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


FSF to Challenge Software Patents While Microsoft Uses Them to Extort GNU/Linux

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 4:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Microsoft’s products are running on empty, so the company is using patents as a form of tax imposed on the competition which is winning

TECHRIGHTS covers patents more than just about any site which focuses on Free/open source software. The issue of software patents ought to be widely recognised as the #1 barrier to adoption of GNU/Linux and the many patent lawsuits against Android — including several from Microsoft and its allies — should provide concrete evidence of this. The FSF will soon take part in a patents-focused discussion of the Churchill Club (which recently held a Wikileaks debate). The FSF’s Web site informs followers about this event:

FSF operations mananger John Sullivan and license compliance engineer Brett Smith will be on a Churchill Club panel discussion to argue against software patents.

For those who view software patents only as a prospective threat, one ought to serve a reminder about Microsoft profiting from Linux through companies like Novell, LG, Samsung, and others. When one buys Linux from these companies, Microsoft will be paid for it. This is rapidly becoming more of a cash cow to the monopolist and as Tim suggests, it may increasingly compete with Microsoft Office as the #1 ‘product’ of the company:

Today I’m looking at figures produced which allegedly show the amount of money Microsoft is losing online and ask the question based on those figures, is it only Office and patents which are keeping Microsoft alive?

We brought up the subject on the TechBytes show, so I thought it would be nice to elaborate on some of the sources I used for that particular section.


In my opinion, Microsoft has very little to offer. They have grown so large, that sustaining themselves with the products they do make returns on is no longer viable. For me it comes as no surprise that Microsoft would seek to get revenue from patent maneuvers. In the past I’ve made predictions, one of which being Ballmer will be gone come mid 2011, I also said that whilst Microsoft will not simply shut up shop, I think the Microsoft of the future will be far smaller and humble than the bloated monster it is today. What worries me are the products/companies it will bring down with it as it desperately tries to keep its position of power.

One way for Microsoft to further spread its patents and push them into GNU/Linux devices/distributions would be Mono, which is still intruding Ubuntu, including parts of Mono that Microsoft deemed uncovered by the "Community Promise". To quote a news item from a site that's apathetic towards Mono issues (part of the so-called “Mono lobby”: “The Sound Menu of Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha sees the return of play list support – an easy way to access your favourite track line-ups in Banshee without needing to open the app itself.”

This is Mono intrusion which may be going into panels in Ubuntu. The distinct problems associated with Novell’s Banshee were previously covered in :

Mono is partly developed by Microsoft now. It contains Microsoft code, licensed under Microsoft licences. This is not a “gift” — no more than the Greek bearing gifts. Watch out for new spin from the ‘Microsoft press’, courtesy of the company’s longtime booster, Kurt Mackie. It is just yet more deception and misdirection — some propaganda about “interoperability” and not open standards, where interoperability may also involve patent agreements like Novell’s. Microsoft executives are trying to spread some Trojan horses like Mono (.NET) and OOXML because they failed to embrace the community of Free software and failed to make their proprietary formats the ‘standard’ (OOXML, for example, is very scarcely used at all). Unless or until software patents are vapourised, Microsoft APIs are unsafe and are better off avoided (unless approached passively, e.g. Wine).

“The patent danger to Mono comes from patents we know Microsoft has, on libraries which are outside the C# spec and thus not covered by any promise not to sue. In effect, Microsoft has designed in boobytraps for us.”

Richard Stallman

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. The United States Pressures India to Broaden Patent Scope and Other Monopolies

    The envoy of the US is trying to tell India how to run the country (stricter laws regarding copyrights, trademarks, and patents), as a condition for foreign investment by multinational corporations

  2. Budget and Finance Committee of the Administrative Council (EPO) Confirms Exile of the Boards of Appeal

    Crushing of highly-skilled staff, propaganda in the form of new press releases, and recruitment attempts that won't succeed because the world now knows what goes on inside the European Patent Office

  3. Links 26/10/2016: “softWaves” in Debian 9, Rust in GNOME

    Links for the day

  4. Leaked: EPO's Vice-President Willie Minnoye Saying the Unsayable, Then Threatening Anyone Who Keeps Record (Evidence) of It

    E-mail that would leave Vice-President Willie Minnoye bashful, as it helps show not only bad policy but also attempts at suppression of discussion about it

  5. Puff Pieces of the EPO-IPO (EPO+EUIPO) Have Begun to Appear Amid New Evidence of Brain Drain, Lowered Standards

    The grim vision of the EPO which is losing all its talent (over time), becomes more like a production line (quality does not matter), and produces propaganda for "media positioning" (or "placements") -- all under the guise of 'studies'

  6. Leaked: Minutes From the Administrative Council of the EPO Regarding the 'Reform' (Exile) of the Boards of Appeal

    Details of the relatively secret proceedings back in June (belatedly released only a short while ago), carefully abbreviated to demonstrate which delegations helped Battistelli crush the Boards of Appeal and which ones insisted on maintaining the status quo, as per the EPC

  7. No Promising Future For the EPO Under Battistelli (If Any Future At All)

    Pessimism becomes realism at the European Patent Office as units are being torn apart, patent quality discarded, "unified" patent courts dreamed of (more patent lawsuits, higher damages), and EUIPO (EU-associated, unlike Eponia) gets closer to the EPO

  8. Leaked Minutes From the EPO Reveal That Battistelli is Detached From Reality and Blames Everything on “Union Officials”

    Minutes of the Administrative Council's meeting reveal some truly bizarre rants from Battistelli, who simply refuses to accept that the European Patent Office is burning (without a future direction, only burnout and brain drain) under his poor and abusive leadership

  9. Tata/TCS is Still Pushing for Software Patents in India

    The obnoxious company that is promoting Microsoft and software patents in a country that needs neither makes the headlines again (Financial Express)

  10. Links 25/10/2016: Rackspace's Praise of FOSS, Chain Chooses the GPL(v3)

    Links for the day

  11. Links 24/10/2016: Linux 4.9 RC2

    Links for the day

  12. Battistelli Plans to Expand the Social [sic] 'Study' (Then 'Conference') Propaganda Until Next Month, Under the 'Workshop' Umbrella

    Milking his shameless propaganda (paid-for 'studies'), Battistelli wants to rewrite the record by all means possible, then pretend that EPO staff participates in it

  13. EPO and EUIPO Join Hands to Release Propaganda (for European Media to Parrot) Some Time Tomorrow

    EPO and EUIPO in collaboration for the promotion of the notion that they are both necessary (and reinforced speculations about growing overlap between them)

  14. UPC Preparatory Committee Puts the Brakes on UPC Amid Brexit and Growing Uncertainty

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) preparatory committee recognises that the UPC isn't going anywhere (any time soon) and false job advertisements -- or advertisements for jobs that will never exist -- are withdrawn

  15. Updates Regarding EPO and BoAC: Unrest and Injustice Carry on

    Some of the latest information which is publicly and privately available to us, in particular regarding the case of a suspended judge which represents unprecedented erosion of the appeal boards' independence (and hence lack of justice in the Organisation)

  16. EPO and the “Iberian Connection”: Patricia García-Escudero Márquez - Battistelli's Pet Chinchilla on the Boards of Appeal Committee?

    Why the Boards of Appeal Committee has begun showing prominent signs that it is anything but independent and capable of standing up to Battistelli (or his circle at the Office, which includes the “Iberian Connection")

  17. Links 23/10/2016: Alcatel's New Android Smartphones, Another Honorary Doctorate for Stallman

    Links for the day

  18. Open Letter Exposing the Farce Which Was Battistelli's 'Social Conference' Coinciding With Further (New) Attacks on EPO Staff Representatives

    A detailed letter reveals legitimate concerns expressed by staff representatives at the EPO ahead of the so-called Social Conference, in which we have highlighted severe factual flaws

  19. Translation of Latest Rant From French MP Philip Cordery About Benoît Battistelli's Abuses at the EPO

    Philip Cordery crosses horns with Benoît Battistelli, who has become a source of embarrassment for France with his autocratic tendencies and misguided policies that rapidly ruin the European Patent Office (EPO)

  20. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC ‘Study’: Leaked Document Shows PwC's Dishonesty and Misrepresentation of EPO Staff

    An in-depth analysis (but not comprehensive, just preliminary) of the so-called 'study' from PwC, which basically did what it was paid for (pay to say)

  21. Links 22/10/2016: Deus Ex for GNU/Linux, Global DDoS (DNS)

    Links for the day

  22. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC ‘Study’: Survey Comparison Shows Serious Deterioration and Efforts by PwC to Disguise the Truth

    The latest output from PwC turns out to be even worse than initially thought, indicating that not only did it find a degradation in the EPO but also attempted to hide/obscure it

  23. EPO Teaser - The "Iberian Connection" - Some Photos of García-Escudero and His Royal/Government Connections

    A look at the undeniably close connections between Mr. García-Escudero and the most powerful people in Spain

  24. Disruption to Site's Service

    A technical note about why Techrights has not been publishing many articles recently

  25. Links 21/10/2016: MPV 0.21, Mad Max for GNU/Linux

    Links for the day

  26. EPO Caricature: Battistelli's High Five

    Another cartoon about the sad state of the EPO

  27. Battistelli Ruins Not Only the EPO But Also the Whole of Europe By Ushering in Software Patents That Patent Trolls Love So Much

    Battistelli's bad leadership at the EPO threatens to bring to Europe all the ills and menaces of the patent system in the United States

  28. EPO Spokesman Lies to IP Watch in Order to Save Face and Save the King (Battistelli)

    Rewriting history (revisionism) regarding Battistelli and what was demanded amidst abusive behaviour from him

  29. Unitary Patent (UPC) is Dead, But 'Managing IP' and Selfish Patent Law Firms Still Try to Resurrect It

    The latest attempts to shore up the Unitary (or Unified) Patent Court and who's behind it other than the usual suspects

  30. Links 20/10/2016: Linux 4.10 Preview, ONF and ON.Labs to Merge

    Links for the day


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