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


Links White Spaces, Police Hacking, Pollution and Censorship

Posted in Site News at 5:22 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reader’s Picks


Weekend Links 2011/07/30 – Amazing New OLPC and Patent Insanity

Posted in Site News at 9:25 am by Guest Editorial Team

Reader’s Picks

  • Richard Stallman warns people to avoid the temptations of the cloud.

    There is a systematic marketing campaign to drive users to entrusting their computing and their data to companies they have absolutely no reason to trust. Its buzzword is “cloud computing,” a term used for so many different computing structures that its only real meaning is: “Do it without thinking about what you’re doing.”

  • Vonage to pioneer unlimited global calling plan

    … limitless calls to fixed-line phones in more than 60 countries and to cell phones in 10 countries by their mobile phones and by dialling a special-access number. Vonage is also developing apps for smartphones including Apple’s iPhone and Google Android-based devices that will simplify the process and allow people to dial from their contact list without entering the access number.

    This is somewhat tame next to Skype’s pre-Microsoft efforts, but it is nice to see. Peer to peer services and Open Spectrum would provide the same thing at next to no cost.

  • About the #OSCON #Microsoft keynote: It’s a trap!

    See also The same old Microsoft at OSCON

  • O’Reilly OSCON Java 2011, Steven G. Harris, “Open Source, Java, and Oracle — Cracking the Code”

    PJ adds, “Oracle doesn’t have an Open Source strategy per se, unlike Sun. They view things from the perspective of lines of business. They are working to improve in communicating with the Open Source community. But the simple truth is, you can’t sue over patents and improve your relationship with the FOSS community at the same time.”

  • OLPC outlines future device specs

    solar charging, satellite Internet and external keyboard capabilities … [camera, microphone, usb2] a hybrid e-ink/LCD display capable of rendering full-motion video. The ARM-powered device is slated to run Android, Linux or Chrome, as OLPC founder Nicholas Negroponte told IDG News the organization had lost interest in Windows 8. [will sell for less than $100]

    PCs are going the way of pocket calculators as they become increasingly cheap, feature complete communication devices.

  • Defence/Police/Aggression

  • Anti-Trust

    • Report: Nortel portfolio buyers facing DOJ scrutiny

      the Justice Department is interviewing the winning companies to see if they plan on filing suits against other handset makers using Google’s Android operating system software. The department could end up placing rules and conditions on the sale based on what it hears.

      It’s good to see the DOJ wakeing up to the anti-trust implications of software patents.

  • Privacy

    • Google+’s “Identity” Controversy: No Easy Answers

      Google says that — at this time — they do not consider Google+ to be an appropriate discussion platform for persons in situations where not being anonymous might put them at risk of harm. If you sense that we don’t yet have full “closure” on some of these specific concerns you’d be right — but this is a reflection of the fundamental complexity and sometimes contrary nature of these matters, not an indication of bad faith.

    • There is no such thing as anonymous online tracking

      identification of a user affects not only future tracking, but also retroactively affects the data that’s already been collected. Identification needs to happen only once, ever, per user….
      Here are five concrete ways in which your identity can be attached to data that was initially collected without identifying information.

    • New diabolical cookies “crammed” on users

      The article and links are not browser or OS specific.

    • Microsoft’s Web map exposes phone, PC locations

      Microsoft has collected the locations of millions of laptops, cell phones, and other Wi-Fi devices around the world and makes them available on the Web without taking the privacy precautions that competitors have, CNET has learned. The vast database available through Live.com publishes the precise geographical location, which can point to a street address and sometimes even a corner of a building, of Android phones, Apple devices, and other Wi-Fi enabled gadgets.

      As usual, Microsoft is the worst offender.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • ITC to look into Samsung’s patent claims against Apple and could lock Apple out of the US market
    • HTC is trying to build around Apple patents.
    • Microsoft Back In Bed With SUSE Linux

      In controversial deal extended to the tune of $100 million, Microsoft resells SUSE Linux services and pledges not to sue on patents. … it agreed to extend by four years a controversial deal under which it resells SUSE Linux services to business customers and pledges not to sue those customers, or SUSE, for patent infringement. … [GPLv3] may prohibit payment-for-indemnification deals such as Microsoft’s arrangement with SUSE. … “Software patents fundamentally threaten every programmer’s ability to do their work, and a licensing deal like this gives the patent holder more power to control who can and can’t use a specific technique.”

    • IV Responds to NPR Expose

      ideas have value and inventors who invest time, money and emotional resources into protecting those ideas with patents have a right to recognize a return on their investments

      … and for a small fee the world’s largest patent troll promises to leave you alone.

    • Google Acquires Over 1,000 IBM Patents in July. General Counsel Kent Walker said this of the failed Nortel bids:

      We buy companies all the time — for both people and interesting technologies. This would have been north of $4 billion for none of those things. We were bidding on the right to stop people from innovating.

      The linked article uses the missleading term IP and other propaganda phrases that should be avoided.

    • That Didn’t Take Long: Spotify Sued For Patent Infringement Just Weeks After Entering US Market

      Now, you might claim that perhaps PacketVideo has a legitimate patent claim here. After all, the company has been around for well over a decade and was an early pioneer in streaming efforts. But… the details suggest not so much. … PacketVideo had nothing to do with this patent. The company just bought it a few years back.

      The US is a real basket case thanks to it’s insane laws and court system.

    • Why won’t Intellectual Ventures answer questions about its relationship with Lodsys?

      The original inventor who was awarded the patents now owned by Lodsys is bemused by the attention paid to them. He has also had to suffer a fair deal of unwarranted abuse, since he’s nothing to do with IV or Lodsys.

      The author laughably asks, “do software patents really spur innovation, or hold it back?”

    • An Offer He Couldn’t Refuse: Intellectual Property Analysis of Chris Crawford, Intellectual Vent

      An analysis using the M·CAM DOORS’ software platform was performed on almost one thousand Intellectual Venture’s most commercial (defined by time of issuance and strength of prospective prosecution options) patents. … more than 40% of these patents have potential impairment issues, suggesting weakness in the protection they offer to companies. This “mafia” seems to be using rubber bullets as their ammunition. Not only is the protection that they offer potentially weak, but the patents that IV’s affiliated shell companies have used to threaten others are also frequently found to be weakened by uncited prior art and precedent innovation. In order to illustrate the fragility of these patent war chests, an in-depth analysis was done on the Crawford patents in Oasis’ portfolio. Our analysis of the Oasis patents, specifically the ’354 patent, shows numerous uncited prior art and precedent innovation that are nearly identical to Crawford’s, making us wonder if Crawford used the United States patent system to his advantage, nabbing common knowledge ideas and passing them off as his own, until Intellectual Ventures made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

      We may not ever know the details of the arrangements between extortionists but it’s obvious that software patents should not exist.

    • Appellate Court Says Breast-Cancer Genes Can Be Patented

      The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has ruled that the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, which have been linked to hereditary breast and ovarian cancers, can be patented.
      The ruling is a victory for Myriad Genetics, which owns the BRCA patents, and it overturns a district court ruling invalidating the patents.

    • Trademarks

      • SUSE and Microsoft renew Novell deal

        SUSE is also able to offer subscription support to Microsoft’s customers for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES), Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and community distributions such as CentOS.

    • Copyrights

      • UK Police and banks enlisted in private disputes.

        It works like this: IFPI submits allegedly infringing websites to the City of London police department’s Economic Crime Directorate. Once the division has “verified the evidence,” it passes the information on to MasterCard, Visa, and now PayPal.

        Copyright violation is not a crime, it is a private offense that should be dealt with through civil courts. Without a judge, this gives big publishers a license to shut down legitimate competitors. The article is filled with propaganda terms to justify the practice.

      • Big publishers would like to extradite UK citizens to the US for punishment under unjust US laws against sharing.

        In May, American law enforcement officials opened up yet another front in this war by seeking the extradition of Richard O’Dwyer. The 23-year-old British college student is currently working on his BS in interactive media and animation. Until last year, he ran a “link site” that helped users find free movies and TV shows, many of them infringing. American officials want to try him on charges of criminal copyright infringement and conspiracy. … O’Dwyer has no obvious connection to the United States. … Erik Barnett, an assistant deputy director for ICE, has told the Guardian that the United States regards any website with a US-controlled domain like .net to be within its jurisdiction.

        People should immediately move their registrations away from US controlled domains.

      • The judge in Jamie Thomas-Rasset’s third trial reduced her judgment for file sharing, calling the jury award “appalling” and unconstitutional.

        Davis has found that the $1.5 million award was unconstitutional; he slashed it to $54,000—$2,250 per song. And even then, the amount was “a higher award than the Court might have chosen to impose in its sole discretion.”

        The music industry promised a fourth trail by escalating it up the federal chain.

      • Copyright maximalists blanketed reporters with propaganda smearing a search engine to bolster a court decision that forced the UK’s largest ISP to censor the search engine

        Since that is what they are paid to do, its PR company keeps sending me FAST’s press releases, which I studiously ignore since they are uniformly ridiculous. … there’s no aggregation whatsoever, just links: Newzbin 2 is a search engine, like Google.

        The Bloomberg article is little more than a big publisher press release and is filled with big publisher nonsense.

      • Ousted EMI boss: pirates are our best customers, suing is bad for business

        Douglas C Merrill, who left his job as Google’s CIO to be EMI’s Chief Operating Officer of New Music and President of Digital Business has given a speech in which he claims that EMI’s own research confirmed that P2P music downloaders were the label’s best customers.

      • Alcatel-Lucent Gets $70 Million in Microsoft Patent Case

        This is for the infamous mp3 patents that kept mp3 playing software out of US based gnu/linux distributions, such as Red Hat, for more than a decade. Microsoft successfully whittled the original $1.5 billion dollar award down to $70 million. It is amazing how Microsoft can threaten and extort gnu/linux users around the world with unnamed patents while saying things like, “we continue to maintain that current law requires a genuine apportionment of damages when the infringement is directed to a small feature of a feature-rich product, and we are reviewing the verdict in that light and considering next steps.”


The Same Old Microsoft at OSCON

Posted in Microsoft at 7:19 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Microsoft bought a seat at OSCON. There are problems with both what they are telling us and what others might not be able to tell us because of this. A small retrospective is in order.

Microsoft’s keynote speech at OSCON promises more “openness” and change. This is a familiar song and dance because the company has been saying the same things for nearly a decade. We can look back to Steve Ballmer’s “We’ll outsmart Open Source” talk that he gave to a 2002 conference of Microsoft MVPs:

We cannot price at zero, so we need to justify our posture and pricing. Linux isn’t going to go away–our job is to provide a better product in the marketplace. … Linux is not about free software, it is about community. It’s not like Novell, it isn’t going to run out of money … It’s weird! IBM says ‘Hey British Aerospace! Buy Linux…. From SuSE.

Mr. Ballmer laughably blustered about making Windows better at “clusters” than gnu/linux was but the rest is not so funny. Consider what happened to SuSE and Novell which received most of Microsoft’s charm offensive. SuSE became Ballnux, a taxed and Microsoft infested distribution and Novell went down the drain. Steve Ballmer’s nasty little threats about patent “liabilities” blossomed into Microsoft’s full out judicial extortion scheme.

Back in 2002, Lori Moore, vice president of product support services at Microsoft, promised a renewed “shared source” initiative.

“There are many options on the table. There are many ways to be more open, and we are reviewing ideas.”

This became the mostly failed CodePlex effort to distract and deform free software developers [2, 3, 4]. Years later, Steve Ballmer told the world that Microsoft would, “love to see all open source innovation on top of windows.” An astounding amount of effort was wasted porting free software to Microsoft’s jail but this represents a tiny, stale fraction of the free software universe and Windows itself is becoming irrelevant.

As you can see from the text at O’Reilly, “This keynote is sponsored by Microsoft,” the company paid for an audience. Richard Stallman had this to say about last year’s OSCON,

Microsoft typically demands a price for its sponsorship, a price that implies a change in the nature of the event. The price might be, let someone from Microsoft give a speech. … One way or other, Microsoft wants us to stop saying the most important thing to say: “Proprietary software is an injustice and we want to help you escape from it.”

There is no new Microsoft. The recent destruction of Skype, Nokia should be enough to prove the point.


Site Editorial Team

Posted in Site News at 12:44 am by Guest Editorial Team

Summary: Site’s editorial team is expanded

TECHRIGHTS is growing up and as part of this process of maturity we are beginning to have more authors. In the coming days we will bring you coverage of more topics than before.


Rage Against the Masochist

Posted in America, Patents at 5:32 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nathan Myhrvold

Summary: Public opinion is quickly shifting against patents after a National Public Radio (NPR) piece and also some highly excessive activities from a shell troll of Nathan Myhrvold (shown above)

WE have just written a summary following the NPR coverage that led to some very strongly-worded comments about Microsoft’s patent troll who is the world’s biggest patent troll. A lot of people were not quite aware of the seriousness of this issue.

Professor Webbink has this theory about what Lodsys is doing with Myhrvold’s acquired patent (that he passes around for other non-practising entities to sue and absorb the bad press):

To really understand why Lodsys is doing what it’s doing, we thought it would be worthwhile to ask a patent lawyer to explain it, so we contacted Patrick Igoe, the lawyer who writes the Apple Patent blog and who has pointed out some real weaknesses in the Lodsys patents.

Why, we wondered, was Lodsys first going after the little people, so to speak, first and now hitting up Rovio and Electronic Arts? Is it like SCO, lots of headline seeking, hoping people will be so scared they’ll just pay them to stop? Is it all just so much “legal” theater, in other words, with analysts popping up and advising the little people to settle with Lodsys? I gather that didn’t work. If Lodsys was following a traditional playbook and hoped to use any licensees as a foundation to next go after the big fish, are they now acknowledging that failure and heading for the deeper pockets, in hopes that will work better?

And why only claim 27 of the ’545 patent, which is what Lodsys is alleging is infringed? What is claim 27, anyhow? How could a game violate it?

The head of the FFII meanwhile discovers that ‘Amazon [is] sued for patent infringement over transactions using “a receipt having payment remittance information.”‘ He also links to this item of news about Lodsys attacking Angry Birds — a subject that even the BBC covers right now:

But here is what I would want to have asked him. Is a system that appears to reward those who acquire patents and hire lawyers and punish those who simply try to make things really going to encourage innovation?

My contact is certainly not doing much innovating right now – he’s too busy worrying about the threat of an expensive lawsuit.

That comes from Rory, who in the past did a lot of Microsoft promotion. Maybe he softened with age. Either way, the news might not be so bad for Brits. After all, it is US-based users who are likely to be prevented access to software and Britain might also see developers leaving the US and come to a haven from patent trolls, a haven such as the UK (provided they don’t sell in the US).

As a direct result of NPR coverage, “Intellectual Ventures: Another American Mafia story” was published by Stefano Maffulli. “Intellectual Ventures is the company behind Lodsys,” he explains, “the company suing independent iPhone app developers for a silly patent violation. Lodsys has no employees, it’s not making any product, it’s not producing any innovation. It sues people that create jobs and deliver products.

“Did you think that patents were introduced to foster innovation? To give an incentive for inventors to bring new products to the society and solve problems? Think again. Companies like Intellectual Ventures are just a problem for startups and innovators. Venture investor Chris Sacca even said to NPR reporters that these trolls remind him of “a mafia-style shakedown, where someone comes in the front door of your building and says, ‘It would be a shame if this place burnt down. I know the neighborhood really well and I can make sure that doesn’t happen.’”. The FSFE raised this issue in Europe many years ago. The US patent system needs to be reformed, now.”

Well, in several recent stories about patent FUD we highlighted the fact that almost nobody in today’s society should want patents. It’s the luxury of very few and it is beneficial to even fewer, maybe less than 1% of the population. In a new post titled “Android & Linux FUD”, someone asks about Oracle’s attack:

Do you think that patent issues and all this money changing hands has nothing to do with Linux? Just follow the money. While most of the legal attention focuses on Dalvik, the Android implementation of the Java virtual machine, the public perception of Linux is also tarnished to anyone who understands that Android is a Linux distribution. I can only imagine what cyanogenmod.com people think about what is going on.

Well, Oracle’s attack is already weakening and the Oracle case might yield nothing at all or only a fraction of what Oracle expected. To quote this new summary:

What If Oracle Loses The Android-Java Court Battle?


Contrary to the blog-based reports, Oracle has been at the losing end from the very beginning. The major setback was when the court ordered it to cut the number of claims from 132 to 50. Another major setback for Oracle was when USPTO rejected a majority of Oracle’s patent claims.

Oracle again faced a defeat when the judge earlier questioned the damage estimates of Ian Cockburn and asked both parties to name more experts to assess damages. An now the court has rejected Oracle’s 6.1 billion damage estimation. The court has asked Oracle to come up with a figure starting from $100 million.

Maybe the case will end in dismissal or some settlement at a low (and likely undisclosed) price. Who knows, maybe it will even go on for years like the SCO case, depending on Oracle’s stubbornness (or SCOracle’s vindictiveness). Either way, I’m away until August, so no more paten rants for a while.

100,000,000 Reasons to Boycott SUSE

Posted in Microsoft, Mono, Novell, SLES/SLED at 4:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Gates on SUSE

Summary: Microsoft gives SUSE another soft bribe ($100,000,000) to help serve Microsoft agenda

WHEN Novell signed a deal with Microsoft it was the parent company of SUSE, which was not an independent entity. Unlike a blog called “Boycott SUSE” (yes, one existed), we were just “Boycott Novell”, seeking to expose the management of the company that sold SUSE out. A couple of years later, $100 million were paid to help Novell — “help” in the sense that Microsoft boosted the bribe to Novell/SUSE following the initial deal, as Microsoft was happy with the outcome of making money from GNU/Linux server sales.

In order to eliminate free GNU/Linux and push Microsoft-taxed versions of GNU/Linux instead, Microsoft has just persuaded the Attachmate folks who run SUSE (the new management is from Attachmate) to take some more money ($100 million again) and help against the freedom of GNU/Linux, pushing software patents instead (SUSE helps validate a debt to Microsoft).

Here is the press release and the new banner under which they hide (like MoreInterop, to hide the ugliness of the patent deal).

Rob Weir writes:

Novell/SUSE renews interop agreement with Microsoft, will work together to target RedHat http://prn.to/pn8tAB http://bit.ly/r5zs1D

The problem with IBM is that it continues to support SUSE with all that Microsoft tax, especially in mainframes. Try to pressure Sutor, Weir et al. to withdraw support for SUSE. It’s just a Trojan horse, also for Mono.

Links 25/7/2011: Calculate Linux 11.6.1, CentOS 6.0 LiveCD

Posted in News Roundup at 3:19 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



  • Softpedia Linux Weekly, Issue 157
  • Kernel Space

    • Compiling Linux kernel 3.0 with Emdebian ARM toolchain

      The Emdebian project works to bring Debian on embedded platforms, with repositories of custom distributions and toolchains to cross-compile software. I wanted to try their ARM toolchains, and coincidentally the Linux kernel 3.0 has been released in these days, so I tried to cross-compile it and emulate it on QEMU. These tests have been done on my Debian “wheezy” desktop.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • Moved to Fluxbox

      After giving Unity a try on Ubuntu 11.04 and hearing that GNOME2 will be dropped in Ubuntu 11.10, I’ve decided to find a new work environment. I tested a few desktop environments and window managers and decided on Fluxbox.

    • Change Isn’t Always Bad for Linux

      Mac users who don’t like the Lion changes don’t have that same kind of latitude. There aren’t really any alternative Mac distributions they can turn to.

      Linux users are better positioned to embrace change, since it’s usually not too hard to walk away from changes we don’t agree with. So why not be a little open to changes? Why not give more UI changes an extended look before we walk away in anger or disgust?

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Top Ten of the most viewed KDE Websites

        Some readers might remember, some time back we talked about setting up stats for most of our KDE Websites. Yes, we did. And i thought it is time to share something of that with you, my highly interested readers ;)

        Let’s compile a chart of our most viewed sites.
        It’s no surprise, our highly dynamics sites are ranking very high. But which and how?

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

      • Calculate Linux 11.6.1 released

        First update for distribution Calculate Linux 11.6 has been released.
        Major Changes¶

        * Fixed KDE-applet knetworkmanager.
        * Fixed installation with the first version of Grub.
        * Fixed permissions for samba server share distfiles.
        * Fixed auto-install the video driver on to the USB-HDD.
        * Fixed saving settings.
        * To display the disk size using the binary prefix instead of decimal.
        * Improved localization of the Bulgarian language.
        * KDE updated to version 4.6.5.

      • Zorin OS 5 Lite is now available

        The Zorin OS Team are proud to release the Zorin OS 5 Lite, the lightweight version of our operating system designed for Windows users using old and low-spec computers. We have released this version ahead of schedule. This new version of Zorin OS Lite is based on Lubuntu 11.04 and uses the LXDE desktop environment, which brings new and updated packages. Many program changes were also made for this release to increase size efficiency and to improve the overall experience. Most notable in this release is that in can now fit on a CD. We have removed WINE, VLC, a few games and other programs to save space and included them into our new and exclusive program, the “Zorin OS Lite Extra Software” which allows you to install these programs easily if you wish to do so. We have also included our other exclusive programs such as our Zorin Look Changer and Internet Browser Manager in Zorin OS 5 Lite.

    • Gentoo Family

      • Sabayon 6 GNOME review

        Chromium is the only Web browser installed, but Firefox 5 and Opera 11.50 are available for installation. Adobe Flash plugin and Java JRE are installed, and with libdvdcss installed, Totem, the installed video player, has no problem playing encrypted video DVDs, Essentially, the system comes loaded with all the applications that most users will need. Need some application that is not installed? Use the package management system to search the repository and install it.

    • Red Hat Family

      • 6 wonders of CentOS 6.0

        Do you know what CentOS is?
        No, this is a not a OS which costs you only one cent to buy. Although, I bought a DVD with Linux OS for 0.01 GBP once, it was not CentOS.
        CentOS is actually free Operating System based on RedHat Enterprise Linux. In other words, group of enthusiasts took out source code of RHEL, which they have to publish as part of Linux license, re-branded it as CentOS and published for open and free usage.

      • [CentOS 6.0 (LiveCD) is out]
      • Fedora

        • Ask Fedora – 24-7

          Enter the world of Ask Fedora. Of course this is just a test instance for feedback. So test it out, ask questions, provide answers and let me know how everything is working out for you. I am primarily looking at how well it scales and whether open id and your Fedora id is working as intended but any other feedback is welcome too. If you know Django and Python and want to help out, drop me a line. We are looking to add several features, fix some issues and provide excellent integration with Fedora including but not limited to auto linking to Red Hat bugzilla, theming it and providing its own logo!

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • CrunchBang worth more than just a test run

          However, I’m on my fourth day of using CrunchBang — also known in shorthand as #! — and, for once, the temptation to use it for longer that the simple “test drive” is overwhelming, to the point where it’s completely feasible that I may be using this for quite awhile.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Flavours and Variants

            • Trying Kubuntu 11.04

              On a second thought, I am back into Kubuntu just to see how much I can endure it, I should say it is wow with all the effects as after rebooting it is with nvidia proprietary drivers and the effects are brilliant

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Linux thin client taps new Marvell ARM SoC

      Wyse Technology announced a Linux thin client based on Marvell’s new 1GHz PXA510 system-on-chip (SoC), with support for Citrix Receiver, VMware View Open Client, Wyse TCX and VDA, and Microsoft’s RDP (remote desktop protocol) 7. The Wyse T50 offers 1GB RAM, 1GB flash, DVI-I with a dual-display option, gigabit Ethernet, four USB ports, and support for 720p video within a browser.

    • Phones

      • Android

        • Apple iOS versus Android

          As Android’s popularity grows its competitors look for ways to slow it down.

          Things are looking a little rough for Android right now. Its increased popularity is not only attracting millions of new fans but is also attracting unwanted patent attention from competitors unhappy with its success.


  • Cablegate

  • Finance

    • Goldman Sachs fights bias lawsuit, cites Wal-Mart

      Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) said a recent landmark decision throwing out a class-action lawsuit against Wal-Mart (WMT.N) means it should not face a wide-ranging case accusing it of systematic bias against women.

    • The Fed Audit

      The first top-to-bottom audit of the Federal Reserve uncovered eye-popping new details about how the U.S. provided a whopping $16 trillion in secret loans to bail out American and foreign banks and businesses during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. An amendment by Sen. Bernie Sanders to the Wall Street reform law passed one year ago this week directed the Government Accountability Office to conduct the study. “As a result of this audit, we now know that the Federal Reserve provided more than $16 trillion in total financial assistance to some of the largest financial institutions and corporations in the United States and throughout the world,” said Sanders. “This is a clear case of socialism for the rich and rugged, you’re-on-your-own individualism for everyone else.”

Mainstream Press is Turning Against Software Patents

Posted in America, Asia, Europe, Patents at 5:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: The consensus is being shifted as the alleged benefits of patent systems come under question in the US, India, and elsewhere

The fight over many issues is typically fought out in the media, where public opinion can be shaped using words like “piracy”. Over the years we have seen many conformist views in the media when it comes to patents, but the consensus is now leaning towards the opposite, except in the corporate press (not the same as the mainstream, despite overlap). According to this one site, “Software patents come home to roost” now that India-based companies are trolling companies in the US, using the USPTO against its clients (showing how the USPTO harms the very same nation it is based in while India’s patent office holds back on such foolish ideas):

Most people have heard of online trolls, people who take joy in being rude and sometimes even abusive. You might not have heard of patent trolls, but they are wreaking havoc in the software business, and some developers are threatening to quit the US unless patent laws are reformed.

Patent trolls are companies that collect patents and aggressively pursue anyone they think has infringed them. Often, patent trolls have no intention of developing the technology outlined in the patents. Instead, they act opportunistically to maximise the income from their patent portfolio.

Mumbai-based Kootol Software Ltd has given notice to over 32 companies whom it claims has infringed on its US patent for “messaging, publication and real time searching technology”. Amongst the accused are giants Microsoft, Google, Apple, Amazon and IBM, as well as social media sites Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Foursquare.

“Software Patent Trolls In India” is another new headline that we found today. The article/blog post says:

Patent trolls are people or organisation that acquires a patent with the primary objective of non use of the same. Their main objective is to get maximum commercial benefit through licensing mechanism. They also intend to sue others for patent infringement and derive monetary benefits through compensation for the alleged patent infringement.

Software developers in US are frequently targeted by such patent trolls through cease and desist orders by alleging patent infringement. So bad has become the situation that software developers in US have threatened to leave US unless they are duly protected from such trolls.

So what is the position regarding the same in India. Patent Trolls and their Regulations in India is well founded says Praveen Dalal, managing partner of New Delhi based IP and ICT law firm Perry4Law. Indian Patents Act 1970 “Prohibits” Unfair Trade Practices of Hoarding a Patent by not using the same and hindering its availability to general public, informs Dalal

Pranesh Prakash argues: “Non-practising entities shouldn’t be entitled to sue for patent infringement.”

Moreover, it would make sense to prohibit lawsuit against another company in another country. This would help prevent many of Apple’s lawsuits against Linux/Android. They all use coercive means like economic sanctions.

Over in New Zealand we find this new article which says about a very recent broadcast:

Also on The Court Report this week, if you create something original, shouldn’t you be able to patent it? The obvious answer is yes … yet in New Zealand computer software is not eligible for patent. For an industry that seems rife with illegal copying and downloading, that may beggar belief. Certainly large software developers want to see this changed; they’re lobbying hard to see their work patented. But there is a less obvious side to this argument … because equally there’s a large group of developers who believe in free and open access to software. How can you grant a patent to something that’s little more than a collection of zeroes and ones?

If any of our reader has a link/file to the video, please share. We have heard from people who were involved in this debate, but publishing a copy would be useful (and compliant with fair use doctrine).

Over here in the EU (see wiki for background), this is this claim about the legality of a system that would potentially bring software patents into the whole of Europe in one fell swoop:

Under close scrutiny, it appears that the legal basis of the regulation on the unitary patent is at best questionable. At worst, such doubts could very well mean that the regulation is simply illegal. In a situation where the enhanced cooperation procedure is already undergoing two appeals before the European Court of Justice (ECJ), the future of the unitary patent cannot afford such strong legal uncertainty. Hopefully, some amendments to the proposed regulation could help the unitary patent to partly overcome this hindrance.

The site is actually on the bad side on this debate — that which helps large corporations outside of Europe without bringing benefits to Europe itself. Will democracy survive or will it be toppled by political abuse?

« Previous entries Next Page » Next Page »

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 Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources




Samba logo

We support

End software patents


GNU project


EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com

Recent Posts