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 #496 Period ending 4 August 2013

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

My pick this week is news that the US Executive has overridden an ITC ban on iPhones. The ban was imposed because the iPhones were found to be infringing a Samsung patent - but Apple appealed to the US President who chose to override the ban. If I was a foreign company whose product had been stopped by an ITC ban I'd be pretty miffed. Still a heap of NSA related stories.

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



***** Off Topic

Chinese firm Huawei controls net filter praised by PM

The pornography filtering system praised by David Cameron is controlled by the controversial Chinese company Huawei, the BBC has learned.

NSA/PRISM - NSA Collects 'Word for Word' Every Domestic Communication

Today on “This Week,” Glenn Greenwald – the reporter who broke the story about the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs – claimed that those NSA programs allowed even low-level analysts to search the private emails and phone calls of Americans.

Sony: Microsoft policies

Sony Computer Entertainment America's Rob Dyer has accused Microsoft of imposing unreasonable restrictions on publishers.

Manning Acquitted of Aiding the Enemy

The Bradley Manning verdict will have a chilling effect on future whistleblowers, says Brennan Center for Justice Liberty and National Security Program Co-Director Elizabeth Goitein on the News Hub. She is joined by Pentagon correspondent Julian Barnes.

Employer Tipped Off Police To Pressure Cooker And Backpack Searches, Not Google

Turns out the visit was prompted by the searches, but not in the way most speculation asserted – by a law enforcement-initiated, NSA-enabled dragnet of the couple’s web history. It turns out either Catalano or her husband were conducting these searches from a work computer. And that employer, “a Bay Shore based computer company,” called the police on their former employee.

***** Government/Policy

Groups oppose proposed change to Internet content 'safe harbor'

But in June, a group of state attorneys general proposed a change to the law that would allow prosecution of publishers in cases where user-posted content violates state law.

Why Do All Hollywood Movies Lose Money?

“I get these occasional letters from Lucasfilm saying that we regret to inform you that as Return of the Jedi has never gone into profit, we’ve got nothing to send you. Now here we’re talking about one of the biggest releases of all time.

U.S. Department of Commerce Produces Comprehensive Analysis Addressing Copyright Policy

The U.S. Department of Commerce today released a green paper on Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy (Green Paper) to advance discussion on a set of policy issues critical to economic growth.

Dotcom tells National Party hackers to back off

The websites of 14 Government ministers, MPs and associated groups are out of order after being hacked by a group called "Anonymous'' in protest at the GCSB legislation before Parliament.

On the emptiness in the concept of neutrality"

"Neutrality" is one of those empty words that somehow has achieved sacred and context-free acceptance — like “transparency," but don’t get me started on that again. But there are obviously plenty of contexts in which to be “neutral" is simply to be wrong.

How Copyright Made Mid-Century Books Vanish

Heald has now finalized his research and the picture, though more detailed, is largely the same: "Copyright correlates significantly with the disappearance of works rather than with their availability," Heald writes. "Shortly after works are created and proprietized, they tend to disappear from public view only to reappear in significantly increased numbers when they fall into the public domain and lose their owners."

Poor countries saving money by using Linux

Many countries and governments - rich and poor - have realized this and have already initiated serious programs to switch all their computers to Linux based systems. Here are just a few examples of many:

A guide to free and open source education

All educators and administrators, and hey, students too, should read and pass along this short note on Why should open source software be used in schools? Information like this helps begin the process of understanding, gets people on board, and can make the difference between action and talking.

Heres why economists hate software patents

“Disputes over software patents are among the most common, expensive and counterproductive,” the Nobel Prize* winner wrote. “Their exclusion from the patent system would discourage some software innovations, but the saving from litigation costs over disputed patent rights would more than compensate the economy for that cost.”

A guide to teaching FOSS: teachers as learners

This is unlike reaching courses where everything is black-and-white, and there are plenty of reference texts. If you're going to teach open source, you're going to have to change the way you teach. Rather than a lecturer, you're a mentor.

Administration steps in to overturn Apple ban,0,6108292.story

The Obama administration halted a ban on older models of iPhones and iPads in a rare presidential move to overturn a decision by the International Trade Commission.

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

UK Porn Filter Will Censor Other Content Too, ISPs Reveal

As previously noted, leave the third box ticked and not only will all file-sharing sites be wiped out, but TorrentFreak with them too.

Senate Judiciary Committee holds hearing on standard-essential patents and antitrust

You can click on the respective witnesses’s names above to read their prepared testimony, and if you’d like to check out the webcast of the full hearing (which featured some lively Q&A), you can do so here.

Viacom Demands New Judge in YouTube Copyright Fight

On Friday, Viacom filed papers at the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and made the case why its long-running dispute against the Google subsidiary deserves another chance. The case has been twice dismissed on summary judgment -- the latest failure coming this past April when U.S. District Judge Louis Stanton reiterated that Viacom lacked proof that YouTube had knowledge or awareness of specific infringements on the popular video-sharing network.

Microsoft, Intel, Oracle & AT&T come to Apple's defense in looming iPhone 4 ban

Microsoft is part of BSA, which also represents Oracle and Intel. The group has argued that the use of standard-essential patents to ban products should not be allowed, except under unusual circumstances, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

MPEG LA licensors file flurry of standard-essential patent suits on MPEG-2 video compression tec

This could raise speculation that MPEG LA (through its licensees) is becoming more apt to bring enforcement actions to “encourage” technology companies to become licensees to its various patent pools.

Judge says patent lawyers have right to science articles under fair use

In a sign of the times for America’s intellectual property regime, a federal judge had to break up a squabble between patent lawyers and copyright lawyers over the scientific articles that are submitted as part of most patent applications.

German Newspaper Publishers Seem Not To Understand Google News

The background is that the German newspaper publishers insisted that Google, by displaying snippets of their news stories on Google News, was stealing their copyright material.

Trolling Effects Launched To Build A Database Of Patent Troll Threats

One of the most useful tools in understanding the abuse of DMCA takedown letters is the site Now, the EFF, along with some other organizations focused on the excesses of patent trolling, have launched Trolling Effects to create a database of patent troll threats.

Apple Seeks Obama Reprieve on IPhone Import Ban

Obama and Froman have until midnight Washington time on Aug. 4 to overturn an import ban imposed by the U.S. International Trade Commission, which found June 4 that some older Apple devices infringed a Samsung Electronics Co. (005930) patent for a way data is transmitted.

Apple proposes new terms in e-books battle

Hours after the Department of Justice and 33 U.S. states proposed a set of remedies for Apple following its July loss in the e-books price-fixing case, the company came back with its own set of terms and called the government's proposals vague, overreaching, and unwarranted.

***** Applications/Gadgets

Ubuntu Edge Smartphone: Phone, PC, Penguin

Aside from the mind-boggling target amount, Canonical’s crowdfunding campaign is also unique in that the Ubuntu Edge will be given only to the backers; it won’t be sold to anyone else or released commercially. The Edge is meant to be a testbed for cutting edge technology, and I suppose to convince other smartphone makers that there is a legitimate demand for Ubuntu phones.

The Matrix Of Hell And Two Open-Source Projects For The Emerging Agnostic Cloud

$55 board runs ARM Linux on Freescale Vybrid SoC

Both boards come with a Linux BSP with full source code, and the Cosmic+ board adds an MQX BSP. They both offer a Timesys LinuxLink Pro subscription, and the Cosmic+ tosses in an ARM Development Suite (DS-5) license (one year with a 256KB limit).

Networking SBCs run Linux on multicore i.MX6 SoCs

An open source OpenWRT Linux board support package (BSP) is available, as well as optional BSPs for OpenEmbedded Linux and Android, says Gateworks. Extra-cost customization options are said to include selection of CPU speed, cores, DRAM, flash, and peripherals, including de-population of unwanted components.

HackRF Exceeds Kickstarter Goal Within Hours

Michael’s newest creation, the HackRF, is an absolute revolution in low-cost software defined radio (SDR).

Motorola Reveals First Google-Era Phone, the Moto X

Google-owned Motorola unveiled the Moto X, its new flagship smartphone, in New York City today. The Moto X deëmphasizes manual control, hardware buttons, and the touch screen in favor of always-on sensors built to respond to speech, gestures, and context. And customers will be able to customize many features of the device when they order it.

$350 Linux-controlled Lego robot ships Sept. 1

Lego Group announced that its $350 hackable Lego Mindstorms EV3 robot will ship Sept. 1. Lego also unveiled a dozen new downloadable fan-built designs for the educational and hobbyist robot, which runs Linux on an ARM9 processor, and supports Bluetooth remote access via Android and iOS devices.

***** Reports

Happy 5th birthday,!

On July 28, 2008 was born with its first low-cost development board offering: the BeagleBoard. Its birth began the dawn of a new era.

Nokia To Microsoft: Can't Sell Phones Without Apps

Nokia chose Microsoft's Windows Phone platform over Google's Android because the company felt Windows Phone could better differentiate itself from the competition.

Apple files opening appellate brief in second Motorola/FRAND-related Federal Circuit appeal

Last week, we noted that the Federal Circuit will hold a September 11 oral argument in Apple and Motorola’s appeals of Judge Posner’s June 2012 decision to dismiss the parties’ competing infringement suits. The “Posner appeal” will provide the Federal Circuit with the opportunity to weigh in on SEP issues in a patent infringement context, such as how the FRAND framework may constrain damages, and whether a party with a FRAND commitment can ever satisfy the eBay standard for an injunction.

A Second Helping of Pi

In my last article I described how to set up a Raspberry Pi as a network attached storage (NAS) device and UPnP media server. By the time I was done with that project I was so impressed with the power and flexibility of the Pi that I decided to order another unit and set it up to replace my Linux Mint-based home entertainment system computer.

How open source software, sensors and 3D printing can create a perfect stick shift driver

What happens when you combine open source software, 3D printing, an Arduino microcontroller and some automotive engineering smarts? You get a manual transmission shift knob that vibrates so you shift at the most energy efficient points.

Open source races to the top

Last week's OSCON conference served to remind us that open source software is setting the pace. We've come a very long way from the old saw that "open source doesn't innovate." Instead, you might ask: Is innovation in enterprise software happening anywhere else other than in open source land?

Raspberry Pi's Eben Upton: Open Source Lessons from Wayland

In less than two years the Raspberry Pi has sold more than 1 million units and become widely used and adored among DIY hackers and embedded professionals alike. It began in 2006 as a modest idea to provide a low-cost educational computer for students to tinker with. Now the $25 Linux-based single-board computer is the basis for all kinds of gadgets from near-space cameras, to open source spy boxes, to the PiGate, a full-scale Stargate replica.

First Open Source Airplane Could Cost Just $15,000

There’s an open source airplane being developed in Canada, and now its designers are looking to double down on the digital trends, turning to crowdsourced funding to finish the project.

Create mobile apps easily with GWT and PhoneGap

If you're planning to write a mobile application, a couple of development tools stand out. Google Web Toolkit (GWT) is well-known for enabling developers to build modern, highly interactive web applications. It work with Java and uses Eclipse for development.

Replicant fully-free Android distro project solicits funds

The Free Software Foundation has launched a fundraising initiative for Replicant, touted as a “fully free” Android distribution and the first mobile OS to run without relying on proprietary system code.

Funding Open Source Projects With Devcoin

Devcoin is an ethically-based crypto-currency that is a direct descendant of Bitcoin. Devcoin has been developed specifically for funding open source projects. 90% of the Devcoins generated go to open source developers, and the remaining 10% go to Devcoin miners. Devcoins have the potential to revolutionize how open source projects receive funding.

Mozilla Grows Peach Fuzz with Blackberry; Debuts Security Minion

Peach is an open source Fuzzer project that is now set to benefit from the joint efforts of Mozilla and Blackberry. Fuzzing is a well known security technique in which fault code is injected into a program to see what happens.

IBM Brings More POWER to Linux

"What we are announcing today," Bryan continued, "is a Linux-only version based on the same technology as the Power 750 building block."

Microsoft Cozies Up to Linux Via Virtualization

That's a far cry from the stance that Microsoft took toward open source software years ago, when it typically refused to integrate it in any way with its platforms and applications.

IBM's New Linux Box Combines the Best of Watson + Open Source

The 7R4 takes after the zBC12, IBM’s newest zEnterprise mainframe. The $75,000 box comes with a 4.2 GHz processor and twice the available memory of its predecessor, the z114. Customers have a choice between three operating systems, including Linux for System z, z/OS and z/VM, a mainframe hypervisor that doubles as an OS. According to Wikibon editor Bert Latamore, the zBC12 targets medium to enterprise scale companies.

Study finds open-source home 3D printer could save $2,000 a year

They compared this to the cost of buying a RepRap 3D printer, and calculated the same products could be made using $18 of printer supplies, 25 hours of production time, and a smidgeon of power. Under those circumstances the printer pays for itself in between four months and two years, depending on which 20 products are created every year.

Creator of xkcd Reveals Secret Backstory of His Epic 3,990-Panel Comic

There was no story, no punchline, no words. 30 minutes later, the image changed; the figures shifted slightly.

Samsung Bests Apple on Customer Satisfaction

Specifically, Samsung's Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note II tied for the top two scores in the new survey, ACSI reported on Wednesday, followed by the iPhone 5, iPhone 4S and the iPhone 4 closely behind.

Black Hat: Android Master Key Vulnerability Makes Us Safer

Calling it a master key flaw is a bit of a misnomer as it's not a single key, Forristal said. Rather it's a family of bugs that allow an attack to bypass signature verification. There are at least four currently known variants of the master key flaw.

***** Snippets

Arch Linux Is the First Stable Distro with Linux Kernel 3.10

Peppermint Four Review: The distro in the clouds!

Why Linux is Super (Computing)

20 great years of Linux and supercomputers

What's Your Favorite FOSS or Linux Blog?

Free iOS 7-like Control Center app for Android

13 apps that will make you wish you had an Android smartphone

Android 4.3 Update Brings TRIM to All Nexus Devices

A New Android Owner's Guide to Gaming

Open Source Alternatives that Ease the Transition to Linux

Darling: Wine for OS X Applications

NSA Collects 'Word for Word' Every Domestic Communication, Says Former Analyst

Facebook Brings Home's Lockscreen Replacement To Their Main Android App

Why Mark Shuttleworth Is Important to Desktop Linux

Raspberry Pi camera adds Sprite logo to its photos
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