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 #497 Period ending 11 August 2013

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

There are still ructions between Samsung and Apple, with an exclusion order being issued against some Samsung phones. What are the chances of that being overturned? One of the articles talks about the $1 million in political donations made by Apple. Still a lot of news about (OT) NSA surveillance, although a particularly interesting development is the cessation of operations of both Silent Circle and Lavabit (Edward Snowden's secure email provider).

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



***** Open Standards/ODF

Can Standard-Setting lead to Exploitative Abuse? A Dissonant View on ...the Meaning of FRAND

There seems to be a growing perception, largely fed by certain interest groups, that current standard-setting procedures generally based on the so-called FRAND licensing regime unduly allow opportunistic holders of Intellectual Property ("IP") embedded in a standard to extract excessive royalties from their licensees.

***** Off Topic

Tor Privacy Network Breached: I Told You So

You see, what happened back in 2011 is that Tor "forked" (made its own derivative version of) Firefox. So instead of directly and immediately benefiting from Mozilla's regular security updates (as they would have with the Tor Button), the Tor developers took it upon themselves to ensure their browser was updated and secured.

Fort Disco: The new brute-force botnet

Fort Disco-infected Windows systems then use brute-force password guessing to break into blogs and CMSes that use PHP. The botnet has installed a variant of the all too common “FilesMan” PHP back-door on almost 800 PHP-powered sites.

How Windows is slowly killing Microsoft's mojo

Instead, Microsoft is doing exactly what it cannot afford to do anymore: keep every Windows user happy or, as it really relates here, keeping all of its corporate Windows users happy by promising some gigantic, unworkable Windows cross-device utopia.

Internet Hall of Fame 2013 Induction Ceremony

This year’s Internet Hall of Fame will continue the important tradition of celebrating Internet visionaries, innovators, and leaders from around the world who have made significant contributions to the development and advancement of the open, global Internet.

The Most Powerful Dissent in American History

Powerful because it went beyond legal precepts to a fundamental fact of human existence: We all make mistakes. We all have good opinions and bad ones. None of us are right all the time. All of us at one point or another have to respect what someone else says. And life is an experiment from the moment we wake in the morning until the moment we lay our heads down at night.

***** Government/Policy

The rise of the citizen CIO

With government IT departments producing more open data and participation from community interest groups and citizens on the rise, we’re beginning to see the start of a new movement within open government: telling our government which technologies to deploy.

Obama sets plans to improve privacy in NSA surveillance,0,5453047.story

Saying the nation deserves a "vigorous public debate guided by our Constitution," President Obama outlined plans Friday to improve privacy protections within National Security Agency surveillance programs and to better explain to the public how the NSA operates.

Email service Lavabit abruptly shut down citing government interference

Lavabit, an email service that boasted of its security features and claimed 350,000 customers, is no more, apparently after rejecting a court order for cooperation with the US government to participate in surveillance on its customers. It is the first such company known to have shuttered rather than comply with government surveillance.

How Much Will PRISM Cost the U.S. Cloud Computing Industry?

he U.S. cloud computing industry stands to lose $22 to $35 billion over the next three years.

The free Web program that got Bradley Manning convicted of computer fraud

They argued that, although Manning was allowed to access the files, using an unauthorized program to do it amounted to a digital “trespass” and thus computer fraud. They also used the fact that wget was not permitted on Manning’s computer as further evidence that using it amounted to illegal computer access.

How Technology Companies Lobby the Federal Government

The top lobbying issue for both Apple and Amazon is reforming the tax code. Unlike Apple and Facebook, however, Amazon is playing a major role in lobbying for vendor collection of Internet sales taxes. Apples second and third major focus areas are telecommunications and copyright, patent, and trademark likely because its lawsuit with Samsung, with which Google is also involved.

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

Google adds 79 open-source patents to lawsuit-free pledge

The Web giant announced Thursday the addition of 79 patents to its Open Patent Non-Assertion Pledge, which aims to foster development of open-source software by pledging not to sue any user, distributor, or developer of open-source software based on their use of the patents -- unless first attacked.

ITC Orders Import Ban on Some Samsung Devices

The U.S. International Trade Commission on Friday ordered a ban on the import and sale of some Samsung Electronics Co. mobile devices after finding they infringed on two Apple Inc. patents.

Patent Troll Dismisses Frivolous Lawsuit and then Donates to Charity

Lodsys has dismissed the patent infringement lawsuit it filed against my company TMSOFT. The dismissal is with prejudice which means they can never sue my company again for infringing its patents. I did not have to pay any money to Lodsys or sign a license agreement. I also did not sign a confidentially agreement so I’m free to talk about this matter.

Ambry hits back at Myriads bad faith enforcement of breast cancer gene patents

Just weeks after it lost at the high court, Myriad filed new lawsuits against the first two competitors who began offering BRCA gene testing, Ambry Genetics and Gene by Gene.

Publishers object to Department of Justices punishment for Apple in eBooks case

The ruling found Apple guilty of conspiring to fix e-book prices, forcing customers to pay a higher price. The proposed punishment would require them to cut off their current agreements with the five publishers in question and avoid entering new agreements for five years that could prohibit competitiveness in the market.

Of Smart Phone Wars and Software Patents

This article discusses the competing values of the U.S. patent system by placing the recent smart phone litigations in context with similar historical periods of patent dispute. Recognizing that software has characteristics of a general purpose technology, we provide a systematic list of U.S. patent classes and subclasses likely to contain inventions with software elements.

Prenda officially dissolves as Steele agrees to pay $5,400 penalty

Now that multiple federal judges are concerned with Prenda's behavior, the question is whether the dissolution will bolster a "But we're not Prenda!" strategy being used by the two lawyers believed to be the masterminds behind the operation, John Steele and Paul Hansmeier.

Good News from Germany

Today a court in Mannheim, Germany, ruled that VP8 does not infringe a patent owned and asserted by Nokia.

PUBPAT Asks Supreme Court to Rule Part of Leahy-Smith America Invents Act Unconstitutional

PUBPAT asked the Supreme Court to answer the following question, "Does the retroactive application of the AIA’s changes to the false marking statute to this case violate Petitioner’s Due Process under the Fifth Amendment?"

Nokia counsel: major companies "wilfully infringe" FRAND

Large and well-respected companies “wilfully infringe” intellectual property (IP) commitments regularly, says Jenni Lukander, global head of competition law at Nokia.

[T]he continuing danger to standard-setting

Although an improvement on the original order, the Complaint and Final Order’s continued focus on the use of injunctions to enforce SEPs presents a serious risk of consumer harm, as I discuss below.

***** Implementations

A year of Linux desktop at Westcliff High School

Around a year ago, a school in the southeast of England, Westcliff High School for Girls Academy (WHSG), began switching its student-facing computers to Linux, with KDE providing the desktop software.

***** Applications/Gadgets

WiFi Pineapple Penetration-Testing Tool Sparks Interest at DEF CON

The Linux-powered small-form-factor device is designed to easily take over WiFi connections and manipulate the data flow.

Nvidia Shield: shipped, praised, critiqued, dissected

Nvidia began shipping its Nvidia Shield handheld gaming console, which runs Android 4.2.1 on a 1.9GHz Tegra 4 SoC, for $300.

Open Odroid SBC steps up to Samsung Exynos Octa

Hardkernel and its community Odroid project opened $149 pre-orders on an updated version of the open platform Odroid single board computer, featuring Samsung’s eight-core Exynos 5410 Octa SoC.

Open Source Apache Flex Finally Comes to Linux

The open-source Apache Software Foundation (ASF) is out this week with the Flex 4.10.0 update, which I consider to be a major new release of the Flex project.

Building the open source laptop: How one engineer turned the geek fantasy to reality

Every component in Huang's laptop, known as the Novena, is open. Datasheets describing the design and workings of each component – from the motherboard, through to the ports and various processors – is documented and freely available online. Anyone with the expertise can build a complete firmware for each component from source.

Pwn probe runs sneaky new Linux distro

Pwnie Express has opened pre-orders on a Linux-based penetration testing device that supports 4G out-of-band SSH access.

Controller adopts real-time Linux on ARM+FPGA SoC

National Instruments (NI) announced a redesigned version of its CompactRIO controller that runs a new NI Linux Real-Time OS on the Xilinx ARM+FPGA hybrid Zynq-7020 system-on-chip.

6 Games Coming to Steam for Linux

Prepare to play six new games on your Linux box in the coming months.

Android-based IVI head unit gets iOS playdate

Intel subsidiary Wind River announced a collaboration with Chinese embedded software company PATEO on an Android-based automotive in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) system.

Top 4 open-source PCs

Single board or “open-source” PCs have become a hot market, with the Raspberry Pi selling in the millions and competitors getting in on the act, including Intel’s recently announced MinnowBoard (shown above).

Introducing SOL, The World's First Truly Sun-Powered Laptop

* Runs on free software (Ubuntu Linux)

Electronic Super Joy Gets Linux Early Access

So, what happens when Super Mario Bros. and Night At The Roxbury collide in outer space at the speed of light? Electronic Super Joy happens.

***** Reports

Small Android tablets gain as Apple buzz fades,2817,2422855,00.asp

Samsung, Amazon, and other tablet makers gained market share in the second quarter as those vendors cut into Apple's dominant position.

Android-Ubuntu Edge Smartphone: What Is Canonical's End Game?

Fundraising for Canonical's Ubuntu Edge superphone has stalled, but that may not matter much for the company's real goal in promoting Ubuntu-based cross-device computing.

Linux 3.10 Goes Long Term: Why It Matters for the Enterprise, Consumers

Linux kernel developers have selected a new long-term kernel that could serve as the basis for enterprise Linux distributions as well as consumer electronics devices.

Android one-click Google authentication method puts users, businesses at risk

A feature that allows Android users to authenticate themselves on Google websites without having to enter their account password can be abused by rogue apps to give attackers access to Google accounts, a security researcher showed Saturday at the Defcon security conference in Las Vegas.

Inside Google Ventures' open-source product design process

Google Ventures is blazing a new trail for venture investors, delivering advice and services to its portfolio companies with in-house teams of experts in the fields of design, marketing, recruiting and engineering.

Substantial OSS Growth in New Zealand

After more than five years of participating in the OpenSource community here in New Zealand, it is not surprising that OpenSource solutions have grown substantially.

Open Source Robots are Now Competing in the Cloud

The Open Source Robotics Foundation (OSRF) is a non-profit organization charged with supporting the development, distribution and adoption of open source software for use in robotics research, education and product development.

Acer to Expand Android, Chromebook Offerings

"We are trying to grow our non-Windows business as soon as possible," President Jim Wang told investors in a conference call. "Android is very popular in smartphones and dominant in tablets…I also see a new market there for Chromebooks."

Space station poised to launch open-source satellites

The cargo ship carrying the CubeSats should arrive at the ISS on 9 August, and the satellites will then be deployed using a robotic-arm technique tested last year. The method can put several small satellites into orbit around Earth, eliminating the need for dedicated launch vehicles and making citizen-science missions like ArduSat more affordable.

Ubuntu App Showdown challenges development for Ubuntu Touch

Three prizes are up for grabs in two categories – Original Apps and Ported Apps. Two Nexus 4s with Ubuntu Touch pre-installed will be given for the two best original apps, whereas one of the phones will be available to those with the best ported app.

Mozilla Expands Persona ID Service

The basic idea behind BrowserID/Persona is that your email address, as stored and authenticated inside your Firefox browser, is your identity.

Building Rapiro - interview highlights with Shota Ishiwatari

With only nine days to go now, the Raprio Kickstarter has been a huge success. Thanks to notoriety from the Raspberry Pi foundation, and many open source blogs talking about it, the Raspberry Pi powered robot has over 300% of its funding already.

Linux desktop Trojan 'Hand of Thief' steals in

Fortunately, as Limor Kessem, one of RSA's top cyber Intelligence experts, wrote after a conversation with the Trojan's "sales agent," Hand of Thief has no good ways of infecting Linux users. Instead, the cracker "suggested using email and social engineering as the infection vector."

Amazon says oops, Chromecast not delayed after all

The wireless video-streaming dongle has been a hot seller since its debut last month. The $35 device, which plugs into the HDMI port of televisions and lets users stream content from multiple device platforms, quickly sold out at Google. For Amazon orders placed today, the retailer estimates the delivery wait time to between two to three months.

Asus readying new Transformer and MeMO tablets for rollout later this year

Asus is preparing more tablet products as demand for PCs continues to decline much faster than industry experts had projected in this year's first half, Shen said. In the second quarter, Asus posted a 1 percent year-over-year decline in net profit, with Shen attributing it to weak demand for PCs and "product transition issues."

Google sniffs at MySQL fork MariaDB: Yum. Have an engineer

Exclusive Search giant Google has put its support behind an independent fork of MySQL, the famed open-source database that was gulped down by software giant Oracle when it acquired Sun Microsystems.

YouTube founders take on Vine and Instagram with MixBit video app,0,1157320.story

For now, the main issue with the app is that users can only upload videos anonymously. That means users cannot take credit for the videos they posted because MixBit won't associate them with any particular user.

Declining IP Rights in India Lead to Growing Bi-Partisan Congressional Concern

Newly implemented policies, compulsory licensing practices, and recent court decisions have heightened concern about IPR in India.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux gets cozy with MongoDB

Easing the path for organizations to launch big data-styled services, Red Hat has coupled the 10gen MongoDB data store to its new identity management package for the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) distribution.

Legal Issues With Qualcomm May Prevent Factory Images For New Nexus 7 From Ever Being Published

ROM developers and Android tinkering enthusiasts alike have probably noticed at this point that the new iteration of the Nexus 7, unveiled two weeks ago, does not yet have factory images or driver binaries posted on the appropriate Google Developers page.

Open Source Voting Machine Reborn After 6-Year War With IRS

The good news is the Foundation has emerged from IRS limbo. Two weeks ago, the IRS finally approved its application, ending a six-and-a-half-year review, during which the project filed hundreds of pages of documents and responses to agency interrogatories. “We’re happy about our deserved designation,” Miller says, “and yet we are so freaking angry at the IRS for what they made us go through and the damage they’ve caused us.”

Modular Laptops

The video above shows how this laptop with a very modular design can be quickly disassembled without the use of tools.

The Pirate Bay Releases Censorship-Busting 'PirateBrowser',2817,2422944,00.asp

As The Pirate Bay's blog post notes, the browser itself is a simple combination of Firefox Portable, the foxyproxy addon, and the Tor client, in addition to a little configuration tweaking that allows the browser to "circumvent censorship" in a host of countries that might otherwise forbid one's attempts to access parts of the Web.

Drama over: Google posts images and binaries for 2013 Nexus 7

Android modders who want to get to work supporting the 2013 Nexus 7 can breathe a sigh of relief: Google has released a factory image and driver binaries for the tablet, just as it has done for nearly all of its other Nexus phones and tablets.

***** Snippets

My Ubuntu Week

Linux Kernel 3.10 picked for long-term support

Android's seven best new security features and one lingering security problem

Firefox 23 Adds Features, Security to Open-Source Browser

IBM Furloughs: Blame Open Source Cloud Computing

$5 8 GB SD card with NOOBS for Raspberry Pi now available

Open Source Poised for Innovation Explosion

How to create an eBook the open source way

Researchers find trojanized banking app that exploits critical Android bug

What motivates free software licensing decisions?

Vinagre 3.9.5 Implements New APIs

Canonical: Should Shuttleworth Sell the Ubuntu Company?

Is Android Really Open Source?

Slashdot founder Rob Malda on why there wont be another Hacker News

Google Updates Android Action Bar App Feature

GNOME Display Manager 3.8.4 Fixes Slave Sessions

How open source is your business / team / developer?

Linux Kernel News - July 2013

Nvidia Optimus on Linux

Top open-source PCs

Wikipedia Co-Founder Refuses to Comply With Chinas Censorship
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