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 #418 Period ending 20 September 2011

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

Stories catching attention this week include the signature into law of the "America Invents" patent reform Act, and HTC threatening to sue to stop shipments of the next iPhone. Sony v Tennenbaum continues to roll on, with an appeals court remitting the case back to the original judge (who will likely again cut the damages award as excessive). The case, according to Tenenbaum, began with a letter in 2003:

"2003 : Letter is sent to Joel’s parents’ house, requesting $5250 for 7 songs that Joel (age 16) allegedly downloaded. Joel sends check of $500, explaining his financial situation as a student. The check is returned."


In other news, Google buys up another 1000 patents from IBM...

Check my Posts on Authorization in AU/iiNet:

+From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Off Topic

Linux Game Devs Upload Their Own Game on Pirate Bay

Remember few days back we wrote about a new Linux game, No Time to Explain (NTTE). The game developers have uploaded their own game on Pirate Bay and strangely enough it has increased game sales. Read on.

Sony updates PSN user agreement to block class action lawsuits

Sony is updating the user agreement for the Playstation Network starting on September 15 and one of the changes included in the update seeks to stop class action lawsuits against the company.

Desura Launches New Alpha Funding Project with 3 Linux Game Titles

[Disclosure: a client]

The idea behind alphafunding is simple, fans get instant access to their favorite games with the understanding that the game might be buggy and isn't complete - but frequent updates will add polish over time. The developers can then fund the games continued creation, giving supporters early access to the latest and greatest content.

***** Government/Policy

European Commission buys Microsoft for 20 years without competition

The European Commission has been buying Microsoft software since 1993 without an open and public competition to assess alternative products, according to documents released to Computer Weekly.

Is Android really free software?

Android is an operating system primarily for mobile phones, which consists of Linux (Torvalds's kernel), some libraries, a Java platform and some applications. Linux aside, the software of Android versions 1 and 2 was mostly developed by Google; Google released it under the Apache 2.0 license, which is a lax free software license without copyleft.

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

America Invents Act Signed into Law

The new Act includes multiple measures designed to increase the effectiveness and fairness of the U. S. patent system. Among the reforms are efforts to increase patent quality by giving the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) more resources and improving quality management processes. The new act also will provide a new fast track option that will enable patent to be issued inside of 12 months instead of the current average wait time of three years.

NY judge gives Google, lawyers more time to talk

Lawyers for authors, publishers and Google have bought themselves more time in their New York copyright case as they try to reach a new deal that could create the world's largest digital library.

Federal Circuit Holds Internet Monetization Method is Patent-Eligible

The Federal Circuit ruled today that the claimed method of monetizing and distributing copyrighted products over the Internet is a patent eligible process in Ultramercial, LLC v. Hulu, LLC.

Google Gives Oracle a Tutorial on API Copyright Law

Sanctioned: P2P lawyer fined $10,000 for "staggering chutzpah"

Godbey ruled (PDF) yesterday that Stone "grossly abused his subpoena power," obtained subscriber names he was not entitled to learn, and then, "almost unbelievably, Stone used the information he received to contact an unknown number of potential Does, presumably in the form of demand letters and settlement offers. "

Guest Post -- Defining Prior Art under the Leahy-Smith AIA [US]

Understanding the ins and outs of what constitutes 'prior art 'is largely the domain of the patent attorney. One might expect this term to have a common sense understanding; the reality is that it is far from common sense.

Writers sue US university libraries for copyright infringement

An international group of authors including the British novelist Fay Weldon and the Pulitzer-winning American biographer TJ Stiles, along with writers from the US, Australia and Canada, are suing five American universities for copyright infringement, accusing them of violating the rights of authors and risking "the widespread, unauthorised and irreparable dissemination" of millions of digital books.

Libertarian Think Tanks Oppose Patents On Abstract Ideas

Are you really allowed to get a patent on what amounts to a fact about the human body? Traditionally, the answer would have been a clear no.

Google, Oracle CEOs Fail To Reach Settlement On Android

The chief executives at Google Inc. (GOOG) and Oracle Corp. (ORCL) failed to come away from face-to-face talks Monday with a settlement to litigation over Google's Android mobile telephone software, setting the stage for further negotiations.

James Dyson: On patent reform and navigating a global business

Samsung to sue to ban iPhone 5 sales: report

Maeil Business Newspaper cited a Samsung official as saying the firm would "strategically" launch the legal actions as Apple was expected to start selling the much-anticipated smartphone next month.

Copyright Troll’s Assets Targeted for Seizure

1st Circuit declines to reach Due Process issue in SONY v Tenenbaum, reverses & remands

The court noted the longstanding judicial doctrine that constitutional issues should not be reached if they are avoidable. The court gave a few examples of possible scenarios following a remittitur decision which would have dispensed with the need for the district court's decision of of the constitutional question.

Apple’s Patent Win Over HTC to Be Reviewed by U.S. Trade Agency

***** Reports

LibreOffice launches extension and templates repository for public beta test

Since, at the moment, there is no reliable and stable source for downloading these handy add-ons, the LibreOffice community has put great efforts into launching a public repository. It does not only provide extensions and templates for LibreOffice, but also for OpenOffice. org and other compatible office suites.

Could HTC Succeed with its Own Open Source Mobile OS?

HTC did a shrewd job of understanding the potential of Android, and the company understood that potential early on. A peek at the amount of ground that Android has covered in a short time seems to leave the door wide open for a player such as HTC to promote its own mobile OS.

Salsa Labs Builds Agile SaaS Platform on Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization

Red Hat, Inc., the world's leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that Salsa Labs, creator of the Salsa platform for online organization, is extending the capabilities of its Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform with the use of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization to simplify and scale its datacenter.

Covenant for contributors has real promise

Open source developers continue to struggle with how they can work with commercial entities and still keep some measure of control over their code, and vice versa. But a recent plan crafted by an open source software pioneer may offer another option to solve this conundrum.

Boeing chooses Android for 787 Dreamliner's entertainment system

Google bolsters Android with purchase of 1K more IBM patents

Google has continued its run of intellectual property purchases by acquiring 1,023 patents from IBM in an effort to shore up the defenses of its Android mobile operating system.

Do You Think Linux is Secure?

One of the more interesting observations came from Kim Andersen who said that the diversity of Linux distributions is one reason why Linux is safer than Windows. For example, a malicious . deb will only work on Debian, Ubuntu, Mint, Mepis, or other Debian system. RPM, YUM, Portage, Entropy, Pacman, slackpkg, etc. systems are immune. Tarballs are another subject.

Lighting Set to Strike at Mozilla

One of the big things that Mozilla's Thunderbird has been missing for years is a calendar. It's usually the number one thing I hear about whenever anyone compares Thunderbird against Outlook.

***** Snippets

Open-source databases in the post-Oracle world

Is Ubuntu Driving Users Away?

WINE 1.3.28 Released

PhoneGap: Building Native Mobile Apps with HTML, JavaScript and CSS

Is Linux Still The Safest Operating System?

The 20 most significant events in Linux's 20-year history

Why Android houses should give Google the 'fork you'

Good Luck Linux Foundation

Canonical Seeks Independent Developers for Ubuntu Linux

OpenTeacher – learn a new language with Linux

How Many Open Source Foundations Do We Need?

It's time to name Fedora 17 - Make It So Picard !

Is the opposition still unified against Ubuntu Unity?

Ubuntu Security Engineer Kees Cook To Join Google

Linux 3.1 rc6

The next step for Qt open governance.

CentOS gets with the RHEL 5.7 Program

Why we still love open source

What's coming in Ubuntu's new Unity Linux desktop

Oracle Set to Announce New Database Product - Is it Hadoop?

Mike Shaver Leaves Mozilla, again

An audience with the King of the Patent Trolls

Google upped its bid for Motorola by $3B in one day to close deal

HTC Market Value Passes Nokia as Smartphones ‘Change Mindsets’

Intel to Universities: No Patents, Please, Just Open Source

Android Makes Big Gains on iOS in Europe

HTC boss on Windows Phone 7, patent wars and why iPhones aren’t cool anymore

GO Ubuntu Unity Launcher Theme for Android is Awesome!

Revolutionizing desktops without causing user revolts

Dyne:bolic GNU/Linux hits version 3!

Want to Build Your Community? Take Notes from the Django Project.

What is OpenERP? Open Source ERP Software Explained

It’s time to bring FPGA (open) design to the masses

Ready for Gnome 3.2? no more suspend on laptop lid close

OpenERP Review: The Online CRM Module

OpenShot Version 1.4, Sweeties, and the Future!

Get Professional Security Testing with BackTrack

Apache at JavaOne 2011

Why Linux 3.1 rc7 is being delayed
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