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

04.19.11

OSI President: Microsoft Florian is Spouting Nonsense (About CPTN/Microsoft-Novell Patents)

Posted in Microsoft, OSI, Patents at 4:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Michael Tiemann

Summary: Michael Tiemann says that Florian Müller “proceeds to spout nonsense” after insulting the Open Source Initiative (OSI) regarding defence of Free/Open Source software

MICROSOFT is lusting for Novell’s patents and Microsoft Florian keeps licking his lips over the possibility that Microsoft et al. will get some so-called “FOSS patents” to threaten Linux with. It’s rather transparent based on what he writes, especially the reckless gloat (and insults) in his Twitter stream. He’s not alone though.

IDG’s Jon Brodkin, known to us for the Microsoft whitewashing efforts (we recently gave examples [1, 2, 3] and he too speaks to Florian), says that “U.S. Antitrust will review Microsoft/Novell patent sale for 30 more days”. Florian is meanwhile spreading disinformation; they try to rush the judgment or push this bit of disinformation while Florian deceives people (there is an inaccurate CPTN report in ZDNet UK, maybe as a result of this) when in fact even his online friend Maureen O’Gara realises that there is no clearance. Brodkin, a Microsoft blogger, is spinning it as defence for Microsoft (“Shield… From Lawsuits”) [1, 2]; it is arguably this headline which makes him a fan of the deal, just like Florian. The patent deal is atrocious (FSF and OSI agree and even work jointly against it, in an unprecedented fashion), whereas Microsoft boosters are predicting or heralding its success before it’s even cleared. Are they trying to influence the decision by generating fallacious claims? Truthfully, we wrote about this before. Since the pro-Microsoft crowd is so eager to see those patents falling into Microsoft’s arms, we know for sure that the FSF and OSI are correct and to quote a response from “barney”, aimed at Brodkin’s spin (headline is “Novell Patent Sale to Shield Microsoft, Apple, EMC and Oracle From Lawsuits”):

Shield? don’t you mean sword

I really don’t see Microsoft, Apple, nor Oracle being passive with regards to using those patents and they way I see it, they will be used to cut down open source technology( aka Linux ) based products.

There is only one resoponse and one that does not take into account the companies’ prior attitude towards competition and how they use patents. They are aggressors. Meanwhile, the propaganda machine of Microsoft Florian kicks into gear again and the head of the OSI responds:

Florian Mueller accuses that the OSI is spouting nonsense, and then proceeds to spout nonsense. I’m calling him on it.
The FCO has clearly stated the conditions under which a deal can and must be blocked, which is when when the CPTN transaction would “create or strengthen a dominant position of one or several CPTN-investors on the markets on which they are active.” Florian thinks that is an impossibly high bar, because according to him, there’s really no way regulators can be expected to do their jobs. I reject such a cynical conclusion. And I am heartened that the regulators in both the US and EU are reading carefully both the legal requirements and the facts and evidence of the transaction. We have already seen a huge change to the structure of the CPTN transaction, indicating that there were clearly some very serious issues with the first structuring.
In the world of open source, a rejected patch is never automatically accepted merely because some random changes were made and the patch resubmitted. The patch must address the substantive issues, and must do so in a way that is accepted by the community. It is accepted when the *maintainer* says its good enough, not when the submitter claims it’s good enough.
The revised proposed CPTN transaction did address one of the many concerns raised by the OSI, but it leaves most of the concerns unaddressed. The FCO requested our input–as members of the community–and we have given our answer. We should let the FCO do their job, and not second-guess their authority, their ability, or their integrity.

As the next commenter pointed out:

I wish this summary, like most on Linux Today, had identified the author of the article. This is an important piece of information that I use when deciding whether or not to click through and read an article.

And the next one after that:

Thanks for that informative post, Michael. When is saw the link was to FOSS Patents, I decided to avoid clicking.

Barnie asks: “Florian – do you feed any of the Microsoft patent deals are justified?”

Over the last few years we have seen Microsoft make deals (it would seem by threat of legal action) extract patent deals from the likes of HTC, TomTom and many others.
Do you believe any of these deals are justified and do you believe the current system is working?

Florian appears a couple of times in this thread, only to insist on the same spin and distortion of facts (his main tactic, also against messengers he does not agree with, e.g. Groklaw and Techrights). Rainer Weikusat closes this conversation with:

> 1) If it were up to me, patents of that kind would
> not be granted in the first place.
.
But it isn’t ‘up to you’, meaning, any statement on
this from your side is entirely hypothetical: No
‘reality check’ of its truthfulness will ever occur
and in the context of the actual question, it is also
completely irrelevant.
.
> I don’t believe that it’s reasonable to grant
> 20-year monopolies on software-related ideas. This
> view is independent from whether we’re talking about
> a Microsoft FAT, Apple multitouch, Oracle virtual
> machine, Amazon one-click or Google Doodle patent
> (yes, they patented that one and the patent was
> granted recently, and in my view it’s the most
> abusrd one in this list).
.
It is at least about some original invention, as
opposed tasking someone with ‘design and implement
a way to add “long filenames” to a DOS-directory
in a way which will not disturb software written to
use 8.3 names’ (something any decent programmer should
be easily capable of) and then patenting the result
of this work in order to hamper independent,
interoperable implementations.
.
> 2) Given that such patents do exist nonetheless,
> it’s the normal course of business that right
> holders want to use them. If they grant licenses on
> reasonable terms, that’s infinitely better than any
> strategic exclusionary use of patents
.
The interesting question, however, is what precisely
constitutes ‘a reasonable term’. For instance, legally,
Linux is prohibited from being fully interoperable
with systems creating filesystems using the ‘long name
addition method’ patented by Microsoft, except
insofar proprietary kernel modules of legally dubious
status are used. And in my opinion, this is ‘strategic,
exclusionary use of patents’: While a license to use
this ‘invention’ may be available to ‘companies’ it
is only granted subject to the condition that said
companies to not participiate in large-scale
collaborative development efforts Microsoft considers
to be potentially detrimental to its ongoing business
success. This also conveniently ignores the fact that
a lot of ‘development’ is not done by ‘companies’
producing software because of its ‘sale value’ (and
thus, capable of paying royalties).

The legitimacy of Microsoft Florian in FOSS circles which he pretends to champion is at an all-time low. Anything which could be attributed to him in the past is being superseded by unacceptable deception and hostility towards software freedom, including crass behaviour and language. Florian the author is not Florian the lobbyist and he admits that he never wrote FOSS.

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

A Single Comment

  1. twitter said,

    April 19, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Gravatar

    Florian’s disgraceful defense of Microsoft patent deals is detailed here.

    I tried to post this in Linux Today but the page formatting and advertisements were too obnoxious for Akregator.

What Else is New


  1. Links 22/9/2019: KMyMoney 5.0.7, Lennart's Latest Plan

    Links for the day



  2. Summits of Open Bear Traps: The Open Core Summit and Other 'Open' Events That Actually Attack Software Freedom

    Conferences that call themselves "open" something are sometimes nothing but an attack on openness (not to mention freedom) and promotion of FUD about Free/Open Source software (FOSS); there's an ample set of examples to that effect



  3. Openwashing Report: 'Open Source' Without Any or Most of the Benefits

    The cheapening of the term "Open Source" continues; sooner or later everything out there will be called "open" irrespective of what it really is



  4. Patent Extremism is Not Normal and Not an Innocent Mindset

    Reflection upon the sad state of the European patent system and how media turns a blind eye to it; worldwide, in general, the discussion about patents is being warped by the litigation giants, whose sole goal is to maximise the number of lawsuits/shakedowns (personal gain)



  5. Links 22/9/2019: LLVM 9.0.0 and FreeBSD 12.1 Beta

    Links for the day



  6. Links 21/9/2019: Plasma 5.17 Beta in Kubuntu, Cockpit 203

    Links for the day



  7. IBM Cannot Become a True Friend of Free Software Because of Its Current Patent Policy

    IBM needs to quit bullying people/companies with software patents; that would help towards appeasement of IBM critics and sceptics



  8. When Patent 'Professionals' Sound Like Children Who Learned to Parrot Some Intentionally-Misleading Buzzwords, Myths and Lies

    With buzzwords like "AI" and misleading terms like "IP" the litigation zealots are trying to convince themselves (and the public) that software is a physical thing and a "property" which needs "protecting" from "theft"; it doesn't seem to bother these people that copyright law already covers software<



  9. The European Parliament Needs to Become More Outspoken About EPO Abuses

    There are few encouraging signs in Europe right now because the EPO's disregard for patent law (striving to just grant as many patents as possible) earned it much-needed backlash from the European Parliament



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

    Links for the day



  11. 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



  12. 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



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

    Links for the day



  14. 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



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



  17. 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



  18. 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



  19. 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)



  20. 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"



  21. 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



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

    Links for the day



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

    Links for the day



  24. 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



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

    Links for the day



  26. 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



  27. '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?



  28. 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“



  29. 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



  30. 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)


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