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 #481 Period ending 20 February 2013

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

Monsanto case is before the US Supreme Court at the moment and observers suggest the court is sympathetic to Monsanto. Telling (OT) xkcd comic this week. Antigua gets to suspend US IP rights as a result of a trade dispute (this has been in the offing now for a few years, will be interesting to see where it heads). Steam is also now available for (Ubuntu) Linux.

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



***** Off Topic

App [how true is this]

website where you can't zoom?"... - xkcd

Another big Dell stockholder says no to buyout as resistance mounts

"We believe the proposed buyout does not reflect the value of Dell, and we do not intend to support the offer as put forward," Rogers said in a statement to Reuters. That echoes the statement issued by Southeastern Asset Management last week, when that firm announced it would oppose the deal on the grounds that it believed Dell was worth twice what the buyout offered. - Sean Gallagher, ars technica

Office 2013 retail licensing change ties suite to specific PC forever

Computerworld - Microsoft yesterday confirmed that a retail copy of Office 2013 is permanently tied to the first PC on which it's installed, preventing customers from deleting the suite from one machine they own and installing it on another.

Scans reveal intricate brain wiring

The HCP is a five-year project funded by the National Institutes of Health. The aim the $40m programme is to map the entire human neural wiring system by scanning the brains of 1,200 Americans.

Building magnificent machines

Madhusudan Banik was 18 when he assembled his first computer in 1998. Intrigued by the circuit boards and silicon chips, he decided to assemble the machine instead of buying it. And it wouldn't hurt to save a few pennies too. But once he had tasted the freedom that DIY allows and experienced the rush of putting together a high-tech machine that was better than most computers sold in the market, he realised it was not about the money.

With $1.4M In Tow, Celly Launches On iOS To Let Anyone Create An Instant Mobile Social Netwo

Celly, a Portland-based startup that makes it easy to instantly create your own social network, believes that the opportunities for social networking in the real world are fundamentally emergent — that groups tend to arise spontaneously, grow and then combine to form interdependent networks.

***** Government/Policy

3D printing an open source electric car

It all began when I built a plane from a kit, then saw the documentary, Who Killed The Electric Car?, and decided to build an electric car. Turns out, it functioned really well, and I began wondering: "Why aren't there more electric vehicles on the road?"

President Obama Admits That Patent Trolls Just Try To 'Extort' Money; Reform Needed

A couple years ago we began a process of patent reform. We actually passed some legislation that made progress on some of these issues. But it hasn't captured all the problems.

Territorial Implications of Antigua's Internet-Based IP Sanctions Against the US

t the end of January 2013, the WTO authorized Antigua to suspend its intellectual property obligations toward the United States in retaliation for the United States’ breach of WTO rules. There are at least three reasons why the decision and the potential internet-based implementation of the retaliation are notable.

Why it's time to stop using open source licences

Eighteen months ago, people started noting the decline of copyleft licences in favour of more "permissive" ones like Apache and BSD.

The Other Aaron’s Law: How FASTR Could Help Americans Access The Research They Paid For

The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), introduced this week by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Mike Doyle (D-PA), and Kevin Yoder (R-KS) in the House and Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) in the Senate, “require[s] federal agencies with annual extramural research budgets of $100 million or more to provide the public with online access to research manuscripts stemming from funded research no later than six months after publication in a peer-reviewed journal,” building on the success of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) 2008 public access policy.

Amid the patent wars, a powerful pact of non-aggression

The Open Invention Network, a community set up by an IBM-led consortium in 2005 to foster a safe patent environment for developers and users of the free, open-source software operating system Linux, now has more than 500 signatories, the group announced today.

MPAA says Chinese box office receipts reached new record: $2.75B in 2012

Most surprising was a comment from Dodd affirming that American films in cinemas are huge in China, which for years has been an international pariah for widespread intellectual property violations.

The Brain is Not Computable

“The brain is not computable and no engineering can reproduce it,” says Nicolelis, author of several pioneering papers on brain-machine interfaces.

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

Functional Claiming and Software Patents

over half (55%) of all patent defendants and 82% of PAE ("patent troll") defendants are there because of a software patent, applying the Graham-Vishnubhakat definition to data provided by RPX Corporation

Israeli Court Says Full-Text RSS Feeds Create an Implied Copyright License

The court made two different and interesting rulings. The first, based on Dr. Yuval Dror's expert testimony, is that RSS facilitates syndication, so by offering the RSS feed and encouraging sharing of blog posts through social media buttons (such as the Facebook share), Apfeldorf waived the right to enforce his intellectual property rights:

Apple's search technology lawsuit against Samsung may go on hold

A U. S. judge on Thursday asked Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd whether an Apple patent lawsuit over search technology should be put on hold for several months until after an appeals court resolves a separate lawsuit between the two companies.

Paul Allen's IP Firm Files new Lawsuit against Apple

By now everyone knows that Paul Allen's IP firm "Interval Licensing" has sued most everyone in techland including Apple, AOL, eBay, Facebook, Google, Netflix, Yahoo and others. Today, Interval Licensing has filed a new patent infringement case against Apple in Seattle's District Court.

Final Rules on First-to-File Regime

Oracle summons “Ann Droid” in appeal of Java verdict

US District Judge William Alsup, who oversaw the case, disagreed. The code Google used was "a utilitarian and functional set of symbols, each to carry out a pre-assigned function. " Declarations and headers "must be identical" to carry out the function, and "duplication of the command structure is necessary for interoperability," wrote Alsup.

Dutch government will end protection of non-original works to modernise copyright law

Firstly, modern copyright will only serve to protect creative performances. Since ‘geschriftenbescherming’ does not cover any creative performance, this will now be removed. Secondly, the Dutch government believes copyright should not inadvertently preclude the creative reuse of existing material or the innovative use of information and easy exchange thereof.

3D Printing Can Turbocharge Mashup Culture

Google hits back against BT with patent lawsuits

Google Inc and its Motorola Mobility unit struck back on Wednesday against BT Group Plc, filing patent lawsuits against the British telecommunications group more than a year after BT launched its own lawsuit against Google.

Samsung responds to Ericsson’s ITC complaint, accuses Ericsson of violating F/RAND obligations

according to Samsung, Ericsson has now “willfully breached its commitments and continues to refuse to offer a license to Samsung under FRAND terms despite Samsung’s continued willingness to accept such a license. ”

Apple urges Federal Circuit to eliminate or minimize “causal nexus” requirement for permanent in

When Samsung responds, we can expect it to say that the causal nexus requirement is nothing new, even for permanent injunctions, and that of course Apple would need to show a link between infringement and irreparable harm — if using the infringing feature or design isn’t irreparably harming Apple, it makes no more sense to enjoin Samsung from implementing these features than it does to prevent SamsuIf the causal nexus requirement stands, it will be very difficult for standard-essential patent owners — even if they have never promised to license their SEPs on RAND terms — to ever be able to get an injunction in U.S. courts. - The Patent Essential Blog

Myriad Genetics wins bid to patent human genes in AU

Myriad Genetics, owner of patents related to genes linked to hereditary cancer risks, has won an Australian court ruling allowing it to patent isolated DNA, a first in Australia.

Apple, Anti-Malware, Patents

After going through the mangled language that any patent embodies, it is clear that “conceptually” it is similar to what has been done till now, but the approach is different.

Ed Lazowska: The iPad wouldn’t be here without federal research dollars

But every distinctive aspect of this device – the multi-touch user interface, the sensors, the processor – has its origins in federally sponsored research,” said Lazowska in his written testimony.

Proponents of cellphone unlocking ask the White House for help,0,6053343.story

Proponents of cellphone unlocking are trying to gain the White House's support through a petition drive, but they face a couple of non-trivial hurdles. First, they have until Saturday to reach 100,000 signatures — the new threshold the Obama administration set for responding to petitions on its We the People site — and they were more than 25,000 short as of this writing.

How an Ind. farmer's 'cheap' soybean seeds grew into showdown with agribusiness giant [Monsanto case]

What started with an Indiana farmer's purchase of soybean seeds from a local grain elevator has become the heart of a legal war with an agribusiness behemoth with a potentially large impact on agriculture and the biotechnology industry.

FM v. Google: Means-plus-Function Indefiniteness and O2 Micro Challenges

Function Media sued Google for infringement of three related patents: 6,446,045; 7,240,025; and 7,249,059.

Rush to Judgment? Trial Length and Outcomes in Patent Cases

We find that juries are more favorable to patentees than judges, that (to our surprise) the length of a trial has no effect on its outcome,

Chris Dodd Says Copyright Protections Would Strengthen Culture And Economy

It’s a familiar message for the MPAA chairman.

Anti-piracy unit BREIN wants to increase number of NTD-requests sent to Google

Currently, Google maintains a limit of 10. 000 NTD-requests that can be processed per week. However, copyright advocates at BREIN expect Google to increase this limit to 40. 000 NTD-requests per week.

***** Applications/Gadgets

7 days with the Amazon Kindle Fire HD: Revealing its inner power-tablet

Along the way, I found some very basic (but important and sometimes well-hidden) settings as well as more advanced steps to make the Kindle Fire HD do what I want.

Intel brings flash cache acceleration to Linux servers

Specifically, Intel promises that CAS cab prioritizes "application performance, providing solid-state drive (SSD) levels of speed without migration costs, and built-in data integrity for Intel's SSD data-center family of products. "

Popular Remote Desktop Tool TeamViewer 8 For Linux (Stable) Released

TeamViewer is a popular application for remote control, desktop sharing, file transfer, online meetings and more, that's available for Windows, Mac OSX, Linux, Android and iPhone. The application is free (freeware) for personal use only!

DataSift Launches Open Source Query Builder, Aims To Embed Social Monitoring In Enterprise Tools

And by open sourcing this tool, Halstead said DataSift is allowing any developer to include its social data in their own application. That could be particularly significant in the world of business intelligence and analytics, he said, because social data is often “siloed” away from other important business data.

Two Linux tablet projects take a step forward

this week two separate announcements emerged about Linux tablets we've been waiting for.

Archos unveils 116 Platinum Android tablet with 11.6-inch IPS display for $349

In addition to that 8-inch 80 Platinum for $199 and the ultra-high-res 97 Platinum for $299, Archos has also announced the 116 Platinum, which features a massive 11. 6-inch IPS screen. At 1,920x1,080 (or full 1080p HD), its resolution isn't as high as the 2,048x1,536 97 Platinum, but the size is thus far unique among Android tablets.

Natural Selection 2 Lua-based IDE released as open source

As a tool, Decoda is just as important for us as it was when we wrote the first line of code — our programmers use it every day in the continuing development of the game. In fact, it’s so important to us that we want it to improve faster than ever. We intend to keep on developing Decoda, but we are most excited about what *you* can do to help make it the best IDE out there!”

What about the PengPod tablet?

So instead of just running a pure Android tablet, you get the option to run your favorite Linux distribution and Android in dual-boot fashion, provided your Linux distribution has an edition for the hardware.

Dell’s Linux Ultrabook gets more pixels, European availability

The other bit of news is that the Developer Edition is no longer exclusively available in Dell's US store.

Samsung Rex series poised to take on Nokia

Each of the phones from the Rex lineup will run a Java-based operating system with Samsung's TouchWiz UI. Rex will also embrace features like the Opera Mini browser, which is designed to help cut back on data fees.

HTC launches new “One” smartphone

Taiwan’s HTC Corp has unveiled a new smartphone that it hopes will set it apart from the crowd of Google Android devices on the market and help it make up ground lost to Samsung.

***** Reports

Coming soon: Open source JavaFX for iOS, Android

Oracle says it plans to open source the Android and iOS implementations of its JavaFX UI platform "over the next couple months," which it says will allow Java developers to use the technology to write cross-platform smartphone apps for the first time.

Opera commits to Chromium and WebKit

Opera Software, the company behind the proprietary Opera browser, announced that it will stop developing its own Presto rendering engine in favour of a switch to a WebKit-based solution over the course of this year.

HP Announces Ubuntu Management Component Pack for ProLiant Servers

Craig Lamparter announced a few days ago that version 9. 25 of the Ubuntu Management Component Pack for HP ProLiant servers is now available for download/update.

Android 4.2.2 hits open source, en route to Jelly Bean devices

There's a new Jelly Bean in town, and it's on its way to an Android device near you - but first, a quick stop at the Android Open Source Project (AOSP).

Rackspace Ramps Up OpenStack Cloud Profits

Rackspace reported its fourth quarter and full year fiscal 2012 earnings late Tuesday, showing continued growth in its cloud business. Net revenue for the full year was reported at $1. 31 billion, up by 28 percent from the $1. 03 billion in 2011. Net Income grew to $105. 4 million, up from $76. 4 million in 2011.

I'd like to use the web my way, thank you very much Quora.

This implementation goes against everything on the web. You're not just actively preventing me from visiting your site by forcing me to log in, but you're also actively forcing me to download your app to access your server.

Enter the Penguin: Steam for Linux arrives

To celebrate the release, Valve kicked off a week-long sale on 50 available Linux games. The sale offers gamers the chance to save up to 50 percent off of the original price.

Inventing Chromebook

While running your front-end operating system entirely in RAM is a fundamental shift to the status quo of modern operating system architectures, I'm convinced the benefits far outweigh the costs. As we live our lives, connected and online, few or no resources need to be stored on the same computer as the attached keyboard, and those which are stored don't need to be accessed by spinning a magnetic platter.

New open-source website highlights local startups

When the winners of the first Gig Tank competition moved to Chattanooga, they promised they would help unite the startup community.

HP bids adieu to WebOS, Windows RT, and says hello to Android

While HP still hasn't made it official, sources are reporting that HP has decided that at least part of its tablet and smartphone future lies not with Windows or WebOS but with Google's Android.

What you can learn from the monster LibreOffice project

A large legacy code base is a challenge for any team to embrace and improve. So how well does a distributed team of volunteers address the problem?

Which companies are contributiong to the WebKit project?

Some interesting results are the share of contributions by the two main companies behind the project (Apple and Google), and how it has evolved from a project clearly driven by Apple, before 2009, to the current situation, with Google leading the top contributors table, and both Apple and Google being almost equal in contribution share over the whole history of the project.

Secure Boot restrictions can be disabled in Fedora

Users must confirm that verification is to be disabled by entering a previously chosen one-time password.

Top 10 Linux Networked Storage Systems Under $1,000

The major vendors in the under-$5,000 NAS segment all sell Linux-based devices: Netgear, Qnap, Synology, and Buffalo Technology.

The State of Open Source Office Software in 2013

Clearly leading the pack of free and open source office suites is LibreOffice, the fork of OpenOffice. org that was created back in 2010.

A note on Samsung's Android success

With Galaxy brand established and people asking for a ‘Galaxy phone’ Samsung introduced a number of cheaper smartphones. These hit a price point as low as Rs 7,000 (around $150, and no contract). These devices brought in volumes. Especially at a time when millions of consumers across the world were looking to replace their feature phones with an ‘affordable’ smartphone.

***** Snippets

Valentines Day Ideas for Open Source Romantics

6 Reasons to Pay for Open Source Software

Pidgin 2.10.7 Brings Numerous Fixes and Improvements

IPhone Owner in Brazil ‘Open’ to Selling Rights to Name

An Open Source Prodigal Returns

Greg Kroah-Hartman: A Year in My Life [Infographic]

PHP 5.5 to Include Open Source Zend Optimizer+ ?

Ubuntu smartphone developer preview arrives next week

NeonView 0.8.0 Image Viewer Released With Many New Features

DOJ To Brief Congress (Staffers, Maybe Members) On Aaron Swartz Prosecution

How the co-creator of MySQL came to love databases
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