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


Linus Torvalds Reiterates His Hatred of Software Patents

Posted in Bill Gates, FSF, GNU/Linux, IBM, Kernel, Microsoft at 12:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

[Deliberate use of the word “hatred” because Microsoft criticism is not “Microsoft hatred” (loaded term [1, 2, 3) as he once called it.]

“It’s certainly a lot more likely that Microsoft violates patents than Linux does [...] Basic operating system theory was pretty much done by the end of the 1960s. IBM probably owned thousands of really ‘fundamental’ patents [...] The fundamental stuff was done about half a century ago and has long, long since lost any patent protection.”

Linus Torvalds, 2007

Summary: Defense of Torvalds’ stance on patents and criticism of the spineless ‘Guardian’, which has become preoccupied and entangled with bizarre corporate agenda

IT HAS got to be hard for Torvalds to speak out. When he criticises Microsoft or Apple technologies, then the Wintel press portrays him as a basher, as someone who is immature and disrespectful. When he announced Linux 3.0 Microsoft Jack decided to go with a rather malicious headline and spin that negatively, as expected. When he speaks out against software patents Microsoft Florian repeats his smears of the funding sources of the Linux Foundation (which have the same inclination as many of the FSF’s funders) and other Microsoft boosters point to Torvalds’ patents that are not software patents and were acquired on behalf of an old employer of his. Linus Torvalds does not advocate software patenting and he never caved and got lured into it. “Muchas patentes son totalmente ridículas” says a new headline from Argentina (in Spanish), which basically quotes Mr. Torvalds. It is abundantly clear what his position is and nevertheless, Microsoft apologists for the most part wish to distort this fact. Likewise, some detractors of Techrights tried to portray yours truly as an apologist or hypocrite on the subject of software patents because some people in my field — not myself — are pursuing patents. I do not publicly attack other people my field or even my colleagues, but I do attack the practice of patenting in general. To expect Torvalds to attack his paymaster IBM in public is unreasonable. He probably knows IBM's stance and just being paid by IBM (like the FSF is) does not mean he inherits the same principles. There is some serious distortion of views these days, sometimes being the fault of lawyers who try to make it seem like their views are the views of programmers. Likewise, news which professes to be a watchdog has in fact become the rich men’s attack dog.

Glyn Moody, who used to write for the now-Gates-funded Guardian (which is promoting patents, even in Europe), has had enough of that. Not only does he show that Gates is a hypocrite but he also shows that the Gates-funded Guardian has lost its way. To quote:

That’s what Bill Gates said in 1991. He changed his mind, of course, when he realised that Microsoft could use its huge wealth to acquire vast numbers of software patents and deploy them as a weapon to crush or tax competitors. Granting software patents in the UK would simply allow that strategy to be applied here. It would be insanity to hand over such a huge advantage to the well-funded, established US software houses in this way.

That’s why the Hargreaves report was quite correct that the status quo must be preserved: to do anything else would probably spell the end of the UK software industry as we know it.

If the errors of the article are easy enough to rebut, there remains one more troubling issue: why on earth is the Guardian running it? At least the attack on open source that it published last week was flagged up in the headline as a comment piece – that’s fair enough. But the current post in the Guardian Technology Blog has no such heading. The author’s background is given at the foot of the piece, but a naïve reader would still assume that his views are shared by the Guardian. Are they? Does the Guardian really believe that the UK should emulate the US and allow software patents? If so, what on earth is it the guardian of, these days – intellectual monopolies?

I have occasionally read The Guardian since I was a teenager, even on this PDA on which I am typing this blog post. This publication is no longer to be treated as defender of the people. Many publications perished because of the Internet; The Guardian is now surviving in rich men’s pockets. It is no way to be credible. It’s more like controlled opposition, depending on who pays.

One of Gates’ boosters, Heim, wrote that “Cooper, the journalism professor, finds it “laughable” when media claim Gates money doesn’t influence their coverage.”

“It would be naive to believe big-money foundations don’t play the same game that corporations and other special interests do,” wrote Cooper. Since Gates owns a lot of key outlets and uses them to seed his propaganda, we should not expect much resentment against patents coming from these sources. Gates adores patents, it’s what he is all about and what he invests his money in.

In order for GNU/Linux to ‘win’ software patents must die. Do not expect those in power to want software patents to vanish. Protectionism supports and increases the power of those already in power. This includes patent bullies like Steve Ballmer.

‘A fund manager from one of Microsoft’s largest shareholder’s reportedly told Reuters, “Bill Gates is a ruthless capitalist. If he wanted to, he’d walk Ballmer to the door himself”.’ [Four days ago]

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


  1. Agent_Smith said,

    June 1, 2011 at 10:03 am


    Jack Schofield treats Linus without the due respect. He calls him Linux Torvalds, IMO, it’s disrespectful. But, what one could expect from a paid AstroTurfer ?

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    “Linux Torvalds”… like ‘”Microsoft Jack”… more memorable and fitting.

What Else is New

  1. TXED Courts Are Causing Businesses to Leave the District, Notably For Fear That Having Any Operations Based There is a Legal Liability

    A discussion about the infamous abundance of patent cases in the Eastern District of Texas (TXED/EDTX) and what this will mean for businesses that have branches or any form of operations there (making them subjected to lawsuits in that district even after TC Heartland)

  2. PTAB Hatred is So Intense Among the Patent 'Industry' That Even Scammers Are Hailed as Champions If They Target PTAB

    The patent microcosm is so eager to stop the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) that it's supporting sham deals (or "scams") and exploits/distorts the voice of the new USPTO Director to come up with PTAB-hostile catchphrases

  3. The Patent 'Industry' is Increasingly Mocking CAFC and Its Judges Because It Doesn't Like the Decisions

    Judgmental patent maximalists are still respecting high courts only when it suits them; whenever the outcome is not desirable they're willing to attack the legitimacy of the courts and the competence of judges, even resorting to racist ad hominem attacks if necessary

  4. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Carries on Enforcing § 101, Invalidating Software Patents and Upsetting the Patent 'Industry' in the Process

    A quick report on where PTAB stands at the moment, some time ahead of the Oil States decision (soon to come from the US Supreme Court)

  5. Luxembourg Can Become a Hub of Patent Trolls If the EPO Carries on With Its 'Reforms', Even Without the UPC

    With or without the Unified Patent Court (UPC), which is the wet dream of patent trolls and their legal representatives, the EPO's terrible policies have landed a lot of low-quality patents on the hands of patent trolls (many of which operate through city-states that exist for tax evasion -- a fiscal environment ripe for shells)

  6. The Patent 'Printing Machine' of the EPO Will Spawn Many Lawsuits and Extortions (Threats of Lawsuits), in Effect Taxing Europe

    The money-obsessed, money-printing patent office, where the assembly line mentality has been adopted and patent-printing management is in charge, is devaluing or diluting the pool of European Patents, more so with restrictions (monetary barriers) to challenging bad patents

  7. Links 17/3/2018: Varnish 6, Wine 3.4

    Links for the day

  8. Deleted EPO Tweets and Promotion of Software Patents Amid Complaints About Abuse and Demise of Patent Quality

    Another ordinary day at the EPO with repressions of workforce, promotion of patents that aren't even allowed, and Team UPC failing to get its act together

  9. Guest Post: Suspected “Whitewashing” Operations by Željko Topić in Croatia

    Articles about EPO Vice-President Željko Topić are disappearing and sources indicate that it’s a result of yet more SLAPP from him

  10. Monumental Effort to Highlight Decline in Quality of European Patents (a Quarter of Examiners Sign Petition in Spite of Fear), Yet Barely Any Press Coverage

    he media in Europe continues to be largely apathetic towards the EPO crisis, instead relaying a bunch of press releases and doctored figures from the EPO; only blogs that closely follow EPO scandals bothered mentioning the new petition

  11. Careful Not to Conflate UPC Critics With AfD or Anti-EU Elements

    The tyrannical Unified Patent Court (UPC) is being spun as something that only fascists would oppose after the right-wing, anti-EU politicians in Germany express strong opposition to it

  12. Links 15/3/2018: Qt Creator 4.6 RC, Microsoft Openwashing

    Links for the day

  13. PTAB Continues to Increase Capacity Ahead of Oil States; Patent Maximalists Utterly Upset

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) sees the number of filings up to an almost all-time high and efforts to undermine PTAB are failing pretty badly -- a trend which will be further cemented quite soon when the US Supreme Court (quite likely) backs the processes of PTAB

  14. Patent Maximalists Are Still Trying to Create a Patent Bubble in India

    Litigation maximalists and patent zealots continue to taunt India, looking for an opportunity to sue over just about anything including abstract ideas because that's what they derive income from

  15. EPO Staff Has Just Warned the National Delegates That EPO's Decline (in Terms of Patent Quality and Staff Welfare) Would Be Beneficial to Patent Trolls

    The staff of the EPO increasingly recognises the grave dangers of low-quality patents -- an issue we've written about (also in relation to the EPO) for many years

  16. The EPO is a Mess Under Battistelli and Stakeholders Including Law Firms Will Suffer, Not Just EP Holders

    As one last 'gift' from Battistelli, appeals are becoming a lot more expensive -- the very opposite of what he does to applications, in effect ensuring a sharp increase in wrongly-granted patents

  17. The EPO Under Battistelli Has Become Like China Under Xi and CPC

    The EPO is trying very hard to silence not only the union but also staff representatives; it's evidently worried that the lies told by Team Battistelli will be refuted and morale be affected by reality

  18. Links 14/3/2018: IPFire 2.19 – Core Update 119, Tails 3.6

    Links for the day

  19. Links 13/3/2018: Qt Creator 4.5.2, Tails 3.6, Firefox 59

    Links for the day

  20. Willy Minnoye (EPO) Threatened Staff With Disabilities Said to Have Been Caused by the EPO Work Pressures

    Willy Minnoye, or Battistelli's 'deputy' at the EPO until last year, turns out to have misused powers (and immunity) to essentially bully vulnerable staff

  21. IAM and IBM Want Lots of Patent Litigation in India

    Having 'championed' lobbying for litigation Armageddon in China (where IBM's practicing business units have gone), patent maximalists set their eyes on India

  22. The Patent Trolls' Lobby (IAM) Already Pressures Andrei Iancu, Inciting a USPTO Director Against PTAB

    Suspicions that Iancu might destroy the integrity of the Office for the sake of the litigation ‘industry’ may be further reaffirmed by the approach towards patent maximalists from IAM, who also participated in the shaming of his predecessor, Michelle Lee, and promoted a disgraced judge (and friend of patent trolls) for her then-vacant role

  23. Patent Trolls in the United States Increasingly Target Small Businesses Which Cannot Challenge Their Likely-Invalid Software Patents

    South by Southwest (SXSW Conference/Festivals in Austin, Texas) has a presentation about patent trolls, whose general message may be reaffirmed by recent legal actions in Texas and outside Texas

  24. EPO Staff Union Organises Protest to Complain About Inability “of the Office to Recruit the Highly Qualified Staff it Needs.”

    Having already targeted union leaders and staff representatives, the EPO may soon be going after those whom they passionately represented and the staff union (SUEPO) wants the Administrative Council to be aware

  25. Battistelli Likes to Describe His Critics as 'Nazis', Team UPC Will Attempt the Same Thing Against UPC Critics

    Demonising one's opposition or framing it as "fascist" is a classic trick; to what degree will Team UPC exploit such tactics?

  26. Session in Bavaria to Discuss the Abuses of the European Patent Office Later Today

    The EPO shambles in Munich have gotten the attention of more Bavarian politicians, more so in light of the Constitutional complaint against the UPC (now dealt with by the German FCC, which saw merit in the complaint)

  27. Links 12/3/2018: Linux 4.16 RC5, KEXI 3.1, Karton 1.0, Netrunner 18.03, Debian 9.4

    Links for the day

  28. EPO Patent 'Growth' Not Achieved But Demanded/Mandated by Battistelli, by Lowering Quality of Patents/Services

    Targets at the EPO are not actually reached but are being imposed by overzealous management which dries up all the work in a hurry in order to make examiners redundant and many European Patents worthless

  29. Doubt Over Independence of Judges at the EPO Clouds Reason in Deciding Regarding Patents on Life

    With the growing prospect of a Board of Appeal (BoA) having to decide on patentability of CRISPR 'innovation' (more like explanation/discovery), questions linger or persist about judges' ability to rule as they see fit rather than what some lunatic wants

  30. Patent Academics and CAFC Make a Living Out of Patents, But Both Must Begrudgingly Learn to Accept That Patents Went Too Far

    A look at academic pundits' views on the patent system of the United States and where the Federal Circuit (a high patent court) stands on these matters after the US Supreme Court (highest possible court) lashed out at many of its decisions, especially those from the disgraced Rader years


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