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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 #403 Period ending 7 June 2011

OSWALD #403 Period ending 7 June 2011

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

Oracle has moved OpenOffice to the Apache project, supported by IBM. There is a lot of comment on this, some significant comments being negative as the move has also resulted in relicensing away from the GPL. A UN report says that three strikes laws are disproportionate and tehrefore in violation of human rights.

In other news, Linus has renumbered the kernel to 3.0, and then everyone has to douse expectations that the numbering change is meaningful.

>From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Government/Policy

UN Report Says Internet Three Strikes Laws Violate International Law

In light of these concerns, the report argues that the Internet disconnection is a disproportionate response, violates international law and such measures should be repealed in countries that have adopted them:

Free Software Free Society: Selected Essays of Richard M. Stallman, 2nd Edition (signed copy)

This book collects the writing of Richard Stallman in a manner that will make its subtlety and power clear. The essays span a wide range, from copyright to the history of the free software movement.

Google uses new tool to track dengue fever hubs

It hopes to develop an early-warning system by monitoring dengue-related search terms by users in Bolivia, Brazil, India, Indonesia and Singapore.

Out of Fear, Colleges Lock Books and Images Away From Scholars

Many colleges now have the ability to digitize a wide variety of collections for broad use but frequently back away. And that reluctance harms scholarship, because researchers end up not using valuable documents if they can't afford to fly to a distant archive to see them.

FSF: Announcing our license recommendations guide

Finland: Blocking of domestic websites ruled illegal

Nikki appealed to the Administrative Court about his website being on the secret blacklist. The Administrative Court ruled in May 2009 that it was not possible to complain about being on the blacklist. Nikki appealed to the Supreme Administrative Court, which ruled in September 2010 that indeed it was possible to complain about being on the list and thus cleared the way for complaints by Nikki and others who thought their sites had been put on the list without a valid basis.

Commerce Secretary Provides Administration's Views on America Invents Act

Secretary Locke began each letter by noting that "passage of needed reforms to our patent laws has been a high priority for me during my time as Secretary of Commerce because of its importance to America's competitiveness and our economic growth. "

More Standards for Europe and faster

More Standards for Europe and faster: this is the main objective of a series of measures that the European Commission proposed on 1 June 2011. Standards are sets of voluntary technical and quality criteria for products, services and production processes. Nobody is obliged to use or apply them but they help businesses in working together which ultimately saves money for the consumer.

CityCamp Pairs Open-Source Tech, Gov't Transparency

Why does the Government need to own the copyright in software it has developed?

In practical terms, for most businesses, the ability to use the copyright it without possible claims from third parties is dramatically more important than the ability to stop other people from using it.

The Freedom Box Alternative to Facebook

Google, Publishers Seek More Time to Reach Book-Scan Accord

Welcome to the Age of Data: My OSBC Talk

Open source software enjoys intrinsic advantages over commercially licensed alternatives with respect to its ubiquity. Until they begin harnessing this distribution in the form of data aggregation, however, this advantage will remain underleveraged. Which is unfortunate because it is a model that inherently better aligns customer requirements with vendor needs.

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

Google pulls emulators from the Android Market

Over the weekend developer Yong Zhang, known on the Android Market as yongzh saw his Android developer account revoked and all the apps he offers removed from the Market. The apps he was offering were all emulators for popular older systems including the NES, SNES, Genesis, N64, Atari, Game Gear, and Game Boy. But Google has seen fit to remove all of them ( including Nesoid, Snesoid, Gensoid, N64oid, Ataroid, Gearoid, and Gameoid).

Why did Lodsys sue some App Developers on May 31, 2011

Software patents in [South Africa]: to be or not to be?

Patent Research Firm Turns the Tables

The New York company, which pays a network of scientists and technology experts to determine if a patented invention is truly novel, typically helps big companies after they are sued by patent holders. Now, it is launching a service that aims to invalidate "poor quality" patents before they are asserted in courts.

New Developments: European Patent With Unitary Effect, EU Patent Jurisdiction,-EU-Patent-Jurisdiction.html

Under the date of May 26, 2011, the EU Council has published Document 10629/11 titled Proposal for a Regulation of the Council and the European Parliament implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection including a Proposal for a Council Regulation implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of unitary patent protection with regard to the applicable translation arrangements.

Samsung’s lawyers demand to see the iPhone 5 and iPad 3

the move comes just a few days after the judge ordered Samsung to hand over pre-production samples of the Droid Charge, Infuse 4G, Galaxy S II, and Galaxy Tab 10. 1 and 8. 9 so Apple could determine if those products should also be part of the lawsuit and potentially file a motion to block them from the market.

Hard-Disk Lawsuit Threatens Stations

US Supremes add 'willful blindness' to patent law

In a case supported by HP, eBay, Red Hat, Yahoo!, and General Motors, the US Supreme Court has issued a ruling that may make it more difficult for a company to be sued for inducing another company to infringe a patent.

***** Applications/Gadgets

Sigil, Open Source and Cross Platform WYSIWYG E-Book Editor

Sigil is gearing towards a version 4. 0 release bringing new features, interface improvements and fixes over last the stable release.

***** Reports

Linux 3.0 -rc1

So what are the big changes? NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. Sure, we have the usual two thirds driver changes, and a lot of random fixes, but the point is that 3. 0 is *just* about renumbering, we are very much *not* doing a KDE-4 or a Gnome-3 here. No breakage, no special scary new features, nothing at all like that. We've been doing time-based releases for many years now, this is in no way about features. If you want an excuse for the renumbering, you really should look at the time-based one ("20 years") instead.

Nokia's Elop: Android is killing us in China, Europe

Linaro Non-Profit is Rapidly Hitting Embedded Linux Milestones

"Linaro is a not-for-profit software engineering company investing in core Linux software and tools for ARM SoCs. We deliver software consolidation and optimization to our members, and provide ARM tools, Linux kernels and builds of key Linux distributions including Android and Ubuntu on member SoCs. "

Oracle proposals may open Java Community Process

The Java Community Process may get a welcome and much-needed breath of fresh air if a new proposal from Oracle is approved.

How much GNU is there in GNU/Linux?

I found two things to be really surprising in this chart. The first is that the kernel is actually comparable in size to all the GNU software^1. The second is that small projects actually dominate the total amount. It seems that at least for what Ubuntu packages, the origin of the software is highly dispersed.

The Revolution OS - An Open Source epic docu-drama

In this backdrop came along a professional screenwriter, Director J. T. S. Moore a Walt Disney moviemaker whose first attempt at documentary making was on this epic struggle between the revenue-hungry proprietary struggle moguls versus free flowing software champions. He called this award-winning, docu-movie the revolution-os.

The issue of bringing harmony to copyright assignment

OpenSUSE Workstations Used for Rendering Real Facial Expressions Animations

Rockstar games, who gave the world Grand Theft Auto series used Linux systems (OpenSUSE/SUSE Linux) in rendering real life facial expressions to the characters in their game L. A. Noire (released on May 17th).

Google open source WebRTC for open video/audio chat

Why YouTube Adopting Creative Commons Is a Big Deal

Ditching Copyleft to Compete with a Fork?

Obviously, in this case, I oppose Oracle's relicense of OpenOffice. org under Apache-License-2. 0. It is probably obvious why I feel that way, but I shall explain nonetheless, just in case. I'm going to mostly ignore the motives for doing so, which I think are obvious: Oracle (and IBM, who are quoted in support of this move) for their own reasons don't like The Document Foundation fork (LibreOffice) of OpenOffice. org. This is a last-ditch effort by IBM and Oracle to thwart the progress of that fork, which has been reported as quite successful and many distributions have begun to adopt LibreOffice.

Intellectual Property Office Launches UK Peer to Patent Pilot

Our pilot will run for the next six months and over that time we will load about 200 UK patent applications onto the website.

Richard Stallman's Opinion On Dual Booting – 'Defenestrate It'

It is unfortunate that he still has nonfree software in his computer. He needs to defenestrate it (which means, either throw Windows out of the computer or throw the computer out of the window).

LibreOffice 3.4.0 Released

LibreOffice 3. 4. 0 is the second major release of the suite since the announcement of The Document Foundation in September 2010 and incorporates the contributions of over 120 developers (six times as many as the first beta released on the launch date).

Canonical Partners with ASUS for Ubuntu Linux Hardware

The ASUS 1001PXD, 1011PX and 1015PX models will be available with Ubuntu 10. 10, with the plan to have more models available over the course of 2011. Canonical's deal with ASUS is part of a larger effort from the Linux vendor to work more closely with hardware vendors.

Alcatel-Lucent Debuts AppGlide - (powered by Linux)

The AppGlide Video Analytics service measures data from multiple inputs in the network in order to help service providers deliver video more effectively.

VMware invites Scala onto open source dev cloud

VMware has invited Scala programmers onto Cloud Foundry, its open source "platform cloud," an online service for building and readily scaling applications.

HTC Open Sources Sense UI, Dev Program Later This Summer

Previously, HTC has restricted Sense for its own devices under the Apache license and did not allow for third-party distribution or modification. The move to open source Sense also follows another more developer friendly move by the company as it previously announced earlier this month that it would release all new devices going forward with unlocked bootloaders, embracing the Android hacking community.

GitHub now center of OSS development universe

Something I noted in the graphs was how small CodePlex's share of the commits were (around 2 percent). O'Grady's written report did not go into this, but I have to wonder if this is a telling indictment of how much the open source community really mistrusts Microsoft-related projects. You can't blame youth of the project, either: CodePlex, launched in 2006, is two years older than GitHub.

France bans 'Facebook' and 'Twitter' from TV, radio

The ban actually stems from a decree issued by the French government on March 27, 1992, which forbids the promotion of commercial enterprises on news programs.

Forget Google, DoJ Fears Apple Gaining Nortel’s “Stockpile Of Nuclear Weapons” — Here’s Why

Apache OpenOffice: How to Get Involved

How to Manage Open Source Licensing in Android Development

***** Snippets

HTC pays Microsoft $5 for every Android phone

Angry Birds Game Makes Open Source More Sexy

Canonical Chief Designer Hits the Road

Canonical and Ubuntu Needs to Settle Down

ChromeOS huge niche market?

Firefox 6 shows 'progess'

Starting A FOSS Project? Then Know Your Licenses

Wake up, Linux hippies: No one 'morally obligated' to give back

The end of the Linux desktop wars

Github Has Surpassed Sourceforge and Google Code in Popularity

Announcing a new site in BETA -

PlayStation Store is Available and Updated Now

Open for business: How some sales processes don't work for OSS

Deciphering the Sony PSN Attack

Key open source project about to fail

Browser Wars: Chrome winning, IE losing
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