Free Software Business

Carlo Daffara: Nokia is one of the most active Android contributors, and other surprises

TechWorld: Ubuntu Linux boosted by 10,000 seat PC win

ComputerWorld UK: OpenOffice.org: Freedom on a Fork

Wild Webmink: Transparency and Privacy

Software Patents

It seems like not a week can pass without companies throwing (software) patents at each other. This week the mobile phone business is (again) a real patent battlefield with basically everyone suing basically everyone and their dog. What's even more worrying is that one explanation why this is happening is to force a higher price tag on the Free Sofware-based mobile OS that is Android/Linux. Now if this isn't balant abuse of patent law, I don't know what is! Check the last two links in the list below for a graphical overview of the whole mobile OS patent massacre.

This is big: the US Department of Justice and the German Federal Competition Office have allowed CPTN Holdings (consortium consisting of Apple, Microsoft, Oracle and EMC) to acquire Novell's highly seeked after patent portfolio only under terms that would protect Free Software from these patents. The most important bit is that the decision was made expressively to protect Free Software development and innovation and to protect those CPTN (members) may only acquire patent licenses to those patents, while the cca. 882 patents in question themselves will have to be released under the GPLv2 license and the OIN license. I'm proud to say FSFE helped achieve this (together with FSF, OSI and others) :]

Incidentially, media reports how OIN is growing fast and mentions its latest aditions.

Incidentially incidentially, Microsoft due to its i4i patent battle, is fighting for lower burden of proof to invalidate patents. This was certainly a lively and fun week from the (software) patent perspective.

Copyright and Other Legal Act Reforms

IPtegrity.com: DE Act court ruling – a twisted balance

KEI Online: Notes from April 13, 2011 EBU/TACD/IFLA, EDA event at European Parliament on WIPO treaty for the blind

Christian Engström: 40+ MEPs request review of copyright extension

Ariel Katz: the iPod Tax, the iTunes Tax and the Notepad Tax [in Canada]

This week was particularly bad for supporters of the so called "three strikes" copyright laws, as they took beating from several parts of the EU. The biggest of all perhaps by the European Court of Justice's Advocat General – if the ECJ were to follow his opinion (which is more often the case then not), it might become legally impossible to have any filtering and/or three-strikes system in the EU.

Government and Free Software Policies

OSOR: AU: Government updates open source guide in line with national policy, and sought public consultation on new version

OSOR: IT: Advocates welcome Fabriano municipality's embracing of free software

OSOR: CH: New structural plan of the Geneva Canton promoting free software in education

OSOR: Swedish municipalities fail strategy for electronic document formats

OSOR: Alternative, open source mail server improves MEPs' email access

Open Standards

the Inquirer: Youtube adopts WebM for all new videos

ConsortiumInfo.org: Where is There an End of It?

Other interesting links

An interesting legally relevant aspect of Free Software – how much can the courts and the parties involved trust computer generated evidence, if they can't see its source code?

EU's report on net neutrality and policies that may emerge from it have been heavily criticised.

KEI Online: Homeland Security's 2008 letter to USTR: ACTA is a threat to national security

Christian Engström: Data Retention Directive evaluation published

the Inquirer: Intel will leave McAfee alone, but it can secure our chips

the Inquirer: Playstation 3 hacker Hotz donates $10,000 to the EFF

the Inquirer: EU adds £500,000 penalty to cookie tracking rules

Apple's iPhone is keeping a full log of their users' location. It seems a similar issue is present in Google's Android, but a bit smaller, since it's only a cache of the last "few" locations and generally anonymised. The last two links are there for Android/Linux users to make their systems more secure.

On a smilar note:

Ars Technica: With no (or few) more IPv4 addresses, where's the IPv6 traffic?

Ars Technica: Settle up: voicemails show P2P porn law firms in action

Glyn Moody (yet again) puts some insane copyright (ab)use in historical context.

In this edition of EDRi-gram we see, amongst others, articles about net neutrality in the EU, a full review of the SWIFT agreement, top 10 misleading statements of the EC on data retention.

hook out → this time on time again :]

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