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

05.24.08

Watch and Learn How Intellectual Monopoly Laws Are Passed

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Patents at 4:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Sheesh! Don’t let the ‘little people’ see this”

An excellent little catch from Glyn Moody reveals just what is happening behind people’s backs. The finding is a leak, courtesy of Wiki Leaks which found itself in trouble earlier this year for exposing ‘too much’ truth (see [1, 2, 3] at the bottom).

Glyn’s observations, which seem to be based purely on this self-serving document, are as follows:

Politicans remain the ultimate dinosaurs in terms of openness: ideally, the rich and powerful would like to make their cosy deals – often aimed at that dangerous openness – behind closed doors.

[...]

This secret agreement, drawn up without any public discussion or oversight, would basically impose all of the worst aspects of US intellectual monopolies on everyone in sight – starting with willing stooges like the UK, and progressing to the unwilling but powerless.

Not so long ago, Microsoft was caught deceiving on copyrights using inaccurate ‘propaganda documents’ for a reform in Canada. But that’s not all. Recall the recent (and heated) debate about whether or not the US tries to squeeze software patents into other nations from the back door, along with other draconian laws (it already bit Australia).

Of great relevance to software patents and OOXML you may also find the following new article from Reuters. It’s about a former judge with professional tendencies that favour monopolisation. He just doesn’t realise this yet and lobbying might play a role here too. Deception through persistence and repetition can be alarmingly effective.

Earlier, he told the conference that although he signed the Microsoft judgment in September and was bound by secrecy, he understood “some of the worries” critics have expressed.

Vesterdorf said “one should be careful” not to encroach too much on patent rights “by a too-zealous enforcement of competition law”.

“It may give rise to frivolous private litigation, create legal uncertainty for holders of IP (intellectual property) rights, thereby perhaps diminishing the incentives to sometimes desirable but very expensive research and development,” Vesterdorf said.

Come to consider the fact that Microsoft patented protocols which Neelie Kroes describes as too trivial to be patentable and too essential to have royalties imposed with their use, whose necessity is the result of brute market aggression.

Recall what Mark Webbink (of Red Hat at the time) said not so long ago:

“…there has been a proliferation of trivial and contestable patents triggered by a relaxation of the rules by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), which has progressively lowered the bar for patent claims.”

Let the Bilski case [1, 2, 3, 4] serve as a reminder that questions now arise about the patentability of a curve ball! It becomes endlessly insane when the boundaries are improperly set to permit patentability of mathematics (algorithms at the least).

Don Knuth wrote a wonderful letter many years ago to warn about this. He is probably the world’s #1 authority on the subject of algorithms, but who is he to counter multi-billion-dollar software companies with multi-million-dollar lobbying budgets?

“Don Knuth wrote a wonderful letter many years ago to warn about this.”Think about it for a second. If Microsoft spends about $10 million a year on lobbying (that which is discloses alone), this permits the company to employ more than 100 full-time people in suits — people whose career involves walking around Washington and taking people out to lunch, making phonecalls, back-room deals, etc.

Knuth, on the other hand, with all his wisdom granted, humbly lounges in his library near the Stanford campus. Can brains trump money? Can sanity defeat greed? Ask the friends in South Africa. They have suffered a lot from insults, abuse and aggressive lobbying by Microsoft agents recently. This courageous nation fights back at the moment, not only against OOXML but also against software patents (see video).

Speaking of lousy Microsoft patents, will you have a look at this one from the news?

Microsoft has just snared a U.S. patent for proactive virus protection, which is how security software helps secure your PC when it encounters shape-shifting malware not already in its antivirus definition file. What I want to know is, what does this mean for all the other vendors — like McAfee, Symantec, Kaspersky, and Trend Micro — that have been selling proactive protection software for years? Do they now have to pay Microsoft protection; I mean, royalties?

Do not let Microsoft’s software patents scare you. They seem to be worthless after last week's big defeat (against Alcatel-Lucent).

___
[1] WikiLeaks Under Fire

The transparency group WikiLeaks.org currently seems to be under heavy fire. The main WikiLeaks.org DNS entry is unavailable, reportedly due to a restraining order relating to a series of articles and documents released by WikiLeaks about off-shore trust structures in the Cayman Islands. The WikiLeaks whistle blower, allegedly former vice president of the Cayman Islands branch of swiss bank Julius Baer, states in the WikiLeaks documents that the bank supported tax evasion and money laundering by its clients from around the world

[2] Wikileaks Shutdown: Censorship Is Censorship

If Wikileaks were a print publication, the injunction that has shut down the site would be unthinkable. Back in 1931, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Minnesota law that allowed the closing of any “malicious, scandalous and defamatory” periodical. This court, by contrast, has not only barred future publication of the documents at issue but elected to put Wikileaks out of business.

[3] Free Speech Advocates Mount Legal Battle to Unchain Wikileaks

In Bank Julius Baer & Co., Ltd v. Wikileaks, et al, the plaintiff claims that the posting of certain documents to the Wikileaks site violated Swiss and Cayman Island bank secrecy laws.

Judge Jeffrey White ordered domain registrar Dynadot to disable Wikileaks.org in response to Julius Baer & Co.’s complaint. The groups behind the request to lift the injunction claim that it violates the First Amendment.

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. Links 16/10/2019: Halo Privacy, Ubuntu Release Imminent

    Links for the day



  2. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 15, 2019

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 15, 2019



  3. No, Microsoft is Not an 'Open Source Company' But a Lying Company

    The world’s biggest proprietary software companies want to be seen as “open”; what else is new?



  4. Meme: Setting the Record Straight

    Stallman never defended Epstein. He had called him “Serial Rapist”. It’s Bill Gates who defended Epstein and possibly participated in the same acts.



  5. EPO Staff Resolution Against Neoliberal Policies of António Campinos

    “After Campinos announced 17 financial measures,” a source told us, “staff gathered at multiple sites last week for general assemblies. The meeting halls were crowded. The resolution was passed unanimously and without abstentions.”



  6. Satya Nadella is a Distraction From Microsoft's Real Leadership and Abuses

    "I’m merely wondering if his image and accolades that we’re incessantly bombarded with by the press actually reflect his accomplishments or if they’re being aggrandized."



  7. Raw: EPO Comes Under Fire for Lowering Patent Quality Under the Orwellian Guise of “Collaborative Quality Improvements” (CQI)

    Stephen Rowan, the President’s (António Campinos) chosen VP who promotes the notorious “Collaborative Quality Improvements” (CQI) initiative/pilot, faces heat from the CSC, the Central Staff Committee of the EPO



  8. Making The Most of The Fourth Age of Free Software

    "For better or for worse, we can be certain the Free Software Foundation will never be the same."



  9. FSF is Not for Free Speech Anymore

    The FSF gave orders to silence people



  10. Links 16/10/2019: Plasma 5.17.0, Project Trident Moves to GNU/Linux, NuTyX 11.2

    Links for the day



  11. ...So This GNU/Linux User Goes to a Pub With Swapnil and Jim

    It's hard to promote GNU/Linux when you don't even use it



  12. How to THRIVE, in Uncertain Times for Free Software

    "The guidelines are barely about conduct anyway, they are more about process guidelines for "what to do with your autonomy" in the context of a larger group where participation is completely voluntary and each individual consents to participate."



  13. When They Run Out of Things to Patent They'll Patent Nature Itself...

    The absolutely ridiculous patent bar (ridiculously low) at today’s EPO means that legal certainty associated with European Patents is at an all-time low; patents get granted for the sake of granting more patents each year



  14. EPO Boards of Appeal Need Courage and Structural Disruption to Halt Software Patents in Europe

    Forces or lobbyists for software patents try to come up with tricks and lies by which to cheat the EPC and enshrine illegal software patents; sadly, moreover, EPO judges lack the necessary independence by which to shape caselaw against such practices



  15. Professor Dr. Maximilian Haedicke on Lack of Separation of Powers at the EPO (Which Dooms UPC)

    Team UPC (“empire of lies”) is catching up with reality; no matter how hard media has attempted to not cover EPO scandals (after the EPO paid and threatened many publishers that tried), it remains very much apparent that EPOnia is like a theocracy that cannot be trusted with anything



  16. As Expected, the Bill Gates Propaganda Machine is Trying to Throw/Put Everyone off the Scent of Jeffery Epstein's 'Incestuous' Ties With Gates

    Media ownership up on display; it's amplifying false claims for a whole month, whereas truth/correct information gets buried before a weekend is over



  17. IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 14, 2019

    IRC logs for Monday, October 14, 2019



  18. [ES] El Kernel de Linux está introduciendo Open Source Privative Software

    Linux, el kernel, continúa su trayectoria o el camino hacia convertirse en software propietario de código abierto (OSPS).



  19. Linux Foundation Board Meeting

    More sponsored keynotes and tweets — like more sponsored articles (or “media partners”) — aren’t what the Linux Foundation really needs



  20. Links 14/10/2019: Linux 5.4 RC3, POCL 1.4, Python 3.8.0

    Links for the day



  21. This Week Techrights Crosses 26,000 Posts Milestone, 3 Weeks Before Turning 13 (2,000+ Posts/Year)

    A self-congratulatory post about another year that's passed (without breaks from publishing) and another milestone associated with posting volume



  22. No Calls to "Remove Gates" From the Board (Over a Real Scandal/Crime), Only to "Remove Stallman" (Over Phony Distraction From the Former)

    Jeffrey Epstein's connections to Bill Gates extend well beyond Gates himself; other people inside Microsoft are closely involved as well, so Microsoft might want to cut ties with its co-founder before it becomes a very major mess



  23. “The Stupidest [Patent/Tax] Policy Ever”

    It’s pretty clear that today’s European patent system has been tilted grossly in favour of super-rich monopolists and their facilitators (overzealous law firms and ‘creative’ accountants) as opposed to scientists



  24. Meme: Software Patents at the EPO

    The evolution of “technical effect” nonsense at the EPO



  25. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 13, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 13, 2019



  26. Firm of Microsoft's Former Litigation Chief Uses Microsoft-Connected Patent Lawsuit Against GNU/Linux (GNOME Foundation) for New Breed of FUD Campaigns

    The patent troll of Bill Gates and Nathan Myhrvold has fed a patent troll that's attacking GNU/Linux and a firm owned by Microsoft's former litigation chief says it proves "Open Source Software Remains a Target"



  27. "Widespread Adoption" (Did You Mean: Takeover by Monopolies?)

    "Quite a few of them are people that would rather replace David with Goliath, just because he's bigger. Quite a few are already taking money from Goliath."



  28. Links 13/10/2019: Red Hat CFO Fired and KDE Plasma 5.17 Preparations

    Links for the day



  29. Bill's Media Strategy Amid GatesGate

    There are many ways by which to game the media’s news cycle — an art mastered by the groper in chief



  30. Hard-Core Micro-Soft

    The word "core" is increasingly being (mis)used to portray user-hostile proprietary software as something more benign if not "open"


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