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 #442 Period ending 2 April 2012

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

The US Government has agreed to commit a couple of hundred million dollars into data mining, although it's not clear that this is an initiative in openness. Microsoft is funding open street maps so that it can compete with Google. Also a story on code security for open source projects, but it is not clear what is motivating the initial report. Red Hat has announced yearly revenue has hit $1Bn.

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Other

Begin your quest with Google Maps 8-bit for NES

With Google Maps 8-bit, you can do all the things you already do on regular Google Maps. Search for famous landmarks and sites around the world. Take an epic journey with 8-bit Street View

***** Off Topic

YouTube for nerds: Slashdot TV has launched

While most video aggregators these days lean heavily in favor of the cute, the bizarre, and the clickbait-y, Slashdot TV lives up to the site’s “news for nerds” tagline.

This Creepy App Isn’t Just Stalking ... It's A Wake-Up Call About Facebook Privacy

But now, as six intelligent, sophisticated friends from a variety of backgrounds surrounded me — some looking sick, some looking angry, and some with genuine fear in their faces — I didn’t think Girls Around Me was so funny. It had cast a pall across a beautiful day, and it had made people I loved feel scared… not just for the people they loved, but for complete strangers.

***** Government/Policy

Consumer Reports Warns of Lax Testing for Medical Devices

When a doctor implants an experimental device, the patients is required to go under the knife. Removing a faulty device is more complicated than throwing away a pill bottle.

Big Data is a Big Deal

Today, the Obama Administration is announcing the “Big Data Research and Development Initiative. ” By improving our ability to extract knowledge and insights from large and complex collections of digital data, the initiative promises to help accelerate the pace of discovery in science and engineering, strengthen our national security, and transform teaching and learning.

OSI Welcomes Debian and CENATIC

CENATIC is the Spanish National Reference Center for the Application of Information Technology and Communication based on Open Source, a strategic project of the Government of Spain to promote understanding and use of open source software in all areas of the society, with special attention to public administrations, businesses and development communities.

Microsoft redeploys OOXML in open standards battle

Microsoft advised the UK Cabinet Office to appoint two official document standards, one of which should be its own Microsoft Office Open XML format. The other, Microsoft said in private lobbying, should be the one government officials have favoured and has been widely assumed to be the one sure thing in the coalition government's technology policy: the Open Document Format.

Search engines should face legal requirement to censor privacy-invasive material ...UK MPs say

The Joint Committee on Privacy and Injunctions said "totally unconvincing" evidence provided by a Google lawyer in defending the company's approach to removing pictures of former motor racing boss Max Mosley had convinced it that search engines had to take more responsibility in ensuring courts' privacy injunctions are observed online.

The Magic of Editable PDFs

Stop sending .DOC files as mail attachments! There is a better way!

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

How Linus Torvalds Helped Bust a Microsoft Patent

According to Linus Torvalds, he was deposed in the case this past fall, and apparently his testimony about a 20-year-old technical discussion — along with a discussion group posting made by an Amiga fan, known only as Natuerlich! — helped convince the Administrative Law Judge that the patent was invalid.

Oracle rebuffs Google settlement offer

In order to expedite the trial process, Google proposed that in the event of Oracle proving patent infringement, it would not contest the decision if Oracle accepted a settlement offer of around $2. 8m (£1. 76m) for the two remaining alleged patent infringements, according to a Reuters report on Wednesday.

Sirius Radio Alleges Copyright Conspiracy

Sirius claims: "These organizations, acting in concert with one another and with their individual recording company members, have erected an industry-wide conspiracy to boycott and tortiously interfere with Sirius XM's efforts to secure through the workings of a competitive market copyright rights critical to the conduct of its business. As a result of this concerted refusal to deal, the defendants and other industry trade organizations, in concert with numerous individual record labels, have eliminated price competition in, among others, the market for digital transmissions of sound recordings licensable under the statutory licensing provisions of Section 114 of the Copyright Act of 1976. [duh!]

In fighting sanction, Righthaven CEO complains of foes’ ‘ambush tactics’

The CEO of copyright lawsuit filer Righthaven LLC is complaining that he's the victim of ''unconscionable'' ambush tactics by opposing attorneys in one of several lawsuits filed by the company.

RapidShare Declared Legal In Court, With a Twist

In the verdict of RapidShare’s legal dispute against the music rights group GEMA, the Higher Regional Court in Hamburg explicitly recognizes that RapidShare’s business model is legal.

Apple, Sony, 4 others sued by Graphics Properties

The patent at issue relates to a computer graphics process that turns text and images into pixels to be displayed on screens.

Questions for News Corp over rival's collapse

Panorama's emails appear to state that ONdigital's secret codes were first cracked by NDS, and then subsequently publicised by the pirate website, called The House of Ill Compute – THOIC for short. According to the programme, the codes were passed to NDS's head of UK security, Ray Adams, a former police officer. NDS made smart cards for Sky. NDS was jointly funded by Sky, which says it never ran NDS.

AOL Said to Hire Evercore to Find Patent-Portfolio Buyer

AOL Inc. (AOL) hired Evercore Partners Inc. (EVR) to find a buyer for its more than 800 patents and explore other strategic options, according to three people with knowledge of the situation.

Apple's War on Android

“I think it was in excess of $7 billion,” said attorney Harold McElhinny. That’s how much McElhinny’s client, Apple (AAPL), pays annually for components made by Samsung Electronics (005930), the company Apple is suing for patent infringement. Apple is Samsung’s single biggest customer, responsible for 7. 6 percent of the Korean company’s 2011 revenue of $109 billion.

Microsoft Seeks Restraining Order In Patent Case

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) has asked a U. S. court for a restraining order to prevent Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. (MMI) from taking action based on a ruling expected from a German court next month, ramping up a year-and-a-half old transatlantic dispute.

ITC on Track for Another Blockbuster Year of IP Cases

March was a banner month for intellectual property cases at the International Trade Commission, with 10 new matters filed.

***** Applications/Gadgets

Tizen pops up as HTML5 winner

No one has seen the Tizen mobile platform in action yet, but whatever browser the in-development platform is using has blown away the competition for HTML5 performance.

Disorganized? Get Tracks on Linux

"Feeling a bit disorganized? Looking to take control of your projects? Take a look at Tracks, an open source Web-based application built with Ruby on Rails.

Meet Vivaldi: It's Got A Real 'Spark' For Open-Source!

Mozilla BrowserQuest The Future of Open Source HTML5 Gaming?

While the game itself is now live as a demo, that's not the real magic either. The real magic is that the code for the game is all open source and available now on Github.

Raspberry Pi consumer purchases start tomorrow morning in EU

The Raspberry Pi will finally be available to European citizens, as element14 plans to start taking consumer credit card orders on the morning of 28th March.

Red Hat Sets a Date for OpenShift Source Release

OpenShift came from Red Hat's acquisition of Makara in late 2010. OpenShift itself was unveiled in May of last year as "a PaaS that would delight developers who build on open source. "

How Open Source Powers a Battlestar Galactica-Inspired Flight Simulator

The Viper flight simulator is being built by five high school students, some parents, and mentors from Marin, Oakland, and San Francsico as part of the Young Makers program. The plan is to unveil the project at Maker Faire in May 2012.

***** Reports

Red Hat Hits $1 Billion, But It's Only the Third Inning

Red Hat is the first pure play open source and Linux vendor to achieve the $1 billion milestone.

71 Top Commercial Open Source Projects

"Although a search for reducing costs by adopting OSS continues to be a major driver, with this survey we see more respondents looking at OSS as having much-greater value than simply getting something for free. "

Microsoft's secret weapon against Google Maps -- open source

Microsoft is employing an under-the-radar approach to fighting back, lending big support and big dollars to the open source map project OpenStreetMap.

Open Source Code Libraries Seen as Rife With Vulnerabilities

researchers at Aspect analyzed 113 million software downloads made over 12 months from the Central Repository of 31 popular Java frameworks and security libraries A Brand New Community For Mobile Open Source

A fresh new community has recently come together in the form of OpenTablets. org. The brain-child of Matthias Lee, the community’s primary effort centers around MakePlayLive’s premier tablet, Vivaldi.

Go Version 1 is released

Today marks a major milestone in the development of the Go programming language. We're announcing Go version 1, or Go 1 for short, which defines a language and a set of core libraries to provide a stable foundation for creating reliable products, projects, and publications.

Android to Outpace Windows Devices by 2016,2817,2402317,00.asp

"The number of Android-based devices running on ARM CPUs, on the other hand, will grow modestly from 29. 4 percent share in 2011 to a market-leading 31. 1 percent share in 2016. Meanwhile, iOS-based devices will grow from 14. 6 percent share in 2011 to 17. 3 percent in 2016. "

2011 Free Software Awards announced

Free Software Foundation president Richard M. Stallman announced the winners of the FSF's annual free software awards at a ceremony on Sunday, March 25th, held during the LibrePlanet 2012 conference at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Tricorder Project: Little discoveries, everywhere. That's what it's about.

The Tricorder project emphasizes accessibility. The devices we build are meant to be as inexpensive as possible, so folks might have access to them without having to worry about the cost, or their difficulty of use.

Microsoft Unveils New Plan to Speed Up the Web

The [Google] SPDY protocol handles all the same tasks as HTTP, but SPDY can do it all about 50 percent faster. Chrome and Firefox both support SPDY and several large sites, including Google and Twitter, are already serving pages over SPDY where possible.

What makes Fedora different? We fight for software freedom

We try to always do the right thing, and provide only free and open source software. We will fight to protect and promote solutions that anyone can use and redistribute. To this end, we use only free and open source software to power the Fedora infrastructure itself.

The benefits and risks of open source licensing

In the rush to bring a useable product to market, hurried software developers can run afoul of important open source software licensing rules, leaving themselves exposed to copyright complaints, infringement suits and loss of control over their own code.

You Can Acquire Open Source Companies, But You Can't Buy Open Source Community

Blackboard has just announced its acquisition of Moodlerooms and Netspot, two companies that help provide support and deployment services for schools that use the open-source LMS Moodle.

Brief Look at CloudFTP

CloudFTP can operate in the ad-hoc and infrastructure wireless modes. In the default ad-hoc mode, you connect directly to the wireless network created by CloudFTP.

debateOS: The Ubuntu Spin for Debaters

In early February 2012, McCool announced the release of debateOS Columbia, the 32-bit version of the Ubuntu-based operating system. With only a little third-grade Basic programming experience under his belt, McCool attributes his debate research skills for helping him develop the system

***** Snippets

Are You Using Insecure Open Source Components?

Why Rolling Android into Linux is a Failure for Desktop Linux

LibreOffice Cloud version roadmap in April

Android Comes Home to Linux

Compile the mainline Linux kernel for Ubuntu

Ubuntu: 'We're not Linux'

Holistic UI is smarter UX

Snapshot: Which Linux is hot?

What Ubuntu users think about Ubuntu 2012

GNOME 3.4 Released

Xubuntu Project Leader Resigns

ownCloud Launches Open Source Cloud Partner Program

LiMux: Cheaper and more robust than Windows

The GNU C Library Steering Committee disbands

A Surge in Learning the Language of the Internet
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Software Patents: Microsoft Jumps the Shark
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