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. Linux News or Marketing Platform?

    Ads everywhere: Phoronix puts them at the top, bottom, navigation bar, left, and right just to read some Microsoft junk (puff pieces about something that nobody other than Microsoft even uses); in addition there are pop-ups asking for consent to send visitors’ data to hundreds of data brokers



  2. Daily Links at Techrights Turn 15, Time to Give Them an Upgrade

    This year we have several 15-year anniversaries; one of them is Daily Links (it turned 15 earlier this week) and we've been working to improve these batches of links, making them a lot more extensive and somewhat better structured/clustered



  3. Back to Focusing on Unified Patent Court (UPC) Crimes and Illegal Patent Agenda, Including the EPO's

    The EPO's (European Patent Office, Europe's second-largest institution) violations of constitutions, laws and so on merit more coverage, seeing that what's left of the "media" not only fails to cover scandalous things but is actively cheering for criminals (in exchange for money)



  4. European Patent Office Staff Votes in Favour of Freedom of Association (97% of Voters in Support)

    The Central Staff Committee (CSC) at the EPO makes a strong case for António Campinos to stop breaking and law and actually start obeying court orders (he’s no better than Benoît Battistelli and he uses worse language already)



  5. Links 02/02/2023: Glibc 2.37 and Go 1.20

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 01, 2023

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 01, 2023



  7. Links 01/02/2023: Security Problems, Unrest, and More

    Links for the day



  8. Links 01/02/2023: Stables Kernels and Upcoming COSMIC From System76

    Links for the day



  9. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 31, 2023

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 31, 2023



  10. Links 31/01/2023: Catchup Again, Wayland in Xfce 4.20

    Links for the day



  11. Links 31/01/2023: elementary OS 7

    Links for the day



  12. Intimidation Against Nitrux Development Team Upsets the Community and Makes the Media Less Trustworthy

    Nitrux is being criticised for being “very unappealing”; but a look behind the scenes reveals an angry reviewer (habitual mouthpiece of the Linux Foundation and Linux foes) trying to intimidate Nitrux developers, who are unpaid volunteers rather than “corporate” developers



  13. Links 31/01/2023: GNOME 44 Wallpapers and Alpha

    Links for the day



  14. Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting (FOSDEM) and KU Leuven Boosting Americans and Cancellers of the Father of Free Software

    The Free Software Foundation (FSF) and its founder, Richard M. Stallman (RMS), along with the SFLC one might add, have been under a siege by the trademark-abusing FSFE and SFC; Belgium helps legitimise the ‘fakes’



  15. Techrights in the Next 5 or 10 Years

    Now that I’m free from the shackles of a company (it deteriorated a lot after grabbing Gates Foundation money under an NDA) the site Techrights can flourish and become more active



  16. 60 Days of Articles About Sirius 'Open Source' and the Long Road Ahead

    The Sirius ‘Open Source’ series ended after 60 days (parts published every day except the day my SSD died completely and very suddenly); the video above explains what’s to come and what lessons can be learned from the 21-year collective experience (my wife and I; work periods combined) in a company that still claims, in vain, to be “Open Source”



  17. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 30, 2023

    IRC logs for Monday, January 30, 2023



  18. Taking Techrights to the Next Level in 2023

    I've reached a state of "closure" when it comes to my employer (almost 12 years for me, 9+ years for my wife); expect Techrights to become more active than ever before and belatedly publish important articles, based on longstanding investigations that take a lot of effort



  19. The ISO Delusion: When the Employer Doesn’t Realise That Outsourcing Clients' Passwords to LassPass After Security Breaches Is a Terrible Idea

    The mentality or the general mindset at Sirius ‘Open Source’ was not compatible with that of security conscientiousness and it seemed abundantly clear that paper mills (e.g. ISO certification) cannot compensate for that



  20. Links 30/01/2023: Plasma Mobile 23.01 and GNU Taler 0.9.1

    Links for the day



  21. EPO Management Isn't Listening to Staff, It's Just Trying to Divide and Demoralise the Staff Instead

    “On 18 January 2023,” the staff representatives tell European Patent Office (EPO) colleagues, “the staff representation met with the administration in a Working Group on the project “Bringing Teams Together”. It was the first meeting since the departure of PD General Administration and the radical changes made to the project. We voiced the major concerns of staff, the organization chaos and unrest caused by the project among teams and made concrete proposals.”



  22. Links 30/01/2023: Coreboot 4.19 and Budgie 10.7

    Links for the day



  23. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 29, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 29, 2023



  24. [Meme] With Superheroes Like These...

    Ever since the new managers arrived the talent has fled the company that falsely credits itself with "Open Source"



  25. Not Tolerating Proprietary 'Bossware' in the Workplace (or at Home in Case of Work-From-Home)

    The company known as Sirius ‘Open Source’ generally rejected… Open Source. Today’s focus was the migration to Slack.



  26. The ISO Delusion: A Stack of Proprietary Junk (Slack) Failing Miserably

    When the company where I worked for nearly 12 years spoke of pragmatism it was merely making excuses to adopt proprietary software at the expense of already-working and functional Free software



  27. Debian 11 on My Main Rig: So Far Mostly OK, But Missing Some Software From Debian 10

    Distributions of GNU/Linux keep urging us to move to the latest, but is the latest always the greatest? On Friday my Debian 10 drive died, so I started moving to Debian 11 on a new drive and here's what that did to my life.



  28. Stigmatising GNU/Linux for Not Withstanding Hardware Failures

    Nowadays "the news" is polluted with a lot of GNU/Linux-hostile nonsense; like with patents, the signal-to-noise ratio is appalling and here we deal with a poor 'report' about "Linux servers" failing to work



  29. Microsofters Inside Sirius 'Open Source'

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ has been employing incompetent managers for years — a sentiment shared among colleagues by the way; today we examine some glaring examples with redacted communications to prove it



  30. Links 29/01/2023: GNOME 43.3 Fixes and Lots About Games

    Links for the day


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