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

09.07.10

Red Hat Should Eliminate All of Its Patents, or At Least Attach Self-Destructive Clauses to Them

Posted in GNU/Linux, Oracle, Patents, Red Hat, SUN at 8:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Time Bomb DVD

Summary: In order to prevent software patents which are owned by Red Hat from falling into the wrong hands (e.g. in an acquisition like Oracle’s), something should be done to diffuse them

Red Hat’s patents are a subject we previously wrote about in posts such as:

Over a week after those scary SAP rumours we checked to see if Red Hat has done something to ensure that its patents will self-explode if they reach the wrong hands (like Oracle getting Sun’s Java patents). “I discussed that with @webmaven a few weeks ago,” Richard Fontana (Red Hat) told me today. It does not seem like progress has been made since then. Red Hat really needs to ensure that its portfolio does not get used against the Free software community in the same sense that Sun’s portfolio is being misused right now [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13].

“Red Hat really needs to ensure that its portfolio does not get used against the Free software community in the same sense that Sun’s portfolio is being misused right now.”Does Red Hat really need patents? I had a discussion about it with Red Hat earlier today and I was left overwhelmingly unconvinced. Hugo Roy, a software freedom activist whom we mentioned in the previous post, writes that “In 1985, someone filed a patent for a brilliant invention: the “Tool”

“I haven’t looked at the patent itself,” he told me, “so I don’t know if we can really say that. But sure, the title is not credible”

Patents have become so controversial that major newspapers occasionally call for an overhaul and maybe even abolition. We saw some examples last week.

Here is a new CERN article from the New Scientist. It helps show patents versus science, not for science:

You might imagine that vast patent royalties flow into the organisation that invented the touchscreen and the World Wide Web. But the atom-smashing outfit CERN, cradle of both these technologies, doesn’t make a bean from either.

The particle physics laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland, has been reluctant to patent the inventions it creates in pursuit of exotic subatomic entities. But it hopes that will soon change: last week, it struck a deal with the United Nations’ World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to ensure that it profits better from its engineers’ innovations in fields like imaging, computing, particle detection and superconducting magnets, says international relations adviser Maurizio Bona.

If Red Hat still sidles with science and not with patents (or the USPTO which legitimises software patents), then it will take care of those potentially-destructive weapons it has in its hands/arsenal. It’s too late to do this if/when a takeover is imminent. Red Hat has just announced the hiring of a lobbyist (“Mark Bohannon to Lead Red Hat Governmental Affairs and Public Policy” as pasted here) and together with the practice of software patents, Red Hat is at risk of being called a hypocrite; it doesn’t need to be.

Red Hat is not the only GNU/Linux proponent which claims to be collecting “defensive” software patents. Red Hat is unique though. IBM and Google, for example, are somewhat different in this case because they are not in a position where they can practically be sold along with their patents (not any time soon).

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. Links 30/8/2014: Jailhouse 0.1, *buntu 14.10 Beta

    Links for the day



  2. Links 28/8/2014: Many New Games, CTO of Red Hat Steps Down

    Links for the day



  3. We Are Gradually Winning the Battle Against Software Patents

    The once-elusive war on software patents is finally leading to some breakthrough and even the Federal Circuit reinforces the trend of software patents' demise



  4. Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) Companies Versus FOSS Moles (VMware, Sonatype, Xamarin)

    A look at three entities which pretend to be pro-FOSS but are actually FOSS-hostile and very much determined to replace FOSS with proprietary software



  5. Links 27/8/2014: GNU/Linux in Space, China, LinuxCon

    Links for the day



  6. FUD Against Google and FOSS Security Amid Microsoft Windows Security Blunders

    In the age of widespread fraud due to Microsoft Windows with its back doors there is an attempt to shift focus to already-fixed flaws/deficiencies in competitors of Microsoft



  7. Microsoft Spin Watch: IDG Turns to More Microsoft Propaganda, Hires Microsoft Boosters

    Media in Microsoft's pocket is telling Microsoft's lies and deceives the public for Microsoft's bottom line



  8. Microsoft's Massive Tax Evasion Becomes Better Known

    A new report about Microsoft's admission that it plays dirty tricks with tax (sometimes using moles in government) is increasing awareness of Microsoft's criminal aspects



  9. Links 25/8/2014: China's Linux Revolution Imminent

    Links for the day



  10. Links 24/8/2014: GNU/Linux Specialisation and Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  11. Links 23/8/2014: GNU/Linux Growth

    Links for the day



  12. Microsoft-Funded Attacks on Android Security and Patent/Copyright

    A look back at examples of people who smear Android and are receiving (or received) money from Microsoft



  13. Blowback in Chile and Munich After Microsoft Intervention

    Microsoft's attacks on the digital sovereignty of countries involves lobbying, corruption, an attack on standards (e.g. ODF), an attack on FOSS policies, and even an attack on accurate reporting (truth itself)



  14. The End of Microsoft is Nigh

    A look back at a tough year for Microsoft and a not-so-promising future



  15. Links 22/8/2014: Linux Foundation LFCS, LFCE

    Links for the day



  16. UPS Burned by Microsoft Windows, Gives Away Massive Number of Credit Card Details

    UPS is the latest victim of Microsoft's shoddy back door with software on top of it (Windows); attempts to blame FOSS for data compromise actually divert attention from the real culprit, which is proprietary software



  17. Microsoft's Funding of ALEC and Other Systemic Corruption

    Microsoft role in writing of laws by proxy, via groups such as ALEC



  18. Microsoft is Still Preying on British Taxpayers, Playing Politics

    Some news from the UK showing how Microsoft uses politics to extract money out of taxpayers, irrespective of their preferences



  19. Microsoft's Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures is Collapsing as 20% of Staff Laid Off

    More good news regarding the demise of patents as Microsoft's leading patent proxy is collapsing more rapidly than anyone ever imagined and software patents too are collectively doubted



  20. Links 21/8/2014: Conferences of Linux Foundation, Elephone Emerges

    Links for the day



  21. Links 20/8/2014: Linux Event, GNOME Milestone

    Links for the day



  22. Corruption Watch: Microsoft Lobbying Designed to Kill Chile's Free Software Policy and Promote Microsoft With Subsidies, More Dirty Tricks Emerge in Munich

    icrosoft is systematically attacking migrations to GNU, Linux and Free software, using dirty tricks, as always



  23. Vista 8 Such a Disaster That Even Microsoft Cannot Cope With It, Vapourware Tactics Start Early

    Microsoft's Windows-powered services are failing and Windows gets bricked by Microsoft patches, whereupon we are seeing yet more of Microsoft's vapourware tactics (focusing in imaginary, non-existent versions of Windows)



  24. On BlackBerry and Other Patent Trolls

    A roundup regarding patent trolls, starting with the bigger and latest joiner, BlackBerry's new patents apparatus



  25. Links 19/8/2014: Humble Jumbo Bundle 2 Betrayal, Mercedes-Benz Runs GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  26. BlackBerry -- Like Microsoft Nokia -- Could be the Next Patent Proxy Troll

    BlackBerry is restructuring for patent assertion (i.e. trolling) in the wake of some alliances with Microsoft



  27. After Microsoft's Soft Bribe Some Non-Technical Deputy Does Not Like Free Software, Microsoft-Linked Media Responds to This Non-News by Making Bogus Claims of Munich Leaving GNU/Linux (Updated)

    The subversive forces that have secretly been attacking Munich over its migration to GNU/Linux (Microsoft press, Gartner, and even HP) are back to doing it while China and Russia follow Munich's lead



  28. Gates Foundation CFO Quits and Debate About Revolving Doors Recalled Amid Systematic and Shrewd Bribery of Public Officials

    More officials step out of the Gates Foundation and their destination is not known yet; Gates continues to corrupt the public sector with his money so as to increase personal gain at taxpayers' expense



  29. Links 19/8/2014: GNU/Linux Raves and Alternative to Proprietary Voice Chat

    Links for the day



  30. Links 18/8/2014: Linux 3.17 RC1, Escalation in Ferguson

    Links for the day


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