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 #484 Period ending 22 March 2013

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

The popular story this week is the gaoling of "Weev" (Andrew Auernheimer) (tagged in Policy). AT&T had an online interface in which, if you provided an iPad serial number, it would send back the owner's email address. Auernheimer guessed these serial numbers and by that harvested email addresses. The crime is troubling in that the crime is, in effect, using an online service in a way other than intended. Meanwhile, in Australia, where a couple of years ago we rejected modernising the Copyright Act to allow parallel importation of copyrighted materials, we are conducting an inquiry into why Australians pay through the nose for copyrighted materials. At the same time, the US Supreme Court has ruled there is no right to prevent parallel importation into the US (Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.).

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



***** Off Topic

ALEC makes public hundreds of “model” bills

On Friday, following a two-year campaign by watchdog groups, ALEC published hundreds of its model bills online. The coalition of organizations pushing for greater transparency included the Center for Media and Democracy, ColorOfChange, Common Cause, Greenpeace, People for the American Way, Progress Now and a variety of labor organizations.

The Internet is a surveillance state

One: Some of the Chinese military hackers who were implicated in a broad set of attacks against the U.S. government and corporations were identified because they accessed Facebook from the same network infrastructure they used to carry out their attacks.

Cisco switches to weaker hashing scheme, passwords cracked wide open

Ironically, the encryption type 4 algorithm leaves users considerably more susceptible to password cracking than an older alternative, even though the new routine was intended to enhance protections already in place.

***** Government/Policy

Video codecs: The ugly business behind pretty pictures

It wasn't so simple as just modifying an MPEG-derived standard to route around patents. Those standards created such a patent thicket that any new work using the same math was almost certain to encroach on a patent portfolio somewhere.

Educational Linux distro provides tech-bundle for kids and educators

Ubermix is a Linux distribution built by educators, for educators, and for students, "with an eye towards student and teacher empowerment." That's why the "desktop" looks like a mobile phone. And it comes pre-installed with tons of open source applications that are geared toward education and creativity.

AT&T Hacker ‘Weev’ Sentenced to 3.5 Years in Prison

A script on AT&T's servers would accept an iPad's ICC-ID—a unique identifier embedded in the device's microSIM card—and return that user's e-mail address. Auernheimer figured out that ICC-IDs come in a predictable range, allowing him to enumerate the tens of thousands of them and obtain the corresponding e-mail addresses.

Forget the Cellphone Fight — We Should Be Allowed to Unlock Everything We Own

While Congress is working on legislation to re-legalize cellphone unlocking, let’s acknowledge the real issue: The copyright laws that made unlocking illegal in the first place. Who owns our stuff? The answer used to be obvious. Now, with electronics integrated into just about everything we buy, the answer has changed.

New European Commission Report Finds That ‘Piracy’ Doesn’t Hurt, And In Fact Helps, Music Sales

This report demonstrates that online âpiracyâ does not have a negative effect on sales, and often, in fact, has a positive impact. As they put it, their research suggested âa stimulating effect of [online streaming] on the sales of digital music.â

Plans for releasing Swartz evidence

Aaron Swartz’s lawyers filed a motion on Friday requesting that evidence used in Swartz’s trial be made publicly accessible, including many MIT documents. The motion requested in particular that the court not redact the names and official titles of all law enforcement personnel and employees of MIT and JSTOR who appear in the evidence.

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

Opinion analysis: Justices reject publisher’s claims in gray-market copyright case

However, in today's opinion in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Justice Breyer, writing for a strong majority of six, emphatically rejected the publisher's control over the importation of such products.

Notes from Register Pallante’s “The Next Great Copyright Act”

—However, the term of copyright protection could be modified to 50 years after the death of the author, renewable for another 20 years

Chief Judge Rader on the Supreme Court and Judge Posner

America's patent system is all wrong for today’s high-tech world

We have today a patent system that is ill-suited to todayâs rapidly changing, high-tech world. Software patents have been approved that are overly broad, and these approvals have been done on a massive scale. No surprise, patent litigation has exploded. You produce any product these days and youâre likely to âinfringeâ on some vague, ill-defined patents.

Righthaven Copyrights 'Sold' Back To Stephens Media For $80k To Pay Legal Fees

In May of last year, we noted that the receiver was now planning to sell Righthaven's copyrights, since they were the only remaining "asset" from Righthaven. Of course, this seemed fairly tricky when you thought about it. The whole reason Righthaven lost the case was because it didn't actually hold any copyrights.

Appeals Court Hands Veoh Another Win in Important Copyright Ruling

The Ninth Circuit rejects Universal Music Group's challenges on why the video-sharing site didn't qualify for safeharbor from copyright claims.

Documentary Filmmaker Sues AP for Stealing Footage

To show an exclusive New York island where filming isn't permitted, a reporter allegedly downloaded a non-fictionfilm, bypassed access-control measures and inserted portions into a news report.

Why We Can’t Afford to Blame the Trolls for the Patent Problem

But curing the patent problem requires general solutions … not ones targeted just at patent trolls.

Prenda Law Continues To Dismiss Lawsuits

The New Law: 35 U.S.C. 102

The New Law Effective Today: 35 U.S.C. 102

Cert denied in Capitol Records v Thomas-Rasset

The United States Supreme Court has denied certiorari in Jammie Thomas's case, Capitol Records v. Thomas-Rasset. This means that the award of $222,000, for downloading 24 files, stands.

Should business be allowed to patent mathematics?

His position is extreme, but proponents of software patentability similarly argue that the system fuels growth and rewards people for their work.

Federal judges “get no respect” in patent appeals—but that may change

Since the definition of a word or term in one patent doesn't necessarily have any influence on another patent in another area of technology, there's not a lot of consistency in claim constructions across cases, Holderman goes on to note.

***** Applications/Gadgets

Pwnie Express Releases Pwn Pad Ahead of Schedule

The Pwn Pad is based around the wildly popular Nexus 7 tablet from Google, with a custom firmware that combines Android 4.2 and Ubuntu 12.04 to get the absolute best of both worlds. It doesn’t matter if you are looking to use Android-native security tools, or the latest Linux tool, you’ll be able to do it right on one device by virtue of the Pwn Pad’s operating system.

Samsung Galaxy S 4: Moving further from Android

Samsung has designed the S 4 to bridge the successful S 3 and the innovative Note 2. The 5-inch display fits between the two existing phones although it ratchets up the resolution to 441 PPI.

Mozilla Delivers New Version 3.0 Preview of Firefox OS

Mozilla has warned that the version 3.0 simulator is "a little rough around the edges," but can still be experimented with. All three of the preview versions do reflect the fact that Mozilla means to develop this new mobile OS fully out in the open.

***** Reports

Android Devices Set to Overtake iPad in Market Share

IPad shipments are expected to account for 46 percent of the tablet market in 2013, down from 51 percent last year, the research company said. The market share for devices running Android is expected to grow to 49 percent this year from 42 percent last year.

SwiftStack Exits Stealth With Open Source Swift Software-Defined Storage

SwiftStack is developing software-defined storage for object storage in order to make it easy for customers in the web, mobile and SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) markets with a heavy mobile focus to run a public storage cloud inside their own data centers, Arnold said.

Netflix cracks wallet to spur open source cloud development

The Netflix OSS Cloud Prize was announced by the company at an event in Los Gatos, California, on Wednesday evening. The procrastination king has set aside $200,000 across ten prizes to reward developers for pushing the limits of its massive cloud platform.

Apple Exec Slams Android Ahead of Samsung Galaxy S IV Launch

Schiller's statements come after months of reports that Samsung is catching up to or beating Apple in smartphone shipments in many markets. Still, it's a risky move for Apple. By acknowledging Samsung and Android directly, Schiller and Apple effectively gives them even more publicity and shows that it's concerned.

Python Software Foundation Reaches Settlement, Ends Trademark Dispute

According to the terms of the settlement, Veber has withdrawn its trademark filing and has agreed to support the Python Software Foundation's use of the term.

NetFlix Invites Open Source Cloud App Development

In other words, the goal is to engage the open source community for expanding Netflix’s suite of cloud-based applications. That will obviously help Netflix to grow, while also offering developers an incentive for building on a new cloud platform (not to mention potentially winning sizable prizes).

***** Snippets

GNOME Co-Founder Disses Linux

Google Reader axed. Is FeedBurner next?

Linux Kernel 3.8.3 Is Now Available for Download

How openSUSE 12.3 lives with secure boot

>From US Soldier to IT Manager... with Linux Mint

Google's Chrome OS partially hacked

Internet pioneers win engineering prize

The tragedy of jailing Weev

Linux 3.9 rc3

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