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

06.08.10

Software Patents Still Fought Against by Red Hat, Brad Feld

Posted in Patents, RAND, Red Hat at 12:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Jim Whitehurst
Credit: Red Hat @ Flickr

Summary: New evidence that Red Hat actively battles against RAND clauses; a venture capitalist opposes software patents

RED HAT’S Richard Fontana writes that “According to scotusblog.com, SCOTUS issues opinions in three cases, but no Bilski” (yet).

Separately, according to Red Hat employees in India (c/f Software Patents in India), there is an ongoing push against the RAND trick, which essentially puts software patents inside standards. Here is one relevant part which determines key stakes:

Section 4.1.2 of the policy states, “ The patent claims necessary to implement the Identified Standard shall be available on a Royalty-Free basis for the life time of the Standard. If such Standards are not found feasible then in the wider public interest, Fair, Reasonable and Non Discriminatory terms and conditions (FRAND) or Reasonable and Non Discriminatory terms and conditions (RAND) with no payment could be considered.”

We request that the following statement, “If such Standards are not found feasible then in the wider public interest, Fair, Reasonable and Non Discriminatory terms and conditions (FRAND) or Reasonable and Non Discriminatory terms and conditions (RAND) with no payment could be considered” be moved to the section 4.3 which deals with “Non-availability of Open Standard which meets all Mandatory Characteristics dealing with exceptions.” We strongly feel that this sentence is completely out of place, especially considering that it is currently housed in section 4.1 titled, “Mandatory Characteristics.”

We feel that section 4.1.2 is the heart of the Draft Policy and placing an exception statement in the very heart of the policy will send out wrong and conflicting signals. Also, in terms of sequence, the RAND/FRAND clause pre-empts the selection criteria listed in Section 4.4. It should also be noted that standards that are RAND/FRAND should be termed as “Interim Standards” and should NOT be termed as “Open Standards.”

For example, the H.264-encoded Internet Video format is currently free to end users until at least December 31, 2015. Once this period ends, MPEG LA, the licensing agency for H.264 may start charging royalties. Therefore, H.264 is a partially-royalty free standard, but cannot be considered an open standard because users do not have the freedom to encode and decode data and have to adhere to complex licensing conditions. Under the current wording of Section 4.1.2, H.264 may qualify as a suitable open standard for e-governance but this is clearly unacceptable in the long-term. For example, if Doordarshan uses H.264 to transmit a National Address by the Prime Minister of India over the web on 1st January, 2016, it may attract royalty that “…shall be no more than the economic equivalent of royalties payable during the same time for free television.”
Therefore, we suggest, once again, that this sentence be moved to Section 4.4 and be modified to read, “If such Standards are not found feasible then in the wider public interest, Fair, Reasonable and Non Discriminatory terms and conditions (FRAND) or Reasonable and Non Discriminatory terms and conditions (RAND) with no payment, AND NO RESTRICTIONS ON REUSE, could be considered.”

Going back to the United States, Brad Feld, who is a venture capitalist (VC), mails many copies of an explanatory film about software patents [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], as expected. He targets influential people in particular, including those who are close to the Bilski case. In his own words: [also republished in Technology Review]

On the eve of re: Bilski, the anxiously awaited Supreme Court decision on business method patents (with potential implications for software patents), I decided to collaborate with the End Software Patents coalition and send out 200 copies of the short movie they recently produced called Patent Absurdity about why software should not be able to be patented to a focused list of key people. The letter follows.

Furthermore, the “End Software Patents” Web site commends Mr. Feld, who helps software freedom even if it wasn’t his primary intention.

Venture capitalist Brad Feld has mailed a copy of Patent Absurdity to 200 policy setters in the USA (see Who should see Patent Absurdity?). The 200 are influential people in companies, standards groups, academia, and the relevent political committees.

The man behind “End Software Patents” has put this story in Slashdot’s front page, stating quite prominently that “Venture Capitalists Lobby Against Software Patents” (it’s a generalisation, but other VCs publicly took the same stance on the subject).

ciaran_o_riordan writes “No matter which side the US Supreme Court’s Bilski decision pleases, it will be just the beginning of the software patent debate in the USA — the other side will start a legislative battle. The lobbying has already begun, with venture capitalist Brad Feld arguing against software patents, mailing a copy of Patent Absurdity to 200 patent policy setters. As Feld puts it, ‘Specifically, I’m hoping the film will bring you to an understanding of why patents on software are a massive tax on and retardant of innovation in the US.’ The patent lawyers and big patent holders often tell us that patents are needed to secure investment, so it’s interesting to see now that venture capitalists are refuting that. And Brad Feld isn’t the only vocal one; there’s a growing list.”

Thanks to Mr. Feld for serving a good cause.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Ask
  • Digg
  • Mixx
  • Slashdot
  • StumbleUpon
  • Alltagz
  • BarraPunto
  • blinkbits
  • BlinkList
  • Bloglines
  • blogmarks
  • BlogMemes
  • Fark
  • Gwar
  • Klickts

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

What Else is New


  1. [Humour/Meme] Clown Computing for Clown CTOs/CIOs

    Yesterday's news from Microsoft is another reminder that the "Clown Computing" hype mostly targets lazy and reckless people (who can only say "the system is down" when it's down and cannot do anything about it; they lose not only control but also privacy, at both ends)



  2. EuroPython Sold Out (Not the Tickets; It Sold Out to Microsoft)

    EuroPython has just announced being ‘sold’ to Microsoft, just like PyCon, which means fake endorsements and advertisements, not to mention scripted “articles” and E-mail spam (as noted hours ago) because EuroPython sponsors want something in return/in exchange. They try to buy themselves a positive image/perception, never mind if it’s totally faked (and paid for). Python is, at several levels, being infiltrated by Microsoft using money as a weapon of entryism and the project is moreover being paid to move to the proprietary software monopoly called GitHub. Expect Microsoft critics to be muzzled even if they bring up legitimate issues/concerns.



  3. Links 16/7/2020: EasyOS 2.3.3, Pinephone in the Headlines

    Links for the day



  4. There's a Lot More to Race and Racism Than Colours (and Names of Colours)

    The push towards speech restrictions is being framed as tolerant people against bigots; in practice, however, there are salient points and angles that media chooses to overlook



  5. Commissioner Thierry Breton, Acting Like a Patent Maximalists' 'Mole' (as Expected All Along), is Now Formally Lying for Team UPC (Updated)

    The rogue Commissioner who was put there by people in positions of power (to perpetuate their power) is doing exactly what we'd expect from officials who work against the people (like a force of occupation rather than service, as in public service)



  6. The Web is Drying Up, Journalism is Coming to an End

    There's not much of value left in the World Wide Web as a source of news; people's minds are preoccupied with meaningless divisive wars and misinformation spreads rapidly, giving rise to more widespread censorship (in the name of 'protecting' us)



  7. EPO Management Has Hunted Down Journalists and Killed Journalism

    Buying, controlling and even censoring the media isn't that hard when you gather billions of euros from stakeholders (who have nowhere else to go because you have a monopoly in Europe) and enjoy zero oversight/regulatory assessments



  8. [Meme] Reminder: EPO Management Failed to Provide Staff With Facial Masks (as Advised/Required by Law)

    The health of staff of the European Patent Office (EPO) is still at risk; EPO management only cares about patents, not patients (monopolies, not people)



  9. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, July 15, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, July 15, 2020



  10. Links 16/7/2020: FreeBSD Quarterly Status Report, LibreOffice Has Plans, FSF Warns Against 'Online' Voting

    Links for the day



  11. Links 15/7/2020: New PinePhone, GCC 10.2 Release Candidate

    Links for the day



  12. [Humour/Meme] Stop Shaming Free Software Geeks Over What They Wear While They're Coding and Testing

    The corporate media repeatedly shamed Linus Torvalds because he's not wearing a suit and sometimes works in a bathrobe instead; this is the sort of ‘cancel culture’ psyche that looks to remove geniuses and achievers (Torvalds made Linux and Git) based on dumb assertions and superficialities



  13. Free Software as a Tree (It's Hard to Cut Off the Roots)

    Free software is extremely difficult to ban or to eradicate; it's almost inevitable that, by one route or another, 'world domination' will be attained in many sectors



  14. Censorship is for Pussies

    The attempts to remove words that aren’t in any way racist (or even suggestive of racism) are misguided at best; they don’t solve actual problems, but they pretend to be making people feel good (like the activists who push for it; that gives them as sense of power and morality)



  15. Twitter in 2020 is Where Information Comes to Die or to be Corrupted

    Twisting words, lying about the cited articles, declaring people dead (who are still alive!) are just some among the many reasons to quit Twitter and not bother with that noise machine (except maybe in a write-only fashion, copying from elsewhere and never receiving (mis)information from tweets)



  16. Mr. Lovenstein-Derived Joke about Microsoft's WSL (an Attack on GNU/Linux)

    Mr. Lovenstein's cartoon (or someone's modified version of it) about WSL/WSL2 sort of nails it (credit MinceR for the pointer)



  17. [Humour/Meme] Code of Conduct and Language Wars: Another Tool by Which to Oust Community Voices and Poor/Opinionated People of Colour (Because War Must Go On)

    The coup against GNU/Linux isn’t hard to see; Intel and Microsoft viciously attacked poor people in Africa (because they had adopted GNU/Linux) and now they get a say on who to kick out from Linux (based on entirely nontechnical things, including cultural differences)



  18. Links 15/7/2020: Deepin OS Expansion, openSUSE Board Non-Confidence Vote

    Links for the day



  19. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, July 14, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, July 14, 2020



  20. Twist and Turn, Show Us Your Face

    A little poem about digital privacy



  21. The Race to the Bottom of Tech Rights

    Tech rights (not to be confused with Techrights the site) are going down the drain; people are made complicit using fear tactics, having been told a lot of lies about so-called contact-tracing borderline pseudoscience



  22. [Humour/Meme] OIN Wants Us to Make Peace With Software Patents

    The way things stand, OIN is really not interested in solving the patent problem the Free software way; rather, it's looking to impose its own way on the Free software community



  23. The Last Thing Open Invention Network (OIN) Needs Right Now is Public Association With a Patent Trolls' and Software Patents' Propaganda Site

    The Open Invention Network (OIN) seems to be choosing rather odd platforms; the above publisher, a judge-bashing software patents extremist, cannot possibly improve OIN's image (by association)



  24. The EPO's Misleading 'Studies' Are Just More of the Same Perception Management Routines

    EPO management pays sites to publish a bunch of EPO-controlled propaganda; and we've meanwhile noticed that almost everyone in the press team of the EPO has left (to be replaced by the President's confidant)



  25. Links 14/7/2020: More Laptop Models With GNU/Linux and WordPress 5.5 Beta 2 is Out

    Links for the day



  26. Microsoft Has Not Changed at All (Only the Shallow Marketing and Control of What's Left of the Media Has Changed)

    Microsoft wants everybody to come closer so that everybody can be crushed; the tactics are largely the same



  27. The Founder of Black Duck Still Works for Microsoft

    Black Duck‘s founder, Doug Levin from Microsoft, isn’t doing a terrific job hiding his real loyalties and ‘masters’



  28. IRC Proceedings: Monday, July 13, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, July 13, 2020



  29. Links 14/7/2020: Claws Mail 3.17.6 and RSS Guard 3.7.0 Released

    Links for the day



  30. Microsoft Has Put the String “0xBIGBOOBS” Inside Linux (Kernel Driver for Microsoft's Windows-Only Proprietary Software, Formerly a GPL Violation); Reddit (Condé Nast) Bans You For Mentioning Such Things

    In this increasingly crazy atmosphere of mass sanctioning and permanent banning (removing everything or everyone that's perceived to be impolite) even "Linux" forums are banning people who point out Microsoft being a rogue corporation that's attacking GNU/Linux


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