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07.17.08

Red Hat Senior Fights Patents, Microsoft’s ‘Patent Troopers’ Revisited

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Patents, Red Hat, Security at 5:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Squashing Software Patents

T

his site was probably bit harsh on Red Hat yesterday. In practice, Red Hat is among those who push for the elimination of software parent and it now turns out that former Red Hat senior, Mark Webbink, becomes a junk patents swatter at Peer-to-Patent.

Peer to Patent Project Extended and Expanded – Mark Webbink Exec. Dir. of New Center

I’m very happy to tell you that it’s just been announced that the Peer-to-Patent project, which is a cooperative project between New York Law School and the USPTO, has been extended after the first year’s trial. It’s also been expanded to include business methods patents! Yum. I can’t wait to see you try to invalidate some of those.

While working at Red Hat, Webbink protested against software patents (video). Alan Cox did too (video) and he still works for Red Hat.

Squashing the System with Software Patents

A day or so ago, the Microsoft-backed patents abuser known as Blackboard claimed to have begun collaborating with Sakai, which is an open source project. The press release is here. An article covering this has already been published.

Blackboard, the dominant player in course management software, has the ability to inspire devotion and, for the more fervid open-source adherents, not a little contempt. So today’s announcement may cause a stir among those more apt to liken Blackboard to the devil than a gentle giant: The company is partnering with Syracuse University to develop a way to integrate Blackboard with Sakai, one of the primary open-source alternatives.

One has to wonder if it’s a Novell-like deal of ‘interoperability’. Remember that Blackboard has been harassing FOSS projects [1, 2, 3]. Here is a reminder from the news about Moodle, which is another FOSS project that competes with Blackboard. It’s moving (or running away) to the cloud now.

Moodle says it is doing all this, by the way, in part because Blackboard, the market leader in this area, has been so aggressive in defending its patents.

Blackboard is not the only Microsoft-funded company that causes so much harm with ridiculous software patents. Here’s the Microsoft-backed patent harasser (maybe troll) called Finjan [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. It seemingly tries to legalise or at least legitimise software patents in the UK where it is currently based. It’s getting some undeserved publicity at the moment.

The report includes real documented discussions conducted by Finjan’s researchers with resellers of stolen data and their “bosses”, confirming Finjan’s analysis of the current state of the cybercrime economy.

Some more here.

A security vendor, Finjan, reported Wednesday that the city’s Web site was one of over 1,000 sites treating visitors to malicious code.

Sadly enough, Finjan not only fights to ‘defend’ its software patents from the UK. It also puts barriers in the face of scrutiny software and therefore it assists cybercrime. If this carries on, it means that the bad guys win. It means that those bullying with their software patents can drive away competitors and make the Internet a lot less secure.

“I would much rather spend my time and money and energy finding ways to make the Internet safer and better than bickering over patents.”

Dean Drako, Barracuda’s CEO

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