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 #492 Period ending 20 June 2013

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

Even more PRISM related stories this week. Some patent related news this week, with Myriad losing its case on BRAC gene testing, One paper from the UK indicates that patents don't play much of a role for start ups and a research from the US indicates that the costs of patents exceeds their benefits. Berlin is apparently requiring open standards.

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



***** Off Topic

How Big Is the NSA Police State, Really?,0,6912122.story

Early last month, even while he was finalizing his discussions with Edward Snowden, The Guardian's Glenn Greenwald reported on a conversation between Tim Clemente, a former FBI agent, and CNN host Carol Costello. In the interview about the Boston Marathon investigation, as seen at right, Clemente makes the claim that "all digital communications are there's a way to look at digital communications in the past." Costello refers to a previous appearance in which Clemente claimed the governThis is an important claim for two reasons. The first is that Clemente, who also served on the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force, suggests a massive breadth of information collection. The second is that he doesn't say who is actually collecting the data, which we'll come back to. - Philip Bump, Wired

***** Government/Policy

Berlin won't migrate to open source, looks to open standards instead

The German city-state of Berlin won't migrate to open source software. Instead, its parliament decided in principle to choose workplace IT based on open standards.

Google's Android faces EU probe over licensing practices

The "below cost" argument might be a tough one for competitors to win on. Google offers the open-source Android for free. What device makers want to do with the platform after that is entirely up to them. That has been a key component in the company's success to this point.

Mozilla-backed Stop Watching Us blows past 100,000 signatures to fight NSA surveillance

That milestone, passed this morning, comes less than 48 hours after the start of the program. Currently Stop Watching Us has collected 112,279 total signatures. A quick multiplication indicates that 336,837 emails will be generated, at a minimum; each person has two Representatives and one Senator.

Senator Warren Presses White House to Release Pacific Trade Text

President Barack Obama’s administration should release documents the U.S. and 10 other Pacific-region nations are using as they negotiate a new trade agreement, Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren said.

The Importance (or Not) of Patents to UK Firms

A surprisingly small number of innovative firms use the patent system. In the UK, the share of firms patenting among those reporting that they have innovated is about 4%.

Talking Points Mau-Mau: Sununu Objects to Reform on Patent Trolls

A patent is a property right, written into the Constitution by the Framers to encourage innovation. The trolls have legally bought and own their patents. Arguing that some patent holders have full rights to sue while others do not flouts the principle of equality under the law. This has been debunked so many times, it’s hard to believe it keeps coming up. Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 says,

Supreme Court Rules Human Genes May Not Be Patented

Human genes may not be patented, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Thursday. The decision is likely to reduce the cost of genetic testing for some health risks, and it may discourage investment in some forms of genetic research.

German Parliament Tells Government To Strictly Limit Patents On Software

"On Friday the 7th of June the German Parliament decided upon a joint motion to limit software patents. The Parliament urges the German Government to take steps to limit the granting of patents on computer programs (PDF, German; English translation). Software should exclusively be covered by copyright, and the rights of the copyright holders should not be devalued by third parties' software patents.

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

Innovative Wireless Solutions drops all WiFi lawsuits v. E. Texas hotels, restaurants

IWS was apparently following a Innovatio IP Ventures-style model, asserting patents formerly owned by a practicing entity (here, Nortel) against end users of the allegedly-infringing technology (here, as with Innovatio, mostly hotels)

Microsoft amicus brief supports Apple, cautions Fed. Circ. about ruling in Apple-Motorola Appeal

Today, the public version of Microsoft’s brief became available. In it, Microsoft supports Apple and Judge Posner, but cautions the Federal Circuit against making an overly broad ruling and deciding issues related to standard-essential patents and RAND licensing obligations that are not present before the court.

Monsanto Wins Again in Federal Circuit: Organic Farmers Have No Standing to Challenge Patent

In sum, Monsanto's binding representations remove any risk of suit against the appellants as users or sellers of trace amounts (less than one percent) of modified seed. The appellants have alleged no concrete plans or activities to use or sell greater than trace amounts of modified seed, and accordingly fail to show any risk of suit on that basis. The appellants therefore lack an essential element of standing.

False Distinctions Between Hardware and Software Patents are Not the Answer

Four weeks have passed since the Federal Circuit’s “decision” in CLS Bank v. Alice Corp. From my perspective as both an independent inventor and litigation expert witness in software and hardware user interface design, I believe this ruling takes the wrong tact.

Apple Executive Denies E-Books Conspiracy

A top Apple executive denied that the company conspired with major book publishers to inflate the cost of e-books and put an end to the so-called Amazon problem."

The Costs and Benefits of United States Patents

We find that costs exceed benefits overall and that the gap between costs and benefits has grown across time. Surges in the number of NPE lawsuits, lawsuits filed over Computers/Communications patents, and lawsuits brought against non-manufacturing, software and telecommunications firms contribute to the increase in the gap. Growth in costs outstrips growth in lawsuits, in part, because events in these fast-growing categories have higher-than-average per-event dollar costs.

Details on Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc.

The Court held that a naturally occurring DNA segment is a product of nature and not patent eligible merely because it has been isolated, but manmade cDNA is patent eligible because it is not naturally occurring. The case involved the well-known BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which can involve mutations that increase the likelihood of breast cancer. The ruling is significant for a variety of companies (including Myriad) that hold important DNA patents. But for the industry as a whole, it offers the prospect of significant patent protection for cDNA, as well as other inventions derived from human DNA. Justice Scalia filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment.

In the ITC: The public interest factors newest patent troll countermeasure?

The International Trade Commission opened its doors to non-practicing entities (NPEs) with its decision in Certain Coaxial Cable Connectors and Components Thereof, Inv. No. 337-TA-650 (reported in IPT News, Q3 2010), holding that the domestic industry requirement can be satisfied by licensing activities. Previously, this requirement had been a barrier to entry deterring NPEs from filing patent infringement suits in the ITC. Before Coaxial Cable, ITC cases typically were company versus company disputes.

Did the PTAB Just Kill Software Patents?

Looking more closely at the ruling, however, makes it clear just how significant this ruling will be. The breadth of the 101 determination is shocking and virtually guarantees that 101 will be used by patent examiners to effectively prevent software patents from issuing altogether.

***** Applications/Gadgets

E3 2013: Mad Catz Project M.O.J.O. Android Games Console Revealed

Unbound by a proprietary platform, Project M.O.J.O. enables users to access a library of thousands of titles, including those already purchased for their Android tablet or smartphone.

Seriously small Cortex-A9 module runs Linux, Android

Variscite announced what it calls “the world’s tiniest Cortex-A9 system-on-module,” measuring 52 x 17mm. The Linux- and Android-compatible DART-4460 module is based on a 1.5GHz dual-core TI OMAP4460 SoC, is available with up to 1GB of DDR2 RAM and 8GB eMMC flash, and can run at 400MHz on only 44mA, says the company.

System76 introduces new high-end Ubuntu Linux laptops

Thanks to Windows 8's Secure Boot, it's getting harder and harder for a non-technical user to just get a new laptop and run Linux. System76, along with other Linux PC vendors such as ZaReason, have a better idea: Just buy a laptop with Linux already installed.

The Sony SmartWatch takes wearable tech into open-source territory

In an interesting twist in the open-source hardware movement, Sony has just announced it’s opening up its SmartWatch for your hacking pleasure.

***** Reports

EdX Goes Open Source To Woo MOOC Developers

Much of the code was available previously. EdX had announced the open source of its core architecture, XBlock, in March. Stanford already has two courses hosted on edX code. 10gen, which manages the MongoDB open source database tool, developed training courses with edX source code.

Is OpenStack the next Linux?

Mirantis has made quite a bit of headway in the cloud market, which has helped push OpenStack farther than some of the platform’s competitors – CloudStack and Eucalyptus are the two that come to mind here. The adoption of OpenStack based clouds by heavyweights like SAP and Ericsson has given the platform, and Mirantis, a great boost.

ZettaSet Secures Hadoop, Big Data Open Source

Security is only part of the value-added proposition of Zettaset, a startup that currently counts about 45 employees. The company's product, called Zettaset Orchestrator, also provides ease-of-use features, performance enhancements and increased availability for Hadoop, the distributed computing system for Big Data.

Red Hat Shifts PaaS Online

Over the last two years of development for the OpenShift Online service, Red Hat has learned a number of key lessons as to how PaaS should be consumed and deployed. Red Hat OpenShift

Red Hat Launches New Initiative to Help Enterprises Chart Course to Open Source Middleware

Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT), the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced new community resources designed to help enterprises migrate to open source middleware technologies, including a community-driven JBoss Migration Center and new tooling to ease the process of migrating from proprietary application server technologies to the open source JBoss platform.

Red Hat CEO: Open Source is Not Just About Cost

It should come as no surprise then, that the CEO of Red Hat sees being open as the key to innovation. Speaking at the opening keynote for the Red Hat Summit, CEO Jim Whitehurst stressed that open isn't just a marketing slogan, it's the only way that modern IT companies can survive.

The trouble with Business Source

Recently, Michael "Monty Widenius, creator of MySQL and founder of the MariaDB fork of MySQL, proposed an idea for something which he says is not open source but provides many of the same benefits while allowing companies to make money. He calls this idea "Business Source" and described it in an ZDnet interview -

DataStax CEO: Open source databases onslaught for Oracle

Enterprises are increasingly moving to open source database to cut their dependence on Oracle, Apache Cassandra has a strong community resistant to fracturing and business leaders are calling the tech shots at first over CIOs.

Red Hat Virtualization 3.2 announced, available world wide

The latest version includes some great new features, including full Storage Live Migration, allowing for virtual images to be moved without disrupting service. As well as this, a new third-party plug-in framework has been developed with community and vendor collaboration, allowing for third parties to create apps for RHV that link directly with the management interface, and access native functionality.

IBM to bring Linux KVM virtualization to its Power server line

What's technically interesting is that while the KVM hypervisor is an integral part of the Linux kernel, it's a feature that's only been available on the x86 architecture. Specifically, KVM needs either the Intel VT or AMD-V virtualization extensions in the chip to work.

CentOS Makes Its Mark in the Cloud

It was just over a year ago when Microsoft announced that its Azure cloud would support persistent virtual machines (VMs) which enable Linux distributions. Microsoft supports a number of Linux OS variations— including CentOS. OpenLogic has been working for over a year with Windows Azure to deliver CentOS images, support, and access to updates, and is the endorsed distribution CentOS partner for Windows Azure. ^2

The end of Symbian: Nokia ships last handset with the mobile OS

This week, Finnish smartphone creator Nokia announced that it had shipped its final handset running the Symbian operating system. As the last company in the world building phones using the Symbian OS, Nokia's withdrawal from the platform means Symbian is now completely defunct.

MakerBot and Robohand -- 3D Printing Mechanical Hands

When Richard Van As, a woodworker in South Africa, decided to make a set of mechanical fingers, it wasn't just for fun. He'd lost four of the fingers on his right hand in an unfortunate work accident. For a carpenter, a disabled hand is a big professional risk, so Richard decided on the day of the incident that he would use the tools available to him to remedy his situation.

***** Snippets

KDE 4.10.4 Officially Released, Fixes over 50 Bugs

Empathy 3.9.2 Fixes Four Bugs and Updates Translations

How to customize Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon

ROSA Desktop Fresh R1: For advanced users, but even better for new users

Ubuntu Touch progress shown off in latest video

What Makes a Community Distro?

Amazing Raspberry Pi Projects - Part 1

What Android Has That iOS Has Not (Yet)

Kernel Log: Coming in 3.10 (Part 1) Networking

Ubuntu 13.10 to Bring Vastly Improved Unity Dash with 50 New Scopes

Linux Mint does it for the diehard geek

GLib 2.36.3 Stable Release Repairs Seven Bugs

Whoops, Mageia Releases Fixed ISOs

Testing the Faith of the Linux Masses

Dries Buytart keynote: Drupal more than content management

Things to Consider when Purchasing Ubuntu Laptops

Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon: Ready For Prime Time

Samsung dropped a nuclear patent on Apple [PJ: Nope.]

Linux Mint 15: Solid, But Unsettled

NoSQL, Hadoop Power NSA PRISM, Big Data War on Terror?

Don't expect an Opera Next Linux build anytime soon

SUSE Linux does data big

Chromium to be default browser in Ubuntu 13.10?

Cisco and Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Best Newbie Distro? You Say Linux Mint.

LibreOffice Gets More Code Clean-up for 4.1.0

What Do You Want to Ask a Linux Journalist?

Where Is Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7?

Patent Board's SAP Ruling is First Under New AIA Rules

Windows Blue Blues, Symantec Kernel Confusion & More...

Take a Screenshot and Edit Them in Ubuntu Desktop with Hotshots

CRUX PPC 3.0 released

Flashify Sends Web Sites Between Android Browsers

Apples Commitment to Customer Privacy

Woz: This is not my America

Lawyers Scrutinize Constitutionality of Surveillance Programs

After Profits, Defense Contractor Faces the Pitfalls of Cybersecurity

Declassified document claims phone metadata was searched under 300 times in 2012.

Lawyer in Gene Patent Case Keeps Making Headlines

Supreme Court Ruling Allows DNATraits to Offer $995 BRCA Breast, Ovarian Cancer Gene Test

Forget PRISM, the recent NSA leaks are plain: Digital privacy doesnt exist

Preliminary thoughts on Googles proposed commitments (EU)

Obama does not feel Americans' privacy violated: chief of staff

Al Franken Defends NSA Surveillance: Its Not Spying, Theyre Protecting Us (VIDEO)

3D Printing: Is the Law Ready for the Future? (video)

Six reasons why choosing Hong Kong is a brilliant move by Edward Snowden

Five myths about privacy

U.S. surveillance architecture includes collection of revealing Internet, phone metadata

A Database of Their Own

NSA admits listening to U.S. phone calls without warrants

New Apple iPad Display Orders go to Samsung Display

Prism secret: Even bigger data seizure

Officials: NSA programs broke plots in 20 nations

Thomas Penfield Jackson, Outspoken Judge, Dies at 76 dies-at-76.html

Federal Circuit Permits Appeal of Liability Prior to Damages or Willfulness Determination

Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You, Here's a Copyright Lawsuit, Happy Birthday to You

Linux Top Three Takeaways from the Red Hat Summit

Selling Palm to HP was a waste

Open-source software aids NPOs

Joeffice, an open source office suite one developer built in 30 days

Skolelinux 7.0.0 Alpha 2 Is Now Available for Testing

yED Alternate of Microsoft Office Viso on Ubuntu Linux

Got a PRISM and Boundless Informant problem? Whisper and TOR can help

10 reasons Android beats iOS 7

Updated Debian 7: 7.1 released

Red Hat, SolidFire: SSD Storage for OpenStack Cloud

Seeking Surveillance Safe Search Engines

Creating Interview with Developer Ryan Lester

Zombies, Linux, IBM and SCO

Subversion 1.8 Gits New Features

Samsung's Dream Is to Be No Android Sheep

Super Test -- RSS feed readers

Cat-like robot runs like the wind, on Linux

For Red Hat, the Cloud Beckons

Hands On C Programming Language

Ubuntu Support: How to Get Help

Create multiple servers with OpenVZ

Learning to program, the open source way

Unix tip: Rewriting history

Linux-based surveillance cameras start at $70

Can Red Hat do for OpenStack what it did for Linux?

Why US Defense Agencies are Moving to the Cloud

Getting Reader for Google Readers Demise

openSUSE Ends Week with 13.1 Milestone 2

2013 Gala Dinner Featuring Senators Warren and Merkley (video)

Lessig on Privacy (1998 video)

Share Your Expertise: Calling First-Time Speakers to Contribute at LinuxCon/CloudOpen

Onion Pi turns Raspberry Pi into Tor proxy and wireless access point

Simple kit turns Raspberry Pi into portable Tor gateway

Feds Must Produce NSA Dragnet Records for Criminal Defense

Huawei muses on Nokia's future

You Have No Control Over Security on the Feudal Internet

Retired Federal Judge: Your Faith In Secret Surveillance Court Is Dramatically Misplaced

Read Angelina Jolie Stunt Double's Wiretapping Lawsuit Against News Corp.

MariaDB Foundation Becomes OIN Licensee

NSA Disruption of Stock Exchange Bomb Plot Disputed

President Obama Defends NSA on Charlie Rose Interview

'Over 50' terrorist plots were stopped by surveillance efforts, says NSA director

Award-winning journalist Michael Hastings dies in car accident at 33

3 NSA veterans speak out on whistle-blower: We told you so

Google challenges U.S. gag order, citing First Amendment

Do You Have A Right to Remain Silent? Thoughts on Salinas v. Texas

Live blog: NSA Hearing

Microsoft's Mobile Patent Strategy: Threaten, Don't Sue

Thumb Drive Security: Snowden 1, NSA 0

Dragon NaturallySpeaking brings a form of Siri to your desktop, Android

Google Settles Investor Lawsuit Over Common Stock Split

Mac Observer Adobe Launches Creative Cloud, Moves to Subscription Software Model

Yahoo Jumps on Disclosure Bandwagon, Pledges More Transparency,2817,2420597,00.asp?google_editors_picks=true

A Reply to Epstein & Pilon on NSAs Metadata Program

Data Protection Responses To PRISM "A Smokescreen"

Cisco and HP file declaratory judgment actions against Innovative Wireless Solutions

Supreme Court Adds Antitrust Consideration to Patent Settlements.

Chromebooks: coming to more stores near you

Google Chromebooks Coming to Walmart, Staples,2817,2420590,00.asp

Edward Snowden Q&A

Opinion recap: One hand giveth.

Justices invalidate Arizona voter registration law

Hitler Receives a Threat From a Patent Troll (youtube)
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