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02.05.10

Black Duck Wants Proprietary Monopoly on Free Software Analysis, SFLC Responds

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, GPL, Microsoft, Novell at 7:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mallard in winter, Sardinia

Summary: A software patent which we wrote about before saw the following post appearing as a response from Bradley M. Kuhn (SFLC)

THIS is just a quick update regarding something which we wrote about yesterday. It’s about Black Duck Software, a proprietary software company that bragged about receiving a software patent on analysing source code that’s publicly accessible (Black Duck Software does not care about the rights associated with this code, except the semantics of licences).

“I Think I Just Got Patented,” said Bradley Kuhn in the headline of a short rant:

I could not think of anything but the South Park quote, “They took our jobs!” when I read today Black Duck’s announcement of their patent, Resolving License Dependencies For Aggregations of Legally-Protectable Content.

This is not the first time that someone from the SFLC complains about Black Duck and its secrecy. A discussion can be found here:

Bradley Kuhn grumbles about Black Duck Software’s recently-announced patent on the process of finding license incompatibilities. “Indeed, the process described is so simple-minded, that it’s a waste of time in my view to spend time writing a software system to do it. With a few one-off 10-line Perl programs and a few greps, I’ve had a computer assist me with processes like this one many times since the late 1990s.” Here’s the full patent for the curious.

We never thought of Black Duck Software as a friend of Free software, setting aside the fact that it was created by a Microsoft executive [1, 2, 3, 4]. It’s like a threat right inside the F/OSS world, always pretending to be an opportunistic friend.

Speaking of which, Microsoft MVP Miguel de Icaza, who has just announced another preview of “Microsoft Moonlight”, is to have the following colleague at Microsoft’s CodePlex Foundation:

CodePlex Foundation Picks Paula Hunter as Executive Director

[...]

As you’ll see from the announcement, one of Paula’s prior jobs was as the Executive Director of UnitedLinux. UL was a client of mine, and that’s where I first met Paula.

Yesterday we showed how GPL FUD had come from another associate of Microsoft’s CodePlex Foundation (namely Monty). Yesterday we also showed how ECT was promoting Microsoft Trojans like Mono or Moonlight and now we find the comments in Linux Today, one of which says: “A Linux Insider endorsement of a Mono based app. [sarcasm] Who would have thought it? [/sarcasm]”

For those who do not know, Linux Insider is considered Linux hostile. We wrote about this several times before.

Another one says: “F-spot is a mono app and as such is not safe to use unless you get it from Novell who has am agreement from Microsft not to sue. IMO it is trojanware.”

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3 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    February 5, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Gravatar

    Probably could use >cite< tags around Linux Insider so that it is more obvious that a specific web site is meant and not a general category of person.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Sure. I thought about it.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I’ve just noticed that Glyn Moody too remarked on this:

    http://twitter.com/glynmoody/statuses/8548102688

    One part from Bradly which is worth emphasising would be:

    The saddest part, though, is that Black Duck again shows itself as a company whose primary goal is to prey on people’s fear of software freedom. They make proprietary software and acquire software patents with the primary goal of scaring people into buying stuff they probably don’t need. I’ve spent a lot more time working regularly on FLOSS license compliance than anyone who has ever worked at Black Duck. Simply put, coming into (and staying in) compliance is a much simpler process than they say, and can be done easily without the use of overpriced proprietary analysis of codebases.

    Black Duck still has some apologists in the FOSS world.

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