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 #468 Period ending 16 October 2012

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

In the EU there's official recognition of the role that open source plays in growth. Quite a contrast to the benign neglect we get from Government in Australia. A lot of interesting IP stories, including some commentary on the speak for yourself app, which had been taken off air because of a patent claim. There's a marked increase in patent trolling over the past 5 years according to another study.

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



***** Off Topic

Microsoft's 'Do Not Track' Plan Is In Tatters As Advertisers Vow To Ignore It

Microsoft's "do not track" (DNT) plan for Internet Explorer 10 -- the browser will launch with ad targeting and tracking turned off by default -- will likely be ignored by the advertisers it is designed to curtail, an ad lobby group confirmed yesterday. [OSL: I find this hullaballoo over do not track as default very strange]

Get Your Bits Off (Old Storage Media)

For institutions whose mission is predicated upon preservation, getting collection content off of rapidly-aging storage devices is a significant and immediate challenge.

***** Government/Policy

Federal Trade Commission to look into Google smartphone patents

Google is by no means the only smartphone company with standard-essential patents. But when it agreed to buy Motorola Mobility for $12. 5 billion, Google picked up 17,000 patents, including a large trove of important patents relating to wireless devices that Motorola had committed to license.

It's official: Open source is an engine for growth

The man responsible for that allocation is the deputy mayor of Paris, Jean-Louis Missika; it was especially appropriate for him to break the news of how open source has benefited the city. Using data from a PwC survey of 27 international cities known for their business power, Missika reported that Paris is second only to Beijing in economic strength, third in intellectual capital (behind Stockholm and Toronto), and of course first in quality of life.

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

HathiTrust E-Library Has Shield in Fair Use

In September 2011, several authors and writers' advocacy groups sued HathiTrust, a library partnership organization, and several universities for teaming up with Google to provide full-text access to so-called "orphan works" whose copyright owners could not be located.

And the winner is . . .

Now, as part of their settlement, they’ve agreed to a licensing situation. This decision expedited the return of their app to the marketplace by several months (if not longer) and closed out a court case that was likely stressful and expensive . . . but it also seems to mean that they have agreed to pay a fee for something that they believe doesn’t infringe in the first place.

Top Rackspace lawyer: "We'd love to get rid of software patents"

"Once you reach a certain size, you become more of a target," Alan Schoenbaum told us in a recent interview. Schoenbaum is the general counsel of Rackspace, which achieved $1 billion in revenue for the first time last year. He said that patent litigation against the San Antonio company has "accelerated over the last two years. "

Microsoft expands Motorola patent case to target Google Maps

Microsoft is specifically targeting Google as the provider of mapping services that it says infringe upon its patent dating back to 1995, a patent that will remain in effect for another three years.

ReDigi, Capitol Clash In Court About 'Used' Tracks

Adelman argued that consumers have a "first sale" right to resell products that they legally purchased. But Capitol countered that consumers aren't selling the same works that they purchased, but copies that they upload to the cloud.

Alice and the Abstract Idea

The [NZ] Bill contains an exclusion for computer programs, added in response to submissions received from the open source movement.

Supreme Court to Rule on Patents for Self-Replicating Products

Monsanto agreed, telling the court that if it sided with the farmer, such a decision would doom its business model.

Court rules book scanning is fair use, suggesting Google Books victory

The Author's Guild has suffered another major setback in its fight to stop Google's ambitious book-scanning project. The Guild lost a key ally when Google settled with a coalition of major publishers last week.

Eric Schmidt: Android-Apple Is the Defining Fight in the Industry Today

“These patent wars are death,” Schmidt said, noting that software is always overlapping, and that there are an estimated 200,000 patents covering the software industry.

Patent trolling nearly doubled in five years, study finds

According to a new study published today by University of California Hastings College of the Law, lawsuits filed by patent trolls -- or as they are re-categorized "patent monetizers" -- saw a dramatic increase between 2007 to 2011.

Do it “on the Internet,” get a patent, sue an industry—it still works

The slide that defense lawyers showed to the jury read: “This isn’t new. ” In a patent case, it could have been a smoking gun—after all, it was written by the inventors themselves. They were describing their business, Nexchange, to a San Francisco conference back in 2000; it was three years before they received their first patent and turned their focus to litigation.

Cisco, Motorola, Netgear Team Up To Expose Wifi Patent Bully

Last year, we wrote about a crazy patent troll, named Innovatio, who had sued a ton of restaurants and hotels, claiming that anyone who used WiFi was violating its patents. It was even claiming that individuals who use WiFi at home infringed too -- but that it wouldn't go after them "at this time. " Instead, it preferred to focus on shaking down tons of small businesses, offering to settle for $2,500 to $3,000 -- which is cheaper than hiring a lawyer to fight it, no matter how bogus.

Judge tells copyright troll to put up or shut up on porn lawsuits

Critics charge that the plaintiffs in these cases have no intention of actually pursuing the lawsuits in court. Instead, they allegedly seek as many settlements as possible without regard for whether the targets are guilty or innocent. This summer, a California judge referred to Malibu's lawsuits in that state as "essentially an extortion scheme. "

Twitter: It’s time for patent trolls to bear the costs of frivolous lawsuits

Still, even meritless lawsuits cost us money in attorney fees, and force our engineers to spend time with lawyers rather than improving our product. For example, we recently won a case regarding U. S. Patent No. 6,408,309, entitled “Method and System for Creating an Interactive Virtual Community of Famous People. ” After a trial before a jury, we managed to prove that we didn’t infringe and that the asserted claims from the patent were invalid. This patent was “invented” by a patent lawyer, Dinesh Agarwal. According to his own testimony at trial, Mr. Agarwal had no computer science or programming background, and he thought up the whole idea while he was shopping for groceries.

A Closer Look at the ‘Chaos’ of the American Patent System

According to the Times, Apple has ownership of “pinching a screen to zoom in, of using magnets to affix a cover to a tablet computer, and of the glass staircases in Apple stores. ”

Apple puts money where its mouth is, pays for Swiss railway clock design

Apple's designers apparently liked the iconic Swiss railway clock so much—with its sweeping red second hand that looks like a railway signal flag—that it essentially copied the design for the iPad's new Clock app, introduced in iOS 6. [OSL: sigh]

Vringo Upside Overstated, Risks Understated

Vringo (VRNG) buys patents and sues companies like Google (GOOG) for infringement. As the Google suit approaches jury trial, Vringo shareholders have been rewarded with just short of a triple in the last half-year.

India Patent Authority Has Big Pharma Worried

When the government of India revoked U. S. drug maker Pfizer Inc. ’s local patent for its cancer drug Sutent last week, it marked yet another loss for Big Pharma in an escalating patent war between multinational pharmaceutical companies and the governments of developing nations.

Indie film legend accuses Apple, Google of Web piracy

"If an Internet company steals content, they shut it down," Weinstein said, according to The Register. "And let me tell you, Apple France, Yahoo France or Google France, none of them have gone out of business. "

FTC Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz

In the private sector, Leibowitz served most recently as Vice President for Congressional Affairs for the Motion Picture Association of America – from 2000 to 2004 – and worked as an attorney in private practice in Washington from 1984 to 1986.

ABA Amicus Brief Sides with Textbook Publisher in Infringement Suit over eBay Resales

The American Bar Association is siding with a textbook publisher that sued for infringement when a California grad student purchased its books cheaply overseas and then resold them on eBay for a profit.

Apple Sued for LED Lighting Found in iPad 3 & MacBook Pro

LED Tech Development LLC has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple. The patent infringement lawsuit concerns four granted patents that they claim Apple's iPad 3 and MacBook Pro infringe upon. Charles Lemaire, one of the original inventors noted on all four patents in this lawsuit has also been credited with patents for Lockheed Martin, Nuance Communications and other major companies.

***** Implementations

Canada's Largest Art and Design University Leverages Canvas Open Source for its LMS

OCAD U is the first university in Canada to implement Canvas Community Version, the open-source version of Canvas, for its students and faculty. The university has been running Canvas since January 2012 and has 4,500 students and 1,500 courses on the system today.

***** Applications/Gadgets

OwnCloud 4.5 Mounts Open Source Storage Alongside Amazon, Dropbox

The open source ownCloud project is advancing today with version 4 of the popular file sharing and synchronization technology. What ownCloud provides is an open source take on a Dropbox model where users can share and save files in a cloud environment. With ownCloud, the technology is all open source and it can be hosted anywhere.

***** Reports

Mozilla Firefox 16 Delivers More Dev Tools. Hello Browser IDE

The big new item is a developer toolbar. This toolbar is yet another element that Firefox is adding (on top of the Web Inspector and the 3D view that is the pinnacle of awesome – first introduced in March with Firefox 11)

Install Ubuntu and contribute to Canonical

It’s not just a fixed donation though; there are eight categories you selectively give money in. These are done in such a way to let the Canonical folks know which parts of Ubuntu people want improved, with categories for Unity, performance optimization, hardware support, phone and tablet versions, support of different Ubuntu flavours, and a general tip to Canonical.

OwnCloud Makes Personal Cloud Easy & Affordable for SMBs

OwnCloud is the amazing new open source cloud upstart that makes it easy to set up your own private cloud server.

New Linux and Android Game Platforms Gaining Momentum

The buzz continues over the open source Ouya gaming platform. A Los Angeles-based project, Ouya is billed as "a new kind of video game console" and famously pulled down millions in funding on Kickstarter. As Ouya's plans ramp up, there are also new details emerging about Steam for Linux, which looks like it may include many more advanced games than previously thought.

Synnex Partners Discover Open Source for Business

Synnex in April 2009 launched the Open Source Channel Alliance, which attempted to promote a range of open source ISVs (independent software vendors) to channel partners.

IBM Rolls Out New PureSystems Data Servers - Linux Powered

The PureData Systems are pre-configured solution bundles of server hardware and software that are designed for specific use cases. IBM first announced the PureSystems approach in April of this year with the PureFlex and PureApplication bundles. The three new bundles are specifically built to deal with data.

Open-Source Kits Put Robots in Many Hands

Multiplo kits come with everything needed to build a robot, although kit builders can add their own components, too. Mechanical parts have plenty of holes for fasteners, so people can easily change the arrangement of motors, servos, and other pieces of a robot.

Y PPA Manager: Manage your PPAs efficiently in Ubuntu

PPAs (Personal Package Archives) are personal repositories for various packages built and hosted on Launchpad. As much as PPAs help developers, they help users also. A software is not available in the default repositories? No problem! Add the PPA and install it. Dead simple.

UEFI Secure Boot Key provided by Linux Foundation

The Linux Foundation has decided to take action to allow everybody to continue using open source operating systems even on Secure Boot systems

Discussion on FRAND and FOSS Nov. 22nd at the EC

Identi. ca is a microblogging service brought to you by Status. net. It runs the StatusNet microblogging software, version 1. 1. 0-release, available under the GNU Affero General Public License.

10 Ways Startups Can Deal With Patent Troll Demands

Here are some tips based on our collective experiences counseling over a hundred startups and surveying hundreds of technology companies about their practices. (The full report on startups and patent trolls, including how often survey respondents used different strategies, and how much it cost them, can be found here. )

Copyright Scofflaws Beware: ISPs to Begin Monitoring Illicit File Sharing

The nation’s major internet service providers by year’s end will institute a so-called six-strikes plan, the “Copyright Alert System” initiative backed by the Obama administration and pushed by Hollywood and the major record labels to disrupt and possibly terminate internet access for online copyright scofflaws.

Linux Foundation to offer signed solution for UEFI Secure Boot conundrum

Although Microsoft's stipulations require also that x86/x64 systems provide an option to disable Secure Boot, Linux users are concerned that this will make it harder for them to boot non-Microsoft operating systems.

Why Apple vs. Google is the Most Important Battle in Technology

It’s a war between two fundamentally different visions for the future of computing, described in simplistic terms as “closed” vs. “open. ” Apple’s model is end-to-end control over the iPhone process, from hardware to software to the mobile applications that it must approve for sale in the App Store. Google’s model has been to distribute the Android system for free to the developer community at large, and let a thousand flowers bloom.

Red Hat Integrates OpenStack with Linux Platform and Management Tools

Red Hat Satellite is the company's core tool for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) management today. OpenStack Rounded The plan is to have OpenStack fit into the same model.

Kickstarter and Game Development - Highlighting Games Coming to Linux Part 1

In this multi-part series, I have contacted many developers who have confirmed Linux versions of their game. I probed a little deeper into what types of games are in the pipe for Linux, and how and why developers have supported a cross platform experience. Some of the games in this series have yet to arrive on Kickstarter, but have campaigns planned for the near future. Others are currently underway, while more still have successfully completed their Kickstarter campaigns.

OpenStack Summit Board. Please Stay Open Source (avoid Open Core!)

The reason why OpenStack has become a fantastic success story in progress is due to a dozen or more reasons. For me, the most important reason is open source.

Checking Back in on OpenStand

Stated another way, while there is broad agreement that “openness” matters, there are few consequences for those SSOs that fall short of that goal.

***** Snippets

New distro Cinnarch released

Two Slackware Derivatives Still Alive

The true legal vulnerability of Linux

Download Mozilla Firefox 16.0 for Linux

Amazon and Ubuntu: A match made for profit?

Efficiently Using the Ubuntu Launcher

Which PaaS Is Best For Legacy Java Apps?

Solus Eveline 1.2: good for newbies

Top 5 security Myths about Linux; and their realities

Is Ubuntu Shutting Out Old PCs?

Hiring trends: Which tech skills are most in demand

Open source's secret ally: Moore's Law

Review: Free, open source VirtualBox lags behind VMware and Parallels

Amarok Celebrates 10 Years

Early Benchmarks Of The Linux 3.7 Kernel

KDE Pens Manifesto

SAP HANA Comes to Cisco and HP - Thanks to Linux!

Linus Torvalds Answers Your Questions

Mozilla Firefox 17 Gets Social

Trinity KDE 3.5 Desktop Fork Sees New Release

Zorin OS 6 Lite - The Lite Fantastic

Best Free Linux Cad Software & Their Features

CrunchBang 'Waldorf' - Second Time Lucky (Review)

The Linux survival guide

Ubuntu One Is Now Available for Mac OS X

Linus Torvalds interviewed by Slashdot readers

10 Best Android apps this week

5 key forces driving open source today

Open Source Search Engine Apache Lucene/Solr Gets Big Update

Mageia 3 Alpha 2 Features GNOME 3.6

Santoku a new Linux distro focused on Security

CyanogenMod is getting its own OTA update manager
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