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

02.22.12

FOSS-Hostile Patent Policies in Europe and the FFII’s Response to That

Posted in Deception, Europe, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 12:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Euro

Summary: Patent updates from Europe in particular, including commentary from sound figures of authority

TECHRIGHTS writes a great deal about the “Fraude das Patentes de Software” because this issue was identified as the #1 barrier to FOSS some time in 2006 when Novell went to Microsoft in order to use its software patents against Red Hat et al. Being mere monopolies, software patents impede competition in the software field.

“Software patents without a debate” is the title of the recent presentation slides from the FFII’s president. He chose this title because right now there are private (behind closed doors) discussions and the FFII’s president alleges that “RAND will become will EU law soon thanks to BSA.” The BSA is a Microsoft front group.

Andy Updegrove, whom Microsoft hired some time in the past (it helps pay critics and thereby gag them), has this new piece about FRAND and to quote his Q&A:

A: I think so. What the events of the last few weeks indicate is that perhaps it’s no longer necessary to define what “FRAND” means. Like open source software, more and more people recognize the value and importance of open standards. And just like open source software, you don’t necessarily have to have a narrow definition of what FRAND means. You simply know it when you see it, not by its individual characteristics, but by whether or not it offends the community.

And just like open source, if you take action against one user of open standards, you will increasingly be seen as taking an action against all users of open standards – in other words, against all users of technology. If you decide to do so nevertheless, then you’d better be prepared to answer to that wider audience as well.

If you think about it, you might say that’s not only fair, but reasonable, too.

Microsoft’s disgraced FRAND lobbyists like Florian Müller (whose output is just anti-Google propaganda for his client, Microsoft) take no day of rest. They are doing this on the payroll and cite one another. FRAND policies are for the monopolists, not for the people. Some people might pretend to work for the people or even call themselves “FOSS” something, but they work against the people, for their own bank account.

“The majority of FOSS enthusiasts seem to be unaware or ignoring FRAND”
      –Marti van Lin
Marti van Lin correctly points out that “[t]he majority of #FOSS enthusiasts seem to be unaware or ignoring #FRAND ? is.gd/jqyfRc or perhaps I’ve misinterpreted it!”

He is right. And moreover, there is a lot of FRAND propaganda going on. A lot of it is Microsoft-funded.

The “European Parliament To Exclude Free Software With FRAND” says this new headline from Slashdot. Quoting the submission in full:

First time submitter jan.van.gent writes “The European Parliament is on the verge of adopting a directive reforming standards, reform which would introduce FRAND patent licensing terms, an undefined term which has been seen as a direct attack on the fundamental principles of Free and Open Source software. The Business Software Alliance has been very active trying to get FRAND terms into the directive.”

Here is what the FFII’s press release says: “The European Parliament Consumer Committee is on the verge to reform the standardisation process in Europe. The reform recognises patented interface specifications which discriminate Free Software implementations. Royalties over standards create an unavoidable barrier of entry in the market for small software companies and independent developers.”

The Unitary Patent will continue to be debated as questions about the Unitary Patent continue to be raised by the public. This is a separate but related threat that we’ll address another day.

Meanwhile, over in Israel (sometimes lumped in with Europe, e.g. the ERC), software patents are said to be getting legalised. Lior Kaplan writes:

The Israeli patent registrar have reverted previous ruling regarding patents on software and published a draft for the procedures to accept such patents. The procedures are open to public comments for the next 30 days.

Down under in Australia there has not been patent news for a while, but this talk about software patents in Australia has just been uploaded, so we would like to share it.

Google continues to collect software patents much to the concern of some (“If Google Is Serious About Reforming Patent Mess, It Should Make A Bold Statement And Stop Using Motorola Patents To Demand Cash”) and the EFF, as mentioned the other day, gets increasingly involved in this battle over patents, even though it takes a Google-like approach that does not eliminate patents as a whole. As the FFII’s president put it some days ago, the “EFF does make clear is that advocating for the abolishment of software patents is not likely to be part of this project” (that it launched).

Later he added: “FFII should open a US branch, EFF is incapable of campaigning against software patents” (FFII comprises many engineers, unlike the EFF. Groklaw, which is typically people who are in the field of law and not engineering, takes a similar approach).

As shown here, “EFF still believes in software patents” based on phrases that it uses. Pieter Hintjens writes: “When someone pretentiously talks of “IP violations” I ask, “Patent? Trademark? Copyright? Ship hull design? Plant variety rights?”

“When someone pretentiously talks of “IP violations” I ask, “Patent? Trademark? Copyright? Ship hull design? Plant variety rights?”
      –Pieter Hintjens
He is then told: “You are also missing semiconductor topography rights, design rights. Maybe “trade secrets” as well, M$ likens secrets == IP.”

One might argue that forbidding the sharing of ideas is, in general, a bad thing. That’s more like the FSF approach.

It ought to be mentioned that some of the backlash against Google patents is a PR campaign from Microsoft and its lobbyists, who call the kettle black and hammer on politicians to ensure that Ballmer and his gang can carry on with extortion (under the façade that others are doing it too).

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. Links 18/9/2014: Windows Copying GNU/Linux, Germany Moves to Security

    Links for the day



  2. Web Site 'Patent Progress' Now Officially 'Powered by CCIA' (FRAND Proponent, Microsoft Front)

    After talking a job at CCIA, "Patent Progress" and its chief author should be treated as dubious on real patent progress



  3. Articles About the Death of Software Patents in the United States

    Recent coverage of software patents and their demise in their country of origin, where even proponents of software patents are giving up



  4. The Death of Software Patents is Already Killing Some Major Patent Trolls

    VirnetX seems to be the latest victim of the demise of software patents in the United States



  5. More Microsoft Layoffs

    More Microsoft layoffs go ahead as the company is unable to compete



  6. ODF on the Rise

    Milestones for OpenDocument Format (ODF) and the launch of FixMyDocuments



  7. Links 17/9/2014: CoreOS, ChromeOS, and systemd

    Links for the day



  8. Italy is Cracking Down on Microsoft's Monopoly Abuse While Gradually Moving to GNU/Linux

    Italy is not only moving to Free/Open Source software but also to GNU/Linux while at the same time barring Microsoft from forcibly tying Windows to new PCs



  9. OpenSUSE's 'Assurances' Are Classic MBA School Hogwash

    OpenSUSE is not part of any commitment, except for SUSE's; the impact of the Novell/SUSE acquisition casts uncertainty on the project's future



  10. Links 16/9/2014: Firefox OS Smartphones in Bangladesh, “Treasure Map” of the Internet

    Links for the day



  11. The United Kingdom Should Dump Microsoft For the Sake of National Security

    The UK has issues of Microsoft dependency and Windows viruses; its migration to Free software and GNU/Linux is not fast enough to guard its autonomy in the age of digital imperialism



  12. CBS Hires Even More Microsoft Staff to Cover Microsoft Matters

    CBS continues to be infested with Microsoft staff past and present (this time Dave Johnson) and the bias in output is quite revealing



  13. Microsoft Has Just Killed Minecraft for GNU/Linux and the Possibility of Free/Open Source Releases

    Persson sells out to Microsoft and lets the abusive monopolist destroy the popular cross-platform game that a community has been built around



  14. Another Reason to Boycott Intel UEFI

    More anti-competitive aspects are revealed inside UEFI, which helps merginalise GNU/Linux



  15. Quick Mention: Novell and SUSE Passed to Microsoft's 'Partner of the Year', Microsoft Focus

    Novell is changing hands again, and falling into the hands of even more Microsoft-friendly actors



  16. Links 16/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC5, KDE Frameworks 5.2.0

    Links for the day



  17. Željko Topić, Benoît Battistelli, and the European Patent Office (EPO): Part II

    Part II of our look into the EPO appointment of Željko Topić and other matters showing the dubious integrity of the EPO



  18. Links 14/9/2014: Android-based Watches Earn Optimism

    Links for the day



  19. Links 14/9/2014: Eucalyptus Devoured

    Links for the day



  20. Links 11/9/2014: Linux Toilet Project, Linux-Based Wheelchair Project

    Links for the day



  21. Links 10/9/2014: Brian Stevens in Google, Ubuntu 14.10 Expectations

    Links for the day



  22. Links 9/9/2014: Hating/Loving Linux, Android Aplenty

    Links for the day



  23. Links 8/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC 4, Switzerland Welcoming Snowden

    Links for the day



  24. Suspicion of High-Level Corruption at the European Patent Office (EPO): Part I

    The European Patent Office (EPO) Vice-President has a background of corruption and his appointment to the EPO too is believed to be reliant on systemic corruption



  25. Links 6/9/2014: Core OS at DigitalOcean, Women in Xorg

    Links for the day



  26. Software Patents 'Quality' Debated in Courts, Microsoft's Biggest Patent Troll Still a Chronic Liar

    Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft's and Bill Gates' largest patent proxy, continues to spread lies about its motivations, claiming that patent assessment is among the goals when in fact only the courts and patent offices do this



  27. New Article Explains How Bill Gates Prevents Schools From Moving to GNU/Linux and Free Software

    A new article from Al Jazeera provides details about the role of so-called 'charities' of billionaires inside school systems



  28. Microsoft Sued for Large-scale Copyright Abuses

    Microsoft reveals its disregard for copyright law which it loves so much to wield as a weapon against its competition and clients



  29. Links 5/9/2014: New WordPress, Systemd Debate Continues

    Links for the day



  30. 'Embrace and Extend' at Microsoft: The New Generation

    Some of the latest examples of Microsoft's predatory acts against Free software and against competition in general, disguised as acts of friendliness


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts