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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 #340 Period ending 5 January 2010

OSWALD #340 Period ending 5 January 2010

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

I hope you have all had a refreshing Christmas season. Oswald didn't come out last week and there are therefore a surprising number of stories for this edition (despite this being a slow news period).

In IP news, the i4i injunction against Microsoft Word has been affirmed by an appeals court, and it is set to go into effect (read Tim Bray's views on Custom XML). The BBC is looking to exclude open source users from watching TV and there's a lot of noise over a Chinese outfit which has hacked Ubuntu to look like Windows XP. From those you might be able to tell this is something of an eclectic mix of stories. Overall however, there is some interesting holiday reading in there. Far better than what you'll find in any newspaper at the moment...

In other news, I've recently upgraded my operating system, so fingers crossed that the mailout still works! Any problems let me know.

>From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Year in Review/Year in Prospect

In Review

Looking Forward

***** Open Standards/ODF

The Relevancy of ODF 1.0

In any case, it is still puzzling to me why some are pushing for the very unusual and extreme action of withdrawing ODF 1. 0 from ISO. This doesn't pass the sniff test. Something is rotten here. This is an anti-competition, anti-user, anti-adopter and overtly political move,

Evangelism is War -- The Mono/Moonlight Agenda

After reading the information contained in the documents I am even more convinced that Mono and Moonlight do nothing but help Microsoft win against competing platforms. I will quote and comment on a few relevant sections I found useful to prove my point. These are old documents however I am looking at them with a different angle.

***** Government/Policy

The BBC's digital rights plans will wreak havoc on open source software

As Ofcom gears up to a second consultation the issue, there's one important question that the BBC must answer if the implications of this move are to be fully explored, namely: How can free/open source software co-exist with a plan to put DRM on broadcasts?

U.S. research should be open access

Historically, the U. S. pays a fortune for research, the results are written up as papers for journals, and then various publishers acquire total rights to these papers and charge exorbitant monopoly fees for them. The result: Most U. S. citizens cannot afford to see the research their taxes pay for.

60,000 books from Library of Congress go online

Almost 60,000 are available now and more are scanned every day. These books are in the public domain and come with no restrictions on their use. Feel free to harvest, index, investigate, and re-use.

Open Science and climategate: The IPCC/CRU needs to take a leaf out of CERN's Book

I write this article on the first day of a two-week jamboree (sorry, conference) taking place in Copenhagen on "global warming", a conference which might never have come about if its evangelical camp followers had adhered to the principles and practices of conducting scientific research in an open and free manner.

Mandatory Use of Open Standards In Hungary

The Open Standards Alliance (http://nyissz. hu) initiating the amendment aims to promote the spread of monopoly-free markets that foster the development of interchangeable and interoperable products generated by open standards, and, consequently, broad competition markets.

Vienna: Windows and Linux to coexist

The motivation to switch to open source is to minimise the proportion of local budgets spent on software and to avoid 'lock in' where the use of proprietary software results in frequent upgrade costs and the cost of new licenses for any increase in staffing levels.

Obama Administration To Require Government Agencies to Make Info Available in Open Formats

The Obama Administration's Open Government Directive was unveiled today.

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

Erroneous DMCA notices and copyright enforcement, part deux

So my question to the readers: What would you add to or remove from this list? With what other approaches do you think copyright enforcement should be performed or incentivized?

Microsoft Loses Office i4i XML Patent Appeal

The ruling came from a three -- judge panel of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, which granted the plaintiff -- tiny Canadian firm i4i -- a permanent injunction blocking Microsoft from selling any version of Office that contains the infringing features.

Hackers break Amazon's Kindle DRM

The hack began as an open challenge ... Eight days later, users... had a working program that did just that.

Court grants SJ for studios (IsoHunt) ; no DMCA safe harbor for inducement

In a major legal victory for copyright owners, a federal judge in Los Angeles has granted summary judgment for the movie studios in their suit against Gary Fung, owner of IsoHunt and several other popular BitTorrent index sites. Judge Stephen Wilson cited extensive, unrebutted evidence that Fung, a resident of Canada, had knowledge of the rampant infringement facilitated by his sites, and in fact encouraged it.

On Custom XML

At the time of the huge OOXML dogfight, one of the reasons Microsoft claimed that the world needed OOXML, even though there was already a perfectly-good ISO-standard XML office-document format, was that it enabled this wonderful customization feature. People like me, who had experience with the extreme difficulty of doing this kind of customization, the extremely limited number of places where it made sense, and the high proportion of failure among people who tried to do it, shouted "That's a bug!"

Abusing Copyrights to Silence Critics, Control Customers, and Crush Competition

Hardly a day goes by without yet another news story about creative uses of copyright, the DMCA, and generic attack lawyers to stifle free speech, criticism, and competition.

How to Destroy the Book, by Cory Doctorow

READ CAREFULLY. By reading this email, you agree, on behalf of your employer, to release me from all obligations and waivers arising from any and all NON-NEGOTIATED agreements, licenses, terms-of-service, shrinkwrap, clickwrap, browsewrap, confidentiality, non-disclosure, non-compete and acceptable use policies ("BOGUS AGREEMENTS") that I have entered into with your employer, its partners, licensors, agents and assigns, in perpetuity, without prejudice to my ongoing rights and privileges.

Torrent Sites Induce Infringement and Lose DMCA Safe Harbor--Columbia v. Fung

This is one of only a few cases finding copyright inducement post-Grokster, and I believe it is the first to say that an inducement finding categorically eliminates any possible 512 safe harbor.

Public Domain Day: January 1, 2010

On the first day of each year, Public Domain Day celebrates the moment when copyrights expire. The films, photos, books and symphonies whose copyright term has finished become "free as the air to common use. "

Tenenbaum files motion for new trial attacking constitutionality of jury's award

In SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, defendant has filed a motion for new trial, attacking, among other things, the constitutionality of the jury's award as being violative of due process.

Bono net policing idea draws fire

"Bono has missed that even a totalitarian government. . . can't effectively control net-content," tweeted Cory Doctorow, a blogger and journalist noted for his study of file-sharing policy. "If only greed and ignorance could sequester carbon, Bono could FINALLY save the planet," he added.

***** Implementations

How Google and the cloud changed my company

What does "switch" mean? Well, here at Fonality we no longer use Exchange for calendaring. We no longer use Outlook for mail. We barely use Word and only the finance geeks use Excel.

***** Applications/Gadgets

MicroNet Rack-Mount Storage Delivers Up to 16TB

The MaxNAS R4 and R8 appliances support Microsoft Windows, Apple Macintosh, Linux and other network environments.

Dell introduces best Ubuntu netbook ever?

Put it all together--Ubuntu, excellent components, and a reliable company to stand behind the unit--and I honestly think that this generation of the Dell Mini 10 may turn out to be the best Linux netbook to date.

Amahi 5.0

Amahi version 5. 0 is released. Amahi Linux Home Server is a server targeted for home and home office environments.

ASUS Eee PC 1201N On Linux

Openmoko's WikiReader

Unlocked, Google-Branded Phone Coming Jan. 5?

Google on Jan. 5 may be unveiling its own branded smartphone, dubbed Nexus One, as speculation continues that the Internet giant will begin selling an unlocked handset running its open source mobile operating system Android.

IBM will offer the Open Source Web eyeOS to its System Z customers

Linux-powered Packet Fence Protects Your Network

PacketFence is a free and open source network access control (NAC) system. This Linux-based application primarily provides network access control, monitoring, and intrusion detection.

Motorola to Debut Two Android Phones at CES?

An Affordable $199 Tablet for Everyone -- And It's Not From Apple

...Freescale Semiconductor on Monday showcased reference designs of an affordable, lightweight [Linux based] tablet computer, which is set to hit the market later this year.

Review: Astak 5" Easy Reader Pro

The device itself is powered by Linux, and boots pretty quickly.

***** Reports

I just want some freedom

Installing a piece of software recently, the set-up process invited me to become part of some customer improvement programme or other. I've no urge to do unpaid work on behalf of big software companies, so I looked to politely decline the offer. ...Friends, I looked at every corner of the screen, and the option to say `get stuffed' was nowhere to be found.

Tilting at Windows

"What we need," he says, "is enough people not to be outright cowards, and we can win. I really care about freedom and I'm willing to make some sacrifices for it. There are such strong forces arrayed to take away our freedom, and it's vanishing so fast that, without sacrifices, we're sure to lose it. "

Verizon snuffs Google for Microsoft search

Verizon has unilaterally updated user Storm 2 BlackBerries and other smartphones so that their browser search boxes can only be used with Microsoft Bing.

Sun Reductions Will Hit Open Source Efforts

In late November, many thousands of Sun Microsystems employees got the word that effective January 4, their services will no longer be required. While the cuts were expected, the extent of the layoffs are more far-reaching than might be expected.

LCA 2010: Getting up close and personal with the Arduino

Oxer, who looks a bit different these days after shedding his locks for a good cause, will be conducting a mini-conference, a one-day workshop, on the Arduino .

Is a Threat? Microsoft Thinks So

The core mission of CSI is to win share against Linux and OpenOffice. org by designing and driving marketing programs, changing perceptions, engaging with Open Source communities and organizations, and drive internal readiness on how to compete with Commercial Linux and participate with Open Source Communities.

VIA's Linux TODO List... Maybe Look Forward To 2011?

To date this still is mostly a bluff, but they have produced some fluff. In 2010 it looks like this will still be the case, but VIA hopes to produce some code by the second half of 2010. This code, however, will likely not appear in most Linux distributions until 2011.

Chinese pirates launch Windows XP clone based on Ubuntu

China is notorious for copying/cloning everything, now Chinese pirates hacked Ubuntu 9. 10 to look exactly like Windows XP.

Happy Birthday, Linus

"Linux" didn't really exist until about August-91 - before that what I had was essentially just a very basic protected mode system that had evolved from a glorified "Hello world" program into a even more glorified terminal emulator.

All Quiet on the CodePlex Front as 100 Day Mark Passes

Within 100 days, the statements posted at the site pledged, a new Board would be announced. Nominations for the Boards of Directors and Advisors were welcomed, as well as recommendations on changes to the governance documents.

MySQL Creator Fights on Against Oracle

The petition, called "Save MySQL!," vows to "keep gathering support until the very end of the process," which would be next month. The commission is believed to be satisfied with Oracle's promises and plans to approve of the deal next month. All that remains is to write a report on its findings.

Technology changes 'outstrip' netbooks

Many of the devices running that will be Arm-based as Chrome is broadly based on one of the Linux distributions. There are also unconfirmed rumours that either Windows 8 or 9 will run on Arm chips.

What Lies at the Heart of "Avatar"?

[That CGI movies heavily rely on Linux is now becoming old hat]

Oh, look: Linux. Why am I not surprised. . . ?

Still Livin' La Vida Linux

The Sonos platform is based on an embedded Linux kernel, but the user interface is completely custom, using separate Linux based controller devices to select play lists (although you can also use an iPhone).

Broadcom releases Linux drivers for their Crystal HD video decoder

To encourage the development of Linux media player applications using our HD video decoders, Broadcom is releasing the Linux kernel driver source code under the GNU General Public License (GPL), version 2...

User interest, satisfaction in Android approaching the iPhone

ChangeWave is finding high brand recognition for Android among surveyed users who are planning to purchase a smartphone over the next quarter, as well as high satisfaction rankings nearly as high as the leading iPhone.

***** Snippets

Why the EU's "browser ballot" is a bad idea

Ubuntu: 9 Priorities for Canonical's Incoming CEO

Diversity in Free Software: South Asians as an example

Red Hat Ditches Itanium in Upcoming Enterprise Release

Red Hat Earnings Preview: Still Up?

Google's Meaning of Open: Is It Yours?

Move supports Linux development on multicore processors

The text of the new Moonlight covenant

MontaVista Eyes Bigger Networking, Carrier Linux Wins

Firefox for mobile 'days away' from launch

Linux + Multitouch display = open source 10 fingered goodness

Canonical's opportunity to simplify Ubuntu

Novell stacks Linux and Mono for mainframes

Psystar Drops Mac Clones for Linux

Some thoughts on copyright assignment

Watch the Winter Olympics on Ubuntu: Silverlight 2 For Linux Is Here

Free Software, Open Data give more opportunities to young Kosovars

The Future of Unix Standards: Unix 10?

Linux Gaming: Are We There Yet?

Is a Threat? Microsoft Thinks So

Propose Your Way to OSCON

2009 is the Year of the Linux-powered Smartphones

The Quandary over Open Source Support

Call for speakers for Open Source Days 2010 @Copenhagen, March 5+6

Linux and windows people are the same

Risks for Italian Public Education in Government/Microsoft deal
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