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 #480 Period ending 13 February 2013

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

Still a little more on Aaron Swartz. Apparently Microsoft knows how much it costs Munich to migrate to Linux better than the city itself does. A case in the EU says copyright is a restriction on the freedom of expression (and therefore there are limits to criminalisation based on copyright). There's also a paper by Boldrin and Levine extending their earlier work to argue patents ought to be abolished.

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



***** Government/Policy

Aaron Swartz Memorial On Capitol Hill Draws Darrell Issa, Elizabeth Warren

Hundreds of mourners gathered on Capitol Hill Monday to celebrate the life of Internet activist Aaron Swartz and to advocate changes to federal anti-hacking law.

City of Munich disagrees with HP's Linux migration study

When asked whether the City of Munich thought it necessary to re-evaluate its own Linux migration calculations in view of HP's study, Hauf said that Munich's City Council doesn't consider the study to be scientifically sound, and that it therefore sees no reason to adjust its figures.

No Microsoft, open source software really is cheaper, insists Munich

The cost of porting other business applications used by the authority to Linux, estimated by Microsoft to run to tens of millions of euros, is also exaggerated, said Hauf, as it fails to acknowledge the extent to which web-based apps can be used on LiMux without significant modification.

Copyright vs Freedom of Expression Judgment

For the first time in a judgment on the merits, the European Court of Human Rights has clarified that a conviction based on copyright law for illegally reproducing or publicly communicating copyright protected material can be regarded as an interference with the right of freedom of expression and information under Article 10 of the European Convention.

Software Developer Lobbies For Free Court Documents

This week, Schultze spent time lobbying Congress to make his own invention completely unnecessary. He is proposing a one-page bill that would make all federal court documents free to the public. “My dream is to make RECAP obsolete,” he told Law Blog.

In the Future, All Space Marines Will Be Warhammer 40K Space Marines

In mid-December, Games Workshop told Amazon that I’d infringed on the trademark they’ve claimed for the term “space marine” by titling my original fiction novel Spots the Space Marine. In response, Amazon blocked the e-book from sale

Patent Reform, System Should Be Abolished, Fed Economists Say

Two economists at the St. Louis Federal Reserve published a paper arguing to abolish the American patent system, saying there's "no evidence" patents improve productivity and that they have a "negative" effect on "innovation. "

Learning why transparency matters: a new Sunlight Foundation research project

Implicit in this statement, and in pretty much all of what we do at Sunlight, is an understanding that openness and transparency, enabled by technology, lead to more democratic accountability, and that, on balance, this leads to better governance. It’s an understanding that we share with a growing global community.

"Networked Norms: How Tech Startups and Teen Practices Challenge Organizational Boundaries"

Why are employees of competing companies sitting side-by-side in a setting in which they could easily overhear each other's technical and tactical plans? Because they've learned that everyone benefits from shared knowledge.

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

Qualcomm Lawyers at Cooley Get $12M in Fees

After defeating baseless patent infringement claims brought in bad faith by a transportation security provider, Qualcomm can collect $12 million in attorneys' fees, a federal judge ruled.

EFF to defend against troll with “podcasting patent”—granted in 2012

On Tuesday, the Electronic Frontier Foundation announced that it’s now gearing up to tackle the latest completely absurd troll, who claims to have invented podcasting.

A conversation between the Supreme Court & the Federal Circuit

The Federal Circuit, in its carefree, adolescent life, has developed a habit of resting on rules of convenience. The cases make distinctions to try to reach a particular result, but the rules (and the distinctions within those rules) lack general applicability and defensible logic.

Amazon wins broad patent on reselling and lending ‘used’ digital goods

The patent, originally filed in 2009 and granted on Jan. 29, covers transferring digital goods among users, setting limits on transfers and usage, charging an associated fee, and other elements of a marketplace for “used” digital goods.

Apple Last in E-Book Case After Macmillan Settles

The news leaves Apple alone to face a trial in June 2013.

Amazon patents the milkman

“For instance,” the filing explains, “a customer may request delivery of one bunch of bananas every week and two gallons of milk every two weeks. ”

Apple: Federal Circuit has exclusive jurisdiction over Apple-Motorola FRAND/antitrust appeal

This is Apple’s appeal of Judge Crabb’s dismissal of the Apple-Motorola FRAND/antitrust action (W. D. Wis. No. 3:10-cv-00178)).

Federal hearing today marks turning point in war on software patents,1

Lemley himself is more circumspect. As he told me via Twitter: "CLS Bank could be very significant for software patents, though I doubt there will be agreement on a clear test. "

Nothing under the sun that is made of man

When the Supreme Court first addressed the patentability of genes, their source was bacteria, rather than humans. In Diamond v. Chakrabarty (1980), a five-to-four Court ratified the patent eligibility of both transgenic microorganisms and DNA.

The Regulatory Turn in IP

Unfortunately, IP law increasingly looks like a regulatory regime, not a common law mechanism for internalizing social costs.

Google Joins JPMorgan in Seeking Software Patent Limits

The world’s largest search-engine company contends that too many other software patents hurt innovation more often than they lead to viable businesses.

'STELA': Hollywood's Next Big Legislative Fight?

STELA provides statutory licenses that allow satellite-TV companies to distantly retransmit broadcast signals to local subscribers who otherwise would be in the dark. Without the law, it's estimated that 1-to-1. 5 million who don't live in broadcast areas would lose access to CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox. It's a law that needs to be renewed after five years, and the expiration date comes up in 2014.

Judge denies MPAA attempt to seize profits from copyright infringement

Newzbin’s founder David Harris was targeted as well, and his bank accounts were frozen. But the MPAA also wanted a proprietary injunction, which would allow it to seize control of his property—real estate, cars, and other assets—on the logic that film studios should get any profits from copyright infringement.

Santa Clara Law's Professor Chien to Receive Grant to Expand Research on Startups and Trolls

This grant will fund an expanded survey to determine the impacts of Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs) on the operations, growth, and innovation of startups. This version of the survey will also explore trends in patent purchasing, strategies for responding, and the market for "troll solution" providers.

Innovatio Update: Wi-Fi manufacturers’ RICO claims rejected; RAND claims remain

We’ve previously discussed the wide-ranging assertion activities of Innovatio IP Ventures LLC, a non-practicing entity that has targeted thousands of companies across the country over patents related to the IEEE 802. 11 wireless networking (Wi-Fi) standard.

Various amici weigh in on SEP-related issues in Apple-Motorola Federal Circuit appeal

Because Motorola had asserted a FRAND-encumbered standard-essential patent against Apple’s UMTS-compliant products, the Federal Circuit is likely to decide at least two issues that may have widespread implications for SEP licensing and litigation for years to come: (1) whether injunctive relief may be an appropriate remedy for Apple’s alleged infringement of Motorola’s FRAND-pledged SEPs; and (2) how to calculate damages for Apple’s alleged infringement of Motorola’s FRAND-pledged SEPs.

Oracle vs Google legal war begins a new chapter

In an appeals brief filed on Monday at the Federal U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Oracle said Google's use of Java structure was "decidedly unfair. "

What are the Deadliest Sins of Software Patents?

Unfortunately the event wasn't a "roundtable" as I expected, but rather more of a "USPTO sitting up on stage listening to a few hand-picked presenters," which meant I didn't have an opportunity to present the thoughts I aggregated here.

Obama administration defends $222,000 file-sharing verdict

Indeed, the trial judge had rejected a $1. 5 million jury award on just those grounds. But the lower courts had concluded that a $222,000 award for sharing 24 songs was not so disproportionate and unreasonable as to violate the Constitution. And in the government's view, the Supreme Court should let that judgement stand.

Jon Potter: Software patent trolls can be stopped by U.S. Patent Office and Congress

It sounds like extortion. But that is how our patent system works.

Fisher & Paykel Finance wins software case (NZ)

A long-running court action touching on copyright law’s provisions on “reverse engineering” of computer software has resulted in a victory for Fisher & Paykel Finance, the company accused of copyright and trade-secrets breach.

Samsung's David Eun: ongoing Apple v. Samsung litigation 'a loss' for innovation

While Eun wouldn't comment on the specifics of the ongoing litigation, he did note that as a evangelist of Silicon Valley and a consumer of technology, he views the deadlock as "a loss. "

Before Facebook there was “Surfbook”—now pay up

"He really created the concept of a diary on the Internet," Rembrandt's lawyer, Tom Melsheimer, told Ars. "To describe it in a general way, he had the notion of being able to publish and share information with a select group of people and the ability to link in other types of information. It was the beginnings of what we would say is social networking. "

Vernon Hugh Bowman, Petitioner v. Monsanto Company, etal.

Whether the Federal Circuit erred by (1) refusing to find patent exhaustion in patented seeds even after an authorized sale and by (2) creating an exception to the doctrine of patent exhaustion for self-replicating technologies?

***** Applications/Gadgets

OUYA Finds a Friend With Amazon

OUYA, an Android-powered videogame console funded on crowd-funding site Kickstarter, will begin selling through Amazon, Gamestop and several other retailers.

Raspberry Pi Model A released one year later

For the $10 savings, the RAM is reduced to 256 MB over the Model B’s current 512 MB, there’s now only one USB port, and the Ethernet port has been removed. Because of this though, it consumes roughly one third of the power of the Model B, and you can always extend the functionality with a powered USB hub.

IBM Powers Up Server Lineup

The new systems include the Power 710, 720, 730, 740, 750 and 760 servers, which all can run on either IBMi, AIX or Linux.

Morphlabs Releases Modular, OpenStack-Based Public Cloud Offering

The company's new mCloud Osmium was designed to enable service providers to implement highly-scalable public clouds.

The Wikipad Android gaming tablet is back (but smaller)

A concrete shipping date hasn't been announced but they're aiming for spring. The Wikipad will support the Google Play store, and it'll be Playstation Certified.

Ubuntu Smartphone Shipping in October

Smartphones running the open source Ubuntu operating system will be available to customers beginning in October 2013, according to Mark Shuttleworth,

Open source pioneers next generation chat and forums

According to the team: "Discourse is a from-scratch reboot, an attempt to re-imagine what a modern, sustainable, fully open-source Internet discussion platform should be".

Vertu chooses Android over Windows for luxury handset

The Vertu Ti costs 7,900 euros (£6,994) and is made at the firm's headquarters in Church Crookham, Hampshire.

***** Reports

Oracle Releases Open Source MySQL 5.6 with NoSQL Features

A lot has changed in the database market in the two years since the MySQL 5. 5 release. For one, the rise in the popularity of NoSQL databases has escalated in recent years. The NoSQL trend is not one that Oracle is ignoring.

Big Hardware Heavyweights Are Welcoming Open Source Platforms

HP and Lenovo are both doing Chromebooks, and there are even signs that the biggest hardware players are interested in Android.

Patrick McGarry on Open Source Disruption

With the advent of Open Source technologies we have been able to see additional benefits; as technology was displaced, a good portion of the previous investment was freed up for other uses. This multiplicative investment is one of the key factors in why Open Source technologies continue to enter the market in place of mature, established solutions.

Red Hat, HP Partner On-premises and In the Cloud

Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) has joined Hewlett-Packard‘s (NYSE: HPQ) HP Enterprise Services Technology Alliance program.

Microsoft needs to start worrying about Chromebooks

Finally, Chromebooks are the first major cloud-based end-user device. When you buy a Chromebook, you don't get just a standalone device with Chrome OS. You get cloud storage, the Google Docs office suite, Gmail, and on and on. In short, for one low price a Chromebook gives you everything you need from a basic computer.

FSF licensing team's 2012 - 400 compliance reports resolved

According to Gay's post there were over 400 reports of "suspected license violations" which the team resolved. They also answered over 600 general licensing and compliance questions.

Google wins landmark AdWords case in Australia

The High Court agreed today, saying that even casual users of the search engine would not have confused Google as the creator of the ads.

Will Microsoft's $2 billion role in Dell's buyout play out like its Nokia partnership?

It's a tumultous time to be a Microsoft OEM, no doubt about it. The PC market is in decline, revenue-wise. Microsoft is competing with its own OEMs with its Surface line of products. And now Microsoft is providing $2 billion loan to one of its largest OEMs, Dell. I wonder how many Windows OEMs will still be in existence in a year or two, and how many will be backing Windows as just one of several different platforms to hedge their bets.

When open source eats itself, we win

But Apache has been on the wane, losing 100 million hostnames since June 2012, and not because of any resurgence from Microsoft IIS. Apache still claims 55. 47 per cent of all active sites, but Nginx is on the rise.

Node.js integrates with M: Next big thing in healthcare IT

In his work, Rob has created an intimate integration between the M database and the language features of node. js. The result is a new way of accessing the M database from Javascript code in such a way that the developer doesn't feel that is accessing a database.

CDW to offer enterprise Chromebook support

Now, CDW, a multi-billion dollar technology sales and support company, will be offering both Chromebook sales and management to their business customers.

The 'Year of the Linux Desktop'? That's So 2012

Throw smartphones and tablets into the mix along with traditional laptops and PCs, and Google emerges as the current platform leader. Goldman estimates that the Chocolate Factory's Android OS is now installed on 42 per cent of all computing devices worldwide.

Piston Cloud Raises $12.5 Million for OpenStack Cloud Tech

Cloud hosting vendor Rackspace is teaming up with NASA to launch a new open source effort for building large enterprise clouds. Officially called the OpenStack project, the effort will involve both compute and storage elements, enabling users to build large distributed pools of connected resources.

Netflix Promises To Make Its Open Source Cloud Management Tools More Portable

Then the company announced that it was going to open source those same tools and make them available to other developers. Ever since, Netflix has been slowly making other cloud-management tools available for others to build off of. Now it’s hoping to make it easier for others to implement not just one or two of those tools, but all of them.

KVM Founders Build Cloud Hypervisor at Ravello

Linux vendor Red Hat is upping the ante in the virtualization market today with the $107 million dollar cash acquisition of privately held virtualization vendor Qumranet.

Samsung: The only Android smartphone maker that matters

That's significant because Samsung is selling mostly Android phones while HTC is heavily pushing Windows Phones in addition to Android handsets. While Samsung's share grew 2. 3 percent HTC's dropped 1. 8 percent. You could almost say Samsung grew share at HTC's expense in spite of Windows Phone 8 launching during that quarter.

The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 4.0

The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 4. 0, the free office suite the community has been dreaming of since 2001. LibreOffice 4. 0 is the first release that reflects the objectives set by the community at the time of the announcement, in September 2010: a cleaner and leaner code base, an improved set of features, better interoperability, and a more diverse and inclusive ecosystem.

Linux Foundation Announces New Members

The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, today announced that Axis Communications, D-Link, O. S. Systems and Perforce are joining the organization.

Android Helps Samsung Secure 'Colossal' Lead Over Apple iPhone,2817,2415207,00.asp

According to Thursday data from Canalys, Android smartphones made up 34 percent of global phone shipments during the fourth quarter, while iOS came in at 11 percent. Overall, smartphones represented 50 percent of the phones that shipped during the quarter.

Connectors, controversy and the LGPL

With the release of LGPL licensed C and Java connectors for MariaDB and MySQL in November 2012, a number of questions were raised in the community over the drivers' provenance and appropriateness of the LGPL licence.

Red Hat Adds Cloud, Storage and Virtualization Support

Red Hat (NYSE: RHT) has introduced technical account management (TAM) services for cloud computing, virtualization and storage.

Linux Foundation releases Windows Secure Boot fix

To finish this required security keys from Microsoft so that the Linux Foundation UEFI bootloader would work. These keys have now been included and these universal Linux bootloaders are ready to go. With these files you should be able to boot and install Linux on almost any Windows 8 PC.

Android Foundation is Built On A Bed Of Gingerbread and Ice Cream With Latest OS Numbers

Over 88% of Android devices are running Gingerbread 2. 3. 3 or higher. For all the talk of firmware fragmentation in the platform, reaching 8 out of 9 devices by focussing on code that runs on 2. 3. 3 or higher (which is API level 10 and upwards in Android’s terminology) is a smart move, helped by the forward capability of Android in terms of API access.

The Next Generation of Open Source Smart Grid

Open source software -- code that’s free for anyone to use, as long as they share what they’re doing with it -- plays a small, but growing, role in the smart grid.

Microsoft Office is not coming to Linux

If you believe this story, I have a wonderful, lightly used bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell you for a mere million dollars cash.

OnRamp, A Free, Open Source Ad Server From OpenX, Gets Shut Down After Getting Besieged By Hackers

Another victory for ill-intentioned hackers and a blow for the security of open source systems: OpenX, the online and mobile advertising company that announced a $22. 5 million fund raising just last month, says that it is closing down its OnRamp open source ad serving platform, after the service was hacked on February 9, and the company determined that it would be too risky and costly to continue using it securely.

Copyright suit dismissed against Lexis, Westlaw,_Westlaw/

A federal judge in Manhattan has thrown out a copyright lawsuit brought by an attorney who sued legal research companies Westlaw and LexisNexis, claiming they had unlawfully profited from his copyrighted legal filings.

Robocalls are annoying, so this man is using Raspberry Pi to stop them

The Pi portion of the Banana Phone system runs the Asterisk PBX phone software and MySQL database. Ruiz used PHP to write his own software that determines on the fly whether a call is valid. He spent about three months developing the system.

One Step Closer to the Tipping Point: O’Reilly Joins the EPUB 3.0 Ecosystem

Unlike plain text and PDF, the EPUB format was created expressly, and only, to optimize the creation and interoperable use of eBooks.

***** Snippets

Ubuntu: What They're Doing Right and Wrong

Mozilla Updates to Firefox 18.0.2 For Facebook 'Tickle'

GNOME Boxes 3.7.5 Brings Further Improved Usability

75 Top Open Source Tools for Protecting Your Privacy

Dissent on Gnome's Javascript decision

LibreOffice 4.0 Release to Widen Divide with OpenOffice

GetDeb, PlayDeb Return, Ubuntu Gamers Rejoice

Firefox 18.0.2 Officially Lands in Ubuntu

Survey Reveals Some Open Source Surprises

What the future holds for PC-BSD

Ubuntu One discontinues support to Tomboy

Microsoft Cranks Up FUD Machine

Linux Won the Desktop Wars a Long Time Ago

SolusOS 1.2 Review

openSUSE 12.3 RC1 Features KDE 4.10

GNOME developers plan "Linux apps"

Fedora 18 arrives for ARM

Calligra 2.6 office suite gains e-book tool

Rumor: Microsoft looking to release Office for Linux in 2014

Nexus Devices Getting Android 4.2.2, Google Now Widget

GNOME Classic Fights to Win Users Back

A Quick Look At The New GNOME Classic Session

Xen 4.3 mid-release roadmap update

AF_BUS, D-Bus, and the Linux kernel

BlueStacks brings a boatload of Android apps to the Surface Pro

Linux developers working on uniting Windows 8 Secure Boot fixes

Tim Cook reportedly opposed patent suits against Samsung

Insight: Apple and Samsung, frenemies for life
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