12.19.09

Gemini version available ♊︎

European Commission Unable to Defend Free Software from Microsoft Patent Racket

Posted in ECMA, Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Interoperability, Law, Microsoft, Patents, SUN at 11:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Microsoft is asking people to pay them for patents, but they won’t say which ones. If a guy walks into a shop and says: “It’s an unsafe neighbourhood, why don’t you pay me 20 bucks and I’ll make sure you’re okay,” that’s illegal. It’s racketeering.”

Mark Shuttleworth

Charlie McCreevy portrait

Summary: The European Commission is either unwilling or unable to understand how Microsoft uses software patents against Free software, even in Europe where such patents are illegal

ACCORDING to Charlie McCreevy's (shown above) vision of Europe, one unified patent law might soon become a reality that incorporates software patents. The European Commission is being either totally bamboozled or simply lobbied to death. It’s already manned by the wrong people. André Rebentisch has this little update about McCreevy’s folly (he is no longer one among candidate Commission heads whom André is watching):

Issue 56 features the outgoing Commissioner Charlie McCreevy. McCreevy’s pet project financial market deregulation was cratered last year together with the Irish model and won’t come back in the new portfolio. He assumes an ideological mission to defend the single market for his successor:

The job of the next Commission, I believe would be to stand against those who, for a variety of political reasons, some of them may be ideological or philosophical, whatever they’d be, block the Single Market. To not allow the Single Market, the European markets to be interfered with.

Indeed, there are such forces, for instance those who prefer protection of geographical indications or the member states patent offices which obstruct the creation of a community patent for the single market.

Microsoft front group ACT is lobbying for this as it enables Microsoft to bypass the law. It is more or less the same with EIF, which we mentioned in:

  1. European Interoperability Framework (EIF) Corrupted by Microsoft et al, Its Lobbyists
  2. Orwellian EIF, Fake Open Source, and Security Implications
  3. No Sense of Shame Left at Microsoft
  4. Lobbying Leads to Protest — the FFII and the FSFE Rise in Opposition to Subverted EIF
  5. IBM and Open Forum Europe Address European Interoperability Framework (EIF) Fiasco
  6. EIF Scrutinised, ODF Evolves, and Microsoft’s OOXML “Lies” Lead to Backlash from Danish Standards Committee
  7. Complaints About Perverted EIF Continue to Pile Up
  8. More Complaints About EIFv2 Abuse and Free Software FUD from General Electric (GE)

Microsoft is meanwhile patenting everything under the sun. Yesterday in Slashdot there was another new example:

“A newly disclosed Microsoft patent application — Avatar Individualized by Physical Characteristic — takes aim at fat people, proposing to generate fat avatars in gaming environments for individuals whose health records indicate they’re overweight, limiting their game play, and even banning them. From the patent application: ‘An undesirable body weight could be reflected in an overweight or underweight appearance for the avatar. Only requisite health levels are allowed to compete in a certain competition level. A dedicated gamer could exercise for a period of time until his health indicator gadget shows a sufficiently high health/health credit in order to allow reentering the avatar environment.’ Linking one’s gaming avatar to one’s physique, explains Microsoft, will produce healthy and virtuous behaviors in individuals. Microsoft also proposes shaping gaming experiences by using ‘psychological and demographic information such as education level, geographic location, age, sex, intelligence quotient, socioeconomic class, occupation, marital/relationship status, religious belief, political affiliation, etc.’”

We have already shown that using a new deal with the EU Commission Microsoft is trying to ban commercial use of Free software. The ‘Microsoft press’ is working to distract or to hide it, but Simon Phipps, whom we mentioned in the previous post, writes the following words about the Microsoft-sponsored blogger who was speaking to Brad Smith for the Microsoft spin: “Well worth reading to understand Microsoft’s world-view. Sadly Smith wasn’t asked about the “patent promise” I mention below, but this interview helps us understand why Microsoft believed IE was important (developer APIs) and why they love “interoperability” (because it was the keyword for release from 12 years of investigation).”

“[T]he Microsoft “patent promise” is roughly useless for open source communities as it only gives protection for non-commercial uses…”
      –Simon Phipps
In reference to the FSFE’s complaint, Phipps writes: “The long war is finally over, without really correcting any of the injustices but with a few small concessions from a Microsoft that wants us to think it is contrite and changed. But the FSFE is right – the Microsoft “patent promise” is roughly useless for open source communities as it only gives protection for non-commercial uses; the very essence of open source is the alignment of fragments of (usually commercial) interest by many community participants. This should be the first thing Microsoft’s new head of open source addresses on appointment, but to do it will be tough since it will take air-cover at the highest levels to address.”

It’s not about the browser ballot screen (which is no justice, either), it’s about Free software. Some reporters like Paula Rooney wrongly describe the Web browser case as though it is related to Free software, even though Opera (case originator) is proprietary. In fact, too few publications wrote about the stunt Microsoft has just pulled on the “interoperability” front.

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

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

A Single Comment

  1. uberVU - social comments said,

    December 20, 2009 at 5:24 am

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Identica by schestowitz: #European Commission Unable to Defend #FreeSoftware from #Microsoft #Patent Racket http://ur1.ca/i7p2

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 16/10/2021: Xubuntu 21.10 and DearPyGui 1.0.0

    Links for the day



  2. DuckDuckGo’s HQ is Smaller Than My Apartment

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  3. Post About Whether Vivaldi is a GPL violation Was Quietly Knifed by the Mods of /r/uBlockOrigin in Reddit

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  4. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIII: Battistelli's Iberian Facilitators - Spain

    The EPO‘s António Campinos is an ‘Academy’ of overt nepotism; what Benoît Battistelli did mostly in France Campinos does in Spain and Portugal, severely harming the international image of these countries



  5. From Competitive (Top-Level, High-Calibre, Well-Paid) Jobs to 2,000 Euros a Month -- How the EPO is Becoming a Sweatshop by Patent Examiners' Standards

    A longish video about the dreadful situation at the EPO, where staff is being ‘robbed’ and EPO funds get funnelled into some dodgy stock market investments (a clear violation of the institution’s charter)



  6. [Meme] Protecting European Patent Courts From EPO 'Mafia'

    With flagrant disregard for court rulings (or workarounds to dodge actual compliance) it seems clear that today's EPO management is allergic to justice and to judges; European Patents perish at unprecedented levels in national European courts and it should be kept that way



  7. Links 15/10/2021: Pine64's New PinePhone Pro and Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Codename

    Links for the day



  8. [Meme] GitHub Isn't Free Hosting, It's All About Control by Microsoft

    Deleting GitHub isn’t a political statement but a pragmatic decision, seeing how Microsoft routinely misuses its control over GitHub to manipulate the market



  9. With EPO 'Strike Regulations' Belatedly Ruled Unlawful, EPO Management May be Lowering the Salary Even Further by Introducing Outside 'Temps' or Casual Workers

    Institutional capture by an 'IP' (litigation) Mafia is nearly complete; with illegal so-called (anti) 'Strike Regulations' out the door, they're quickly moving on to another plan, or so it seems on the surface



  10. Links 15/10/2021: 95% of Ransomware Targets Windows

    Links for the day



  11. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, October 14, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, October 14, 2021



  12. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XII: The French Connection

    The EPO‘s presidency (led by Frenchmen for nearly 15 years out of the past 18 years; Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos are both French despite their somewhat misleading surnames) is extremely unlikely to even be mildly scrutinised by the French delegates because of a web of nepotism and protectionism



  13. [Meme] Another Maladministration Meeting Comes to an End

    Did the EPO‘s overseeing body properly tackle Benoît Battistelli‘s illegal acts, authorised by that very same overseeing body? Don’t hold your breath as António Campinos continues to crack down on staff (maybe ILOAT will rule on it in 2030)



  14. Links 14/10/2021: LibreOffice 7.2.2, Happy Birthday to Jolla, Ubuntu 21.10, Devuan GNU+Linux 4.0, OpenBSD 7.0

    Links for the day



  15. [Teaser] What Miguel de Icaza Really Thinks of the CEO of Microsoft GitHub

    Following the opening of a new series about Microsoft GitHub we drop a little teaser today; we expect dozens of parts to be released in the coming weeks/months as facts are being validated and organised



  16. Splitting the Time to Cover More Leaks and Exposés

    We take stock of Part 11 of the ongoing EPO series (“EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion”) and explain what caused various delays yesterday; we may have to up our pace a little in order to keep up with an influx of leaks and whistleblowers



  17. [Meme] Destroying the Workplace

    The working conditions at the EPO continue to worsen under the António Campinos regime, perpetuating the decade-long 'demolition project' of Benoît Battistelli and his cohorts in the complicit Administrative CouncilThe working conditions at the EPO continue to worsen under the António Campinos regime, perpetuating the decade-long 'demolition project' of Benoît Battistelli and his cohorts in the complicit Administrative Council



  18. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part I — Inside a Den of Corruption and Misogynists

    Today we commence a new series that implicates Microsoft, GitHub, Copilot, and Team Mono



  19. EPO Management Tricks EPO Staff Into Taking More Paycuts

    “Education and childcare reform” [sic] is an António Campinos "reform" in the same sense regressive salary reductions are just “adjustments” (euphemism); Electronic opt-in gaffes, according to staff representatives, show that the tradition of Benoît Battistelli carries on at the Office, taking away from staff for a few corrupt officials to milk the institution to death



  20. Links 14/10/2021: Whisker Menu 2.6.1 and KDE's Birthday

    Links for the day



  21. Links 14/10/2021: DragonFly 6.0.1 Released and Red Hat Loses Another Top Executive

    Links for the day



  22. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, October 13, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, October 13, 2021



  23. Süddeutsche Zeitung Became a Propaganda Arm of EPO Management (and by Extension Software Patents/Patent Lobbyists)

    EPO ‘genius’ António Campinos enjoys shallow press coverage, which echoes or resembles Benoît Battistelli‘s corruption of the media (paid-for fluff)



  24. GNOME (and Debian) Infringe Human Rights by Shipping Parental Control Software (Internally Called “Malcontent”)

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  25. No, JWZ, Discord is Not “IRC With Pictures”

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  26. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XI: “General Bock” - Battistelli's Swiss Apprentice?

    The António Campinos-led EPO won’t be subjected to real oversight by the Administrative Council, which ‘met’ (online) earlier today; so we look at who in the Administrative Council did what; today we wrap up the parts about Switzerland (third part of three)



  27. Links 13/10/2021: Sparky 2021.10 and New Archcraft

    Links for the day



  28. Links 13/10/2021: Firefox Keylogger on (By Default), GNOME Platform Design Discussed

    Links for the day



  29. [Meme] [Teaser] Swiss Alexandre Benallas

    The EPO‘s French dictator, Benoît ‘Vichy’ Battistelli, might be relieved to hear that his enabler in the adjacent Switzerland also enlisted armed bullies to keep the population down (the father of António Campinos might know a thing or two about those; it’s why he fled to France)



  30. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, October 12, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, October 12, 2021


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