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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.                                                                                                                                        
Welcome to the Open Source Law Weekly Open Source Digest (OSWALD)
A shortish OSWALD this week, perhaps because of the 4 July holiday in the US? A fair bit of IP news, with dozens of legal academics criticising the US "PROTECT IP" Act. A lot of stories about Microsoft licensing its patents to the producers of Android products. Also, a working group of the Freedom Task Force (established by the FSFE, based in Europe, I'm a member) has released some documents on wording for free software realted copyright assignments ("Project Harmony"), and Bradley Kuhn of the FSF criticises their efforts.
I have been having troubles with sending OSWALD because of changing policies at my ISP re outgoing mail. For the time being I have modified the sending. However I may one day ask you to join a Google group. Let me know if you don't get this (har har).
>From my blog: http://brendanscott.wordpress.com/2011/07/01/gov-2-0-open-source-wrongness/
Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.
Other distribution - email me.
Open Source Law
Mini DisplayPort to HDMI cables face recall over licensing issues http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/07/08/mini_displayport_to_hdmi_cables_face_recall_over_licensing_issues.html
The group explained to TechRadar that the HDMI specification defines an HDMI cable as having only HDMI connectors on either end. Anything else is not a licensed use of the specification and therefore, not allowed.
TAC to FCC: Set a Date Certain for the End of the PSTN http://blog.tomevslin.com/2011/07/tac-to-fcc-set-a-date-certain-for-the-end-of-the-pstn.html
According to the accompanying chart with projections from the National Center for Health Statistics, only 6% of the US population will still be served by the public switched telephone network (PSTN) by the end of 2018.
Draft device-driver policy switches off Apple, RIM http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international-business/draft-device-driver-policy-switches-off-apple-rim/articleshow/9119827.cms
Computer hardware and peripherals used by all new e-governance projects must work with Linux and other open source operating systems, says a draft policy. The rules for device drivers - software that make devices such as printers and servers talk to computers - have been put in the public domain by the department of information technology, which will take into account views of hardware makers and other stakeholders before finalising the policy. The proposed policy is expected to save government money as open source systems come cheap.
Dozens of law professors: PROTECT IP Act is unconstitutional http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/07/dozens-of-law-professors-protect-ip-act-is-unconstitutional.ars
An ideologically diverse group of 90 law professors has signed a letter opposing the PROTECT IP Act, the Hollywood-backed copyright enforcement/Internet blacklist legislation now working its way through Congress. The letter argues that its domain-blocking provisions amount to Internet censorship that is barred by the First Amendment.
VLC media player suffering in face of crapware and uncaring Google http://www.geek.com/articles/news/vlc-media-player-suffering-in-face-of-crapware-and-uncaring-google-2011077/
These other links are put there by companies that want you to download their modified version of VLC that includes adware and spyware. They trade on the good name of VLC in order to infect your system and then start earning money from you and your machine.
Brazilian government signs up to develop OpenOffice and LibreOffice http://www.h-online.com/open/news/item/Brazilian-government-signs-up-to-develop-OpenOffice-and-LibreOffice-1275068.html
The Brazilian government has signed a letter of intent to work with both The Document Foundation and the Apache OpenOffice. org community to develop the Office Suite platforms maintained by both communities. The letter asserts that the ODF standard is already a guarantee of interoperability within the government. As Brazil is one of the biggest users of both LibreOffice and OpenOffice with an estimated million public computers running the free/open source office suites, the govenment aims to make the national contribution to the projects more effective.
CERN launches open source hardware effort http://arstechnica.com/open-source/news/2011/07/for-the-good-of-all-of-us-cern-launches-open-source-hardware-effort.ars
CERN has launched a new community-centric effort called the Open Hardware Repository (OHR) with the aim of encouraging collaborative electronics design. CERN has also developed a new license, called the Open Hardware License (OHL), to govern the distribution of open hardware designs.
How open source tools can create balanced learning environments http://opensource.com/education/11/7/how-open-source-tools-create-balanced-learning-environments
So how does all of this fit with the free software paradigm? Free and open source software (FOSS) has all the necessary features that involve creativity and sharing, and hence it helps to leverage the benefits of ICT integration into education.
Antitrust officials probing sale of patents to Google’s rivals http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/antitrust-officials-probing-sale-of-patents-to-googles-rivals/2011/07/08/gIQANSlZ4H_story.html
Why Google And Android Must Deal With The Mobile Protection Racket http://paidcontent.org/article/419-why-google-and-android-must-deal-with-the-mobile-protection-racket/
P.orn litigation: Film studios threaten, and settle with, possibly guiltless Internet users http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/porn-litigation-film-studios-threaten-and-settle-with-1580504.html
Critics say it's a business model masquerading as law - a quick buck for producers who can make much more money through the courts than from selling individual copies of skin flicks. Faced with the threat of a $150,000 copyright infringement judgment - and the embarrassment of being publicly identified with a sketchy film - viewers are coughing up four-figure settlements for what might be a $20 movie.
See Which IT Vendors Spent How Much Lobbying the Federal Government http://h30565.www3.hp.com/t5/Policy-Watch/See-Which-IT-Vendors-Spent-How-Much-Lobbying-the-Federal/ba-p/163
Oracle Vs Google-what next? http://www.unixmen.com/news-today/1792-oracle-vs-google-what-next
Microsoft patent division taking cash from at least 5 Android vendors http://www.networkworld.com/news/2011/070511-microsoft-patent-android.html
Microsoft's latest target is Wistron Corp. , which has signed a patent agreement "that provides broad coverage under Microsoft's patent portfolio for Wistron's tablets, mobile phones, e-readers and other consumer devices running the Android or Chrome platform," Microsoft announced.
Apple Escalates Samsung Fight With ITC Case http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-06/apple-increases-legal-battle-against-samsung-with-itc-case-1-.html
Apple Inc. filed a U. S. trade complaint that seeks to block imports of Samsung Electronics Co. smartphones and tablet computers, days after asking a federal court to halt sales of the devices.
Microsoft signs Android patent deal with military contractor General Dynamics http://www.geekwire.com/2011/microsoft-signs-android-patent-deal-with-military-contractor-general-dynamics
Microsoft today made new progress in its Android patent campaign, announcing a licensing deal with General Dynamics Itronix, maker of rugged tablets and handheld devices used by the military.
More potential prior art for Lodsys patents http://iptarget.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2011-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-08%3A00&updated-max=2012-01-01T00%3A00%3A00-08%3A00&max-results=27
The costs of a winning strategy against Lodsys could cost a minimum of $50,000 - $100,000, so even if the couple dozen threatened developers get together, they might still have to pitch in at least $10,000 each. This may not be feasible or a good business decision for some application developers.
The Microsoft/Android war: Which patents are at stake? http://www.networkworld.com/news/2011/070611-microsoft-android.html
But legal documents filed last October in the ongoing case against Motorola and in March of this year against Barnes & Noble detail more than a dozen patents Microsoft claims Android devices violate. Let's take a look first at a Microsoft complaint filed Oct. 1, 2010, with the U. S. International Trade Commission, which describes nine patents Motorola allegedly infringes upon.
It's Time to Start Worrying and Hate the Patent Bomb http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/jun2011/tc20110616_724223_page_2.htm
"As things stand today, one of a company's best defenses against this kind of litigation is (ironically) to have a formidable patent portfolio, as this helps maintain your freedom to develop new products and services. Google is a relatively young company, and although we have a growing number of patents, many of our competitors have larger portfolios given their longer histories. "
Top ISPs agree to become copyright cops http://news.cnet.com/8301-31001_3-20077492-261/top-isps-agree-to-become-copyright-cops/
This agreement hands the music and film sectors a big new stick with which to fight online illegal downloading of copyrighted works. The deal doesn't affect illegal streaming services. The film, music, and software sectors claim that online piracy costs the U. S. economy billions in lost revenue and jobs.
Apple denied [preliminary] injunction on Amazon's use of Appstore http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9218227/Apple_denied_injunction_on_Amazon_s_use_of_Appstore?taxonomyId=152
A California court denied Apple's motion for a preliminary injunction on Amazon. com's use of the term "Appstore" in a trademark infringement case on Wednesday.
"Memo of understanding" between RIAA, MPAA, & which ISP's? http://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com/2011/07/memo-of-understanding-between-riaa-mpaa.html
It appears that the RIAA and the MPAA have gotten together and created a collusive "Memorandum of understanding" for ISP's to sign, which calls for the signing ISP's to assist the Big 4 record companies and the Big 6 motion picture companies in enforcing their copyrights, in ways never contemplated by the Digital Millenium Copyright Act
Guest Post: Rein in the Big Bank Bail-Out http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2011/07/guest-post-rein-in-the-big-bank-bail-out.html
Linux-based system tries to tame San Francisco traffic http://www.linuxfordevices.com/c/a/News/McCain-2070LXN2-NEMA-controller-/
McCain says it will supply San Francisco with a new Linux-based traffic controller computer that meets the latest Advanced Transportation Controller (ATC) standards. Built around a Freescale PowerQUICC II Pro processor, the "2070LXN2 NEMA" offers several keypads, an 8x40 display, plus Ethernet, USB, serial, and SDLC connections, says the company.
Toyota Joins Linux Foundation http://www.linuxfoundation.org/news-media/announcements/2011/07/toyota-joins-linux-foundation
Toyota is joining The Linux Foundation as a Gold member to maximize its own investment in Linux while fostering open innovation throughout the automotive ecosystem.
CISL and communities strengthen FLOSS office suites http://www.softwarelivre.gov.br/news/cisl-and-communities-strengthen-floss-office-suites
On Friday, July 1, at the International Free Software Forum (FISL) in Porto Alegre - Brazil, the Brazilian Government's Free Software Implementation Committee has signed, along with the communities of the LibreOffice and OpenOffice projects, maintained respectively by the The Document Foundation and Apache Foundation, a Letter of Intent which signals the mutual interest of cooperation with the FLOSS office suites.
Game Drift Linux – Distribution For Gamers http://linuxgamingnews.org/2011/07/03/game-drift-linux-distribution-for-gamers/
Game Drift Linux has finally been released - the perfect GNU/Linux distribution for gamers.
Harmony Agreements reach 1.0 http://blogs.gnome.org/bolsh/2011/07/06/harmony-agreements-reach-1-0/
Oracle VDI now mates with both Solaris and Linux http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/07/06/oracle_vdi_3_3_ipad_client/
AMD in open source push http://www.techeye.net/software/amd-in-open-source-push
Chipmaker AMD wants to increase its presence on Linux and has hired two familiar names to the open source community.
Linux 3.0 rc6 http://www.linuxtoday.com/developer/2011070500241NWKNSM
Are Android and Linux the same thing? http://www.itworld.com/mobile-wireless/179875/are-android-and-linux-same-thing
The Uzebox: An open source hardware games console http://www.computerworld.com.au/article/392560/uzebox_an_open_source_hardware_games_console/
Ottawa may probe Nortel patent auction http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2011/07/06/nortel-patent-industry-canada.html
The Open-Source Car http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/the-open-source-car/9193
Red Hat Previews JBoss Application Server 7 http://www.serverwatch.com/news/article.php/3936906/Red-Hat-Previews-JBoss-Application-Server-7.htm
Mozilla Thunderbird gets Conversations Mode http://www.internetnews.com/blog/skerner/mozilla-thunderbird-gets-conversations-mode.html
Kernel Log: Coming in 3.0 Architecture, infrastructure and virtualisation http://www.h-online.com/open/features/Kernel-Log-Coming-in-3-0-Part-3-Infrastructure-1275463.html
RHEV 3.0 management: No Windows, new opportunities http://searchservervirtualization.techtarget.com/tip/RHEV-30-management-No-Windows-new-opportunities
The Browser Race analysis, June 2011 http://www.unixmen.com/news-today/1808-the-browser-race-analysis-june-2011
Java 7 Release Nears - http://www.datamation.com/applications/java-7-release-nears.html
Community Distribution Patent Policy FAQ now available http://www.debian.org/reports/patent-faq
Lawyer Trying To Trademark Bitcoin Explains His Legal Theory http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110708/00564015004/lawyer-trying-to-trademark-bitcoin-explains-his-legal-theory.shtml
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