05.03.10

Gemini version available ♊︎

Behind the Microsoft Puppetmaster: SCO-Type Libel, Acacia-Type Patent Trolls, and Novell-Type Patent Deals to Make GNU/Linux Not Free (Gratis)

Posted in Courtroom, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, OpenSUSE, Patents, Samsung, SCO at 3:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Donkey Kong

Summary: Microsoft has been trying anything from copyright libel to patent trolls to actually suing companies like TomTom (after using extortion), so what are the implications?

THREE years ago we wrote about Microsoft’s 3 (or more) “Generations of Anti-Linux Lawsuits, by Proxy”. It is neither news nor rumour that Microsoft is sending companies to fight its battles against competitors, GNU/Linux included. One which we cannot be sure Microsoft was involved in is the Acacia lawsuit which ended some days ago (here is Red Hat’s own version/copy of the press release). Just like in the case of SCO, this whole mess took years to end and the GNU/Linux system was found not guilty (the software patent in question is junk). The damage done is one of reputation (FUD) and lawyers/litigation fees, which would be beneficial to Microsoft either way (no matter of the outcome of these lawsuits). Slashdot wrote about the subject and so did Groklaw, which added a reference to SCO:

Say, that’s what SCO wanted, and Microsoft. Everyone wants to use IP bogo lawsuits to get money from Linux, it seems.

Paula Rooney also mentioned SCO in her coverage of the Acacia case:

Now that the SCO and IP Innovation cases are disposed of, it anyone else want to take on Linux?

SCO and Acacia are both sharing some connections with Microsoft.

TechDirt wrote about the SCO case which never seems to end. There is also yet another cartoon about it [1, 2] as coverage carries on.

Well, this is fascinating. Here’s an order from Judge Ted Stewart in a dispute between Novell and its insurer, Vigilant Insurance Company. Novell tried to get them to pay for the SCO v. Novell litigation back in 2004 and they refused, so Novell sued last May. They were seeking to have at least some of their expense to defend from SCO’s attacks covered by the insurer, but Judge Stewart just ruled on summary judgment [PDF] that slander of title isn’t included in the policy and SCO’s initial complaint was for slander of title only, so Vigilant doesn’t have to pay.

[...]

You know what is sort of odd? This order was signed on April 27. The jury in SCO v. Novell ruled that SCO doesn’t own the copyrights in dispute on March 30, 2010. Yet Judge Stewart never mentions that.

Pogson wrote about “Trying to Tax GNU/Linux,” noting that:

There are the doers and the slugs. Slug are living things and need to survive but they do slimy stuff to eat what others produce. In the world of IT there are all kinds of slugs trying to tax the doers of GNU/Linux:

* M$ shaking down manufacturers for “royalties”
* other more obvious patent trolls sued RedHat and Novell and Lost
* SCO tried to claim copyright that software they did not own was copied in GNU/Linux

Microsoft has already initiated or at least supported lawsuits against Linux. What does that say about Microsoft’s relationship with Free/open source software? As we found out a few days ago, Microsoft was apparently going to sue HTC before HTC decided to cough out some ‘protection’ money. HTC is coming up with the Android-based “Incredible” quite soon and it’s just as incredible as the name suggests. Why should Microsoft make money from it given that it contributed not a single line of code to it? Welcome to the bizarre world of software patents and racketeering [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] as a profitable business model that does not put you in jail, assuming you have the right connections in the government.

Here is a look at the HTC Incredible:

“The Droid Incredible by HTC is an absolutely amazing device,” says PC Magazine, giving the phone its Editors’ Choice award and a 4.5 star rating. “The most powerful phone on the U.S. market today, it reflects and enhances the state of the art smartphone…It’s one of our highest-rated phones in the past year.”

The HTC Legend finally allows rooting, which makes one wonder if HTC can just sell its phones without an operating system (and without Microsoft extortion tax) to install an operating system of one’s own choice.

The HTC Legend, probably one of the best Android devices ever, has finally been rooted, which means you can now access the smartphone’s file system.

Here is what SJVN wrote about Microsoft’s extortion:

For years, Microsoft has made patent threats against Linux. Mind you, Microsoft has never proven, or even attempted to prove, any of these claims. But that hasn’t stopped Microsoft from using the threat of Linux patent lawsuit to force companies like Amazon into paying them off. Now, Microsoft has upped the ante. Microsoft has muscled mobile phone maker HTC into paying Microsoft off for patents that may apply to its Google Android-powered phones. In short, without actually proving that Linux is violating Microsoft’s patents, the Redmond giant is ‘taxing’ companies for using Linux.

The ‘Microsoft press’ chose the headline “Microsoft Attacks Android in HTC Patent Deal” (strong wording) and Samsung expects to sell half of its phones with Microsoft’s extortion tax included in the cost (please do not buy Samsung or HTC phones by the way).

There is another sign today that Android continues to pick up steam in the smartphone industry. Reuters is reporting that Samsung plans to put Android on 50% of it’s smartphones in 2010, and possibly more beyond this year.

The HTC situation is also covered here, along with a new example of the patent system going awry.

Texas-based DDB Technologies, an intellectual property-holding company, has sued a host of US sporting leagues and companies which it alleges copied its live simulation, play-by-play text, graphics, animation and other patented interactive media-based technologies.

Just last week it filed a lawsuit against the National Basketball Association (NBA) and has also brought cases against ESPN, the NFL and Yahoo. The company recently settled a case against Major League Baseball, with the defendants, as part of the settlement, agreeing to buy a patent and entering into a licensing agreement with another.

It has been a while since we last covered Novell’s OpenBallnux, but here is a weekly summary of news and a new video titled “Working With Suse Studio”.


Finally, as a quick reminder, we urge readers to avoid products from HTC, LG, Samsung, Novell, and other companies that pay Microsoft for Linux. Only by refusing to buy from them will they (and Microsoft) get the message that extortion is not an acceptable business model and that software patents need to be shunned.

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.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 4/12/2021: Gedit Plans and More

    Links for the day



  2. Links 4/12/2021: Turnip Becomes Vulkan 1.1 Conformant

    Links for the day



  3. IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 03, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, December 03, 2021



  4. Links 4/12/2021: EndeavourOS Atlantis, Krita 5.0.0 Beta 5, Istio 1.11.5, and Wine 6.23; International Day Against DRM (IDAD) on December 10th

    Links for the day



  5. Another Gemini Milestone: 1,500 Active Capsules

    This page from Balázs Botond plots a graph, based on these statistics that now (as of minutes ago) say: “We successfully connected recently to 1500 of them.” Less than a fortnight ago more than 1,800 capsules overall were registered by Lupa, almost quadrupling in a single year



  6. [Meme] António Campinos and Socialist Posturing

    Staff of the EPO isn’t as gullible as António Campinos needs it to be



  7. António Campinos as EPO President is Considered Worse Than Benoît Battistelli (in Some Regards) After 3.5 Years in Europe's Second-Largest Institution

    The EPO's demise at the hands of people who don't understand patents and don't care what the EPO exists for is a real crisis which European media is unwilling to even speak about; today we share some internal publications and comment on them



  8. Media Coverage for Sale

    Today we're highlighting a couple of new examples (there are many other examples which can be found any day of the year) demonstrating that the World Wide Web is like a corporate spamfarm in "news" clothing



  9. Links 3/12/2021: GNU Poke 1.4 and KDDockWidgets 1.5.0

    Links for the day



  10. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 02, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, December 02, 2021



  11. Links 3/12/2021: Nitrux 1.7.1 and Xen 4.16 Released

    Links for the day



  12. Links 2/12/2021: OpenSUSE Leap 15.4 Alpha, Qt Creator 6

    Links for the day



  13. The EPO's “Gender Awareness Report”

    There’s a new document with remarks by the EPO’s staff representatives and it concerns opportunities for women at the EPO — a longstanding issue



  14. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 01, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 01, 2021



  15. EPO Staff Committee Compares the Tactics of António Campinos to Benoît Battistelli's

    The Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO talks about EPO President António Campinos, arguing that “he seems to subscribe to the Manichean view, introduced by Mr Battistelli…”



  16. Prof. Thomas Jaeger in GRUR: Unified Patent Court (UPC) “Incompatible With EU Law“

    The truth remains unquestionable and the law remains unchanged; Team UPC is living in another universe, unable to accept that what it is scheming will inevitably face high-level legal challenges (shall that become necessary) and it will lose because the facts are all still the same



  17. Links 1/12/2021: LibrePlanet CFS Extended to December 15th and DB Comparer for PostgreSQL Reaches 5.0

    Links for the day



  18. EPO Cannot and Will Not Self-Regulate

    The term financialisation helps describe some of the activities of the EPO in recent years; see Wikipedia on financialisation below



  19. [Meme] Germany's Licence to Break the Law

    Remember that the young Campinos asked dad for his immunity after he had gotten drunk and crashed the car; maybe the EPO should stop giving diplomatic immunity to people, seeing what criminals (e.g. Benoît Battistelli) this attracts; the German government is destroying its image (and the EU’s) by fostering such corruption, wrongly believing that it’s worth it because of Eurozone domination for patents/litigation



  20. EPO Dislikes Science and Scientists

    The EPO's management has become like a corrupt political party with blind faith in money and monopolies (or monopoly money); it has lost sight of its original goals and at this moment it serves to exacerbate an awful pandemic, as the video above explains



  21. Links 1/12/2021: LibreOffice 7.3 Beta, Krita 5.0, Julia 1.7

    Links for the day



  22. Links 1/12/2021: NixOS 21.11 Released

    Links for the day



  23. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 30, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 30, 2021



  24. Links 1/12/2021: Tux Paint 0.9.27 and WordPress 5.9 Beta

    Links for the day



  25. [Meme] EPO Administrative Council Believing EPO-Bribed 'Media' (IAM Still Shilling and Lying for Cash)

    IAM continues to do what brings money from EPO management and Team UPC, never mind if it is being disputed by the patent examiners themselves



  26. The EPO's Mythical “Gap” Has Been Found and It's Bonuses for People Who Use Pure Fiction to Steal From Patent Examiners

    The phony president who has the audacity to claim there's a budget gap is issuing millions of euros for his enablers to enjoy; weeks ahead of the next meeting of national delegates the Central Staff Committee (CSC) tells them: "Events show that the delegations’ concerns about functional allowances have materialised. The lack of transparency and inflation of the budget envelope gives rise to the suspicion that high management is pursuing a policy of self-service at the expense of EPO staff, which is difficult to reconcile with the Office’s claimed cost-saving policy, and to the detriment of the whole Organisation."



  27. Video: Making the Internet a Better Place for People, Not Megacorporations

    Following that earlier list of suggested improvements for a freedom-respecting Internet, here's a video and outline



  28. Links 30/11/2021: KDE Plasma 5.23.4, 4MLinux 38.0, Long GitHub Downtime, and Microsoft's CEO Selling Away Shares

    Links for the day



  29. A Concise Manifesto For Freedom-Respecting Internet

    An informal list of considerations to make when reshaping the Internet to better serve people, not a few corporations that are mostly military contractors subsidised by the American taxpayers



  30. Freenode.net Becomes a 'Reddit Clone' and Freenode IRC is Back to Old Configurations After Flushing Down Decades' Worth of User/Channel Data and Locking/Shutting Out Longtime Users

    Freenode is having another go; after “chits” and “jobs” (among many other ideas) have clearly failed, and following the change of daemon (resulting in massive loss of data and even security issues associated with impersonation) as well as pointless rebrand as “Joseon”, the domain Freenode.net becomes something completely different and the IRC network reopens to all


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