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

06.29.10

IBM’s Black Helicopters

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Patents at 2:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Helicopter man

Summary: Software patents are not a done deal in New Zealand; Calling out Florian Müller’s IBM paranoia

THE disturbing developments in New Zealand (allowing software to be patented) were partly the result of Microsoft lobbying. There were quite a few companies involved in this invasion which overrode the opinions of New Zealanders and this is not over because InternetNZ is challenging the decision.

InternetNZ (Internet New Zealand Inc) has today called for the Government to allow any proposed changes to the Patents Bill to be referred back to the Commerce Select Committee for further scrutiny.

The issue of software patents has recently attracted a great deal of attention and controversy, particularly in respect of the patentability of “embedded software”.

New Zealand’s locals were countered by a multi-nationals’ lobby, as explained in the following news portion about NZICT [1, 2, 3, 4]:

Commerce Minister Simon Power and the Economic Development Ministry have rejected claims from commerce select committee chairwoman Lianne Dalziel they have significantly shifted their position by proposing software which has a “technical purpose” could be patented.

Mr Power announced in April that the Government would back changes to the Patents Bill proposed by the commerce select committee that would mean computer software could no longer be patented. The committee’s understanding was that inventions that relied on “embedded software” – software that is built into a physical device – would still be patentable.

[...]

Information technology industry body NZICT has campaigned in favour of software patents, fearing the effect that restricting software patents could have on both its multinational members and locally owned software exporters.

The “embedded software” trick is also being used in Europe. “Computer programs as such (i.e. systems that solve data processing problems) are patentable,” shows the president of the FFII by linking to this page in German. This initially happened because of Microsoft's FAT patent (ruling in Germany) and then solidified further by Siemens [1, 2].

Florian Müller uses fairly old news to daemonise IBM. He continues to act as though IBM is the only lobbyist for software patents, which is irrational. At the very least, he only ever concentrates on IBM, which makes some people suspect that he just pushes Microsoft’s agenda (whether intentionally or not). “IBM’s Bilski brief spits in the face of the free software and open source movements,” he named his (almost) latest post and Microsoft is mentioned just once in the whole post, despite its obvious lobbying for software patents. Why does he single out IBM? Why does he never write any posts criticising Microsoft? It’s rather baffling and some would say suspicious. We asked him for some answers about the bias and he said: “I will try to address those issues. Not all at once, but rather soon.

“The mainframe monopoly isn’t a z/Linux question. I’m not sure you’ve been told the truth by other sources about the situation in the mainframe market…”

The thing is, Müller was approached or at least got in touch with some of those companies that joined Microsoft's lobby against IBM. What does it say about his dispositions?

In a members-only post from Groklaw, one reader points out:

It’s like the trolling Florian Mueller is doing (and failing badly at) on slashdot. In the end, if they’re trying to make their case, it’s counter-productive, to say the least.

For those who lack context, Müller writes a lot of ‘anti-IBM’ in Slashdot these days. Never once have we seen him write negatively about Microsoft. Selective? Hypocrite? Misinformed? In any case, this biased of his is an issue we wrote about before.

A reader got in touch with us yesterday, saying that “Florian Mueller’s latest meltdown” is sign that something is amiss. “Just to let you know that Florian Mueller had quite a public melt-down this weekend when he tried to troll slashdot,” she said.

“Out of the over 200 comments, only 2 posters supported him – and one of those posters was Jay Mayrand, the maintainer of Hercules.

“No sooner were his claims debunked than he began to whine about a “conspiracy” involving groklaw and IBM. He’s channeling Darl McBride.

“slashdot’s comment system is a bit b0rked when it comes to handling deeply-nested comments, so I’ve collected some of the better quotes here: Florian Mueller’s latest FUD campaign hits a brick wall

“Each quote links back to slashdot, so even if your view settings are messed up, you’ll be able to access that portion of the comment thread.

“Everything that’s in the link I sent you is very public already – it’s all on slashdot, and there’s no way for him to take it back or deny it.”

“Out of the over 200 comments, only 2 posters supported him [Müller] – and one of those posters was Jay Mayrand, the maintainer of Hercules.”
      –Reader
Müller likes to stick to the story that those who defend IBM (like Groklaw) must be some kind of IBM operatives.

“Better watch it,” told us the reader sarcastically, “you’re now an IBM operative!

“Or worse, you’re from groklaw! (he can’t believe that people can actually operate on their own initiative – or that someone with a long history on slashdot (and over 500 fans) can actually act on their own initiative. It *has* to be a plot!

“He’s now gotten a few of his friends to help spread the fud, so it’s getting interesting.

“Like the claim that when groklaw deletes a user account, their posts automatically get set to “Anonymous”. I guess they’ve never run a content management system before – geeklog handles account deletions that way. IIRC, so does postnuke, and so do many others. It’she only way not to break the threads.

“I’ve caught him in a few lies … I intend to catch him in more.”

Anyway, the bottom line is that Müller loses a lot of credibility because he aims to ruin a company that supports GNU/Linux, he mass-mails many journalists (we consider those methods to be a violation of netiquette), and he refuses to accept that software freedom is a worthy cause (his explanation about it was complex). We paid attention to him only because we do believe there is room for improvement in the OIN and in IBM’s patent policy (especially the lobbying). We have argued this since 2008, long before Müller even resurfaced.

Having received about 50 E-mails from Müller, we urge people to reject Müller’s points of view. They should be rejected on the basis that he has been hostile towards several Free software projects and he is blind to the fact that proprietary software companies except IBM are also the culprits. A criticism that’s misdirected is only bound to mislead people. The obsession with IBM is similar to the dirty tricks used against ODF when Microsoft decided to pretend that behind everything ODF there was just IBM.

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

5 Comments

  1. Florian Mueller said,

    June 29, 2010 at 4:34 am

    Gravatar

    I will indeed comment on everything one step at a time. Today I’m summarizing the fallout from Bilski, but I’d like to make this one (and for this thread, only one) comment here addressing several items.

    I will explain in the near term (on my blog) why the complaints against IBM are also good for GNU/Linux.

    Massmailing journalists with rapid-response comment is normal. The Software Freedom Law Center did the same yesterday with its comments on the Bilski ruling. They additionally put their offered quotes on newswire services.

    If I have things about Microsoft to cricitize, I talk about them. For an example, I took a very critical look at the German FAT patent ruling, which was however then overshadowed by another ruling that had far bigger impact and was related to a Siemens patent.

    I mentioned Microsoft along with IBM as proponents of EU patent reform (I quoted all four company names that appeared in an FFII presentation) and in connection with New Zealand.

    The IBM argument that software patents and FOSS are not just compatible but that software patents even made FOSS happen goes beyond everything that Microsoft has ever said to defend software patents. If you can come up with any similarly bad lie and insult on their part, please tell me.

    In the NoSoftwarePatents days I also criticized both companies whenever one or both of them engaged in bad stuff. That included IBM’s patent pledge back in January 2005 as well as many other things that are documented in my ebook No Lobbyists As Such.

    I don’t deny that I discuss IBM more so than Microsoft on my blog but I think you attribute it to the wrong cause. It’s not an effort to harm IBM’s business interests. IBM could resolve the Hercules situation any moment and could formally apologize for and retract its claim that software patents made FOSS so very popular, and the OIN could improve (I believe my four alternative suggestions are very valid), and then there wouldn’t be much left at this stage other than IBM’s huge number of patent filings — patents that IP experts consider rather low-quality on average.

    On Microsoft’s side, there simply hasn’t been any incident in the three months since I started my FOSS Patents blog (or any earlier issues that produce effects now, such as IBM’s Bilski brief which certainly was relevant on the day of the decision) that could draw similar criticism. They did a license deal with HTC — Apple, however, is suing HTC. and IBM appears unwilling to engage in licensing discussions with TurboHercules.

    Another factor that may give rise to that impression of a pro-Microsoft/anti-IBM bias is that I take issue particularly with hypocrisy. Microsoft doesn’t have IBM’s hypocrisy problem. Everyone knows what Microsoft wants in terms of business model and IPR regime. Unlike IBM, Microsoft doesn’t send open standards advocates to conferences citing the four freedoms from the Free Software Definition, even claiming that those aren’t enough but we need more. IBM doesn’t truly support any one of those four freedoms.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    They did a license deal with HTC — Apple, however, is suing HTC. and IBM appears unwilling to engage in licensing discussions with TurboHercules.

    I suspect you’re not aware that Microsoft apparently extorted HTC. The phrase “did a license deal with HTC” is deceiving. Apple too is extorting companies or threatening them (e.g. Palm), not just suing.

    Why do you soften Microsoft’s position? You almost always do that.

    You say the “B” in IBM stands for bullying. Can you provide examples of software patent aggression from IBM? Or even Google for that matter?

    Supporting software patents is one thing; using them is another.

  2. Jose_X said,

    June 30, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Gravatar

    It does look like Microsoft has been partnering with numerous companies that own the copyrights to projects (in particular, GPL) in order to build more efficient and integrated builds for Windows.

    The way to deal with this is to stop supporting those projects or fork.

    Jose_X Reply:

    ..bypassing the GPL restrictions, in other words.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Microsoft violated the GPL several times last year.

What Else is New


  1. Links 1/10/2014: OPNFV Goes Public, PDF Reader Pullout

    Links for the day



  2. Links 29/9/2014: OpenDaylight Helium Release

    Links for the day



  3. European Patent Office Disorganisation: Problems With the Audit Mechanisms - Part IV

    A prelude to a long article about a thug called Topić, his controversial Battistelli-sponsored appointment, and the removal of auditory functions by Battistelli



  4. More Good News About Demise of Software Patents and Along With Them, Consequently, Patent Trolls

    A weekly roundup of news about patents in the United States and elsewhere, with special focus on software patents



  5. IRC Proceedings: June 22nd, 2014 – September 13th, 2014

    Many IRC logs



  6. Links 28/9/2014: Moto X, End of OpenSUSE 11.4

    Links for the day



  7. CBS Continues to Get Heavily Occupied by Microsoft Staff to Spread Microsoft Propaganda

    The CBS-owned ZDNet continues to hire people who have worked or are currently working for Microsoft and unsurprisingly enough they use their newly-acquired positions to praise Microsoft and bash Microsoft's competition, usually with no disclosure of their conflict of interest



  8. Links 27/9/2014: Linux (Almost) Everywhere, Features Of Linux 3.17

    Links for the day



  9. Microsoft Fakes 'Charity' and Uses Religious Groups to Acquire Lock-in in the Public Sector

    Microsoft's involvements with NGOs and with governments lead to more distrust, more surveillance, less freedom, and ultimately systemic corruption



  10. Bill Gates' Privatisation Crusade

    Mr. Gates, seeking to increase his huge profits and political power, reaches out to Catholic leaders and David Christian



  11. Tux Machines Under DDOS Attack

    Most of Tux Machines continues to work as usual, but some parts are temporarily restricted to keep the server running



  12. Links 26/9/2014: LibreOffice Celebrations, Betas of *buntu

    Links for the day



  13. Links 25/9/2014: KDE Roadmap, Bash Bug, GNOME 3.14 in Next Fedora

    Links for the day



  14. Links 24/9/2014: GNOME 3.14 Released, Bash Has a Bug

    Links for the day



  15. Links 21/9/2014: Fedora 21 Alpha

    Links for the day



  16. More of Bill Gates' Investments in GMO and Mass Indoctrination Under the Disguise of 'Donations'

    Microsoft's arrogant and famously corrupt co-founder is taken to task by those whom he is trying to bamboozle for monopoly, unlimited cross-generational power, and never-ending profit without risk



  17. Home Depot Confirmed a Victim of Microsoft's Bad Security, Microsoft Lays Off Security-Related Staff

    News reports circulate showing that Home Depot was knowingly careless with its Windows dependency while Microsoft lays off staff focused on security



  18. European Patent Office/Organisation - Suspicion of Improper Collusion Between EPO President and Chairman of the Administrative Council: Part III

    A preliminary look at Battistelli's reign and how regulatory powers got abolished, leaving the EPO reckless and largely unaccountable



  19. Links 21/9/2014: xorg-server 1.16.1, Linux Kernel 3.16.3

    Links for the day



  20. Links 20/9/2014: GNOME 3.13.92, Android L

    Links for the day



  21. Scanning Patent Troll Implodes; Is the Podcasting Patent Troll Next?

    MPHJ loses and Personal Audio LLC perhaps wins for the last time since software patents are quickly losing legitimacy in the United States



  22. If CAFC is Not Above the Law, Then it Should be Shut Down Now

    A long series of abuses in CAFC may as well suggest that this court has become broken beyond repair



  23. The Latest From Microsoft Patent Trolls and Patent Partners

    Microsoft-linked and Linux-hostile trolls continue their relentless attacks (albeit with little or no success) while patents as a weapon lose their teeth owing to a Supreme Court ruling



  24. Microsoft Proves That Its Massive Layoffs Are Not About Nokia

    Microsoft is laying off a lot of employees who have nothing at all to do with Nokia



  25. Links 19/9/2014: Another Red Hat Acquisition, Netflix Dumps Microsoft Silverlight and Brings DRM to WWW

    Links for the day



  26. Links 18/9/2014: Windows Copying GNU/Linux, Germany Moves to Security

    Links for the day



  27. Web Site 'Patent Progress' Now Officially 'Powered by CCIA' (FRAND Proponent, Microsoft Front)

    After talking a job at CCIA, "Patent Progress" and its chief author should be treated as dubious on real patent progress



  28. Articles About the Death of Software Patents in the United States

    Recent coverage of software patents and their demise in their country of origin, where even proponents of software patents are giving up



  29. The Death of Software Patents is Already Killing Some Major Patent Trolls

    VirnetX seems to be the latest victim of the demise of software patents in the United States



  30. More Microsoft Layoffs

    More Microsoft layoffs go ahead as the company is unable to compete


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