08.12.09

Guess Which Software Giant is Promoting Software Patents

Posted in Bill Gates, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft at 4:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IBM Netvista

Summary: IBM is still advocating a barrier to Free software

SEVERAL readers have independently notified us of more patent insanity — a system whereby new entrants are denied an opportunity to compete.

In Re Bilski is off to the Supreme Court, which could mean an ultimate elimination of software patents in the United States. But there is (at least) one major company standing in the way of such destruction of software patents. That company is not Microsoft (not in this case anyway); It is IBM, whose amicus brief [PDF] (HTML copy) in the Bilski case is far from helpful to Free software. IBM is truly blowing an opportunity here. FFII’s president argues that “IBM says that [software patenting] has promoted the free sharing of source code and fueled the growth of open source software.”

“IBM have a huge patent portfolio across all kinds of things… but they have a blanket position of not chasing open source projects over them…”
      –Ng
“IBM have a huge patent portfolio across all kinds of things,” writes Ng, “but they have a blanket position of not chasing open source projects over them… maybe it’s not blanket, but they’re part of OIN.” It is not necessarily a good thing because it only legitimises software patents and the OIN is now harvesting more patents.

See the footnote on page 23, which says: “Given the reality that software source code is human readable, and object code can be reverse engineered, it is difficult for software developers to resort to secrecy. Thus, without patent protection, the incentives to innovate in the field of software are significantly reduced. Patent protection has promoted the free sharing of source code on a patentee’s terms—which has fueled the explosive growth of open source software development.

“Note the lack of a citation supporting the proposition stated in that last sentence,” notes another reader.

In other disappointing news, watch how patents are putting a price on life. The New York Times fails to convey what a travesty it truly is.

Dr. Quake calculates that the most recently sequenced human genome cost $250,000 to decode, and that his machine brings the cost to less than a fifth of that.

How ‘affordable’. Human life is now in private hands.

Also see this new essay titled “Poverty Kills” and remember relationships between the Gates Foundation and the pharmaceutical industry (it is a critique by the way).

How do you even decide what minimal nutritional requirements are? Why three? The answer is simple: just count deaths instead.

To the industry which explores medicine and genome, death usually means business.

“The day that the software sector forms a clear front against software patents, as pharma does for a unitary patent system… will be the day our cause comes close to winning.” —Pieter Hintjens, Fosdem07 Interview

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

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

3 Comments

  1. Jose_X said,

    August 12, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Gravatar

    First mistake is that they brush over reverse engineering of binaries as if it was a similar thing (ie, as complete and efficient) to having human-readable source code.

    Yeah, Bob. That is why FOSS stands for Free and Reversed-Engineered Software. That is why IBM will from this day forward distribute any source code at low cost to everyone that asks (since reverse engineering is so easy, cheap, and effective — why anger your clients for no real reason). Sure.

    The second mistake is that contributing to FOSS has many advantages if you are a hardware company, service provider, or a user .. and that includes the vast majority of the world (including IBM on all three counts). It’s these groups (and others) that are contributing to FOSS. They benefit immediately and directly. Since patents are easier to come up with than a solid piece of software, would so many people be wasting their time writing software at such low gains (if we believe IBM) and not going after patents instead? Or is it that the people contributing to and using/leveraging FOSS are really gaining?

    IBM wants the government to keep handing out unethical, stifling, and unconstitutional monopolies to prop up profit margins and unjust weapons against competitors despite the costs to the rest of society and to innovation. It’s not that patents are needed. It’s that they continue to be profitable assets to those that take the time (and have the money, experience, and lack of ethics) to exploit that broken system that survives on the backs of the many that are writing software instead of writing patents.

    Microsoft and IBM want to continue to keep their levers so as to buy out for cheap the companies doing the real work and keep companies growing fast from FOSS unable to escape heavy Industry-Giants Taxes.

    http://boycottnovell.com/2009/08/12/mckool-smith-i4i-vs-msft/comment-page-1/#comment-72064

  2. Charles Oliver said,

    August 12, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    Gravatar

    As pointed out, IBM are a member of the Open Invention Network.

    It’s not terribly surprising that a company that is so heavily invested in patents is riding to defend them. IBM’s patents give them a competitive advantage.

    If anything the number of large companies represented in these friends of the court briefs shows what a big advantage patents are to incumbents in the market.

  3. BrownieBoy said,

    August 13, 2009 at 5:03 am

    Gravatar

    Scarey stuff, maybe. But on the positive side, it’s also a restraint on Microsoft’s patent lawsuits.

    Microsoft has been poking around the edges so far – i.e. the TomTom thing. But it knows that it can’t risk open patent warfare with IBM. That would be MAD (as in Mutually Assured Destruction).

    And IBM has been Linux-friendly so far. So some good as well as bad here, IMHO.

What Else is New


  1. Our Move Further Away From the World Wide Web, the Browser Monopolies, HTTP, and HTML

    The World Wide Web (WWW) is going down a bad path and a clearly regressive direction; the solution isn't going 'retro' but exploring more sophisticated systems which are robust to censorship (localised or globalised) and downtime (related to censorship) while reducing surveillance by leveraging encryption at the endpoints



  2. Important Issues Not Entertained in the Community, Especially Critics of the Status Quo

    here's corporate infiltration inside communities (for oligarchy hunts volunteer, unpaid labour) and those who speak about that as a threat to our cause and objectives are painted as misguided outcasts who must be ignored



  3. Internet Origins of the Mob

    Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock



  4. When Proprietary Software Users Dictate the Freedom-Leaning Communities

    Fedora doesn't care about software freedom and its steward (or parent company) is sometimes imposing proprietary software on staff; they've quit caring



  5. In 2020 Onwards 'Open Source' is Just a Marketing Ploy of Monopolies, Unlike Free Software

    More people are nowadays seeing or witnessing 'Open Source' for what it truly is; the term has become a misleading marketing term of proprietary software firms looking to rebrand as "ethical" (e.g. by sharing some code with other proprietary software firms, over proprietary platforms such as GitHub)



  6. Microsoft: The Year After We Bought GitHub There Was a Significant Decline in Number of New Projects on GitHub

    Microsoft has just admitted that in 2019 GitHub saw a very significant decline in number of new projects (and users, which it is conveniently miscounting by adding 'phantom' ones) on the site. Just what we had heard before they confirmed it (and they foresaw this effect of the takeover, hence the lies about "loving" Linux).



  7. Social Control Media is a Passing Fad, We Should All Go Back to Blogging and Subscribing to RSS Feeds

    The whole "social control media" phenomenon has been oversold or promoted using lies; in reality, as a mountain of evidence serves to show, it's a way to manage society at a macro scale



  8. As Andrei Iancu Removes Himself From the Patent and Trademark Office All Eyes Are on Biden's Next Nomination

    Patent zealots and their front groups already lobby Joe Biden to put one of them in charge of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; we'll soon see if Joe Biden "means business" or simply means monopoly/large corporations (and their law firms/departments)



  9. Data Point: GNU/Linux Share in Desktops/Laptops Nearly Tripled in the Past Decade, Peaking This Past Month (All-Time High)

    Contrary to what some publishers try to tell us, GNU/Linux is still growing and mostly at the expense of Windows



  10. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 23, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 23, 2021



  11. Links 24/1/2021: Nouveau X.Org Driver Release and GhostBSD 21.01.20

    Links for the day



  12. InteLeaks – Part XXX: Harbor Research's Pseudo-scientific 'Research' for Intel, Bizarrely Suggesting a Microsoft Partnership for a Domain Largely Controlled or Dominated by Linux

    The full document that Intel paid for and in turn used to justify cracking down on Free software (obliterating Free software-based workflows inside Intel), instead outsourcing all sorts of things to proprietary software traps of Microsoft



  13. Chromium and Chrome Are Not Free Software But an Example of Microsoft-Fashioned Openwashing Tactics

    It's time to reject Google's Web monopoly (shared with other companies but still an oligopoly); removing its Web browser would be a good start



  14. Links 23/1/2021: Chromium Pains and New Debian Maintainers

    Links for the day



  15. InteLeaks – Part XXIX: Harbor Research Did Not Produce a Study But an Elaborate Hoax for Intel, Suggesting Microsoft Partnership and Outsourcing Based on Zero Evidence and No Solid Rationale

    The pseudo-scientific ‘report’ from Harbor Research is more of the same nonsense we’ve grown accustomed to; unethical if not rogue firms are being paid to lie — or to perpetuate falsehoods which someone stands to gain from



  16. Video: The State of Communities Surrounding GNU/Linux Distributions

    A discussion about the state of volunteer efforts going into the development, maintenance (in the 'maintainership' sense) and support/advocacy of GNU/Linux distros



  17. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 22, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, January 22, 2021



  18. InteLeaks – Part XXVIII: Intel Served Report From Microsoft Boosters, Who Provide No Actual Evidence and No Science to Back Their Supposed 'Findings'

    Findings and recommendations from Harbor 'Research' aren't based on any scientific methods, just perceived loyalty, branding, and a bunch of unsourced quotes (from unnamed people with ridiculous job titles like a soup of buzzwords)



  19. Erosion of Communities, Ascent of Corporate-Industrial Fake Communities

    Despite the attempts to manipulate/trick developers (and sometimes users) into becoming unpaid workforce of for-profit companies, there's an exodus back to real communities, which aren't subjected to the fury of wealthy shareholders who utterly dislike or simply don't care for software freedom



  20. The Corporate 'Left' and the Open Source Pseudo 'Movement'

    President Biden may not be as bad as his predecessor, but that hardly means very much; software freedom is still threatened, along with many other things



  21. Links 22/1/2021: pfSense Plus, Endless OS Foundation, and Many Laptops With GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  22. The Linux Foundation is Trying to Obscure Racism Using Microsoft-Inspired Tactics (Vouchers Disguised as Actual Money)

    The Linux Foundation and its PR stunts don’t help combat racism; one might argue that the Foundation is leveraging racism, which prevails in the US, to paint itself as benevolent and caring (offering immaterial things and self-serving press releases)



  23. InteLeaks – Part XXVII: 'Pulling a Nokia' on Intel (Outsourcing to Microsoft)

    The recommendation of an Intel marriage with Microsoft (even in units that deal mostly with Linux) is an insulting slap across the face of developers employed there; we take a look at recommendations made to IoTG (Intel) by a firm with Microsoft orientation



  24. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 21, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 21, 2021



  25. InteLeaks – Part XXVI: Harbor Research is Horrible 'Research', Lacking Actual Technical Background

    Having looked at the members of staff of Harbor Research (individually), it seems clearer now why they have an affinity for Microsoft and why they're directing Intel to liaise with Microsoft and become a prisoner of Microsoft (even in areas where Microsoft is increasingly irrelevant)



  26. Links 21/1/2021: Raspberry Pi Pico, Ubuntu 21.04 Picks GNOME 3.38, KDE Plasma 5.21 Beta

    Links for the day



  27. How a Newly Inaugurated President Biden Can Advance Software Freedom (If He Actually Wishes to Do So)

    Techrights has 'Four Suggestions' to President Biden, the 46th 'front end' of American plutocracy



  28. InteLeaks – Part XXV: Intel's Brain Drain Leads to Unusual Measures

    As the company once known as 'chipzilla' loses its relevance and dominance in the market it's reaching out to retired people, trying to get them back onboard



  29. Hey Hi (AI) is Just a Trojan Horse for Illegal Software Patents, According to EPO Management and Litigation Firms It's in Bed With

    The longtime pushers or the lobby of patent profiteers just carry on pushing for software patents, nowadays latching onto the inane and unwarranted media hype around Hey Hi (AI) — a hype wave that was co-opted by EPO management to grant unlawful patents



  30. The Central Staff Representatives (CSC) of the EPO Are Petitioning to End the Assault on EPO Staff

    The EPO, just one month after the staff went on strike, is about to receive a compelling petition to stop the assault on EPO staff


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