“Harassing Google (and Android/Linux) has grown to be a Microsoft habit or a hobby.”Stephen Shankland from CNET quotes Google’s official response: “MPEG LA has alluded to a VP8 pool since WebM launched–this is nothing new. The Web succeeds with open, community-developed innovation, and the WebM Project brings the same principles to Web video. The vast majority of the industry supports free and open development, and we’re in the process of forming a broad coalition of hardware and software companies who commit to not assert any IP claims against WebM. We are firmly committed to the project and establishing an open codec for HTML5 video.” The same statement can be found in other articles too.
One of MPEG-LA’s biggest backers is Microsoft of course. The embarrassing situation involving Microsoft’s B0ng as a spy and scraper [1, 2] of Google, which led to much bogus debate, definitely shows who’s fighting for progress in some areas and who is harming society. Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has published the new essay “Lies, damned lies and search engines” where he addresses the issue:
Bad Microsoft! Bad! No biscuit for you!
If Microsoft were a dog, I’d be scolding it for its latest foolishness. It turns out that rather than searching the Internet on its own, it’s been riding the coattails of Google. This isn’t just a theory. Google set up a clever trap, and Microsoft’s search engineers fell right into it.
Harassing Google (and Android/Linux) has grown to be a Microsoft habit or a hobby. It’s rather striking however. Even Microsoft cannot help use Google and Linux internally, so Microsoft in some sense depends on their existence. █
Setback for Microsoft’s patent troll with the massive yacht
Summary: Linux-hostile patent moves from Microsoft and further debates about the patentability of software
WE HAVE heard rumours which say that the United States may be the new centre of Nokia, which is a Finnish company almost 150 years old. There is risk that Microsoft might 'pull a CPTN' on Nokia and then use Nokia’s patents against those whom Nokia once worked alongside (e.g. Linux). According to Novell’s SEC filings, Blackrock is a massive Novell shareholder and “Blackrock reportedly is also the largest Apple shareholder,” writes Groklaw,”at 5.5%. Apple is also one of the members of the Microsoft-organized consortium seeking to purchase Novell’s patents, CPTN. Blackrock owns shares in Microsoft as well, although it lowered its stake in November to just below 5%.” For a quick reminder about CPTN, see the following:
Under the entire market value rule, a patentee may seek damages based on the value of an entire apparatus when the patented invention is merely a single component if three conditions are met: (1) the infringing component must form the basis for customer demand for the entire machine, including the parts beyond the claimed invention; (2) the infringing and noninfringing components must be sold together as a functional unit or be parts of a complete machine; and (3) individual infringing and noninfringing components must be analogous to a single functioning unit.
“If I were Oracle,” writes Groklaw, “I’d be worried about this with respect to the litigation against Google. And if I were Paul Allen, I’d be even more worried.”
Traul Allen and other friends of Microsoft has been trying to extort Android users. Mr. Allen engages in self praise right now while he is in fact being malicious and greedy. Over at Groklaw, his case has been analysed since last summer and to quote some of Groklaw‘s latest arguments: “Techdirt submitted a very thoughtful couple of comments on patents and indeed software patents are the single biggest issue working against innovation in technology. But I worry very much too about the DMCA, because it makes it really dangerous to do security research. I would hope that at some point someone would notice that, preferably before it becomes a serious security problem for the US.”
“Here’s an idea,” writes Groklaw on another occasion: “You get rid of software patents, and your backlog problem is solved.”
The Churchill Club Great Debate will focus on the patentability of software this coming Wednesday (February 16, 2011). The FSF will be there and coverage is guaranteed to follow. █
Canadian patent licensing company Wi-LAN Inc plans to venture into software and internet patent licensing, even as it focuses on its strong wireless portfolio, Chief Executive Jim Skippen told Reuters.
Companies like LG are getting aggressive too, but at least they produce some real products, even hardware. In a later post we’ll write about people who once produced something and are now just patent trolls (an example of this would be Traul Allen, Microsoft’s co-founder). █
Summary: Opposition to the so-called ‘EU patent’ may come from the European Court of Justice and from Italy
EUROPE is not unique among continents that are besieged by corporate interests from overseas. Monopolists want to become multinationals whose monopoly is further protected by new laws which are being pushed into other countries (even when these laws are clearly harmful to these countries).
The European Parliament has been asked to wait for a landmark ruling from the European Court of Justice before voting on a single-patent system for Europe that organizations fear could hurt software companies.
The issue is on the Parliament’s agenda for next week, but a legal opinion from the court is not expected until later this month or even March.
Italy and to some extent Spain stand in the way of this potentially atrocious development. Those who try to pass it are rushing it through for obvious reasons. █
The company also announced the departure of Amitabh Srivastava, a senior vice president in the Server & Tools Business and one of the key figures behind the Windows Azure cloud computing platform.
Ballmer didn’t give a specific reason for Srivastava’s departure. The longtime Microsoft engineer had been mentioned as a possible candidate for the top Server & Tools job. He had started the Azure initiative in 2006 with Microsoft’s Dave Cutler under the name “Project Red Dog.”
Watch Ballmer’s response because the last time we heard Ballmer making a statement like the following, he ‘sent’ Elop to take over Nokia:
“Windows Azure is in a great place, and Amitabh is ready to move to a new phase in his career,” Ballmer wrote in his email. “He has done stellar work for the company and will work to ensure a smooth transition with the Windows Azure team. I wish him well in his new endeavors.”
Summary: Miguel de Icaza and other Microsoft boosters are taking the very opposite side (from that of the Linux Foundation and Linux advocates in general) regarding the Nokia-Microsoft deal
The fake ‘friends’ of GNU/Linux are often covered by Techrights, which strives to provide a lot of evidence to convince those who lack the time to find it that particular companies and people only ever pretend to serve software freedom. Some are “openwashing” (piggybacking the successful phenomenon), but some are maliciously abusing what they only claim or pretend to admire.
Take Microsoft Florian for example. He had journalists refer to him as an open source advocate*. That’s a lie, and it is a lie that served him well in his lobbying efforts. He has just told Miguel de Icaza: “Today Nokia announced it will do more patent monetization. If they have anything RHT needs, could be fun ” (Miguel de Icaza is chatting with anti-Linux people who lobby for Microsoft interests and vice versa).
For those who missed Friday’s comments section in the post about Nokia-Microsoft, NetworkWorld (IDG) summarised de Icaza’s tweets (he doesn’t use Identi.ca) in which he voiced abundant support for the Nokia-Microsoft deal — yes, that which is a slap on Linux’ face (denounced by both Intel and the Linux Foundation). Funnily enough, the Microsoft booster from IDG called de Icaza an “Open source guru” (in the headline), which is also bordering being a lie; he is a Microsoft MVP, maybe a guru of Microsoft software. Suffice to say, the comments section rebuts the nonsense and there are a lot of responses to the outrageous statements from de Icaza (some cited Techrights and there’s plenty more of it in IRC and Identi.ca), which help show he that is against Free software goals. Some people are apparently starting to lean towards KDE or other non-GNOME environments because of this. To quote a new post:
Miguel de Icaza, one of the leading developers of GNOME, has said that he is “psyched” (apparently in a good way) by this. He has been taking a lot of flak from the open-source community for supporting the development of Mono, the open-source implementation of Microsoft’s C# programming language and toolkit; while I am wary of Microsoft’s moves with regard to Mono, I still do use GNOME-Do, which is Mono-based, and I’m OK with this because it is still open-source. However, de Icaza’s support of the Nokia-Microsoft partnership seems to be the last straw, even for me; as a developer of a core technology (GNOME) for Linux systems, how could he possibly support a company that has essentially issued death threats against Linux multiple times?
Yes, but Microsoft MVP Miguel de Icaza is either deaf/blind or ignorant; truthfully, he is neither, so it implies just malice. There is almost nobody else left — except C# and Microsoft fans perhaps — who believes this man is in favour of GNU/Linux (which he sometimes ridicules using Microsoft talking points, as we showed here before). By association, Miguel de Icaza’s current work not only harms GNOME but also OpenSUSE, which has another lump of news (not much going on there anymore). █
___ * Even though he is just a proprietary .NET developer.