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 20/10/2014: 10 Years Since First Ubuntu Release

    Links for the day



  2. How Patent Lawyers Analyze Alice v. CLS Bank

    Breaking down a patent lawyer's analysis of a Supreme Court's decision that seemingly invalidated hundreds of thousands of software patents



  3. Is It Google's Turn to Head the USPTO Corporation?

    The industry-led USPTO continues to be coordinated by some of its biggest clients, despite issues associated with conflicting interests



  4. The EPO's Public Relations Disaster Amid Distrust From Within (and EPO Communications Chief Leaves): Part VII

    Amid unrest and suspicion of misconduct in the EPO's management (ongoing for months if not years), Transparency International steps in, but the EPO's management completely ignores Transparency International, refusing to collaborate; the PR chief of the EPO is apparently being pushed out in the mean time



  5. Links 18/10/2014: Debian Plans for Init Systems, Tails 1.2

    Links for the day



  6. Links 18/10/2014: New ELive, Android Expansion

    Links for the day



  7. Another Fresh Blow to Software Patents (and With Them Patent Trolls)

    Another new development shows that more burden of proof is to be put on the litigant, thus discouraging the most infamous serial patent aggressors and reducing the incentive to settle with a payment out of court



  8. Links 16/10/2014: New Android, SSL 3.0 Flaw

    Links for the day



  9. How the Corporate Press Deceives and Sells Microsoft Agenda

    Various new examples of media propaganda that distorts or makes up the facts (bias/lies by omission/selection) and where this is all coming from



  10. Vista 10 is Still Vapourware, But We Already Know It Will Increase Surveillance on Its Users and Contain Malicious Back Doors

    The villainous company which makes insecure-by-design operating systems will continue to do so, but in the mean time the corporate press covers only bugs in FOSS, not back doors in proprietary software



  11. Links 15/10/2014: KDE Plasma 5.1 is Out, GOG Reaches 100-Title Mark

    Links for the day



  12. With .NET Foundation Affiliation Xamarin is Another Step Closer to Being Absorbed by Microsoft

    Xamarin is not even trying to pretend that separation exists between Microsoft and its work; yet another collaboration is announced



  13. The EPO's Protection Triangle of Battistelli, Kongstad, and Topić: Part VI

    Jesper Kongstad, Benoît Battistelli, and Zeljko Topić are uncomfortably close personally and professionally, so suspicions arise that nepotism and protectionism play a negative role that negatively affects the European public



  14. Corporate Media Confirms the Demise of Software Patents in the United States; Will India and Europe Follow?

    It has become increasingly official that software patents are being weakened in the United States' USPTO as well as the courts; will software leaders such as India and Europe stop trying to imitate the old USPTO?



  15. Links 14/10/2014: CAINE 6, New RHEL, Dronecode

    Links for the day



  16. Microsoft's Disdain for Women Steals the Show at a Women's Event

    Steve Ballmer's successor, Satya Nadella, is still too tactless to lie to the audience, having been given --through subversive means -- a platform at a conference that should have shunned Microsoft, a famously misogynistic company



  17. SCOTUS May Soon Put an End to the 'Copyrights on APIs' Question While Proprietary Giants Continue to Harass Android/Linux in Every Way Conceivable

    Google takes its fight over API freedom to the Supreme Court in the Unites States and it also takes that longstanding patent harassment from the Microsoft- and Apple-backed troll (Rockstar) out of East Texas



  18. Patent Lawsuits Almost Halved After SCOTUS Ruling on 'Abstract' Software Patents

    The barrier for acceptance of software patent applications is raised in the United States and patent lawsuits, many of which involve software these days, are down very sharply, based on new figures from Lex Machina



  19. Links 13/10/2014: ChromeOS and EXT, Debian Resists Systemd Domination

    Links for the day



  20. Links 12/10/2014: Blackphone Tablet, Sony's Firefox OS Port

    Links for the day



  21. Links 9/10/2014: Free Software in Germany, Lenovo Tablets With Android

    Links for the day



  22. Links 8/10/2014: A Lot of Linux+AMD News, New ROSA Desktop Is Out

    Links for the day



  23. Lawyers' Propaganda About Software Patents and a New AstroTurf Entity Called Innovation Alliance

    Patent propaganda and deception from patent lawyers (among other parasites such as patent trolls) continues to flood the Web, intersecting with reports that prove them totally wrong



  24. How Microsoft Handles Disasters: Grace Hopper Conference Has Been Infiltrated by "Microsoft Disaster Response"

    Free/Open Source software (FOSS) must be a disaster to Microsoft's bottom line because Microsoft is sending "Microsoft Disaster Response" to infiltrate and disrupt a conference about women in FOSS



  25. Links 8/10/2014: Gummersbach Moves to GNU/Linux, Docker Acquires Koality, KDE Frameworks 5.3

    Links for the day



  26. Links 7/10/2014: CAINE 6.0, PC-BSD 10.0.3

    Links for the day



  27. Benoît Battistelli's Balkan Standards in EPO: Part V

    How the European Patent Office facilitated the inclusion of previously-connected elements that are best known for misconduct and dirty politics



  28. Symptoms of Post-x86 Era: Even Intel Apologists Turn Against Bribes-Dependent Intel While Microsoft Continues to Deceive Journalists on Patents in Order to Create a Scare

    The Wintel press, which is bribed by companies that it covers, is challenged by prominent developers and Microsoft continues to plant its patent propaganda in the Wintel-centric (and paid) press



  29. Microsoft Reinforces Its Criminal Organisation Status by Bribing and Corrupting More Officials, Even in Europe

    More criminal activity from Microsoft in Romania and a new TV programme that sheds light on Microsoft's dirty assault on Free software in France



  30. Links 6/10/2014: Linux 3.17, OpenELEC 4.2.1, FreeBSD 10.1 RC1, Debian 8.0 Beta 2 Released

    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