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

12.18.09

European Commission Plans to Allow Patent Imperialism, Authorises Microsoft’s Attack on Free Software

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Law, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML, Patents at 12:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Michel Barnier
The man whose job is to pass
anti-Free(dom) software laws

Summary: The EU Commission wants Michel Barnier to make the Community patent a reality (“community” being a euphemism that would fascinate even Orwell)

André Rebentisch points out that in these documents from the EU Commission exists evidence that it actually strives — not just considers — to create a back door for software patents to enter the continent. Here is the man to watch out for:

Mr Michel BARNIER

Commissioner designate
− We should work to make real progress on free movement of services, beginning with a full implementation of the Services Directive. A review of the professional qualifications legislation will also be needed.
− As to public procurement and intellectual property rights, you will take the lead on our efforts to secure the adoption of a Community patent, and developing effective policy for the enforcement of intellectual property rights.
− Integrated, efficient and safe financial markets are needed more than ever to help the EU economy grow again. However, the EU’s regulatory framework and the supervisory structures must be strengthened, and you will have a key role to ensure this happens.
To help you fulfil your responsibilities, DG MARKT will be under your authority as well as the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM).

Rebentisch has also taken a look at the Commission’s latest deal with Microsoft (we covered it in [1, 2, 3]) and found evidence that OOXML is indeed the scam people have been warning about. From the summary:

Microsoft will document “additional information” to ECMA 376 and will comply with ECMA 376 1st January and shields the freedom to create software as a work of art pour l’art.

The next section says: “Now the patent pledge for open source… developers!”

It is worth seeing all the nasty verbiage that Microsoft has bundled so as to exclude Free software. It is truly appalling, so the FSFE, Groklaw, Glyn Moody and other parties that are familiar with these matters have publicly complained. Matt Asay, on the other hand, seems to have fallen victim to the PR. He is belittling Microsoft’s crimes, which are very unique, leading to some negative comments. “Matt seems to pity the tiger,” argues Neko Nata and Steve Stites wrote a long response which includes the following reference to Novell, Asay’s former employer.

The Novell contract was an agreement meant to bring Open Source under Microsoft’s control. Steve Ballmer was surprised when the Open Source movement defeated the contract by simply boycotting Novell.

Recently we’ve been finding claims that Microsoft deliberately settles with some patent trolls so that they proceed to terrifying the entire industry. Bill Gates and Microsoft happen to fund the world's biggest patent troll. Watch this latest consequence, which we mentioned just the other day.

Secretive Patent Holder Sues Lots Of Companies For Remote Activation Software

[...]

Obviously, none of those companies could have come up with ways to remotely activate software without this patent (yes, that’s sarcasm). As the Register notes in the link above, even some of the software products listed as violating this patent don’t seem to involve activation at all, raising serious questions about how they could possibly violate this patent. This sounds like yet another case of someone having read the book Rembrandt’s in the Attic and deciding to go trolling for companies to sue with a meaningless patent.

This system of high risk is problematic for Free software and Microsoft knows it (both lawsuits and perceived risk are harmful). That’s why Microsoft fuels it.

“Small Software companies cannot afford to go to court or pay damages. Who is this software patent system for?” —Marco Schulze, Nightlabs Gmbh

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

8 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    December 18, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    Gravatar

    As for Matt being out of touch, his background includes Novell. No telling what’s up with him now but a bad start like that in his career isn’t going to turn around slowly.

  2. Needs Sunlight said,

    December 18, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Gravatar

    The quote from Marco Schulze is great but it misses the larger group at risk: small and medium sized companies. If the issue were copyright, then the quote would be spot-on. However, the issue is usage of software, that’s what patents are about: usage. So the phrasing should be unquoted and corrected to take into account the real scope of the threat:

    “Small companies cannot afford to go to court or pay damages. Who is this software patent system for?”

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Don’t you just repeat the point he made?

  3. Jose_X said,

    December 19, 2009 at 12:17 am

    Gravatar

    We need to market patent problems much louder so that ordinary people realize their losses and petition their representatives.

  4. Jose_X said,

    December 19, 2009 at 12:19 am

    Gravatar

    I thought it was bad news when the FFII guy (sorry, don’t remember name) got that award. I think it was their way of getting rid of him while smiling for the cameras (let him have his moment in the spotlight while we get some votes of approval, they likely thought).

    Jose_X Reply:

    I hope this comment is not taken as disrespectful. Here is a link http://www.nosoftwarepatents.com/en/m/about/founder.html

    >> Mr. Müller asked us to mention that he views those awards and honors as “a recognition of what our overall resistance movement achieved”. He stresses that he owes his nominations “to all activists and citizens who supported our cause, especially to the FFII (Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure)”.

    What I am saying is that I worry that giving the award (directly or indirectly) was a way to make concession (tip hat) to a worthy foe but ultimately not give in.

    Jose_X Reply:

    The community patent might end up being a weak(er) law or it might not.

    I think the lesson to be learned is that this is a constant battle.

    What we have to show is that the more time passes, the more people dislike patents and associate the monopolies with an abuse of power, an infringement on people’s rights, a decrease in competition and in innovation, an increase in costs, a consolidation of power, etc.

    [I posted this the other day: http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2009/12/predicted-2009-patent-application-filings.html?cid=6a00d8341c588553ef0128765f242c970c#comment-6a00d8341c588553ef0128765f242c970c ]

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Right now he works with Monty on the MySQL situation.

What Else is New


  1. Links 26/4/2015: Debian 8, OpenMandriva Lx 3 Alpha, Mageia 5 RC

    Links for the day



  2. Links 25/4/2015: Debian LTS Plans, Turing Phone Runs Linux

    Links for the day



  3. Who Kills Yahoo? It's Microsoft, Not Yahoo!

    The media should blame Microsoft, not Marissa Mayer, for what's going on (and has been going on for 7 years) at Yahoo!



  4. EPO Management is Trying Hard to Appease Its Critics While Pushing Forth Unitary Patent Agenda

    The European Patent Office and European Commission promote the agenda of large multinational corporations (at the expense or European citizens) and critics are being kept at bay



  5. Real Patent Reform Will Not Come From Biggest Backers of GNU/Linux, Not Even Google

    A look at the 'new' Google, the company which is hoarding patents (2,566 last year alone) instead of fighting for reform



  6. Microsoft's Troll Intellectual Ventures Loses Software Patents

    Intellectual Ventures is bluffing with software patents, but this time around it doesn't get its way



  7. Links 24/4/2015: Ubuntu and Variants in the News, Red Hat Developer Toolset 3.1

    Links for the day



  8. Links 23/4/2015: Ubuntu 15.04 is Out, Debian 8.0 Out Very Soon

    Links for the day



  9. Links 22/4/2015: Fedora 22 Beta, Atlassian Acquires BlueJimp

    Links for the day



  10. The Dying Debate Over Patent Scope (Including Software Patents) Replaced by 'Trolls' (But Not the Biggest Ones)

    The corporate media and Web sites or people who are funded by large corporations have essentially suppressed any debate about issues in the patent granting process, thereby guarding software patents and preventing criticism of large corporations' power grab



  11. The Patents Gold Rush Continues

    The morbid obsession with monopolising mere ideas still dominates the media, even increasingly in China



  12. 9 Millionth US Patent Tells a Story of Failure and USPTO Misconduct

    The USPTO, much like FISA (notorious court for surveillance/espionage authorisation), has become a rubber-stamping operation rather than a patents examination centre, as new evidence and old evidence serve to show



  13. HBO Helps Shift Debate Over Patents to 'Trolls' (Scale), Not Scope

    More of that awkward shifting of the patent debate towards small actors who are misusing patents, not large conglomerates like Apple and Microsoft which use patents to destroy competitors, crush startups, drive up prices, and so on



  14. Software Patents Are Still Menacing to Free Software: OIN Expands Scope, HEVC Adds to MPEG-LA Burden/Tax, Google and Facebook Give in on Patents

    A look at recent news about software patents and especially Free/libre software, which is inherently incompatible with them



  15. The Latest Developments Around Microsoft's Clever Attack on Android/Linux

    Microsoft's campaign of destruction, extortion, etc. against the most widely used Linux-powered operating system is revisited in light of new reports



  16. The Microsoft 'Community' is Maligning the Free Software Community

    Dishonest generalisations and baseless deductions portray the Free/Open Source software communities as a nasty place that leads to poverty and despair



  17. Googlebombing 'Microsoft Open Source' Even When Microsoft Shuts Down Its 'Open Source' Proxy

    A massive failure by the press to cover the most basic news, which is Microsoft putting an end to a supposedly 'Open Source' effort



  18. Links 22/4/2015: Calculate Linux 14.16, SparkyLinux 4.0 RC KDE

    Links for the day



  19. Links 21/4/2015: Project Photon, Ubuntu Touch Buzz

    Links for the day



  20. Embrace, Extend, Extinguish: How Microsoft Plans to Get Rid of Linux/Android

    Microsoft's sheer abuse against Android is laying bare for everyone to see now that Microsoft has paralysed Google's legal department with potential antitrust action in Europe



  21. Yahoo's Current CEO (Mayer, Formerly of Google) is Trying to End Yahoo! Status as Microsoft Proxy

    There are signs of relinquishing Microsoft's control over Yahoo! after Marissa Mayer worked to end the company's suicidal/abusive relationship with Steve Ballmer's Microsoft



  22. Repeating Microsoft's Lies Without Any Journalistic Assessment

    Poor fact-checking by relatively large media/news sites results in Microsoft's patently false claims being repeated uncritically



  23. Links 19/4/2015: New KaOS (2015.04), Manjaro Linux 0.8.13 Pre1

    Links for the day



  24. Links 18/4/2015: ExTiX 15.2, RaspArch

    Links for the day



  25. Microsoft Tired of Pretending to be Nice to Free/Open Source Software (FOSS), Microsoft 'Open' Technologies Dumped

    Microsoft dumps its proxy (misleadingly named 'Open Tech') and other attacks on Free software persist from the inside, often through so-called 'experts' whose agenda is to sell proprietary software



  26. More Translations of French Article About the EPO

    German and Dutch translations of the Le Monde article are now available



  27. Links 17/4/2015: Wipro and the Netherlands Want FOSS

    Links for the day



  28. Microsoft's Multi-Dimensional Assault on Android/Linux: Extortion, Lobbying of Regulators, and Bribes

    Microsoft's vicious war on Linux (and Android in its current incarnation) takes more sophisticated -- albeit illegal (as per the RICO Act) -- forms



  29. Microsoft's Plot to Associate Windows with 'Open Source' is Proving Effective, Despite Being Just a Big Lie

    A look at the latest headlines which can lead to a false perception that Microsoft is now in bed with 'Open Source'



  30. Microsoft Windows Remotely Crashed, Remotely Hijacked, But Still No Logo and No Branding for the Bugs

    Windows maintains its reputation as a back doors haven, but the media is still not highlighting the severity of this issue, instead focusing on accidental bugs in Free software, even very old (and already fixed) bugs


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