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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 #372 Period ending 24 August 2010

OSWALD #372 Period ending 24 August 2010

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

The Oracle lawsuit remains at the top of everyone's agenda again this week, with a lot of stories devoted to it. There's an interesting article in the Gov section about the lack of computer science trained examiners in the US Patent Office (and so why are they granting so many software patents). In addition, a number of stories with an embedded flavour.

>From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Other

Decorate with Linux

Yes, the source code for the schedule processor in the Linux kernel is depicted in poster form from Postertext (and they note,"Every source code component is in its original compilable form!"):

***** Government/Policy

Moglen Targets Patents, Compliance and Innovation as Key Challenges for Free Software

At this time in history, Moglen is keenly interested not on the strengths of free software, but rather on the interface between free software and business interests. The intersection, as he describes it, "between the economy of ownership and the economy of sharing. "

Patent Attorney Backgrounds

"[A]n institutional bias exists within the PTO that prevents software-savvy individuals from registering with the Office. "

Laws governing medical devices in the EU and their effect on free and open source software

This difference posed an actual threat to the free movement of good and services with the Community. As such, the Directive sought to harmonise national provisions with regard to the use of medical devices.

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

Oracle America's complaint against Google, as text

"Here's the Oracle complaint [PDF] against Google, as text. More accurately, it's Oracle America v. Google. That is what Oracle has named Sun Microsystems now that it's a subsidiary, Oracle America, the company formerly known as Sun. So it's Sun that is being made to be the plaintiff. It's Sun's patents and copyrights, so that makes sense, but it gives me an icky feeling. All the Sun people who'd never do this in a million years either wouldn't go to work for Oracle or left promptly, so here we are, Oracle America."Doing documents as text is very helpful, because it forces me to notice such details. Here is what else I'm noticing so far."There are eight claims, seven on patents, one for copyright infringement. Let's break this down a bit. First the patents, which you can find here. The key to the patent claims would have to be this sentence in each: "Google's acts of infringement have been and continue to be willful, deliberate, and in reckless disregard of Oracle America'

s patent rights."

More on Oracle v Google,0&source=IFWNLE_nlt_openenterprise_2010-08-18

Last week's move by Oracle to sue Google over Java use in the Android open source mobile operating system, may well end up having an impact that effects far more that just Android. And that has some key stakeholders in the open source community concerned.

RIAA: Google/Verizon deal needs yet another gaping loophole

Patent applications jumped up during recession

[Patents are the path to Nirvana - well he would say that wouldn't he...]

Mother of all Patent Trolls, Acacia Research, Gets More Funding

The Fund is authorized to raise up to $250 million, which should strike fear in the hearts of all of the likely targets of patent infringement lawsuits, namely those that make high tech products.

Google patents granted on 17 August 2010

1 D621,846 Display screen with graphical user interface 2 7,779,370 User interface for mobile devices 3 7,779,360 Map user interface 4 7,779,103 Dual cookie security system...

Chief Judge Rader's Views on Patentable Subject Matter - Part I

Given the controversy that has ensued, this article first asks whether the Chief Judge would have any influence over these three cases in the event that he is not chosen for a panel, and then analyzes some of Chief Judge Rader's views on patentable subject matter from comments he made before the Supreme Court decided Bilski v. Kappos.

Apple pulls Grooveshark music streaming app from iTunes

Grooveshark said the action is the result of a complaint from Universal Music Group UK

Supreme Court told P2P users can be "innocent infringers"

"It is wrong to interpret a law passed by Congress to protect innocent infringers in an analog world so as to deny the mitigation of damages to digital infringers," write the law professors.

Free That Tenor Sax

The laws are not intended to provide income for generations of an author's heirs, particularly at the cost of keeping works of art out of the public's reach.

Speaking of Mouse Trap Economics, What About that Yarn that Patents Stimulate Invention

Based on my 40 years of experience in the computer system development, much of it before software patents were introduced, I believe that the alleged connection between such patents and the stimulation of innovation is tenuous at best and probably negative. Let me confess that even though I oppose the continuation of software patents, as a defensive measure I've applied for some that have been granted.

Hulu wins patent infringement case

Specifically, the court applies a test the Supreme Court recently drew up in its landmark decision, Bilski v. Kappos, over business method patents. The test is whether a patent covers a "machine-or-transformation. " In invalidating the patent, the California district court rules that the patent in question is not aimed at a computer-specific application, that the Internet is not a machine, and that the mere act of storing media on computer memory doesn't tie the invention to a machine.

***** Applications/Gadgets

Turn a Plug Computer into a Full-fledged Server with Amahi

Moreover, it allows you to choose among dozens of available applications (e. g. , WordPress, DokuWiki, Joomla, Webmin, and many more coming up) and install them with a single mouse click. And the newly released solution brings the power of Amahi to plug computers.

IBM shows 256 core Power7 Unix server

All the new systems are offered with Linux or IBM's AIX or i operating systems (i is the new name for IBM's i5/OS).

Cheap Linux wall warts small on size, big on possibilities

This is where you have to actually see the device; check out the plug computer info sheet from Ionics EMS and you will see just why these gadgets are dubbed "plug computers" and "wall warts". They literally are no bigger than a typical power brick for a powered USB hard drive or some phone chargers.

Android Samsung Epic 4G Reaps Rave Reviews

Sprint's adding a second 4G, Android-powered smartphone to its portfolio, the Samsung Epic, available now for pre-order and on sale Aug. 31, and the first reviews out today are calling it an impressive sibling to the HTC Evo 4G.

Display PCs mount side-by-side or back-to-back

The AMS Series systems are available in standalone systems running Linux, Windows XP Pro, Windows XPe, and Windows CE, says Arista.

First Chrome OS Tablet Set for Black Friday Debut?

Gmail Video chat Comes To Linux! [Ubuntu / Debian For Time Being]

Droid 2 reviews hail keyboard, stamina, but camera gives pause

The Droid 2 is the first phone to ship with Android 2. 2 ("Froyo"), and compared to the popular Droid, which is also now available with Froyo, it runs it on a faster 1GHz Texas Instruments OMAP3630, the same SoC used by the Droid X. The phone ships with 8GB of internal flash, and an 8GB memory card.

***** Reports

Linux Is On Parity With AIX Unix

According to Healy, CIOs are increasingly worried about what to do about their desktop computing infrastructures as well. From a cost perspective, Healy noted that typically 80 to 90 percent of desktop functions go unused in enterprise environments. She added that if CIOs really want to maximize their budgets it makes sense to only pay for the desktop capabilities they need which is something that Linux enables.

OpenLuna - An Open Source Project Aimed at Returning Humankind Back to the Moon

The OpenLuna Foundation seeks to return humankind back to the lunar surface, first through robotic missions which will be followed by manned exploration mission and finally this massive project with long gestation periods is supposed to culminate with the deployment of a permanent outpost in the moon.

***** Snippets

Linux Found at Portugal

Axon Haptic 10-inch Tablet lets you choose between Windows, Linux and Darwin OS

Cash and Community: Incentives and Open Source Development

The Android-powered Augen GenTouch78 is no iPad

Oracle dumps OpenSolaris

How corporate America went open-source

Open Source Software Soaring to Success

Is Linux the computing Tower of Babel?

Five billionth device about to plug into Internet

Pirate Party Strikes Hosting Deal With Wikileaks

Novell and Markus Rex: Reinventing An Empire

What to Look for in Open Source Systems Management Products

Android Scripting With Python

Oracle loses another DTrace creator

Bazaar: A Powerful, next-generation source control system

Adobe AIR to arrive on Android later this year

Oracle and Novell File Reservations of Rights RE SCO's Bankruptcy Sale Plan


Bing, Google get split decision in Facebook Places mapping feature

Open source givers and takers

Which Licence is Best for the Future?

Is Oracle Taking Closed-Source?
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