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

05.26.10

IRC Proceedings: May 26th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

Read the log

Enter the IRC channel now

Lawyers Try to Marry Free Software and Software Patents in Maastricht University (Brussels)

Posted in America, Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Interoperability, Law, Patents at 5:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Fishing for money

Summary: Lawyers in Europe strive to net some extra money by promoting “interoperability” (with software patents) rather than making use of open standards

EUROPEAN lawyers are trying to repeat the mistakes of the USPTO, which is permitting the patenting of business methods, software patents, and other insane things that must never become one person’s government-protected monopoly. Look at the latest numbers from the USPTO. There is clearly a gold rush when everything under the sun becomes patentable and examiners mistake that for “increased innovation” or whatever. From Patently-O:

The USPTO issued more patents during the past two weeks than in any fortnight in history. A primary driver of that upswing appears to be a dramatic rise in the allowance rate.

Lawyers who make a living by granting and managing people’s ‘ownership’ of other people’s lives are concerned about the Bilski case, which may axe many patents and limit their scope in the United States.

Betting on Bilski: The Supreme Court and Biotechnology Patents

[...]

Reviewing Bilski and the Biotech Patent Landscape. Recall that Bilski involves a form of method patent (the so-called “business method” patent) that claims a method of hedging commodities prices by setting up a relationship between a regular seller (a coal mine, for example) and regular buyer (a power company). The question is whether such a method constitutes patentable subject matter—that is, is the Bilski method the sort of “new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter” that meets the standards of Section 101 of the Patent Act. In its 2008 en banc decision, the Federal Circuit established—or re-established, since it had been lurking in the case law for years—the so-called “machine or transformation” test for method patents. Under this test, the method must be tied to a particular machine (whatever that means) or transform some article into a different state or thing in order to qualify as patentable subject matter. According to the Federal Circuit, Bilski’s patent failed both branches of the test.

By contrast, in its 2009 decision in Prometheus v. Mayo, the Federal Circuit upheld a patent on “a method of optimizing therapeutic efficiency for treatment of an immune-mediated gastrointestinal disorder.” The method comprises “administering” a specified drug to a patient and then “determining” the level of the drug in the patient. The remainder of the claim specifies threshold levels of the drug’s metabolites (the chemical products of metabolism in the body) in the patient’s blood below which the dose should be increased (because of lack of efficacy) and above which it should be decreased (because of potential toxicity). The court found that both administering the drug and determining the metabolite levels (by withdrawing and testing blood) worked a sufficient physical transformation of the body.

Greed, greed, greed.

Those lawyers are always greedy for more and more patents. They don’t care about the consequences as long as they enrich themselves through filing and litigation.

Obviously, lawyers in Europe want software patents. They don’t actually develop any software, but it’s not software they care about. It’s all about money and Free software supporters stand in their way in Europe*. So what do they do? They have just set up yet another event whose overall message is something along the lines of, “why can’t Free software and software patents just get along?”

Read the following new message (it’s always posed as a series of suggestive questions. as in push polling):

From: Cristina Palomares
Subject: REMINDER: Intellectual Property, Open Source, and Standards: Friends or Foes?
To: [redacted]

Intellectual Property, Open Source, and Standards:

Friends or Foes?

Date: Tuesday, 1st June 2010

Time: 9:30-12:30

Venue: Maastricht University Campus Brussels, Avenue de l’Armée / Legerlaan 10, 1040, Brussels

The Institute for Globalisation and International Regulation at Maastricht University Faculty of Law and the Stockholm Network Intellectual Property & Competition Programme are delighted to invite you to a forum and debate on “Intellectual Property, Open Source and Standards: Friends or Foes?

The importance of standards to our societies is growing as technology moves into increasingly complex territories, and competing companies are inclined to establish common ground. This common ground helps to ensure that the assortment of technological possibilities is kept to a necessary minimum, whilst also establishing a widespread level of compatibility and quality. Standards offer a shared language that technologies use to communicate with one another, allowing for greater interaction between products or components. This can mean improved interoperability, interconnectivity, and commoditisation – all buzzwords for a more beneficial market.

“How should we consider the relationship between patents and standards, and what are the implications of not allowing standards to be protected by IPRs?”In the discussion on standards, a distinction (and at times even a dichotomy) is often made between standards based on proprietary efforts – which are to be protected by intellectual property rights – and standards that are based on collaborative or open efforts – such as via an open source. Indeed, there is a heated Europe-wide debate on the nature and characteristics of future technological standards, not least in the context of government procurement and policies in this area (such as the Expert Panel for the Review of the European Standardization System).

This event aims to address some of the burning issues in the standards debate. Key questions to be discussed include: Should standards be based on open-efforts or on proprietary models? Should countries in Europe opt for a more specific model of standardisation? How should we consider the relationship between patents and standards, and what are the implications of not allowing standards to be protected by IPRs? Is the dichotomy between open and proprietary standards at all justified, or are these types of standards in fact complementary?

Speakers include (in alphabetical order):

Ms Helen Disney, Chief Executive, Stockholm Network;
Malcolm Harbour MEP, Chairman of the Internal Market and Consumer
Protection Committee, European Parliament;
Prof Anselm Kamperman Sanders, Director Masters Intellectual Property
Law and Knowledge Management, Maastricht University Faculty of Law;
Dr Meir Perez Pugatch, Director of Research, Stockholm Network & Senior Lecturer, University of Haifa;
Dr Dalindyebo Shabalala, Assistant Professor, Maastricht University Faculty of Law;
Prof Alain Strowel, Universitaires Saint-Louis et Université de Liège;
Prof Damien Geradin, Partner at Howrey LLP and Professor of Competition Law and Economics at Tilburg University.

***************

To RSVP please contact Dr Cristina Palomares, Chief Operating Officer, Stockholm Network on T +44 20 7354 8888, F: +44 20 7359 8888 or via e-mail on: cristina@stockholm-network.org

Speakers who are software developers are conspicuously missing. Whose agenda is being served here? See what we wrote about Europe’s Digital Agenda in recent days [1, 2, 3]. The agenda above jives the same way.

People should boycott this event. It’s apparently just a ploy to push for software patents in Europe, quelling those who oppose. A fair event would not be stacked by its attendees.
____
* Small- and medium-sized businesses generally suffer from software patents, but they can tolerate patent encumbrances if they are proprietary software companies.

Patent Troll (MPEG-LA) May Own Your Personal/Family Videos

Posted in Antitrust, Patents at 4:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

MPEG LA logo

Summary: The outrageous nature of software patents and patent trolls who exploit them, as explained by a couple of Web sites

THIS MORNING we wrote about Larry Horn’s MPEG cartel. For those who do not know yet, Horn is a notorious patent troll and OS News provides more background to this (Joe Mullin did a lot of the research and received confirmation from Horn himself). This is an issue that OS News covers quite closely and its latest post says:

Let the spreading of FUD begin! Known patent troll Larry Horn, CEO of MPEG-LA, is clearly feeling the heat – a heat that might set fire to his company’s license to print money. After a decade of empty threats towards Theora, the company is apparently putting its it’s-impossible-to-create-a-video-codec-that-doesn’t-infringe-on-our-stuff attitude into practice once again, by assembling a patent pool to go after VP8. Google, in the meantime, is not impressed.

MPEG-LA not only deals with video. The scope of this cartel is actually much broader, as someone pointed out and showed earlier on in our IRC channels. The following FSF-funded Web site also indicates that “MPEG-LA’s patents [may be] exhausted by camera sale”:

When you buy a digital camera, can holders of video patents claim ownership of your videos? They certainly claim to. When looking into this, I found an interesting 2008 opinion from the US Supreme Court that suggests, to me (IANAPL), that “exhaustion” through “first sale” might save our bacon: Quanta v. LGE.

Here’s the article that raised the problem of cameras coming with “for non-commercial use only” patent licences:

* Why Our Civilization’s Video Art and Culture is Threatened by the MPEG-LA, by Eugenia Loli-Queru
* The 140+ comments

And here’s the 2008 court opinion I’m reading:

* quanta.pdf (Quanta v. LGE)

Patent exhaustion is a well-known principle. It says that the patent holder’s rights/powers are exhausted after the first sale of the patented item.

If anybody is aware of more information about MPEG-LA, please let us know. With an antitrust complaint just filed against MPEG-LA, we need as much information as is available. This troll can be taken down.

Novell’s Future in Fog Computing

Posted in Marketing, Novell, Servers at 4:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Foggy tree

Summary: Novell’s products — just like its future — are rather foggy

SEVERAL years ago Novell was marketing itself as an “open source” company because it was good PR. Nowadays, as we showed last week (and before that too), Novell uses the so-called 'cloud' bonanza as marketing pitch (we call it Fog Computing, which is a more suitable term emphasising the associated dangers). Here are some examples from this week’s news:

Managing application licences will define limits of cloud computing

[...]

Describing the strategy during his keynote presentation at the company’s Brainshare Europe conference, Javier Colado, president, Novell EMEA, said, “CIOs both need to support flexibility and regulatory compliance. Intelligent workload management provides an ability to mange [application] workloads in a secure and scalable way,” which he said would allow them to meet these distinct requirements.

This was also mentioned in a new interview with Novell’s CEO:

Identity Manager 4 is at the heart of Novell’s latest platform push, dubbed Intelligent Workload Management (IWM), in which applications are categorised with security credentials to automate deployment. IWM allows IT departments to specify whether an application can only run on physical hardware, whether it is okay to run on virtual machines, or whether it is safe to deploy in the public cloud.

Now it’s the “public cloud”. The word “public” is yet another euphemism (another popular one is “private”).

Novell’s Identity Manager is now marketed using the same buzzwords that include “cloud”. Here are some of the latest headlines (from the past few days alone):

This is a complete list. Notice how many headlines contain the word “cloud”.

What Novell Still Does: Software Patents and .NET

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 4:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Ron Hovsepian begs Ballmer

Summary: Supine, weak, miserable Novell is doing the only things it still knows how to do, namely assisting Microsoft and amassing controversial patents on computer algorithms

FIVE more software patents have just been granted to Novell, which loves software patents very much (it’s always just software patents from Novell because Novell is not a hardware company). Microsoft too loves software patents because 85% of Microsoft's patent applications are said to be software patents.

Here is a list of Novell’s latest patents:

Method for rule locating, ordering and combining in a polyhierarichical environment , patent No. 7,725,416, invented by Duane Buss of West Mountain, assigned to Novell Inc. of Provo.

Recurrent billing maintenance with radio-frequency payment devices , patent No. 7,725,427, invented by Fred Bishop of Glendale, Ariz., and Peter D. Saunders of Salt Lake City.

System and method for restoring a database in a distributed database system , patent No. 7,725,428, invented by Brian Hawkins of Santaquin, Andrew Hodgkinson of Pleasant Grove, Daniel Sanders of Orem and Steven S. McLain of Provo, assigned to Novell Inc. of Provo.

Defragmentation in a virtual environment , patent No. 7,725,506, invented by Russell R. Stringham of Orem, assigned to Symantec Corp. of Mountain View, Calif.

System and method for providing advanced reservations in a compute environment , patent No. 7,725,583, invented by David B. Jackson of Spanish Fork, assigned to Adaptive Computing Enterprises Inc. of Provo.

System and method of imaging a memory module while in functional operation , patent No. 7,725,670, invented by Matthew A. Misbach of Orem, assigned to Novell Inc. of Provo.

Generic template to autogenerate reports for software target testing , patent No. 7,725,772, invented by Philip J. Proto of Groveland, Mass., assigned to Novell Inc. of Provo.

Audio-related system node instantiation , patent No. 7,725,826, invented by Richard Allen Kreifeldt of South Jordan, John Lee of Salt Lake City, William A. Plunkett of Granger, Ind., Timothy J. Shuttleworth of Woodland Hills, Calif., Andrew Stevenson of Hemel Hempstead, U.K. and Bruce Vander Werf of Elkhart, Ind., assigned to Harman International Industries Inc. of Northridge, Calif.

System and method for using sandboxes in a managed shell , patent No. 7,725,922, invented by Sebastien Pouliot of Beauport, Calif., assigned to Novell Inc. of Provo.

Mono and Moonlight are known to be patent problems, but why would Novell mind? It has patent ‘peace’ with Microsoft, unlike those other distributors of GNU/Linux. Novell is marketing itself based on this whole exclusive "peace of mind" thing.

Looking a few days back, Adrian Bridgwater from ZDNet was escorted by Microsoft and Novell to promote their relationship while IDG and The Register promote this Novell/Microsoft .NET assault on the Linux-based Android [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13]. The Street has a copy of one article

Novell, for its part, is announcing MonoDroid, a software development kit for building Android applications using code and libraries written for the Microsoft .Net development framework and languages like C#. MonoDroid functions with the Android SDK.

If this is how Novell ‘contributes’ to GNU/Linux, then it's better off sold away.

Novell Spin-off — Not Just Novell — is Up for Sale (Key Day Today)

Posted in Finance, Novell, SLES/SLED at 3:50 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Novell happy year

Summary: Novell’s days may be numbered but a spin-off of Novell too faces a similar destiny

WHETHER Novell will sell itself in pieces or as a whole unit we do not know yet. What we do know is that Novell has plans to make a sale and the following new article describes SUSE Linux users as “nervous”. They did not boycott Novell and now they are suffering inside.

Novell reportedly put itself on the market last week, leaving SUSE Linux Enterprise users unsure about the fate of that open source operating system and other Novell products.

If the report in The Wall Street Journal is true, the bidding kicks off two months after Waltham, Mass-based Novell’s board turned down Elliott Partners $2 billion buyout offer. At that time, Novell said the price was inadequate, and it would explore other options, including stock buy-backs, cash dividends and more alliances.

A Novell spokesman provided no comment.

In the mean time, Novell last week released SUSE Linux Enterprise 11 Service Pack 1.

Over at Server Watch, Paul Rubens says that Novell “has run out of ideas.”

Novell is a company that has run out of ideas.

That’s not to say it doesn’t have some good software, or that there aren’t some very good people working there. But the fact is that despite having SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) and much else to offer, Novell is a company going nowhere fast. Ask yourself this — which of these two companies does it most resemble: Red Hat, the vigorous, thrusting fellow Linux server operating system vendor, or the crumbling Sun Microsystems, just before Oracle acquired it?

That may be a loaded question, but you know the answer, and it sure as heck isn’t Red Hat. There’s a smell of death about Novell these days, along with a sense that this is a company that will never again attain the heights it reached in the past with NetWare. Like Sun before the Oracle acquisition, it’s in terminal decline. You know it, I know it, and, it seems, the company’s management know it too.

Last week we wrote about LANDesk, a Novell spin-off which is also putting itself up for sale. Another article on the subject has just been published.

Utah-based LANDesk up for sale

[...]

The year was 1991. Intel Corp. acquired a spin-off from Provo-based Novell Inc. and named it LANDesk.

From Channel Insider we learn that:

Even Novell has put itself up for sale. And Brocade reportedly investigated the market for its own sale last year. Here’s what’s behind the trend.

Novell will report its latest results any moment and it is expected to beat expectations (it does not mean anything if expectations are deliberately set low).

Here is another new take from a financial news site:

Novell has floundered for years, and many consider it a directionless company. Still, it has long been thought of by many as a buyout candidate for well over a decade. The reasons are many, and a higher price is only more than obvious as to what is needed for a real buyout of Novell.

Motley Fool says:

Novell, the former networking software star, now finds itself on the auction block. It rebuffed an unsolicited buyout offer from a hedge fund two months ago. Now it’s simply opening up the bidding process. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that as many as 20 different bidders may be fielding offers. This could get interesting, and next week’s report may set the tone on how desperate Novell is to cash out.

There are up to twenty companies/hedge funds waiting in line, as reported last week.

Novell has put itself up for sale, several news outlets report. The Wall Street Journal reported that the Waltham, Massachusetts based company can count on up to 20 bidders, most of them private equity firms. An unsolicited takeover bid by Elliot Associates to buy Novell for $5.75 per share in cash was turned down in March 2010.

Money Control reports:

Hewlett-Packard Co is in the process of buying smartphone pioneer Palm Inc for USD 1.2 billion, while software maker Novell Inc has put itself up for sale.

From DZone we get more or less the same story (no new information).

Novell on the Auction Block

After a hedge fund organization was turned down for offering too little, Novell is now taking bids from up to 20 companies for its acquisition. There’s no indication whether Novell’s four business units (including Linux technology and identity management) will be sold separately. The sale of Novell is expected to be in access of the previously offered $2 billion price tag.

A friend of Novell, the VAR Guy, remains cautiously optimistic.

The big question: Will those partners — and other solutions providers — take a broader look at Novell’s entire product portfolio, as part of the IWM push? And of course, the biggest question of all: Is somebody ready to step in and acquire Novell?

Another new one from the VAR Guy:

Novell vs. Mandriva: Don’t Confuse 2 Potential Linux Sales

Novell, promoter of SUSE Linux, is listening to potential takeover bids. Mandriva, promoter of a Linux distribution that has 3 million users, is in discussions with potential investors. As a result, some pundits think Mandriva Linux and Novell SUSE Linux face similar business challenges. The VAR Guy begs to differ.

The coming days will matter and the coming week/month will be a crucial one for Novell, which will probably announce that units of the company or the company as a whole is being sold.

Latvia’s Digital Independence Under Attack by Microsoft

Posted in Bill Gates, Europe, Microsoft, OpenOffice, Steve Ballmer at 2:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Linux infestations are being uncovered in many of our large accounts as part of the escalation engagements.”

Microsoft Confidential

Coat of Arms of Latvia

Summary: Latvian sovereignty is at risk due to Microsoft’s and Bill Gates’ involvement with politicians, which leads to disruption of local migrations to freedom-respecting software such as OpenOffice.org, GNU/Linux, and Firefox

A READER of ours from Latvia has just mailed us some information about his/her home country (anonymity is preferred here), where Microsoft has been suppressing freedom using its proprietary code and back room deals. We wrote about the subject in the following posts and recent English references that we are appended at the bottom of this post.

AUSTRUMI is a Latvian GNU/Linux distribution we don’t hear so much about anymore (last release seemingly announced a year and a half ago). It used to describe itself as “a business card size (50MB) bootable Live CD Linux distribution.  Imagine the ability to boot your favorite Linux distribution whether you are  at home, at school or at work.”

“Microsoft lobbying is super big in Latvia!!”
      –Anonymous source
“There is [an] interesting link,” tells us a reader, “which must be added for all in Techrights website.” The link contains information about Project 3td.

Watch this page to witness how both Microsoft and super-lobbyist Gates are pushing Microsoft into Latvia. Are they trying to just block or suppress the country’s astounding adoption rates of Free software (see links below)? It’s always described as ‘donations’ and goodwill (even the Gates Foundation gets involved). It’s just wonderful when attacking one’s competition can be spun as being charitable and it takes great PR skills to achieve this deception.

There are some other pointers sent by the reader (but not in English), e.g.

That last link is translated by Google to say:

Zatlers of Latvia: Latvian IT professionals and Microsoft’s co-operation can bring real projects to be proud

[...]

The project was initiated and Valdis Zatlers Microsoft Executive Steve Balmer meeting in May this year. The president believes that the project is not only important from the standpoint of modern technology, but also from small countries in the language of the conservation, improvement and convenient everyday use, using IT software. To continue the project as a guardian, he promises to carefully monitor the project.

Language Bank was discussed at Tuesday meeting V. Zatlers, Microsoft International and Microsoft Central and eastern regional vice president Vahem Torosjanam, Microsoft Latvia Head Daiga Trump and company Tilde Head A. Vasilyev.

We wrote about Ballmer’s meeting at the time because there was English coverage (see links at the top).

Our reader stressed the urgency of the matter by writing: “Microsoft lobbying is super big in Latvia!! Can you help???? Please, please!!! Is there possible to inform about this problem our President of Latvia which is infected too!!!! [...] Please help Latvia. [...] Is there possible to inform Red Hat CEO and maybe there will be possible to put this question up???? Are you have any contacts with CEO of Red Hat??”

If anybody can help (there are some Red Hat employees who read this site for example), please do get involved and help Latvia get back to its agenda of software freedom. Microsoft is clearly trying to derail it by pushing aside the Latvian people and greasing up their politicians instead.
_____
[1] LV: City council to provide OpenOffice courses

The city council of Ogre is providing free training for OpenOffice, an Open Source suite of office applications, to improve the competitiveness of the local businesses and boost the performance of the local government.

Ogre, a town with some 27,000 inhabitants is about 30 km southeast of Latvia’s capital Riga.

[2] Latvians Love Firefox

The first day of each month often brings great news. A month ago, we saw that the latest browser market share data showed Firefox surpassing the 50% milestone in Slovakia and the Philippines. Today, we can say the same about Firefox usage in Latvia!

[3] LV: Ministry of Education approves open source software for schools

Open source can be used to teach computer science classes to secondary school pupils, Latvia’s ministry of Education announced on Tuesday.

The ministry bases its conclusion on the work of a group of experts, industry association representatives, ministry officials and school representatives. The group in August started looking for open source applications that could be used for computer science classes.

According to the group open source software will be able to fulfil all requirements of the computer education curriculum in primary and secondary schools.

[4] mCash-strapped Latvia mulls switching from Microsoft

Cash-strapped Latvia is mulling whether to replace brand name office software like Microsoft with an open source equivalent as a cost-cutting measure, a government spokeswoman told AFP Thursday.

[5] Approval For Open Source Software For Schools Has Been Announced By Ministry Of Education

Open source can be used to teach computer science classes to secondary school pupils, Latvia’s Ministry of Education announced on 1 December 2009.

The ministry bases its conclusion on the work of a group of experts, industry association representatives, ministry officials and school representatives. In August 2009 the group started looking for open source applications that could be used for computer science classes.

According to the group, open source software will be able to fulfil all requirements of the computer education curriculum in primary and secondary schools.

BSA Attacks the Right to Software Freedom in the Czech Republic; Similar Offenses in the UK, Finland

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 2:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Prague cows
Prague cows, 2005

Summary: The BSA continues to make life a lot harder for Free/libre software; message about the situation in Finland is reproduced

THE BSA is up to old tricks again. It is trying to marginalise Free software either by declaring it illegal, making it inconvenient to get hold of, nearly impossible to pass through the authorities, or more expensive to deploy due to artificial limitations imposed by the BSA and those whom its lobbyists can reach.

This time the BSA’s victim of the Czech Republic:

BSA: Hardware Without Software Not Tax Deductible

The Czech Ministry of Finance along with the BSA threaten to disallow deducting hardware from base tax if purchased without software. This idea stems from their joint proclamation that for software to be used legally, it must be bought – thus completely ignoring the existence of free and open source software which can be obtained legally without any purchase whatsoever. The Ministry and the BSA have issued a press release which basically labels all users of ‘free software’ pirates. Many public organizations and companies (including Red Hat and Novell) have expressed their dismay at such actions of the Ministry.

There are similar stories here in the UK, as covered in our previous posts on the BSA (back in 2007 and later). Other agencies subservient to Microsoft’s interests (and proprietary software at large) include BECTA, but fortunately the British government is killing it (what took so long?). “Good Riddance,” says the headline from Glyn Moody who explains and provides some background:

Not quite on the scale of cancelling the ID cards project, the news that Becta would be shut down was nonetheless further evidence of the coalition government’s new broom whooshing into action.

Although there seems to be a wide range of views on whether this is a good or bad thing – see this post and its comments for a representative selection – for me Becta was pretty much an unmitigated disaster for free software in this country, and I’m glad to see it go.

I write not just as someone who has followed free software for 15 years, but as a parent. Never mind that schools almost without exception are stuffed to the gunwales with Microsoft’s technology – including, unbelievably, Internet Explorer when it was still totally insecure.

What I find particularly outrageous is the fact that even today, some of the educational websites used by schools don’t even work with Firefox, and that there is a presumption that parents have a copy of Microsoft Office at home (whether it was bought or “borrowed” from work doesn’t seem to matter to IT departments much.) Most of the responsibility for this parlous state of affairs can be laid at the door of Becta.

Somebody from Finland informed us of similar injustices in his/her country (relating to copyright, which is similar to the issue of software freedom and the propaganda the BSA spread this month [1, 2] along with Microsoft). For the purpose of wider exposure, we reproduce the comment below.

1. http://yle.fi/uutiset/viihde/2010/05/nettipiratismi_aiheuttaa_suomessa_jattitappiot_1708634.html
(URL title: Internet piracy causes huge losses in Finland)

This is where this all started now on May 25th, once again. I haven’t seen it on *ANY* english pages of any outlet yet.
LYHTY (registered association, just like most of the IP alley dogs barking here in .fi, but for some reason they’re allowed to have lots of publicity AND influence when making the laws)
ordered a questionnaire from “Taloustutkimus” about intellectual property, who then asked 3000 people, from 15 to 79 years.
This was posted verbatim on most, if not all newspapers and www news outlets in the country.

Their main site is at http://www.antipiracy.fi/inenglish/ , with participants listed at http://www.antipiracy.fi/lisatietoa/toimijat/
Same bunch of puppets behind the widenation.fi campaign which got mentioned on http://www.boingboing.net/2010/05/20/finnish-record-indus.html

They now claim that
a) 33% would have bought music from (internet) shops if there wouldn’t have been a free option
b) 16% of all households download “illegal” files
c) average amount of downloaded music per household was 380 tracks, most done by teens and young adults
d) in households of people over 50 years of age, there’s almost no “illegal” downloading
e) 355 million euros lost annually by downloading – but as usual, there are no details at all how this figure was determined

So now lyhty is trying to drive through a two-stop mechanism in Finland, consisting of a warning letter and then suing to court.

2. http://yle.fi/uutiset/talous_ja_politiikka/2010/05/wallin_lupaa_toimia_nettipiratismin_kitkemiseksi_1710113.html
(URL title: Wallin promises actions to curb internet piracy)

Stefan Wallin is the minister of culture in Finland.

Translation:
Stefan Wallin thinks the “new” information about widespread internet piracy is startling.
Says these show that electronic commerce isn’t in shape in Finland.
He promises to propose an amendment in the law already during this year, which is aimed at making “three strikes”-threats possible.
Of course usual BS about letting parents know about their children pirating on the net is included in the reasoning.

3. http://yle.fi/uutiset/kotimaa/2010/05/nettikommentoijat_purkivat_nettipiratismin_taustoja_1709933.html
(URL title: Selected comments to previous article)

4. http://www.uusisuomi.fi/kulttuuri/93366-nettilataaja-viimeinen-varoitus-tulossa
(URL title: Internet downloader, your last warning is about to arrive)

Additional info to the above ones:
Amendment to the law is already done in ministry of education and culture, about to be sent into parliament handling!
( http://www.minedu.fi/OPM/Tiedotteet/2010/05/wallin_nettipiratismi.html?lang=fi )

5. http://yle.fi/uutiset/kulttuuri/2010/05/tietoliikenneala_hyvaksyy_varoituskirjeet_tietyin_ehdoin_1710867.html
(URL title: FiCom aka Finnish Federation for Communications and Teleinformatics approves warning letters with some conditions)

Reijo Svento from FiCom says: We’re going to live with this new law, in case parliament decides to rubber-stamp on it. He also claims that this is going on worldwide..
It also requires a change into law about electronic privacy, since at the moment ISP’s cannot handle customer records due to piracy suspicions.
FiCom’s conditions:
a) Warning letters must be sent coming from the holder of IP
b) They must also bear the costs
c) ISP’s must not be required to keep records about people who have been suspected for piracy
And a comment from pirate party, see #6.

Suvi Lindén is also mentioned. She’s famous for being minister of communications without a clue how to handle anything regarding to her position.
Read: Whatever IP baddies whisper to her, will happen.

6. http://www.piraattipuolue.fi/ajankohtaista/lehdistoetiedotteet/474-piraattipuolue-ei-halua-uhkailukirjeitae-yhteenkaeaen-kotiin
(URL title: Pirate party doesn’t want threatening letters sent to any homes)

7. http://blog.starwreck.com/2010/05/25/avoin-kirje-ministeri-stefan-wallinille/
(URL title: An open letter to minister Stefan Wallin)

There’s a note in english at the bottom: “This post is in Finnish, an open letter to Finland’s minister of culture, who is ramping up anti-piracy initiatives in a way we find destructive to the media business.”
They are the makers of Star Wreck movie and currently working on Iron Sky.
Very good and thorough points, like why the effort (and money) isn’t spend on making those ecommerce shops available and good enough instead of threatening the buyers?
Another – would Wallin want to have all the mail examined because of financial crimes?

8. http://blog.piraattipuolue.fi/2010/05/piratismi-tuottaa-kansalle-yli-miljardi-euroa-voittoa-vuodessa/
(URL title: Piracy profits the people with over a billion euros annually)

Comment on the debate from blog of Pirate party.

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »

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 Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts