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

12.21.08

The Threat of Mono as Basis of Applications (or: “Why GIMP is Different”)

Posted in Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents at 9:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GIMP threatened with a software patent lawsuit

FURTHER TO YESTERDAY’S discussion about Mono, it is worth pointing out a comment which was made there about Mono being a threat because it sits at the bottom of candidate applications. This means that removing Mono or changing a feature can have a ‘tidal wave’ effect on many applications that are built upon Mono.

As a case of point, consider news that came up very quietly. Not many people know about GIMP being litigiously threatened, but it’s there in PUBPAT. It’s fairly recent news.

he Public Patent Foundation (“PUBPAT”) announced today that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted its formal request to review a patent relating to photomosaics (large pictures made up of many smaller pictures) assigned to Mr. Robert Silvers, who has been aggressively asserting the patent against many individuals, small businesses, and even against an important open source software program (GIMP).

FFII caught the response to this, which can be found here in a low-visibility page.

The image mosaic plug-in for the GIMP is no longer supported or distributed. Mr. Robert Silvers, the holder of a patent related to the technology that was used in the plug-in, argued that the software would directly infringe his patent rights. It is not clear if the patent is applicable in this case. But I have neither the time, interest or money for legal action. So I complied with the cease and desist request.

PHOTOMOSAIC® is a registered trademark of Runaway Technology, Inc. The photomosaic process is patented (US Patent No. 6,137,498) and protected by the patent, copyright, and other intellectual property laws of the United States and other major countries.

Benjamin Henrion tried to raise the issue in the GIMP IRC channel, without much success.



20:15 < zoobab> hi
20:15 < zoobab> http://www.digitalmajority.org/forum/t-114601/kirchgessner:the-gimp-plug-ins
20:15 < zoobab> mayeb you could add a news about the patent s* on gimp.org?

[...]

20:16 < zoobab> http://www.digitalmajority.org/forum/t-114600/pubpat:government-finds-sunsta...
20:18 < zoobab> does someone has a copyf of this plugin?
20:19 < zoobab> http://www.kirchgessner.net/photo-mosaic.html

[...]

20:35 < rubikcube> zoobab: there's none at registry.gimp.org at least


Going back to Mono, imagine having to change something in its behaviour in order to dodge an explicit patent threat. It would not be merely a plug-in. It would be a whole stack that many other applications depend on. Moreover, the patenter is most likely to be Microsoft, which constantly attacks GNU/Linux. Even a cease and desist request, as in the case above, would be hugely problematic as it would disrupt development of many applications at the same time. Microsoft prefers to choke just one throat .

Ostrich
Keeping one’s head out of the sand

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

9 Comments

  1. aeshna23 said,

    December 21, 2008 at 9:54 am

    Gravatar

    Ostriches actually never put their head in the sand. In this way, they are smarter than mono developers. I just don’t get people who refuse to see obvious threats, the crowds who clapped for Chamberlain at the airport when he returned from selling out Czechoslovakia, or the people who fantasize that George Bush, not the Islamic terrorists, is the enemy of freedom. I just don’t see how denial on this level could be selected in an evolutionary process. Sorry to rant!

  2. Dan O'Brian said,

    December 21, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    Gravatar

    If the threats are so obvious, why can’t you provide any patents that Mono actually infringes? You shoot your mouth off daily, yet you are unable to find any patents that Mono might even remotely infringe – and it’s not like you guys haven’t tried.

  3. Diamond Wakizashi said,

    December 21, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    Gravatar

    Mono is poison. Novell is a masochistic company, so it’s not surprising that they like it.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 21, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    Gravatar

    …you are unable to find any patents that Mono

    We never tried. I once put in “winforms” into Google Patent Search and presented the results page. That doesn’t count as studying the domain.

  5. Dan O'Brian said,

    December 21, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    Gravatar

    But then you argued relentlessly that it was proof that Mono infringed patents.

    So you admit, now, that you were simply FUDing?

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    December 21, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    Gravatar

    I was showing that patent searches come with some appropriate matches.

  7. Jo Shields said,

    December 21, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    Gravatar

    Except it wasn’t remotely appropriate, and your lack of understand on the actual topic you protest was revealed

  8. England said,

    December 22, 2008 at 4:43 am

    Gravatar

    In the UK, you could ask a judge to provide a “declaration of non-infringement” regarding Mono and all Microsoft patents granted in the UK.

  9. twitter said,

    December 23, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    Gravatar

    Dan, M$ is a company with a record of non specific patent extortion against free software. You have to be crazy to think they won’t pull the same tricks with mono.

What Else is New


  1. Weaponising Russophobia Against One's Critics

    Response to smears and various whispering campaigns whose sole purpose is to deplete the support base for particular causes and people; these sorts of things have gotten out of control in recent years



  2. When the EPO is Run by Politicians It's Expected to Be Aggressive and Corrupt Like Purely Political Establishments

    António 'Photo Op' Campinos will have marked his one-year anniversary in July; he has failed to demonstrate morality, respect for the law, understanding of the sciences, leadership by example and even the most basic honesty (he lies a lot)



  3. Links 16/6/2019: Tmax OS and New Features for KDE.org

    Links for the day



  4. Stuffed/Stacked Panels Sent Back Packing After One-Sided Patent Hearings That Will Convince Nobody, Just Preach to the Choir

    Almost a week ago the 'world tour' of patent lobbyists in US Senate finally ended; it was an utterly ridiculous case study in panel stacking and bribery (attempts to buy laws)



  5. 2019 H1: American Software Patents Are as Worthless as They Were Last Year and Still Susceptible to Invalidation

    With a fortnight left before the second half of the year it seems evident that software patents aren't coming back; the courts have not changed their position at all



  6. As European Patent Office Management Covers up Collapse in Patent Quality Don't Expect UPC to Ever Kick Off

    It would be madness to allow EPO-granted patents to become 'unitary' (bypassing sovereignty of nations that actually still value patent quality); it seems clear that rogue EPO management has, in effect, not only doomed UPC ambitions but also European Patents (or their perceived legitimacy, presumption of validity)



  7. António Campinos -- Unlike His Father -- Engages in Imperialism (Using Invalid Patents)

    Despite some similarities to his father (not positive similarities), António Campinos is actively engaged in imperialistic agenda that defies even European law; the EPO not only illegally grants patents but also urges other patent offices to do the same



  8. António Campinos Takes EPO Waste and Corruption to Unprecedented Levels and Scale

    The “B” word (billions) is thrown around at Europe’s second-largest institution because a mischievous former EUIPO chief (not Archambeau) is ‘partying’ with about half of the EPO’s all-time savings, which are supposed to be reserved for pensions and other vital programmes, not presidential palaces and gambling



  9. Links 15/6/2019: Astra Linux in Russia, FreeBSD 11.3 RC

    Links for the day



  10. Code of Conduct Explained: Partial Transcript - August 10th, 2018 - Episode 80, The Truth About Southeast Linuxfest

    "Ask Noah" and the debate on how a 'Code of Conduct' is forcibly imposed on events



  11. Links 14/6/2019: Xfce-Related Releases, PHP 7.4.0 Alpha

    Links for the day



  12. The EPO is a Patent Troll's Wet Dream

    The makers of software and games in Europe will have to spend a lot of money just keeping patent trolls off their backs — a fact that seems to never bother EPO management because it profits from it



  13. EPO Spreading Patent Extremists' Ideology to the Whole World, Now to South Korea

    The EPO’s footprint around the world's patent systems is an exceptionally dangerous one; The EPO amplifies the most zealous voices of the patents and litigation ‘industry’ while totally ignoring the views and interests of the European public, rendering the EPO an ‘agent of corporate occupation’



  14. Guest Post: Notes on Free Speech, and a Line in the Sand

    We received this anonymous letter and have published it as a follow-up to "Reader's Claim That Rules Similar to the Code of Conduct (CoC) Were 'Imposed' on LibrePlanet and the FSF"



  15. Links 13/6/2019: CERN Dumps Microsoft, GIMP 2.10.12 Released

    Links for the day



  16. Links 12/6/2019: Mesa 19.1.0, KDE neon 5.16, Endless OS 3.6.0 and BackBox Linux 6

    Links for the day



  17. Leaked Financial 'Study' Document Shows EPO Management and Mercer Engaging in an Elaborate “Hoax”

    How the European Patent Office (EPO) lies to its own staff to harm that staff; thankfully, the staff isn't easily fooled and this whole affair will merely obliterate any remnants of "benefit of the doubt" the President thus far enjoyed



  18. Measuring Patent Quality and Employer Quality in Europe

    Comparing the once-famous and respected EPO to today's joke of an office, which grants loads of bogus patents on just about anything including fruit and mathematics



  19. Granting More Fundamentally Wrong Patents Will Mean Reduced Certainty, Not Increased Certainty

    Law firms that are accustomed to making money from low-quality and abstract patents try to overcome barriers by bribing politicians; this will backfire because they show sheer disregard for the patent system's integrity and merely lower the legal certainty associated with granted (by greedy offices) patents



  20. Links 11/6/2019: Wine 4.10, Plasma 5.16

    Links for the day



  21. Chapter 10: Moving Forward -- Getting the Best Results From Open Source With Your Monopoly

    “the gradual shift in public consciousness from their branding towards our own, is the next best thing to owning them outright.”



  22. Chapter 9: Ownership Through Branding -- Change the Names, and Change the World

    The goal for those fighting against Open source, against the true openness (let's call it the yet unexploited opportunities) of Open source, has to be first to figuratively own the Linux brand, then literally own or destroy the brand, then to move the public awareness of the Linux brand to something like Azure, or whatever IBM is going to do with Red Hat.



  23. Links 10/6/2019: VLC 3.0.7, KDE Future Plans

    Links for the day



  24. Patent Quality Continues to Slip in Europe and We Know Who Will Profit From That (and Distract From It)

    The corporate media and large companies don't speak about it (like Red Hat did before entering a relationship with IBM), but Europe is being littered and saturated with a lot of bogus software patents -- abstract patents that European courts would almost certainly throw out; this utter failure of the media to do journalism gets exploited by the "big litigation" lobby and EPO management that's granting loads of invalid European Patents (whose invalidation goes underreported or unreported in the media)



  25. Corporate Front Groups Like OIN and the Linux Foundation Need to Combat Software Patents If They Really Care About Linux

    The absurdity of having groups that claim to defend Linux but in practice defend software patents, if not actively then passively (by refusing to comment on this matter)



  26. Links 9/6/2019: Arrest of Microsoft Peter, Linux 5.2 RC4, Ubuntu Touch Update

    Links for the day



  27. Chapter 8: A Foot in the Door -- How to Train Sympathetic Developers and Infiltrate Other Projects

    How to train sympathetic developers and infiltrate other projects



  28. Chapter 7: Patent War -- Use Low-Quality Patents to Prove That All Software Rips Off Your Company

    Patents in the United States last for 20 years from the time of filing. Prior to 1994, the patent term was 17 years from when the patent was issued.



  29. The Linux Foundation in 2019: Over 100 Million Dollars in Income, But Cannot Maintain Linux.com?

    Today’s Linux Foundation gets about 0.1 billion dollars per year (as explained in our previous post), so why can’t it spend about 0.1% of that money on people who write for and maintain a site that actually promotes GNU/Linux?



  30. Microsoft and Proprietary Software Vendors a Financial Boon for the Linux Foundation, But at What Cost?

    The Linux Foundation is thriving financially, but the sources of income are diversified to the point where the Linux Foundation is actually funded by foes of Linux, defeating the very purpose or direction of such a nonprofit foundation (led by self-serving millionaires who don't use GNU/Linux)


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