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09.03.10

On Matters of Patents, Google Less of a Problem Than Microsoft, Apple

Posted in Apple, Google, Microsoft, Patents, SCO at 8:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNU Google

Summary: Google has no history of patent aggression and hoarding (unlike IBM), it mostly falls prey to patent attacks, and it actively spreads Linux; thus, it should also help abolish software patents

A FEW MONTHS ago we wrote many posts about WebM, e.g. [1, 2, 3]. VP8 is important not just because of source code but also issues relating to software patents. As Wayne put it yesterday:

Some of the titles of articles about WebM have been hilarious. CNNTech has an article titled ‘Patent cloud looms over Google Web video plan‘ by Stephen Shankland. While the title is wildly inaccurate, the article is actually well balanced. But it does miss a couple of points. First, WebM is at present a software solution, and in over 90% of the world you cannot patent software. The only place the article might be topical is the United States – note that I said might. The Supreme Court of the United States is due to hand down a ruling in ‘Bilski” which could possibly wipe out software patents in the United States as well. If so, the so-called patent cloud becomes clean air. Of course the group, MPEG.LA, which is claiming that there are patent issues with WebM (previously known as VP8), has acted as a patent troll over H.264, which is why that codec hasn’t been more widely adopted. Like Microsoft and The SCO Group, they are prone to extravagant claims, and a total lack of proof.

It wasn’t long ago that the patent troll who runs MPEG-LA also attacked Ogg with FUD, helped by his friends from Apple. As Wayne argues quite correctly, these formats are “prone to extravagant claims” just like in the SCO case where it’s suspected that a case against Google could be made next. Groklaw wrote yesterday:

Darl’s purchase of the [SCO] mobility assets was all done pretty much in the dark. We, the public were told one thing in advance, but something else after the fact. But now we get to see the final agreement.

Darl and Me Inc Holdings LLC, Darl’s LLC, got not only the copyrights but a patent application as well, including rights to sue for any past infringement. The patent is entitled “Systems and Methods for Providing Distributed Applications and Services for Intelligent Mobile Devices,” and the application was filed in 2006, #11/533347. We were told in advance of the sale that this patent application was excluded, but then he got it anyway.

What was SCO thinking, I was asking myself as I read the agreement? I could just see it: “Darl sues Google’s Android”. Why not? Everyone else and his dog is. Of course there’s some prior art on that method of making fast, easy money. Seriously, though, if you check the transaction history for this patent application with the USPTO’s PAIR system, what you learn is fascinatingly funny.

Oracle has of course already attacked Google and Paul Allen is attacking everybody with a semi-endorsement from Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak (we covered this before). Let’s remember that Apple too is suing Android. Sooner or later it becomes apparent that Google is attacked from many directions and Oracle is rather close to Apple (inter-personal-wise [1, 2, 3]).

Watch Microsoft getting ridiculed for patenting shutdown [1, 2]. We covered this before, but one blogger explains why it’s a bad thing to patent anyway. [via TechDirt, which also remarks on the latest patent marking issue]

As the Linux in Exile post said, the Windows Update process holds the computer hostage during shutdown, and given the relatively high frequency of updates that need to be installed at shutdown, this is a major contributor to long shutdown times (especially considering that there are a lot of Microsoft Windows users who do not have access to broadband).
Well, there you have it: Microsoft’s long shutdown times demystified. You know what? Let them have the patent. Why would anyone else want to license such a long and complicated shutdown procedure anyway?

Let’s remember that Microsoft taxes a lot of Android using mythical software patents.

Google ought to work against software patents. The company suffers a great deal from these. For the time being, Google never attacks using any patents whatsoever; Apple and Mirosoft, on the other hand, both use software patents offensively, even against Linux. What has Google gained from patents so far?

‘Inside Google’ is an AstroTurfing/Lobbying Site, Not a Real Blog

Posted in Deception, Fraud, Google, Microsoft, Security at 7:16 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

 <blockquote cite="">  </blockquote>
Edelman hides its frauds under ‘umbrella’ entities like “Grassroots Enterprise”

Summary: Edelman’s anti-Google campaign seems to be nymshifting and chances are increasing that Microsoft is funding it, given its prior business with Edelman (e.g. laptop bribes)

EDELMAN seems to have just taken over Grassroots Enterprise (it’s the exact opposite of grassroots), unless it was the PR agency behind it all along. Techrights has a special page about Edelman, one of the world’s nastiest entities of its kind. It’s hired to destroy worker unions, to crush opposition, and even to bribe bloggers on Microsoft's behalf. Edelman’s Grassroots Enterprise is by all indications also the entity behind “Inside Google”, which is a separately-located highly ridiculous blog of ‘Consumer’ ‘Watchdog’ (it’s neither a watchdog nor an entity for consumers). To clarify again, it’s not a rights group, it’s well-funded and well-oiled AstroTurfing machine working for clients who order some Web site designs and a team to pretend it is something else and fill the press with rubbish about the client’s competition. We covered this before and showed the connections. We also filed formal a complaint to the FTC about Edelman.

“It’s hired to destroy worker unions, to crush opposition, and even to bribe bloggers on Microsoft’s behalf.”Here is what we love the most about this AstroTurfer; to make it look credible they now have the option to send in donations. We feel sorry for the suckers who give away money to one of the Earth’s filthiest scum, but then again, there is a sucker born every minute. Wired Magazine is the latest sucker to have fallen for this AstroTurfer. Better informed chaps should let Wired editors know they have been duped by an AstroTurfing group (part of a network of professional AstroTurfers). This one is smearing Google. It’s its only goal, but it’s called ‘Consumer’ ‘Watchdog’ (which sounds a lot broader).

To those who are new to the world of AstroTurfing we recommend this page.

IRC Proceedings: September 3th, 2010

Posted in IRC Logs at 6:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

#boycottnovell-social log

Enter the IRC channels now

No, Virginia! APIs, Visual Studio, and Apple Are Not Open Source

Posted in Apple, Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, OSI at 6:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Dresden Dolls - No, Virginia...

Summary: Latest dangers to the identity of “Open Source”, which increasingly means all sorts of things that depart completely from software freedom (or from software as a whole)

UNLESS a brand, a trademark, or a name gets actively defended, it ceases to have a meaning. When the word “freedom” is used in sentences like “freedom to fight”, the label “terrorism” comes to mean anything someone disagrees with and Hoover just becomes synonymous with any vacuum cleaner, there is danger that the language we all use to communicate (i.e. transmit images, connotations, and feelings that accompany) will get warped beyond recognition.

“Open Source” as a term has been stress-tested for several years now. Several vendors constantly attempt to bend the term “open-source” (sometimes with a dash or minus) to better serve their marketing pitch, which also includes “cloud”, “2.0″, and other drop-in terms that are popular these days because they are associated with modernisation and advancement.

“”Open Source” as a term has been stress-tested for several years now.”The term “Free software” — not just “Open Source” — would get bent if it gained a lot of traction and became a sought-after trait — one that potentially makes the cut and appears in checklists as a requirement.

Watch this new pro-Microsoft (it seems like the firm is boosting Microsoft) release where Visual Studio is described as “Free platform”:

“There are literally thousands of open source projects across the net that graduates can sink their teeth into. Free platforms such as Microsoft’s Visual Studio Express series means that it costs very little to get involved, too.

“Free platforms,” eh? Microsoft has been openwashing Visual Studio for years and IDG’s fauxpen has just received a comment rebutting this.

It sometimes seems to us, as we explained earlier today, that IDG’s fauxpen source blog will happily grab the term “Open Source” and then ‘openwash’ almost everything that’s of value to the stakeholders (the blog is predominantly written by proprietary software folks). Right now they talk about open APIs as though it’s nearly the same as “Open Source” (Tim O’Reilly does the same thing).

How much should the term “Open Source” be interchanged and bent before it’s worth discarding for too broad a scope?

Another troubling pattern that we find is the illusion that Apple is “Open” or even “Open Source”; this is sometimes put forth quite sincerely by fans of this this large company (which does not lack marketing people, either).

“Welcome Apple, seriously,” says the headline of this new post which is crediting Apple with the MPEG4 push — the same one that actively threatens GNU/Linux and Free software at large. Just amazing.

Apple has been very careless and reckless when it comes to “Open Source”, but many Apple customers prefer not to see it. Apple has a history of exploiting Free software and sometimes just harming it in the process.

“Apple has a history of exploiting Free software and sometimes just harming it in the process.”What are Dana Blankenhorn and OStatic doing then? As stated correctly in first comment, by Martin Owens: “Except WebKit is based on Konquorer’s khtml library. So it’s not like Apple had a lot of choice in releasing the code.”

“Apple for me have been the worst company for their ability to misunderstand and abuse free software. They see it as public domain and not commons, which is a shame.

“They are not my friend.”

If Apple was to qualify as “Open Source”, that would mean that “Open Source” as a term is dead and buried. Earlier today we contacted the OSI regarding these issues.

Microsoft Crashes Rival’s Event (OpenOffice.org Conference) Using Moritz Berger

Posted in Europe, FUD, IBM, Microsoft, Office Suites, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Oracle at 5:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Jurisics Square
The Jurisics square in Kőszeg, Hungary

“I’ve killed at least two Mac conferences. [...] by injecting Microsoft content into the conference, the conference got shut down. The guy who ran it said, why am I doing this?”

Microsoft's chief evangelist

Summary: IBM’s Rob Weir is rightly angry at Microsoft’s intrusion into OpenOffice.org Conference, which he claims Microsoft is denigrating after giving some anti-OpenOffice.org talks in the same city

EARLIER ON we wrote about what Microsoft did to OpenOffice.org in Hungary (which made ODF a national standard). There was OpenOffice.org bashing, courtesy of Microsoft employees like Moritz Berger. We likened this to what Microsoft did a few months ago in LinuxTag 2010 (Germany) [1, 2, 3]. This is Microsoft’s modus operandi really — to infiltrate a competitor’s event and to rubbish it, which in turn upsets the attendants, spreads poison, and in this week’s case utter lies (disinformation) too. Why did Rob Weir et al. allow Microsoft to attend at all (let alone present)? Well, it would probably be due to the fact that Microsoft paid for a place. That’s why it enters every panel, even hostile ones (where “hostile” usually refers to industry standards like SVG [1, 2], which Microsoft snubs even after 'joining').

“It unfortunate to see Microsoft denigrate an official OASIS event, especially one held by a TC Microsoft participates in.”
      –Rob Weir
Weir was already expressing restrained anger at what Microsoft did to OpenOffice.org Conference and now he goes further by stating politely that: “It unfortunate to see Microsoft denigrate an official OASIS event, especially one held by a TC Microsoft participates in.”

Will Microsoft once again attempt to toss Mr. Weir for 'daring' to state the truth, even politely? The guy at Microsoft will do what he’s paid to do; he’ll play “ignorant”. In another message Weir told him: “Wrong again. The document whose signature was shown in freOffice had been earlier signed by OpenOffice, not KOffice.”

Mirosoft should ideally be shunned from conferences and panels of its competitors. Why? It has a track record. It’s a repeat offender and enough is enough. Do not allow the sociopaths to play the “hater” card when declined a self-invitation [1, 2, 3].

In the press from the event:

“It’s a Simple Matter of [Microsoft’s] Commercial Interests!“

Microsoft on OOXML

Links 3/9/2010: Wine 1.3.2, Great Fedora Site Redesign

Posted in News Roundup at 4:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • New, open source PS3 jailbreak may get round piracy claims

    Users will need to know what they’re doing, but the hack is achievable with a $25 Teensy++ USB development board or a $30 AT90USBkey loaded with the PSGroove files – which are available here.

    The hack is essentially similar to the PS Jailbreak technique.

  • Open Source: Quality, Flexibility and Cost

    Open Source has matured to the point where it is now used to some extent in every company. 98 percent of respondents to a survey said that their organizations make use of Open Source in some way. The people answering the survey were IT professionals in areas like network operations, server management and engineering.

  • Adopting Enterprise Open Source Software

    Nagios sent me a reminder yesterday, which I finally got around to reading today, to update to the latest version of Nagios Core, 3.2.2. We were running 3.2.0, so we were a couple versions behind, so after browsing through the list of fixed bugs I thought it would be good to go ahead and upgrade. I had a meeting in fifteen minutes, and Nagios was actively monitoring servers in production.

  • Google Wave’s open source future “in a Box”

    “Wave in a Box” will include a server and web client using the same structured conversation system that appeared in Google’s own Wave service, complete with support for threaded conversations in the web client and a refined version of Wave’s client-server communications. The server is based on the FedOne example server which was released on waveprotocol.org as a basic client/server prototype. Patches that have already been contributed allow “Wave in a Box” to implement a MongoDB based persistent store which supports searching and the server will also feature the gadget, robot and data APIs which allow for external applications to offer inline information or automated services within a Wave conversation.

  • Google Wave Freed As Open Source Project

    Alex North, Software Engineer, Google Wave team, wrote on a blog, “We will expand upon the 200K lines of code we’ve already open sourced (detailed at waveprotocol.org) to flesh out the existing example Wave server and web client into a more complete application or “Wave in a Box.”

  • Nuxeo present FISE, a RESTful semantic engine

    Open source enterprise content management experts Nuxeo have announced that, as part of the IKS European project, they are working with partners in the project to develop an open source semantic engine with a RESTful interface, dubbed fise. Fise, which stands for Furtwangen IKS Semantic Engine, was initially created in March at the IKS Semantic Engine Hackathon and now Nuxeo have made a demonstration system available for users to get a feel for what a semantic engine can achieve.

  • Giving Back To Open Source

    And recently, I became aware of the debt I owe to the Open Source movement. Open Source software freed my PC and turned it into a sleek, fast, secure, stable and powerful machine. I feel I owe much to Open Source software.

  • Open Source Software is “coming of age”: Accenture

    Showing how seriously OSS is now being taken at management level, nearly two thirds of the respondents said that their organisations now have a documented strategy for open source adoption with the remaining 32 percent currently developing a strategic plan.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome reaches second birthday, version 6 goes stable

      Google recently demonstrated some highly experimental tab features that offer insight into how Chrome tabbing might eventually be enhanced. Compared to something like Mozilla’s Panorama feature, Google says it wants to create something more automatic that doesn’t require much user intervention.

    • Two years on, Chrome reshapes browser market
    • Mozilla

      • Meet Kerim Kalamujic, Bosnian Contributor!

        1. Hello Kerim. To start out with, could you give us a little introduction and tell us a little bit about you?

        Hi. I was born in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I am 25 years old, I have an Engineer’s degree in Telecommunications and am currently working as an IT Director in a local company called Triland Development.

      • Mozilla’s Bespin becomes Skywriter

        The project is now to be officially hosted on GitHub to allow developers to fork the project more easily. Previously, Skywriter was officially hosted using Mercurial which led to developers only installing Mercurial for access to Bespin and the creation of unofficial mirrors. The new GitHub repository is a work in progress though as it will only contain an “all JavaScript” version of the Skywriter system, and that is currently incomplete. The older bespinclient Mercurial repository is being kept open for now to give developers access to “something that works today”. The project also has a new home page on Mozilla Labs reflecting the name change.

  • SaaS

  • Oracle

    • Gosling Webcast

      Next week JavaZone, the conference that brought you Lady Java and Java Forever will be held in Norway. To celebrate the opening of the new ForgeRock Norway office, we’ve arranged for a party just before the conference starts, on Tuesday evening. If you are in Oslo and would like to attend, please send an RSVP to the address on the web site.

    • Does the Fate of OpenSolaris Tell Us Where Unix Is Headed?

      It’s not easy to pin down the exact date of the birth of OpenSolaris, but it’s really easy to nail the date of its demise: Friday, August 13, 2010. This was the date a leaked Oracle internal memo was released on the Internet: a memo that effectively announced the end of the OpenSolaris Project, just over five years after the general release of the OpenSolaris code and 830 days after the first official release of an OpenSolaris distribution from Sun Microsystems.

    • An obituary for Larry Ellison

      I’m tired of hearing questions about the future of Java, OpenOffice and MySQL (to limit myself to only three projects), and even more tired of trying to talk to people with whom I have contact in Oracle and always hear the same history (invest more and do better), that simply doesn’t translate into any concrete action. I’m tired of living in a world of uncertainty and rumors in this area.

  • CMS

  • Education

    • New course management program to replace WebCT

      EduCat is powered by an open source course system called Moodle, a software package for creating internet-based courses and websites. NMU is switching because the vendor that supports WebCT will no longer be licensing the software, said Smock. NMU’s license with WebCT expires in July 2011.

  • Healthcare

    • Open health in Guatemala

      The FreeMED Software Foundation has been involved with a medical clinic and teaching project in Guatemala for some time. The project, hosted by Pop-Wuj, a non-profit Spanish language school in Xela (Quetzeltenango), Guatemala, hosts a medical clinic for the poor in the city and surrounding pueblos.

    • EU: 3.3 Million To Continue Projects On Open Source And Reusable Data

      The European Commission is planning to spend 3.344 million Euro until 2016 to continue the services provided by its projects – such as OSOR.eu and Semic.eu – on open source and on electronic data exchange.

      The EC published the budget details last week Thursday for its e-Government project. Apart from the 3.344 million Euro planned for the new platform to provide collaborative services for current Semic.eu and OSOR.eu users, another 8.8 million Euro are foreseen to provide support for existing and future communities around eGovernment in general, including the growing Open Source community on OSOR.eu and the community around interoperablity assets on Semic.eu.

    • Medical FLOSS Repository: An update from Medfloss.org
  • BSD

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Only one day left to influence the EURO 2012 qualification games

      As it is common in football since some time to bribe the referee, this is also possible: Just transfer the money to FSFE’s bank account with the subject “donation for Free Software European championship [Country name]” and announce your bribery via microblog with the above mentioned hashtag ;)

  • Project Releases

  • Openness/Sharing

Leftovers

  • Game-addicted man scores rare win over software lawyers

    Craig Smallwood sued Lineage II maker NC Interactive late last year, claiming that his compulsive urge to play the game caused him to sink more than 20,000 hours into it. As a result, he had to be hospitalized and continues to suffer extreme and serious emotional distress and depression that requires treatment and therapy three times a week, according to court documents.

  • Lawyer sues Avvo for libel after receiving poor online rating

    A Florida lawyer has sued Avvo for libel, arguing that the Seattle online attorney rating service published inaccurate information about him and engaged in a practice of blackmail in order to get him to participate on the site. Larry Joe Davis Jr., a St. Petersburg lawyer who has a 3.7 rating on Avvo, argues in the suit that the site inaccurately listed him as having a practice in the “employment/labor” area when in fact he specializes in health law. He also alleges that Avvo engaged in unfair acts of trade or commerce.

  • Security/Aggression

    • Security hole found in top price-comparison sites

      While sites such as Confused.com and Comparethemarket.com might save you time and money, the true cost could be higher than you think courtesy of a basic flaw when it comes to securing customers’ personal data.

    • Kirklees Council ban future use of Mosquito device on council land and property

      A DEVICE which targets young people has been banned following a campaign by junior politicians.

    • United Airlines and Dulles security treat Pakistani military officers as terrorists

      The officers were on a junket in the USA, and had been travelling extensively; one of them said words to the effect of, “I hope this is my last flight.” This was interpreted as a terrorist threat by a flight attendant.

    • Sneaky Senate Trying To Slip Internet Kill Switch Past Us

      Sensing Senators don’t have the stomach to try and pass a stand-alone bill in broad daylight that would give the President the power to shut down the Internet in a national emergency, the Senate is considering attaching the Internet Kill Switch bill as a rider to other legislation that would have bi-partisan support.

    • Hardware hackers defeat quantum crypto

      Security researchers using hardware hacking techniques have unearthed generic flaws in supposedly ultra-secure quantum cryptography systems.

    • German “secure” ID cards compromised on national TV, gov’t buries head in sand

      A German TV programme showed hackers from the Chaos Computer Club using off-the-shelf equipment to extract personal information from the government’s new “secure” ID card, which stores scans of fingerprints and a six-digit PIN that can be used to sign official documents and declarations.

    • Drumroll, please: the top Web scams of the decade

      Good to know that there are so many people out there who care. But better to know what the most common scams look like. Here is security vendor Panda’s new list of the biggest Web scams of the decade.

    • New malware detects browser, shows fake malware warning page

      Microsoft is warning about a new piece of malware, Rogue:MSIL/Zeven, that auto-detects a user’s browser and then imitates the relevant malware warning pages from Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Chrome. The fake warning pages are very similar to the real thing; you have to look closely to realize they aren’t the real thing. The ploy is a basic social engineering scheme, but in this case the malware authors are relying on the user’s trust in their browser, a tactic that hasn’t been seen before.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Former Lehman CEO: It’s Not Our Fault We Went Bankrupt

      Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy had nothing to do with Lehman Brothers, according to Dick Fuld, Lehman Brothers’ former CEO.

      Instead, Fuld argued at a public hearing today, Lehman went bust because the financial world wrongly lost confidence in the bank, and the government failed to effectively intervene.

    • Lehman Brothers ex-CEO Wants Everyone To Know That It Was Everyone Else’s Fault Lehman Failed

      In fact, a recent report from Planet Money and Pro Publica, that came out just last week, showed how ridiculous levels of self-dealing among banks not only prolonged the mess, but actually made the eventual impact much, much worse. Basically the banks created fake demand for the very worst parts of the mortgage-backed securities they were trying to sell, in order to keep on selling.

    • Goldman employees still enamored with firm, CEO

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) is the bank many Americans love to hate, but one group just plain loves it: its employees.

      The firm’s employees are among the most fiercely loyal in the financial services industry, according to a survet by glassdoor.com, a career website. And Goldman Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein had the highest approval rating of any CEO in the financial sector.

      Glassdoor.com’s survey was done online, which means it is not exactly scientific, but any good news is surely welcome at Goldman, which is fresh off settling civil fraud charges with U.S. securities regulators. The lawsuit set off a public relations nightmare that led some inside the bank to question whether Blankfein should be ousted.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Announcing our new Online Director

      He comes to us from Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society. Joey brings extensive experience from a range of online activist efforts, including the T. Boone Pickens alternative energy campaign, and an in-depth knowledge and understanding of how to use technology to galvanize and engage a community. He will lead our digital grassroots efforts towards change in Washington.

  • Censorship/Privacy/Civil Rights

    • Google’s Earth

      Science fiction never imagined Google, but it certainly imagined computers that would advise us what to do. HAL 9000, in “2001: A Space Odyssey,” will forever come to mind, his advice, we assume, eminently reliable — before his malfunction. But HAL was a discrete entity, a genie in a bottle, something we imagined owning or being assigned. Google is a distributed entity, a two-way membrane, a game-changing tool on the order of the equally handy flint hand ax, with which we chop our way through the very densest thickets of information. Google is all of those things, and a very large and powerful corporation to boot.

    • Murdoch Reporters’ Phone-Hacking Was Endemic, Victimized Hundreds

      A phone-hacking scheme involving British royals and reporters working for one of Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid newspapers went far beyond what was previously disclosed and prosecuted, according toThe New York Times.

      Andy Coulson, currently media advisor to British Prime Minister David Cameron, is accused of having encouraged the hacking during his tenure as editor of Murdoch’s News of the World paper.

    • Don’t Let Schools Chip Your Kids

      On Tuesday, preschoolers in Richmond, California showed up for school and were handed jerseys embedded with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags. RFID tags are tiny computer chips that are frequently used to track everything from cattle to commercial products moving through warehouses. Now the school district is apparently hoping to use these chips to replace manual attendance records, track the children’s movements at school and during field trips, and collect other data like whether the child has eaten or not.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Scam Artists Use HADOPI to Steal Users Money

        News has surfaced that warning letters, allegedly from HADOPI, are being sent to an untold number of French citizens who are accused of copyright infringement. The problem? Neither HADOPI nor rights holders actually sent those e-mails.

      • Introduction to “three strikes” copyright infringement rules in Dragon*con EFF track

        Distribution of digital content has only gotten easier over time. In the early years of web sharing, distribution happened over the client-server system. The more people using it, the slower the system was. But now with peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing, speeds and access actually increase with a greater number of users. Trammell demonstrated with the following list, a history of how, since P2P arrived, the two big players in the fight against sharing, the RIAA (Recording Industry of America) and MPAA (Motion Picutre Association of America), have fought it:

        * 1999 – RIAA labels sued Napster
        * 2002 – RIAA sued Aimster
        * 2003 – MPAA studios sued Grokster
        * 2006 – RIAA labels sued the developers of LimeWire

        [...]

        The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (which has its own session for discussion at Dragon*Con) is an international treaty to create standards for IP rights enforcement. It’s supposed to be a response to the increase in pirated works and is a framework for companies to voluntarily join outside of WTO, WIPO, and the UN. It’s also held in secret. Many in the US have sent FOIA requests seeking transparency. There have been leaks and a condensed version that have come out. And earlier this year, they confirmed that mandatory graduated response for signing companies is off the table.

      • ORGCon: James Boyle Interview

        In this video James speaks to Open Rights Group volunteer Nitya Rajan about the importance of the public domain, and why it should be treated with care and respect.

      • Settlement reached after judge refuses to dismiss copyright suit

        U.S. District Judge Philip Pro rejected a defendant’s argument that the case should be dismissed because Righthaven didn’t own the copyright to the story at the time of the alleged infringement.

      • Copyrighting Fashion: Who Gains?
      • Media Minutes: September 3, 2010

        Latinos for Internet Freedom, a new coalition of more than 40 organizations and groups, is advocating for an open and accessible Internet. And bloggers and nonprofits are now targets of a “lawsuit mill” that shakes down people for big sums of money for sharing articles and links.

      • iTunes song-sample plan runs into music publishers
      • LVRJ Defends Righthaven Suits; Mocks Competitor For Highlighting Problems With Them
      • Why we are writing about the R-J copyright lawsuits

        Some commentators are wondering why the Las Vegas Sun, and our sister publication In Business Las Vegas, have published so many stories about the Las Vegas Review-Journal/Righthaven LLC copyright infringement lawsuit campaign.

        Are we covering the R-J/Righthaven lawsuits, which through Monday totaled 107 complaints against defendants throughout the United States and Canada, because they involve our competitor?

        Because we’ve reported criticism of Righthaven by defense attorneys and others, do the Sun and In Business condone and encourage copyright infringement?

        And as I’ve been the writer of most of these stories, one reader said it appears I’m “outraged” by Righthaven and asked me if that was the case.

      • ACTA

Clip of the Day

Physicist Leonard Mlodinow vs. Deepak Chopra


Credit: TinyOgg

Divide and Conquer: How Microsoft Fractures Free and Open Source Software, GNU/Linux

Posted in Deception, Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Patents, Samba at 6:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Beware the enemy within

Behind the wallSummary: Latest examples of Microsoft’s strategy, wherein it sends out affiliates to pretend to be FOSS people and then promote software patent deals, separation between Open Source and Free software, departure from the GPL, promotion of ‘open’ core (proprietary) as “Open Source”, and demotion of free/libre platforms like GNU/Linux along with free suites/formats like ODF

MICROSOFT has a lot of nerve. But hey, it’s Microsoft!

For those who cannot recall, Microsoft was forced by the European Commission to comply with Samba’s requests (or face extremely heavy fines), but that’s not the story Microsoft wants to tell the world, so later it pretended to have done it all out of goodwill (utter lies stemming from need to spin). We covered this pattern of spin before and debunked it thoroughly; still, this FUD just won’t die. Since when is the press just a facility for Microsoft revisionism? Oh, well, keep the up count then. Mea culpa.

A few months ago Microsoft had to comply with the Commission (or face maybe billions in fines), so it very reluctantly implemented browser ballots, which are a farce (Internet Explorer is a part of all options which are selectable) and one that Microsoft could never implement properly. See the following posts:

  1. Browser Ballot Critique
  2. Microsoft’s Fake “Choice” Campaign is Back
  3. Microsoft Claimed to be Cheating in Web Browsers Ballot
  4. Microsoft Loses Impact in the Web Despite Unfair Ballot Placements
  5. Given Choice, Customers Reject Microsoft
  6. Microsoft is Still Cheating in Browser Ballot — Claim
  7. Microsoft’s Browser Ballot is Broken Again and Internet Explorer 8 is Critically Flawed
  8. The Microsoft Who Cried “Wolf!”

Now, here comes the key point; Microsoft used exactly the same spin that it used against Samba. Microsoft pretended that those ballots were an act of goodwill rather than obeying a law. Microsoft was also pretending that ballots are punishment enough, even though Internet Explorer remained obligatory.

“It seems like that old tactic which Microsoft calls or refers to as “infiltration”…”It’s amazing, isn’t it? Microsoft breaks the law, then it is punished for it (the punishment is so minor that it’s meaningless), and Microsoft then spins this punishment as a self-imposed limitation that Microsoft has chosen because it loves competition so very much.

Well done, Microsoft. You’re a master of spin.

Over in Budapest, Microsoft spent the beginning of the week bashing OpenOffice.org (in public), assuming the claims are correct. What a funny case of timing, eh? It happens to coincide with the OpenOffice.org event in Budapest. It turned out later, as IBM’s Rob Weir told me, that Microsoft’s Moritz Berger also decided to divide and conquer the OpenOffice.org event itself. It seems like that old tactic which Microsoft calls or refers to as “infiltration” (or “crashing” the event, as per this internal document [PDF]).

“You are totally wrong Both RDF and digital signatures are new to ODF 1.2″
      –Rob Weir to Microsoft infiltrator at OpenOffice.org event
Why does Oracle allow Microsoft to to this? Not surprisingly, some hours ago it turned out that Microsoft’s Berger used the OpenOffice.org event to smear OpenOffice.org or ODF. “You are totally wrong Both RDF and digital signatures are new to ODF 1.2,” hollered Weir at Berger during the event.

So let’s repeat what was happening here: Microsoft staff moving on from an anti-OpenOffice.org event in Budapest to an OpenOffice.org event in Budapest where they spread FUD, as expected. Microsoft always comes to these events under pretenses of “we come in peace” (the title of the talk in this case was about “bridges”, a mere euphemism) and anyone standing in their way will be painted an “irrational zealot” and separated from the rest, singled out as “poisonous” (that’s where the “divide and conquer” approach applies). We wrote a lot more about these techniques (so do Microsoft’s internal documents/presentations to newly-recruited AstroTurfers) when LinuxTag 2010 got the ‘Microsoft treatment’ [1, 2, 3]. It’s truly distasteful and it’s damaging.

Another thing we wish to draw attention to is IDG’s fuaxpen source blog, which delivers more and more messages from Microsoft staff (here is another one from the Microsoft employee who compares/likens Free software to communism and says that “No one is working for free”). How did Microsoft’s team end up writing in this blog? It’s simple. Bort from the Microsoft Subnet now explains who brought him in (Walli), augmenting the Microsoft ‘open source’ think tank which they broadcast to the world via IDG Web sites:

So, I got a hold of Stephen Walli (pictured), who recently joined Network World’s Open Source Subnet as a blogger. (He writes the Open Minded blog). Walli is Technical Director of the CodePlex Foundation.

Bort’s colleague/co-writer, who works for a Microsoft partner, is currently trying to separate “Linux” from the rest (another common Microsoft tactic commonly seen in this Microsoft auditorium). When someone’s colleagues work for a company that spreads proprietary software (there are more of them), it’s likely that more will follow, gradually separating the platform from the notion of Freedom — including the GPL — which otherwise belonged under the “Open Source” badge/brand. Likewise, they are separating it from GNU/Linux.

Watch out for those who take Microsoft and “Open Source” and combine the two. IDG is marrying them quite a lot these days, occasionally taking input from Microsoft Florian (when it comes to patents). Another person who takes input from Microsoft Florian is ZDNet’s Blankenhorn and he got some flak for it from Groklaw, which he once gave an award to.

“Entryism (or entrism or enterism) is a political tactic by which an organisation or state encourages its members or agents to infiltrate another organisation in an attempt to gain recruits, or take over entirely. In situations where the organisation being “entered” is hostile to entryism, the entryists may engage in a degree of subterfuge to hide the fact that they are, in fact, an organisation in their own right.”Wikipedia

GNU/Linux Users in Techrights

Posted in GNU/Linux, Site News at 4:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Jaguar XT 5
The world’s fastest supercomputer, running GNU/Linux

Summary: We deal with the old question, how many people who read Techrights use GNU/Linux?

APROPOS MARKET SHARE, SEVERAL years ago we used to publish a breakdown of operating systems extracted from readers of Techrights. We are still asked about this sometimes, but it’s not possible to carry on doing for two reasons: 1) we use a Varnish cache server to reduce load on the server, so most requests never touch the server (Apache/PHP/CMS) and are instead served quickly through a medium; 2) we don’t collect logs (except short-term, for troubleshooting purposes) as they serve nothing but privacy misuses.

“It underplays the prevalence and ubiquity of desktop GNU/Linux worldwide.”When we gauged market share in 2006-2008, around 35-40% of the readers of Techrights* used GNU/Linux (a decent proportion also used BSD). We don’t know how it stacks up anymore. It doesn’t really matter, either. What we can reluctantly deduce from this is that particular sites that don’t reach ‘usage surveys’ (privacy nightmare) tend to congregate privacy-aware and computer-savvy individuals. It underplays the prevalence and ubiquity of desktop GNU/Linux worldwide.

In other site news, yesterday Techrights climbed to 924th place in Netcraft traffic ranks. We have also transitioned the IRC channels to syndicate through Identi.ca rather than Twitter (due to the OAuth fiasco).
____
* Known just as “Boycott Novell” at the time, before it became one among several parts.

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