09.01.10

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Microsoft Florian Promotes MPEG-LA at the Expense of Free Software, Defends Intellectual Monopolies Too

Posted in Europe, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Patents, Red Hat at 1:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

MPEG LA logo

Summary: A fine new example of people who promote Microsoft agenda while pretending to be “FOSS” people

Remember Microsoft Florian?

That’s the guy who pretends to oppose software patents.

Why do we care? For the same reason that many — including the FFII — care. By contacting journalists at retail quantities Microsoft Florian is ‘injecting’ false representation of “FOSS” interests, by implicitly claiming to represent FOSS but promoting policies that hurt FOSS. It’s a little bit like Microsoft’s ACT, which we last mentioned last week.

We wish to warn journalists Microsoft Florian preys on that he is not only a fake friend of “FOSS” but also a fake friend of ending software patents. How do we know? His words say so themselves and today we’ll show what he wrote yesterday. He reveals his true colours once more. He defends MPEG-LA, which is a patent troll-like software patents parasite. Watch the following exchange of words with Glyn Moody (times are in GMT):

[08:41] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [ fosspatents [Microsoft Florian] ] Commented on @webmink article http://bit.ly/9KfNW7 It’s wrong that MPEG LA makes patent problem worse. Its $$$ terms don’t impede adoption.

[08:42] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] The thing to consider about MPEG LA is that if we had that type of licensing option in every field of technology => no more lawsuits etc.

[Now he starts nagging Glyn Moody with spin and deception]

[08:46] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] @glynmoody You agree with @webmink on MPEG. Would you agree having Google in charge of it all is worse than dozens of patent contributors?

[Clever, polite response]

[08:50] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [glynmoody] @FOSSpatents really depends on the details – what “in charge” means, for example. If it means they pay for the coffee at meetings…

[FUD and red herring]

[08:53] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] @glynmoody In case of WebM it means that they’re going to run development in-house. Theoretically others could. Practically no one else will

[08:54] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] @glynmoody No swpat=>no MPEG, but a consortium of dozens of patent holders with diversity of interests is more reliable than single vendor.

[Straw man]

[08:59] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [glynmoody] @FOSSpatents I’m not supporting single vendor control (it should be under a foundation, say), but patent thickets aren’t the way either…

[Laugh on the floor at "risk reduction"]

[09:00] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] @glynmoody MPEG isn’t the root cause of the patent thicket in question. It’s a commercially very acceptable solution and risk reduction.

[09:02] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] @glynmoody By not the root cause I mean those contributors would have done their codec R&D with the inevitable patenting activity anyway.

[This is an issue in the United States and Japan]

[09:04] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [glynmoody] @FOSSpatents only because they’re allowed to patent maths…

[Seemingly defending software patents by sounding just like lobbyists from SAP or Microsoft]

[09:37] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] @glynmoody It’s *applied* mathematics. That makes it so difficult because that’s in countless other technologies, too. Where’s the line?

[Moody is not buying it]

[09:37] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [glynmoody] @FOSSpatents there is *no* line – we should abolish all intellectual monopolies immediately: economically inefficient, socially unjust

[A defeatist in action]

[09:37] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] @glynmoody Well total IP abolition goes beyond what even I would demand and it won’t happen in our lifetime. So we need solutions for today.

[09:37] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [glynmoody] @FOSSpatents dare to be ambitious: huge shifts can happen quickly in unstable times…

[Sheer persistence, does not leave him alone]

“Non-IPR can’t replace the largest part of all innovative industries.”
      –Microsoft Florian
[10:37] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] @glynmoody I don’t see any political instability whatsoever regarding IPRs. Industry is nearly 100% behind them worldwide: US EU China etc.

[10:37] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [glynmoody] @FOSSpatents I’m not talking about political instability regarding intellectual monopolies, I’m talking about *global* political instability

[10:42] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] @glynmoody I still don’t see how this would lead to IP abolition. Global political instability like new nuclear powers doesn’t change IPRs.

[10:45] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] Some zealots *still* don’t know that patents are related to a territorial target market, irrespective of company HQ location. #boycottboy

[10:48] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] @glynmoody I don’t deny serious problems of the current system but there’ll be only gradual change, not a shift to IPR anarchy or communism.

[10:53] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [glynmoody] @FOSSpatents I don’t think absence of intellectual monopolies is anarchy, just a removal of unwarranted constraints…

[10:57] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] @glynmoody I said *IPR* not general anarchy. IPRs = monopolies. Questions are where grant fosters creativity and what forms of use hurt most

[10:59] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] @glynmoody It’s obvious that IPRs are needed though there’s need for improvement. Just look at computer games: great stuff needs huge budget

[11:38] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [glynmoody] @FOSSpatents I don’t know of any research that shows they foster creativity…but the contrary

[11:39] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [glynmoody] @FOSSpatents there are lots of ways of recouping investment without needing intellectual monopolies

[Some 'studies' are funded by those who benefit from monopolies]

[11:57] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] @glynmoody No shortage of pro-IPR studies and above all there’s empirical evidence. Look at financials of pro-IP businesses vs. anti-IP.

[He clearly thinks differently, which is fair enough, but it puts Microsoft Florian on the wrong side wrt software freedom and even fair competition to an extent]

[11:58] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] @glynmoody There must be both models, IPR-centric and more free/open. Non-IPR can’t replace the largest part of all innovative industries.

[At this stage, even the mailing lists operated by the FFII pointed out that Microsoft Florian is on the wrong side of the fence, citing this conversation from Twitter]

[12:42] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [glynmoody] @FOSSpatents yes, look at the fact that total legal costs of litigating sw patents *outweighed* total sw patent licensing income…

[12:54] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] @glynmoody Even if true that swpat litigation cost outweighs licensing income, swpats still serve strat purpose. Prove: industry wants them.

[12:42] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [glynmoody] @FOSSpatents disagree

[13:06] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [glynmoody] @FOSSpatents they think they want them because everyone else has them: MAD….

[13:37] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] @glynmoody It’s a mistake to limit to licensing income and litigation cost. Overlooks that competitors don’t do certain things in 1st place.

[13:37] [Notice] -TRT to #techrights- [fosspatents] @glynmoody If it were just about MAD then they’d simply lobby against those patents and industry as a whole could abolish. It’s about more.

[To say "It's a mistake to limit to licensing income and litigation cost" is simply to promote friction, RAND, and under conditions which can't foster software freedom]

In summary, Microsoft Florian hardly even pretends to represent FOSS and the ending of software patents anymore. One just needs to pay attention to side conversations. As user of Vista 7, Office 2010, and a .NET developer (exclusively) he gives away his real identity and former collaborators of his now say that he crossed over to the “dark side”. When asked whether Microsoft pays him to do what he does he always refuses to respond (Microsoft Florian has a professional history as campaigner for hire).

There is nothing more damaging than false representation of one’s position in a dispute (like ACT pretending to represent small businesses); there is this old political trick which he been exploited by Microsoft for a while and sometimes to expel an opinion which is incompatible with a group is only a defence mechanism. Ignoring it would not be beneficial, not when journalists are being bombarded by snakes in the grass.

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