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

03.29.11

When Microsoft Changes International Law to Make GNU/Linux Illegal

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Law, Microsoft at 6:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Collage

Summary: Microsoft’s distortion of the law goes more global with the attempt to marginalise freedom in software using legal instruments, not technical merit

IT IS easy to beat the competition when it can simply be called illegal or borderline criminal and in a later post we are going to write about Microsoft’s use of software patents to do exactly that. Over in New Zealand (see background) Microsoft has been lobbying to make software patents legal — a lobby/fight that New Zealand carries on fighting against, even in the face of Microsoft- and IBM-backed lobbyists and the patent lawyers of those companies from overseas. One of them, a person among “lawyers at Chapman Tripp,” is still betraying New Zealand by trying to convince his government that giving multinationals a monopoly on algorithms would be a good thing. IDG prints this baloney, which in some sense validates opinions on technical matters courtesy of legalese experts (one of whom, Mr. Quinn, keeps on daemosing open source right now because it a threat to those who make a living from litigation). Here is a taste of the baloney:

Champions of software patents are urging Parliament to revisit the ban on patenting “computer programs” in the presently drafted amendments to the Patents Act 1953. They suggest the law as it stands will be unclear and will possibly contravene existing international agreements.

What international agreements will these be? Some speculative consent to sell out sovereignty, a la South Korea? People of New Zealand don’t fall for it. As one person from New Zealand told us recently, over there it is still the people who control the government, not the other way around, and that is increasingly rare. In Western parts of the world the balance of power long ago shifted and evidence of this exists in the fact that companies like Microsoft break the law in its existing form and in order to make themselves more powerful. This last example of it shows how Microsoft wants to criminalise not selling Windows. As Brad puts it, “Do You Sell to Washington State? Dump Microsoft.”

If you sell products or services to any customers in the state of Washington, you need to be aware of a new legal liability you might face. (Obligatory disclaimer: I Am Not A Lawyer, and this is not legal advice.) Microsoft has successfully lobbied to get new legislation passed there, in their home state, that will allow your customers to be sued if you use any “stolen IT” (Information Technology).

Microsoft keeps distorting the system (legalised bribery through lobbying) and it is starting to attack the customers for some extra income, as Groklaw explains: “But the real question is, Why? Why is Microsoft doing this? Does Microsoft need a new revenue stream, now that folks are switching to smartphones instead of PCs? Or is it something worse, something Machiavellian? I ask that because I noticed two things, one, that Microsoft said that it came up with the laws because it is dissatisfied with patent law and two, something odd and frankly alarming in the Washington State version of this bill that leads me to suspect that this is Microsoft’s Plan B in its litigation storm against Linux — its Ace in the hole in case the Supreme Court decides that its software is unpatentable.

“Not that Microsoft would mind having more than one way to harass Linux and it competitors in general, or two revenue streams without having to actually work to make better products. I’d like to show you how Open Source is deliberately excluded, though, a deliberate carve out.”

That is part of a long and fascinating post from Pamela Jones. For a shorter version of what Microsoft is scheming, see Edmundo Carmona’s “Is Microsoft trying to equate selling computers without Windows to software piracy as a new world policy?”

Very recently (as recently as 23rd of March) there was a small event in Mexico. An independent computer builder and a Microsoff legal representative had a meeting at the Legal Direction of Mexico’s National Institute of Author’s Rights. Apparently Microsoft wanted to make a statement specifying that they could take any legal action Microsoft considered pertinent given the builder’s lack of a Microsoft certificate of authenticity or original license included along with a computer built/sold by the independent builder. The builder states that given that they sell their computers with Free Software instead of Windows, the software has licenses and that Microsoft doesn’t have anything to complain about given that they don’t own copyrights for said software.

Greed knows no bounds, said Microsoft at one stage. The hypocrites. As Robert Pogson explains and as everyone else so well knows, counterfeiting has been beneficial if not essential to the monopoly. To use Pogson’s new words:

Illegal copying is just one of the means that non-free software suppresses the distribution of Free Software. It is similar to the tactic of making sure that only non-free software is found on retail shelves. Free Software is not about price but freedom to run, examine, modify and distribute software, something anathema to some big names in the industry of selling licences to software. Because of the four freedoms, Free Software tends to have a low price and purveyors of non-free software treat illegal copying of their software as an advertising cost.

There is no limit to how much Microsoft will distort the truth and distort the law (through lobbying) just to ensure it can squeeze out more money out of the population, which Microsoft software is controlling. Well, ideally, the user/population should control the software i uses.

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 19/9/2019: German Federal Ministry of the Interior Wants FOSS, Top Snaps Named

    Links for the day



  2. Buying the Voices of 'Linux' People to Repeat Microsoft's Talking Points While Removing Our Icons and Leaders (Calling Them Sexist)

    The dirty games leveraged by several companies including Microsoft target charismatic people who are essential for morale and leadership; these tactics aren't particularly novel



  3. When the EPO Sees Itself as Above European Law, Grants Patents in Defiance of the EPC (Its Founding Document) and Violates Staff's Labour Rights/Protections (International Law)

    The absurd state of affairs at the EPO has reached the point where laws at every level are being violated and even judges are being threatened or vainly ignored; the EU is belatedly trying to tackle these issues, which have actually cost its credibility a great deal and threaten the perception of Rule of Law at multiple levels



  4. Links 19/9/2019: Samba 4.11.0 and Kubernetes 1.16

    Links for the day



  5. Update on Koch v EPO: Internal Appeals Committee (IAC) Composition Still Likely Illegal

    An important EPO case, concerning a dismissed staff representative, shows what ILO-AT and the EPO's Internal Appeals Committee boil down to



  6. Links 18/9/2019: Fedora Linux 31 Beta, PCLinuxOS 2019.09 Update

    Links for the day



  7. Links 17/9/2019: CentOS 7.7 and Funtoo Linux 1.4 Released

    Links for the day



  8. EPO is Not European

    Internationalists and patent trolls are those who stand to benefit from the 'globalisation' of low-quality and law-breaking patents such as patents on algorithms, nature and life itself; the EPO isn't equipped to serve its original goals anymore



  9. The EPO's Central Staff Committee and SUEPO (Staff Union) Respond to “Fascist Bills” Supported by EPO President António Campinos

    Raw material pertaining to the latest Campinos "scandal"; what Campinos said, what the Central Staff Committee (CSC) said, and what SUEPO said



  10. Storm Brewing in the European Patent Office After a Hot Summer

    Things aren't rosy in EPOnia (to say the least); in fact, things have been getting a lot worse lately, but the public wouldn't know judging by what media tells the public (almost nothing)



  11. Why I Once Called for Richard Stallman to Step Down

    Guest post from the developer who recently authored "Getting Stallman Wrong Means Getting The 21st Century Wrong"



  12. As Richard Stallman Resigns Let's Consider Why GNU/Linux Without Stallman and Torvalds Would be a Victory to Microsoft

    Stallman has been ejected after a lot of intentionally misleading press coverage; this is a dark day for Software Freedom



  13. Links 16/9/2019: GNU Linux-libre 5.3, GNU World Order 13×38, Vista 10 Breaks Itself Again

    Links for the day



  14. Links 16/9/2019: Qt Quick on Vulkan, Metal, and Direct3D; BlackWeb 1.2 Reviewed

    Links for the day



  15. Richard Stallman's Controversial Views Are Nothing New and They Distract From Bill Gates' Vastly Worse Role

    It's easier to attack Richard Stallman (RMS) using politics (than using his views on software) and media focus on Stallman's personal views on sexuality bears some resemblance to the push against Linus Torvalds, which leans largely on the false perception that he is sexist, rude and intolerant



  16. Links 16/9/2019: Linux 5.3, EasyOS Releases, Media Backlash Against RMS

    Links for the day



  17. Openwashing Report on Open Networking Foundation (ONF): When Open Source Means Collaboration Among Giant Spying Companies

    Massive telecommunications oligopolies (telecoms) are being described as ethical and responsible by means of openwashing; they even have their own front groups for that obscene mischaracterisation and ONF is one of those



  18. 'Open Source' You Cannot Run Without Renting or 'Licensing' Windows From Microsoft

    When so-called ‘open source’ programs strictly require Vista 10 (or similar) to run, how open are they really and does that not redefine the nature of Open Source while betraying everything Free/libre software stands for?



  19. All About Control: Microsoft is Not Open Source But an Open Source Censor/Spy and GitHub/LinkedIn/Skype Are Its Proprietary Censorship/Surveillance Tools

    All the big companies which Microsoft bought in recent years are proprietary software and all of the company’s big products remain proprietary software; all that “Open Source” is to Microsoft is “something to control and censor“



  20. The Sad State of GNU/Linux News Sites

    The ‘media coup’ of corporate giants (that claim to be 'friends') means that history of GNU/Linux is being distorted and lied about; it also explains prevalent lies such as "Microsoft loves Linux" and denial of GNU/Free software



  21. EPO President Along With Bristows, Managing IP and Other Team UPC Boosters Are Lobbying for Software Patents in Clear and Direct Violation of the EPC

    A calm interpretation of the latest wave of lobbying from litigation professionals, i.e. people who profit when there are lots of patent disputes and even expensive lawsuits which may be totally frivolous (for example, based upon fake patents that aren't EPC-compliant)



  22. Links 15/9/2019: Radeon ROCm 2.7.2, KDE Frameworks 5.62.0, PineTime and Bison 3.4.2

    Links for the day



  23. Illegal/Invalid Patents (IPs) Have Become the 'Norm' in Europe

    Normalisation of invalid patents (granted by the EPO in defiance of the EPC) is a serious problem, but patent law firms continue to exploit that while this whole 'patent bubble' lasts (apparently the number of applications will continue to decrease because the perceived value of European Patents diminishes)



  24. Patent Maximalists, Orbiting the European Patent Office, Work to 'Globalise' a System of Monopolies on Everything

    Monopolies on just about everything are being granted in defiance of the EPC and there are those looking to make this violation ‘unitary’, even worldwide if not just EU-wide



  25. Unitary Patent (UPC) Promotion by Team Battistelli 'Metastasising' in Private Law Firms

    The EPO's Albert Keyack (Team Battistelli) is now in Team UPC as Vice President of Kilburn & Strode LLP; he already fills the media with lies about the UPC, as one can expect



  26. Microsoft Targets GNU/Linux Advocates With Phony Charm Offensives and Fake 'Love'

    The ways Microsoft depresses GNU/Linux advocacy and discourages enthusiasm for Software Freedom is not hard to see; it's worth considering and understanding some of these tactics (mostly assimilation-centric and love-themed), which can otherwise go unnoticed



  27. Proprietary Software Giants Tell Open Source 'Communities' That Proprietary Software Giants Are 'Friends'

    The openwashing services of the so-called 'Linux' Foundation are working; companies that are inherently against Open Source are being called "Open" and some people are willing to swallow this bait (so-called 'compromise' which is actually surrender to proprietary software regimes)



  28. Microsoft Pays the Linux Foundation for Academy Software Foundation, Which the Linux Foundation is Outsourcing to Microsoft

    Microsoft has just bought some more seats and more control over Free/Open Source software; all it had to do was shell out some 'slush funds'



  29. Links 14/9/2019: SUSE CaaS Platform, Huawei Laptops With GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  30. Links 13/9/2019: Catfish 1.4.10, GNOME Firmware 3.34.0 Release

    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