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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 #352 Period ending 30 March 2010

OSWALD #352 Period ending 30 March 2010

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

There are a number of interesting regulatory related stories this week, with the leaked text of the ACTA, Oracle's acquisition approved in Russia, some policy relate stories on copyright and some HTML5 related articles. There also stories about moves to exclude open standards from interoperability requirements in Europe.

In IP news, patents on human genes have been found invalid by a court in the US, which is some little good news for humanity. A number of articles have also focussed on Red Hat's good performance results.

>From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Open Standards/ODF

HTML 5: Less than it's cracked up to be

As Ian Hickson, one of the editors of the HTML 5 standard, has said, "One of HTML 5's goals is to move the Web away from proprietary technologies such as Flash, Silverlight, and JavaFX. " At the same time, according to Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the founder of the Web and director of the W3C, "Yes, HTML 5 is still a markup language for Web pages, but the really big shift that's happening here -- and, you could argue, what's actually driving the fancy features -- is the shift to the web becoming a client-side computing platform. "

Et tu? New York Times, Time going with HTML5 video for iPad

Brightcove currently provides support for device detection, playlist rendering, and playback of H. 264 content, but plans to add support for customization, advertising, analytics, social sharing, and other features over the next year.

***** Off Topic

Rise of the Citizen Scientists

What Folding @ Home does is simulate protein folding. Problematic folding is known to play a role in diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Cystic Fibrosis. With this software, which can be installed on a personal computer or Playstation 3 console, users are helping the scientific community understand the things that can go wrong in the body.

***** Government/Policy

Making a copyright system that works

Aside from a few vested interests in the entertainment industry, nearly everyone hates the system we've got -- it's clearly overreaching and ill-adapted to the electronic world of the internet. But what sort of system would we like? That's much more contentious.

Russia approves Oracle, Sun merger with conditions

Russia's Anti-monopoly regulator (FAS) said on Friday it has approved a $7 billion takeover of Sun Microsystems JAVA. O by Oracle (ORCL. O) on condition that Oracle continues to develop Sun's MySQL database.

201001 acta.pdf as text

201001_acta.pdf is a leaked copy of the full "January 18th 2010 consolidated text" of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). Below is a full transcript. The original document contains some typos and formatting glitches - for the sake of accuracy, I've copied and kept all those mistakes.

Iranian Game Developer Prepares to Launch Title

Iran posses absolutely no copyright laws, meaning that games, music and movies can be freely distributed, leading Arash Jafari to state that, "People thought we had lost our minds" for choosing to make games as a profession. Additionally, the developers had to work around trade sanctions against Iran, forcing their hand into using freely available open-source software to power their game. The group also leveraged the Internet to learn more about development. Jafari said that, "Google was our university. "

What's So Great about Hand-Made?

Do-It-Yourself (DIY), or "making" has become a popular trend over the past few years. Fashion publications like Teen Vogue encourage its readers to "do-it-themselves" by offering how-tos and instructions from notable fashion designers. But making is not only limited to fashion and clothing. Sites like etsy. com have opened up a world for craft makers and artists to create, sell, and share their work. Others even create their own home decor, and eco-friendly homes made from natural materials, like straw bale.

Open Source Under Attack in Europe

According to people with good contacts to the politicians and bureaucrats drawing up the Agenda, Microsoft is lobbying hard to ensure that open standards and open source are excluded from that policy - and is on the brink of succeeding in that aim.

Sony Zaps PlayStation 3 'Install Other OS' Feature

Until next Thursday, that is. When Sony's PS3 firmware update 3. 21 debuts on April 1, it'll disable the "Install Other OS" feature on millions of older systems. While you don't have to install the update, opting out will bar access to the PlayStation Network, newer games and Blu-ray movies, copyright-protected videos streamed from a media server, and any other new features in firmware version 3. 21 forward.

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

The King of the Trolls Strikes Gold

Why does that matter? Well, because that "method and apparatus" seems to give its patent holder power over most of the motion-control devices used in smartphones today. In other words, it's a choke-point for one of the most exciting and vibrant areas of computing around.

Judge Invalidates Human Gene Patent

A federal judge on Monday struck down patents on two genes linked to breast and ovarian cancer. The decision, if upheld, could throw into doubt the patents covering thousands of human genes and reshape the law of intellectual property

***** Applications/Gadgets

Testing AMD's New FirePro Linux Driver With The FirePro V8750

we decided to see if this proprietary driver really lives up to its claims under Linux.

Unlocked Linux smartphone swivels 180 degrees

ChinaGrabber is selling an unlocked, quadband GSM cellphone that runs Linux on a 624MHz Marvell PXA310. The $570 BPhone features a 5-inch 800 x 480 touchscreen with 180-degree rotation, plus WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, and up to 16GB flash expansion.

HTC Evo 4G Gets Rave Reviews at CTIA

A full list of HTC Evo 4G features is at the Sprint Web site, but the features making the geeks go ga-ga include: Android 2. 1 OS, a QualComm SnapDragon 1Ghz processor, a 4. 3-inch touchscreen, HTC Sense UI,...

coolest (or scariest?) Linux robot ever

The Halluc II is a remote controlled robotic vehicle with 8 legs/wheels. It's designed to walk/drive over rugged terrain an can actually transform from walking to driving robot.

The C64 Has Returned

I was reading through some news on Google and came across this article on bild. de. The Commodore 64 is due to be rereleased with an Intel Core 2 Quad, 4GB RAM, a 500GB HDD, Intel chipset, and a bunch of other features. A peek at the Commodore website shows Ubuntu, Windows, OSX, Chrome, AROS, and Comodo OSs under the "OS" link at the top of the page.

Photoshop’s CAF (content-aware fill) - unbelievable? Not quite.

They can rest assured - it is possible and it has been around for years, e. g. in the GIMP plugin by Paul Harrison called Resynthesizer.

***** Reports

Microsoft Says "Don't Cry For Linux" In Face Of Argentine Lawsuit

Microsoft is facing an ongoing legal challenge in Argentina from an open source company which alleges the software giant used its Windows Starter Edition to dominate the country's operating system market.

Now what Novell?

There's nothing like starting a technical conference, like Novell's BrainShare, off with a bang. Or, in this case telling Elliot Associates' unwelcome offer of not quite $2-billion for the company that Novell has no interest in selling out, not for that little anyway.

Free Software Award Winners Announced

he Free Software Foundation (FSF) announced the winners of the annual free software awards at a ceremony on Saturday March 20, held during the LibrePlanet conference at Harvard Science Center in Cambridge, MA.

Open-Source Software Vendor Red Hat Updates JBoss Platforms

"The theme of the announcement is giving IT greater productivity, visibility and control," Pierre Fricke, Red Hat's JBoss SOA product line director told InternetNews. com. "Developer and administrator productivity have been improved and that's important from a cost and time-to-market perspective. "

Virtual PC Guide

Many server-side applications are available in virtual-appliance versions. These are VM images that include an OS (Linux, typically) and a copy of the application pre-loaded, so the whole thing can be deployed and run by simply booting the virtual PC and connecting to it over the network. WordPress, SugarCRM, Joomla! and Drupal, just to name a few such apps, all exist in virtual-appliance editions.

How Red Hat Made Money in 2010 (up 15% year over year)

The past twelve months have been good for Linux vendor Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) as the company grew revenues and income while expanding its product offerings in the cloud and virtualization space. But how did Red Hat grow while others staggered?

How open is open core and is that open enough

The idea is that you make the center of your product open source, but put the rest under a paid license. This is supposed to make your venture capital backers happy. You gain the benefits of open source but customers aren't "stealing" the software.

Intel creates Linux version of its app store for netbooks

Encouraged by early results on Windows, Intel said today it will add a beta test version of popular Intel AppUp Center for Linux.

LibrePlanet 2010 Completes Its Orbit

FSF is an organization based around a very simple, principled idea: that users and programmers alike deserve inalienable rights to copy, share, modify, and redistribute all the software that they use. This issue isn't merely about making better software (although Free Software developers usually do, anyway); it's about a principle of morality: everyone using computers should be treated well and be given the maximal opportunity to treat their neighbors well, too.

NVIDIA Drops Their Open-Source Driver, Refers Users To VESA

NVIDIA will continue supporting their high-performance, feature-rich proprietary Unix driver on Linux / FreeBSD / OpenSolaris systems, but they are kissing goodbye to xf86-video-nv.

IBM, Canonical to sell Ubuntu-ready netbooks in Africa

IBM, Canonical, and Simmtronics announced they will market an Intel Atom-based netbook in emerging markets. The Simmbook will be preloaded with the cloud-oriented IBM Client for Smart Work Linux distro, based on Ubuntu Netbook Remix, and will first be made available in Africa for just $190.

***** Snippets

Microsoft's Choice Screen Doubles Opera's Downloads

What Does That Server Really Serve?

7 of the Best Free Linux FTP Clients

So HERE'S how you get into grub2 if there's no boot menu in Ubuntu Lucid 10.04

I killed Debian, installed an unbootable Ubuntu, now I'm running FreeBSD 8.0 with GNOME

Week 3, Day 11 SCO v. Novell - SCO Rests after Tibbitts, Novell Begins with LaSala

75 Top Open Source Security Apps

IBM Deals With EU Complaint, Insider Trading Settlement

Hands-on: Ubuntu One music store will rock in Lucid Lynx

Rackspace Cloud 'Drizzles' Into Open-Source Software

Women In, Near, and Around Ubuntu - Celebrating Ada Lovelace Day - Part 1

Sharing Files & Folders Between Linux, Mac and Windows

Installing Ubuntu Linux on a Netbook

Yes, Internet Explorer is on wane in Europe

Recording an Interview with Skype using Audacity 1.3

Those Pesky Migration Issues

GIMP 2.8 development still under control

There’s a Lot in the Dot: Filesystem Permissions and Pathnames (Part 1)

Ubuntu Server Aims for the Enterprise

Am I really running Ubuntu?

FreeBSD 7.3 Updates BSD Legacy

A critical look at sysfs attribute values

Get to know Linux: AppArmor

Novell Files Motion for Judgment and Motion to Strike

DNS: Zone Files on Ubuntu 10.04

Use ssh_config To Simplify Your Life

Tweaking Hidden Settings With Ubuntu Tweak On Ubuntu 9.10

There's a Lot in the Dot: Filesystem Permissions and Pathnames (Part 2)

Install Latest Firefox 3.6.2 in Ubuntu Using Ubuntuzilla Repository

Ubuntu One Music Store: Tops or Flop?

Cloudy with a chance of Linux: Canonical aims to cash in

Less is more. But still less.

Debian Squeeze live DVD images are available - it's a great way to dip your toe into Debian waters

Esfera: A fascinating UI concept for window management in Ubuntu

Who is the enemy of FLOSS today?

Mozilla Developers Talk Up Firefox as a Key Development Tool

Ubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Dies On April 30th. Long Live Lucid!

Get Organized with Wiki in a Jar

Minimalist Linux desktops

Mac OS X 10.6.2 vs. Ubuntu 10.04 Performance

This Story has been unposted.

SCO UNIX Claims Could Be Decided This Week - Or Not

SCO Novell Jury Decision Pending

Tracking the Trackers
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