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

02.09.11

Copyright and Patent Battles Against Linux Carry on (the Usual Suspects)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Intellectual Monopoly, Microsoft, Patents at 12:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Flying bricks

Summary: Allies of Microsoft are still throwing bricks at the unstoppable platform which gradually takes over everything

LINUX is constantly under attack because it is winning (just look at all the anti-Android litigation). At Techrights we emphasise this all the time. As Linux goes very mainstream everywhere, malicious proprietary software companies like Apple, Microsoft, and SCO are certain and determined to attack Linux. All three companies already sue companies which sell Linux. They sue using intellectual monopolies, which are the weakest form of competition (all the other forms — including technical merit — have failed for them). The situation at Nokia is serious, but it is not fatal. Now, let us look at litigation — not entryism — which poses a risk and constitutes a factor that can slow down Linux and Free software’s triumph. Regarding the SCO sale to UnXis, Groklaw keeps an eye on it (as do we) and there is now a formal objection to the UnXis plan:

Novell has, as expected, filed an objection to SCO’s proposed sale of assets to UnXis. It’s terse in mood, but unless the judge is asleep, it should do the job.

The first basis for the objection is that SCO doesn’t have the “necessary consents” from Novell “for the assumption and assignment of agreements with Novell”. As Novell tells the court, “Original APA Section 9.5(c) expressly prohibits its assignment by SCO without Novell’s consent.” And Novell won’t consent this time either, just like last time.

Crossing over to the realms of patents, DistroWatch is advertising Centrify and Linux.com too has been advertising (for money) this pusher of Microsoft APIs and software patents. Such Microsoft proponents that are close to Microsoft are dangerous for the same reason Likewise is dangerous and based on this new press release about Tuxera joining the Linux Foundation [1, 2], the number of Microsoft pushers who promote Microsoft patents is growing inside the Linux Foundation (Linux.com is now owned by the Linux Foundation too). As a quick recap, Tuxera tries to extract/pass Microsoft patent tax from Android and Linux, using proprietary file systems that nobody wants or needs. Centrify promotes Microsoft protocols too and it is keen on software patents. One need not be baffled by the Linux Foundation’s admission because it’s hard to embrace exceptionalism at this type of open consortium and many of its most powerful members (with IBM's clear dominance) are proponents of software patents. Despite the use of the term “Foundation”, the Free Software Foundation differs enormously from the Linux Foundation and certainly the Gates Foundation, which loves patents more than the former two. That having been said, the Linux Foundation does a lot more than it should to endorse software patents, even with the OIN. The so-called ‘ecosystem’ it promotes involves a lot of patented and proprietary software, so the policies embraced by the Linux Foundation are at times incompatible with Linux itself. Carlo Piana, a respected lawyer specialising in Free/open source software, explained this problem to me last night.

I agree, and act, but how to achieve that? The lobbying is intense in the opposite direction.

Piana does not fully agree with Red Hat's stance on the subject (like the OIN, its legal team speaks of “bad patents” rather than “software patents” as needing to be abolished). Piana rightly insists that "the *only* solution is abolition NOW". Meanwhile, Microsoft Florian keeps tweeting me a lot about the subject. Last night he was still messaging me, trying to daemonise Red Hat’s stance. He generally daemonises Red Hat, GNU/Linux, and its business model in his blog, removing any pretences that he cares for “Linux” or “FOSS”. He hates OIN with a passion because OIN is a big deterrent/problem to companies like Microsoft and Mandriva in fact has just announced joining the OIN:

Open Invention Network (OIN), the company formed to enable and protect Linux, today extended its community with the signing of Mandriva as a licensee. By becoming a licensee, Mandriva has joined the growing list of organizations that recognize the importance of leveraging the Open Invention Network to further spur open source innovation.

Mandriva is located in a region where software patents are theoretically invalid; however, malicious monopolies and their lawyers try to change this. “Feel free to explain what the author got wrong,” wrote the FFII several hours ago about this new post about the “EU patent” (path for inserting software patents into Europe).

Keeping track of threats is not FUD, it’s vigilance. Linux will need a lot of vigilance as it enters phones and tablets, not just servers, routers, and several other non-desktop market segments that are actually expanding.

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

3 Comments

  1. twitter said,

    February 9, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Gravatar

    On another front, it looks like Microsoft has ruined the market for netbooks. Microsoft boosters are blaming the demise of sales on iPad or the form factor on the form factor itself as Windows 7 fails to sell them [2]. As noted at the time, once buzzing netbook departments quickly became customer free dead zones when Microsoft got in. Finally, the channels are stuffed and sales are reflecting it. One article perceptively notes that back to school sales did not lift Windows netbooks out of their funk and predicted that Christmas sales would be equally bleak.

    While both of these articles doubt $600 hype pad sales and netbook buyers inhabit the same demographic, it should be noted that both are ultramobile platforms which still commands a price of over $1000 on “traditional notebooks,” aka notebooks without Microsoft’s obnoxiously imposed hardware limitations. Neither article mentions how the 2007 EEE promise of a sub $200 notebook with Skype, Open Office, Firefox, tuxpaint and other great software was quickly corrupted into disfunctional, $400 XP and Vista computers. As predicted, Windows netbooks quickly broke down and left users with a sour taste. Customers won’t be back soon.

    Nor does either article mention the sad story of the OLPC or the harm done to Asus’ bottom line by Microsoft’s blatantly anti-competitive behavior. The battle is not lost, it has simply shifted away from losing ground, x86, to ARM where Microsoft has less pull. Microsoft might still have some retail block power, but it can’t last forever. At this point, retailers must be up to their eyeballs in Vista/Windows 7 failure debt. They will have to look for something else or go the way of CompUSA, Circuit City and others no longer with us. Analysts predict a flood of tablet computers that will blow out netbooks but they don’t mention what an uneasy slaughter it will be when cheap Android or gnu/linux tablets are pitted against $400 Vista 7 netbooks.

    As a side note, I actually bought a Vista 7 netbook from Toshiba for my daughter. It came with a dual core processor and Intel graphics that are excellent performers under the Squeeze version of Debian GNU/Linux. All of the hardware including the microphones, web cam, network card power management and accelerated graphics work smoothly and well. She now has a beautiful, composited E16 desktop with Cairo Dock shortcuts to the games and other things she likes to do. Windows 7 stickers were pealed off and the noxious original software was dd’d and gzipped without ever having been booted, just in case we decide to sell it to someone who insists on Windows. It did not perform as well as gnu/linux in the store. I’d gladly delete the image if I could get part of the nearly $400 purchase price back.

    Store staff seemed to think the next batch of these notebooks, which came with built in cell phone data modems and cost $100 more would be good sellers. I doubt it. Windows does not do what most people want an ultramobile computer to do and it is so restricted and bloated with DRM that the situation won’t change soon. The data plans are are the most expensive and restricted kind of internet access available and few people actually need it. If money starts to flow that way, it won’t last long as Google rolls out TV white space access.

  2. TemporalBeing said,

    February 10, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Gravatar

    Microsoft’s tactics won’t necessarily work this time around…

    In the past, Microsoft quashed competition by either buying them out, copying functionality enough to put them out of the market, or outright blackballing them in the market place.

    However, with Linux any company that wants to do anything in computerized technology can use it. So now, instead of having a single company to destroy, they would have to take on the world to win – even Microsoft’s pockets are not that deep.

    So stay tuned to watch Microsoft self-destruct as they dump money into guaranteed losing businesses in order try to save their own monopoly. Or will their stakeholders realize the problem first and oust the management?

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Or will their stakeholders realize the problem first and oust the management?

    There is hardly a need for it because the management is already leaving voluntarily, except Mundie the lobbyist and Ballmer the brute.

What Else is New


  1. Links 16/9/2014: Firefox OS Smartphones in Bangladesh, “Treasure Map” of the Internet

    Links for the day



  2. The United Kingdom Should Dump Microsoft For the Sake of National Security

    The UK has issues of Microsoft dependency and Windows viruses; its migration to Free software and GNU/Linux is not fast enough to guard its autonomy in the age of digital imperialism<



  3. CBS Hires Even More Microsoft Staff to Cover Microsoft Matters

    CBS continues to be infested with Microsoft staff past and present (this time Dave Johnson) and the bias in output is quite revealing



  4. Microsoft Has Just Killed Minecraft for GNU/Linux and the Possibility of Free/Open Source Releases

    Persson sells out to Microsoft and lets the abusive monopolist destroy the popular cross-platform game that a community has been built around



  5. Another Reason to Boycott Intel UEFI

    More anti-competitive aspects are revealed inside UEFI, which helps merginalise GNU/Linux



  6. Quick Mention: Novell and SUSE Passed to Microsoft's 'Partner of the Year', Microsoft Focus

    Novell is changing hands again, and falling into the hands of even more Microsoft-friendly actors



  7. Links 16/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC5, KDE Frameworks 5.2.0

    Links for the day



  8. Željko Topić, Benoît Battistelli, and the European Patent Office (EPO): Part II

    Part II of our look into the EPO appointment of Željko Topić and other matters showing the dubious integrity of the EPO



  9. Links 14/9/2014: Android-based Watches Earn Optimism

    Links for the day



  10. Links 14/9/2014: Eucalyptus Devoured

    Links for the day



  11. Links 11/9/2014: Linux Toilet Project, Linux-Based Wheelchair Project

    Links for the day



  12. Links 10/9/2014: Brian Stevens in Google, Ubuntu 14.10 Expectations

    Links for the day



  13. Links 9/9/2014: Hating/Loving Linux, Android Aplenty

    Links for the day



  14. Links 8/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC 4, Switzerland Welcoming Snowden

    Links for the day



  15. Suspicion of High-Level Corruption at the European Patent Office (EPO): Part I

    The European Patent Office (EPO) Vice-President has a background of corruption and his appointment to the EPO too is believed to be reliant on systemic corruption



  16. Links 6/9/2014: Core OS at DigitalOcean, Women in Xorg

    Links for the day



  17. Software Patents 'Quality' Debated in Courts, Microsoft's Biggest Patent Troll Still a Chronic Liar

    Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft's and Bill Gates' largest patent proxy, continues to spread lies about its motivations, claiming that patent assessment is among the goals when in fact only the courts and patent offices do this



  18. New Article Explains How Bill Gates Prevents Schools From Moving to GNU/Linux and Free Software

    A new article from Al Jazeera provides details about the role of so-called 'charities' of billionaires inside school systems



  19. Microsoft Sued for Large-scale Copyright Abuses

    Microsoft reveals its disregard for copyright law which it loves so much to wield as a weapon against its competition and clients



  20. Links 5/9/2014: New WordPress, Systemd Debate Continues

    Links for the day



  21. 'Embrace and Extend' at Microsoft: The New Generation

    Some of the latest examples of Microsoft's predatory acts against Free software and against competition in general, disguised as acts of friendliness



  22. Bill Gates' God Complex: Common Core a One-Man Campaign of Greed and Control

    The push for Common Core is overwhelmingly dominated by Bill Gates, who intimidates and even resorts to retribution against critics while bribing those who help him accomplish the goal of privatised (for his private profit) indoctrination in US schools



  23. Bill Gates Investments Harm the World, Not Improve the World, Based on New Exclusive Piece of Investigative Journalism at The Nation

    The Gates Foundation's profiteering efforts and lack of ethics outlined in a new report that many sites around the Web find fascinating and mostly irrefutable



  24. Links 3/9/2014: Android Gadgets, New Tails OS

    Links for the day



  25. Linus Torvalds DebConf Talk

    Torvalds' latest talk which got media attention earlier this month



  26. Microsoft Should Not be Considered Too Big to Jail

    Microsoft continues to use dumping as a strategy which revolves around starving the competition, not beating the competition



  27. Pro-Software Patents Voices Finally Acknowledge the Demise of Software Patents in the United States

    A milestone is reached as even the most zealous supporters of patents on algorithms (or computer-implemented inventions, or software patents) are admitting that the era of software patents may be over



  28. New Lies About Microsoft 'Privacy' and New FUD Against the GPL Comes From 'Former' Microsoft Staff at Black Duck

    More AstroTurfing by sites that are run by Microsoft MVPs and firms which were created by people from Microsoft



  29. Links 2/9/2014: GNU/Linux in BBC, Calls Against systemd

    Links for the day



  30. Links 1/9/2014: Poettering on systemd, ITNews on DBMSs

    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