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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 #482 Period ending 28 February 2013

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

Lots of Ubuntu related stories this week, most of which I have grouped under a tablet story. Multiple mobile phone patent lawsuits, which I probably should have grouped together. LG has purchased WebOS and plans to use it for their TVs and Linus Torvalds expresses some views about UEFI and driver signing.

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



***** Off Topic

'Inocente' makes history...

Thanks to the generosity of our producers and post house we have completed the film's production and editing but still need to pay deferred costs and to complete final deliverables (creating HDCam tapes, Digibeta tapes, Blu-rays, and DVDs in the correct formats) for TV and community film screenings.

Microsoft brings Azure back online

Microsoft has managed to repair its Windows Azure cloud, after an expired SSL certificate downed storage and other services for people across the world.

***** Government/Policy

Study: Crowdsourcing a Valuable Resource in Medicine

Of the 122 responses to Arnaout’s TopCoder post, 16 of the algorithm solutions were more efficient and accurate than the ones produced by Arnaout and 30 beat the well-established National Institute of Health’s MegaBLAST benchmark, according to the study. Associate professor at the Medical School Eva C. Guinan, who also worked on the study, said that while researchers had originally been working with four to five approaches to the problem, the submissions provided 89 new ways to approach the problem.

Consultation: Draft revised block exemption and guidelines for technology transfer agreements

The TTBER exempts certain categories of licensing agreements concluded between companies that have limited market power and that respect certain conditions set out in the TTBER. Such agreements are deemed to have no anticompetitive effects or, if they do, the positive effects outweigh the negative ones.

Independent Booksellers Sue Amazon and Publishers Over E-Books

They argue that the proprietary coding compels consumers who own Kindles or tablets with Kindle apps to buy e-books only from Amazon. The lawsuit states that the publishers have no similar contracts with independent booksellers. It also notes that Apple once used similar exclusive coding, known as DRM, in the music business, but that after a series of legal challenges, all music available on iTunes was made DRM-free.

Petition to Legalize Cell Phone Unlocking Demands White House Response

An online petition to legalize the practice of unlocking cell phones crossed Thursday the 100,000 signature threshold that qualifies for an official response from the White House.

DOJ admits Aaron's prosecution was political

According to the DOJ’s testimony, if you express political views that the government doesn’t like, at any point in your life, that political speech act can and will be used to justify making “an example” out of you once the government thinks it can pin you with a crime.

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

Android wins a point in battle with Apple

All things considered - price, connectivity, operating system and size - we would choose the Nexus 7.

Apple and Samsung's Australian case so large it calls for 'unprecedented' two-judge system

Apple and Samsung returned to Australian court on Monday to continue their years long patent battle, though a consolidation of patent claims has necessitated two federal court judges to hear the case, something that has reportedly never been done in the country.

Dodd: We Need Both Content and Technology

Motion Picture Association of America president Chris Dodd said he supports an open Internet, but not to the exclusion of copyright protections.

New troll scam: Pay us $495 or face felony charges and jail time

An organization calling itself the "Internet Copyright Law Enforcement Agency" (ICLEA) recently sent out a batch of copyright infringement notices.

Fox Seeks to Block Dish TV’s New ‘On the Go’ Features

News Corp. (NWSA)’s Fox Broadcasting unit asked for a court order to block new “on-the-go” features of Dish Network Corp. (DISH)’s Hopper set-top boxes that allow consumers to watch live and recorded TV shows on smartphones and tablets.

RIAA Faults Google for Failing Promise to Demote Pirate Sites

"Serial infringers" of music appear on the first page of Google search results more than 98 percent of the time, the RIAA says in a report card.

Judge Won't Bar CNET From Pointing to P2P Software

An injunction is denied because a judge says there's no evidence that CBS Interactive purposely encourages infringement "now or in the foreseeable future. "

Ask HN: A patent troll is targeting my transit app

I am reaching out to HN because I know there are many transit apps out there that have the same functionality: letting users know when the next bus will arrive using a third-party API (from NextBus, or GTFS Realtime for example).

Huawei/Samsung/ZTE answer InterDigital’s ITC complaint, assert FRAND-related defenses

Samsung alleges that the parties had a prior license (that expired on December 31, 2012) and that Samsung is willing to renew that license on FRAND terms, but that InterDigital has refused to do so. Samsung also asserts “patent misuse” and “lack of standing” defenses based on these same facts.

Apple's OS X Server and iCloud Targeted in new Patent Lawsuit

Apple. The patent infringement lawsuit alleges that Apple infringed upon a 2001 patent titled "Method and system for secured transport and storage of data on a network. "

U.S. judge tells Apple, Samsung to narrow search patent case,_Samsung_to_narrow_search_patent_case/

A U. S. judge on Thursday said Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd must narrow a patent lawsuit that involves Apple search technology, adding that she would put the case on hold if the two companies could not agree.

Nikon Agrees to Pay Microsoft "Android Tax" on Smart Cameras

Most of the top Android phonemakers -- including HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) and Samsung Electronics Comp. , Ltd. (KSC:005930) -- pay licensing fees ranging from $10 to $15 per unit to Microsoft.

Microsoft-Motorola judge orders additional briefing on how Google-MPEG LA license agreement may

Yesterday’s order concerns the terms of Google’s license with the MPEG LA AVC/H. 264 patent pool, which Microsoft claims are dispositive of the appropriate RAND rate for Motorola’s H. 264 patents.

Accidental Empires, Chapter 5 — Role Models

Look and feel is a matter of not only how many angels can dance on the head of a pin but what dance it is they are doing and who owns the copyright.

New copyright-free birthday song revealed after contest judged by law prof

“Happy Birthday to You” was registered for copyright in 1935, though it was first published in the 1800s by two sisters who taught elementary school, Bloomberg Law says. The copyright, which won’t expire until at least 2030, is now held by Time Warner, which acquired the copyright in 1998. The song reportedly brings in $2 million per year in licensing fees for films, TV shows and advertisements, Bloomberg reports.

Sony Pirates KDE Artwork

The preferences-system. png icon from Oxygen is on their Choose your Vaio webpages (next to configure) but impressively is also on the UEFI firmware should you boot up into Assist mode. Nowhere on their website terms of use does it list the LGPL 3 licence it may be copied under

How Patent Trolls Kill Innovation (video)

A company called Uniloc has sued Meyer for patent infringement over a patent called, "System and Method for Preventing Unauthorized Access to Electronic Data. " When a computer runs a paid application, one way that developers can assure that a customer has actually purchased the application is by coding the application to match a license code with an encrypted database. This is a method that most paid applications on the Android market use. It's a method that Meyer argues has been in use since at least the late '80s. This is the idea that Uniloc claims to own.

Apple, Motorola continue fight over Federal Circuit FRAND jurisdiction: Motorola’s Reply Brief

Motorola first argues in its reply that Apple’s complaint is not like a typical declaratory judgment claim for unenforceability that might follow a patent infringement complaint.

Content owners need to tear down the Berlin Wall of access

In fact, ironically given the situation, when I logged into my Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) account, I was presented with an ad from Netflix that bragged I could get my Netflix content anywhere. Oh really? Why can't I get it on a device in Berlin.

Gunn v. Minton: Supreme Court Narrows Arising Under Jurisdiction for Patent Cases

In a 9-0 decision, the Supreme Court has limited the scope of "arising under" jurisdiction for patent cases and held that the Minton's patent litigation malpractice case does not arise under the patent laws and therefore is not amenable to exclusive federal jurisdiction.

Germans can’t see meteorite YouTube videos due to copyright dispute

As a result of an ongoing dispute between Google (YouTube's parent company) and GEMA, the primary German performance rights organization, a number of Russian YouTube videos have been blocked from within Germany. The reason? These videos contain background music playing from a Russian car radio.

Scaling the Patent System

This paper posits a simple but novel answer to this long-puzzling question: firms ignore patents because they are unable to discover the patents their activities might infringe. The costs of finding relevant patents, which we call discovery costs, are prohibitively high.

Microsoft sides with Oracle against Google in Java appeal

Microsoft Corp is backing Oracle Corp's bid to revive a billion-dollar copyright lawsuit over Google's use of the Java programming language, according to court filings on Tuesday.

Defensive patent publications establish the existence of prior art in any field

A defensive publication makes it clear that the idea is currently known to a "person having ordinary skill in the art", PHOSITA, and is a formal way of establishing prior art in such a way that the patent office will not award future patents for inventions on that pre-existing idea.

Chief Judge Rader Speaks Out About Patent Litigation Abuse

Interestingly, that has been misdirected towards the patent system. Even earlier this afternoon I received an invitation from a House Committee to come and talk about abuse of the patent system. I’m not sure I’ll be able to attend, but if I could attend I’ll tell you exactly what I would say: There is nothing wrong with the patent system.

Loser Pays Patent Troll Legislation Flawed

What is really needed is a low cost alternative to patent litigation that will break the troll/contingency business model.

Samsung Fails to Block Apple IPhone, IPad Sales in Japan

The Tokyo District Court rejected the request as Samsung hadn’t negotiated “sincerely” with Apple over licensing data- sending patents, Judge Ichiro Otaka said in a ruling today. The court also ruled that Samsung doesn’t have the right to seek damages from Apple.

Judge Levies $200,000 in Sanctions for Filing of Frivolous Patent Case

The law firm of Pearl Cohen Zedek Latzer and two of its partners have been hit with more than $200,000 in sanctions for filing a frivolous patent case, opposing an earlier sanctions ruling and, according to a federal judge in Manhattan, wasting the court's time.

10 Secrets to Locating Non-Patent Prior Art

Google: US patent system ‘over-rewards’ ideas while taxing the ‘hard part’ of innovation

The current patent system "over-rewards" the easy part of innovation — coming up with an idea — while taxing the hard part of implementing it.

Peeved politicians want “loser pays” rule for patent trolls

Essentially, the bill (PDF) creates a "loser pays" system for certain types of lawsuits, in which do-nothing patent holders will be forced to pay the defendant's legal bills if they lose their lawsuit. However, losing defendants won't have to pay, so it's more like a "losing plaintiff pays" system.

Junk Patents Dumped on Australia as Chinese Subsidies Rorted

This phenomenon is already resulting in distortions of Australian patent filing and grant statistics. I recently reported on the top Australian patent recipients of 2012, and noted that, for the first time, a Chinese company appeared in the top 10.

Federal judge orders Apple to pay $363K daily to patent-holding firm VirnetX

A Texas federal judge denied Apple's move to reduce last year's $368 million jury verdict in a patent infringement case it lost, and ordered the Cupertino, Calif. , company to pay more than $363,000 daily in interest and damages until a final judgment is awarded, the plaintiff said today.

Daily Report: Music Industry Sales Rise, and Digital Revenue Gets the Credit

The increase, of 0. 3 percent, was tiny, and the total revenue, $16. 5 billion, was a far cry from the $38 billion that the industry took in at its peak more than a decade ago.

***** Applications/Gadgets

Google’s Android Reborn as Network-Hacking Kit

The folks at security tools company Pwnie Express have built a tablet that can bash the heck out of corporate networks. Called the Pwn Pad, it’s a full-fledged hacking toolkit built atop Google’s Android operating system.

Transmission 2.77 Is Now Available for Download

Host your own document storage service with ownCloud

ownCloud provides multiple editions, all licensed under the AGPL.

Dell Expands Ubuntu Developer Laptop to Europe

Linux fans in Europe have reason to celebrate this week with Dell’s announcement that its “Sputnik” XPS 13 laptop powered by Ubuntu,

A Brilliant New Voice Recognition App for Ubuntu is on its Way!

The author, James McClain, also confirms that the app will be completely open source as well. We'll update the post once more details of the app arrives. Stay tuned.

Open Source Lingual Helps SQL Devs Unlock Hadoop

Lingual, which will be publicly available under the Apache 2. 0 license within the next few weeks, gives analysts and developers familiar with SQL, JDBC and traditional BI tools the caoability to create and run Big Data applications on Hadoop using their existing skillsets.

CoolShip Android all-in-keyboard computer

CoolShip Android computer in a keyboard is the latest Android-powered computer. But this one is unlike other Android units. It’s not in a USB stick, but in a keyboard with most of the connectivity of a standard desktop or notebook computer.

Chrome 25 arrives with speech recognition

HP switches to Android for $169 Slate 7, phones planned too$169-slate-7-phones-planned-too/

Not only is the new HP Slate 7 powered by Android, it costs a mere $169.

Google Chromebook Pixel: For What's Next

Taking a small stage in San Francisco's Potrero Hill neighborhood, Google's Sundar Pichai introduced the Chromebook Pixel, the company's attempt to "rethink everything" in terms of laptop design.

1st Dual Display Smartphone Shown at Barcelona Tradeshow & Samsung Finds Partner for New OS

The first dual display smartphone was presented at the NEC booth that got a lot of traffic and buzz. As illustrated below, Samsung is another smartphone player with designs in this category of smart device and others are working on this as well.

MIT releases open source software that reveals invisible motion and detail in video

Scientists at MIT have developed open-source software that can reveal details in videos that are otherwise invisible.

***** Reports

LibreOffice 4.0 And The Power of Brands

The biggest issue to consider is the opportunity cost. Instead of enhancing the existing OpenOffice brand, the community is forced to rebuild a new one.

Red Hat Updates OpenShift PaaS

The OpenShift Online PaaS service was launched in May 2011 as a free service. In June of this year, Red Hat announced pricing for commercial levels of service for OpenShift, under the product name Megashift. Megashift includes access to the online platform as well as storage capacity.

Ubuntu on tablets: Who's on board?

Ubuntu on tablets is the latest Ubuntu platform from Canonical, the company behind the popular Linux distribution. Barely two months ago, the company announced Ubuntu for smartphones. Before that, was Ubuntu for TV and before that, too, was Ubuntu for Android.

How A Small Company Stole A Chunk Of Oracle's Marketshare

We took an investment of 2M Euros. We spent 1. 6M Euros on the lawsuit. And we won. It was the best marketing campaign ever. Everybody knew we were the small, nice guys from Scandinavia, unjustly attacked by this greedy company. ”

Open-source search tool Elasticsearch gets $24 million

Elasticsearch’s Series B round of funding shows continuing interest among easy-to-use, open-source big-data analytics tools. The funding also heats up the competition for a market leader.

Canonical Ubuntu Linux is STILL not profitable

Fast forward to 2013 and during a call announcing Ubuntu for Tablets and Shuttleworth once again said that his company was still not profitable.

Tizen 2.0 operating system released to developers

Tizen, the open-source project backed by Intel and Samsung Electronics, has released to software developers and device makers the software development kit and source code for a new version of its operating system.

Technology in schools: saving money with cloud, open source and consortia

The change is saving around £3,000 a year in licensing costs, according to the schools' ICT manager Phil Jones. This was not the principal motivation, however. Rather than a one-size-fits-all system, going for open source means the school can adapt it to its own needs. It has also proved more stable. "We don't have down-time with these servers," Jones says.

ROS Moving to Open Source Robotics Foundation

The news that Willow Garage was undergoing changes was initially reported by IEEE Spectrum with the suggestion was that the company that created not only the Robot Operating System (ROS) but also the PR2 personal robot and TurtleBot robots was shortly to close.

Red Hat embraces Hadoop and big data

To make this happen, Red Hat is adding big data functionality to its product portfolio. For infrastructure that means Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and Red Hat Storage, which uses the proven GlusterFS distributed file system.

OpenStack: Seagate, HP Promote Cloud Platform Ahead of Conference

OpenStack seeks to offer a standard platform for public and private clouds, allowing partners and customers to move workloads more easily between various cloud systems. HP Public Cloud is built on OpenStack, and now Seagate has also endorsed the platform.

How to affordably own your office software

LibreOffice for free, or MS-Office for a perpetual annual fee or a higher one-time price and locked to a single PC. It's your choice.

Linux: It's where the jobs are

In general, Dice has found that, on average, tech professionals earn annual wages of $85,619. . Salaries for Linux pros are well above the average tech salary nationwide, coming in at $90,853. According to Dice, "That [also] represents a 9-percent jump, far outpacing the 5 percent jump in tech salaries overall. "

VMware: Zimbra Open Source Email Business Up for Sale?

Zimbra is an open source email and collaboration system that customers can run on premise. It’s also hosted by a range of SaaS companies and channel partners that offer Zimbra as a service.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4 Gets Active (Directory)

An updated version of the System Security Services Daemon (SSSD) in RHEL 6. 4 now makes it easier to authenticate to Active Directory.

WebOS lives! LG to resurrect it for smart TVs

LG is acquiring WebOS from Hewlett-Packard, with the intention to use the operating system not for its mobile phones, but in its smart televisions.

“Six strikes” enforcement policy debuts

She has also previously acknowledged to Ars that six strikes would not alter the behavior of those who use a VPN, Tor, or other similar digital tools to obscure one's digital footprint.

ManyEars: open source framework for sound processing

The ManyEars open source framework allows users to easily experiment with robot audition.

Mozilla reveals Firefox smartphone launch partners

In a press conference ahead of Mobile World Congress, Mozilla said that 18 operators including Deutsche Telekom and Telefonica, were signed up.

Grabbing for the Python name, a hosting firm gets bitten

A small British hosting company, POBox Hosting, certainly did -- and decided it had the right to apply the slithering appellation to its new cloud computing offering, Python Cloud. POBox felt justified because its trading arm, Veber, had inherited the domain python. co. uk from work done about a decade ago.

What Is Linux Advocates?

Eventually, we hope to make Linux Advocates the site everyone turns to for the news, opinion, tips and insight that's most relevant to the use and promotion of Linux and software freedom around the globe.

Google Is Working On Making Your Actual Life Searchable

A method and apparatus for enabling a searchable history of real-world user experiences is described.

Juniper Delivers on SDN Strategy for Service Providers (Linux Powered!)

The vApp Engine is at the core of Juniper's SDN implementation today and it relies on the open source Linux operating system, for now. Brooks said that the first instantiation of the vApp engine runs on Linux, though the plan is to eventually support other operating systems.

Open source app can detect text's authors

A group of Adelaide researchers has released an open-source tool that helps identify document authorship by comparing texts.

OpenGamma's Kirk Wylie: Open Source Is Busting Out All Over

OpenGamma is the developer of the first open source analytics and risk management platform for the financial services industry. Its products help companies explore flexible open source alternatives to conventional and costly risk analytics tools.

Google's Android army occupies Barcelona

The annual Mobile World Congress could hardly be more different from the one that began in 1987, and while the crowd remains overwhelmingly male, it’s a bit cooler – and a lot richer.

Microsoft Munches Own Open Source Dog Food

As Hadoop spread, Microsoft built a similar tool known as Dryad, which ran atop another proprietary Microsoft platform called Cosmos. This helped drive Microsoft’s Bing search engine, and in 2009, the company released a preview version of a Dryad platform that could be used outside of Microsoft and Cosmos. But in late 2011, just a few months after the beta release of the tool, Microsoft pulled the plug, saying it was doubling down on Hadoop.

***** Snippets

Law Review Helps to Keep Your Practices on the FOSS Fairway

Linux 3.8 Unicycling Gorilla Accelerates Server Filesystems

Canonical answers Ubuntu phone critics

Debian 7 Progressing, Mageia 3 Delayed

Mageia 3 Beta 2 Review An uncut gem

Google shows the world its official Android 4.2.2 changelog

The rise of Chinese hardware, open source OSes and phablets

OpenMandriva Secretly Moving Forward

Porteus 2.0 Arrives, Replaces Trinity

6 Most Good-Looking Music Players for Linux

Scientific Linux 6.3 Samba Standalone Server With tdbsam Backend

Install Steam client on Fedora 18

Larry Lessig: "Aaron's Laws -Law and Justice in a Digital Age" (video)

Oxford Dictionaries adds tweetable, dumbphone and FOSS to its latest editions

Linux Sound To Be Improved In 3.9 Kernel

The new GNOME Shell Interface Arrived!

Xen: Improving event channel scalability

Meet ownCloud 5, The Open Source Dropbox

VBoxHeadless - Running Virtual Machines With VirtualBox 4.2 On A Headless Fedora 18 Server

NetXMS version 1.2.6 released

DoubleTwist Teams Up With Qualcomm On Open Source AirPlay Alternative

Patent suit takes aim at Apple, Dell, others over encryption

Torvalds strongly objects to Windows 8 secure boot keys in the Linux kernel

Diving Into OpenVZ

SUSE has no plans for mobile, tablet

Key statistics from the 2013 Linux Jobs Survey & Report

Mozilla Set to Revive Electrolysis for Firefox Process Threading

Red Hat spins, SUSE plays it straight

SCALE 11x Run Down
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