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08.24.11

New Copyright FUD Against Java/Linux (Android)

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, Patents at 6:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

FUD

Summary: The mobbyists (mob-like lobbyists) are shedding uncertainty and doubt over Android using new talking points that ought to be ignored

Dana Blankenhorn is once again quoting the mobbyist, Florian Müller, who is looking to exploit lazy journalists who do no double-check the facts or apply critical analysis. Just because someone claims something does not necessarily make it true. “Oracle could not only claim copyright over the mySQL database,” writes Blankenhorn, “but over the interfaces that connect it to other programs, and the names of the routines within the program.”

No, this is not true. This is more spare-able nonsense from the mobbyist, who would rather confuse the danger of patents blocking APIs with copyrights. The switch-and-bait with copyrights and patents is deliberate and it has helped draw in some more people who fail to see that Müller is merely a lobbyist (as covered in last night's TechBytes show, it’s his business model) and they parrot what he tells them. To whit:

If Google’s motion for summary judgment were granted, it would blow a pretty big hole in Oracle’s case. If APIs were found to be non-copyrighted, then Oracle could hardly claim Google caused a problem by using the Java APIs.

But Oracle’s response to the August 1 motion is to challenge the entire premise of API copyrights (or lack thereof). In a motion filed over the weekend, Oracle’s motion of opposition argues that APIs do indeed fall under copyright.

If Oracle’s motion is upheld, then this would have enormous consequences for the software industry in the US, which–like other nations–has traditionally held that APIs are not enforceable by copyright.

To examine the impact, here’s the beginner’s guide to APIs. APIs are the aspect of a computer program that enable programmers to “plug in” to that program. They are what enable applications to communicate with each other. Historically, APIs have been regarded as not falling under copyright–the reasoning being that APIs are not creative implementations but rather statements of fact. “To access library A, use this command.”

Right. So why give the FUD any credibility at all?

For those who are looking for news which has not been distorted by Microsoft’s cartel and its lobbyists, go to Groklaw which currently tells us of “Potentially Important Victories for Google” in this case. From the latest post of Professor Webbink:

In a flurry of filing activity in the Oracle v. Google case this past week, a couple of rulings by the court stand out. First, Google has won the right 325 [PDF] to file a motion for summary judgment on the Oracle affirmative defense of “assignor estoppel.” Second, Google has won the right 328 [PDF] to file a motion for summary judgment on the issue of infringement outside the U.S. under 35 U.S.C. § 271(f). This last one is really important for reasons we will explain.

Most of the rest of the filing and entry activity (there were 40 separate filings or entries from Tuesday through Friday) related to the on-going discovery disputes, including the dispute over the Lindholm emails. In regard to the Lindholm emails, in the latest round Google argues that the declaration filed by Fred Norton in support of Oracle’s position was improper because it was not limited to factual information, as directed by the court, but included legal arguments. Oracle says that is not true. So much of this argument has now digressed into “he said; she said”. We are inclined to wait for the court to rule before spending more time analyzing this particular dispute.

The situation for Android is not as grim as Microsoft and its minions wish manufacturers to believe. It’s just a reality distortion field. Android keeps expanding despite the FUD.

Hyper-V: Microsoft Virus (and Tax) Inside GNU/Linux

Posted in Asia, Microsoft, Novell, Servers, Virtualisation, Windows at 6:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Planted by Novell, used by Microsoft

Bacteria

Summary: Microsoft PR, along with Microsoft proponents masquerading as journalists, promote Microsoft’s latest manoeuvre whose purpose to extract money out of GNU/Linux in China

YESTERDAY we wrote about Novell's role in the Hyper-V infestation, which Novell was paid hundreds of millions to help advance. A lot of people may no longer remember how it came about, but we sure documented this over the years.

In its embrace-and-extend-like fashion, Microsoft currently uses what the now-defunct Novell helped create as a departure gift for Microsoft. Novell used to work hard for GNU/Linux tax (through SUSE) in China. But Microsoft has just announced in a press release that it will “help sell Hyper-V infused Linux distro in China,” says a Linux site. This was mostly covered by Microsoft boosters like Scott Fulton, IDG, and Mary Jo Foley who called it “legal covenant agreement” (as in patents too?). “Microsoft has signed a “legal covenant agreement” with Linux operating system provider China Standard Software Co. Ltd. (CS2C),” writes the Microsoft booster and other Microsoft proponents (e.g. Gates-funded Seattle Times which boosts Microsoft all the time) did the same thing to make it seem like Microsoft is a friend of GNU/Linux when it fact it’s working to tax GNU/Linux, thanks to the seminal work from Novell.

TechBytes Episode 58: HP’s 180, Google’s New Patents, and the New GIMP

Posted in TechBytes at 4:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

TechBytes

Direct download as Ogg (1:52:35, 24.4 MB) | High-quality MP3 (38.6 MB) | Low-quality MP3 (12.9 MB)

Summary: After over 2 weeks since the last show (due to work commitments) we are back to catching up with news

TODAY we release last night’s show, which was the first one for which we roughly outlined subjects we would cover. Sadly, as we neglected to test the audio prior to recording, there is a massive problem with volume differences and a leveller could not compensate for it adequately. Update: detailed show notes are out.

We first discuss HP’s departure from PCs and also WebOS, which can live on elsewhere. The Motorola/Google deal is then dealt with, followed by the song “The One” by PJ Morton. We then start a discussion about the United States Court of Appeals opening the door to invalidating more software patents. We also talk about software patents in the EU and in general, then play “Can’t Stop” by Ozomatli. The Samsung/Apple situation in Europe is then talked about, including fake/’Photoshopped’ images from Apple (Apple’s fake evidence and reversal of a ban). GIMP 2.7.3 with Photoshop-like GUI option is then talked about, shortly before we go into plug-ins, programming (e.g. Java and Python), and a lot about social networks. “Thursday” by Orchid and Hound closes the show.

We hope you will join us for future shows and consider subscribing to the show via the RSS feed. You can also visit our archives for past shows. If you have an Identi.ca account, consider subscribing to TechBytes in order to keep up to date.

As embedded (HTML5):

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Links – Deepwater Horizon Spews, Big Boats, RMS on Unitary Patents

Posted in Site News at 12:19 am by Guest Editorial Team

Reader’s Picks

  • Brian S Hall translates a Microsoft pep talk to explain how the PC and Microsoft are doomed (NSFW)

    Everyone but Microsoft, even staid old media, has come to accept that the PC is dead.

  • 1935

    Users of that other OS are getting 1935 as an error message and it means that other OS broke itself again and must be re-installed.

    The Microsoft addict installed Office 2010 and this cost him endless hours over two or three weeks of chasing a .NET mess through forums, knowledge bases, Microsoft support and other waste.

  • Security

    • China airs documentary proving military university is hacking U.S. targets

      The footage happened to contain proof that a Chinese military university is using hacking software it has developed along with compromised U.S. IP addresses to target dissident groups. … The compromised IP being used is 138.26.72.17, which belongs to the University of Alabama in Birmingham.

      Windows use in the backwoods of Alabama leads to persecution of dissidents. Shamefully, Windows is not mentioned by Geek.com but we know that’s what powers botnets used in these attacks.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife

  • Finance

    • Mega Yatch Explosion

      the middle of the list saw explosive growth during the same time. For example, take Coral Island. When Lürssen delivered her to her Saudi owner in 1994, this 238-footer made her debut at No. 14—the longest new launch on The PMY 100 that year. Since then she’s moved down the list every year but two, and this year she’s barely hanging on at No. 92. Next year she’ll surely be gone.

      Troll Allen’s Octopus is still listed at 14. When someone tells you, “You get what you pay for,” this is what you are paying for, really.

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • HP Pre 3 Cancelled in U.S., Will Sell for $75 In Europe

      The article compares the crazy prices currently asked for Pre, $500, which make $75 look like a bargain until you realize that Droids will be that cheap soon enough. We can only conclude that HP was not serious about selling webOS devices in the first place. As they sell out, we know that people wanted them and might have bought them at a more competitive price.

    • Demand for webOS touchpads has bounced reseller prices to $300.
    • A writer at Forbes is stinking up the magazine with Microsoft propaganda. [intentionally not linked]

      The theme seems to be all good things in computerdom came from Microsoft. In one of his latest pieces he compares free software to “barbarians” and predicts chaos and massive declines in software availability as Microsoft declines. He’s obviously never experienced the happy and abundant world of free software or is paid to demonize it.

  • Privacy

    • Kraft rolling out facial recognition kiosks in US grocery stores.

      The article says they will only use them to decide sex and age but there’s nothing to keep them from using Facebook or some other service’s facial recognition software. With cameras at every check out, they could build their own database of faces and sell it. I’ve seen IR diodes used as a counter measure for this, perhaps that will become common.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • More problems than just trolls

      Awareness of [patent] problems is growing in the mainstream press, but there’s only shallow discussion of solutions. … If you think that patent trolls are the problem, then these might sound worth trying. It’s only when you look at the whole range of problems that it becomes clear that software patents simply shouldn’t exist. Very little focus is given to the other group that uses patents to block software developers: large software companies. They all have big patent portfolios. Competition reduces their profits, so they use their patents to lock other developers out.

    • RMS – Europe’s “unitary patent” could mean unlimited software patents

      A small but crucial detail in the plan is that appeals against the EPO’s decisions would be decided based on the EPO’s own rules. The EPO could thus tie European business and computer users in knots to its heart’s content. … the EPO’s decision about software patents has already been made, and can be seen in action. The EPO has issued tens of thousands of software patents, in contempt for the treaty that established it. … Europe should rewrite the plan to make certain software is safe from patents. If that can’t be done, the next best thing is to reject the plan entirely. Minor simplifications are not worth a disaster

    • Copyrights

      • SIGGRAPH keynote review: Cory Doctorow discusses copyright laws

        Doctorow’s Law #3: “Information doesn’t want to be free, people do”. Way back at The Hackers Conference in 1984, Stewart Brand once said to Steve Jobs, “information wants to be free.” However, Cory argues that it isn’t the information that needs to be free and pirated, but for people to be “free to own devices that don’t let remote authorities set policy against our will and against our interests, free to use networks that don’t spy on us in case we’re infringing the copyright, and free to communicate in private without having to worry that our personal lives will be made public in the name of protecting copyrights.”

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