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 #486 Period ending 5 April 2013

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

Take a look at Matthew Garrett's article on Secure Boot v Restricted boot. Apparently the Space Station is moving to Linux (or part of it anyway). Google takes a stand against patents and in favour of open source. More news on copyright litigators Prenda Law, and a win for generics in patent litigation in India.

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



***** Off Topic

Sprint, Softbank to shun Chinese networking equipment

US officials have accused Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE of having close ties with the Chinese government and military. They claim the companies' equipment raises the threat of "cyber-espionage" or attacks on US communications networks, although a White House review last year found no clear evidence that Huawei spied for China.

Cruel and Unusual Punishment: The Shame of Three Strikes Laws

Thanks to a brand-new, get-tough-on-crime state law, Wilkerson would soon be sentenced to life in prison for stealing a pair of plain white tube socks worth $2.50.

***** Government/Policy

Secure Boot and Restricted Boot.

In contrast to the x86 market, Microsoft's policies for the ARM market restrict user freedom. Windows Phone and Windows RT devices are required to boot only signed binaries, with no option for the end user to disable the signature validation or install their own keys.

Open source in higher education: how far have we come?

In 2011, the Public Affairs Select Committee produced a report entitled Government and IT – A Recipe for Rip-offs: Time for a New Approach. It concluded that over-reliance on a small group of large suppliers by government had wasted public money. It went on to suggest that by widening the range of government IT suppliers, sharing more information with the public and increasing the level of IT expertise government could go a long way towards rectifying the current situation.

Linux Foundation Training Prepares the International Space Station for Linux Migration

It’s hard to get tech support 400 kilometers away from the Earth, which is why Keith Chuvala of United Space Alliance, a NASA contractor deeply involved in Space Shuttle and International Space Station (ISS) operations, decided to migrate to Linux.

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Is a Failed Experiment

All of these legal doctrines (the CFAA, state computer crimes, common law trespass to chattels) require that the online chattel owner show that the defendant’s activity was unauthorized and that the owner suffered some damage from the defendant’s use of the chattel, but the legal standards differ somewhat between the doctrines.

US to release Aaron Swartz papers

The US attorney’s office in Boston agreed on Friday to release documents in the Aaron Swartz case, but the officials are seeking to have some specific identities and materials withheld as the legal wrangling continues in the investigation into the federal prosecution of the Internet activist.

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

Patent Law: A Beginner's Guide

Google Erects Patent Shield for the Open Source Internet,google-offers-patent-amnesty-for-open-source-projects.aspx

Google calls this an Open Patent Non-Assertion Pledge, and according to a company spokesman, the company plans to make similar pledges around various other open source technologies as time goes on. Google says these patent pledges will hold even if it sells the patents involved.

Red Hat Defends Rackspace, Defeats Linux Patent Trolls

Uniloc didn't actually sue Red Hat directly, they went after Rackspace (a Red Hat customer). Red Hat indemnifies its customers and has since it launched its Open Source Assurance programback in 2004.

State-Owned Chinese Film Studio Sues Apple

Shanghai Animation Film Studio claims the Cupertino-based tech giant sold its films in the iTunes store withoutproper permission.

Microsoft publishes list of its entire patent portfolio, makes case for transparency

“We urge other companies to join us in making available information about which patents they own,” says Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith in a blog post announcing the new Patent Tracker. “By doing so, they will help increase transparency, facilitate licensing, and help ensure that the patent system continues to fulfill its role in promoting and encouraging innovation.”

Rackspace, Red Hat Win Decisive Patent Victory

Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT) and Rackspace Hosting, Inc. (NYSE: RAX) announced today that they have won a federal court decision granting early dismissal of all claims in a lawsuit brought by the patent assertion entity Uniloc USA, Inc.

Developer Freedom At Stake As Oracle Clings To Java API Copyrights In Google Fight

You could hear a collective sigh of relief from the software developer world when Judge William Alsup issued his ruling in the Oracle-Google lawsuit. Oracle lost on pretty much every point, but the thing that must have stuck most firmly in Oracle’s throat was this:

Qualcomm sides with Motorola on FRAND/SEP issues in Apple v. Motorola Federal Circuit appeal

Qualcomm also argues against the particular methodologies of calculating reasonable royalty damages for both FRAND-pledged essential patents and non-essential patents (e.g., the so-called ex ante or incremental value rules) that certain amici have advocated for.

Report: US Patent And Trademark Office Denies Apples iPad Mini Trademark Application, Deemed M

Team Prenda Shows Up In Court, Pleads The Fifth... Angry Judge Ends Hearing In 12 Minutes

Well that happened much faster than expected. While Judge Otis Wright apparently had cleared his entire schedule today for the Prenda hearing, the actual hearing lasted all of 12 (count 'em) minutes, with Judge Wright declaring "we're done" before storming out.

IBM Chief Patent Counsel on Patent Litigation Reform

But let’s not presume that patent litigation reform is all that is needed or all that can be done to help. I believe that Chief Judge Rader and other patent system users should focus on additional reforms that could contribute in a substantive way.

Can I resell my MP3s? reduxfederal judge says no

On Saturday, a federal court in New York ruled in summary judgment within the case of Capitol Records v. ReDigi. The court decided that no, users do not have the right to resell digital music files, as doing so violates existing copyright law. ReDigi, the judge found, is also liable for secondary copyright infringement and likely will have to pay damages

U.S. Government's Anti-Piracy 'Six Strike' Conversations Remain Secret

A judge rejects a researcher's full demand for all communications, documents and notes between the Office of the U.S.Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator and the entertainment industry.

Patent's Defeat in India Is Key Victory for Generic Drugs

“I think other countries will now be looking at India and saying, ‘Well, hold on a minute — India stuck to its guns,’ ” said Tahir Amin, a director of the Initiative for Medicines, Access and Knowledge, a group based in New York that works on patent cases to foster access to drugs.

***** Applications/Gadgets

Big Switch open-sources software to ease the move to commodity switches

Big Switch’s new Switch Light software implements the OpenFlow networking protocol in physical and virtual switches. It lets data center administrators automatically and centrally send out policies from one location when new switches are added to the network, instead of having to go through with a time-consuming, hands-on process.

***** Reports

Linux Skills Still in High Demand in the Job Market

"[Linux] is considered the most ubiquitous and popular free open-source operating system," The Linux Foundation reports. "And if you demonstrate IT skills in this field, you're setting yourself up for a lucrative in-demand career."

Mirantis Open-Sources OpenStack Deployment Library

Mirantis, one of the largest OpenStack systems integrators, just released an extensive library that it has been using internally to speed up deployment at client sites. The startup used the package, called FUEL, to configure and implement OpenStack for PayPal, WebEx, NASA and a number of other high-profile organizations.

Big business buys into big Linux

The reasons for this are the same as always. According to the foundation, "The top three drivers for adopting Linux use are its feature set (75 percent), lower TCO (71 percent), and security (69 percent). At the same time, management's view of Linux has remained consistently positive, with a reported 95 percent viewing the platform as equally or more strategic to the organization every year we have conducted the survey."

Kolab: David and Goliath

At the moment, the Kolab community are busy with their latest major release. Kolab 3 has just been launched and brings a raft of improvements to existing features. Version 3 also aims to make Kolab more easily integrated into an existing setup; it will happily work with an existing LDAP system rather than its own, should you be migrating.

How Samsung Became the World's No. 1 Smartphone Maker

Besides the Great Phone Incineration of 1995, two other signal acts helped propel Samsung’s rise in smartphones. The first was in 2009, when it bet big on Android, Google’s operating system for mobile. Samsung’s first Android device was called the Galaxy. “

Will Ford's open-source car API drive us to distraction?

The platform has only been around for a little over a year, but OpenXC has already been used to create apps that alert drivers to local rain by combining data from Weather Underground and the car's GPS, or ones that reflect LEDs off the windshield to present heads-up information directly to the driver.

TDF releases White Paper to help migrations to LibreOffice

The Document Foundation releases a white paper to help organizations migrate to LibreOffice. Published on Document Freedom Day, the text explains how governments and enterprises can leverage Free Software to lower their IT expenditures and get rid of proprietary software lock-in.

Adobe Launches Blank, An Open Source Fallback Font You Can't See

Adobe today launched Adobe Blank, a new open-source OpenType font that, at first glance, does absolutely nothing. Indeed, the whole point of the font, as its creator Ken Lunde writes today, is to render every Unicode character as a “non-spacing and non-marking glyph.”

Apache Bloodhound Leads Open Source Trac Forward

Bloodhound in many respects is a fork of the open source Trac project. Like all other modern projects, it started out as an incubated project in December of 2011 and now is graduating to become a Top-Level-Project.

***** Snippets

KDE Plasma Media Center Released - Install on Fedora 17/18 and Ubuntu 12.10

The Unhackable Google!

LibreOffice adoption soaring, but OpenOffice still open source king

calamariOS, Huh, What?

Lawyer hopeful of success with secure boot complaint

OpenShot Reaches Halfway In Kickstarter Campaign

Red Hat: Happy Linux Partners, Disappointed RHT Investors

Free & Open Source Rootkit and Malware Detection Tools

Pass - A shell based password manager

GNOME 3.8 Released - See What's New [Video, Screenshots]

Does the Oracle SPARC Update Leave Linux Behind?

Linux Kernel 3.8.5 Is Now Available for Download

The Perfect Desktop - OpenSUSE 12.3 (GNOME Desktop)

List of Google's 'If I Had Glass' winners reveals celebrities and focus on high follower counts

Linux Foundation Becomes Sponsor of Linux Advocates

Russian video shows one phone running two versions of Android

MIT Files Court Papers Partially Opposing Release Of Documents About Swartz Investigation

Infotainment systems: The next generation

Snort Founder Still Supports Open Source Security [VIDEO]

Is a New Approach to Email Just What Linux Needs?

OpenStack Grizzly Rounding Third

Facebook's Android Homescreen Could Expose Apple's Inflexibility

Linux 3.9 rc5

OpenStack security brief

Inside Palaver: Linux Speech Recognition that Taps Google's Voice Technology

Kernel Log: Coming in 3.9 (part 1)

How Does Big Data Impact the Network?

Today's Linux schisms are a blessing in disguise

Open Recall: Bodhi Linux, Scientific Linux and Mageia Beta

Bodhi Linux 2.3.0 Released Download DVD ISO Images

Resistance Isn't Futile

GNOME 3.8 Debuts New Open Source Linux Desktop

Kali Linux ISO: Build a custom KDE image

Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean For HTC One X Might Be Released In June / July

Aaron Swartz Filings Re Unsealing

Aereo Beats Broadcasters in Big Appellate Ruling
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