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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 #494 Period ending 3 July 2013

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

A short edition this week as I'm going away. Service to resume mid July...

Yet more fallout on PRISM (in OT section). Patent actions against transit authorities are getting a bit of blowback. Interesting story about open EHR if you're in the medical field you'll want to take a look. On a side note, the Australian National E-Health Transition Authority (disclosure I have worked for NEHTA, but on another matter) has, apparently, been threatened with patent action over their EHR implemenation (hat tip to Tim C):

Oh, and don't insult someone on the internet in Grenada.

*From my blog:

Verbatim distribution with attribution ok.

Other distribution - email me.



***** Off Topic

Senators accuse government of using 'secret law' to collect Americans' data,shoddy-software-leaves-major-holes-in-nsa-site.aspx

A bipartisan group of 26 US senators has written to intelligence chiefs to complain that the administration is relying on a "secret body of law" to collect massive amounts of data on US citizens.

We need encryption for private communications

The industry needs to at least come together to offer encryption for private communications as protection against government surveillance.

Insult someone on Twitter or Facebook? A crime in Grenada

As the Associated Press reports, if you besmirch someone's character or name, you can be fined up to $37,000 or sent to jail for three years.

***** Government/Policy

Two deep dives into open source EHR

As it turns out, open source EHR is on the rise. What follow are two videos from Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. They're long, in-depth, and quite fascinating. If you're interested in implementing a powerful EHR environment but don't want to pay commercial prices, these are must-watch videos.

The joint committee for French bill on Higher Ed confirms provision giving priority to FOSS

This Wednesday, 26 June 2013, the members of the joint committee (CMP) for the French bill on higher education and research —from both the National Assembly and the Senate— confirmed the legislation that gives priority to Free Software in the Public Service for Higher Education.

Pandora and Royalties

Not only was our hand-shake agreement rejected by the ASCAP board, but shortly thereafter we were subjected to a steady stream of “withdrawals” by major publishers from ASCAP and BMI seeking to negotiate separate and higher rates with Pandora, and only Pandora.

How to get a class involved with an open source project

Give back. FOSS survives on contributions. It's core to the process. You can pay back in documentation, reviews, and testing—all sorts of ways that don't necessarily involve code. Small contributions are valuable! And eventually you can be the resource for the next newcomer who has questions like you once did.

What Its Like to Get a National-Security Letter

So I asked, “Can I bring this up with my board?” And the answer is no. Could I discuss it with my wife? The answer is no, not without risking being put in prison for years.

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

Transit Agencies Are Finally Fighting Back Against an Infamous Patent Troll

Any agency electronically monitoring its own buses and trains, or producing apps for riders to track them, has been at risk of receiving a foreboding letter from these people. It's a pretty classic patent troll story, but with a taxpayer twist. In this case, the company holding the patents has been targeting (among many others) cash-strapped public agencies that can least afford to pay them off, but that are also most likely to avoid litigation.

Patent Lawsuits Target Eight Banks

"Essentially every single financial institution is at risk of being accused of infringement," says Denaro, who leads the intellectual property practice at the CipherLaw Group. "What's interesting about these patents is they are alleged to cover some very fundamental parts of how a bank does business."

Microsoft wins release of $100M bond in RAND contract dispute with Motorola

As we discussed last week, the hearing centered on Microsoft’s request that the court release a previously-ordered $100 million bond — a bond that it had required Microsoft to post in connection with a preliminary injunction order that prevented Motorola from enforcing a German standard-essential patent-related injunction.

Judge Rejects Apple's Request to Add Galaxy S4 to Patent Case,2817,2421102,00.asp

A California judge this week denied Apple's request to add the Galaxy S4 to an ongoing patent case it is fighting against Samsung.

Federal Circuit Begins its Campaign for Patent Clarity

The take-away legal points here are (1) broad claims must do more to satisfy the enablement requirement than narrow claims; and (2) when excessive, routine non-creative efforts to recreate the invention can constitute undue experimentation.

What Should be Patentable? A Proposal: Determining the Existence of Statutory Subject Matter

Justice Thomas recognized that balance in Myriad when he wrote, relying on both Mayo, and Chakrabarty, that “patent protection strikes a delicate balance between creating ‘incentives that lead to creation, invention, and discovery’ and ‘impeding the flow of information that might permit, indeed spur, invention.’”

Group finalizes treaty to expand book access for worlds blind community

Advocates for the visually impaired say that fewer than one percent of all the world’s books are accessible in these formats. The treaty would make it possible for converted texts in a given language to be available in multiple countries.

Appeals court calls for fair use ruling in Google Books case

In a victory for Google in its long-running fight with the Authors Guild, the Second Circuit of Appeals overturned a lower court’s decision to grant class action status, and told the judge in the case to rule on whether Google’s book scanning was “fair use” under copyright law.

Judge nixes Microsoft SkyDrive name in BSkyB court ruling (UK)

British judge Sarah Asplin, sitting in the chancery division of Blighty's High Court, ruled that the evidence in the case "revealed confusion amongst real people" about the SkyDrive service, including members of the public calling Sky's helpline about difficulties they were having with Microsoft's product.

***** Applications/Gadgets

Adobe open sources Flash C++ compiler

Adobe has open sourced its Flash C++ compiler, FlasCC. An open source version of the tool is now hosted as part of the CrossBridge project on GitHub; previously, FlasCC was part of Adobe's Creative Cloud product.

Cubieboard2 open SBC ships, Cubietruck nears release

These include Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean), Ubuntu 12.04 and several other Linux distros including Fedora and Cyanogenmod, which are all preinstalled on NAND flash. The project also offers forums, detailed information, and other open board project amenities.

World's first Tizen tablet?

Japanese firm Systena Corp. announced the first Tizen-based tablet, which also appears to be the first Tizen product of any kind. The unnamed Systena Tizen tablet offers high-end features including a 1.4GHz, quad-core Cortex-A9 system-on-chip, 2GB of RAM, and a 10.1-inch, 1920 x 1200-pixel display.

Tiny control computer runs Linux on Atmel ARM9 SoC

Artila Electronics began shipping a new version of its tiny ARM9-based control computer, with Linux 2.6 pre-installed.

Mozilla's Firefox OS smartphones do matter -- to developers and buyers

Telefonica will start selling the Firefox OS-based ZTE Open smartphone on Tuesday in Spain for $90 and a contract, and then in some Latin American countries. Meanwhile, Alcatel will offer the One Touch Fire soon while Deutsche Telekom plans to launch a Firefox OS smartphone in Poland.

***** Reports

Gartner: Microsoft Windows 15% Mobile, Desktop Market Share?

In some ways, it's unfair to lump in the traditional Windows PC market with the smartphone and tablet markets. But remember this: Microsoft also is guilty of using the market metrics to describe its own upside potential.

Been there, forked that: What the Unix-Linux schism can teach us about Hadoop's future

Yet with the excitement around this open source framework, enterprise users risk overlooking that all Hadoop flavors are not created equal. Choosing one implementation over another can mean veering off the path of genuine open source software and instead heading down the dead-end street of expensive vendor lock-in and stunted innovation.

Android Malware Continues to Grow

Inside that Android malware base, 73 percent of all attacks are from some form of fake installer. In a fake installer attack, the android user goes to a mobile app store that is different than the default Google Play store. Juniper found at least 500 such non-Google Play app stores that were all serving fake installer-based mobile malware.

New MIPS processors coming, may target Android

At least some of the Warrior cores will support Android, and the Warrior announcement page features a prominent Android robot icon (above). There was no mention of Linux, but it’s always been the go-to development platform for 32- and 64-bit MIPS processors.

New MintBox 2 is on its Way

Based on an unspecified Intel i5 processor, Lefebvre says it should offer four times the performance as the original mintBox Pro. It'll feature 4 GB RAM, a 500 GB hard drive, and dual Gigabit ethernet connections. The new PC will also come with a five year warranty (up from one of the originals). The new price is up a bit as well to $599.

IRS Puts Open Source Projects Under Microscope, Spawns Nonprofit Black Hole

This week, we discovered that progressive groups and others — including open source projects — were similarly flagged on these BOLO lists.

Two Open Source Strategies

There are two strategic reasons why a company would want to sponsor its software as open source. One is good for investors, the other is not good.

Inside Calxeda ARM [VIDEO]

One of the ways that Calxeda is growing is by way of building credibility, particularly in the Linux community by showing that a Calxeda ARM system can run standard Linux.

Leisure Suit Larry Debuts on Linux

It is the result of another successful Kickstarter campaign, and another promise fulfilled for Linux games.

***** Snippets

Eclipse Kepler Orbits 71 Open Source Project and 58 million lines of code

Open Source FreeBSD Co-Founder Leaving Apple

Richard Stallman inducted into Internet Hall of Fame

SolydXK: New Kid on the Linux Block Delivers Rock-Solid Performance

Mint 15 freshens Ubuntu's bad bits

Intel is Committed to Open Source, Security + Governance

Fedora 19 RC2 "Schrödinger's Cat" Is Now Available for Testing

Find an open source RSS reader today

Ubuntu Rocks! According to Recent Poll

Linus Torvalds, Candy Chang, Chris DiBona Confirmed for LinuxCon/CloudOpen

'Who Don't You Trust' Poll - The Biggest Loser Is...

Ubuntu Rushes Mir, XMir Into Ubuntu 13.04

Puppet Enterprise 3 Orchestrates Configuration

Six Percent of Free Android Apps Hide Intrusive Adware

Facebook will now let you beta test its Android app

RMS Inducted, Nook Tablet RIP & More???

Half-Life 2 crowbars its way out of Linux beta, brings Oculus Rift support with it

GIMP 2.8.6 Released

Linux Mint 15 Cinnamon review

Kubuntu v Ubuntu: looks like the house is dividing

Kernel Log: Coming in 3.10 (Part 4) Drivers

AV Linux 6.0.1 Review - Audio Visual Perfection

Were Collaborating With CERN openlab For Hybrid Cloud-Powered Research
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