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

06.24.10

Fake Friends of Linux or Software Freedom

Posted in Database, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Patents at 6:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Florian Mueller

Summary: Timely reminder of the fact that software patents opposition is not the same of Free software advocacy

THE MOST effective lobbyists are sometimes those who pretend to be the very opposite of what they are. There are many example of that, extending well beyond the realms of IT. We wrote about “controlled opposition” in April [1, 2] and in June when we gave Association of Competitive Technologies (ACT) as an example.

Yesterday we wrote about OIN — the body which endorses Linux and software patents at the same time. It’s bizarre, no doubt about it, but that’s how companies like IBM seem to perceive Linux (more on that in the next post). Others join this same bandwagon for practical reasons [1, 2] that are simple to explain.

Here is what someone wrote to Bradley Kuhn (FSF/SFLC) a short while ago: “Wouldn’t OIN being proactive against [software patents] nullify some of their own member’s patent claims? That would explain their approach.”

The CEO of OIN (Bergelt, the successor of Rosenthal from IBM) says that he is in favour of “good” software patents — whatever that actually means.

“My guess is that he [Florian Müller] is being paid handsomely to act the way he does.”
      –Stefan Gustavson
Groklaw wrote about OIN the other day (not explicitly referring to IBM’s role), defending it unquestionably, as usual. The president of the FFII quoted Groklaw as saying that “Bergelt is highly respected in the FOSS community, as is OIN”; What did he label it? “When Groklaw get it wrong” — that’s right, the FFII was never a big fan of the OIN, either. Certain things which the OIN does are commendable [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], but there might be better ways to defend the freedom of GNU/Linux. On the other hand, there are those who consider OIN’s foes to be foes of GNU/Linux.

Over at Groklaw, Stefan Gustavson writes: “You may be confusing the Florian Müller from 2005 with the person we see blogging now in 2010. He might have been honest then. At least he did some good when the EU patent “reform” was shot down. He certainly isn’t honest any longer. He spreads lies about free software and its proponents, and throws mud in any general direction where Linux is being discussed in public, with a clear intent of spreading FUD. He is not stupid, so he can’t be excused for not knowing better. My guess is that he is being paid handsomely to act the way he does.”

Müller does not seem to have responded to that yet. When we had our suspicions about him and people started to turn up the heat he ended closing comments on his blog. It makes a more controlled platform for him, but he can’t control Groklaw, which continues to accuse him sometimes. Other former colleagues of Müller are equally suspicious.

One thing is for sure; Müller is nothing like the lobbyists from ACT and especially Jonathan Zuck (see video below) who denied wrongdoing in his E-mail to me.


ACT Microsoft

It is astonishing that the European authorities even give this man a seat after he produced fake letters 'on behalf' of dead people, as always in support of Microsoft which funds him. It’s people like these who tear down Europe’s software sovereignty, just as Hollywood’s lobbyists are subverting copyright law in Europe and in Canada (the latter is hot in the news at the moment).

Going back to Müller, he seems to have a fixation targeted at IBM (a bit like Jeff Gould with his anti-IBM rants that he pushed into GNU/Linux Web sites in the form of submissions from “AlexGr”). Müller may be against software patents, but he is not a proponent of GNU/Linux or software freedom. We also know that Müller is close to Monty, who is in Microsoft’s CodePlex. Glyn Moody has just written this detailed article which explains why CodePlex is still an embodiment of Microsoft, even the CTO. [via]

Not surprisingly, CodePlex has been subject to much suspicion – and derision. It was a pretty blatant attempt to jump on the open source bandwagon, in a form that was strictly controlled by Microsoft, which allowed it to place its own interpretation on what open source meant (by including licences that weren’t on the OSI list, for example). And so no surprise, either, that the open source world has pretty much ignored CodePlex as a result. I must confess that I am guilty of this sin too, and that is unfortunate, because something is happening there that is potentially very interesting.

CodePlex is based around .NET, Microsoft licences, and other parts of Microsoft’s proprietary stack. Open Source projects for .NET developers are no better than Mono and Moonlight. They are actually worse because many of them are Windows-only, SQL Server-only, and SharePoint-only. That’s not Open Source, it’s a farce. But Windows sites happily defend this.

Speaking of suspicious ‘friends’, somebody from Finland has told us about the latest giveaway from Tuxera:

Directly related to this is the European case of looming software patents.
Today Mikko Välimäki from Tuxera wrote several blog entries on their law firm’s page, main one is this:

http://www.turre.com/2010/06/softan-patentoinnille-euroopassa-lopullinen-ok/

Title in english: “Final ok for patenting software in europe?”

He even goes to say that decision to allow/approve software patents in Europe would be JURIDICALLY correct. What a nice bat called FUD that is.
And “oikeusvarmuus” is translatable to “assurance of juridical rights”, the same once again.. pay us or be sued.

In conclusion, some who protest against software patents are not in favour of Free software, some who develop for Linux are in favour of software patents, and in the next post we’ll put our sceptical eye on IBM (yet again).

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

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. Language Patent Lawyers Are Using to Warp the Debate and Decrease Public Understanding of Patents

    The patent microcosm, trying to get the public all baffled/confused about the patent system, continues (mis)using words to convey things in misleading ways



  2. USPTO FEES ACT Makes the US Patent Office a Money-Making Machine That Systematically Disregards Patent Quality

    The lingering issues with patent assessment at the US patent office, which unlike US courts isn't quite so impartial an actor (it benefits more from granting than from rejecting)



  3. Guest Post on Ronan Le Gleut and Benalla at the French Senate (in Light of Battistelli's Epic Abuses)

    Thoughts on the possibility that Battistelli will belatedly be held accountable for his abuses, knowing that a senator representing French Citizens residing Abroad comes from the EPO



  4. A Lot of US Patents Are Entirely Bogus, But Apple Was Willing to Pay for Them

    Apple's resistance to Qualcomm's patent aggression was preceded by very heavy ("thermonuclear" by Steve Jobs' description/words) patent wars against Android and even legitimisation of clearly bogus software patents from Amazon



  5. 'Owning' Nature, Thanks to Patent Insanity and People Who Profit From That

    Questionable patents on things that always existed and are merely being explained or reassembled; those sorts of patents typically serve to merely discredit the patent system and courts too increasingly reject such patents (e.g. SCOTUS on Mayo Collaborative Services and Myriad Genetics, Inc.)



  6. Patents Stranger Than Fiction and 'Protection' From Fictional Things

    Fictional things are being treated like "inventions" and insurance companies now look to exploit fear of fictional things (man-made concepts), such as ownership of mere ideas or words



  7. Benoît Battistelli Refuses to Talk to the Media About Bringing Firearms to the EPO

    Benoît Battistelli's highly aggressive approach has attracted the attention of French media; Battistelli has reportedly refused to comment on that matter, knowing that he lacks a defense (same thing happened after he had hauled millions of EPO euros to his other employer)



  8. Patent Law Firms Have Become More Like Marketing Departments With an Aptitude for Buzzwords

    What we're observing, without much reluctance anymore, is that a lot of patent lawyers still push abstract software patents, desperately looking for new trendy terms or adjectives by which to make these seem non-abstract



  9. Interlude: The Need to Counter Misinformation From the Patent and Litigation 'Industry'

    24,500 posts reached; so we pause and reflect, seeing that many sites/blogs of patent maximalists gradually ebb away



  10. Advocacy of the Unitary Patent System Has Become Almost Identical to the 'Leave' (Brexit) Campaign

    The charades of Team UPC carry on in Kluwer Patent Blog — a blog which for a very long time served no purpose other than Unified Patent Court (UPC) advocacy



  11. Open Invention Network is Rendered Obsolete in the Wake of Alice and It's Not Even Useful in Combating Microsoft's Patent Trolls

    Changes at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and in US courts' outcomes may have already meant that patent trolls rather than software patents in general are a growing threat, including those that Microsoft is backing, funding and arming to put legal pressure on GNU/Linux (and compel people/companies to host GNU/Linux instances on Azure for patent 'protection' from these trolls)



  12. Bogus Patents Which Oughtn't Have Been Granted Make Products Deliberately Worse, Reducing Innovation and Worsening Customers' Experience

    How shallow patents — or patent applications that no patent office should be accepting — turn out to be at the core of multi-billion-dollar cases/lawsuits, with potentially a billion people impacted (their products made worse to work around such questionable patents)



  13. EPO is Like a Patent Litigation (Without Actual Trial) Office, Not a Patent Examination Office

    Examination of patent applications isn't taken seriously by an office whose entire existence was supposed to be about examination; bureaucracy at the top of this office has apparently decided that the sole goal is to create more demand (i.e. lawsuits) for the litigation 'industry'



  14. Philippe Cadre From the French National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) Wants to Join António Campinos

    Yet another example of INPI's creeping influence if not 'entryism' at the EPO and this time too patent quality isn't a priority



  15. Links 22/9/2018: Mesa 18.2.1, CLIP OS, GPL Settlement in Artifex/First National Title Insurance Company

    Links for the day



  16. Links 21/9/2018: Cockpit 178, Purism 'Dongle'

    Links for the day



  17. Criticism of Unitary Patent (UPC) Agreement Doomed the UPC and Patent Trolls' Plan -- Along With the Litigation Lobby -- for Unified 'Extortion Vector'

    The Unitary Patent or Unified Patent Court (UPC) was the trolls' weapon against potentially millions of European businesses; but those businesses have woken up to the fact that it was against their interests and European member states such as Spain and Poland now oppose it while Germany halts ratification



  18. It Wasn't Judges With Weapons in Their Office, It Was Benoît Battistelli Who Brought Firearms to the European Patent Office (EPO)

    The EPO scandals deepen in light of a very major scandal which has occupied the French media for a couple of months



  19. Links 20/9/2018: 2018 Linux Audio Miniconference and Blackboard's Openwashing

    Links for the day



  20. Links 19/9/2018: Chromebooks Get More DEBs, LLVM 7.0.0 Released

    Links for the day



  21. Links 18/9/2018: Qt 5.12 Alpha , MAAS 2.5.0 Beta, PostgreSQL CoC

    Links for the day



  22. Today's European Patent Office (EPO) Works for Large, Foreign Pharmaceutical Companies in Pursuit of Patents on Nature, Life, and Essential/Basic Drugs

    The never-ending insanity which is patents on DNA/genome/genetics and all sorts of basic things that are put together like a recipe in a restaurant; patents are no longer covering actual machinery that accomplishes unique tasks in complicated ways, typically assembled from scratch by humans; some supposed 'inventions' are merely born into existence by the natural splitting of organisms or conception (e.g. pregnancy)



  23. The EPO Has Quit Pretending That It Cares About Patent Quality, All It Cares About is Quantity of Lawsuits

    A new interview with Roberta Romano-Götsch, as well as the EPO's promotion of software patents alongside CIPA (Team UPC), is an indication that the EPO has ceased caring about quality and hardly even pretends to care anymore



  24. Qualcomm's Escalating Patent Wars Have Already Caused Massive Buybacks (Loss of Reserves) and Loss of Massive Clients

    Qualcomm's multi-continental patent battles are an effort to 'shock and awe' everyone into its protection racket; but the unintended effect seems to be a move further and further away from 'Qualcomm territories'



  25. Links 17/9/2018: Torvalds Takes a Break, SQLite 3.25.0 Released

    Links for the day



  26. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Helps Prevent Frivolous Software Patent Lawsuits

    PTAB with its quality-improving inter partes reviews (IPRs) is enraging patent maximalists; but by looking to work around it or weaken it they will simply reduce the confidence associated with US patents



  27. Abstract Patents (Things One Can Do With Pen and Paper, Sometimes an Abacus) Are a Waste of Money as Courts Disregard Them

    A quick roundup of patents and lawsuits at the heart of which there's little or no substance; 35 U.S.C. § 101 renders these moot



  28. “Blockchain” Hype and “FinTech”-Like Buzzwords Usher in Software Patents Everywhere, Even Where Such Patents Are Obviously Bunk

    Not only the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) embraces the "blockchain" hype; business methods and algorithms are being granted patent 'protection' (exclusivity) which would likely be disputed by the courts (if that ever reaches the courts)



  29. Qualcomm's Patent Aggression Threatens Rationality of Patent Scope in Europe and Elsewhere

    Qualcomm's dependence on patent taxes (so-called 'royalties' associated with physical devices which it doesn't even make) highlights the dangers now known; the patent thicket has grown too "thick"



  30. Months After Oil States the Patent Maximalists Are Still Desperate to Crush PTAB in the Courts, Not Just in Congress and the Office

    Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs) improve patent quality and are therefore a threat to those who profit from spurious feuding and litigation; they try anything they can to turn things around


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts