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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 #479 Period ending 5 February 2013

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

Yet more stories on Aaron Swartz. A fair number of Australian sourced stories off the back of LCA this week, including Tim Berners-Lee waxing lyrical about government data snooping and the Australian Department of Defence using Linux. From NZ a bizarre story about copyright presumption of guilt.

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



***** Off Topic

This Old (Open Source) House: Man Renovates Home on GitHub

When Mark Wainwright visited his friend Francis Irving in Liverpool last May, he nearly locked himself in his small guest room just beneath the attic. The door was missing a knob, but it could still latch shut. Wainwright, a community coordinator with a U. K. non-profit group, wanted to let his host know about the problem. So he filed a bug report on GitHub.

Why Obama Should Open Source His Campaign Code Now, Not Later

This year, however, as part of a project code-named Narwhal, Obama’s team is working to link once completely separate repositories of information so that every fact gathered about a voter is available to every arm of the campaign. Such information-sharing would allow the person who crafts a provocative email about contraception to send it only to women with whom canvassers have personally discussed reproductive views or whom data-mining targeters have pinpointed as likely to be friendly to Obama’s views on the issue.

Be Very Afraid: Notes from a ‘Data Privacy Day’ Town Hall

Data Privacy Day is an annual event on Jan. 28 that focuses attention within the technology industry on issues of privacy, trust, and security. Companies, governments, and non-government organizations (NGOs) around the world now participate in Data Privacy Day activities.

***** Government/Policy

Raspberry Pi Foundation receives Google grant for Schools

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced that they are being given a grant from Google Giving for 15,000 Raspberry Pi Model Bs.

Defence bets big on Linux,defence-bets-big-on-linux.aspx

Contractor BAE's Linux systems engineer, Jamie Birse, told linux. conf. au attendees that more than 1000 operational, development and research systems were in line to be shifted off proprietary Tru64 and VMS-based systems onto Intel-based servers running Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Access to Court Opinions Expands

Access to judicial opinions through FDsys allows the Judiciary to make its work more easily available to the public.

Mark Cuban’s Awesome Justification For Endowing A Chair To ‘Eliminate Stupid Patents’

Outspoken billionaire, Mark Cuban, is fed up with America’s patent system. “Dumbass patents are crushing small businesses. I have had multiple small companies i am an investor in have to fight or pay trolls for patents that were patently ridiculous,” he says in an email to TechCrunch.

'Dynamite': web inventor warns about dangers of government snooping

Sir Tim Berners-Lee said that while it was important to fight serious organised crime and for a state to defend itself against cyber attack, there were enormous negatives associated with excessive government oversight of the internet. "The whole thing seems to me fraught with massive dangers and I don't think it's a good idea,” he said in Sydney on Tuesday in reply to a question about the Australian government's data retention plan.

Steal Like an Artist

It’s not nice to steal. Unless you are a poet, an artist, a musician, an architect, a writer, or you do anything that requires even a modest amount of creativity. Then it’s not IF you steal, but HOW you steal, that makes all the difference in the world. That is the basic thesis of the fantastic book by Austin Kleon, Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative.

Library Signs “Declaration of Learning”

Through this partnership, the Library has committed to working together with the other agencies and organizations in utilizing historic artifacts in its collections, as well as its educational expertise, to create digital learning tools that can be accessed from computers, tablets and cell phones.

Your Comments on Access to Federally Funded Scientific Research Results

In November, OSTP issued two Requests for Information—one on Public Access to Peer-Reviewed Scholarly Publications Resulting From Federally Funded Research and the other on Public Access to Digital Data Resulting From Federally Funded Scientific Research.

NZ Copyright Tribunal: Accusations Are Presumed Infringement, Despite Denials

The Tribunal basically ignores all that and says that, under the law, an accusation is as good as guilt unless you provide evidence of innocence -- and then says she failed to do so. Think about that for a second. You need to prove a negative here -- which seems close to impossible, but that's what the law apparently requires.

World wide web creator sees open access future for academic publishing

Activists pushing for free, open access to academic papers will eventually defeat publishers who seek to lock scholarly findings behind paywalls, the founder of the world wide web said today.

Aaron Swartz DC Memorial Event

Join the DC community to remember the life and work of Aaron Swartz, an accomplished activist, and call for Computer Fraud and Abuse Act reform.

Academic paywalls unwittingly benefit oppressive regimes - at society's expense.

The only people who profit from this system are academic publishers. Scholars receive no money from the sale of their articles, and are marginalized by a public who cannot afford to read their work. Ordinary people are denied access to information and prohibited from engaging in scholarly debate.

Democratic Party’s voter registration app is now free and open-source software

We wanted to avoid a scenario where, either inadvertently or through malice, someone set up a site based on the code, and without following state and federal guidelines and rules, defrauded or disenfranchised a voter. Now, regardless of our good intentions on this matter, the fact that we had taken a standard open source license and amended it with this restrictive clause meant that we did not pass âfree and open sourceâ muster, with emphasis on the âfreeâ as in âspeechâ.

Google Leads Fight to Limit Government Access to E-Mail on Cloud

Google Inc. (GOOG), which says it gets about 1,400 requests a month from U. S. authorities for users’ e- mails and documents, is organizing an effort to press for limits on government access to digital communications.

Tech, telecom giants take sides as FCC proposes large public WiFi networks

The federal government wants to create super WiFi networks across the nation, so powerful and broad in reach that consumers could use them to make calls or surf the Internet without paying a cellphone bill every month.

Prince George’s considers copyright policy that takes ownership of students’ work

A proposal by the Prince George’s County Board of Education to copyright work created by staff and students for school could mean that a picture drawn by a first-grader, a lesson plan developed by a teacher or an app created by a teen would belong to the school system, not the individual.

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

Pitney Bowes denied printing patent

The issue before the Board was whether affixing an advertisement to a mail piece is insignificant post solution activity.

Karyn Temple Claggett Named Ass. Register of Copyrights and Director of Policy & Int' Affai

She was also an attorney for the Recording Industry Association of America

Obama Administration Considers Joining Publishers In Fight To Stamp Out Fair Use At Universities

In digging into this, we've heard from a few sources that it's actually the US Copyright Office that has asked the DOJ to weigh in on the side of the publishers and against the interests of public univerisities and students. Yes, the same Copyright Office that just promoted a former RIAA VP to second in command. I'm sure that's just a coincidence.

CES tells CNET: You’re fired!

Group says CBS tossed principle when it nixed journos’ award to Dish Hopper.

Groklaw's Proposed Response to USPTO's Question on Functional Language

We'd like your input before we finalize our comment. Do you see a way to improve it? Make it clearer and more accessible to non-programmers? Any further references you think would be useful?

Smartphone Wars: Micron’s Slide-to-Unlock Patent

Adding a bit of drama to the slide-to-unlock debate, Micron has just received its own patent covering a "system and method for controlling user access to an electronic device. "

CBS and CNET Protest Looming BitTorrent Client Ban

Last year, Alki David and a coalition of artists sued CBS and CNET for their role in distributing uTorrent, LimeWire and other P2P software.

Progress towards modernising patent law (NZ)

Under the amendment, computer programs as such would not be eligible for patent protection. However, inventions that make use of embedded computer programs will be patentable.

Patent lawyers ponder the changed post-grant process

Some say post-grant review, which went into effect Sept. 16, will alter patent practice dramatically. “It is a real game changer,” says Matthew I. Kreeger, a partner with Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco.

U.S. court says won't expedite Apple appeal versus Samsung

A U. S. appeals court on Monday rejected Apple Inc's request to fast-track its bid for a sales ban on several Samsung Electronics Co Ltd phones,

The Implications of Patent Rulings With Limited Remedies

Motorola disputes Federal Circuit’s jurisdiction over Apple’s FRAND-related appeal

Motorola and Apple are currently facing off over patent-related issues in several ongoing judicial proceedings, including multiple appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

***** Applications/Gadgets

Linux Games: One late night

One Late Night is a short immersive horror-game experience, released for free for Linux, Mac and WIndows,

Samsung launches red Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 Android tablet for $219.99

Unfortunately, while there's a new color option, the specs haven't been updated from the original Tab 2 7.0, which is also available in silver. The 7-inch tablet (with screen resolution of 1,024x600) runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean using a dual-core Texas Instruments OMAP CPU and includes just 8GB of storage. It does include a handy built-in IR blaster to turn the Tab into a remote control for your TV.

RunRev launches Kickstarter campaign to create open source version of LiveCode

RunRev, creator of the LiveCode cross-platform programming environment is planning to release an open source version of its platform that will be available for free.

Chrome OS' gains, Windows 8's pains

Last, but far from least, Chrome OS has no licensing fee. It doesn't cost Acer one thin dime to place Chrome OS on its Chromebooks. In a dwindling PC market, pumping up the profit margin counts for a lot. Just ask Acer, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung.

XBMC 12 released - includes Raspberry Pi and Android support

As development progressed, small yet important updates were made – HD audio support was added, 10bit h. 264 video decoding, and various our tweaks and improvements. Then the big changes started to come – initial Android support, native Raspberry Pi support, and the platform wide inclusion of Live TV and PVR support.

Cisco Brings Unified Access to Catalyst Switching (Linux Powered!)

Both the 5750 and the 3850 are powered by Cisco's IOS-XE operating system. IOS-XE in turn is based on the open source Linux operating system, which Cisco has enhanced over the years to support enterprise networking requirements.

Intel Will Showcase Dual Core Android Smartphones At The Mobile World Congress

“Specifically, Intel will showcase its latest smartphone technologies and devices running the Android* platform, including a new dual core, dual graphics platform, as well as OEM- and service provider-supported devices based on the company’s new Intel® AtomTM Z2420 platform targeted at emerging markets,” the company said in a release.

Hewlett-Packard joins Chromebook fray with 14-inch browser-based laptop

The HP Chromebook features a 14-inch display with 1366-by-768 resolution, step up from most Chromebooks that feature 11. 6-inch displays.

Samsung Galaxy Note 2: Big enough to be worth the trouble

Its 5. 5-inch display is big enough to yield a fantastic user experience and that additional utility makes it worthwhile to carry around every day.

***** Reports

Debian guru's plea for sane computing future

When Bdale Garbee talks about the future of the Linux desktop, it is not so much a visionary view as a view of how he would like computing to evolve.

Canonical Commits to Regular Ubuntu Cloud Updates

As Canonical engineer Ben Howard explained, Ubuntu developers will now push out new Ubuntu Cloud Images following updates to the Linux kernel.

HP Extends Serviceguard to Linux

At its core, Serviceguard is clustering software for high availability (HA) and disaster recovery. It's a software solution that HP supports with professional services.

Linux Foundation Gits Growth

This week, development firm Perforce joined the Linux Foundation which is of interest for a number of reasons.

Microsoft embraces open-source Git for development tools

Microsoft is integrating the widely used Git, a distributed revision control and source code management (SCM) system, into its Visual Studio IDE (integrated developer environment) and Team Foundation Server (TFS), two of the company's main tools for enterprise developers.

UEFI-enabled Samsung laptops get bricked with Linux

A number of Samsung laptops are dying after they are booted with a live-usb image of Ubuntu 12. 04 using UEFI, according to information at the Ubuntu bug reporting site.

Rackspace Rallies Partners Around OpenStack Private Clouds

Boosting OpenStack, Rackspace has partnered with AMD, Dell, EMC, HP, Arista Networks, Brocade, Hortonworks, NetApp and CommVault to launch open reference architectures that were designed to make it easier for enterprises to deploy large-scale private clouds.

Foolish Investing in a New Open Source Order

Companies release software as open source because they want other eyes on it, other hands on it. They are no longer just releasing software they no longer care about. They are trying to build programming communities around the software. They're trying to create alliances around it. They're trying to grow it.

Open Source Gaming Backend OpenKit Plans Private Beta Launch, Raises Another $100K

Co-founder Peter Relan told me that when the team first publicized the project last month, “not a single line of code” had been written. Instead, it was sussing out developer interest, with plans to focus on the project if more than 100 developers signed up. In fact, 160 developers signed up on day one, and that number is now up to 500.

Firefox to block content based on Java, Reader, and Silverlight

Mozilla engineers plan to disable Java, Adobe Reader, and Microsoft Silverlight capabilities in their flagship Firefox browser in a move aimed at improving security and performance.

Linux on Windows 8 PCs: Some progress, but still a nuisance

Getting Linux to boot and install on PCs locked down with Windows 8's UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) Secure Boot continues to be annoying at best and downright impossible in some cases. Still, slowly, ever so slowly, progress is being made.

Rackspace changes course, won't support third-party OpenStack distributions as part of private cloud offering

It said it would rather consume other offerings and wanted to support many different distributions as part of the program.

Linux on Windows 8 PCs: Step backs, steps forward

some Lenovo PCs with UEFI Secure Boot aren't simply checking the proper keys to see if an operating system should be allowed to boot, but are also checking to see if an operating system is saying if it's "Windows" in its descriptive text.

Monty has last laugh as distros abandon MySQL

When the community GNU/Linux distributions Fedora and openSUSE recently announced that they would be switching their default database management system from MySQL to MariaDB, one man in Finland would have had a very hearty laugh.

Wine for Linux is going mobile

Wouldn’t it be great if you could run Windows applications on your Android smartphone or tablet? Well, that may one day be a reality, and the person who is working on the new project is the best man for the job. That’s right: Wine for Android is coming.

Google and Mozilla show off video chat between Chrome and Firefox thanks to WebRTC support

Google and Mozilla on Monday showed off how they teamed up to make their respective browsers talk to each other with the addition of WebRTC support.

Samsung launches new $100M fund for cloud, mobile$100m-fund-for-cloud-mobile/

The Korean electronics giant, which hosted a press event today here, said the Samsung Catalyst Fund will center on funding early stage companies focused on components and subsystems. Its $1 billion American Ventures America Fund will also be used to help further target areas like mobility, the cloud, and the Internet of Things.

Samsung Buys Stake in ‘S-Pen’ Collaborator

Wacom worked with Samsung to create the “S Pen” that comes with Samsung’s Galaxy Note. Samsung said it doesn’t plan to take a controlling stake in the Japanese company.

***** Snippets

Silicon Valley Slowly Awakens To Android (On Samsung)

GNOME 3.7 at the halfway mark

Which open source software license should I use?

Pros and Cons of a Ubuntu Rolling Release

Opengear Expands Open Source Remote Management

Is GNOME's Open Source Web Browser Ready for the Masses?

Why You Don’t Need an Antivirus On Linux (and When You Do)

10 open source projects to watch this year

KDE plans to merge Plasma desktops

How to Reinstall Android on Nexus 7, Removing Ubuntu

LibreOffice 3.6.5 Finishes off 3.6

Open Source PHP Usage Tops 244 Million Sites

GNOME outreach programme attracts 25 women

Oracle who? Fedora & openSUSE will replace MySQL with MariaDB

Google seen missing another deadline in EU antitrust case

“Tom the Dancing Bug” on the Scope of the CFFA — And A Note from My Computer Crime Casebook

We're Hiring!

Open Source OpenStack Folsom Cloud Updated for 51 Bugs

Ubuntu and Multiple Monitors - AMD Edition

Linux Mint 15 Will Be Named Olivia
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