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 1/9/2014: Poettering on systemd, ITNews on DBMSs

    Links for the day



  2. Moving Away From Windows to GNU/Linux and the Abandonment of Windows as the Modest Proposal These Days

    Morale of GNU/Linux and an embrace of GNU/Linux is very high, despite recent propaganda from Microsoft MVPs and boosters (primarily security-themed and Munich-themed FUD)



  3. Korean Press Slams Microsoft Over Patent Extortion Against Linux/Android as New Abuses Resurface

    Harsh words from the national press of South Korea as Nokia's role in Microsoft's anti-Linux tactics becomes more apparent



  4. More Good News About Patents and Their Demise in the United States

    A roundup of news about software patents and patent trolls in the land where these thrive



  5. Links 31/8/2014: Linux 3.12.27, Akademy 2014

    Links for the day



  6. Links 30/8/2014: Jailhouse 0.1, *buntu 14.10 Beta

    Links for the day



  7. Links 28/8/2014: Many New Games, CTO of Red Hat Steps Down

    Links for the day



  8. We Are Gradually Winning the Battle Against Software Patents

    The once-elusive war on software patents is finally leading to some breakthrough and even the Federal Circuit reinforces the trend of software patents' demise



  9. Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) Companies Versus FOSS Moles (VMware, Sonatype, Xamarin)

    A look at three entities which pretend to be pro-FOSS but are actually FOSS-hostile and very much determined to replace FOSS with proprietary software



  10. Links 27/8/2014: GNU/Linux in Space, China, LinuxCon

    Links for the day



  11. FUD Against Google and FOSS Security Amid Microsoft Windows Security Blunders

    In the age of widespread fraud due to Microsoft Windows with its back doors there is an attempt to shift focus to already-fixed flaws/deficiencies in competitors of Microsoft



  12. Microsoft Spin Watch: IDG Turns to More Microsoft Propaganda, Hires Microsoft Boosters

    Media in Microsoft's pocket is telling Microsoft's lies and deceives the public for Microsoft's bottom line



  13. Microsoft's Massive Tax Evasion Becomes Better Known

    A new report about Microsoft's admission that it plays dirty tricks with tax (sometimes using moles in government) is increasing awareness of Microsoft's criminal aspects



  14. Links 25/8/2014: China's Linux Revolution Imminent

    Links for the day



  15. Links 24/8/2014: GNU/Linux Specialisation and Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  16. Links 23/8/2014: GNU/Linux Growth

    Links for the day



  17. Microsoft-Funded Attacks on Android Security and Patent/Copyright

    A look back at examples of people who smear Android and are receiving (or received) money from Microsoft



  18. Blowback in Chile and Munich After Microsoft Intervention

    Microsoft's attacks on the digital sovereignty of countries involves lobbying, corruption, an attack on standards (e.g. ODF), an attack on FOSS policies, and even an attack on accurate reporting (truth itself)



  19. The End of Microsoft is Nigh

    A look back at a tough year for Microsoft and a not-so-promising future



  20. Links 22/8/2014: Linux Foundation LFCS, LFCE

    Links for the day



  21. UPS Burned by Microsoft Windows, Gives Away Massive Number of Credit Card Details

    UPS is the latest victim of Microsoft's shoddy back door with software on top of it (Windows); attempts to blame FOSS for data compromise actually divert attention from the real culprit, which is proprietary software



  22. Microsoft's Funding of ALEC and Other Systemic Corruption

    Microsoft role in writing of laws by proxy, via groups such as ALEC



  23. Microsoft is Still Preying on British Taxpayers, Playing Politics

    Some news from the UK showing how Microsoft uses politics to extract money out of taxpayers, irrespective of their preferences



  24. Microsoft's Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures is Collapsing as 20% of Staff Laid Off

    More good news regarding the demise of patents as Microsoft's leading patent proxy is collapsing more rapidly than anyone ever imagined and software patents too are collectively doubted



  25. Links 21/8/2014: Conferences of Linux Foundation, Elephone Emerges

    Links for the day



  26. Links 20/8/2014: Linux Event, GNOME Milestone

    Links for the day



  27. Corruption Watch: Microsoft Lobbying Designed to Kill Chile's Free Software Policy and Promote Microsoft With Subsidies, More Dirty Tricks Emerge in Munich

    icrosoft is systematically attacking migrations to GNU, Linux and Free software, using dirty tricks, as always



  28. Vista 8 Such a Disaster That Even Microsoft Cannot Cope With It, Vapourware Tactics Start Early

    Microsoft's Windows-powered services are failing and Windows gets bricked by Microsoft patches, whereupon we are seeing yet more of Microsoft's vapourware tactics (focusing in imaginary, non-existent versions of Windows)



  29. On BlackBerry and Other Patent Trolls

    A roundup regarding patent trolls, starting with the bigger and latest joiner, BlackBerry's new patents apparatus



  30. Links 19/8/2014: Humble Jumbo Bundle 2 Betrayal, Mercedes-Benz Runs GNU/Linux

    Links for the day


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