Also included: Japanese company reportedly buying ARM, Flash is on it’s way out the door and Toyota joins the Open Invention Network
FOSS Week in Review
Here in the U.S., the big news this week came not from the world of FOSS, but from the Republican National Convention where we learned to be careful when cribbing someone else’s words. This gives me the chance to remind you of the Week-in-Review pledge to you: absolutely no plagiarizing. You won’t find me cutting and pasting words from other journalists, news organizations or writers in this column. All you’ll find here is all the news that’s fit to print.
EFF’s sue you sue me blues: On Thursday the Electronic Frontier Foundation announced that it has filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against several U.S. government agencies to address First Amendment issues around the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Being questioned is Section 1201 which contains the so-called “anti-circumvention” clause that makes it a crime to circumvent DRM.
One of the major points the organization will make is that the section is a road block to “fair use,” which the Supreme Court has ruled is necessary for copyright protections to be constitutional.
With a tip of the Hatlo Hat to the EFF website for explaining:
“After the DMCA was passed, the Supreme Court was asked to evaluate other overreaching copyright laws, and offered new guidance on the balance between copyright protections and free speech. It found that copyright rules can be consistent with the First Amendment so long as they adhere to copyright’s “traditional contours.” These contours include fair use and the idea/expression dichotomy.”
The trouble is, fair use isn’t an allowed defense of Section 1201. Stay tuned, we’ll keep an eye on this.
SoftBank to buy ARM: This story supplies the answer to the question, where have all the companies gone? They’ve gone to Asia every one. The Norwegian born Opera browser was recently sold to a Chinese consortium for a reported $600 million. Now comes news that the Japanese company SoftBank has all but reached a deal to purchase the British firm ARM Holdings, and for considerably more money. Although no dollar amount has been announced that we can find, we’ve heard the figure $31 billion bandied about — for a company with a market cap of about $22 million. ARM Holdings, of course, is the company behind the ARM processor, which has all but driven Intel out of the mobile marketplace and is the technology behind the Raspberry Pi fueled SBC revolution.
Saying in a sentence or two what others say in a whole book: Flash is on it’s way to Hospice. Firefox will begin phasing out Adobe Flash with the release of Firefox 48 on August 2…. On Monday we learned that Toyota has joined the Open Invention Network and thrown some patents into the kitty. Other car companies are expected to follow suit soon.
You say goodbye, I say hello: In case you haven’t noticed, our Robin Miller interviewed the hardest working man in the tech journalism business this week, that being Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols. In the interview, SJVN talks about FOSS, Linux, Chromebooks — and even has some nice things to say about Microsoft (though he does throw in a zinger or two for good measure). Check it out.
That does it for this week. One to beam up. That’s Earl, brother.