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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 #347 Period ending 25 February 2010

OSWALD #347 Period ending 25 February 2010

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

The two big stories of this edition are the settlement of Jacobsen v Katzer (the good guys won) and the announcement of the MeeGo Linux on a mobile phone initiative. There is an interesting series of articles on "Maker" culture in the Policy section that's worth a look.

In off topic news, an article which has attracted some attention is a system to allow a school to remotely take photos from webcams installed on laptops given to the students. Presumably someone thought this would be a good idea at the time.

>From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Off Topic

When Windows can mean life or death

In this case a doctor was using his home PC to remote-connect to his clinic at 4:15am to discuss a roadside accident scan with a surgeon. He selected "no" to the reboot message that popped up and Win 7 promptly rebooted, corrupting his medical software, and causing him to lose 15 critical minutes. The doctor now wants a non-Windows box to conduct future critical business.

School District Accused of Spying on Students via Home Webcams

The class action suit, Robbins v. Lower Merion School District, alleges that 1,800 students were provided with laptop computers equipped with webcams which -- unbeknown to the students or their parents -- could be activated at any time by teachers and school administrators to spy on the students and their families in their homes.

Microsoft to outsource general legal work to India

Software giant Microsoft will begin outsourcing general legal work to India after signing a deal with legal process outsourcing (LPO) company CPA Global. The news comes as CPA outlined plans to expand its Indian workforce from 600 to 1,000 by the end of 2011, and hinted at opening another outsourcing centre.

***** Government/Policy

Making a Living in MakerCulture

If you weren't making things 100 years ago, you'd be dead. Your home, your food, your clothes and even your toys were all made by you or someone you knew. Somewhere along the way, humans seem to have forgotten that we were makers, and instead became consumers.

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

J.K. Rowling faces another plagiarism suit

Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling is again facing plagiarism charges. Her name has now been added as a defendant in a lawsuit against her publishers.

Google book plans: Judge hears supporters, opponents

Turning Patents Into ‘Invention Capital’

His detractors see a cynical operator deploying his bulging patent trove as a powerful bargaining chip, along with the implied threat of costly litigation, to prod high-tech companies to pay him lucrative fees. They call his company "Intellectual Vultures. "

Tenenbaum files reply in support of motion; claims he caused at most $21 damages

Tenenbaum files reply in support of motion to reduce award; claims he caused at most $21 in damages

Whose YouTube?

The numbers are shocking: When EMI disabled the embedding feature, views of our treadmill video dropped 90 percent, from about 10,000 per day to just over 1,000. Our last royalty statement from the label, which covered six months of streams, shows a whopping $27. 77 credit to our account. Clearly the embedding restriction is bad news for our band, but is it worth it for EMI? The terms of YouTube's deals with record companies aren't public, but news reports say that the labels receive $. 004 to $. 008 per stream, so the most EMI could have grossed for the streams in question is a little over $5,400.

EU Data Privacy Official Slams Copyright Talks

As international negotiations toward a major cross-border trade agreement to curb intellectual property crimes continue behind closed doors, a top European privacy official today blasted the secrecy of the talks, sounding an alarm about Internet monitoring provisions that could press ISPs to filter traffic on their networks for pirated content.

Turning Patents Into ‘Invention Capital’

Intellectual Ventures, Mr. Bohannon says, is the largest of the category of firms that hold patents, but do not make products. Lawyers call such firms nonpracticing entities, NPEs, though they are often labeled as patent trolls. "Our concern is that it games the patent litigation system so it can extract licensing fees and investments from technology companies that create jobs, innovate and make products," said Mr. Bohannon, whose trade association includes I. B. M. , Google, Oracle, SAP and Adobe.

Microsoft, Amazon strike patent deal covering Kindle and Linux

That's because, as part of the deal, Microsoft says it's granting Amazon patent-related "coverage" for its use of open-source and proprietary technologies in its Kindle e-reader, and its use of Linux-based computer servers.

CBS Radio cuts off streaming outside the U.S.

The CBS decision is apparently due to music royalties, but T-R-I says “the CBS talk-based stations (news, talk, sports) are collateral damage, because their Internet streams are also now unavailable to users outside the U.S.” Why is a sports station in Boston or a news station in Los Angeles affected, when they don’t play music? The issue is the CBS/AOL player software. It’s the common platform shared by all the CBS Radio terrestrial stations which stream. Pulling out the stations that don’t play music is a logistical problem.

***** Applications/Gadgets

Dell's Mini 5 will run on unreleased Android

THE RUMOUR MILL is saying that Dell's upcoming Mini 5 tablet will run on a currently unreleased version of Google's Linux-based Android operating system.

Review: Patriot Box Office PVP

Today I'm going to be taking a look at the Linux powered Patriot Box Office (PBO), a Personal Video Player (PVP) designed for the home entertainment or theater system.

Fitting Android and a processor on a SIM card

The SIM cards in cellular telephones might be smaller than a postage stamp and less than a millimeter thick but that hasn't stopped South Korea's SK Telecom from cramming all the major components needed to run Google's Android OS inside one of them. [ZOMG!]

Linux Wall Wart Works Wonderfully

It's no secret that Linux runs behind many consumer devices, and embedded Linux fits in the tiniest of places. One of the latest ways to get your Linux fix comes in what looks like power wall wart from TonidoPlug.

Linux laptop takes the strain for technophobes,1000000091,40047601,00.htm

Built by the Broadband Computer Company, the Alex laptop runs an operating system based on Ubuntu Linux and a set of applications that have been written in-house.

***** Reports

Intel and Nokia Merge Mobile Linux Initiatives to Introduce MeeGo

Intel and Nokia, two of tech's biggest titans, today announced the new Linux-based software platform called MeeGo, which merges the popular Moblin and Maemo projects and sets the companies' sights on a new generation of computing devices, applications and services.

Jacobsen v. Katzer is Settled

A long running case of great significance to the legal underpinnings of free and open source/open source software (F/OSS) has just settled on terms favorable to the F/OSS developer. The settlement follows a recent ruling by a U. S. Federal District Court judge that affirmed several key rights of F/OSS developers under existing law.

Bruce Perens: Inside Jacobsen's Victory

And settle they did, after several months. As terms of the settlement: * Katzer is forever enjoined from copying, redistributing, or modifying the JMRI software, even though the license (now the LGPL) allows everyone else in the world to do so. * He's enjoined from registering a trademark or domain name for a name used by the JMRI project. * He's paying Jacobsen $100,000 over 18 months. This doesn't fully compensate Jacobsen for all of his time and expense over 5 years, but it was the best he could get.

What happens to Sun's open-source software now?

The deal is done. Oracle now owns Sun. Oracle's main message to Sun's customers seems to be "Don't worry, be happy. " That's not easy when Oracle is not explaining in any detail what it will be doing with open-source software offerings like MySQL, OpenOffice and OpenSolaris.

Android Market should stimulate Open Source Applications

Since Android is built on Open Source I think Google should actually stimulate developers to make their applications Open Source. Open Source could have a specific section type like Paid and Free have now.

The Linux Box to Market Ubuntu OS in the U.S.

As a Canonical Silver Solution Provider Partner, The Linux Box will sell, install and support customized Ubuntu-based solutions to organizations running Linux systems.

PHP Developers Prefer Using Windows to Build Enterprise Apps: Study

According to the study, 42 percent of respondents reported that Windows was their primary operating system for development. Linux came in as No. 2 at 38. 5 percent while Mac OS X remained in third place at 19. 1 percent.

FreeBSD and the GPL

Linus Torvalds has said Linux wouldn't have happened if 386BSD had been around when he started up. We trace the history of FreeBSD and how it's affected the open source world.

Lantronix Launches Global XPort Pro Design Contest

About the size of two sugar cubes, XPort Pro is the newest addition to Lantronix' popular XPort family of embedded Ethernet networking and compute modules used in millions of devices worldwide. XPort Pro is available running Linux and IPv6, offering developers a powerful compute platform with an industry-standard development environment. Lantronix will award prizes of $6,000 and $3,000 to the two top entries for Best Linux Design, and a separate prize of $3,000 for the Best Student Linux Design.

Linux is now Oracle's low-end offering,289142,sid39_gci1389769,00.html

Oracle Corp. has rekindled its Solaris love. Sun's Solaris operating system will underlie new high-end data center appliances running the Oracle software stack. And Oracle EnterpriseLinux now becomes the preferred OS for lower-end commodity hardware.

Android Gets Mobile Application for Video Ad

"Basically, our vision has been to evangelize video advertising on different devices. We see Android as another big market opportunity," Srikanth Kakani, co-founder of iVdopia, told InternetNews. com. "About 80 percent of the publishers we've talked to said they wanted us to be on both platforms," he added, referring to Android and the iPhone.

Open Source: Fuel for the Smartphone Explosion

Open source and mobile development seem to be a match made in heaven.

***** Snippets

SCO's Opposition to Novell's Motion in Limine No. 1: Hey! No Fair, You Guys!

I've got a feeling : is Open Source at an inflexion point ?

Are smartbooks and Linux meant for each other?

Gnumeric 1.10 Release Brings Better Tools

Red Hat, Lenovo Partner On Linux Server Discounts

RMS's Mostly Slax: Bad choices in a good cause

Missing Features - Feeling Brian Proffitt's Pain

The Bordeaux Group announces new affiliate program

Set Your Desktop Free, With Nouveau’s 3D

We're All Hackers Now

Walk the plank....or not! Help Microsoft eliminate software piracy.!-Help-Microsoft-eliminate-software-piracy

When and how can Free Software really save public money?

Is Open Source Too Open for its Own Good?

The 'year of the Linux desktop' has passed

Will open source accept Microsoft leadership?

40 Fast Facts on Linux

Another Alfresco Veteran Makes Open Source Career Move

It's not just Twitter

Open source: dangerous to computing education?

Top 10 Open-Source Server Technologies You Need to Know

Issues Within The X.Org Foundation?

[User switches from Win to Linux]

Open-Xchange: Open Source Scores Another Big SaaS Win

Edubuntu is Ubuntu for the Classroom

A handbook for the open source way, written the open source way

Reeling in the hackers
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