EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

01.21.08

Fixing the Problem at Its Core — USPTO and Lobbying

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents, Standard at 10:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It’s impossible to ignore more political aspects

As much as many of us hate politics, it is impossible to escape and ignore the impact corporations have on legislation. On the verge and at risk of approaching touchy subjects, it’s worth clarifying that the Administration is partly responsible for what we have come to know as “patent trolling” and taxation of Free software (through the legitimacy of software patents).

Going against Linux vendors — or any corporation for that matter — is practically difficult. It’s mentally hard to tolerate the very systematic attacks on me across the Web. These don’t help or motivate. Speaking for myself, I was an avid SUSE user and even occasional contributer both at home and at work (no dual/multi-booting, either) just before the Novell deal. So, I never ever had any vendetta against Novell. Au contraire — I was a fan.

“Increasing filtering on the Web might permit Microsoft to intercept ‘illegitimate’ downloads of GNU/Linux.”Over time, it became more clear that if we don’t start speaking with our wallets, then this racketeering scheme we’re seeing will expand until we cannot escape the ‘tax’. Increasing filtering on the Web might permit Microsoft to intercept ‘illegitimate’ downloads of GNU/Linux. One step at a time. Never say never. That’s the worst-case scenario anyway.

I happen to be a developer. My co-editor, Shane, is a distromaster and maintainer. As developers, it is rather obvious that we have to fight hard to tell Microsoft that it’s our code. We wrote it. Microsoft contributed nothing but slurs to it, so why should it be paid for code we wrote for no profit? This underpins the severity of the issue at hand.

If we can still fight against software patents, we should. The USPTO, along those who legislate for it, are simply too corrupted by the money already. There are attempts to rewrite the law in such as way so that neo-guilds will thrive as they did back in the 19th century. Some call it “oligarchy” or a state of monopolies (which isn’t quite the same thing as globalisation).

No Patents in Linux

By changing laws, Free software, Creative Commons-licensed material and political blogs can be verboten, suffocated to death or marginalised until they remain a distant and scarcely-reachable niche. Why else would Lawrence Lessig so abruptly quit his existing efforts and decide to fight corruption instead? He claims this to be at the heart of copyrights madness that assassinates our culture. He intends to spends the next 10 years studying and combating this disease.

The copyrights battle parallels that of Free software. Software development is about creating better tools. The financial side of the business must not hinder further development of better products. But that’s just what you get with software patents. As yesterday’s update about Acacia demonstrates, an entire industry of programmers is nowadays giving room to lawyers who wish to share the profit.

Ware and Financial Systems Innovation, LLC (a subsidiary of Acacia, formerly a subsidiary of TechSearch, the company now known as Global Patent Holdings) have filed 10 patent litigations in the last four years, against 144 defendants. Friedman, Suder & Cooke is representing Ware and Acacia in all of the litigation, most of which are pending either in the Northern District of Georgia or Northern District of Texas. The big filing was one last June against 106 defendants, which I reported on here. While 3 of Ware’s cases were settled, the rest were stayed pending the first reexamination. There are motions in each of those cases to lift the stay. Some are being granted, but in other cases, more trouble brews.

It remains important to consider factors that go beyond the deals which we criticise relentlessly. Everyone is fighting to make the system more favourable in one direction or another and this is a game where money makes the rules. In other words, the wealthy can ensure that laws and amendment are constantly made which maintain and increase the same wealth balance. Linux and open standards are usually fought against not by superior products and formats, but through backroom deals and lobbying of politicians. As such, the slightly political slant will continue to remain relevant. It won’t be overlooked.

“Gates met Noorda briefly in San Francisco to discuss the merger […] before the merger could go forward, he said Novell had to drop its plans to buy Digital Research. […] when Noorda raised the possibility that the Justice Department might try to block a merger between the first and third biggest software companies on the planet, Gates responded, “Don’t worry, we know how to handle the federal government.” […] Gates denied every saying such a thing”

BILL GATES and the Race to Control Cyberspace

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Slashdot

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Links 9/8/2020: Popcorn Computers Pocket PC and New Interview With Richard Stallman

    Links for the day



  2. Education and Free Software

    "If students learn how to code, they'll be able to figure out the applications."



  3. Features Considered Harmful (Revised)

    "But the benefits of Free software, free candy and new features are all meaningless, if the user isn't in control."



  4. If We Weren't Silencing Founders, Critics and People We Just Don't Like

    In the long run, history is rarely very kind to tyrants, especially the ones who did little more than lie to people and demand things that served no real purpose."



  5. I Would Have Supported the Coup (Under Very Different Circumstances)

    Richard Stallman's (rms) ordeals are showing us how not to deal with a founder; this is how power transition could be done instead, according to figosdev



  6. It Looks Like Red Hat's (IBM) Fedora Project May be 'Outsourced' to Amazon's Datacentres

    In "seeking a more modern and cost effective location" for Fedora Infrastructure it seems to have been decided, privately, that Amazon (AWS) would be the new home of this project; but there's sufficient obfuscation surrounding the matter and many people seem to be totally unaware



  7. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, August 08, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, August 08, 2020



  8. Fearmongering Was Originally an IBM Thing, Not a Microsoft Thing

    Microsoft made FUD famous, but it was actually IBM’s practice that made it commonplace in the first place (the term or acronym was coined before Microsoft even mattered and on the same year Microsoft was founded)



  9. [Meme] People Get Fired for Being Bought by IBM (With a Crummy Severance Package)

    IBM used to proudly provide job security and one could have a job there for decades (career ladders and worker benefits of all sorts are what some people assess this when looking for an employer, e.g. whether they can progress, get promoted, stay onboard); by today’s standards only a month’s salary is exceptionally bad, especially when one gets fired without warning, but this is what IBM did to some Red Hat employees



  10. New FSF Video Makes the Case Against Microsoft GitHub (and Similar), So Why is the FSF's Board Being Filled Up With Active GitHub Users?

    The FSF makes a good point about “important values like autonomy, sharing, social responsibility, and collaboration” — the very things that are under attack by Microsoft’s GitHub, which is all about coercion and monopolistic control over developers



  11. Techrights is Not Against Microsoft

    It may be a suitable time to explain why Microsoft is mentioned so much and why it's not a fixation but a reactionary priority



  12. The THRIVE Guidelines

    "Nobody is perfect, and it's obvious that people already hold some to a more unreasonable interpretation of their standards than others."



  13. Links 8/8/2020: Mageia 8 Hits Beta and FSF Has New Video

    Links for the day



  14. [Meme/History] OpenPOWER or Just White POWER?

    Antiwar and anti-nukes activists cannot support those causes and support IBM at the same time, as the founder’s son (father received a medal from the Nazi Party) flew “an American heavy bomber” and enjoyed a track record of nepotism, propelling him to the top both in the military and at IBM



  15. Rebuilding Communities

    "First, we should talk about how our communities have regressed."



  16. [Meme] Microsoft in 2020: Liaising With Criminals to Make Crime the New Normal

    As the TikTok situation serves to show, Microsoft is little but a criminal cult that relies on other criminals to do Microsoft's biddings



  17. The Computer Anybody Can Edit

    "Without rebuilding and recompiling all of the packages on a large distribution, it is possible to "remaster" an ISO and get a different system -- even before you install it."



  18. Former Microsoft Employee on So-called 'Journalists' Being Blackmailed by Microsoft

    Mitchel Lewis, a former Microsoft employee, remarks on Mary Jo Foley being 'punished' by Microsoft for not mindlessly publishing Microsoft propaganda (we remarked on this before as she had spoken to me about this over a decade ago)



  19. IRC Proceedings: Friday, August 07, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, August 07, 2020



  20. For the Want of a Pixel

    "It is still possible to win, but the FSF has practically left the field."



  21. Ubuntu and Fedora Project Serving Microsoft

    The Ubuntu 'community' as well as the 'community' component of Red Hat (IBM) don't view Microsoft as a rival; over a decade ago Mark Shuttleworth accused Microsoft of "extortion" and "racketeering" (his words), but now he's paid to change his tune



  22. (Don't Let's) Throw Caution to the Wind

    "As it will become crucial to explain, the effect of all this dancing around truth and reality was to transform a volunteer force primed to bring freedom to users into cheap labour for an industry that exploits everyone in it -- all the way to the very top of Open Source itself."



  23. Links 7/8/2020: Mesa 20.2 RC, Radeon Software for Linux 20.30

    Links for the day



  24. Computing Fundamentals

    "A graphical interface is better, for some things -- sometimes. But it will also put a lot more on our plates."



  25. IBM and the Bomb: Series Index (on 75th Anniversary of Atomic Bombs Being Dropped on Civilians)

    Today seems an apt time to remind readers that IBM participated in the creation of the only bombs ever to be dropped in a war (not tests) and this tradition carries on because IBM is still profiting from it, to this very day (countless billions made by IBM during the Cold War too)



  26. Freedom is Personal

    "Before I say anything else, note that there are literally hundreds of GNU/Linux distros, and I put in a lot of work to rate which were the least encumbered by corporate politics — directly or indirectly."



  27. Links 7/8/2020: Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS and GNU C Library 2.32 Released

    Links for the day



  28. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, August 06, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, August 06, 2020



  29. Our Collective Privacy is Under Unprecedented Attacks and Privacy is Now Conflated With Bad Hygiene, Not Just Criminality

    At warp speed the "War on cash" or "War on anonymous transactions" is moving ahead; now that COVID-19 infects a lot of people we're led to assume that mass surveillance saves lives not because of counter-terrorism but because of contact-tracing or whatever (in practice it's hardly effective, but it's conditioning people to give up any remnants of their privacy)



  30. The Psychology of Developers

    "It turns out, there are ways around a free license -- you can make software "less free" or more imposing, without changing the license at all."


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts