05.27.08

Gemini version available ♊︎

Free Software versus Today’s Intellectual Monopolies — Overview

Posted in America, DRM, Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, GPL, Novell, Patents at 10:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNU logoKeeping up to date with laws against digital freedom…

Bruce Perens and the GNU GPL

One of the most prominent defenders of the integrity of “Open Source” seems to be Bruce Perens, whom long-time readers probably know we strongly endorse. Unlike many others with involvement inside or outside the OSI, Perens maintains a healthy relationship with the Free software movement and he wishes to rectify some emerging issues. He has also been protesting against the Novell/Microsoft deal like nobody else did.

In the following new video from Linux Magazin (Germany), Perens talks about limiting the number of licences. This interview seems to strictly require JavaScript to be enabled and Adobe Flash to be installed on your system.

In another item, the validity of the GPL is cautiously defended [via Tux Machines]. Like many other articles which arrive from the legal journals, there seems to be an element of FUD (balance), but overall there are some positive messages also.

Open source licensing suits settle in short order

[...]

Although settled, these lawsuits are thought to reveal a growing assertiveness in the open source community to enforce open source rights and licences. The fact that the defendants each settled the claims in short order (despite – in at least Verizon’s case – having the deep pockets to defend the claim to a judicial resolution) also suggests that the claims had serious merit.

We covered this issue before using some further examples that serve as case studies.

The United States and Software Patents

A big judgment [1, 2, 3, 4] still lies ahead and this new article from ECT [via Digital Majority] covers some of the background, summarised thusly:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington held a rare full-court hearing on May 8 to decide whether to limit “process patents.” The decision in this case — which is expected within a few months — may have a wide-ranging effect on the patenting practices of e-commerce companies.

Europe and Software Patents

The situation in Europe seems a little more complicated (ambiguity and loopholes lead to this), especially in recent days. Digital Majority sums up a subscribers-only article using the following snippet.

However, as illustrated by Kapur, the EPO will generally remain the better forum for obtaining software patents while the “technical contribution” requirement remains good law in the UK. In contrast, current EPO jurisprudence8 allows any claim which involves the use of or is to a piece of hardware however mundane to bypass the Article 52 exclusion and move on to an assessment of inventive step.

DRM Caging in Finland

When Richard Stallman delivered his talk in Manchester earlier this month, he talked about Finland as the land where more laws needed to be bought in order to ensure further limitation/illegalisation of Free software. Slashdot brings an English translation (from Finnish) of an article suggesting a key reversal in Finland.

Due to an appeal court decision from a couple of days back, breaking the not very effective CSS copy protection used on most commercial DVD-Video discs is now a criminal act in Finland (robo translated). The verdict is contrary to what a district court thought of the same case last year when two local electronic rights activists were declared not guilty after having framed themselves by spreading information on how to break CSS. Back then, it was to the activists’ benefit has CSS been badly broken and inneffective ever since DeCSS came out.

Stallman was probably right. It was just a matter of time and there are even more draconian steaming piles trying to force their way through (behind people's backs of course because it stifles opposition).

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

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Don't Fall for Microsoft's Spin That Says Everything is Not Secure and Cannot be Secured

    Microsoft keeps promoting the utterly false concept that everything is not secure and there's nothing that can be done about it (hence, might as well stay with Windows, whose insecurity is even intentional)



  2. At Long Last: 2,000 Known Gemini Capsules!

    The corporate media, looking to appease its major sponsors (such as Web/advertising giants), won't tell you that Gemini Protocol is rising very rapidly; its userbase and the tools available for users are rapidly improving while more and more groups, institutions and individuals set up their own capsule (equivalent of a Web site)



  3. Links 26/1/2022: Gamebuntu 1.0, PiGear Nano, and Much More

    Links for the day



  4. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 25, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 25, 2022



  5. Links 26/1/2022: No ARM for Nvidia, End of EasyArch, and WordPress 5.9 is Out

    Links for the day



  6. Why the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is Still Just a Fantasy and the UPC's Fake News Mill Merely Discredits the Whole Patent 'Profession'

    Patents and science used to be connected; but now that the patent litigation 'sector' is hijacking patent offices (and even courts in places like Texas) it's trying to shove a Unified Patent Court (UPC) down the EU's throat under the disingenuous cover of "community" or "unity"



  7. Links 25/1/2022: Vulkan 1.3 Released, Kiwi TCMS 11.0, and antiX 19.5

    Links for the day



  8. Gemini Milestones and Growth (Almost 2,000 Known Gemini Servers Now, 39,000 Pages in Ours)

    The diaspora to Gemini Protocol or the transition to alternative 'webs' is underway; a linearly growing curve suggests that inertia/momentum is still there and we reap the benefits of early adoption of Gemini



  9. [Meme] Get Ready for Unified Patent Court (UPC) to be Taken to Court

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent system that’s crafted to empower EPO thugs isn’t legal and isn’t constitutional either; even a thousand fake news 'articles' (deliberate misinformation or disinformation) cannot change the simple facts because CJEU isn’t “trial by media”



  10. The EPO Needs High-Calibre Examiners, Not Politicians Who Pretend to Understand Patents and Science

    Examiners are meant to obstruct fake patents or reject meritless patent applications; why is it that working conditions deteriorate for those who are intellectually equipped to do the job?



  11. Free Software is Greener

    Software Freedom is the only way to properly tackle environmental perils through reuse and recycling; the mainstream media never talks about it because it wants people to "consume" more and more products



  12. Links 25/1/2022: Git 2.35 and New openSUSE Hardware

    Links for the day



  13. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 24, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, January 24, 2022



  14. Links 25/1/2022: GPL Settlement With Patrick McHardy, Godot 4.0 Alpha 1, and DXVK 1.9.4 Released

    Links for the day



  15. Proprietary Software is Pollution

    "My daughter asked me about why are we throwing away some bits of technology," Dr. Andy Farnell says. "This is my attempt to put into words for "ordinary" people what I tried to explain to a 6 year old."



  16. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part XV — Cover-Up and Defamation

    Defamation of one’s victims might be another offence to add to the long list of offences committed by Microsoft’s Chief Architect of GitHub Copilot, Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley; attempting to discredit the police report is a new low and can get Mr. Graveley even deeper in trouble (Microsoft protecting him only makes matters worse)



  17. [Meme] Alexander Ramsay and Team UPC Inciting Politicians to Break the Law and Violate Constitutions, Based on Misinformation, Fake News, and Deliberate Lies Wrapped up as 'Studies'

    The EPO‘s law-breaking leadership (Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos and their corrupt cronies), helped by liars who don't enjoy diplomatic immunity, are cooperating to undermine courts across the EU, in effect replacing them with EPO puppets who are patent maximalists (Europe’s equivalents of James Rodney Gilstrap and Alan D Albright, a Donald Trump appointee, in the Eastern and Western Districts of Texas, respectively)



  18. Has the Administrative Council Belatedly Realised What Its Job in the European Patent Organisation Really Is?

    The "Mafia" which took over the EPO (the EPO's own workers call it "Mafia") isn't getting its way with a proposal, so it's preventing the states from even voting on it!



  19. [Meme] Team UPC is Celebrating a Pyrrhic Victory

    Pyrrhic victory best describes what's happening at the moment (it’s a lobbying tactic, faking/staging things to help false prophecies be fulfilled, based on hopes and wishes alone), for faking something without bothering to explain the legal basis is going to lead to further escalations and complaints (already impending)



  20. Links 24/1/2022: Scribus 1.5.8 and LXLE Reviewed

    Links for the day



  21. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 23, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 23, 2022



  22. [Meme] Team UPC Congratulating Itself

    The barrage of fake news and misinformation about the UPC deliberately leaves out all the obvious and very important facts; even the EPO‘s António Campinos and Breton (Benoît Battistelli‘s buddy) participated in the lying



  23. Links 24/1/2022: pgBadger 11.7 Released, Catch-up With Patents

    Links for the day



  24. The Demonisation and Stereotyping of Coders Not Working for Big Corporations (or 'The System')

    The war on encrypted communication (or secure communications) carries on despite a lack of evidence that encryption stands in the way of crime investigations (most criminals use none of it)



  25. On the 'Peak Hacker' Series

    Hacker culture, unlike Ludditism, is ultimately a movement for justice, for equality, and for human rights through personal and collective emancipation; Dr. Farnell has done a good job explaining where we stand and his splendid series has come to a close



  26. Links 23/1/2022: First RC of Linux 5.17 and Sway 1.7 Released

    Links for the day



  27. Peak Code — Part III: After Code

    "Surveillance perimeters, smart TVs (Telescreens built to Orwell's original blueprint) watched over our living rooms. Mandatory smart everything kept us 'trustless'. Safe search, safe thoughts. We withdrew. Inside, we went quietly mad."



  28. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 22, 2022

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 22, 2022



  29. Links 23/1/2022: MongoDB 5.2, BuddyPress 10.0.0, and GNU Parallel 20220122

    Links for the day



  30. A Parade of Fake News About the UPC Does Not Change the General Consensus or the Simple Facts

    European Patents (EPs) from the EPO are granted in violation of the EPC; Courts are now targeted by António Campinos and the minions he associates with (mostly parasitic litigation firms and monopolists), for they want puppets for “judges” and for invalid patents to be magically rendered “valid” and “enforceable”


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