06.18.11

Gemini version available ♊︎

The Indoctrination of Engineers by Patent Lawyers and Monopolists

Posted in Intellectual Monopoly, Patents at 11:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

PHB (Pointy-Haired Boss)Summary: How people who are against software patents eventually become named for companies’ patent monopolies

Clearly enough, there is a point where paying a wage becomes conditional upon no longer being truthful to oneself. This subject was discussed yesterday in IRC and also mentioned a few years back when we saw Novell/GNOME people applying for software patents (due to the employer’s pressure). These are patents that end up in Microsoft’s hands, attacking Linux and other Free/open source software. Remember what Java’s inventor wrote about his patents after these had been used against projects complementary to Java.

Developers do not have misconceptions about patents. To patent lawyers it’s like a faith; it doesn’t matter what is true, as long as it’s convenient. The main victim is the wider public, on whom the large corporations and their lawyers are waging a war. Many members of the publics, who are supposed to be represented by politicians, really do fall for the illusion of patents correlating with innovation, where the relation is falsely assume to be causal. The only causality here is that patents cause decreased pace of innovation as they offer exclusive privileges, a monopoly of sorts.

Members of the public are under no obligation to drink the Kool-Aid, but what happens when one’s wage depends on such vidws? The culture of indoctrination by managers is one that is very dangerous for the same reason that soldiers blindly obeying orders from ‘superiors’ can lead to catastrophe. It removes logic and ethics, resulting in what’s sometimes called “machine men” (or women, to be politically correct these days).

Several months ago we showed that the partly Microsoft-owned Facebook had become a patent bully. It is amassing software patents either by filing or by buying them. This new article tells us that inside Facebook the engineers do not like patents, but they are being pressured to change their views:

Facebook’s “hack-a-thons” are the stuff of geek legend. Every month or two, software engineers stay up all night to brainstorm new features and write code to create them.

Refrigerators are stocked with Red Bull. Chinese food is delivered. House music plays till morning — and so do some of Facebook Inc.’s in-house lawyers.

Patent counsel Nair Flores’ input so impressed the engineers at one recent session that they gave her a hack-a-thon “hero” award: a replica of the helmet worn by Boba Fett in “The Empire Strikes Back.”

“Being able to relate and integrate at the hack-a-thon got huge respect from the engineers,” says Facebook General Counsel Theodore Ullyot.

Since Ullyot’s arrival in 2008, he and his team have made patents a priority. One thing they’re doing is trying to coax more patents from the engineers by breaking down the walls that separate them from lawyers.

How shameful. This is what the patent lawyers bring to a lively culture of code. They are not there to breed innovation but to create fences. It ought to be mentioned that, as we showed many times before, present and past Microsoft developers occasionally speak out against software patents. It is a risky opinion for them to share because their paycheck depends on it. Part of their wage comes from patent extortion by Microsoft.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

A Single Comment

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    June 18, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Gravatar

    Just another reason Facebook can be broken up and disbanded. Absolutely no value added.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 02/02/2023: KDE Gear 22.12.2 and LibreOffice 7.5

    Links for the day



  2. Linux News or Marketing Platform?

    Ads everywhere: Phoronix puts them at the top, bottom, navigation bar, left, and right just to read some Microsoft junk (puff pieces about something that nobody other than Microsoft even uses); in addition there are pop-ups asking for consent to send visitors’ data to hundreds of data brokers



  3. Daily Links at Techrights Turn 15, Time to Give Them an Upgrade

    This year we have several 15-year anniversaries; one of them is Daily Links (it turned 15 earlier this week) and we've been working to improve these batches of links, making them a lot more extensive and somewhat better structured/clustered



  4. Back to Focusing on Unified Patent Court (UPC) Crimes and Illegal Patent Agenda, Including the EPO's

    The EPO's (European Patent Office, Europe's second-largest institution) violations of constitutions, laws and so on merit more coverage, seeing that what's left of the "media" not only fails to cover scandalous things but is actively cheering for criminals (in exchange for money)



  5. European Patent Office Staff Votes in Favour of Freedom of Association (97% of Voters in Support)

    The Central Staff Committee (CSC) at the EPO makes a strong case for António Campinos to stop breaking and law and actually start obeying court orders (he’s no better than Benoît Battistelli and he uses worse language already)



  6. Links 02/02/2023: Glibc 2.37 and Go 1.20

    Links for the day



  7. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 01, 2023

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 01, 2023



  8. Links 01/02/2023: Security Problems, Unrest, and More

    Links for the day



  9. Links 01/02/2023: Stables Kernels and Upcoming COSMIC From System76

    Links for the day



  10. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 31, 2023

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 31, 2023



  11. Links 31/01/2023: Catchup Again, Wayland in Xfce 4.20

    Links for the day



  12. Links 31/01/2023: elementary OS 7

    Links for the day



  13. Intimidation Against Nitrux Development Team Upsets the Community and Makes the Media Less Trustworthy

    Nitrux is being criticised for being “very unappealing”; but a look behind the scenes reveals an angry reviewer (habitual mouthpiece of the Linux Foundation and Linux foes) trying to intimidate Nitrux developers, who are unpaid volunteers rather than “corporate” developers



  14. Links 31/01/2023: GNOME 44 Wallpapers and Alpha

    Links for the day



  15. Free and Open Source Software Developers' European Meeting (FOSDEM) and KU Leuven Boosting Americans and Cancellers of the Father of Free Software

    The Free Software Foundation (FSF) and its founder, Richard M. Stallman (RMS), along with the SFLC one might add, have been under a siege by the trademark-abusing FSFE and SFC; Belgium helps legitimise the ‘fakes’



  16. Techrights in the Next 5 or 10 Years

    Now that I’m free from the shackles of a company (it deteriorated a lot after grabbing Gates Foundation money under an NDA) the site Techrights can flourish and become more active



  17. 60 Days of Articles About Sirius 'Open Source' and the Long Road Ahead

    The Sirius ‘Open Source’ series ended after 60 days (parts published every day except the day my SSD died completely and very suddenly); the video above explains what’s to come and what lessons can be learned from the 21-year collective experience (my wife and I; work periods combined) in a company that still claims, in vain, to be “Open Source”



  18. IRC Proceedings: Monday, January 30, 2023

    IRC logs for Monday, January 30, 2023



  19. Taking Techrights to the Next Level in 2023

    I've reached a state of "closure" when it comes to my employer (almost 12 years for me, 9+ years for my wife); expect Techrights to become more active than ever before and belatedly publish important articles, based on longstanding investigations that take a lot of effort



  20. The ISO Delusion: When the Employer Doesn’t Realise That Outsourcing Clients' Passwords to LassPass After Security Breaches Is a Terrible Idea

    The mentality or the general mindset at Sirius ‘Open Source’ was not compatible with that of security conscientiousness and it seemed abundantly clear that paper mills (e.g. ISO certification) cannot compensate for that



  21. Links 30/01/2023: Plasma Mobile 23.01 and GNU Taler 0.9.1

    Links for the day



  22. EPO Management Isn't Listening to Staff, It's Just Trying to Divide and Demoralise the Staff Instead

    “On 18 January 2023,” the staff representatives tell European Patent Office (EPO) colleagues, “the staff representation met with the administration in a Working Group on the project “Bringing Teams Together”. It was the first meeting since the departure of PD General Administration and the radical changes made to the project. We voiced the major concerns of staff, the organization chaos and unrest caused by the project among teams and made concrete proposals.”



  23. Links 30/01/2023: Coreboot 4.19 and Budgie 10.7

    Links for the day



  24. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 29, 2023

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 29, 2023



  25. [Meme] With Superheroes Like These...

    Ever since the new managers arrived the talent has fled the company that falsely credits itself with "Open Source"



  26. Not Tolerating Proprietary 'Bossware' in the Workplace (or at Home in Case of Work-From-Home)

    The company known as Sirius ‘Open Source’ generally rejected… Open Source. Today’s focus was the migration to Slack.



  27. The ISO Delusion: A Stack of Proprietary Junk (Slack) Failing Miserably

    When the company where I worked for nearly 12 years spoke of pragmatism it was merely making excuses to adopt proprietary software at the expense of already-working and functional Free software



  28. Debian 11 on My Main Rig: So Far Mostly OK, But Missing Some Software From Debian 10

    Distributions of GNU/Linux keep urging us to move to the latest, but is the latest always the greatest? On Friday my Debian 10 drive died, so I started moving to Debian 11 on a new drive and here's what that did to my life.



  29. Stigmatising GNU/Linux for Not Withstanding Hardware Failures

    Nowadays "the news" is polluted with a lot of GNU/Linux-hostile nonsense; like with patents, the signal-to-noise ratio is appalling and here we deal with a poor 'report' about "Linux servers" failing to work



  30. Microsofters Inside Sirius 'Open Source'

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ has been employing incompetent managers for years — a sentiment shared among colleagues by the way; today we examine some glaring examples with redacted communications to prove it


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