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 #456 Period ending 16 July 2012

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

Interesting report on a paper in SSRN about the chilling effect on innovation the Napster and related litigation had. Companies are suing in the ITC rather than in court because it provides better access to injunctions. A little more on a couple of other stories, including UEFI and Jolla. The corpse of ACTA threatens to reanimate.

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



Brendan Scott

Open Source Law

***** Off Topic

NYC phone booths to become free Wi-Fi hotspots

I think most citizens will get more use out of free Wi-Fi than a SmartScreen. The first hotspot booths were activated yesterday with Wi-Fi routers attached to the top of the phone booth.

Court rules firm must process payments to WikiLeaks

According to a statement published by WikiLeaks, the “blockade stripped away over 95 percent of donations from supporters of WikiLeaks, costing the organization in excess of $20 million. ”

***** Government/Policy and the Future of GNU General Public Licenses

Although Fontana emphasized repeatedly that the project was entirely personal, and that he was not representing Red Hat or anyone else, anything he says about licensing is likely to be picked up by the FOSS media.

ACTA Lives: How the EU & Canada Are Using CETA as Backdoor Mechanism To Revive ACTA

The European Commission, which negotiates trade deals such as ACTA on behalf of the European Union, has vowed to revive the badly damaged agreement. Its most high-profile move has been to ask the European Court of Justice to rule on ACTA's compatibility with fundamental European freedoms with the hope that a favourable ruling could allow the European Parliament to reconsider the issue.

Australian MPs doubtful ACTA ratification is wise

However, the treaty committee criticises “the paucity of evidence for the size of the [IP protection evasion] problem” and hence the advantage to Australia of ratifying ACTA. It also fingers a number of terms it says are inadequately defined in ACTA, including “intellectual property” itself.

How to Shake Off the Ghost of SOPA

If the House Judiciary Committee wants to shake off the ghost of SOPA and avoid having legislation blow up in their collective faces, they need to rethink how they move intellectual property bills.

ITU Calls Summit To Tackle Patent Litigation

In their world, "open standards" are those where anyone is able to freely participate in the definition of the standard; "open" does not refer to the use of the standard itself, as it does for software standards

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

The DRM graveyard part 2: A brief history of digital rights management in video and TV

This time, we're talking about TV, video, and the events in the ongoing fight over copying. We're still calling it the "DRM graveyard"--but as you'll see, the failures that DRM has seen in the music world aren't quite yet as plentiful when it comes to video.

Supreme Court of Canada Stands Up For Fair Dealing in Stunning Sweep of Cases

Led by Justice Abella, the court has reaffirmed that fair dealing is a user's right that must be interpreted in a broad and liberal manner.

Why There Are Too Many Patents in America

So pharmaceuticals are the poster child for the patent system. But few industries resemble pharmaceuticals in the respects that I've just described. [OSL: Actually, if the main costs of pharmaceuticals are safety related, they should be borne by the public. At least that way bad results could not be kept secret, and the public would not be paying a profit margin just for ensuring the safety regime is complied with.]

Judge Says Aereo, a TV Streaming Service, May Continue

A federal judge on Wednesday denied a temporary injunction sought by television broadcasters that would have shut down Aereo, a start-up that streams local TV stations’ signals to customers over the Internet without the explicit permission of the stations.

Apple Has been Involved in 3 of Every 5 Mobile Tech Patent Suits Over the Last 2 Years

The chart comes via the Kanzatec IP Group, an intellectual-property consulting firm, and offers the following crazy-but-also-revealing statistic: Around 60 percent of the major IP suits in mobile tech have, somehow, involved Apple.

New Post Grant Patent Trials To Derail Parallel ITC Actions?

As a result, patent reexamination is primarily utilized as an additional litigation tool rather than the alternative to patent litigation intended by Congress. Conversely, the new AIA trial proceedings are designed to conclude, by statute, within 12-18 months of initiation.

How Big Music Threatened Startups and Killed Innovation

An unprecedented new report has detailed how the destruction of Napster chilled a decade’s worth of innovation in the music industry. Through interviews with 31 CEOs, company founders, and VPs who operated in digital music during the period, we hear how Big Music collapsed startups, turned down ‘blank check’ deals, and personally threatened innovators with ruination for both them and their families.

In Patent Cases, Companies Looking Toward ITC and Away From Federal Court

There is a different standard before the ITC, where companies can forego monetary relief and not have to go through the judicial test to stop competitors from moving infringing products, FTC Commissioner Edith Ramirez told the committee.

Maxim Integrated Products v. The World

MIP is going after companies which use mobile applications (apps) that allow people to make financial transactions.

Sanctions against plaintiff's attorney affirmed in BitTorrent case

The appeals court deplored plaintiff's strategy of suing anonymous internet users for allegedly downloading pornography illegally using the powers of the court to find their identity, then shaming or intimidating them into settling for thousands of dollars - a tactic that he has employed all across the state and that has been replicated by others across the country.

Blackberry maker RIM loses patent suit over software

A federal jury in San Francisco has found beleaguered Blackberry maker Research in Motion Ltd. liable for $147. 2 million in damages for infringing on patents held by Mformation Technologies Inc.

***** Applications/Gadgets

Google Open Sources Coding Kit That Lives Online

Google has open sourced Collide, a tool that lets software developers collaborate on code via their web browsers.

Cuttlefish: Execute Actions When Specific Events Are Triggered

Cuttlefish is a tool which can execute various actions when specific events are triggered. For example, you can change the proxy mode depending on the currently connected wireless network, unlock your computer when a specific Bluetooth or USB device is connected or disconnected and so on.

Jumpshot: the Linux security stick you give to your clueless friends

The long and short of Jumpshot is that it's a USB stick that removes bloatware, adware, spyware, and malware in a package that toddlers and grannies alike would be able to use. When Jumpshot is cleaning the system in the background, the user can stay connected and browse the Web in a Linux-based sandbox.

Mini X TV Box runs Android, Linux for under $100

The Mini X is a small Android device that plugs into a TV to let you run Android apps on the big screen.

***** Reports

Linux Top 3: Open Source Projects Don't Die, They Get Reborn as Forks

This past week two notable Linux projects got a second life, thanks entirely to the passion of community and the open source model.

GitHub finally raises funding: $100M from Andreessen Horowitz

The investment is the single largest by legendary venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz to date, and is the first source of external funding that GitHub has accepted since it launched in 2008. Peter Levine, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, will join GitHub’s board.

Mozilla is Wrong. There is Still Room for Open Source Thunderbird Innovation

The original Mozilla Browser (now continued in SeaMonkey) has both email and browser which was split out into separate projects: Thunderbird and Firefox.

Jolla rows away from burning Nokia

A new Finnish startup is going to try what to date no other company has been able to accomplish: launch devices based on the Linux-based MeeGo operating system.

Google's Chrome OS Has a Future on Dual-Boot Systems, Starting Now

But since then, Chromebooks running Chrome OS have started to gain some traction in schools, and some people are doing what we predicted would happen in the first place: They are loading their favorite Linux distributions alongside Chrome OS on their Chromebooks.

>From Google, the Toughest Challenger to the iPad

After testing the Nexus 7 for a couple of weeks, I consider it the best Android tablet I've used. It's a serious alternative to both Apple's larger $499 iPad and to a more direct rival: Amazon's $199, Android-based, 7-inch Kindle Fire. I prefer the Nexus 7 to 7-inch models from Google partners like Samsung, whose comparable product costs $250.

Verizon Wireless wants to 'edit' your Internet access

What if your wireless provider gave you Internet access and search results according to what it decided was a "priority"?

Open Source Android Console Fully Funded with $1 Million

Hardware makers sell their development kits at a high price to companies, which are then forced to spend hundreds of millions of dollars creating AAA games that will sell to the masses. The quality of what that market produces suffers because no one is willing to bet that much money on a neat or original idea. Hence endless sequels.

Microsoft claims collecting royalties on 70% of all Android devices

Two more Android tablet makers will now have to pay Microsoft a royalty on their products or risk winding up in court. Aluratek and Coby Electronics are the latest companies to be added to Microsoft’s ever growing patent-licensing list, with Microsoft saying that it now collects royalties on 70% of Android-based devices.

Debian GNU/Linux seeks alignment with Free Software Foundation

I think we should either get Debian in FSF [free-distros list], or document (from our POV) why Debian is not there.

Another way around Linux's Windows SecureBoot problem

“Yes, you can disable it. But 'disabling' something that's 'secure' makes you bad. ” Besides as Malmose told me, “the keystroke(s) needed to get Linux to run on machines post-2012 will be simple at first, becoming increasingly complex at a non-shocking rate. It's a monumental shift at OEM level. ” Malmrose fears that this will desktop Linux “too difficult to new users, [and this will cause] slow death by suffocation” for Linux.

Red Hat details next Linux and storage platforms for cloud, big data era

Red Hat, for example, is optimizing its Linux, storage and virtualization software platforms to hook into Google's Open Compute project to provide for a more agile and flexible data center, essential for cloud computing. Red Hat Enterprise Linux is ready for certification on Open Compute Hardware.

Linux developers working on Windows UEFI secure boot problem

Bottomley's work is important because, as Bottomley says, it will “widen the pool of people who are playing with UEFI Secure boot. The Linux Foundation Technical Advisory Board have been looking into this because it turns out to be rather difficult to lay your hands on real UEFI Secure Boot enabled hardware. ”

***** Snippets

Fedora 18 Will Have 256 Color Terminal Support

Mandriva divides itself once again

CentOS 6.3 Is Now Available for Download

Frustrated by Android Fragmentation? Just Buy the Nexus Already

How to Install Mass Effect 3 on Linux

ROSA Desktop 2012 roadmap approved

OS4 12.5 Is Powered by Linux Kernel 3.2

How to recruit open-source contributors

KDE 4.9 Release Caters to Power Users

Ubuntu One drops Facebook Contact Sync

Google releases Android 4.1 source code

Federal Circuit Rules Computer-Related Claims to be Patentable Subject Matter

The Perfect Desktop - Kubuntu 12.04

New Debian Theme Brings Lots of Joy

openSUSE 12.2 RC1 out now

Ubuntu 12.10 Gets Revamped Session Menu

LibreOffice 3.6.0 RC1 Is Available for Download

Kernel Log: Coming in 3.5 - Infrastructure

Overclocked Raspberry Pi running Raspbian OS is lightning quick

Megaupload and the twilight of copyright
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