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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 #491 Period ending 27 May 2013

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

A committee of the US House of Representatives is holding hearings into copyright, there's a bit of buzz around the Samsung S4 and Kim Dotcom pulls out a patent on two factor authentication he just happens to have in the US. In standards related news, Google is talking up its VP line of codecs but, unfortunately, the licence conditions seem to be FOSS-hostile.

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



***** Open Standards/ODF

Google cuts network usage by terabytes by switching to WebP

A month and a half ago, Google began using its WebP image format in its Google+ app for Android, and now it's saving tremendous amounts of network usage as a result.

Googles VP8 License Proposal

Google have released a draft agreement designed to help VP8 adoption by licensing a number of relevant patents on a royalty free basis. It sounds good, but the details of the license still need some work. Hopefully we’ll see some changes to this draft before the final license is released.

Google urges fast adoption of VP9 video compression

At its Google I/O conference Wednesday, company employees made the case for the royalty-free, open-source technology as a higher-quality alternative to today's dominant video codec, H.264. Moving to VP9 -- available now in testing on Chrome and YouTube -- will save bandwidth costs.

***** Off Topic

Chinese hackers who breached Google gained access to sensitive data, U.S. officials say

Chinese hackers who breached Google’s servers several years ago gained access to a sensitive database with years’ worth of information about U.S. surveillance targets, according to current and former government officials.

Reporters threatened with CFAA, labeled hackers for finding security hole

Scripps News reporters discovered 170,000 Lifeline phone customer records online that contained everything needed for identity theft. After requesting an interview with the COO of TerraCom and YourTel, the reaction was kill-the-messenger style; the reporters were called "Scripps Hackers" and threatened with violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

London in 1926

...colour footage of 1920s London shot by an early British pioneer of film named Claude Friese-Greene, who made a series of travelogues using the colour process his father William - a noted cinematographer - was experimenting with.

Intelligence linked to ability to ignore distractions

The results showed that people with higher IQ scores were faster at noticing the movement of the bars when observing the smallest image - but they were slower at detecting movement in the larger images.

***** Government/Policy

A Case Study for Consensus Building: The Copyright Principles Project

Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet.

Thoughts on Open Innovation

Happily, the benefits of open innovation are increasingly recognized today, in part because the Internet has made it possible for so many to collaborate about so much so easily. Governments (e.g., in the U.K.) in particular are beginning to embrace the concept in areas like open data that hold enormous promise, not only for making progress possible in multiple domains, but also to help create new possibilities for domestic entrepreneurship.

Dotcom granted leave for Crown appeal

Dotcom's lawyers want to be able to view the documents that make up the basis of the US Government's case against him.

Redacted Emails Ordered Released in Aaron Swartz Case

A federal judge ruled on Monday that the estate of late entrepreneur and Internet activist Aaron Swartz may release to Congress and the public some of the information gathered by the lawyers preparing his defense in his hacking case.

Government Accused of Sneaking in Web Filter [AU]

ASIC caused the blocking by giving ISPs the IP address of the shared server the websites were hosted on, rather than disclosing the allegedly fraudulent website's domain name, which would have resulted in only blocking it and not other websites.

Is the Patent System Working or Broken? A Discussion with Four Distinguished Federal Judges

Consumer tech rip-off from patent pools

Most of the MPEG-2 patents have expired, but they still remain bundled with the other essential patents.

Why We Need Open Source: Three Cautionary Tales

In other words, once the underlying model and its data were available, its errors were soon discovered. That simply wasn't possible with just the results, which people essentially had to take on trust. Here, then, is a clear case where publishing the code - in this case an Excel spreadsheet - would have had a major impact on how things turned out.

Metcalfe's Law: How Ethernet Beat IBM and Changed the World

"What IBM underestimated in their dominance was the power of an open standard," Metcalfe said. "In that old IBM, in its dark little heart, it was not committed to open standards, and its products were not interoperable." In contrast, Ethernet from its inception was conceived and deployed as an open standard.

French Senate bill proposes giving priority to Free Software for digital education

The new text (in French) states : "This public service uses in priority free software and open document formats."

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

IsoHunt Will Take DMCA Safe Harbor Fight to the Supreme Court

The Ninth Circuit upheld the decision of the lower court, stating that since isoHunt had previous knowledge of some infringing activity, the site loses its DMCA safe harbor protections across the entire platform.

Newegg Wins Patent Appeal against Alcatel-Lucent

A great place to buy computers, computer parts, electronics, software, accessories, and DVDs online. With great prices, fast shipping, and top-rated customer service - once you know, you Newegg.

Motorola tells Federal Circuit that its prior SEP licenses were not the result of hold-up

Motorola strongly asserts that its license agreements with “all of the major handset manufacturers selling in the United States” (aside from Apple, of course) are highly probative of the appropriate measure of damages.

Judge Denies Copyright Class Action Against YouTube

The judge continues by explaining that "copyright claims are poor candidates for class action treatment" and "the suggestion that a class action of these dimensions can be managed with judicial resourcefulness is flattering, but unrealistic."

Apple levels its latest patent complaints at Samsungs Galaxy S4

Apple is yet again pursuing patent infringement claims against Samsung (and Samsung is counter-suing Apple too). The pair's newest patent battle is happening in the US District Court of Northern California and it's a similar lawsuit to the infringement case heard last year that resulted in a $1.05 billion verdict in favor of Apple. However, this time around Apple and Samsung are pursuing claims against the latest generation of products.

IP theft commission: US needs to take strong action

Craig Barrett, former chairman and CEO at Intel, called those longer-term ideas the "nuclear option," but said they are worth exploring if other efforts don't work.

Vermont Attorney General files suit against notorious scanner non-practicing entity

We’re going to take a quick time-out from standard-essential patent issues for a minute for a brief post on non-practicing entities. These NPEs are getting more and more attention from industry, regulators, and Congress, with a multitude of recent legislation (e.g., the SHIELD Act, the Patent Quality Improvement Act and the End Anonymous Patents Act) being introduced to address NPE-related issues.

First Hand Account Of Judicial Smackdown Of Prenda In Minnesota

Yesterday we had a story about how a judge in Minnesota, Judge Ann Alton, angrily accused Paul Hansmeier of fraud in the lawsuit filed by Alan Cooper against Prenda.

Motorola beats attorney-owned patent company at trial over Bluetooth

Effingo Wireless, a San Antonio company without much more than a website and a patent, decided to sue Motorola (PDF) for patent infringement on Aug. 11, 2011. Four days later, Google announced it would be acquiring Motorola, lawsuits and all.

Improving transparency by ending anonymous patents

Prenda blows sanctions deadline, ordered to pay an extra $1,000 per day

Today Wright issued an order, predictably, denying the request by the Prenda crew for more time. The order [PDF] asks them to explain "why they have contravened the Court's order to pay the attorney's-fee award," which, to be precise, is $81,319.72. It also orders them to pay $1,000 "per day, per person or entity, until this attorney's-fee award is paid or a bond for the same amount is posted... Failure to comply will result in additional sanctions."

Brocade and A10 settle patent case one hour before a jury hears it

Brocade won a huge court victory against A10 last year when a jury ruled that A10's AX line of "load balancers" infringed both Brocade copyrights and patents. The case became even more noteworthy after trial when a judge ruled that Brocade would win an injunction because of patent violations. In the past several years, changes to patent case-law have made it harder to win an injunction.

One-Time Pad Reinvented To Make Electronic Copying Impossible


Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics

On May 12, 2009, the ACLU and the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) filed a lawsuit charging that patents on two human genes associated with breast and ovarian cancer, BRCA1 and BRCA2, are unconstitutional and invalid.

The End-Users Strike Back

Patent trolls use this imbalance in cost to threaten end-users with nuisance suits unless they take a license. Demand letters often emphasize these high costs and contain license fees below the litigation costs. The result is end users paying to ward off litigation; they receive no benefit in the form of new technology.

Patent Trolls in Public

e mean licensing revenue per defendant comes to $3.8 million in 2010 dollars. This figure includes licensing revenues from non-litigated patent assertions. But it understates the magnitude of licensing revenues per suit because it does not account for accruals —

Software Patents: Separating Rhetoric from Facts

However, questions about whether software should be patentable were raised early on (e.g. the 1966 Report of the President’s Commission on the Patent System) and have never gone away. The debate has intensified with the emergence of patent aggregators and trolls as a growing force in the market, along with high-profile global-scale litigation between major technology companies as seen in the “smartphone wars.”

How Cheap Genetic Testing Complicates Cancer Screening For Us All

Is a broadcast to everyone private under the Copyright Act?

The Copyright Principles Project: Directions for Reform [PDF]

controversial copyright issues. - Pamela Samuelson, Berkeley Technology Law Journal

Microsoft Updates YouTube App After Cease and Desist Order From Google

Google has elected not to develop a YouTube app for Windows Phone 8, likely because of its lack of users, so Microsoft took matters into its own hands and developed its own YouTube app, which was released on May 7. Just over a week later, Google sent Microsoft a cease-and-desist letter, claiming the app violates the YouTube terms of service because it doesn't display ads and allows users to download content from the app.

Judge says leaning toward U.S. in Apple e-books case

While she stressed that the view was not final and that she had read only some of the evidence so far, her comments could add to pressure on Apple to settle the lawsuit, in which the Justice Department accuses the company and five publishers of conspiring to fix e-book prices.

Realtek draws ITCs attention to recent N.D. Cal. order ... And Apple does too

RIAA losing money, firing employees, giving execs raises

The cutbacks are not immediately apparent from the salaries paid to the top executives. RIAA Chairman and CEO Cary Sherman, for example, earned $1.46 million compared to $1.37 million the year before. Senior Executive Vice President Mitch Glazier also saw a modest rise in income from $618,946 to $642,591.

Patent Abuse Reduction Act of 2013 (S.1013)

If it exists, the patent heat in Congress right now is focused on "curbing abusive patent litigation." A variety of bills have been introduced, including the SHIELD Act that would introduce a one-way fee shifting system that would require losing plaintiffs to pay the attorney fees of successful defendants. H.R. 845. The Bill also requires that the patentee plaintiff (or DJ Defendant) post a bond early in the lawsuit to ensure that the fees will be paid.

US ITC refuses to ban Microsoft's Xbox at Google's request

The U.S. International Trade Commission has turned down a request for a ban on Microsoft's Xbox after finding that the gaming device did not infringe a patent owned by Google's Motorola Mobility unit.

Kim Dotcom to Google, Twitter, Facebook: I Own Security Patent, Work With Me

Kim Dotcom has announced that he is the inventor of the so-called two-step authentication system and has a patent to prove it. The Megaupload founder says the security mechanism, which has just been introduced by Twitter, is being used by U.S. companies more than a billion times every week without permission. Dotcom says he doesn’t want to sue, but might if the likes of Google and Facebook don’t help fund his legal battle with the U.S. Government.

***** Applications/Gadgets

Google Demos Linux Running on Hacked Glass

Google showed other hacks, such as running a version of Ubuntu Linux. Those actions, though, require deeper “root” access to the device. Google showed how developers can get such access, but cautions that doing so voids the warranty and could be irreversible.

New tablet boots Ubuntu Linux, Android, and Windows 8

First off, the Ekoore Python S3 runs an Intel dual-core 847 and boots Android 4.2, Ubuntu, or Windows. Featuring an 11.6-inch display, the device sports a keyboard docking layout with international (USA) full QWERTY, two USB ports, an Ethernet port, and a secondary battery, Ekoore says.

SlateBook x2: Tegra 4-powered Android hybrid

. The Slatebook x2 on the other hand, when it’s starts shipping in August, will start at US$480.00. Dual-storage models will probably carry a higher price tag. More about it SlateBook x2 here.

Google+ app for Android gets post-I/O overhaul

Like the Web version unveiled at Google I/O, Google+ for Android provides users with options such as automatic photo enhancements and Auto Awesome. Other features include the instant hashtagging, quick access to Hangouts, and improved notifications.

Opera for Android goes off-roading

But a redesigned interface is just the beginning. Opera for Android also retains popular features like Speed Dial and improved compatibility, thanks to Chromium. The new "Discover" and "Off-road mode" have also become permanent additions to the Opera family, taking center stage with this version release.

Samsung Galaxy S4 named top smartphone by Consumer Reports

$99 Linux stick turns any HDMI display into a virtual desktop

Like Dell's device, the $99 Ceptor is designed to plug into any HDMI-compatible display or monitor. Slightly larger than a USB memory stick, the multimedia-capable unit can then transform such a device into a “zero client” virtual desktop.

Debian GNU/Hurd 2013 released!

Debian GNU/Hurd is currently available for the i386 architecture with more than 10.000 software packages available (more than 75% of the Debian archive, and more to come!).

Samsung Galaxy S4 Shipments Cross 10 Million,2817,2419404,00.asp

In fact, it took the uber-popular Android phone just 26 days to reach the 10 million-sold milestone. The impressive feat makes the Galaxy S 4 Samsung's fastest-selling smartphone to date.

A Closer Look at Parallella

Linux is the operating system of choice and with Ubuntu as the supported distribution, but since open source drivers will be provided it should be possible to develop support for FreeBSD, Android or just about any other operating system with an ARM port.

***** Reports

Android is just the beginning: How Bluetooth is preparing for the internet of things

Google’s support for the Bluetooth Smart Ready platform in Android is one step forward for the radio technology’s dominance in the internet of things. But the Bluetooth SIG has a lot more up its sleeve. Home-Page-Android-Graphic

Cool tool: One click installation of open source apps

The company, which specializes in automating infrastructure resources, has a new tool called the Direct Installer, which promises one-click installations.

BonitaSoft Raises $13M Series C For Its Open Source Business Process Management Solution

BonitaSoft, a provider of an open source business process management (BPM) solution, has raised a $13 million Series C round led by the FSN PME Fund, a French government initiative to invest in technology companies to help them scale globally.

Linux Is Everywhere ??? 12 Awesome Devices Powered By Linux

Besides well known devices like Google’s Android, Amazon’s Kindle etc, Linux is powering some of the most amazing devices around the globe and in the sky.

Scale Computing Scales Up With Linux KVM Servers

The Indiana-based startup recently raised $12 Million in funding to support its converged systems approach. The company's initial HC3 system combined compute, virtualization and storage components.

Apple Mobile Devices Cleared for Use on U.S. Military Networks

The Galaxy S4 released in April will be the first smartphone using the new system, known as Knox, according to Samsung.

Mozilla delays blocking advertisers' cookies in Firefox

"The idea is that if you have not visited a site (including the one to which you are navigating currently) and it wants to put a cookie on your computer, the site is likely not one you have heard of or have any relationship with," he said. "But this is only likely, not always true."

How Google updated Android without releasing version 4.3

The answer is that Google did announce what amounts to a fairly substantial Android update yesterday. They simply did it without adding to the update fragmentation problems that continue to plague the platform. By focusing on these changes and not the apparently-waiting-in-the-wings update to the core software, Google is showing us one of the ways in which it's trying to fix the update problem.

Google is Prepping a Sneak Attack on Microsoft Office

In recent weeks, Google sources have told me that Google has been internally testing, or "dogfooding," QuickOffice, which began life as a standalone productivity app that offers better compatibility with Office than Google's own Apps. Now, however, Google is testing QuickOffice as a cloud-based service in its own Chrome browser.

The Fedora Project ARMs up

The Fedora Project, an open-source collaboration project supported by Red Hat and the developer community, rolled out its first Fedora-powered high-density ARM-based datacenter servers this week, in a migration that was the first time it was able to use standard tools, such as Kickstart and PXE on ARM-based datacenter hardware.

Red Hat CEO Whitehurst on innovation, OpenStack, Hadoop

Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst argued that enterprise software vendors are at an inflection point where they'll adapt or falter, noted OpenStack is keeper but needs enterprise support and Hadoop has become a strong open source project that's becoming commercially fragmented.

Open Source WordPress Grows on Yahoo Tumblr Buyout

"Imports have actually spiked on the rumors even though it’s Sunday: normally we import 400-600 posts an hour from Tumblr, last hour it was over 72,000"

Can gaming be the turning point for Linux on the desktop?

Steam for Linux is an ambitious project, as it's attempting to bring native Linux games to the Steam platform. The success of which seems rather limited, with around 55 games - minus demos and expansions packs - currently converted, the majority of which were already natively available on Linux.

Dell Project Ophelia USB Android stick to ship in July, priced at $100

The Android pendrive / USB computer we saw back at CES may be one of many, but distinctive thanks to its mainstream PC-maker origins.

Android has become a hedge against Microsoft and Windows

Hewlett-Packard rolled out another Android device this week. This could become a pattern as PC makers hedge against a world that's less about Microsoft and more about Google.

SugarCRM: Big Growth Now, Exit Strategy Later?

SugarCRM says the company has grown for 14 consecutive quarters. And in Q1 2013, the company lifted its annual recurring revenue by 30 percent vs. Q1 2012. The company now has 6,500 customers and 1.2 million end-users.

HOT Raspberry Pi: A DIY Mini Desktop PC Build Project

We recently set out to design a mini desktop computer with the wildly popular Raspberry Pi single board computer.

Unity Game Engine Goes Free For iOS, Android And BlackBerry 10 Developers

The barrier to entry for the Unity game rendering engine for developers on iOS, Android and BlackBerry 10 has gotten lower, as use of Unity tech is now free on both mobile platforms.

No Open Source Project Should Be an Island

The topic of collaboration on open source projects needs to extend to cross-project collaboration. In the end, everybody would benefit.

Samsung Launches Global Contest for Mobile Application Developers,2817,2419229,00.asp

The electronics giant on Monday announced its Smart App Challenge 2013, a contest aimed at finding new Galaxy S 4 apps that utilize group communication functionality in interesting ways. The contest runs from June 20 until Aug. 31 and is open to all mobile app developers across the globe.

Ex-Nokia team makes rival smartphone Jolla

The Jolla phone - pronounced Yol-la - is due to be released by the end of the year, and will only be sold online.

Pidora: Fedora Linux for the Raspberry Pi ARMs Up (Thanks to Seneca)

Fedora didn't just port the arch, the Pidora spin also has been specifically compiled for Pi's hardware and there are specifical module for the graphical firstboot for it as well.

***** Snippets

KDE 4.11 Beginning to Take Shape

Open Source Zend Framework 2.2 Brings PHP to OpenStack Cloud

Google engineers: We're trying to fix Android fragmentation

The Last GNOME 3.8 Point Release Has Been Made

On the Job with a Linux Foundation Systems Administrator

10 amazing Linux desktop environments you've probably never seen

Mozilla Plans to Renumbers Open Source Firefox Security Updates

Opera settles secrets-theft suit against ex-employee

Google Changes Its Mind on Loaning Out Google Glasses, Now Allows It

Peep this: Google Glass for eyeglass wearers revealed

Firefox 22 beta delivers WebRTC and more

Google Glass testers give their thoughts: 'It's kind of a tease' video

Upcoming Features of Debian 8.0

Linux Kernel 3.9 The Kernel Column with Jon Masters

Distribution Release: Mageia 3

Open source code and business models: More than just a license

Arch-based Manjaro Linux touts user-friendliness

What to Expect from Unity in Ubuntu 13.10

Linux Mint 15 brings prettier desktop, new software and driver managers

Ubuntu 13.10 may ditch Firefox for Chromium

Making Linux and Android Get Along (It's Not as Hard as It Sounds)

Best Linux Distro For a New User?

Firefox 23 set to boost open source dev tools

Hybryde Fusion: A very unique Linux distribution

Linux is an Art - Driving Force Behind Linux

Bitcoin developer chats about regulation, open source, and the elusive Satoshi Nakamoto

Developer releases template code to allow almost anyone to create a Google Glass app

Nginx: SPDY SSL Installation and Configuration On Debian / Ubuntu

Linux Mint 15 Most Ambitious Release Ever

Ubuntu Linux Community: Canonical Closes Brainstorm Web Portal

openSUSE 13.1 Off to the Races

Juniper's Bob Muglia on Software Inside a Networking Vendor [VIDEO] -Linux Powered

The secret to great reporting with Drupal 7

Handbrake turns 0.9.9

CrunchBang 11 Waldorf Review

Top Ten Sleeper Distros

Linux Kernel 3.0.78 LTS Brings Better Radeon Drivers

Google Search Gets Smarter

Skype 4.2 Released - Install on Ubuntu/Debian/Linux Mint and Fedora

OpenStack Public Cloud Setbacks: Real or Imagined?

Raspberry Pis Chained Together Provide Massive Computing Muscle

Development plans for Ubuntu 13.10

Ranking Linux distributions, and the decline of the traditional distros

OpenMandriva Picks Name, Releases Alpha

ReKonq Gaining Chrome Extension Support, Still Sponsored By Blue Systems

Google Chrome updated with conversational features

GNU/Linux Is Important After All
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