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

02.01.12

Bill Gates is Hijacking Open Source While Attacking It Using Lobbyists, Patents, and Patent Trolls

Posted in Apple, Bill Gates, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, Patents at 6:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft's Mueller

Summary: Response to reputation laundering from Wired Magazine, the latest nonsense from Microsoft’s lobbyist Florian Müller, an update on Microsoft’s trolling against Android, and a little more of Apple’s

WE are quite cynical about the corporate press. It has become abundantly clear that journalism is dying and instead it gets accommodated/replaced by the PR industry, working at the behest of rich people with an agenda and a nickel for any press still willing to bend over (independent press is likely to perish in the process). Like a husband who tells the policeman or the judge that he deeply loves the woman whom he beats up daily, Bill Gates/Gates Foundation would love for us to believe that he is a master of Open Source. Yes, and Cade Metz trying to portray these racketeers as friends of Open Source (whitewashing Gates at the same time). Why would anyone with integrity do reputation laundering for a criminal and his company that commits acts of extortion? Even Gutierrez gets characterised positively:

But that afternoon was different. At the invitation of the company’s chief legal minds — Smith and Gutierrez — Ramji sat down with Gates, chief software architect Ray Ozzie, and a few others to discuss whether Microsoft could actually start using open source software. Ramji and Ozzie were on one side of the argument, insisting that Microsoft embrace open source, and Gutierrez offered a legal framework that could make that possible. But other top executives strongly challenged the idea.

Then Bill Gates stood up.

No, Bill Gates has been attacking Open Source for a very long time. Remember that Letter to Hobbyists? And all those court exhibits we showed? We oughn’t allow history to be rewritten like this. Over at Free Software Daily, the modified headline of this article states “Meet Mobster Bill Gates, the Man Who Charges Open Source Software even if is free Android Linux” (the original is troll article that attracted many comments, for being more inflammatory than sane).

Microsoft is currently feeding patent trolls in order to attack Linux. Microsoft does not have enough ammunition to attack Linux, so it uses help from the outside.

Pamela Jones, over at Groklaw, writes more about the case that seeks to expose MOSAID, a patent troll that Microsoft is feeding. To quote part of the analysis:

B&N and Microsoft have come to an agreement about Steve Ballmer’s participation in the Microsoft v. Barnes & Noble action at the ITC. They were arguing about it, and they’ve now agreed that Ballmer will not have to testify live at the ITC hearing, currently scheduled for February. Instead, B&N will present designated portions of his deposition, and Microsoft’s lawyers have sent a letter [PDF] to the ITC stating officially that it withdraws its motion for a protective order, attaching to the letter a proposed schedule on the parties’ next steps in figuring out exactly what each side wants in the way of details. This means there will be no further motion practice on the live testimony issue.

[...]

Microsoft is also opposing Barnes & Noble’s request that the record be held open to include Nokia and MOSAID’s evidence, if Barnes & Noble is finally able to get it. And they parties continue to try to whittle into shape what each may use as evidence.

Lots of sealed filings, once again. But don’t worry. By hook or by crook, we usually find out in due time what the filings were about.

I had a chance to talk to Andy Updegrove, of Standards Blog, who as you probably know is a lawyer who does patent work in the standards area. I wanted to pick his brain, because the 2000 patents Nokia sold to MOSAID relate to standards, according to their statements. Just how many patents could possibly be required for a phone to be built? Surely not 1,200 out of the 2,000, I was thinking. Yet, that is the claim.

[...]

He suggested that we read some Department of Justice ‘business review letters’ on patent pools, because a patent pool is an example of multiple patent owners getting together to agree on a price for technology required to implement a standard. That’s not exactly what Microsoft, Nokia and MOSAID say they are doing, but we’re getting warm. You get to read in the letters the way the pool participants set the pool up, what safeguards they took (in the request letter), and the way the DoJ analyzed the request and either approved, qualified, or rejected the request. The controls traditionally include hiring a third party expert to review each supposedly essential claim and determine whether it’s valid, whether it’s essential, and what it’s worth relative to the other essential claims. So he thought we might find it interesting to look at what a legal pool looks like, and then we can contrast that to the actual conduct that is being alleged here.

This case has not been decided yet, but it does help shed a lot of light on Microsoft’s racketeering.

The known Microsoft boosters and even lobbyists (whom they cite) try to make us believe that it’s all over and Microsoft is innocent. Some people fall for it. They also push this tripe into Slashdot with all the bias and misdirection. As Homer put it in USENET, we should just ignore the Microsoft lobbyist. To quote: “Note this is only the conclusion drawn by Microsoft’s pet shill, Florian Müller (who’s now openly on Microsoft’s payroll), and he drew this stunning conclusion from just the /title/ of a docket he doesn’t even have access to, because it’s still under seal.

“It’s also, as the title suggests, just an “Initial Determination”, and may yet be disputed by the DOJ – a fact Müller chose to ignore. He also chose to ignore several of B&N’s valid complaints that might yet cause
the DOJ to overturn this conclusion, even if it turns out to be true and “final”, such as Microsoft deliberately withholding prior art in its various patent applications, and using NDAs to cover up extortion, under
the pretext of “secrets” that are in fact a matter of public record (as all patents are required to be by law). But instead he portrayed B&N’s complaint as futile, because:

“For example, Barnes & Noble claimed that Microsoft asked for excessively high patent license fees, but the OUII quoted passages from U.S. law (statutory as well as case law) that clearly said that patent law doesn’t require a patent holder to grant a license on any terms.”

“Then he completely ignores all the other key points (above). This seems to be the entire basis for his pessimism (or I should say “optimism”, since it’s clear whose side he’s on).”

Microsoft is feeding lobbyists and trolls and it’s easy to see this. Apple is said to have been sued by trolls again, but since Apple itself acts like a patent troll we have no sympathy for it. To quote:

A patent troll is going after Apple for patent infringement of an “electronic alignment system”.

Apple’s spiritual leader’s friend, Larry Ellison, is still attacking Android with patents that he got from Sun. Google gets another opportunity.

Mr. Pogson summarises: “Google argues that Oracle’s experts are not expert as they had no intimate knowledge during deposition.”

Basically, it seems like Oracle’s patent case against Android will be coming to an end. Maybe a copyright allegation alone will be left, so think along the lines of SCO.

OIN is meanwhile growing strong:

OIN today announced a remarkable increase in the size of its community of licensees during 2011 as licensees seized the opportunity to benefit from the value of the growing OIN community and the freedom of action enabled by OIN’s royalty free licensing program. During 2011, OIN’s community grew to over 400 corporate licensees, a more than 60% year over year increase. OIN licensees, which include founding members and associate members, benefit from the leverage provided by a patent portfolio dedicated to the protection of Linux and access to enabling technologies through OIN and shared intellectual property resources.

What’s baffling is that Oracle is in the OIN. It never ought to have attacked in the first place, but maybe it was a favour to the thermonuclear CEO, Larry Ellison’s “best friend” (by his own words). It is not a far fetched hypothesis.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Free Software in Education

    "If everyone learns to code, then everyone gains some understanding of how to code in other languages."



  2. Links 19/8/2019: Another Linux 5.3 RC, OpenSUSE's Richard Brown Steps Down, Slackware Creates Patreon Page, Qt 6 Initiated

    Links for the day



  3. Speaking Truth to Monopolies (or How to Write Guest Posts in Techrights)

    We need to have more articles tackling the passage of all power — especially when it comes to software — to few large monopolies that disregard human rights or actively participate in their abolishment in the digital realm



  4. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Free as in Speech

    "While a new breed of so-called anarchists campaign against expression that even the state allows, people are also foolishly overplaying the relevance of the state to free speech issues -- as if it's not a freedom issue when a project is increasingly thought-policed, because the thought-policing isn't on a state level."



  5. Toxic Culture at Microsoft

    Racism, intolerance, sexism and bullying are rampant at Microsoft; but Microsoft would rather deflect/divert/sidetrack to Google and so-called 'GAFA'



  6. Guarding and Rescuing the FSF Titanic: Introduction

    "The FSF isn't just threatened, it will hit a large iceberg in the future that changes it permanently."



  7. Linux Journal and Linux.com Should Have Been Kept Going

    There's apparently no good explanation for the effective shutdown of Linux Journal and Linux.com; London Trust Media Holdings (LTMH), owner of Linux Journal, saw numbers improving and the Linux Foundation, steward of Linux.com, is loaded with money



  8. 2019 Microsoft Glossary

    How Microsoft internally interprets words that it is saying to the public and to the press



  9. 2019 Surveillance Glossary

    Distortion of technical and nontechnical terms in this day and age of '1984'



  10. Openwashing Report: It's Getting Worse, Fast. Everything is Apparently 'Open' Now Even Though It's Actually Proprietary.

    The latest examples (this past week's) of openwashing in the media, ranging from 5G to surveillance



  11. GitHub is a Dagger Inside Free/Open Source Software (FOSS); This is Why Microsoft Bought It

    A year later it seems pretty evident that Microsoft doesn’t like FOSS but is merely trying to control it, e.g. by buying millions of FOSS projects/repositories at the platform level (the above is what the Linux Foundation‘s Jim Zemlin said to Microsoft at their event while antitrust regulators were still assessing the proposed takeover)



  12. Microsoft Grows Within and Eats You From the Inside

    Microsoft entryism and other subversive tactics continue to threaten and sometimes successfully undermine the competition; Microsoft is nowadays doing that to core projects in the Free/Open Source software world



  13. Links 18/8/2019: New KNOPPIX and Emmabuntus Released

    Links for the day



  14. Links 17/8/2019: Unigine 2.9 and Git 2.23

    Links for the day



  15. Computer-Generated Patent Applications Show That Patents and Innovations Are Very Different Things

    The 'cheapening' of the concept of 'inventor' (or 'invention') undermines the whole foundation/basis of the patent system and deep inside patent law firms know it



  16. Concerns About IBM's Commitment to OpenSource.com After the Fall of Linux.com and Linux Journal

    The Web site OpenSource.com is over two decades old; in its current form it's about a decade old and it contains plenty of good articles, but will IBM think so too and, if so, will investment in the site carry on?



  17. Electronic Frontier Foundation Makes a Mistake by Giving Award to Microsoft Surveillance Person

    At age 30 (almost) the Electronic Frontier Foundation still campaigns for privacy; so why does it grant awards to enemies of privacy?



  18. Caturdays and Sundays at Techrights Will Get Busier

    Our plan to spend the weekends writing more articles about Software Freedom; it seems like a high-priority issue



  19. Why Techrights Doesn't Do Social Control Media

    Being managed and censored by platform owners (sometimes their shareholders) isn’t an alluring proposition when a site challenges conformist norms and the status quo; Techrights belongs in a platform of its own



  20. Patent Prosecution Highways and Examination Highways Are Dooming the EPO

    Speed is not a measure of quality; but today's EPO is just trying to get as much money as possible, as fast as possible (before the whole thing implodes)



  21. Software Patents Won't Come Back Just Because They're (Re)Framed/Branded as "HEY HI" (AI)

    The pattern we've been observing in recent years is, patent applicants and law firms simply rewrite applications to make these seem patent-eligible on the surface (owing to deliberate deception) and patent offices facilitate these loopholes in order to fake 'growth'



  22. IP Kat Pays the Price for Being a Megaphone of Team UPC

    The typical or the usual suspects speak out about the so-called 'prospects' (with delusions of inevitability) of the Unified Patent Court Agreement, neglecting to account for their own longterm credibility



  23. Links 17/8/2019: Wine 4.14 is Out, Debian Celebrates 26 years

    Links for the day



  24. Nothing Says 'New' Microsoft Like Microsoft Component Firmware Update (More Hardware Lock-in)

    Vicious old Microsoft is still trying to make life very hard for GNU/Linux, especially in the OEM channel/s, but we're somehow supposed to think that "Microsoft loves Linux"



  25. Bill Gates and His Special Relationship With Jeffrey Epstein Still Stirring Speculations

    Love of the "children" has long been a controversial subject for Microsoft; can Bill Gates and his connections to Jeffrey Epstein unearth some unsavoury secrets?



  26. Links 16/8/2019: Kdevops and QEMU 4.1

    Links for the day



  27. The EPO's War on the Convention on the Grant of European Patents 2000 (EPC 2000), Not Just Brexit, Kills the Unitary Patent (UP/UPC) and Dooms Justice

    Team UPC continues to ignore the utter failures that have led to lawlessness at the EPO, attributing the demise of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) to Brexit alone and pretending that it's not even a problem



  28. Links 15/8/2019: GNOME's Birthday, LLVM 9.0 RC2

    Links for the day



  29. 'Foundation' Hype Spreads in China

    Nonprofits seem to have become more of a business loophole than a charitable endeavour; the problem is, this erodes confidence in legitimate Free software and good causes



  30. Links Are Not Endorsements

    If the only alternative is to say nothing and link to nothing, then we have a problem; a lot of people still assume that because someone links to something it therefore implies agreement and consent


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts