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

01.26.08

Software Patents Hinged on Money and Political Influence

Posted in Bill Gates, Europe, Finance, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Videos at 11:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“That weekend Gates and Noorda met in the American Airlines Admirals Club lounge at San Francisco Airport. Gates barely took time to say hello before he reiterated his interest in a corporate marriage. “There was only one stipulation,” says Noorda, “Gates told me, That DRI thing has to go.”‘ Ballmer confirms this, but says the reason was that it was clear to Microsoft that a merger with Novell would never get government approval if it included the purchase of Microsoft’s only MS-DOS competitor. But when Noorda raised the possibility that Washington might block a merger anyway, Gates replied, according to Noorda: “Don’t worry, we know how to handle the Federal Government.””

Source

Bill Gates was born to a wealthy family of diplomats and lawyers. The fragment above is intended to draw your attention to this fact (or remind you of it). Lobbying has become an incredibly worrisome phenomenon. In the United States alone there is multi-billion-dollar lobbying industry which does a lot of damage to the stability of the system. See this recent video of Larry Lessig who discusses such severe issues which he calls “corruption” [1, 2, 3].

In the past, the lobbying industry worked in the shadows, but newer disclosure rules revealed its extent and impact. As a contextually-related plug, consider the following set of eye-opening quotes:

There are serious dangers in allowing affluent lobbyists and their funding sources to write laws and change rules ‘on behalf’ of everybody else. Even Europe has woken up to realise that this infectious disease has entered Brussels — an issue that was raised by BusinessWeek just a couple of months ago. Based on a new article, here is where software patents come into play:

MEPs on Thursday launched the thorny debate on tightening rules covering the thousands of EU lobbyists in Brussels, with an initial discussion showing deputies in favour of defining the term “lobbyist” as broadly as possible but shying away from the 600-page rulebook that defines and confines lobbyists in the US.

[...]

For his part, Mr Stubb says he is not out to demonise lobbyists, whose activities have come to light recently during the ferocious lobbying on legislation that took place during the development of the chemicals, services and software patent laws.

Some time ago, in the midst of a conversation I was having, I saw the term lobbyist synonymised with “legalised bribery”. The main issue is that prevalence makes this almost acceptable. It’s a case of “everyone else is doing it, so I might as well join in.” Here is an article from Friday:

Tech Group Expands State Lobby Efforts

High-Technology Trade Association Boosts State Lobbying Program With Funding, Personnel

[...]

The group represents about 2,500 companies, including Microsoft Corp., Google Inc. and Dell Inc., in the software, telecommunications, computers, semiconductor and other sectors. It announced the plans Thursday.

The leader of this pack isn’t of much interest here. It’s more about the scale of this phenomenon, which probably proves to be more powerful than the Internet, i.e. the ‘public voices’.

A few days ago, in Davos, Bill Gates attempted to rename “predatory capitalism” or “extreme capitalism” (as Richard Stallman calls it) “kinder capitalism”. Having seen Microsoft's handling of a charity, this seems like an awful lot of spin. Matt Asay had more to say about this plea for love:

There are other reasons that open source fits Mr. Gates’ call for a “kinder capitalism.” The point is that the open-source revolution Mr. Gates has long fought is the single-best answer for building global (IT) economies, just as it’s doing in Europe right now according to the European Union.

You should try giving away open source as part of your foundation, Mr. Gates. You could undo much of the wrongs you’ve done the world’s IT economy.

As we mentioned the other day, Gates’ charity is sometimes used to battle free open source software. Dumping techniques are being labeled “charity”. But let us get back the main point.

As Larry Lessig states in the video cited above, he may have been chasing the wrong problem for many years. He had all the right answers. Just as it’s accepted by non-monopolies (including older days Gates) that software patents do not make sense, Lessig explains that copyrights and global warming issues are trivialities. These are not being resolved because of greed and the likes of this characteristic.

The issue goes deeper beneath the surface and it needs to be addressed effectively by identifying those who legislated for the USPTO, for starters. As the articles below show, legislation on software patents around the world is still a political question that is overwhelmed and stomped by money. The same goes for the Novell deal and ISO, apparently. These are not purely-technical questions.

Related articles:

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

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. Breaking: EPO Vice-President Željko Topić Loses Defamation Case in Croatia

    The EPO's notorious Vice-President, whose appointment at the EPO is still raising some alarming questions, has just lost his case in Croatia (one of many cases), motivating us to accelerate coverage about the persona known as Željko Topić



  2. Qualys Starts Self-Promotional FUD Campaign, Naming a Bug That Was Already Fixed 2 Years Ago and Distros Have Covered With Patches

    Responding to the media blitz which paints GNU/Linux as insecure despite the fact that bugs were evidently found and fixed



  3. The Openwashing of Microsoft is Now Threatening to Eliminate the Identity of Free Software

    More openwashing of Microsoft, including in the corporate media, shows just to what great an extent and how quickly the old "Microsoft Open Source" Big Lie grows feet



  4. Links 27/1/2015: Plasma 5.2, Dell Precision With GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  5. Microsoft's Media Attack on Free Software and GNU/Linux

    Brainwash war is still being waged by Microsoft and its friends to convince people that Windows is universally dominant and that Microsoft is now part of the Free software world



  6. Microsoft Accounting Practices After Fire Again, After Previous Abuses and Book-Cooking

    After the infamous IRS brawl comes another confrontation between Microsoft and the SEC, which is unhappy with Microsoft for seemingly cooking the books again



  7. Links 26/1/2015: Debian 8.0 “Jessie” RC1, Linux Kernel 3.19 RC6

    Links for the day



  8. Links 25/1/2015: Android Wear 5.0, Tizen in Bangladesh

    Links for the day



  9. IRC Proceedings: January 11th, 2015 – January 24th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  10. Links 24/1/2015: Zenwalk Linux Reviewed, Netrunner 14.1 Released

    Links for the day



  11. The Latest 'Microsoft is Open Source' Propaganda a Parade of Lies

    Microsoft myth makers continue their assault on what is objectively true and try to tell the public that Microsoft is a friend of "Open Source"



  12. Apple -- Like Microsoft -- Not Interested in the Security of Its Operating Systems

    Apple neglected to patch known security flaws in Mac OS X for no less than three months and only did something about that vector of intrusion when the public found out about it



  13. As Battistelli Breaks the Rules and Topić Silences Staff, New European Parliament Petition for Tackling the EPO's Abuses is Needed

    The neglected (by EPO) Article 4a of the European Patent Convention (EPC) and the European Parliament petition/complaint against the EPO's crooked management



  14. Links 23/1/2015: Red Hat on IBM Power, Meizu Leaks With Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  15. Links 23/1/2015: Plasma 5.2, Manjaro 0.9-pre1

    Links for the day



  16. Microsoft is Dying Due to Free Software, Tries to Infect GNU/Linux With .NET and to Infect Moodle in Schools With Microsoft Office and OOXML Lock-in

    'Free' drugs (a proprietary software analogy) the new strategy of Microsoft in its latest battle against Free software, especially in schools where choice is a rarity (if not an impossibility), with the premeditated intention of forming dependency/addiction among young people



  17. Microsoft Symptoms of a Dying Company: More Boosters Depart, Back Doors Revealed, Microsoft's Outlook Cracked

    Bad news for Microsoft shortly before the marketing extravaganza served to cover much of it up



  18. The Collapse of European Patent Office Management Culminates With Resignations

    No blood is spilled, but even the management of the EPO is falling apart as the Director of Internal Communication is said to have just resigned



  19. New LCA Talk: Open Invention Network's Deb Nicholson on Software Patents and Patent Trolls

    Deb Nicholson's LCA talk is now publicly accessible



  20. Links 22/1/2015: GNU/Linux Sysadmin Opportunities, TraceFS Introduced

    Links for the day



  21. Links 21/1/2015: Andrew Tridgell, Torvalds Being Baited

    Links for the day



  22. Vesna Stilin Renews Her Fight for Justice in Željko Topić Case (EPO VP)

    Željko Topić's abuses continue to cloud the legitimacy of the European Patent Office, in which he is a Vice-President



  23. Failure of the EPO Can Derail the Trojan Horse of Software Patents and Patent Trolls

    Dazzled by his endless pursuit of infinite money and power, Battistelli pushes for expansion of patent scope (geographically too), but he won't have it without a challenge



  24. Links 20/1/2015: Linux 3.19 RC5, 30 Years of FSF

    Links for the day



  25. Translations of Member of the European Parliament Complaining About European Patent Office (EPO)

    French, German, Dutch, and English translations of the article from Dennis De Jong



  26. Microsoft, the Back Doors Company, is Gradually Dying and Trying to Embrace the Competition

    The world is leaving Microsoft's common carrier (Windows) behind, so Microsoft, which is shrinking, tries to conquer Free software and GNU/Linux



  27. Battistelli's Latest Propaganda War Tries to Convince EPO Staff That Željko Topić's Many Criminal Charges Don't Exist

    Battistelli's right-hand man, Željko Topić, is now facing real danger of prosecution and possibly arrest in his home country, so Battistelli rushes to defend this thug's reputation



  28. Links 18/1/2015: Sailfish OS RoadMap, ownCloud Turns 5

    Links for the day



  29. Strategy of Litigation With Patents Has Collapsed Since SCOTUS Ruling in Alice v. CLS Bank

    The latest figures from Lex Machina show a massive decrease (-18%) in patent litigation last month; lawyers look for ways to spin the data in their favour



  30. Patent Lawyers Can't Help Rewriting Alice v. CLS Bank History

    The league of patent lawyers -- people who profit at the expense of software producers -- keeps brainwashing the public about the patentability of software (both the rationale and the potential)


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts