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

12.20.09

‘Microsoft Press’ Acknowledges Microsoft’s Free Software-Hostile EU Deal

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Intellectual Monopoly, Interoperability, Microsoft, OIN, Patents at 5:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Simons and Kroes
Photo of Wim Simons and Neelie Kroes
not from the public domain but
under the GNU Free Documentation License
(captions added separately)

Summary: Another look at a bad EU deal; software patents revisited; Microsoft’s copyright violations remembered

YESTERDAY we wrote about the European Commission failing to negotiate with Microsoft a deal that respects Free software users [1, 2]. Microsoft has been buying time and procrastinating until Neelie Kroes and others in the Commission needed to step down. Steve Ballmer's "schmoozing" trips to Neelie Kores did not help much, either.

It is rather surprising to see that even the ‘Microsoft press’ is covering some of the criticisms right now, notably by quoting critics other than itself:

Essentially, companies can sue if they think Microsoft is not following through with providing proper API documentation, according to a blog post by Groklaw, a frequent Microsoft critic and a site devoted to software legal issues. The Groklaw post noted that nothing has really changed for commercial software companies working with open source software under the GNU General Public License because Microsoft’s interoperability agreement appears to restrict commercial distribution of software without royalty agreements first being in place.

The Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE) backed that view.

“The patent commitments are clearly insufficient, because they don’t allow commercial exploitation,” said Carlo Piana, FSFE’s legal counsel, in a released statement. “This keeps out competition from Free Software, which in many areas is the biggest competitor to Microsoft’s programs.”

The European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS) was also skeptical.

“Whether the public undertaking will create a more level competitive playing field where open source software is not subject to Microsoft patent FUD [fear, uncertainty, doubt], as has been the case in the past, is not yet clear,” the ECIS declared in a released statement (PDF).

Keith Bergelt (OIN CEO), who last got publicly involved when Microsoft floated anti-GNU/Linux patents [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], has just published this outlook for Linux in a world filled with intellectual monopolies, which are Microsoft’s weapon of choice against its #1 competition.

In the coming decade, Linux and other open source implementations will continue their migration from back office transaction processing and mission critical applications to the mobile and desktop computing spaces. This will transform the nature of communications and computing devices from static and utilitarian to dynamic and intelligent. This change has already begun to show itself in the Google mobile operating system – and the proliferation of devices that have been built on it by HTC and Motorola, among others.

Leveraging open source as a key building block for rapid innovation and reducing time-to-market is an irreversible trend.

Yet, as Linux and other open source initiatives usher in a new model for invention and value creation and further reinforces Linux as a permanent condition, longer term changes in the nature of the codification and management of the intellectual capital are prefigured by a set of observable trends in 2010.

It is interesting that OIN accepts rather than battles against software patents [1, 2] (Peer to Patent causes the same problem by legitimising “good” patents). But being somewhat of an IBM front, the OIN is expected to retain such a stance.

Microsoft would love people to think that GNU/Linux disregards intellectual monopolies, but Microsoft couldn’t care about them either, especially when applied to Microsoft. The Plurk incident is a fine example of that [1, 2, 3] and Microsoft is still expected to be sued.

Owners of Taiwanese Plurk microblog site have not decided yet whether and how to respond to cases of theft of code made by the company, which was commissioned by Microsoft to build another microblog service.

While Microsoft took upon himself the full responsibility, but apparently does not want to bear the legal consequences of this incident. According to the message given out Plurk site owners are wondering what legal action in this situation should take.

So it’s OK when Microsoft snubs intellectual monopolies (it knowingly and willfully infringes patents [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]) but very “naughty” and “communist” if GNU/Linux is against software patents.

“Thanks to Mr. Gates, we now know that an open Internet with protocols anyone can implement is communism; it was set up by that famous communist agent, the US Department of Defense.”

Richard Stallman

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

5 Comments

  1. dyfet said,

    December 20, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    Gravatar

    In some ways this article offers a bad comparison. It is very different for people that believe in freedom but live within and respect incorrect laws until they can be changed and those that openly violate said laws and claimed principles. Hence, the idea that saying Microsoft’s crimes of violating these laws and GNU/Linux rejection of said laws while living within the consequences of them as somehow being equivalent is a false comparison, which is what I get being implied in reading the final paragraph, ‘So it’s OK when Microsoft snubs intellectual monopolies (it knowingly and willfully infringes patents [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]) but very “naughty” and “communist” if GNU/Linux is against software patents.’ These are clearly not the same, as one is criminal behavior and the other is speaking about legitimate social and economic advocacy.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I see what you mean now. I should have organised the message differently.

    dyfet Reply:

    Well, I did know clearly what you had intended to say, but I was concerned some might not, or might choose to, as they say, selectively quote…

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    We don’t have vocal foes on the issue of software patents.

    your_friend Reply:

    The conversation above is sufficient, but long term readers already know BN’s stated opinions about US patents being little more than an anti-competitive tool for companies like Microsoft. BN has also insightfully called patents a form of colonialism that creates unfair trading conditions. Astute readers will remember that Microsoft has never actually revealed which patents are violated so their claims are fraudulent, judicial extortion. Finally, most people know that Microsoft is not simply a benefactor of insane US patent and copyright laws, they have been powerful advocates and authors of those same laws. BN has cited several US lawmakers quoting copyright cartel talking points with little modification. Thanks for all of the good reporting, Roy!

    I’d like to add that EU concessions to US patent law are a betrayal of all citizens, not just free software users. Software patents in particular are only useful to a few large companies. EU recognition legitimizes Microsoft’s scheme and violates EU law which has repeatedly rejected software patents. This will be used against everyone as “Intellectual Property” maximallists proclaim the universal recognition of software and business method patents. Let’s hope this shameful decision is thrown out by the proper authorities.

    It is amazing that Microsoft has been able to turn a piddling browser squabble into an implicit acceptance of their OS monopoly and a positive referendum on software patents. A similar thing happend in the US Netscape anti-trust trial and it can be compared to tobacco industry tactics, where official channels are jammed with relatively harmless secondary issues and poor remedies. The Netscape and later Comes trails discovered clear evidence of OEM and retail manipulation that should have resulted in the punishment and break up of Microsoft. Not only was this opportunity missed by the EU, a tremendous step backward was taken. Most shamefully, this step backward comes as Microsoft’s business methods fail, the US is realizing that “IP” is a poor empire builder and US law is rejecting software patents.

What Else is New


  1. Süddeutsche Zeitung Says Talking Helps While EPO Management Back-stabs Other Side of the Table

    German media gives the impression that there is peace and harmony now that Benoît Battistelli and his circle of power speaks to staff, but nothing is said about simultaneous (albeit covert) attacks against that staff



  2. Large Corporations Call the Shots in US Patent Reform

    A reminder of where we stand on the issue of patent 'reform' in the US and who is controlling or shaping it



  3. Microsoft Puts Proprietary Windows and Hyper-V Inside the Free Software-Centric OpenStack

    OpenStack, which celebrates rapid growth in this month's event in Canada, is facing a proprietarisation threat from Microsoft



  4. Microsoft's Secret Lobbying, Bullying, and the Long History of Blackmailing Politicians Around the World

    British media covers Microsoft's abuse in the UK, but there are many similar incidents, and not just in the UK



  5. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Benoît Battistelli and Four EPO Suicides

    German press article from April 2015 (with translations)



  6. Links 24/5/2015: CrossOver 14.1.3, NTFS-3G Vulnerability

    Links for the day



  7. Links 23/5/2015: Fedora 22 to May 26th, Netflix in SteamOS

    Links for the day



  8. The Patents Production 'Industry' (Patent Lawyers) Still Fights Hard to Salvage Software Patents

    A review of recent writings about software patents and patents on business methods in the United States, demonstrating that patent lawyers have gotten very vocal and sneaky (trying to evade the rules)



  9. Patents as a Marketing Strategy: USPTO Now Part of the Advertising Industry

    The existence of publicity patents, or patents whose sole purpose is to advertise some products, serves to discredit the US patent office, which was originally set up to promote science and technology



  10. Microsoft Blackmails and Extorts British Politicians Over Open Standards and Free Software-Leaning Policies

    Microsoft's digital imperialism in the UK getting defended using blackmail, reminding a lot of Brits that Microsoft is just as evil as ever before



  11. Microsoft Gives Another Bug a Name, This Time Logjam™

    The Microsoft crowd is good only at marketing, even when it comes to small bugs in software



  12. Links 22/5/2015: Fedora 22 Final Release is Near, Canonical IPO Considered

    Links for the day



  13. More Utter Shame Unveiled at Battistelli's EPO: Intimidation Tactics With Help From 'Control Risks'

    The unaccountable thugs who run the EPO have hired London-based spooks to help silence their opposition and their critics



  14. GNU/Linux Still Under Attack From Apple and Microsoft, Patents Remain the Weapon of Choice

    A timely reminder of the importance of patent matters, for they are being used to eliminate the zero-cost advantage of Free/libre software and make it more proprietary, privacy-infringing, and user-hostile (as a result of blackmail)



  15. Gartner Group and NASSCOM: Will Lie for FUD, on Behalf of Microsoft and Proprietary Software

    Some of the latest arguments against Free/libre software turn out to be arriving from couriers of Microsoft and its agenda



  16. Windows is a Franchise in Demise, Don't Believe the Hype

    Ongoing propaganda about Vista 10, 'cloud', and other buzzwords or brands are put in perspective



  17. Links 21/5/2015: Fedora 22 RC2, CERN Chooses OpenStack

    Links for the day



  18. Microsoft is Again Showing Its Hatred of Free/Open Source Software by Lobbying the Indian Government to Drop a Rational National Policy

    Microsoft decides to attack Free/Open Source software (FOSS) in India, where the corporate media is very much complicit in misleading the public



  19. Links 20/5/2015: Containers, OpenStack, and EXT4 Corruption

    Links for the day



  20. The PATENT Act, Distraction of Trolls, and Lobbying for Software Patents by Protectionists

    Only large corporations and their lawyers are able to formally change the US patent system through public officials and politicians, despite recent rulings from very high courts



  21. Corporate Media and Friends of Microsoft Are Still Lying About the Cost of Vista 10

    In a desperate effort to beat operating systems that are Free (libre) and free (gratis), such as GNU/Linux or Android, Microsoft shores up the illusion of 'free' (gratis) Windows



  22. Links 19/5/2015: Linux 4.1 RC4, Thunderbird 31.7.0, OpenStack Event

    Links for the day



  23. Links 18/5/2015: Russia Chooses Jolla, Many New Distro Releases, Meizu Devices

    Links for the day



  24. Even Converting an Image to Greyscale is Now a Patent

    Simple mathematics becoming patented as Fujifilm claims 'ownership' of photographic conversion to greyscale



  25. Grooming of the World's Biggest Patent Troll, Nathan Myhrvold of Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures

    UCLA and Microsoft-linked media are framing big thugs as heroes, doing a great disservice to both academia and journalism



  26. The EPO's Fight to Bring Software Patents Into Europe is One Step Closer to a 'Victory' (for Multinationals)

    Opposition to the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is being crushed and Italy is one of the latest actors to have fallen in the battle



  27. Microsoft's 'Former' Staff Continues With His Anti-Google Rhetoric at CBS

    A Microsoft intern, who has moved on to journalism, is still showing his affinity for Microsoft with apologetics and spin



  28. More of Microsoft's False Claims About Cost of Vista 10 and More Layoffs

    Vista 10 is still being marketed using lies and Microsoft may be going down the same route as Nokia



  29. Microsoft Remotely Bricks -- Intentionally -- Xbox One

    Microsoft is showing off its kill switches, kills consoles of people whom it doesn't like



  30. IRC Proceedings: May 3rd - May 16th, 2015

    Many IRC logs


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