Copyright & Copyleft
CC licenses are enforced in Israeli court for the first time. The article also mentions an Israeli variation of fair trade and why the court didn't apply it in this case. The reason is that fair use does not apply to moral rights and is not all about economic interest.
Google and EFF both support MP3tunes in its legal battle against EMI in order to keep online music/file lockers legal.
Short post on copyright in China.
Two weeks ago I reported about rumours regarding Brazil's copyright reform. This week it seem the rumours have some solid ground. Lately Brazil's Ministry of Culture also relicensed its website from CC to a (similar) verbatim license, which may not be a good sign.
In the Microsoft vs. Salesforce lawsuit, it shows that Microsoft holds a "Network Software Update Patent", which may be a problem for Linux distributions. I skimmed through it (and Alexandre Oliva did as well) and it seems like distros could be on the safe side.
Intel has settled with WiLAN over alleged infringement of WiLAN's WiFi, CDMA, Bluetooth and DSL patents. It is predicted that others will follow suit.
The EU is coming closer to a common patent system. The EP committee on Legal Affairs has just released its positive draft report on the Commission's proposal for an Enhanced cooperation in the area of the creation of unitary patent protection. The report is due on 27th of January and mid-February the EP plenary sitting is scheduled.
The USPTO issued more utility patents in calendar year 2010 than in any year in history (31% more then in 2009). Although also more patents have been rejected then ever before, this does raise concern whether they lowered their standards for patentability.
A similar trend is reported in China by SIPO (Chinese patent office) which has officially announced that the number of patents granted in China in 2010 was 40 percent higher than in 2009.
In related news IBM has more US patents then anyone else.
The threat of CPTN acquiring Novell's assets (incl. patents) is so threatening that for the first time ever FSF and OSI have written joint statements and requests to battle it.
Google's decision to drop support of h.264 in its Chrome browser and concentrate on WebM as the video format of choice has spurred critique. But it remains true that WebM is a more open format then h.264 ever was. It would be great if WebM would be developed by a consortium though, to make it trully open. Some myths that Ars Technica follows are taken appart by the other two links below.
- Ars Technica: Google's dropping H.264 from Chrome a step backward for openness
- Carlo Daffara:On WebM again: freedom, quality, patents
- AdamW: Some patent reflections on WebM
More critique on broadening the scope of open standards in EIFv2 to include (F)RAND patents. Post also points out that PCAST which "is not the government but it is the highest private sector advisory body on science and technology [whose] views are taken seriously" think that RF licensed patents are part of the open standard definition and the only way to go.
Privacy & Data Protection
European Comission launched a new consulation on IPRED, a directive on the enforcement of intellectual property rights, adopted by the EU in 2004. The report – whose logic is similar to ACTA – is based on an analysis of the application of IPRED. It calls for the massive filtering of the Internet to tackle file-sharing: according to the Commission, ISP should "cooperate" in the war against sharing to avoid the threat of litigation.
- La Quadrature du Net: EC Plans for All-Out War Against Sharing
- IPtegrity.com IPRED review: alarm bells for those who care about the 'Net
FFII analyses what is wrong with the resolution on ACTA that the European Parliament adopted in November. Also European academics start signing a public opinion on/against ACTA.
- FFII: ACTA resolution contains fundamental flaw
- Institute for Legal Informatics, Leibniz University Hannover: Opinion of European Academics on ACTA
New Zealand unions are demanding that the country’s government tell people what is being proposed under the US-led TPPA negotiation. (ACTA déjà vu anyone?)
Verizon sues the FCC over its "net neutrality lite" rules, claiming FCC is not the one who should be making the rules, but the US Congress.
- Ars Technica: Verizon sues FCC, says "net neutrality lite" rules illegal
- Ars Technica: Why is Verizon suing over net neutrality rules it once supported?
- the Inquirer: Verizon sues FCC over net neutrality rules
Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin instructed the federal government agencies to switch to Free Software by 2015. The transition will start this year with a federal support centre and the first to make the switch is Ministry of Communications. Sources state this decision may not be just economically motivated, but based on distrust of the securty of foreign proprietary software.
Surprisingly Microsoft started a gratis web development tool based to run Free Software web solutions (e.g. Drupal, Wordpress, Joomla etc.) on Microsoft's IIS Express server.
OpenGamma, a financial startup, which has an "open core" analytics and risk management platform for the financial services industry, has completed a $6 million Series B round of equity financing led by FirstMark Capital, a New York-based VC
Google has announced that its co-founder Larry Page will take over as CEO from Eric Schmidt.
- the Inqurier: Larry Page becomes Google chief, Schmidt booted off
- the Guardian: Google shuffle: why Eric Schmidt had to be pushed from the top
- Google Blog: Update from Chairman
An independent IT analyst company has written a short post about successful Free Software companies and asks for any it has missed to raise their hand.
More about OpenStack that Rackspace and NASA have published under the Apache 2.0 license.
What Sony could have learned from Microsoft and its XBox to avoid its own PS3 DRM fiasco. It's specially sad that PS3 was actually promoted with the possibility to run GNU/Linux. After Sony turned off that option with a firmware upgrade, hacks to bypass this DRM were inevitable.
Microsoft's Kinect is some nifty piece of hardware, for which enthusiasts soon made Free Software drivers and a whole bunch of inventive uses. Microsoft doesn't seem to know what to do with them – embrace or prosecute them.
- Open IT Strategies: Microsoft vs. Open Kinect
- Bloomberg Businessweek: Microsoft's Ambivalence About Kinect Hackers
Law students in India now have a free knowledge and documet repository and legal search tool.
IETF celebrates its 25th birthday. Ars Technica writes a brief summary of IETF's accomplishments in that time.
AGIMO decided that the Australian government will standardise on using OOXML as their default document format.
- iTNews: Australia mandates Microsoft's Open Office XML
- Gartner:Transparency is Never Enough: The Strange Case of Australia and OOXML
hook out → making my own QtCurve theme and color scheme for KDE (purple all the way!)