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


IEEE Hates Software Freedom, Now Makes it More Official

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents, Red Hat at 12:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The IEEE’s promotion of proprietary software is made more apparent by its position on software patents after deals with Microsoft and other monopolistic entities; Centrify wants to put Microsoft tax in Red Hat and Fedora

ONE OF THE world’s leading computer scientists is against them, but the IEEE is in favour of them. What are they? Monopolies on algorithms. Professor ‘Algorithm’ Knuth has already explained that “there are far better ways to protect the intellectual property rights of software developers than to take away their right to use fundamental building blocks.” He must be referring to copyrights and/or trade secrets.

The disparity between these views of Knuth (creator of LaTeX, which is Free software TeX) and the views of the IEEE (where Knuth is a special person for several different reasons) ought to be resolved because it’s rather shocking to find this new press release which chooses neither to be neutral nor to reject software patents.

IEEE-USA pleased that Supreme Court’s ruling preserves software patents

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Monday that a new method of doing business can be patented, and that the ability to patent software should not be limited.

What’s not too shocking is the IEEE’s active lobbying for software patents, especially given what we already know about the IEEE and Microsoft, for example. Over the years we have accumulated numerous examples where the IEEE takes a position which is hostile towards software freedom and towards computer science in general. Software patents are bad for all programmers in general, except the large employers of programmers (whose managers exclude competition and thus increase profits, using software patents). It’s “time to boycott IEEE,” writes the president of the FFII in relation to the press release shown above.

Bradley M. Kuhn (FSF/SFLC) takes a constructive approach. Yesterday he released this oggcast/audiocast which analyses the Bilski decision.

Dan Ravicher joins Karen and Bradley to discuss the Bilski case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

This show was released on Tuesday 29 June 2010; its running time is 1:14:22.

Kuhn also posted in his blog some advice for those who want to dodge software patents in the United States, using software licences. He endorses APGLv3, GPLv3, LGPLv3, and Apache-2.0 (they have ‘teeth’ to defend against software patents ambush).

Lots of people are opining about the USA Supreme Court’s ruling in the Bilski case. Yesterday, I participated in a oggcast with the folks at SFLC. In that oggcast, Dan Ravicher explained most of the legal details of Bilski; I could never cover them as well as he did, and I wouldn’t even try.

Anyway, as a non-lawyer worried about the policy questions, I’m pretty much only concerned about those forward-looking policy questions. Looking back at how our community responded to this Bilski situation over the last 18 months, some of it seems similar to what happened while the Eldred case was working its way to the Supreme Court. In the months preceding both Eldred and Bilski, there seemed to be a mass hypnosis that the Supreme Court would actually change copyright law (Eldred) or patent law (Bilski) to make it better for freedom of computer users.


License your software APGLv3, GPLv3, LGPLv3 or Apache-2.0. Among the copyleft licenses, AGPLv3 and GPLv3 offer the best patent protections; LGPLv3 offers the best among the weak copyleft licenses; Apache License 2.0 offers the best patent protections among the permissive licenses. These are the licenses we should gravitate toward, particularly when now that it is certain that companies with software patents are coming after Free Software. At least when such companies contribute code to projects under these licenses, we know those particular codebases will be safe from that particular company’s patents.

GNU/Linux ought to watch out for Microsoft offshoots of sorts, such as Centrify [1, 2, 3]. Their proposition is compatibility with Microsoft, but what they actually sell is access to Microsoft’s software patents, which have been more or less upheld in the United States but nowhere else. Centrify is trying to bring this Microsoft patent tax to Fedora 13 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.5 right now whilst Microsoft continues to mock the need for server interoperability. The company called Likewise also has roots in Microsoft and it operates similarly, by offering a Samba-type product with Microsoft patent tax [1, 2, 3, 4]. For those who still wonder why Microsoft protocols and software patents are counter productive, look no further.


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. Responses to Software Patents in India Though Guidelines for Examination of Computer Related Inventions

    India's famous skills, which revolve around software services and software development, are under attack by new laws which strive to grant foreign corporations de facto monopolies on software, even inside India

  2. Mobile Linux (e.g. Android) Still a Victim of Software Patents, No Peace in Sight

    A look at recent developments in the fight against mobile Linux (notably Android these days) and whoever is behind the patent attacks (not always as obvious as people are led to believe)

  3. Bad News for the EPO's Judicial Independence and Due Process in Next Week's Administrative Council (AC) Meeting

    A quick update about what's expected to happen next week when the Administrative Council holds a two-day meeting

  4. More Back Doors Found in Microsoft's Entrapments (Proprietary Software)

    Security flaws and even blatantly obvious loopholes for surveillance are identified in several of Microsoft's so-called 'products', which turn users (and their data) into the real product (to be sold to private companies or shared with spies)

  5. NASA Gives Back What It Took Away in the Form of Patent Monopolies for Private Gain

    Criticism of NASA's habit of clinging onto patents when it is actually the public which pays for everything

  6. The Coup D'état of Benoît Battistelli Follows an Imperialist Model, Threatens Opposition and Dissent

    SUEPO, the staff union, and boards that are independent from the EPO are both under attack and are constantly threatened by Benoît Battistelli and his goons

  7. Links 8/10/2015: Manjaro Linux Releases, Linksys WRT1900ACS, FOSS at NHS

    Links for the day

  8. Links 8/10/2015: KDE Plasma 5.4.2 Released, Linux Drama Queens

    Links for the day

  9. EPO Staff to Disrupt Administrative Council Meeting With Public Demonstration That Raises Awareness of Abuses

    The perception of collusion between the Administrative Council (AC) and the European Patent Office (EPO) leads to staff actions demanding investigation of illegal Board of Appeal (BoA) suspension/s (among many other things)

  10. OIN Turns 10, IDG Floods the Web With Puff Pieces That 'Normalise' Software Patents

    The Open Invention Network (OIN) commissions or helps produce puff pieces in the corporate media because it has an anniversary and corporate interests to push forth (including the idea that software patents can coexist with Linux)

  11. Hypocrite Forks the Linux Kernel Because of Cultural Characteristics That He Himself is Guilty of

    Forking of Linux is misleadingly reported in the media because of a couple of very loud people, who are not even quitting their jobs

  12. Željko Topić Attacks EPO Staff for 'Daring' to Legally Challenge the EPO's Management Over Its Gross Abuses in Europe

    Benoît Battistelli's right-hand man, Željko Topić, is under the false impression that yet more threats against staff of the EPO will help contain the crisis rather than further inflame it

  13. Media Reports Based on New Patents Suggest That Microsoft Continues to Attack Google and Android/Linux, Trying to Tax and Delete Android

    Reports and patent applications serve to show that Microsoft not only tries to infiltrate ("embrace") Android to put its apps there ("extend") but ultimately to delete ("extinguish") Android

  14. Commenters Provide Possible Explanations for Mr Van der Eijk Being on Unlimited Sick Leave

    Rumours are swirling around Wim Van der Eijk's absence, suggesting that he too may be a victim of Benoît Battistelli's iron fist

  15. Links 6/10/2015: Linux 4.3 RC4, HP OpenSwitch, Wind River Linux 8

    Links for the day

  16. With Software Patents in Europe (and Pushes for the Same Thing in Australia and India) Patent Trolls Now Come to Europe, Attack Android/Linux

    Worst-case scenarios are becoming a reality as Android backers officially attacked by patent trolls using standard-essential patents in London, England

  17. New Information on Limbo in the Enlarged Board, Courtesy of Illegal Actions by the EPO's Benoît Battistelli

    Battistelli's bullying of people whom he is not even allowed to bully turns out to have gone on for a lot longer than promised, and there is no sign of light at the end of this tunnel

  18. Microsoft Customers Complain About 'Inevitable' Vista 10 Because Microsoft Nearly Forces Botched 'Upgrades'

    In a desperate effort to spread Vista 10, sometimes even against people's will, Microsoft really upsets loyal customers, who are eventually eager to explore alternatives

  19. Dr. Ingve Björn Stjerna Explains Why the UPC (“Unitary Patent“ System) is an Undemocratic Sham Whilst UPC Silently Advanced by Patent Lawyers and Politicians

    European patent laws are being covertly overridden so as to allow broader scope of litigation, higher financial damages, speedy injunctions, and even software patents; the European public is intentionally kept in the dark about it, hence kept unable to express scepticism or issue truly effective objections

  20. IRC Proceedings: September 13th, 2015 – October 3rd, 2015

    Many IRC logs

  21. Article Explains Why SUEPO Went Silent Well Over a Week Ago: Nobody is Allowed to Talk to Journalists Without Permission From Battistelli

    More threats from Benoît Battistelli (threats of termination and legal actions on top of it) help hide the abuses of Battistelli and his fellow thugs at the EPO

  22. A Linux World: After Billions of Dollars in Losses Microsoft Changes How It Reports Financial Results

    The abusive monopolist is trying very hard to hide its growing difficulties, especially in an effort to bamboozle non-technical shareholders who cannot understand how Linux has essentially taken over

  23. Microsoft Continues to Extort Linux and Android OEMs Using Software Patents, This Time ASUS (Forced to Pre-Install Microsoft Spyware With OOXML)

    A roundup of news illustrating that Microsoft is still very much in a total war against Android, (mis)using federal regulators and even software patents to get its way

  24. Links 4/10/2015: Linux 4.2.3 , 4.1.10; MPlayer 1.2 released

    Links for the day

  25. Links 2/10/2015: Qubes 3.0, Linux.Wifatch

    Links for the day

  26. Microsoft-Connected Firm Net Applications Used to Mislead About Vista 10 Share and Mock GNU/Linux

    People who are connected to Microsoft (some being former staff) link to a firm that is connected to Microsoft in order to create the illusion that Vista 10 market share grew to 6.63%

  27. Chairman of the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA) and EPO Vice-President of DG3 Suspiciously on Unlimited Sick Leave After Benoît Battistelli's Unprecedented Attacks on Other EBoA Staff

    Rumours suggest that Benoît Battistelli's affairs at the EPO may have something to do with Wim Van der Eijk's longterm absence

  28. Microsoft's Secret Special Relationship With EPO Illustrates Serious Corruption at Microsoft and the EPO

    A big story about the EPO and Microsoft working in a sort of collusion-type setup so as to serve Microsoft's patent agenda, which involves aggression, even against European software that is Free (as in freedom)

  29. Links 1/10/2015: LFS 7.8, Calculate Linux 15 Released

    Links for the day

  30. The 'Microsoft Loves Linux' Baloney is Still Being Floated in the Media While Microsoft Attacks Linux With Patents, New Lawsuits Reported

    Despite Microsoft's continued assault on Linux and on Android (using software patents, which it still discreetly lobbies for), some figures in the media are perpetually peddling the Microsoft-serving lie that 'Microsoft loves 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