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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)
The things that attracted the most attention this week were: the purchase by Google of 1000 patents from IBM in July, Mozilla's thoughts about writing an operating system which runs on top of everyone else's and the announcement of the Open Cloud Initiative. Of interest is article on how the Copyright Act in the US is reincarnating fashion cartels from the 1930s. Mark Lemley has written a paper saying inventors working alone is a myth, but maybe patents are good because they cause inventors to race to be first. The appellate court has held the BRAC genes to be patentable.
>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
Insight: Microsoft use of low-tax havens drives down tax bill http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/27/us-microsoft-tax-idUSTRE76Q6OB20110727
But Microsoft is straightforward about the core reason for its lower tax bill: It is increasingly channeling earnings from sales to customers throughout the world through the low-tax havens of Ireland, Puerto Rico and Singapore.
In Baring Facts of Train Crash, Blogs Erode China Censorship http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/29/world/asia/29china.html
Last weekend, Wenzhou bureaucrats ordered local lawyers not to accept cases from families of victims without their permission. After weibos exposed them, they withdrew the order and apologized.
What the 1930s fashion industry tells us about Big Content's "six strikes" plan http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/07/what-the-1930s-fashion-industry-means-for-big-contents-six-strikes-plan.ars
Retailers and the Federal Trade Commission challenged the system under antitrust laws. In 1941, the Supreme Court upheld the FTC's position, holding that the system "constituted an unfair method of competition" under antitrust law.
Richard Stallman: Resist the Temptations of the Cloud! http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,775218,00.html
Red Hat Warns Government About Cloud Lock-in -- And Microsoft? http://www.talkincloud.com/red-hat-warns-government-about-cloud-lock-in
The Myth of the Sole Inventor http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1856610
Report: Nortel portfolio buyers facing DOJ scrutiny http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-20085705-38/report-nortel-portfolio-buyers-facing-doj-scrutiny/
Despite last month's $4. 5 billion sale of Nortel's patent portfolio wrapping up this week, government scrutiny over what its buyers intend to do with the patents continues, a new report says.
Why won't Intellectual Ventures answer questions about its relationship with Lodsys? http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/jul/27/intellectual-ventures-myrhvold-patent-lodsys
Here's the odd thing: Intellectual Ventures doesn't seem to be very good at exploiting patents it owns. In two cases it appears to have bought software patents that have value in the courts and then transferred them to little one-man bands who have abruptly realised their value and begun suing people for infringing them.
An Offer He Couldn’t Refuse: Intellectual Property Analysis of Chris Crawford, Intellectual Vent http://www.m-cam.com/patently-obvious/offer-he-couldn-t-refuse-intellectual-property-analysis-chris-crawford-intellectual
Appellate Court Says Breast-Cancer Genes Can Be Patented http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2011/07/29/appellate-court-says-breast-cancer-genes-can-be-patented/
The ruling is a victory for Myriad Genetics, which owns the BRCA patents, and it overturns a district court ruling invalidating the patents.
Google Acquires Over 1,000 IBM Patents in July http://www.seobythesea.com/2011/07/google-acquires-ibm-patents-in-july/
On July 11th and 12th, Google recorded the assignment of 1,030 granted patents from IBM covering a range of topics, from the fabrication and architecture of memory and microprocessing chips, to other areas of computer architecture including servers and routers as well.
Ousted EMI boss: pirates are our best customers, suing is bad for business http://boingboing.net/2011/07/26/ousted-emi-boss-pirates-are-our-best-customers-suing-is-bad-for-business.html
The America Invents Act’s Patent Reform Might Strengthen Patent Trolls http://www.litigationandtrial.com/2011/07/articles/attorney/patent-infringement/the-america-invents-act-and-patent-trolls/
The Supreme Court Should Invalidate Software Patents http://blogs.forbes.com/timothylee/2011/07/28/the-supreme-court-should-invalidate-software-patents/
Unfortunately, as Matt Yglesias points out, the patent reform legislation now working its way through Congress is woefully inadequate.
Hollywood Studios Win U.K. Case on Piracy Blocking http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-28/hollywood-studios-win-u-k-case-against-bt-to-block-piracy-site.html
Lodsys: Response to Apple's Motion to Intervene http://www.applepatent.com/2011/07/lodsys-response-to-apple-motion-to.html
Apple Mac OS X Violates S3 Patents, IPhone Cleared, ITC Says http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-07-26/apple-s-mac-operating-system-violates-s3-patents-judge-says.html
HTC enlisting supply chain to bypass patent problems http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/htc-enlisting-supply-chain-to-bypass-patent-problems/
ITC agrees to investigate Samsung's patent case against Apple http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/07/27/itc_agrees_to_investigate_samsungs_patent_case_against_apple.html
Samsung filed the complaint in late June, and asked the ITC to ban the import of Apple products, which it believes are infringing on patents it owns. The complaint accused Apple of copying "many of Samsung's innovations" with the company's iPhone, iPad and iPod products singled out.
InterDigital goes after Nokia, Huawei, and ZTE http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-20083754-94/interdigital-goes-after-nokia-huawei-and-zte/
The developer of wireless technologies said today that it has filed a complaint with the U. S. International Trade Commission, seeking a ban on the importation of 3G phones, USB laptop sticks, mobile hot spots, tablets, and other wireless components from the three companies. The company separately filed a lawsuit with the U. S. District Court in Delaware.
Patent Troll Sues Amazon Over Electronic Checkout Service http://techcrunch.com/2011/07/26/patent-troll-sues-amazon-over-electronic-checkout-service/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+Techcrunch+%28TechCrunch%29&utm_content=Google+Reader
Alsup to Oracle, Get Serious http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/07/25/38412.htm
"The patent owner here simply served a report that overreached in multiple ways, each and every overreach compounding damages ever higher into the billions - evidently with the goal of seeing how much it could get away with, a 'free bite,' as it were," Alsup wrote in granting most of Google's motion to exclude the report.
This American Life: NPE Issue Going Mainstream http://www.applepatent.com/2011/07/this-american-life-npe-issue-going.html
I wish I could say the program was inaccurate or sensationalist. It's not. As someone who worked on the fringes of NPE-world for a good number of years, I was surprised at how well the story was reported.
IBM Celebrates 100th Anniversary of its First Patent http://www.datamation.com/feature/ibm-celebrates-100th-anniversary-of-its-first-patent.html
IBM is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year and with it comes a whole host of other notable milestones. One such milestone is today, which marks the 100th anniversary of IBM's first patent.
12 organizations say VP8 infringes patents http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20085185-264/12-organizations-say-vp8-infringes-patents/
"Patents owned by 12 different patent holders have already been found to be essential to VP8," MPEG LA said in a statement to CNET yesterday.
Reverse Bifurcation in Practice http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2011/07/reverse-bifurcation-1.html
When Otter's settlement offer was rejected, it filed a motion seeking to sever itself from the existing case and requesting a "reverse bifurcation" procedure in the new matter so that damages discovery and trial would precede liability discovery and trial. A copy of that motion is available here: Download Gellyfish v Alltel Motion. The motion appears to have had some effect: shortly after it was filed, Otter withdrew the motion citing additional discussions between the parties that suggested an amicable resolution.
Rovi Sues Hulu, Expanding Its Patent Fights Over Online TV Guides http://paidcontent.org/article/419-rovi-sues-hulu-expanding-its-patent-fights-over-online-tv-guides/
The fact that Rovi is suing two big players in this space with quite different software systems suggests the company believes these online guide patents give it a wide-ranging right to royalty payments over online television guides.
OLPC outlines future device specs http://www.tgdaily.com/mobility-features/57373-olpc-outlines-future-device-specs
The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) organization is currently prepping its next-gen XO-3 tablet, which could feature solar charging, satellite Internet and external keyboard capabilities.
China's Alibaba Unveils New Mobile OS http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/236803/chinas_alibaba_unveils_new_mobile_os.html
Alibaba subsidiary Alibaba Cloud Computing unveiled the Aliyun OS on Thursday, and showed off a Chinese-manufactured smartphone using the Linux-based operating system.
Asus Gets Official with $200 Eee PC X101 Netbook http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/asus_gets_official_200_eee_pc_x101_netbook
Getting to that price point requires some sacrifices, and chief among them is the operating system. The Eee PC X101 runs MeeGo, an open-source mobile Linux OS designed for netbooks, entry-level desktops, nettops, and other devices. It's also saddled with a single-core Intel Atom N435 processor (N455 also available).
Review: ZaReason's Verix 2 Linux Laptop Hits the Spot http://www.linux.com/learn/tutorials/473692-review-zareasons-verix-2-linux-laptop-hits-the-spot
This may not be the year of the Linux desktop, but don't tell that to ZaReason. The folks at ZaReason have, once again, outdone themselves with a high-quality and powerful 15" laptop that will satisfy power users and Linux gamers.
Mikogo: Cross-Platform Desktop Sharing And Web Conferencing Tool http://www.webupd8.org/2011/07/mikogo-cross-platform-desktop-sharing.html
Mikogo is a freeware, cross-platform desktop sharing tool. Starting with the latest version 4 - released a few days ago -, Mikogo is also available for Linux, in addition to the already existing Windows and Mac clients.
LevelDB: A Fast Persistent Key-Value Store http://google-opensource.blogspot.com/2011/07/leveldb-fast-persistent-key-value-store.html
LevelDB is a fast key-value storage engine written at Google that provides an ordered mapping from string keys to string values. We are pleased to announce that we are open sourcing LevelDB under a BSD-style license.
Old King of Computers now on Ubuntu http://ubuntumanual.org/posts/377/old-king-of-computers-now-on-ubuntu
The best part of the revamped Commodore is that it will run on Ubuntu OS. The company has also announced that it will ship the computer with Commodore OS soon but nobody knows what it is.
Raspberry Pi $25 PC goes into alpha production http://www.geek.com/articles/chips/raspberry-pi-25-pc-goes-into-alpha-production-20110728/
WASP: The Linux-powered flying spy drone that cracks Wi-Fi & GSM netwokrs http://www.geek.com/articles/geek-pick/wasp-the-linux-powered-flying-spy-drone-that-cracks-wi-fi-gsm-netwokrs-20110729/
Stallman: Re: Compiled files without sources???? http://lists.gnu.org/archive/html/emacs-devel/2011-07/msg01155.html
We have made a very bad mistake. Anyone redistributing those versions is violating the GPL, through no fault of his own.
That Didn't Take Long: Spotify Sued For Patent Infringement Just Weeks After Entering US Market http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110728/00525815296/
Welcome to America, where if you do anything even remotely innovative, you get sued for patent infringement. Indeed, just a couple weeks after entering the US market (finally), Spotify is being sued by PacketVideo for patent infringement.
The Open Cloud Initiative http://blogs.computerworlduk.com/simon-says/2011/07/the-open-cloud-initiative/index.htm
In discussion with one of its founders, former Microsoft open source leader Sam Ramji, he explained...
Rebooting Mozilla: Think Firefox, Just Bigger http://www.conceivablytech.com/8545/products/rebooting-mozilla-think-firefox-just-bigger
Mozilla confirmed that it is going straight against Apple, Google, and Microsoft with new product that essentially creates another platform for Internet devices such as smartphones and tablets.
Harmony's curiously flat tune http://www.h-online.com/open/features/Harmony-s-curiously-flat-tune-1283369.html
A standard for contributor agreements was the promise of Project Harmony, but now the project's agreements have been released, they appear to have hit all the wrong notes with many in the community. We look at why Harmony is off-key.
Before you get locked into Lync, consider open source options http://www.infoworld.com/d/open-source-software/you-get-locked-lync-consider-open-source-alternatives-167683-0?page=0,1
Perhaps the best alternative to Lync, especially for small and medium-size businesses, is a unified communications offering from the likes of a Cisco or Avaya. These aren't open source, but still are worth investigating.
Microsoft Extends Interop Patent Deal to SUSE http://www.internetnews.com/blog/skerner/microsoft-extends-patent-deal.html
"This relationship will extend through Jan. 1, 2016, with Microsoft committed to invest $100 million in new SUSE Linux Enterprise certificates for customers receiving Linux support from SUSE," Microsoft said in a statement.
Oracle debuts JDK 7, MySQL 5.6 at OSCON, pledges better OS support http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/oracle-debuts-jdk-7-mysql-56-at-oscon-pledges-better-os-support/9294
Oracle values open source and will continue to work with open source communities, but it is driven by customer needs and solutions, he said. Oracle remains committed to OpenJDK and the JCP, he noted.
Bob Young, founder of Red Hat &Lulu, on collaboration, innovation http://opensource.com/business/11/7/bob-young-founder-red-hat-and-lulu-collaboration-innovation-and-standing-shoulders-gia?sc_cid=7016000
When customers stuck with Red Hat, I asked them why--is it because we're better, faster, or cheaper? They would answer, "No. You're not better--they have more apps, and you're not faster. Their stuff is tuned for their hardware. You're a little cheaper, that's true. But it's none of those reasons. It's that when I use your stuff, and I run into an issue that I need to make changes to, with open source, I can just do it. If it's a worthwhile change, I can just send it to you, and I never see the problem again. When I talk to the others about the problem I'm having on their operating system, the cycle time is too slow. " And what they were talking about is control over their technology.
Dell Launches OpenStack Cloud Platform Solution http://www.serverwatch.com/news/article.php/3937826/Dell-Launches-OpenStack-Cloud-Platform-Solution.htm
"This continues to reinforce Dell's commitment to OpenStack," John Igoe, Executive Director for Dell Cloud Solutions told InternetNews. com. "OpenStack provides companies with an alternative software architecture to build private and public clouds. "
Ubuntu Linux gets serious about business partners http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/ubuntu-linux-gets-serious-about-business-partners/9303
Microsoft: Cloud need only be open surface, not open source http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/microsoft-cloud-need-only-be-open-surface-not-open-source/9308
A Guide to K-12 Open Source LMS Options http://thejournal.com/articles/2011/07/27/a-guide-to-k-12-open-source-lms-options.aspx
The key decision when selecting a Learning Management System (LMS) for a K-12 school district is no longer whether to use a commercial option or the open source Moodle. Instead, costly commercial solutions are increasingly left out of the equation, and administrators are instead focusing their energies on which of several open source systems might be best for their district.
What's Red Hat Doing With All That Cash? http://www.cnbc.com/id/43841794
"In a market that's this fluid, we do want to make sure that we have flexibility if the right acquisition targets come along," Whitehurst said. "That said, we also want to be careful when markets are this heady to not grossly over pay for assets. "
A new way of measuring Openness, from Android to WebKit: The Open Governance Index http://www.visionmobile.com/blog/2011/07/the-open-governance-index-measuring-openness-from-android-to-webkit/
More importantly, the governance model describes the control points used in an open source project like Android, Qt or WebKit, and is a key determinant in the success or failure of a platform.
Apple iPad’s Come Highly Recommended But So Do Cheaper Tablets, Study Finds http://tablets-planet.com/2011/07/30/apple-ipads-come-highly-recommended-but-so-do-cheaper-tablets-study-finds/
The results of this study show that people can enjoy cheaper tablets at the same level as those who spend a few hundred dollars more for their tablets. This is a good thing.
Alcatel-Lucent Gets $70 Million in Microsoft Patent Case http://www.pcworld.com/article/236981/alcatellucent_gets_70_million_in_microsoft_patent_case.html
The new draw of open source: innovation http://www.itworld.com/it-managementstrategy/187573/new-draw-open-source-innovation
OSCON 2011, Gianugo Rabellino, Microsoft http://www.youtube.com/user/OreillyMedia#p/u/8/uu-FrK2E1Nc
Internet Law: Cases and Problems http://james.grimmelmann.net/internetlaw
How Bill Gates' Favorite Teacher Wants to Disrupt Education http://www.fastcompany.com/1728471/change-generation-bill-gates-favorite-teacher-wants-to-disrupt-education
SUSE makes good with dismissed Mono devs http://www.thinq.co.uk/2011/7/24/suse-makes-good-dismissed-mono-devs/
Wine 1.3.25 Released http://www.wine-reviews.net/wine-reviews/wine-release/wine-1325-released.html
Alfresco 3: Web Scripts http://www.packtpub.com/article/alfresco-3-web-scripts
Norman Launches NextGen Malware Analysis Platform (Linux powered) http://www.esecurityplanet.com/features/article.php/3937701/Norman-Launches-NextGen-Malware-Analysis-Platform.htm
O'Reilly Open Source Convention coming back to Portland http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2011/07/oreilly_open_source_convention.html
Choosing the Right Linux Distro for Your Business http://www.datamation.com/open-source/choosing-the-right-linux-distro-for-your-business-1.html
GitHub competition growing fast http://www.itworld.com/it-managementstrategy/186773/github-competition-growing-fast
GNOME vs. KDE vs. Unity: Customization Tools and Ease of Use http://www.datamation.com/open-source/gnome-vs.-kde-vs.-unity-customization-tools-and-ease-of-use.html
Would you like fries with that? http://www.linuxuser.co.uk/opinion/would-you-like-fries-with-that/
Isostick aims to put multiple operating systems on your keyring http://www.geek.com/articles/gadgets/isostick-aims-to-put-multiple-operating-systems-on-your-keyring-20110727/
SUSE & Patent FUD: Who Do We Boycott Now? http://fossforce.com/2011/07/suse-patent-fud-who-do-we-boycott-now/
A Look at Mozilla's BrowserID Project http://www.linux.com/learn/tutorials/474904:a-look-at-mozillas-browserid-project
Ubuntu One Hits 1 Million Users http://voices.canonical.com/ubuntuone/?p=1023
Thruk a Monitoring Web interface for Nagios http://linuxaria.com/article/thruk-nagios-web-monitoring?lang=en
The FOSS fakery problem http://www.h-online.com/open/features/The-FOSS-fakery-problem-1287613.html
Java SE 7 - A triumph for Oracle? http://www.internetnews.com/blog/skerner/java-se-7-a-triumph-for-oracle.html
Oracle Previews MySQL 5.6 http://www.databasejournal.com/news/oracle-previews-mysql-5.6.html
Scientific Linux pushes RHEL clones forward http://www.internetnews.com/blog/skerner/scientific-linux-pushes-rhel-clones-forward.html
The top five Linux desktop vendors http://www.zdnet.com/blog/open-source/the-top-five-linux-desktop-vendors/9313
Homeland Security Investigations brings counterfeit designers to heel http://content.govdelivery.com/bulletins/gd/USDHSICE-ca02d
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