04.19.10

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“Patent Absurdity” Looks for Translations Amid Lobbying from Florian Müller and Microsoft

Posted in IBM, Microsoft, Patents at 8:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


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Summary: The short movie “Patent Absurdity” (as can be viewed above) is looking to expand its reach; Groklaw says more about the TurboHercules vs IBM case

A few days ago, within minutes of the release of “Patent Absurdity”, we posted this embedded pointer to it for maximal exposure/audience. For those who did not see the film, it is a video lasting about half an hour and containing fragments from conversations with James Bessen, Dan Bricklin, Peter Brown, Mishi Choudhary, Ben Klemens, Timothy B. Lee, Eben Moglen, Ciarán O’Riordan, Dan Ravicher, Karen Sandler, Richard Stallman, Rob Tiller, Jesse Vincent, and Mark Webbink. The goal is not to preach to the choir but to get it out there for people who do not understand these issues.

Many Web sites such as The Source, Groklaw, and swpat.org wrote about it. That last one has also asked for subtitles in more languages.

UPDATE: Yes, we’d love to make versions with subtitles, in as many languages as possible. You can help via:
http://en.swpat.org/wiki/Patently_Absurd/Subtitles.

In addition to Rob Tiller and Mark Webbink (with roots in Red Hat), there’s also this recommendation from Richard Fontana (Red Hat). We really need translations so that the message gets across to as many people as possible. As Simon Phipps put it: “I was lucky enough to be sent an early copy of this documentary. It’s well worth watching, both for the opportunity to see so many of the people who are influential in software freedom philosophy and law and for the great explanations of the issues around the Bilski case and the mission creep which has led to software patents. Share it with friends as this issue is only going to get more important as ACTA promotes criminalisation of patent infringement.”

“I don’t view Florian Mueller as a FOSS person. He’s a lobbyist.”
      –Pamela Jones, Groklaw
Since we’ve mentioned Groklaw, it’s worth mentioning its latest updates on the TurboHercules case. Regarding this article, Pamela Jones wrote that “the new Florian FUD is as bad as the old FUD. He writes: “Considering that IBM has already used them in a threat letter to TurboHercules, those patents must be considered particularly dangerous. I just explained why IBM’s attack on Hercules is an attack on interoperability and FOSS innovation in general.” Let me point out, again, that it was not a threat letter, and it was sent to TurboHercules, not Hercules. There is a difference. And asking to license IBM’s code for an emulator is hardly innovation. It certainly isn’t FOSS innovation, in that TurboHercules’s turnkey offering is Microsoft based.” Regarding another article she wrote: “This is the best summary of the story so far that I’ve seen. I would add one detail, now update 11 on my article: Bowler has written that he did receive the letter from IBM listing the patents prior to filing the complaint with the EU Commission, which contrasts with their press release. So that raises the question, which is the truth? Perhaps we could rewrite Brian’s headline to “Mostly Smoke and Mirrors, Little Fire”? Also, I don’t view Florian Mueller as a FOSS person. He’s a lobbyist. Then there is the Microsoft and OpenMainframe.org part of the story.”

Regarding the recent lobbying for software patents in New Zealand, Jones points out that: “Members of NZICT include Cisco, Dell, ExpressData, Gen-i, Hewlett Packard, Kordia, IBM, Ingram Micro, Microsoft, Unisys, and Vodafone.” We pointed this out twice before and in the next post we’ll explain why Microsoft et al are pushing so hard for software patents in other countries/continents.

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