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
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.
- the Inquirer: Google's showdown with Oracle over Android will go to trial before November
- the Register: Apple sues Samsung over Galaxy look-and-feel
- Ars Technica: Bad TouchWiz? Apple sues Samsung for patent violations
- the Register: Samsung threatens Apple in response to patent lawsuit
- the Inquirer: Apple sues Samsung while US ITC sides with HTC and Nokia
- Business Insider: Here's The Real Reason Apple Is Suing Samsung
- the Guardian: Microsoft sues Motorola over Android – and all the other mobile lawsuits, visually
- Technologizer: Who’s Suing Who? A Cheat Sheet to the Mobile Patent Mess
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) :]
- FSFE: Free Software crucial to competition, regulators in Novell patent deal say
- 7th Space: USDOJ: CPTN Holdings LLC and Novell Inc. Change Deal in Order to Address Department of Justice's Open Source Concerns
- the Inquirer: Microsoft must change its Novell patents bid
- ComputerWorld UK: Why Time is Patently on Open Source's Side
- ComputerWorld UK: Open Source Critical To Competition Say Regulators
- [US] Department of Justice: CPTN Holdings LLC and Novell Inc. Change Deal in Order to Address Department of Justice's Open Source Concerns
- Deutches Bundeskartellamt: Bundeskartellamt gibt Gemeinschaftsunternehmen CPTN für den Kauf von Novell-Patenten frei [in German]
Incidentially, media reports how OIN is growing fast and mentions its latest aditions.
- Groklaw: Open Invention Network Takes on Mass – Facebook and HP Join
- ComputerWorld: Linux patent protection network gets boost from Facebook, HP
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.
- Ars Technica: Microsoft urges SCOTUS to make patents easier to kill
- the Inquirer: Microsoft wants to balance patent laws at US Supreme Court
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
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.
- La Quadrature du Net: Net Neutrality: The European Commission Gives Up on Users and Innovators
- the Inquirer: EU net neutrality policies are criticised as favouring companies
- GigaOM: Europe Takes One Small Step Toward Net Neutrality
- Ars Technica: Europe Pledges to Name and Shame Non-neutral ISPs
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.
- Ars Technica: How Apple tracks your location without consent, and why it matters
- Ars Technica: Android phones keep location cache, too, but it's harder to access
Ars Technica: For paranoid Androids, Guardian Project offers smartphone security
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 :]