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

07.26.08

Mr. Shuttleworth Misunderstands Microsoft’s Software Patents Tactics

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents, Ubuntu at 6:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Talk is cheap. Show me the code.”

Linus Torvalds

M

icrosoft has only threatened Linux without ever showing any evidence to back it slanderous allegations. That’s FUD and saber-rattling, but it’s not a lawsuit. At the same time, Microsoft quietly resorted to extortion of large Linux users. The mainstream press hardly covers this hush-hush fiasco.

Nonetheless, Mark Shuttleworth, who on Wednesday advocated GPLv3, seems to believe that:

  1. Microsoft has not attacked yet
  2. Microsoft won’t attack

In a way, both of these assertions are wrong. The extortion, a mafia-like technique which is documented even by Microsoft, is akin to lynching (punishment without a trial) and Microsoft might already be attacking Linux, by proxy. Here is what he said:

Shuttleworth smirked and then responded.

“I don’t believe Microsoft is going to sue any open source software vendor, doing so would be tantamount to launching nuclear war.”

The audience erupted into laughter.

“We do copyright assignment and I really do believe that’s a valuable practice,” Shuttleworth continued. “As part of our copyright assignment we don’t ask for any statement about patents, we accept the code, it’s a contribution and we take responsibility for it and we carry that forward.”

Mark seems indifferent when it comes to Mono in Ubuntu (Fedora and Debian possibly beg to differ), but copyrights come into play as well. He neglects to account for a point that he made before. The patent trolls are a big problem, more so when they are former Microsoft employees!

Microsoft won’t sue Linux. Of course not, that would be just as foolish as what SCO did (possibly at the behest of Microsoft). they’ll use patent trolls (shell companies) instead. Remember FireStar, which attacked Red Hat [1, 2, 3, 4]? Guess what? There turns out to be a Microsoft connection.

Why go to the effort of developing new software when you can use patents to extort other companies? A story about FireStar Software, which has not updated its software since 2003, preferring to rely on lawyers rather than programmers, to assure its income…

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0EIN/is_2002_May_20/ai_94390699

“Under terms of the agreement FireStar Software and Microsoft and will be participating in joint marketing and sales activities targeting Insurance companies faced with issues of rapidly developing applications compliant with industry standards.”

Microsoft connections also exist in another patent troll that attacked Linux [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11]. Don’t forget Intellectual Ventures, which is almost a Microsoft spin-off given the personal involvement of Mhyrvold [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7].

All of this is a strategy of creating and using laws that sideline the competition. The DMCA, which Microsoft is promoting [1, 2, 3], is another such example. It’s reaching Canada while the founder of Red Hat is trying to fight a political (and easily corruptible) muscle. From the news:

His long history with open source development has him concerned about the provisions of Bill C-61 prohibiting software that circumvents technological measures (AKA technical protection measures, or TPMs).

Despite an exemption in Bill C-61 that allows users to circumvent TPMs for the purpose of making software interoperable, Young told ComputerWorld Canada Thursday this could have unintended consequences.

“I don’t want to come across as being hugely anti- (Bill C-61) but I am concerned about one particular feature,” Young said. “It errs on the side of making technology illegal as opposed to making behaviour illegal.”

Because technology could change over the next few years, it’s hard to predict the effect of making circumvention tools illegal.

“It’s the equivalent to making screwdrivers and pliers illegal because they can be used to break and enter instead of making the act of breaking and entering illegal,” Young said.

It’s important to understand the fight against vital rights, which includes an abuse of the system that injures Free software the most.

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 29/4/2017: Endless OS, Pinebook, and New Mozilla Foundation Board Members

    Links for the day



  2. Links 28/4/2017: Subsurface 4.6.4, GNOME Shell & Mutter 3.25.1

    Links for the day



  3. Kather Augenstein and Bristows Shift Attention to Germany in an Effort to Ram the Dying UPC Down Everyone's Throats

    Down the throat, hopes Team UPC, the Unitary Patent system will go, even though Britain cannot ratify, throwing the whole thing into grave uncertainty



  4. United for Patent Reform Defends USPTO Director Michelle Lee From Attacks by the Patent Microcosm

    Michelle Lee is finally (if not belatedly) shielded by a bunch of large technology companies; The deep-pocketed industry finally steps in line with our position, which is usually when things turn out the way we advocate for



  5. Team UPC and CIPA Are Lobbying, Publishing Puff Pieces, and Rewriting the Law for Unitary Patent (UPC) Behind Closed Doors

    A collection of the latest news and views on the UPC, which is being lied about by those who stand to benefit from it and is probably going nowhere because Brexit means that the UK stays out, in which case it must be reset and pertinent ratifications done all over again



  6. China's Suffering From Patent Maximalism Has Europe Forewarned

    The parasitic elements inside China -- those that just want lots of litigation (even if from patent trolls) -- are winning over, much to the detriment of the Chinese economy, and Team UPC threatens to do the same in Europe with help from Battistelli



  7. Links 27/4/2017: Mesa 17.0.5 RC1, Git 2.13.0 RC1, and Linkerd 1.0

    Links for the day



  8. The Latest Expensive PR Blitz of the EPO, Led by Jana Mittermaier and Rainer Osterwalder Under the 'European Inventor Award' Banner

    The PR agencies of the Corsican in Chief, who appears to be buying political support rather than earning any, are very busy this week, as yet another reputation laundering campaign kicks off



  9. Links 26/4/2017: SMPlayer 17.4.2, Libreboot Wants to Rejoin GNU

    Links for the day



  10. PatentShield is Not the Solution and It Won't Protect Google/Android From Patent Trolls Like Microsoft's

    A new initiative called "PatentShield" is launched, but it's yet another one of those many initiatives (Peer-to-Patent and the likes of it, LOT Network, OIN, PAX etc.) that serve to distract from the real and much simpler solutions



  11. Patent Quality Crisis and Unprecedented Trouble at the European Patent Office (EPO) Negatively Affect Legitimate Companies in the US As Well

    The granting en masse of questionable patents by the EPO (patent maximalism) is becoming a liability and growing risk to companies which operate not only in Europe but also elsewhere



  12. Blog 'Takeovers' by Bristows and Then Censorship: Now This Firm Lies About the Unitary Patent (UPC) and Then Deletes Comments That Point Out the Errors

    Not only are Bristows employees grabbing the mic in various high-profile IP blogs for the purpose of UPC promotion (by distortion of facts); they also actively suppress critics of the UPC



  13. Links 25/4/2017: Kali Linux 2017.1 Released, NSA Back Doors in Windows Cause Chaos

    Links for the day



  14. Astoundingly, IP Kat Has Become a Leading Source of UPC and Battistelli Propaganda

    The pro-UPC outlets, which enjoy EPO budget (i.e. stakeholders' money), are becoming mere amplifiers of Benoît Battistelli and his right-hand UPC woman Margot Fröhlinger, irrespective of actual facts



  15. EPO Fiasco to be Discussed in German Local Authority (Bavarian Parliament) Some Time Today as the Institution Continues Its Avoidable Collapse

    Conflict between management and staff -- a result of truly destructive strategies and violations of the law by Benoît Battistelli -- continues to escalate and threatens to altogether dismantle the European Patent Office (EPO)



  16. In the US and Elsewhere, Qualcomm's Software Patents Are a Significant Tax Everyone Must Pay

    The state of the mobile market when companies such as Qualcomm, which don't really produce anything, take a large piece of the revenue pie



  17. In South Asia, Old Myths to Promote Patent Maximalism, Courtesy of the Patent Microcosm

    The latest example of software patents advocacy and patent 'parades' in India, as well as something from IPOS in Singapore



  18. Links 24/4/2017: Linux 4.11 RC8, MPV 0.25

    Links for the day



  19. Why Authorities in the Netherlands Need to Strip the EPO of Immunity and Investigate Fire Safety Violations

    How intimidation and crackdown on the staff representatives at the EPO may have led to lack of awareness (and action) about lack of compliance with fire safety standards



  20. Insensitivity at the EPO’s Management – Part IX: Testament to the Fear of an Autocratic Regime

    A return to the crucial observation and a reminder of the fact that at the EPO it takes great courage to say the truth nowadays



  21. For the Fordham Echo Chamber (Patent Maximalism), Judges From the EPO Boards of Appeal Are Not Worth Entertaining

    In an event steered if not stuffed by patent radicals such as Bristows and Microsoft (abusive, serial litigators) there are no balanced panels or even reasonable discussions



  22. EPO Staff Representatives Fired Using “Disciplinary Committee That Was Improperly Composed” as Per ILO's Decision

    The Board of the Administrative Council at European Patent Organisation is being informed of the union-busting activities of Battistelli -- activities that are both illegal (as per national and international standards) and are detrimental to the Organisation



  23. Links 23/4/2017: End of arkOS, Collabora Office 5.3 Released

    Links for the day



  24. Intellectual Discovery and Microsoft Feed Patent Trolls Like Intellectual Ventures Which Then Strategically Attack Rivals

    Like a swarm of blood-sucking bats, patent trolls prey on affluent companies that derive their wealth from GNU/Linux and freedom-respecting software (Free/libre software)



  25. The European Patent Office Has Just Killed a Cat (or Skinned a 'Kat')

    The EPO’s attack on the media, including us, resulted in a stream of misinformation and puff pieces about the EPO and UPC, putting at risk not just European democracy but also corrupting the European press



  26. Yann Ménière Resorts to Buzzwords to Recklessly Promote Floods of Patents, Dooming the EPO Amid Decline in Patent Applications

    Battistelli's French Chief Economist is not much of an economist but a patent maximalist toeing the party line of Monsieur Battistelli (lots of easy grants and litigation galore, for UPC hopefuls)



  27. Even Patent Bullies Like Microsoft and Facebook Find the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Useful

    Not just companies accused of patent infringement need the PTAB but also frequent accusers with deep pockets need the PTAB, based on some new figures and new developments



  28. Links 21/4/2017: Qt Creator 4.2.2, ROSA Desktop Fresh R9

    Links for the day



  29. At the EPO, Seeding of Puff Piece in the Press/Academia Sometimes Transparent Enough to View

    The EPO‘s PR team likes to 'spam' journalists and others (for PR) and sometimes does this publicly, as the tweets below show — a desperate recruitment and reputation laundering drive



  30. Affordable and Sophisticated Mobile Devices Are Kept Away by Patent Trolls and Aggressors That Tax Everything

    The war against commoditisation of mobile computing has turned a potentially thriving market with fast innovation rates into a war zone full of patent trolls (sometimes suing at the behest of large companies that hand them patents for this purpose)


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