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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 #438 Period ending 5 March 2012

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

This week there aren't any particular stories which have attracted everyone's attention, although you might want to look at the Speech Jammer article in the Off Topic section. There are, however, a lot of stories of interest. Many of the Gov/Policy articles are worth a look - open source in drug development and legislative drafting. In a heart warming display of irony patent attorneys are being sued for copyright infringement for submitting copies of relevant articles disclosing prior art. It is, apparently, against the law to omit them.

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Off Topic

Japanese researchers develop speech-suppression speaker gun

A Japanese research team has developed a device that can compel the overly talkative to shut their mouths and let somebody else get a word in edgewise. case sends warning to all Canadian websites: Geist

Imagine a scenario in which a country enacts a law that bans the sale of asbestos and includes the power to seize the assets of any company selling the product anywhere in the world. The country tests the law by obtaining a court order to seize key assets of a Canadian company, whose operations with hundreds of employees takes a major hit. The Canadian government is outraged, promising to support the company in its efforts to restore its operations.

***** Government/Policy

Could Open Source Principles Revolutionize Drug Development?

"Transparency Life Sciences is the world’s first drug development company based on open innovation. Our goal is to develop medicines for significant unmet medical needs by acquiring promising drug compounds, designing studies via crowdsourced methods, and conducting those clinical studies with unmatched productivity. "

Open Ministry Crowdsources Laws In Finland

An open-source robo-surgeon

More importantly for academics, it is also the first surgical robot to use open-source software. Its Linux-based operating system lets anyone modify and improve the original code, creating a way for researchers to experiment and collaborate.

Schmidt: UN treaty a 'disaster' for the internet

In a question-and-answer session at Mobile World Congress 2012 on Tuesday, Schmidt said handing over control of things such as naming and DNS to the UN's International Telecommunications Union (ITU) would divide the internet, allowing it to be further broken into pieces regulated in different ways.

Broadcasters sue to stop another online TV service

The broadcasters' lawsuit, which came as no real surprise, alleges that such retransmissions violate their copyrights. It's essentially the same argument that the industry has used to shut down other services that moved free over-the-air TV onto the Internet without licenses from the copyright owners.

FSFE launches Campaign For A Free Android System

Smartphones have a privacy problem. This is one of the reasons why the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) is launching its "Free Your Android!" campaign today.

Crowdsource Digital Laws with the 'Internet Blueprint'

Are you fed up with piracy acts with scorched-earth tactics like SOPA and PIPA—or secretly negotiated agreements like ACTA? Do you wonder why we the people don’t propose our own laws, rather than just react whenever these bills slouch toward Congress to be born? Wouldn’t you like a place where you and a few like-minded amateur lawmakers could get together and do it right? If you said yes, Public Knowledge (PK) has a site for you.

How The Patent System Is Rigged To Only Expand What's Patentable

When the numbers came out showing that 2011 represented yet another record year for patents granted, it was such a non-surprise that I didn't even bother mentioning it.

Innovate or Legislate

The Internet’s enemies have proven vocal, organized, and effective, while the vast majority of consumers, workers, and entrepreneurs it has enriched have proven anything but, and the fight over SOPA must be understood in this larger context.

Key Techdirt SOPA/PIPA Post Censored By Bogus DMCA Takedown Notice

So isn't it interesting that we've just discovered that our own key anti-SOPA blog post and discussion. . . have been blocked thanks to a bogus DMCA takedown?

Court in Texas Should Have Upheld the Full Lousiness of Patent Law

I didn't watch the trial, and I haven't read the transcripts. But this seems to have jury nullification written all over it. And if that's what happened, that would be a real shame. If the Eolas patents are valid, then, come hell or high-water, the court ought to enforce them. Why? Because doing so would bring some needed pressure to bear on the law that got us to this point.

Cory Doctorow: What’s Inside the Box

Rather than demanding that users evaluate every program to make sure that it is neither incompetent nor malicious, we delegate our trust to certifying authorities who examine software and give the competent and beneficial programs their seal of approval.

Antitrust: Commission opens proceedings against MathWorks

The investigation follows a complaint alleging that MathWorks had refused to provide a competitor with end-user software licences and accompanying interoperability information for its flagship products "Simulink" and "MATLAB", thereby preventing it from lawfully reverse-engineering in order to achieve interoperability with these two products.

Chrome to be deployed on State Department computers worldwide

On January 26th, when Secretary Clinton was asked what could be done about the painfully slow update process for Internet Explorer, she announced that the State Department would be deploying Google Chrome to their offices worldwide.

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

Copyright: Lawfirms Sued for Submitting Prior Art to the USPTO

The submission of those documents is required by law and attorneys who fail to submit known and relevant prior art can be subject to ethics charges and the associated patents held unenforceable.

Apple Wins German Patent Case Against Motorola Mobility

The ruling held that only the “zoomed in” mode in viewing photos on mobile devices infringed a patent, not the “zoomed out” mode, Motorola Mobility said in an e-mailed statement. The company doesn’t expect the ruling to effect future sales as the company has already implemented a new way to view photos, Motorola Mobility said.

Apple Files Complaint Against Chinese Vendor for Using EPAD Trademark

The U. S. tech company was dealt a legal blow in December when a court in Shenzhen, China rejected the company's claims to the trademark. Apple has appealed the decision.

How Warner Bros. Is Fighting Charges It Abuses the Copyright Takedown Process

In Hotfile's counterclaims, the locker site accused Warners of sending takedown notices on material that it didn't really own. In response, Warners acknowledges that errors are sometimes made, but that there's little showing of any harm in occasional slip-ups. The company says that it investigates malfunctions and takes corrective measures when appropriate . In fact, Warners reveals that after Hotfile brought counterclaims, the studio took its entire takedown system offline for some time.

DMCA Flowchart

57% of DMCA takedown notices come from businesses targeting competitors.

Yahoo Warns Facebook of a Potential Patent Fight

As Yahoo struggles to keep up with younger competitors, the Web portal company is weighing a new tactic: threatening legal action over its patent holdings.

Fox, Warner, SanDisk and Western Digital's Project Phenix: promotes DRM, misspelling

How do you like THEM apples? Proview seeks global rights to iPad name

Proview Electronics says it is now seeking to regain worldwide rights to the iPad name and is suing Apple Inc. for alleged fraud and unfair competition, hoping to have a 2009 sale of the trademark ruled void.

Defending Independent Invention

In the minds of the public someone who infringes a patent is like a plagiarist or a thief–the infringer has copied someone else’s work or, even worse, stolen their intellectual property. In reality, patent infringement has very little to do with copying or theft.

Oracle and Google Prepare to Spar Over Alleged Infringement Costs

Microsoft Defends Licensing Change In $1B Antitrust Suit

Microsoft Corp. asked a federal court Friday to dismiss a $1 billion antitrust suit brought by PC-sharing company MiniFrame Ltd. , saying copyright law lets Microsoft change license terms to keep multiple users from sharing one copy of Windows with MiniFrame's SoftXpand software.

German Court Dismisses Samsung, Apple Patent Suits

A German court on Friday dismissed patent suits brought by Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. against each other,

Trade panel to rethink Microsoft, Motorola decision

The International Trade Commission said Friday it would review portions of its judge's decision from December that Motorola Mobility infringed a Microsoft patent in making Android cellphones.

Euro Company Sues Apple Over 3GPP Standards using 8 Nokia Patents

A settlement between Nokia and Apple was announced in June 2011. The settlement somehow now drags Apple into infringing 3GPP standards.

WNET v. Aero, copyright infringement case brought by TV broadcasters against Aero, Inc

A new case has been commenced by television broadcasters against Aero, Inc. , alleging that Aero is an unlicensed service which plans to retransmit plaintiffs' television programs over the internet.

***** Applications/Gadgets

Canonical Demonstrates Ubuntu TV at MWC 2012

Featuring a customized version of the Unity interface, Ubuntu TV has the ability to stream media across other compatible devices, supporting iOS and Android.

Create Your Epub Ebooks with Sigil Ebook Editor

Sigil’s main advantage over those editors is its focus on ebooks. The program is a free, open source editor for EPUB format ebooks.

Rise of the Extreme iPhone-Killer Super-Phones!

The iPhone will soon face some very serious competition from smartphones that boast jaw-dropping specifications.

***** Reports

Open Monitor: Building a World Wide Internet Connectivity Monitor

Despite all the magnificent improvements to both technology and the internet these days, we lack a free and open source real time internet connectivity monitor from which anyone can tell what the connectivity conditions are in any part of the world. Solving this problem is a huge undertaking,

Red Hat vs. Oracle Linux Support: 10 Years Is New Norm

The Linux chess match between Red Hat and Oracle now involves a showdown on long-term support strategies. Indeed, both Red Hat and Oracle recently extended their Linux support life cycles to a lengthy 10 years.

Facebook plans open-source storage hardware

The designs should become available in May via Facebook-spinoff the Open Compute Project, the company confirmed to ZDNet UK on Friday. The move will come a year after it started publishing the design specifications of its own ultra-efficient servers.

Coverity Report: Open Source Code Quality Matches Proprietary

Open source code quality is on par with proprietary code quality, particularly in cases where codebases are of similar size. For instance, Linux 2. 6, a project with nearly 7 million lines of code, has a defect density of . 62 which is roughly identical to that of its proprietary codebase counterparts.

Get Ready for the Mozilla Firefox Phone

Today Mozilla announced that leading service providers, including Telefonica and Deutsche Telekom, are now supporting the Boot to Gecko (B2G) effort. Additionally, mobile chip vendor Qualcomm is collaborating in the effort, which is all about opening up the mobile web.

Foundation Formed to Marry Open Principles with Job Search Tools

Now, a group called DirectEmployers Association has announced a new foundation--DirectEmployers Foundation--that will purportedly leverage open source principles and technology to deliver improved job search and career marketing tools. In addition to standalone tools, the foundation will also focus on APIs and components that can be shared, delivering job search tools and listing to many online sites.

Raspberry Pi interview: Eben Upton reveals all

Eben Upton is a busy man. Formerly of IBM and Intel, he’s been at the helm of two major start-ups – Ideaworks3D and Podfun – and currently whiles away his time as a system-on-chip architect and associate technical director for semiconductor giant Broadcom.

Modded Android: A Space Odyssey

The last few months have seen me root probably a half a dozen phones for other people. Of those, I can say with confidence that only one of them has been 100% satisfied with the experience.

Linux is the world’s fastest growing desktop OS – up 64% in 9 months

And Linux on the desktop is still in the low single digits by any measure we can find, but there may be hope as it has, based on one source, increased 64% in market share in the nine months from May 2011 to January 2012.

What is a Raspberry Pi and why you should care

On February 29th, 2012, the technology worlds eyes are on the release of the Consumer Preview of Windows 8 or on the latest iPad 3 rumors. We dont know exactly how these products will turn out but we can be sure of one thing: Theyll cost a pretty penny. On the same day, the non-profit Raspberry Pi Foundation released a bare-boned, Linux-powered computer that costs between $25 and $35.

Foursquare now uses OpenStreetMap

Foursquare has decided to drop Google Maps from its web interface after three years in favour of the open source map project, OpenStreetMap.

HP's WebOS Purge Continues with Sacking of 275 Staffers,2817,2400935,00.asp

"As webOS continues the transition from making mobile devices to open-source software, it no longer needs many of the engineering and other related positions that it required before," an HP spokesperson said in a statement published by CRN.

Mozilla partners with Telefonica for first Boot to Gecko smartphones

Telefónica is the first operator to officially pledge support for open-source software initiative Mozilla's fledgling Boot to Gecko open web mobile operating system, the two companies announced here at Mobile World Congress 2012.

Strata, open source, and the invisible community

But even as the inevitable comparisons ensue, there is one thing decidedly missing from the Strata Conference, and indeed the larger data ecosystem: community.

Why Did Red Hat Buy Gluster?

On the other hand, Gluster is very good at multiple writes to the file system from multiple threads, which is often called N to N (N thread writing to N files). So you might ask what types of applications do that type of I/O. The one that comes to mind, and the one I think drove Red Hat to buy Gluster, is video surveillance.

Fedora, Red Hat Working On "Project Lumberjack"

There's new Fedora-hosted work going on: Project Lumberjack. This initiative is about improving system logging on Linux.

***** Snippets

Linux 3.3 rc5

Android overload at Mobile World Congress

Android-x86 4.0 RC1 Released (Android Ice Cream Sandwich Optimized For Netbooks

OpenStack and Microsoft Hyper-V Support: What Really Went Wrong?

Actual meaning of Free Software: Free as is beer versus Free as in speech

The Greatness of Git

LocalWiki project spawns open source communities

Docs' Website Sues Santorum, Romney & Newt

Android Activations Hit 850,000 Per Day,2817,2400782,00.asp

LTO Tape Buying Guide

The Truth About RHEV

BackTrack 5 R2 Linux Officially Released

NGINX 1.1.16 development version arrives

Assessing ACTA: Video of My Talk at the European Parliament

Linux 3.3 rc6
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