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04.16.11

How Microsoft Florian ‘Cooks’ Spin

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Patents at 4:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Witch's house

Summary: How mobbyists game the press and patterns for journalists to watch out for if they wish to avoid being deceived and exploited

In my “Inbox” I have over 100 messages from Microsoft Florian. Not all of them are personal. Florian is shy to admit this, but his operation is based on reuse of text for blog comments (he shut down comments in his own blogs after he had found them irritating) and also for E-mails, which he uses to embed his name and his often incorrect claims inside news articles. Maybe he pondered sending it to one zillion reporters, hoping that one in a zillion will give it room in a post/article. Maybe that’s how the lobbying industry works, who knows? I sure don’t. But what I do know what I was sent and I received admissions too. Here is an example of a message:

From: Florian Mueller
To: “Roy Schestowitz”
Subject: Bilski decision doesn’t invalidate even one software patent
Date: Mon, 28 Jun 2010 18:53:58 +0200

(sad story… and this here is an example of my emails to journalists when news break)

Please feel free to use in your reporting on the Bilski decision any of these comments. I’m the author of the FOSS Patents blog (and founder and former director of the NoSoftwarePatents campaign) on the Bilski decision and what it means for the patentability of software.

Here are a few select quotes, and further below the URL of my posting and the complete text.

“Unfortunately, the Supreme Court delivered an opinion that doesn’t help the cause of partial or complete abolition of software patents at all.”

“[T]he court’s majority position is about the most liberal reasoning that it could have been. Only a decision to uphold the Bilski patent could have been any less restrictive.

“Simply put, the Supreme Court’s decision does not do away with even one software patent that already exists, nor does it raise the bar for the future.”

“The decision announced today makes it clear that a majority of the Supreme Court wanted to give the abolition of even only a small percentage of all software patents the widest berth possible.”

“This US decision is even more disappointing when taking into account the global trend.” [then mentions political process in New Zealand and court decision in Germany]

“The position that software patents should be abolished isn’t nearly as popular among judges and politicians as it is in the free and open source software community.”

The upcoming Defensive Patent License (DPL) is recommended at the end of the blog posting.

Here’s the URL and the full text:

Then comes ego-surfing. He can show other people how the prior mentions (which he mass-mailed for) supposedly give him credibility. It’s a chain of FUD, just like Microsoft with the FAT patent (using prior settlements to discourage re-examination).

It’s a typical recipe of “please use my quotes”; “here are samples you can use” (not exact words). I received loads of those, even after pointing out to him that he is mass-mailing while hiding it, which I did not appreciate. In fact, judging by the headers it seems like a personal message, but after a while I could see what he was up to and then he sent me this explanation:

From: Florian Mueller
To: “Roy Schestowitz”
Subject: EU launches investigation against IBM over mainframe practices
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 2010 15:33:54 +0200

(this goes to multiple recipients but I didn’t want to use an undisclosed
list because of potential problems with spam filters; nor do I use a mailer
tool ;-)

[...]

Those “spam filters”, eh? They are a hindrance to lobbyists. Florian and his bully friends from Microsoft can try all they want to gag those who explain their ‘algorithm’ (Florian has not patented this lobbying algorithm/business method yet, has he?), but people deserve to know the truth.

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A Single Comment

  1. twitter said,

    April 16, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Gravatar

    Florian has been successful at gaming Slashdot. His smears of Groklaw and Techrights that closely followed PJ’s retirement announcement so annoyed me that I decided to see what Florian Mueller has been telling Slashdot. He managed to inject his opinion 16 times over the last year, mostly to FUD Microsoft competitors. Each of those 16 Slashdot articles represents many more Microsoft press publications. Compare the prolific bad mouthing of Red Hat, Google, IBM, RMS, the Free Software Foundation and others to his lack of concern for Microsoft. Searching his blog we find:

    No mention of Intellectual Ventures
    No mention of Nathan Myhrvold
    He mentions Microsoft’s Patent Lawyer 4 times, mostly to lead people to read Microsoft’s opinion.

    I once asked him to read my Microsoft Software Patent Extortion Timeline, and asked him why hed did not persue Microsoft and their obvious attacks on gnu/linux and software freedom. He was silent at the time. I now see he produced this lame excuse of “Microsoft’s cooperative approach to patents.” In his defense of Microsoft, he dismisses accusations that he’s a Microsoft lobbiest that can’t be trusted. Then, he tells us,

    Microsoft doesn’t use its patents in a destructive way. They don’t just sit on their patents without doing nothing, but they’re a cooperative right holder who doesn’t use them to shut out competition. … Developers, however, generally like FOSS. So I can’t see how Microsoft would go to war against the community. … there’s a pretty good chance that Microsoft’s peaceful coexistence with FOSS will continue and become ever more fruitful. … Microsoft doesn’t have that kind of problem [open washing]. … the most one can realistically expect a patent holder to do is to grant licenses on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. … License deals are generally good news … Microsoft only sued those companies because they were absolutely unwilling to do a license deal. In each of those cases, … The key thing to me is that all of those lawsuits could have been avoided easily. If Microsoft continues to use its patents in the cooperative, reasonable way it has used them so far, then I don’t think there’s a threat to FOSS projects or companies.

    This is a disgraceful defense of Microsoft’s strategy against free software. According to Microsoft email exposed in the Comes vrs Microsoft anti-trust case, it is clear that Microsoft’s goal was to impose external costs, “risks” and fear on gnu/linux users and companies. The attack was planned in 2002, executed in 2004 and continues to this day. Microsoft brags that they have netted dozens if not hundreds of license payers, companies that use software that Microsoft does not own. Florian describes this judicial extortion as “cooperative,” “fair,” “reasonable” and “non discriminatory.” I wonder if he wold feel the same way if I were to tell him that I have a patent on FUD, but I don’t want him to stop writing FUD, I just want my fair share of his compensation, 25% should do, otherwise I’ll tie him up in court for the next decade, embargo his writing in the US and EU and set a host of spinners to work on his reputation through my extensive network of technical publications, PR firms, lawyers and lobbiests. As soon as he bothers to pay, I’ll set half a dozen proxies after him. When that is someone else’s reality, he’s OK with it.

    His recent work has also cost him a lot of his reputation. People noticed he was the source of Android copyright FUD and thought poorly of it. The attacks on “Groklie,” PJ, will probably cost him more. In typical Microsoft bully fashion, he’s blaming the hit to his reputation on PJ and others who notice what he’s doing.

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