09.12.09

Microsoft’s Latest Mischiefs Justify Need to Watch the Patent Trolls

Posted in America, Europe, Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, OIN, Patents, Red Hat at 6:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Steve Ballmer license

Image from Wikimedia

Summary: Lessons that can be learned from Microsoft’s latest patent strategy and hostile indoctrination that it spreads to shops across the nation

MICROSOFT has attempted to have patent trolls attack GNU/Linux, according to reputable sources including OIN, the Linux Foundation, and even Red Hat’s legal staff. We covered this in [1, 2, 3, 4]. With Acacia in mind, it is possible that Microsoft did something similar before, and very successfully so. Here is what Glyn Moody thinks:

This is truly bizarre. Why would Microsoft unload a bunch of “Linux-focused patents” – stuff you would think it would fondle lovingly as it ruminated endlessly on the damage they might do in terms of FUD, if nothing else. But no, not only does Microsoft sell them, but they end up in positively the worse place possible, from Microsoft’s point of view: a Linux-friendly bunch with the avowed aim of keeping such patents safely locked away.

Michael from the OSI (and from Red Hat) wrote about it last night, remarking in conclusion that:

I have long believed that software patents are like landmines, devices that have unpredictable destructive power, and a threat to innovators who often cannot know of their existence until the damage has been done. This latest chapter in the story tells me that they are more dangerous than ever, and that it is more urgent than ever to mount a serious campaign to disarm them all, before it is too late. If we can elect a government that believes that “open source is the best form of civic participation”, then we can surely find the political will to make open source (and free software) innovation 100% legal. There are many places to make your voices heard. In the USA, you can start with End Software Patents. In Europe, No Software Patents!. And there are many others. It may seem like a bother, but sometimes political action is needed to enjoy necessary freedoms.

Microsoft lobbyists are directly opposing these initiatives using AstroTurf techniques. Will IBM help support the likes of FFII or will it carry on lobbying to keep software patents in tact by lying about Free software?

…a recent nugget buried in IBM’s amicus brief for the Bilski case takes a novel slant on the issue. Big Blue told the US Supreme Court that software patent lockdowns are actually the secret to open source’s success.

Any remarks, Bob? Will IBM make a public retraction like it typically does after such blunders?

Here is another new gem:

DRM Company: If You Think Patents Are Bad, You’re Un-American

In our recent discussion about another bad idea for a new type of DRM that will surely fail, Steve R. pointed us to an article in Forbes about Intertrust, the DRM company, who apparently is cooking up yet another DRM scheme. But, unlike the system we talked about in the original post — where the guy noted that the concept had to be widely adopted as a standard, and not protected, Intertrust goes on and on and on about how it’s got a ton of DRM patents to protect this new DRM scheme. This isn’t a surprise. Intertrust’s entire business model was based on suing Microsoft for patent infringement.

We shall carry on watching Microsoft-tied patent trolls and their satellites. Microsoft vehemently hates GNU/Linux and it is actively attacking, although it may require some leaks and analysis to show. How low has Microsoft sunk? To quote DesktopLinux:

Clearly, Microsoft has increasingly been spreading fear, uncertainty, or doubt (FUD) about Linux, as it has about Apple’s Mac OS X in its recent “Laptop Hunters” TV ads. Last month, Dell Computer took it upon itself to stand up and refute Microsoft statements about high Linux netbook returns, saying that Dell’s Linux returns were roughly equivalent to those for Windows-based netbooks. Canonical has also questioned Microsoft’s statements about netbook returns. Meanwhile, anecdotal evidence suggests that Microsoft has been increasing its pressures on both PC vendors and retailers to steer clear of Linux netbooks.

Microsoft appears to be taking Linux seriously, despite the fact that by some counts Linux represents only a single percentage of the overall PC market (others place it higher, but not by much). In an SEC filing posted this summer, Microsoft added Linux distro vendors Canonical and Red Hat to its list of perceived competitors for Microsoft’s Client division.

Microsoft has been suffering financially for over a year. It’s largely because of GNU/Linux and other GPL-licensed software [1, 2]. But Microsoft will not compete; as history teaches, Microsoft will try to just squash the competition in all sort of nefarious ways.

“On the same day that CA blasted SCO, Open Source evangelist Eric Raymond revealed a leaked email from SCO’s strategic consultant Mike Anderer to their management. The email details how, surprise surprise, Microsoft has arranged virtually all of SCO’s financing, hiding behind intermediaries like Baystar Capital.”

Bruce Perens

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

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2009/09/12/microsoft-patent-trolls-lessons/

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. IRC Proceedings: Friday, April 16, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, April 16, 2021



  2. Hate Letter Against FSF (Concern Trolls): 1415 Committers, Letter in Support of FSF (With Its Founder Back): 5116

    Taking into account people who asked for their names to be removed from the defamatory hate letter (inciting people, based on falsehoods), it's not impossible that the support letter really triples or quadruples it in terms of number of signatures



  3. Richard Stallman: Sharing is Good... We Need to Legalise It

    Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation's founder, explains his take on copyright and the artificial restriction being used against sharing



  4. Nadine Strossen and Hannah Wolfman-Jones Rebut Accusations Against Stallman and Choose Him as Coauthor

    "Here are her thoughts and the response she received from Nadine, extracted verbatim with their permission from the original article"



  5. Links 17/4/2021: GNOME 40 in Tumbleweed, Devuan 4.0 Alpha, Kate Editor Makes a Leap

    Links for the day



  6. EPO Staff Union Takes the EPO 'to Court' (the ILO's Tribunal, as the EPO Cannot be Taken to a Proper Court)

    The Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) Committees are preparing a legal battle over unlawful and unjust measures taken collectively against hard-working (overworked during pandemic) members of staff; the European public should support them



  7. The Latest Anti-RMS Coup Attempt Targets the GNU Project (Because the FSF Coup Has Clearly Failed) by Infringing and Disregarding Trademark Conventions

    A fake "GNU" (not the original GNU, just riding the coattails of the name "GNU") is trying to find/gain traction and we must oppose it because it's an extension of the very same coup attempt (same plotters) that manufactured a whole bunch of libel to incite people and blackmail the Free Software Foundation (FSF)



  8. Links 16/4/2021: Mozilla Dumping FTP, Corporations Still Concern-Trolling FSF

    Links for the day



  9. The EFF Attacks Software Freedom and Promotes Fake Privacy Linked to Microsoft

    Only weeks after attacking Software Freedom (the ad hominem way, which is easier) the EFF endorses a Microsoft-linked privacy abuse, misframing it as some sort of privacy champion



  10. Richard Stallman on How Corporate Media Limits What People Are Allowed to Think and Say (Updated)

    What the founder of the FSF told yours truly a number of years ago about the behaviour of corporate (funded and controlled by corporations) media



  11. Exposing Hard Truths is the First Step or the Path Towards Justice

    A reflection and a moment taken to set aside tribalism (shallow differences based on allegiances of personal comfort), for we need look back at actual facts — however inconvenient at times — and consider the reality of the situation



  12. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, April 15, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, April 15, 2021



  13. [Meme] Laundering Bribes as 'Cooperation Money'

    Germany has financial interest in ensuring that EPO abuses carry on and nobody holds the EPO accountable



  14. Articles in Support of Richard Stallman

    Reproduced with permission



  15. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 20: Taking Stock

    Benoît Battistelli's legacy at the EPO is a legacy of corruption and cover-up; we take stock of how illegality was defended and persists to this day



  16. Links 15/4/2021: Zorin OS 16 Beta and Pushing Linux to GitHub- and Microsoft-Connected Rust

    Links for the day



  17. [Meme] Enemies With Common Interests

    The Software Freedom Movement (or Free Software Movement) has many enemies; some of them just hide in the shadows or speak out through shadowy front groups/NGOs that they semi-officially sponsor



  18. [Meme] Germany's Red Cash Cow

    EPO brings a lot of money to the German state. But at what cost to citizens and Germany’s public image?



  19. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 19: The Deafening Silence of the Media

    "There has been speculation that Maas might have had his own political interest in protecting Battistelli and the Balkan Express because of certain allegations about financial irregularities involving the German Patents and Trademark Office (DPMA) which were doing the rounds at the time."



  20. The Indirection Game

    How to attack institutions and concepts by personifying them, then proceeding to character assassination based on lies and deliberate distortions



  21. Links 15/4/2021: LXQt 0.17, Proxmox Backup Server 1.1

    Links for the day



  22. The Patent Battles in Europe Are Connected to the War on GNU/Linux (as a Community-Led Effort)

    Monoplisers of GNU and Linux want us to think that OIN is the solution while they actively lobby for software patents in Europe and the people in charge of Europe’s second-largest institution and Europe’s largest patent office help them; this long video contains thoughts about news from the past couple of days



  23. Richard Stallman: Freedom is the Goal (Updated)

    What Richard Stallman (RMS) told me in person on his trip here



  24. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, April 14, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, April 14, 2021



  25. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 18: Zero Tolerance for “Lawless Zones”?

    "It comes as no surprise that Maas appeared as a guest of honour at the European Inventor of the Year Boondoggle in Berlin in 2014 where he was seen on stage clapping along with the EPO President."



  26. Richard Stallman's Honors and Awards (and Why He Resigned in 2019)

    Reproduced with permission



  27. Links 14/4/2021: Alpine Releases and X.Org Server 1.20.11 Release (Security)

    Links for the day



  28. Links 14/4/2021: EasyOS Dunfell 2.7, Tor Browser 10.5a14

    Links for the day



  29. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 17: Jawohl, Herr Minister!

    A French-German co-production of "Yes, Minister!" starring Raimund Lutz, Heiko Maas and Christoph Ernst. Directed by Benoît Battistell.



  30. Over 1,000 EPO Workers Initiate Legal Challenge Against the EPO's Attack on Salaries (in Defiance of Assurances Made to Workers Who Relocate to Another Country With Whole Families)

    The EPO’s attack on workers and pensioners isn’t going ahead without challenge; while the “Mafia” (what EPO workers call the management) loots the organisation it takes away money from the workers — i.e. from besieged folks who do all the work and face growing workloads during a pandemic


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