Brendan Scott
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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 #417 Period ending 13 September 2011

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

Sad news to hear that Michael Hart, the founder of Project Gutenberg, has died at the age of 64. Mr Hart was a crucial mover for openness and freedom in the world.

The UK seems to be considering having a royalty free requirement for the standards it will use. Also reports that Google has given some patents to HTC in order that HTC sue Apple with them. What goes around, comes around. Otherwise, many of the stories this week are consequential on stories from earlier weeks (such as the Motorola acquisition, Oracle/Google, Samsung Galaxy in the EU).

The OTF launch is in *Canberra* tomorrow (not Sydney):

Next week is the official launch of the Open Technology Foundation in Canberra:

Check my Posts on Authorization in AU:

>From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Open Standards/ODF

UK Government: Open Standards Must be RF, not FRAND

The key issue here is whether open standards mean Restriction/Royalty-Free (RF), or Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND).

***** Other

Michael Hart (1947 - 2011): Prophet of Abundance

To give an idea of how visionary Hart was, it's worth bearing in mind that he began what turned into the free etext library Project Gutenberg in 1971 - fully 12 years before Richard Stallman began to formulate his equivalent ideas for free software.

***** Government/Policy

Can Whitehall open up to open source?

The Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude has vowed to create a level playing field for open source as part of a drive to cut costs.

Microsoft’s attack on Brazilian national sovereignty: Wikileaks, Microsoft, ODF and OpenXML

Cablegate: 42 Percent of Argentine Firms Use Linux on at Least Some of Their Computers

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

VMware CEO: Facebook will also have to fight a patent war soon

German Court Upholds Injunction Against Galaxy Tab 10.1

The German court in Duesseldorf has just ruled that the injunction against the Galaxy Tab 10. 1 will remain in effect, hereby contradicting the Dutch courts which threw out all of Apple's claims. This limited injunction only covers Germany, and is based on a Community Design; the rest of Europe is not affected.

Patents Directed to Human Organisms

The provision was originally proposed by Rep. Dave Weldon (R-FL) who was apparently motivated by his anti-abortion policy position. The apparent argument is that the statute helps preserve the sanctity of life by not allowing humans to be considered (intellectual) property.

Newspaper Chain Drops Righthaven — ‘It Was a Dumb Idea’

Fighting Backlog in Patents, Senate Approves Overhaul

MPAA's Bogus 'Piracy' Numbers Mean It Thinks Downloaders Would Buy 200 More DVDs Per Year

Over the years we've had plenty of fun with the MPAA's bogus use of stats when it comes to "piracy" claims. They're really laughable, and it would actually be kind of funny. . . if policy makers and the press didn't actually believe those numbers and pass bad legislation based on them. Even the one time that the MPAA admitted its piracy stats were totally wrong, it was too late to stop a law that was passed on the basis of those bogus numbers.

Apple May Have to Show IPad Sales to Successfully Bar Samsung in Australia

Guest Post: Patent Troll Myths

Another area of surprise was patent quality. While trolls almost never won their cases if they went to judgment (only three cases led to an infringement finding on the merits), the percentage of patents invalidated on the merits was lower than I expected. A total of 43 patents had validity adjudicated on the merits. Only 4 were found completely valid.

BSA secret agenda: open source saves the world

The BSA also says that its survey shows that more than 70 percent of people agree with it about not being naughty, and blames the disparity on lack of education and enforcement. If we all knew it was wrong, and if we all got caught if we copied software, then that $59 billion would magically appear in the bank accounts of Microsoft et al, and the world would be a better place.

Righthaven: We Might Have To Declare Bankruptcy

Google files motion for partial summary judgment as a matter of law on Oracle's patent claims

Google urged a federal judge to dismiss a patent-infringement case alleging that it copied Oracle's Java code, arguing that the code installed on Android devices came from foreign device makers.

Two Rambus patents invalidated after ITC wins

Two patents that chip designer Rambus (RMBS. O) used to win patent lawsuits against Nvidia Corp (NVDA. O), Hewlett-Packard (HPQ. N) and others have been declared invalid by the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office, according to legal documents.

***** Applications/Gadgets

10 Reasons Why iPhone 5 Doesn't Stand a Chance Against Motorola Droid Bionic

Some retail locations have received all the tools necessary to sell the much-anticipated Motorola Droid Bionic. With a surprise Verizon Korean-translated commercial showing an additional frame revealing a Sept. 8 release date, expect droid Bionic to be launched on Thursday.

NASA using Android in Space

For this reason, the group has equipped the three SPHERES on the ISS with Samsung's Android-based Nexus S handsets. Each SPHERE satellite comprises functionality for power, propulsion, computing, and navigation. Using an extension port the Android phones have been attached to the SPHERE in order to extend this functionality.

Droid Bionic goes under the knife, gets high marks for "repairability"

Samsung Galaxy Note

"A new kind of smartphone".- Samsung

Smozzy Android app allows mobile web access without a data plan

Smozzy works by taking advantage of an unlimited messaging plan. To access the web you send a request for the webpage you want to visit via SMS to Smozzy. In return the Smozzy servers grab the webpage you have requested along with all the required assets. They are then placed in a ZIP file, encoded as a PNG, and delivered to your phone as an MMS. Each page can be up to 5 MMS messages long and gets presented in your Android web browser.

Raspberry Pi demos $25 PC running 1080p video, promises CD-quality audio

Barnes & Noble's Nook revenue up 140 percent

The Nook and Nook Color have quickly gained the respect of consumers worldwide. The Nook Color, which costs $249, runs Android and offers an application store, in addition to e-book support. The Nook is an e-reader that costs $139.

***** Reports

Will Google Keep Motorola?

We know this acquisition was made mainly because Google desperately needs to beef up its mobile patent portfolio, and that Motorola has several boatloads of such patents. This means if this sale can pass antitrust muster with the DOJ, Google will be in a much better position to wheel and deal with the likes of Apple, maybe even Oracle, when it comes to Android and alleged patent infringements.

Oracle suit outs Google's closed source Android tactics

"Lead device concept: Give early access to the software to partners who build and distribute devices to our specification (i. e. , Motorola and Verizon)," it reads. "They get a non-contractual time to market advantage and in return they align to our standard. "

How to build a sustainable nonprofit the open source way

The nonprofit I work with, GIS Education, does not sell a product. We instead provide low-cost GIS workshops to students and professionals around the San Francisco area. This service provides much-needed income while still dovetailing with our greater mission of increasing local knowledge through public outreach and K-12 education.

HP's OpenStack Cloud Goes Into Private Beta

OpenStack is an open source cloud technology that got started just over a year ago. NASA and Rackspace the effort was launched initially, and it has since grown to more than 90 participating organizations including Dell, Citrix and Cisco.

Intel denies giving up on MeeGo, but that doesn't mean much

The Linux-based MeeGo mobile operating system faces an uncertain future amid rumors that Intel plans to back away from the platform. The troubled open source software project has failed to gain broad industry support and appears to be slowing down in the face of weak demand and declining engagement from its backers.

Netflix now supports all Android 2.2 and 2.3 devices

The update today will finally bring Netflix app support to almost all Android devices.

Google announces Dart programming language

Google provides HTC ammo in Apple patent fight

Smartphone titan HTC Corp. on Thursday ramped up its patent war with Apple with the help of ammunition provided by Google, the force behind Android mobile software.

Expect Microsoft to sue Amazon over its upcoming tablet

Amazon is pinning great hopes on its Android-based tablets, the first of which is due this fall. Expect Microsoft to set its lawyers loose on the company not long after the first tablet's release, because Microsoft has been suing most major makers of Android devices, and the Amazon tablet is expected to be a big seller.

Amazon rewarding Android developers with $50 towards AWS

Looks like Amazon is really ramping up its Android efforts in preparation for a tablet launch by offering a new incentive to developers. Starting today, the online retailer will be giving a $50 voucher for Amazon Web Services (AWS) to Android developers who submit an app to the Amazon Appstore.

Baidu Launches Android-Based Mobile OS

HP to split up WebOS business, report says

WebOS, which HP has not terminated, will be pushed over to HP's Office of Strategy and Technology (OS&T) and report to Executive Vice President Shane Robinson, the report claimed, citing internal memos from Robinson and Todd Bradley, head "The WebOS platform...continues to demonstrate its ability to improve how our customers look up information, access entertainment, and stay connected on the go," Bradley wrote in a memo cited in the PreCentral report. "With our focus on business and technology strategy, OS&T will be able to provide these teams with the resources and support they need as we define the best monetization model," Robinson said in a memo included in the report. - Brooke Crothers, CNET

***** Snippets

Linux 3.1 rc5

No Android forks here

Linux should move to github, permanently

Octopress: Create Static Sites with a Full-Featured Framework

openSUSE celebrates Beta 1 with BetaPizza Parties!

Diaspora still trying to reinvent social networks with open source

Bossie Awards 2011: The best open source software of the year

Mozilla and the web makers

Linux Top 5: Hacked but Development Continues on Github

The Great Linux Migration: who’s made the move, why, and what’s in store for the

Why the cloud is accelerating open-source adoption

Will Oracle and Google Come to terms on Java before JavaOne?

Oracle Expands MySQL for Windows

LibreOffice and drift apart

A Google Android and Java history lesson

How Open is Oracle?

Bacon Justifies Ubuntu Decisions

U.S. Court of Appeals Upholds Lower Court Decision [SCO loses again]

Meeks: on Oracle's API copyright nonsense

The Data Liberation Front Adds Google Voice to Google Takeout

How Strong are Google’s Requests for Reexamination of the Lodsys Patents?

Google Prunes 10 More Products From Portfolio;jsessionid=xGlwhQasaf2QwfVnQO3b0Q**.ecappj01

Oracle retires licence for distributing its Java with Linux

Sakai OAE Release 1.0.0

What if Microsoft Opened the Interface Environment for Windows 8?

When will Java 7 'Officially' be Available?

Shuttleworth: Amazon Web Services the cloud way to go

LibreOffice and OpenOffice reach the Crossroads – differ by 7.7 million new code lines

HP TouchPad screen can now support Android

Former SAP subsidiary TomorrowNow to plead guilty to DOJ criminal charges
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