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

09.30.11

Microsoft’s Patent Troll (IV) Helps Increase Microsoft Tax, BSA Changes Intellectual Monopoly Laws

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 8:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Nathan Myhrvold

Summary: More analysis of Microsoft’s ‘Android tax’, the involvement of its former CTO in patent extortion, and lobbying through front groups

TECHRIGHTS has spent several years covering and warning about Microsoft’s aspirations to tax GNU/Linux — an effort that began in 2006 when Microsoft signed a patent deal with Novell.

Novell has been sold and broken down into components that include SUSE. It did not take long for SUSE to become Microsoft sponsored (through cash injection), which works well for Microsoft because SUSE legitimises a ‘Linux tax’. This is a very simple fact that Jos from OpenSUSE has been arguing with me about. It was actually Jan from Red Hat who came out in my support in the face of heckling from Jos, whose position is understandable given the company which pays his salary. Here he is speaking about openMind, an event which we are told has been hijacked or exploited by Microsoft and its friends to change perceptions (our source asked not to be quoted verbatim on this). “At the (pretty cool) openMind conference in Tampere, Finland,” writes Jos, “it came up that a big advantage of Tumbleweed is that it always has the latest hardware support. Thanks to the rolling release, Tumbleweed comes with the latest Linux kernel which plays a big part of the hardware support of a Linux distro.”

Just bear in mind that today’s openMind is a pro-Microsoft event (as much as it can be given the “open”) and this includes the Nokia which is tied to Microsoft and obviously suffers more massive layoffs this week, like most companies that enter Microsoft’s nest. A couple of days ago we learned that following Microsoft’s intervention inside Nokia, Intel too was moving away from MeeGo and establishing Tizen with the Linux Foundation instead. This is a success story to Microsoft, which managed to paralyse a great GNU/Linux distribution for mobile devices, vehicles, etc. That’s just the way Microsoft operates. When it comes to Android, Microsoft has become a major parasite and SJVN writes that: “According to a Goldman Sachs‘ tech analyst note, as reported by Business Insider, that’s exactly how Microsoft is cashing in on Android. Goldman Sachs estimates that Microsoft will pick up $444-million in revenue from its Android patent deals for fiscal year 2012. For those of you playing at home, that’s $3-$6 per Android device. Yes, that may well be more than Microsoft makes from its own troubled mobile operating systems.” For code it never wrote at all; this cost is being passed to customers.

“This is a success story to Microsoft, which managed to paralyse a great GNU/Linux distribution for mobile devices, vehicles, etc.”In a new article by Richard Hillesley he calls it a protection racket and the foreword explains: “Software patents are a racket for the protection of incumbent cartels and monopolies against innovation and competition, says Richard Hillesley

“The casual observer could be excused for believing that litigation and teams of lawyers were the largest part of technical innovation in the computing industries, such has been the part played by litigation and threats of litigation around patents, copyrights and trademarks during recent years.

“Litigation has become a highly profitable way of doing business. Big money can be made for a relatively small outlay and litigation predicated around the “ownership” of ideas, patents and copyrights requires minimal investment in staff, research, manufacture or the trading of hard goods.

“In fact all these activities have become superfluous in some areas of industry where possession of “Intellectual Property” has become the primary objective of trading. Pick the right target to make a claim against and the chances are that they will pay up before it gets to court. Throw enough patents at the competition, and you can slow them down. Make a patent stick and you can make a lot of money.”

More people need to change this emerging status quo, which normalises atrocious behaviour and makes it “business as usual”. As ECT put it, “Samsung, Microsoft Deal Tugs at the Rug Under Google’s Feet” because Google was never even given the chance to defend its own platform from this extortion. We wrote about it yesterday and showed that media distortion makes things worse, with Microsoft boosters portraying it as an acceptable transaction and a matter of obeying the law rather than actually breaking it. Larry Dignan writes that “Microsoft cements position as Android’s patent toll collector” and in curious spin from Murdoch’s press it is claimed that “Samsung also will work with Microsoft to develop smartphones and tablets based on Microsoft’s Windows software.”

“More people need to change this emerging status quo, which normalises atrocious behaviour and makes it “business as usual”.”The article contains a lot of euphemistic language and regarding Windows at Samsung, this is not new. Microsoft did the same thing after it had signed the Android patent deal with HTC. Here is an example of a very poor headline from the corporate press. Microsoft goes around the room threading to sue companies and this is somehow being portrayed as a legitimate practice.

Meanwhile it turns out that Wistron, which Microsoft extorted recently, is now coughing out money to Microsoft’s patent troll as well. To quote: “Wistron Corporation and Intellectual Ventures (IV®) announced today that they entered into a license agreement. The deal provides Wistron with access to IV’s extensive patent portfolio of more than 35,000 IP assets, and also provides them membership in IV’s IP-for-Defense program. Wistron is among the world’s largest original design manufacturer (ODM) companies producing information communications technology (ICT) products.”

This is just a troll to be paid to the world’s biggest patent troll, Intellectual Ventures. Why should this be tolerated? Where is the value to the industry and to customers?

As pointed out in a new comment on an article about Google, “software patents are doing more harm then google is. remove the patent system and go back to software copyrights and all will be well again. I find it very funny that microsoft railed against software patents early on until they had acquired a large amount of them, then they rallied for software patents. now they are getting bit by their own snake as software patents are killing innovation.

“If Google had given equally to republicans, this issue would never have come up.”

This whole patenting frenzy at Microsoft can even see in this week’s headlines, some of which say that Microsoft strives to get more patent monopolies on phones [1, 2]. As we claimed earlier in the week, Microsoft’s business plan is to sell mobile patent licences, not mobile phones. This would essentially make Microsoft qualify as a patent troll, as soon as it drops actual products due to poor sales.

For better coverage of the Samsung deal, see this Linux site. It is not saturated with euphemisms and spin.

Microsoft has been relying on a shift in law — a shift that puts great focus on patents and copyrights maximisation, to the extent where one can claim to own someone else’s code for merely achieving something similar. Based on the following new report, lobbying from the Microsoft front group, Business Software Alliance, has been considerable enough to reach about half a million dollars in publicly-disclosed spendings (the real numbers are usually orders of magnitude higher):

The Business Software Alliance spent $440,000 on lobbying on issues relating to cloud computing and other topics in the second quarter, down slightly from the year before, according to disclosure documents filed with Congress.

The organization lobbied Congress and various government agencies on issues concerning online privacy, patent issues, and criminal punishments for violation copyrights, it said in a disclosure report it filed July 20 with the House clerk’s office. The alliance is an industry group that has an extensive focus on fighting software piracy.

In our Cablegate collection we have amassed some examples of BSA lobbying, some of which is indirect. This helps set the scene for Microsoft’s patent extortion, not just so-called ‘piracy’ crackdowns.

Links 30/9/2011: FOSS Catchup, Many More Linux Tablets

Posted in News Roundup at 3:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Microsoft’s Secure Boot Gambit

    Few vendors and few topics on the Linux Planet inspire as much vitriol as Microsoft. This past week, Microsoft managed to inspire new outrage, as details about its secure boot approach for Windows 8 were alleged to be a potential risk for Linux. It was also a week that saw a delay for Linux 3.1 as the kernel.org servers remained offline.

  • Server

    • Amazon’s Linux AMI is All Grown Up

      Amazon has declared its Linux Amazon Machine Image (AMI) production ready. With the update, Amazon is introducing a security center to track security and privacy issues, providing 50 new packages for the distribution and adding access to Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL).

      The Linux AMI provides a Linux image for use on Amazon EC2, so that users have a way to get started with EC2 without having to create their own image or use one of the paid images from Red Hat or SUSE.

    • Amazon Linux AMI – General Availability and New Features

      A total of 50 new packages are available including the command line tools for AWS, Dash, Dracut, Facter, Pssh, and Varnish. 227 other packages have been updated and 9 have been removed. For a full list of changes, refer to the Amazon Linux AMI Release Notes.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • FLOSS Weekly 184: Eucalyptus

      We talk about Eucalyptus, the project that enables on premise private clouds without retooling existing IT structure or introducing new hardware.

    • Two FaiF Episodes

      I’ve not been particularly good at keeping up with this blog here, although I have generally kept up with the oggcast that I co-host with Karen Sandler, Free as in Freedom, which is released every two weeks.

    • Episode 167: Exporting Grumpy Bears

      This Blog needed a header image – and it still needs a lot of header images to rotate through. So I created one out of an image of a Berlin Subway station. Nothing much new in here – rotating, cropping to the needed aspect ratio, a bit of curves for better contrast and colours, scaling and sharpening. Finally I added a text layer with the image credits.

  • Kernel Space

    • LiMo Foundation and Linux Foundation Announce New Open Source Software Platform, Tizen™
    • Welcome Tizen to The Linux Foundation

      But many of you who closely watch this space may be asking: what about Meego? While Meego will remain a project at The Linux Foundation, we see industry leaders lining up behind Tizen. Imad Sousou, Meego’s technical steering group co-leader, had this to say about the future of Meego.

    • 2011 SNIA SDC Report: Summary

      The annual Storage Developers Conference is kind of like a five-ring circus. There are way too many tracks to follow, all going on at once and all interesting to varying degrees to varying people. It was a big show again this year, but this year it didn’t matter what else was going on. The center of attention was Microsoft’s center-ring act: SMB2.2.

      I have been going to the SNIA SDC every year since before it was the SDC. I started going in 1997, when it was still “The CIFS Conference”. Even before that, I went to lots of different computer conferences and shows. Remember DECUS and DEXPO? Amiga DevCon? LISA-NT? I do.

    • The truth about Linux Power Management “issues”
  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments

    • The KDE vs. GNOME Schism In Free Software

      For those looking for an interesting read today, Martin Gräßlin, the maintainer of KDE’s KWin and known for his insightful blog posts, has written about fighting the schism in free software; in particular, the KDE vs. GNOME battle.

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC)

      • Okular The Document Viewer With Even More Features

        When you are looking for a universal document viewer that will suit all of your needs you might as well go for one with all of the features. Thats where Okular dominates the stage on KDE desktops, being one of the best document viewers available. Some of the excellent features include advanced presentation support, overview mode, and annotation capabilities. Also with Okular it is easy to open files and switch between them. Okular will store your recent documents for easy viewing as well. This is how you can install Okular document viewer on your system from the Linux command line.

      • Instant Messaging With Kopete

        For a fun and friendly instant messaging client try Kopete for the KDE desktop. You can use Kopete to communicate with your friends and family, even using multiple different network interfaces. Kopete also offers some key features that are lacking in other instant messengers. Advanced users can also expand the functionality of Kopete using plug-ins without much hassle. So if your current instant messenger will not suffice maybe you should try Kopete today. To install Kopete on your system open your terminal and type these commands.

      • Qt gets a bit more independence

        Qt, the cross-platform and application UI framework, formerly run by Trolltech until they were taken over by Nokia, has taken a step forward to more independence: the hosting of the project will soon move to qt-project.org, a domain owned by a non-profit foundation “whose only purpose is to host the infrastructure for the Qt project”. Lars Knoll, director of Research and Development at Nokia, announced the change on the Qt Labs Blog noting that this move was solely about the infrastructure and the new foundation would not have anything to do with steering the project.

    • GNOME Desktop

  • Distributions

    • Pardus 2011.2 review

      Pardus is a Linux distribution developed by the Turkish National Research Institute of Electronics and Cryptology (UEKAE), an arm of the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK). Unlike most distributions, it is not based on another; an original, in the same sense that Debian is an original Linux distribution.

    • New Releases

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandrake/Mandriva Family

      • LMDE Update Pack 3 is out!

        Update Pack 3 was released as the “latest” update pack today. If you’re not using Linux Mint Debian, please ignore this post.

      • Mandriva Directory Server 2.4.2 now available

        Mandriva announces the immediate availability of a new release of the Mandriva Directory Server (MDS), an easy to use, powerful and secure solution for managing identities, directory services and network services within the enterprise.

      • Mandriva 2011 – A magnificent attempt but is it enough…

        I wish I had the time to provide a more comprehensive review of Mandriva 2011, perhaps I will come back later on with a few more articles featuring Mandriva but until then I seriously recommend trying Mandriva 2011.

    • Red Hat Family

      • Clean Your YUM Out!

        YUM is a package manager and updater service for Red Hat Linux, and if you’re part of the Red Hat Network, you’re likely already using the offering to keep your applications fresh. YUM makes sure your various server components are as up to date as they can be, bringing you the latest and greatest in Red Hat without much fuss.

      • Red Hat’s Jolly Journey to the Billion-Dollar Club

        Red Hat “won’t be the first company to make a billion dollars a year off of open source — Google and IBM spring to mind — but as a ‘pure play linux distro vendor,’ this is great news,” said Slashdot blogger Barbara Hudson. “There’s certainly a halo effect for all linux-based endeavors.” Red Hat has been criticized “for focusing on the business and server market and ignoring the desktop, but the move has paid off in continued growth.”

      • Lessfs 1.5 On CentOS 5

        For this HowTo I used a VirtualBox with CentOS 5.7 x86_64. I attached a separate 20GB Data drive mounted to /data. This will hold the lessfs DB and data. The lessfs mountpoint I put at /lessfs.

      • Open Virtualization Alliance Membership Grows Significantly With Cloud Companies and in Emerging Markets

        The Open Virtualization Alliance (OVA), a consortium committed to fostering the adoption of open virtualization technologies, including Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM), today announced that it is experiencing rapid growth in participation from companies focused on cloud computing and emerging markets around the globe.

      • Fedora

        • Where would you like your install today?

          We are making some great progress on Anaconda’s UI revamp mockups after last week’s Anaconda team meetings. Here’s the storage flow diagram, now annotated with the screen #’s from the mockups:

    • Debian Family

      • Derivatives

        • Trisquel GNU/Linux – Free Software and Gorgeous

          Welcome to Trisquel GNU/Linux! I’ve been wanting to write this for a long time, because trying this distribution really feels inviting. Trisquel GNU/Linux is as you can see by the naming convention one of the few distributions fully endorsed by the Free Software Foundation, and in return they’re doing a lot to promote the FSF and their principles on their website. If you’re yawning already, hold steady and read on, because Trisquel looks sharp and has something to offer.

          Trisquel is available for i686 and x86_64 architectures, and is drawing from both Debian and Ubuntu, a fact which became immediately apparent when booting. To celebrate Software Freedom Day 5.0 was released on 17th September which has become an annual tradition for the project. The main and so far only edition was using GNOME, but since 4.5.1 in May this year there’s also a Trisquel Mini edition using LXDE, and we have been promised that a KDE using image for 5.0 is on the way. For more advanced needs like disk encryption, RAID/LVM or server setups a netinstall image is also available. Since I have a 64-bit capable machine I downloaded the CD sized image trisquel_5.0_amd64.iso (696 MB).

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Tiny Cortex-A8 module gains Linux development support

      Timesys announced embedded Linux development support for two Logic PD embedded modules incorporating Texas Instruments’ 1GHz DM3730 processor. The LinuxLink offering supports Logic PD’s Torpedo System on Module (SOM) — which at under one square inch is billed the industry’s smallest embedded module — as well as the larger, more feature-rich DM3730 SOM-LV module.

    • Phones

      • Nokia preps Linux-based Meltemi OS for feature phones, says report

        Nokia is developing a new Linux-based “Meltemi” operating systems to replace Symbian on its feature phones, according to the Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, more details have emerged on the Linux Foundation’s MeeGo-derived Tizen project, which also gained a bit of industry support beyond co-sponsors Intel and Samsung.

      • Android

    • Sub-notebooks/Tablets

      • 13 schools. 7 provinces. 3 territories, 2295 students, and 282 teachers: OLPC Canada Progress
      • India’s $35 tablet launching next week?

        Think that new $199 Amazon Kindle Fire tablet is cheap? Indian officials plan to launch a tablet for students on October 5th that will be available for just $35.
        We’ve been hearing stories about the cheap Indian tablet since last summer — and it’s not the country’s first foray into cheap computers. Officials promised a $10 laptop way back in 2009, but it turned out to be just an inexpensive computer without a keyboard or monitor.

      • Government To Launch $35 Tablet On Oct 5

        The long awaited $35 (Rs 1735) dream tablet promised by the Indian government will finally see the light of the day as the launch date has been fixed for October 5. The low cost computing device touted to be the cheapest in the world, has been a project drawn on lines similar to the OLPC, with the students being the target beneficiaries.

      • ZaReason Working to Release First True Open Source Tablet

        There’s no denying the open source world lags far behind the proprietary universe when it comes to tablets and touch-enabled devices. But as ZaReason CEO Cathy Malmrose explained recently, that may soon change, as she and her employees are working hard to release a Linux-friendly tablet. Here are the details.

        It’s true that open source developers have been making progress when it comes to touch. Interfaces including Unity and GNOME 3, with their finger-friendly buttons and emphasis on dropping and gesturing, lend themselves to touch in ways that earlier desktop environments do not. And projects like Canonical’s uTouch promise better overall support for touch on Linux.

      • Introducing Amazon Silk

        Today in New York, Amazon introduced Silk, an all-new web browser powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and available exclusively on the just announced Kindle Fire. You might be asking, “A browser? Do we really need another one?” As you’ll see in the video below, Silk isn’t just another browser. We sought from the start to tap into the power and capabilities of the AWS infrastructure to overcome the limitations of typical mobile browsers.

      • Amazon spins color Kindle tablet, plus three more E Ink devices

        Amazon was widely expected to announce a Kindle-branded tablet today, and it did — also revealing three additional Kindles, two breaking the magical $100 price barrier. The $200 Kindle Fire has a seven-inch color IPS (in-plane switching display), “cloud-accelerated” Silk browser, dual-core processor, and 8GB of flash storage, while the $150 Kindle Touch 3G, $99 Kindle Touch, and $79 Kindle all include six-inch E Ink screens and either 2GB or 4GB of flash.

      • How to Turn a Nook Into a Great Android Tablet

        Presto chango! You can have a full-fledged Android tablet today by applying your DIY skills to a few simple ingredients: a Nook Color, a memory card, a PC to carry out a few tasks — and some nerve. Among your rewards, besides self-satisfaction: the Amazon Kindle app. This is a great solution for anyone who already has a Nook or anyone who just can’t wait another month or so for Amazon’s Fire.

      • The Kindle Fire and the Triumph of Open Source

        Today’s big tech news is the release of a new generation of Amazon Kindles. Of particular interest is the Kindle Fire, a $199, 7-inch color touchscreen tablet based on Android. It seems destined to become the most credible competitor to the iPad.

        One point I haven’t seen anyone make about this is the importance of open source software to the evolution of the tablet computing market. Google decided to make Android an open-source operating system, which meant that third parties could take the code, tweak it for their own needs, and sell competing Android-based products. That’s what Barnes and Noble did last year with the Nook Color, and it’s what Amazon did to create the Kindle Fire.

      • Toshiba’s seven-inch tablet ups ante on screen resolution

        Toshiba announced a seven-inch Android 3.2 tablet featuring an Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core processor and a 1280 x 800-pixel resolution typically found on 10.1-inch models. The Thrive 7″ Tablet offers 16GB or 32GB of storage, microSD and HDMI connections, five- and two-megapixel cameras, and a full complement of wireless features — except for cellular support.

Free Software/Open Source

Leftovers

  • Another Windows Version. Another Hardware Upgrade.

    Windows 8 currently boasts the same hardware requirements as Windows 7. Don’t believe it. Microsoft has never been accurate with its hardware specifications yet.

  • Will Windows 8 ‘Secure Boot’ Lessen Linux Adoption?

    Another issue is that most casual PC users aren’t going to be too enthused about having to do anything extraordinary just to get their computers ready to install Linux. Even with an off switch in computer BIOS, Secure Boot could still be a significant stumbling block for some.

    And even if disabling Secure Boot in the BIOS is simple to do, the fact is that Linux newbies who aren’t aware that Secure Boot even exists will only find themselves frustrated when their distribution won’t install as expected.

  • Linux fans file ACCC complaint over Win8 boot

    A number of Australian Linux users have filed a formal complaint with the national competition regulator over what many perceive to be restrictive practices introduced in upcoming Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system which may stop many mass-market computers from being able to boot alternatives such as Linux.

    Microsoft recently revealed it would support a PC booting protocol named the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) in Windows 8. The move was broadly seen as positive, as it will increase the security of PCs as well as doing away with the legacy limited BIOS platform which underlies operating systems like Windows and Linux on computers today.

  • Finance

    • “Lifting the Veil”

      Mark Ames referred me to the documentary “Lifting the Veil.” I’m only about 40 minutes into it and am confident it will appeal to NC readers, provided you can keep gagging in the sections that contain truly offensive archival footage (in particular, numerous clips of Obama campaign promises).

  • PR/AstroTurf/Lobbying

    • Rogers Astroturf Lobby Campaign on Spectrum Foreshadows Battle over Wireless Broadband Competition

      The Rogers astroturf lobby campaign against a spectrum set-aside, which sneakily uses people interested in a notification on when LTE may be available in their market, foreshadows a major battle over the rules on the 2012 spectrum auction. Much like the 2007 battle over the AWS auction, the incumbents will argue that the market is already sufficiently competitive and that any set-aside will unfairly advantage new entrants. The 2007 battle included submissions from Rogers and Bell that insisted that Canada was already “extremely competitive” and that consumer prices for wireless services very low. For example, Rogers argued:

    • Wireless carriers and the fine art of astroturfing

      Rogers, Canada’s biggest cellphone carrier, made waves on Friday by taking its lobbying efforts for the next auction of wireless airwaves to the public. The company launched a website that urges Canadians to write to their MPs in support of a wide-open auction, rather than one that will set aside licenses for new cellphone companies.

    • Mobilicity calls Big 3 lobbying ploy insulting to consumers who will ultimately pay for the return of high wireless rates

      Responding to what it says is a thinly veiled attempt at manipulating government regulators and public perception, Mobilicity today said Canadians should not be fooled by a new Big 3 carrier stunt to get people to protest more wireless spectrum set-asides for Mobilicity and other new carriers.

      “The future of affordable wireless rates is at risk, not the future of long-term evolution (LTE) networks,” said Chief Operating Officer Stewart Lyons. “Mobilicity has helped bring down the cost of wireless in Canada significantly and we need to augment our limited amount of spectrum to ensure affordable pricing continues.”

  • Internet/Net Neutrality

    • Net neutrality supporters file lawsuit against net neutrality rules

      When the Federal Communications Commission last week issued its final network neutrality rules and said they would go into effect at the end of November, lawsuits against the policy could finally begin. Verizon and Metro PCS, both wireless carriers, had already made clear their intention to sue and were widely expected to be the first to do so. Instead, they were beaten to court by the activist group Free Press—one of the strongest supporters of network neutrality.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Re: Hurt Locker P2P Lawsuit Comes to Canada

        What is curious is that this company that is taking people’s IP’s must be using some sort of commercial app to target the specific city of the person. For example when I try to geo-locate the 70.53.229.233 IP using standard available web apps or demo’s of commercial apps, it shows it to be in Terrebone, or Ottawa or Toronto. The filing shows it as Asbestos, Quebec. How did they get that? And with which app? Or did Bell give them that location?

      • Copyright Board Refuses to Require Transactional Licenses from Access Copyright or its Rights Holders

        The Copyright Board today released a decision denying AUCC’s request to amend the interim Access Copyright post-secondary tariff to force Access Copyright to issue transactional licenses.

      • Canada tries again to update copyright legislation

        The legislation, first introduced ahead of the federal election in May, is designed to cope with things like movie piracy, which the Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Association put at more than C$1.8 billion ($1.7 billion) in 2009-10, or the equivalent of 12,600 full-time jobs.

      • Government to again debate changes to copyright law

        The Conservative government is taking another stab at revamping Canada’s copyright law after minority parliaments scuttled past attempts.

        Industry Minister Christian Paradis will reintroduce the government’s copyright reform bill Thursday, setting out what consumers and educators can — and can’t — do with copyrighted songs, movies, video games and e-books in the age of MP3 players.

      • Copyright Is Back: Why Canada is Keeping the Flawed Digital Lock Rules

        Later today, the government will table Bill C-11, the latest iteration of the Canadian copyright reform bill that mirrors the previous Bill C-32. It was widely reported this fall that the government would reintroduce the previous bill unchanged, re-start committee hearings where they left off in March (with prior witnesses not asked to return), and move to quickly get the bill passed by the end of the calendar year. That seems to be what is happening with today’s tabling and a new legislative committee to follow.

      • Statement by the Liberal Party of Canada on the Copyright Modernization Act
      • ACTA

        • Minister Fast Visits Japan and Indonesia to Drive Canada’s Success in Priority Markets
        • ACTA to Be Signed – But Can it Enter into Force?

          It has been reported in the global press this week that ACTA will be signed October 1 in Japan. But that does not mean that ACTA actually goes into effect.

          ACTA Article 40 states that the “Agreement shall enter into force thirty days after the date of deposit of the sixth instrument of ratification, acceptance, or approval as between those Signatories that have deposited their respective instruments of ratification, acceptance, or approval.” Although six ratifications is a pretty low threshold for an agreement with 36 parties to the negotiation, it is far from clear that this agreement will get even that.

        • Holding of the Signing Ceremony for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)

          On Saturday, October 1, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan will hold the signing ceremony for the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) at Iikura Guest House, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

        • ACTA will be signed Saturday

          On Saturday, October 1, 2011, parties that have completed relevant domestic processes will sign ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement).

          FFII (Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure) statement:

          The world faces major challenges: access to medicine, diffusion of green technology needed to fight climate change, and a balanced Internet governance. While flexibility is essential to solve these major issues, ACTA codifies heightened measures.

          To stimulate startup companies, the EU legal situation should minimize market entrance risks for innovators. In digital markets, innovators are often confronted with patent minefields. Even a mere allegation of infringement may easily lead to market exclusion. ACTA’s damages beyond the actual prejudice have a disproportional negative effect on startup companies, which do not have deep pockets.

        • EU will not join countries in signing ACTA this weekend

          Japan has announced that negotiators of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) will congregate at the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Saturday and those countries that have “completed the relevant domestic processes” will sign the agreement.

          ACTA is a voluntary international treaty that seeks to provide standardised international enforcement of intellectual property (IP) rights. The agreement was negotiated in secret by the Governments of a collection of countries over the past three years.

09.29.11

Not News: Miguel de Icaza is Working for Microsoft

Posted in Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 12:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Miguel de Icaza and other Microsoft MVPs

Summary: In light of more FUD from Miguel de Icaza, a reminder of who or what he is serving and why we oughtn’t pay attention to him

SEVERAL people have asked us to cover the unsurprising story of a Microsoft MVP praising Microsoft and trashing Linux. The only noteworthy gem is that this Microsoft MVP is called Miguel de Icaza, the man who technically leads a startup striving to spread .NET. He also works (or worked) for a Microsoft foundation that facilitates self-serving intrusion into FOSS. We’ll expand a bit just in case someone still does not know Miguel de Icaza, whom Microsoft conveniently characterises as opposition because he is controlled opposition.

The short story is, Miguel is being Miguel again. “Conveniently,” says one of our regulars in IRC, “he skips the OEM monopoly [..] and shilling for vista 8″

Miguel’s current fascination with Vista 8 can be seen in this post, but we must remember that Miguel also promoted .NET and Silverlight for Linux (even rewriting and writing applications for Linux in Moonlight) while Microsoft pretty much dumped both. This man is not credible and he is fuelling Linux FUD that quotes him as “Gnome creator”.

“Like everything in Microsoft’s culture, lying is OK as long as it’s useful to Microsoft.”This should not surprise anyone as we have seen him in newsgroups too playing along with Microsoft trolls and throwing FUD at Linux. One has to gasp at the sight of this person who openly bashes the Linux desktop, a part of which people sometimes wrongly attribute to him (mostly in the Microsoft camp, of which he is a loyal part).

It ought to be mentioned that the latest FUD from Miguel was generated in collaboration with Microsoft’s buddy Tim Anderson, whom Microsoft gives presents. It is helps validate what we have been saying for years about Miguel and other Microsoft lust which he takes pride in.

He will not be insulted by association with Microsoft. He loves Microsoft, he tried getting a job there as far back as 1998.

Like everything in Microsoft’s culture, lying is OK as long as it’s useful to Microsoft. The company even lied to the government recently — a serious breach of trust that does get scrutiny from the press but probably not enough scrutiny.

“Ask Miguel about Microsoft’s abuses and see him slinking away.”The bottom line is, Miguel will say the darnest things, he will get things wrong (as he did before), and we really must not take what he says seriously anymore. If FOSS developers took his advice, they would be swapping OOXML files, building GNOME 3 using Moonlight (XAML), and investing their effort in Xamarin, which fails to even be mentioned by the press after staff left, the software turned proprietary, the new CEO was appointed after an early Microsoft career, and the CTO is reduced to some kind of anti-Linux mouthpiece.

Miguel has been groomed by Microsoft boosters (some pretend to be objective journalists) for a good reason. He gives credibility to their FUD because they can try to label him “Gnome founder” and then magically speak ‘on behalf’ of the opposition. The grooming of the “de Icaza” brand is mostly done by Microsoft sites, as a news survey can easily help show (we performance several such surveys about Mono before). The goal is to weaken FOSS elements such as the FSF and give power to Microsoft boosters and apologists mostly through exposure and PR tactics. Another objective to be achieved is the marginalisation of elements in the community which are critical of Microsoft (and there is lots to be critical of, e.g. patent extortion and boot attack). The same strategy is used in politics. It is partisan and at times very malicious.

Ask Miguel about Microsoft’s abuses and see him slinking away.

Microsoft: Blocking GNU/Linux, Then Distracting/Lying to the Press

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 12:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Red herring

Herring and vegetable

Summary: Latest anticompetitive practices and lies from Microsoft, as well as preparation for complaint to antitrust authorities

THE GNU/Linux desktop is under attack again. In this last week of September we have been seeing new aggressive behaviour from Microsoft, which helps remind us why Microsoft just cannot be ignored (its apologists and spinners cannot be ignored, either).

Later this year we are going to dive deeper into Cablegate and provide a more comprehensive summary of Microsoft and Apple actions against Linux and open source. In USENET, Rex Ballard writes: “Microsoft’s primary tactic is to threaten and ultimatum that if the organization does not preinstall Windows on every machine, or at least buy licenses for every machine, then any machine that has Windows installed on a machine that wasn’t shipped with Windows when it was manufactured, and wasn’t licensed for Windows Professional by the organization – will be charged a license fee at full MSRP rather than the discounted OEM and/or corporate license price. Since the MSRP is around $400 for Windows 7 professional with $400 for Office Professional, and the OEM price is about $30 and Corporate license is around $50 per year, with MS-Office corporate licenses going for around $150, the risk of getting ding’d for $800 to $1000 or the pirated copies on 10% of their PCs is greater than the cost of buying the deeply discounted licenses for all of their Intel and AMD based PCs.

“We all need to learn from history because some people fall for the whole spin of “feature”, which Microsoft knowingly used only as an excuse to block competitors.”“Corporations have countered by extending the refresh rates from every 2 years to every 5 years, while offering support programs for those who want to get an Android or iPAD tablet.”

To make matters worse, Microsoft takes a lesson from Apple and plays with the boot sequence to TiVoise PCs. Michael Reed from Linux Journal writes about this politely, but there is nothing to be gentle about. We all need to learn from history because some people fall for the whole spin of “feature”, which Microsoft knowingly used only as an excuse to block competitors. Here is an example of useful idiocy and a response to it. The problem is that younger people (like Jeff in this case) don’t understand the subject’s history and there are rebuttals that say: “Jeff Hoogland tries to make the point that M$’s “secure boot” protocol is only a problem if OEMs do not give Linux the key…”

Yes, that is another flaw in the argument. Microsoft has enough apologists in its own camp, it really doesn’t deserve any confused ones like Jeff. The “feature” talking points was used before, as antitrust exhibits helped show. Every time this happens it’s a feature for Microsoft, not the user. It’s technical sabotage disguised as goodwill (to keep regulars at bay). Giving exposure to Microsoft spin is not worthwhile for the same reason that freedom of speech if not the right to an audience. Microsoft has been talking nonsense as “damage control” and there is already evidence to suggest legal action. To list and quote some recent articles:

  • Linux users threaten Microsoft with ACCC

    Plans to enable a secure boot on Windows 8 machines have drawn the ire of Linux Australia’s membership, and have the Linux Australia Council itself considering a campaign against Microsoft.

  • Linux group mulls anti-Microsoft campaign
  • No Linux: Fears Windows 8 Will Be Impossible To Install Alternative OS
  • Linux Group Considers Formal Opposition to Microsoft Over UEFI Scheme

    Last week, in response to the brouhaha over its reported effort to implement a specification called Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) that could make it impossible to run Linux on Windows 8 PCs, Microsoft officials responded with an extensive post that explains exactly what kinds of flexibility UEFI will offer. After I read the post, I concluded that Microsoft is unlikely to pursue any systematic strategy for excluding Linux, but not everyone agreed with me. Now, the Linux community in Australia is letting its concerns be known.

  • Linux Australia Community Moves Forward with Opposition to Microsoft’s Secure Booting

    As reported here yesterday, the Linux community in Australia is increasingly unhappy with Microsoft’s effort to implement a specification called Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) that some contend could make it impossible to run Linux on Windows 8 PCs. In response to complaints about the brouhaha, Microsoft officials responded with an extensive post that explains exactly what kinds of flexibility UEFI will offer. Many OStatic readers find the post from Microsoft to reach dubious conclusions, and now Linux Australia members are officially petitioning regulators, with reports coming in that they may have a case.

  • Linux and Windows 8′s Secure Boot: What We Know So Far

    Those and many related questions have been voiced repeatedly in the blogosphere over the past week or so, even as Linux Australia reportedly announced it’s considering petitioning the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) with a claim that Microsoft’s behavior is anti-competitive.

  • Wash, Bundle, Repeat

    This is M$’s “wet dream”. Bill can finally realize 100% monopoly if M$ can get OEMs to produce such hardware and no other.

    Would it be legal? No. Could M$ get away with it? Only if governments do nothing. This is the tip of a global conspiracy to bundle hardware and software to the detriment of FLOSS and other competitors of M$.

  • Will Linux Be Locked Out of Windows 8 PCs?
  • Windows 8 Linux woes, Red Hat’s big Q2: News in brief

    An expected feature in the upcoming Windows 8 operating system has some Linux gurus worried. A secure boot will prevent any executable from loading unless it is signed by a Microsoft key. So, according to Red Hat engineer Matthew Garrett, an unsigned executable, such as Linux, would be blocked. This is a serious concern, since many Linux users are now running the OS on machines that originally came preloaded with an earlier version of Windows. In his blog, Garrett says that an obvious solution would be to provide signed copies of Linux, but he sees problems with that approach.

  • Microsoft washes its hands of UEFI/Linux mess

    Linux Australia is fit to be tied over recent reports that Microsoft is requiring Windows 8 certified machines to support UEFI secure booting, a situation that could most likely hamper or block Linux booting on such machines.

    Indeed, Linux Australia is so ticked off, they plan to file a formal anti-competitive complaint against Microsoft with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

    Unfortunately, all I can say is, good luck with that.

    I am unfamiliar with the burden of proof the ACCC holds for such complaints, but I’m pretty sure Microsoft will be able to get itself off the hook for this one. Why? Because nothing in the language they have used to describe the UEFI secure boot process or the need for this process mentions other operating systems in any way. The case Microsoft has carefully and consistently made is that secure booting is good for Windows because it shuts down one more avenue of malware.

  • Microsoft Denies Locking out Linux Stories

    So basically, Microsoft is saying that ability to stop UEFI secure boot lies in the hands of the hardware manufacturer. If the UEFI feature is not disabled, other OS cannot run on the computer.

  • Red Hat engineer renews attack on Windows 8-certified secure boot

    A senior Red Hat engineer has lashed back at Microsoft’s attempt to downplay concerns that upcoming secure boot features will make it impossible to install Linux on Windows 8 certified systems.

    Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) specifications are designed to offer faster boot times and improved security over current BIOS ROM systems. The secure boot feature of the specification is designed so that only digitally signed OS loaders will load, a security feature that would prevent the installation of generic copies of Linux or FreeBSD as well as preventing rootkits and other boot-time malware from running.

    A digitally signed build of Linux would work, but that would mean persuading OEMs to include the keys. Disabling the feature would allow unsigned code to run. However, it is unclear how many OEMs and firmware vendors will follow this route, which isn’t required for Windows 8 certification.

As Sam Varghese puts it, “GNU/Linux users [are] given false hope over Windows 8 issue” because “Garrett pointed out later that the company had said nothing to remove the fears that users of other operating systems, including GNU/Linux, may have: that if they buy a Windows 8 certified PC when it does come out, they will only be able to run Windows 8 – and that too a specific copy of that operating system – on it.”

Is anyone surprised by this at all? Going back to the older point about OEMs, The Register says that “Microsoft has pushed its OEM software franchise out to tender among new and existing distributors amid a consumer market meltdown.”

Microsoft wants some new lock-in and to this publication it has said that “distributors have been informed of the OEM review and a Request For Proposal (RFP) had been sent out.” (quoting The Register, not Microsoft)

Microsoft is planning to make TiVoisation a standard in the OEM channel as means of blocking competition, or so it would seem. A poster from USENET remarked on it as follows: “it’s a good sign. It means OEMs are finally waking up to the possibility it might actually be more profitable to dump Microsoft, and try something more appealing to consumers, especially WRT price.

“With any luck this may also persuade them to keep their options open in the UEFI BIOS too.”

“Microsoft will not go away without fighting hard and causing a lot of damage, probably breaking laws in the process.”According to this same poster, “Softies walk out of Ballmer meeting in disgust.’ He quotes a post that says “Microsoft’s Ballmer faces mutiny… Employees angry and frustrated [...] The Seattle PI has cast its magnifying glass over the comments on a Microsoft blog post. It says at a recent company meeting, Ballmer was faced with a crowd suffering from restless bum syndrome, who deseated themselves and promptly exited mid-talk.” (source: TechEye)

We are actually seeing this validated in the blog of a Microsoft employee who writes: “As for people leaving (as some of the tech bloggers have picked up): yeah, people were streaming out. In small numbers. No where near as bad as BillG’s last company meeting where Ballmer started screaming at people to sit down. And, well, yes, I was one of those folks who wandered to the upper portion of the seats while Mr. Ballmer passed on his coachie wisdom from Friday Night Lights (BTW, I prefer coach John Wooden). I suppose if Microsoft had been serving beer and snacks after the meeting I would have managed to stay in my seat.” [via]

To quote Pogson’s remark on it: “It’s interesting that while Apple is on the radar of the author, the steam-roller overtaking Apple, Android/Linux on diverse smart thingies, is not. Picture, in your mind, a pedestrian on the sidewalk trying to dodge an out-of-control fuel tanker.”

Microsoft will not go away without fighting hard and causing a lot of damage, probably breaking laws in the process. Those who act like gentlemen in the face of Microsoft will get slapped on both cheeks.

Patent Trolls Demystified and Patent Reform Demanded

Posted in Microsoft, Patents at 11:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bulb

Summary: Awareness of the blood-sucking leech which is NPEs keeps growing while more and more people subscribe to a call for real patent reform in the US, not a symbolic signing of some pointless act

THE LEGAL ISSUES-oriented Web sites cannot escape the tough reality about patent trolls. Groklaw carries on tracking the patent troll that gets patents from Microsoft’s former CTO and his extortion firm, Intellectual Ventures. It seems to have been reasonably quiet as of late:

Not a great deal has happened in the various Lodsys cases since we last wrote. A lot of the activity pertains to whether Lodsys will get dragged into federal district court somewhere other than the Eastern District of Texas.

To recount all of the cases, Lodsys has four pending cases in the Eastern District of Texas against a variety of defendants. In turn, Lodsys is the defendant in eight active declaratory judgment actions – four in the Northern District of Illinois, two in the Eastern District of Wisconsin, one in Arizona, and one in the Southern District of California. There was a fifth declaratory judgment action brought against Lodsys in the Eastern District of Wisconsin by ESET, but ESET has voluntarily dismissed that action.

Lodsys has been working not only to discourage development for platforms other than Windows; it also got named for being the alter ego of Microsoft's former CTO, who had become the world’s biggest patent troll. In an article posted by Ron Miller he wonders if “patent wars eventually have an impact on mobile IT,” noting that “anybody who is anybody is suing or being sued for patent violations. The highest profile cases involve the biggest names like Oracle versus Google (which is in negotiations stage right now with the two CEOs supposedly hashing it out) and Apple versus Samsung (and vice versa).”

“Lodsys has been working not only to discourage development for platforms other than Windows; it also got named for being the alter ego of Microsoft’s former CTO, who had become the world’s biggest patent troll.”James Grimmelmann has a similar article, stating: “In the last few weeks, the smartphone industry appeared to produce more lawsuits than phones. Apple briefly managed to stop the sale of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 in all of Europe, and is now going after the whole Galaxy line. Back Stateside, Google first complained that Microsoft and Apple were using “bogus patents” to target Android, then spent $12 billion for Motorola and its patent arsenal. These are big, high-stakes fights—and the last company left standing may walk away with control over nothing less than the smartphone market itself.”

Then there is the attack from dozens of patent trolls, which Bessen claims have cost the economy half a trillion dollars in just two decades [1, 2, 3] — a claim that Red Hat’s patent expert puts the spotlight on:

NPEs obviously have not stopped all innovation, but we are starting to understand how the losses they have caused are huge. It makes one wonder: what if the half a trillion dollars lost from NPE lawsuits had been channeled into socially productive uses? How much more innovation could we achieve if we quit tolerating this incredible waste?

Here is another new article on the subject:

The mess is like a hidden tax that hits each one of us every time we buy a gadget, whether it be a smartphone, tablet, PC or video-game console. The leading innovative companies that design and make these things are spending billions—billions—of dollars in an essentially meaningless and often absurd worldwide patent war.

Unfortunately, the America Invents Act addresses none of that.

Indeed. It’s a joke of a ‘reform’. It is worse than useless because it gives only the impression that something substantial was amended.

Over at Masnick’s good Web site there is this criticism of patent trolls:

If At First You Don’t Succeed As A Patent Troll, Just Sue Again

[...]

So, basically, after losing, they’re just trying to expand what they claim the patent covers. It’s hard to see this as anything more than a standard patent troll shakedown of a company that doesn’t do anything demanding cash from the companies who do things… even when those things are obvious next steps that were discussed decades before the troll came on the scene.

One solution would be to amend the law to restrict passage of patents and require implementation, too.

Mr. Pogson gives this example of a patent troll and notes:

Twit Thinks He Invented Web Applications and Troll Sues World

[...]

Of course they wait 14 years to wait for the tech to become really valuable before “defending their property”…

The FSF, which recently got many signatures for a pro-Ogg petition, is now calling for people to sign the petition against software patents in the United States. To quote:

Join me and already over 12,000 others in petitioning the Obama administration to “Direct the Patent Office to Cease Issuing Software Patents”.

Some days ago they only had over 10,000 signatures. The number if rising steadily and the White House must take action. This is not some petition hosted on another site but a rather official one which the administration cannot sweep under the carpet or turn a blind eye to. Here is a direct link to the petition (for US citizens).

Microsoft Hijacks the News to Spread Propaganda Against Android and Linux

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 10:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

New examples of bad ‘journalism’ from fake ‘journalists’

Jack Schofield

Summary: How Microsoft boosters (who routinely liaise with Microsoft) seed the press with FUD, misinformation, euphemisms, and apologism for arguably criminal behaviour

INACCURATE reporting and one-sided scaremongering took over the Web yesterday. Dr. Glyn Moody quotes an article titled “Samsung & Microsoft settle Android licensing dispute” and says: “feeble story: there was no “dispute”, figures are speculation”

Indeed, and those inaccurate stories serve Microsoft a great deal. The purpose of those stories — and to an extent those deals too — is to generate fear and discourage choice of Android by manufacturers. Moreover, Samsung and Microsoft already have a patent deal that indirectly involves Linux. It has been over 4 years since that deal was signed. Moody asks a “quick question: some stories are describing the Samsung/MS patent deal as “settling a dispute”: was there a dispute? I don’t remember one”

As I explained to Moody, the only ‘dispute’ — if any — was over the price that Samsung had already been paying Microsoft for FAT since 2007 (the OIN told us that Linux-related software meant FAT in this case).

“There are no Linux infringements being named”Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, an advocate of GNU/Linux but not a strong resistor of those patent deals, calls this a “patent troll win”, explaining that “Microsoft has just announced its biggest ever Android-related patent deal with Samsung. In this contract, Microsoft will get a royalty payment on every Android smartphone and tablet that Samsung sells. And, what exactly is Samsung paying for and how much are they actually paying? We don’t know.”

Well, not even patents are named, so maybe just ActivSync is (again) at the centre of the so-called ‘dispute’. The OIN explained to me that many or all of those patent deals are about Microsoft compatibility. There are no Linux infringements being named. This helps show just how weak a case Microsoft has against GNU/Linux. But those deals are mostly about FUD and innuendo, resulting in reluctance to make Android phones and also an extra source of revenue for Microsoft (whose mobile platform suddenly seems cheaper). Granted, this is a form of monopoly abuse, but it is largely overlooked by regulators. Microsoft has a way of agreeing with the extorted to pretend not to be a victim, We saw some evidence of that when Barnes & Noble came out with a formal complaint.

What we find just about as despicable as this extortion is the Murdoch rags abusing their ‘press’ status to spread more FUD against Google, quite frankly as usual.

One Microsoft booster is actively playing along with the FUD and spreads some more for Microsoft talking points. It ought to be noted that this booster has always been doing this shameless extortion apologism and support for Smith, riding his coattails since the CNET days. This is not journalism, it’s trash.

“The reality is actually not as bad as Microsoft wishes to paint it.”Other Microsoft boosters are a little more subtle about it. This one Microsoft booster was cited a lot perhaps for getting a headsup from Microsoft’s PR and thus coming with the earlier report. This is Todd Bishop, who helped seed coverage which was not at all critical of Microsoft. They are controlling the message and the public perception using those boosters who they are briefing in advance and sometimes rewarding. We covered such issues before (distortion of the press) and surely will do so again in the future. “Samsung Joins Ranks of Android Vendors Licensing Microsoft Patents” is the headline from Slashdot and it repeats what Microsoft boosters have to say, which is something ‘old Slashdot’ would not have done (the Slashdot that did not do Microsoft PR, before it saw its founder, Rob Malda, quitting). The Slashdot summary too is craftily written to contain a lot of FUD, even pulling more FUD from HTC and using a language that Microsoft loves to use (euphemisms galore). Shame on the press for being Microsoft’s tool. And what a shame for Slashdot, which became noise for nerds instead of News for Nerds.

“Disgusting,” called it one person in USENET, “I just wish somebody would challenge this shit in court so we can all see whether the patents have merit rather than this behind the scenes shakedown.”

The reality is actually not as bad as Microsoft wishes to paint it. Samsung was already paying Microsoft for FAT. Samsung was a pariah going back to 2007 and this whole deal might be just a return of favour to Microsoft (it is said to involve Windows marketing too). If Bishop and Fried actually went to a school of journalism, they should hand their heads in shame. They became propagandists masquarading as journalists.

Speaking of extortion (and sanction) attempts that actually name individual patents, there is more Samsung and Apple action and even a pro-Apple site now says that Samsung is part of the “beast Apple should have never awoken”. To quote:

As you know, the Nokia vs. Apple case over wireless patents ended with a settlement involving a big one-time payment to Nokia and ongoing royalties on a per-device basis. What happens if Apple gets the short end of the stick in HTC and VIA lawsuits? Consequences for the company could be far-reaching and are bound to be costly. It is interesting that Apple kicking those potentially dangerous lawsuits into motion coincides with the appointment of Bruce Sewell as Apple’s senior vice president and legal counsel in September of 2009.

Apple quoted its then CEO Steve Jobs in a statement accompanying the hire. Jobs praised Sewell’s “extensive experience in litigation, securities and intellectual property”. Sewell’s bio page at Apple notes that he “oversees all legal matters, including corporate governance, intellectual property, litigation and securities compliance, as well as government affairs”, which makes him pretty much the mastermind behind Apple’s current legal maneuvering. The problem is, Sewell lost some key lawsuits during his 19-year tenure at Intel.

For example, in May of 2009 the European Union ruled that Intel had engaged in anti-competitive practices and fined the chip maker €1.06 billion, or approximately $1.44 billion. It would be a stretch to claim that Sewell is personally responsible for the legal mess in which Apple has gotten itself into, but there’s no doubt the pressure is on him to deliver. The alternative – should Apple lose those cases – is anyone’s guess. Let’s just say the company might easily regret taking rivals to courts in the first place.

Apple is using patents aggressively, but unlike Microsoft, it does not sign shady deals that should clearly be the subject of criminal investigation. There are laws against racketeering, they just don’t appear to be actively enforced.

IRC Proceedings: September 28th, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

IRC Proceedings: September 27th, 2011

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#techrights log

#boycottnovell log

GNOME Gedit

GNOME Gedit

#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

« Previous Page« Previous entries « Previous Page · Next Page » Next entries »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

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts