of Live Linux Q&As on its social channels, starting this week, Wednesday, January 16, on Facebook.

How the mobile revolution is challenging open source user interfaces

The evidence for the importance of this paradigm shift is stifling: Morgan Stanley predicts that by 2014, mobile users will exceed desktop users. Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt says that "if you don’t have a mobile strategy, you don’t have a future strategy. "

Open Compute Project Launches Common Slot Spec

"We're establishing for the first time a common slot for any SOC maker to design to a common standard," Frankovsky said. "All the surrounding bits are the same, with DDR memory and network controllers, and now for the first time we will have the ability to have a common slot architecture. "

Firefox OS App Day announced for developers

Mozilla are holding a Firefox OS App Day on January 26th to get devs a kickstart on hacking and learning the mobile OS

Raspberry Pi Guide Arrives

A group of teachers produced it, taking note of the fact that the Raspberry Pi could have a bright future in the educational system. Now, there is an official guide to the Raspberry Pi: Getting Started with Raspberry Pi, from O'Reilly and the folks behind Make.

Hey, open sourcers: Who's your code's daddy?

While there are compelling reasons (warning: PDF) to think that pre-invention agreements shouldn't have legal force against open-source contributors, the best course of action for open-source developers may simply be to insist on keeping all open-source activity outside an employer's grasp. That is, to carve open-source contributions out of a pre-invention assignment agreement.

'Software Wars' the Movie: A Message to the Masses

Linux. com recently had a chance to speak with Curtis, who is now in the final few days of his funding effort, about the movie and what he hopes to accomplish.

Red Hat Revenues: Partners Drive 65 Percent of Bookings

Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) now generates 65 percent of quarterly bookings from partners, up from 53 percent in the company’s Fiscal Year 2008.

How Steam and Android Will Change Gaming Forever

An Android device with sufficient processing power is perfectly capable of running Unreal-, OpenGL-, or Unity-powered games that look just as good as those running under Windows, or on an Xbox or PlayStation.

Vert.x's journey teaches invaluable governance lessons,0

've had a deep interest in open source community governance for years; indeed, several years ago I sketched out a benchmark for comparing governance approaches.

Nokia backs 3D printing for mobile phone cases

Nokia is releasing design files that will let owners use 3D printers to make their own cases for its Lumia phones

Samsung boosts NZ presence, targets enterprise

Samsung has scaled up its New Zealand operation, from ten staff three years ago to a current head count of 170.

Open Compute Summit: New Members, Technologies

The fourth Open Compute Summit opened Jan. 16 with 1,900 attendees, featuring the launch of new hardware designs, technology innovations and backing from AMD, EMC, Facebook, Hitachi, Intel and others.

Rackspace Delivers OpenStack Cloud Training at MIT

The program, which runs through this week, is part of a broader initiative by Rackspace to deliver training in cloud deployment for IT experts at universities and many other organizations.

Will 2013 finally be the Year of Linux ?

New games and gaming consoles geared toward this system have left many asserting that 2013 will finally be the “year of Linux. ” But why?

iPhone Beats Android In U.S. Market

Apple's smartphone platform earned just a hair more than half the U. S. market and two-thirds of the Japanese market during the closing months of 2012.

Of netbooks, tablets and Linux's revenge

As I pointed out then, these were incontrovertible signs that Microsoft really hated the netbook sector, because it threatened to undermine sales of top-of-the-line Windows versions by being "good enough" for many people. And so instead of trying to grow the netbook market, Microsoft did everything it could to throttle it quietly, especially systems running the dreaded GNU/Linux.

***** Snippets

Pear Linux 6.1 Is Based on Ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS

Has Google Become Institution-Bound?

KDE Workspaces and Applications 4.10 on live images courtesy of openSUSE

How to create a successful open source business model

Fedora 18 Release Roundup!!

Red Hat Nears $1 Billion In Deferred Revenue

RHEV upgrade saga: RHEL KVM and the Open vSwitch

True Cost Of Open Source Storage Software

The forkers saving open source from a corporate bear hug

Interview with Open Source Advocate Keith Curtis about Software Wars

Dive Into a Solid Collection of OpenStack Cloud Tutorials

Memo to Linux Devs: Focus on Design, Not Technology

Upgrading Fedora 17 to 18 with FedUp is elegant, but ???

Mozilla CTO Brendan Eich Gets an Expanded Role (and it's about time!)

Linux Kernel 3.7.3 Is Available for Download

RHEL 5.9 clones arrive from CentOS and Oracle

Meet 'Consort,' a brand-new classic Linux desktop

What artists want in software: An ode to Dream Studio

What's new in Fedora 18

Facebook announces new 'Graph Search' tools in potential challenge to Google

Kolab 3 debuts new user interface

OpenSUSE 12.3 beta is ready to run

OpenStack Cloud Training: Here Comes Generation Y

openSUSE 12.3 Beta 1 Released with Pizza

Ubuntu Phone Looks Like The Future Of Computing

OpenOffice Writer English Grammar Checkers

Mozilla Stabilizes Firefox 18.0.1 with 7 bug fixes

Opening up the open source community

Review: Linux Mint 14 MATE Edition

KDE 4.10 RC 3 released
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