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

05.31.11

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

2 Comments

  1. Agent_Smith said,

    June 1, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Gravatar

    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. Links 28/5/2015: SourceForge Hijack, RIP Marco Pesenti Gritti

    Links for the day



  2. Censorship on Reddit Has Gotten (Condé) Nasty and Silent, Even Actively Silenced

    Condé Nast has turned Reddit into a platform of censorship after the acquisition



  3. The Supreme Court of the United States Helps Patent Trolls

    In an unforeseen kind of ruling, the same court which slapped down a lot of software patents last year is now legitimising the actions of a patent troll



  4. Patent Lawyers Fight Hard for the Future of Software Patents

    Media that is dominated by patent lawyers and targets an audience of patent lawyers refuses to accept the post-Alice reality



  5. Fortune Glorifies Patent Troll Jay Walker (Patent Utility)

    Jay Walker, a patent troll, creates a Web-based trolling/'licensing' service and the corporate media helps him



  6. Stealing Android's Thunder, Making It All About Apple and Microsoft During Google I/O

    Misleading articles and conjoined media/analyst attacks on Android coincide with Google's event where major Android announcements are being made



  7. British Government May be a Step Closer to GNU/Linux (on the Desktops, Not Just Servers)

    The British government stops paying the criminal company that blackmails its members, thereby increasing the possibility of complete escape from proprietary software



  8. Microsoft's Patent Allies LG and Sony Agree to Put Microsoft Inside Android

    LG and Sony (of Rockstar Consortium) follow Samsung and Dell in Microsoft's campaign to turn Android into 'Microsoft Android' using patents-induced pressure/leverage



  9. Yet Another Major Security Deficiency in UEFI

    UEFI is inherently insecure, more so than the alternatives which it strives to replace, including Free/libre ones



  10. Links 27/5/2015: Fedora 22 is Out, Mandriva Liquidated

    Links for the day



  11. Patent Scope at the EPO is Totally Out of Control, UPC Will Make Things Worse

    A look at the practical issues with the EPO, where patent scope and litigation scope have been vastly extended so as to benefit multinational corporations and possibly patent trolls



  12. Links 26/5/2015: Reviews of Kubuntu 15.04, Linux 4.1 RC5

    Links for the day



  13. Süddeutsche Zeitung Says Talking Helps While EPO Management Back-stabs Other Side of the Table

    German media gives the impression that there is peace and harmony now that Benoît Battistelli and his circle of power speaks to staff, but nothing is said about simultaneous (albeit covert) attacks against that staff



  14. Large Corporations Call the Shots in US Patent Reform

    A reminder of where we stand on the issue of patent 'reform' in the US and who is controlling or shaping it



  15. Microsoft Puts Proprietary Windows and Hyper-V Inside the Free Software-Centric OpenStack

    OpenStack, which celebrates rapid growth in this month's event in Canada, is facing a proprietarisation threat from Microsoft



  16. Microsoft's Secret Lobbying, Bullying, and the Long History of Blackmailing Politicians Around the World

    British media covers Microsoft's abuse in the UK, but there are many similar incidents, and not just in the UK



  17. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Benoît Battistelli and Four EPO Suicides

    German press article from April 2015 (with translations)



  18. Links 24/5/2015: CrossOver 14.1.3, NTFS-3G Vulnerability

    Links for the day



  19. Links 23/5/2015: Fedora 22 to May 26th, Netflix in SteamOS

    Links for the day



  20. The Patents Production 'Industry' (Patent Lawyers) Still Fights Hard to Salvage Software Patents

    A review of recent writings about software patents and patents on business methods in the United States, demonstrating that patent lawyers have gotten very vocal and sneaky (trying to evade the rules)



  21. Patents as a Marketing Strategy: USPTO Now Part of the Advertising Industry

    The existence of publicity patents, or patents whose sole purpose is to advertise some products, serves to discredit the US patent office, which was originally set up to promote science and technology



  22. Microsoft Blackmails and Extorts British Politicians Over Open Standards and Free Software-Leaning Policies

    Microsoft's digital imperialism in the UK getting defended using blackmail, reminding a lot of Brits that Microsoft is just as evil as ever before



  23. Microsoft Gives Another Bug a Name, This Time Logjam™

    The Microsoft crowd is good only at marketing, even when it comes to small bugs in software



  24. Links 22/5/2015: Fedora 22 Final Release is Near, Canonical IPO Considered

    Links for the day



  25. More Utter Shame Unveiled at Battistelli's EPO: Intimidation Tactics With Help From 'Control Risks'

    The unaccountable thugs who run the EPO have hired London-based spooks to help silence their opposition and their critics



  26. GNU/Linux Still Under Attack From Apple and Microsoft, Patents Remain the Weapon of Choice

    A timely reminder of the importance of patent matters, for they are being used to eliminate the zero-cost advantage of Free/libre software and make it more proprietary, privacy-infringing, and user-hostile (as a result of blackmail)



  27. Gartner Group and NASSCOM: Will Lie for FUD, on Behalf of Microsoft and Proprietary Software

    Some of the latest arguments against Free/libre software turn out to be arriving from couriers of Microsoft and its agenda



  28. Windows is a Franchise in Demise, Don't Believe the Hype

    Ongoing propaganda about Vista 10, 'cloud', and other buzzwords or brands are put in perspective



  29. Links 21/5/2015: Fedora 22 RC2, CERN Chooses OpenStack

    Links for the day



  30. Microsoft is Again Showing Its Hatred of Free/Open Source Software by Lobbying the Indian Government to Drop a Rational National Policy

    Microsoft decides to attack Free/Open Source software (FOSS) in India, where the corporate media is very much complicit in misleading the public


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts