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 18/9/2014: Windows Copying GNU/Linux, Germany Moves to Security

    Links for the day



  2. Web Site 'Patent Progress' Now Officially 'Powered by CCIA' (FRAND Proponent, Microsoft Front)

    After talking a job at CCIA, "Patent Progress" and its chief author should be treated as dubious on real patent progress



  3. Articles About the Death of Software Patents in the United States

    Recent coverage of software patents and their demise in their country of origin, where even proponents of software patents are giving up



  4. The Death of Software Patents is Already Killing Some Major Patent Trolls

    VirnetX seems to be the latest victim of the demise of software patents in the United States



  5. More Microsoft Layoffs

    More Microsoft layoffs go ahead as the company is unable to compete



  6. ODF on the Rise

    Milestones for OpenDocument Format (ODF) and the launch of FixMyDocuments



  7. Links 17/9/2014: CoreOS, ChromeOS, and systemd

    Links for the day



  8. Italy is Cracking Down on Microsoft's Monopoly Abuse While Gradually Moving to GNU/Linux

    Italy is not only moving to Free/Open Source software but also to GNU/Linux while at the same time barring Microsoft from forcibly tying Windows to new PCs



  9. OpenSUSE's 'Assurances' Are Classic MBA School Hogwash

    OpenSUSE is not part of any commitment, except for SUSE's; the impact of the Novell/SUSE acquisition casts uncertainty on the project's future



  10. Links 16/9/2014: Firefox OS Smartphones in Bangladesh, “Treasure Map” of the Internet

    Links for the day



  11. The United Kingdom Should Dump Microsoft For the Sake of National Security

    The UK has issues of Microsoft dependency and Windows viruses; its migration to Free software and GNU/Linux is not fast enough to guard its autonomy in the age of digital imperialism



  12. CBS Hires Even More Microsoft Staff to Cover Microsoft Matters

    CBS continues to be infested with Microsoft staff past and present (this time Dave Johnson) and the bias in output is quite revealing



  13. Microsoft Has Just Killed Minecraft for GNU/Linux and the Possibility of Free/Open Source Releases

    Persson sells out to Microsoft and lets the abusive monopolist destroy the popular cross-platform game that a community has been built around



  14. Another Reason to Boycott Intel UEFI

    More anti-competitive aspects are revealed inside UEFI, which helps merginalise GNU/Linux



  15. Quick Mention: Novell and SUSE Passed to Microsoft's 'Partner of the Year', Microsoft Focus

    Novell is changing hands again, and falling into the hands of even more Microsoft-friendly actors



  16. Links 16/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC5, KDE Frameworks 5.2.0

    Links for the day



  17. Željko Topić, Benoît Battistelli, and the European Patent Office (EPO): Part II

    Part II of our look into the EPO appointment of Željko Topić and other matters showing the dubious integrity of the EPO



  18. Links 14/9/2014: Android-based Watches Earn Optimism

    Links for the day



  19. Links 14/9/2014: Eucalyptus Devoured

    Links for the day



  20. Links 11/9/2014: Linux Toilet Project, Linux-Based Wheelchair Project

    Links for the day



  21. Links 10/9/2014: Brian Stevens in Google, Ubuntu 14.10 Expectations

    Links for the day



  22. Links 9/9/2014: Hating/Loving Linux, Android Aplenty

    Links for the day



  23. Links 8/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC 4, Switzerland Welcoming Snowden

    Links for the day



  24. Suspicion of High-Level Corruption at the European Patent Office (EPO): Part I

    The European Patent Office (EPO) Vice-President has a background of corruption and his appointment to the EPO too is believed to be reliant on systemic corruption



  25. Links 6/9/2014: Core OS at DigitalOcean, Women in Xorg

    Links for the day



  26. Software Patents 'Quality' Debated in Courts, Microsoft's Biggest Patent Troll Still a Chronic Liar

    Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft's and Bill Gates' largest patent proxy, continues to spread lies about its motivations, claiming that patent assessment is among the goals when in fact only the courts and patent offices do this



  27. New Article Explains How Bill Gates Prevents Schools From Moving to GNU/Linux and Free Software

    A new article from Al Jazeera provides details about the role of so-called 'charities' of billionaires inside school systems



  28. Microsoft Sued for Large-scale Copyright Abuses

    Microsoft reveals its disregard for copyright law which it loves so much to wield as a weapon against its competition and clients



  29. Links 5/9/2014: New WordPress, Systemd Debate Continues

    Links for the day



  30. 'Embrace and Extend' at Microsoft: The New Generation

    Some of the latest examples of Microsoft's predatory acts against Free software and against competition in general, disguised as acts of friendliness


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