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


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


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. EPO Staff Representatives Highlight to Pierre-Yves Le Borgn’ How Battistelli Deceived Him

    Some of the latest material to and from French MP Le Borgn’, who is being informed by EPO staff representatives rather than lectured by Benoît Battistelli, with convenient references to Battistelli’s 'media partner' in France

  2. Links 1/12/2015: Porteus Kiosk 3.6.0, Linux Mint 17.3 “Rosa”

    Links for the day

  3. Željko Topić Tries to Do to EPO Staff What He Did in Croatia, Now Crushes Staff Assembly in The Hague

    Reminder to European Patent Office (EPO) staff that the EPO's management has a history of union-busting and serious violations of the rules; a call to join protests later today and later this week

  4. The Spanish EPO Scandal - Part I

    How García-Escudero Marquez, the sister of a Spanish Senate speaker, got controversially appointed to succeed the (now) EPO's Vice-President Alberto Casado Cerviño

  5. Media Alert: IAM 'Magazine' Does Not Protect Sources

    An important discussion regarding the role of IAM (Intellectual Asset Management) in the debate about EPO abuses

  6. Richard Stallman and Eben Moglen on the Microsoft-Red Hat Deal

    Founder of Free software and author of the GPL (respectively) comment on what Microsoft and Red Hat have done regarding patents

  7. Links 30/11/2015: Linux 4.4 RC3, Zaragoza Moving to FOSS

    Links for the day

  8. Public Protests by European Patent Office (EPO) Staff Weaken the EPO's Attacks on the Media

    Where things stand when it comes to the EPO's standoff against publications and why it's advisable for EPO staff to stage standoffs against their high-level management, which is behind a covert crackdown on independent media (while greasing up corporate media)

  9. Why the European Patent Office Cannot Really Sue and Why It's All -- More Likely Than Not -- Just SLAPP

    Legal analysis by various people explains why the EPO's attack dogs are all bark but no bite when it comes to threats against publishers

  10. How the EPO Twisted Defamation Law in a Failed Bid to Silence Techrights

    Using external legal firms (not the EPO's own lawyers), the EPO has been trying -- and failing -- to silence prominent critics

  11. East Texas and Its Cautionary Tale: Software Patents Lead to Patent Trolls

    Lessons from US media, which focuses on the dire situation in Texas courts, and how these relate to the practice of granting patents on software (the patent trolls' favourite weapon)

  12. The Latest EPO Spin: Staff Protesters Compared to 'Anti-Patent Campaigners' or 'Against UPC'

    Attempts to characterise legitimate complaints about the EPO's management as just an effort to derail the patent office itself, or even the patent system (spin courtesy of EPO and its media friends at IAM)

  13. The Serious Implication of Controversial FTI Consulting Contract: Every Press Article About EPO Could Have Been Paid for by EPO

    With nearly one million dollars dedicated in just one single year to reputation laundering, one can imagine that a lot of media coverage won't be objective, or just be synthetic EPO promotion, seeded by the EPO or its peripheral PR agents

  14. EPO: We Have Always Been at War With Europe (or Europeans)

    The European Patent Office (EPO) with its dubious attacks on free speech inside Europe further unveiled for the European public to see (as well as the international community, which oughtn't show any respect to the EPO, a de facto tyranny at the heart of Europe)

  15. What Everyone Needs to Know About the EPO's New War on Journalism

    A detailed list of facts or observations regarding the EPO's newfound love for censorship, even imposed on outside entities, including bloggers (part one of several to come)

  16. EPO Did Not Want to Take Down One Techrights Article, It Wanted to Take Down Many Articles Using Intimidation, SLAPPing, and Psychological Manipulation Late on a Friday Night

    Recalling the dirty tactics by which the European Patent Office sought to remove criticism of its dirty secret deals with large corporations, for whom it made available and was increasingly offering preferential treatment

  17. The European Private Office: What Was Once a Public Service is Now Crony Capitalism With Private Contractors

    The increasing privatisation of the European Patent Office (EPO), resembling what happens in the UK to the NHS, shows that the real goal is to crush the quality of the service and instead serve a bunch of rich and powerful interests, in defiance of the original goals of this well-funded (by taxpayers) organisation

  18. Microsoft Once Again Disregards People's Settings and Abuses Them, Again Pretends It's Just an Accident

    A conceited corporation, Microsoft, shows not only that it exploits its botnet to forcibly download massive binaries without consent but also that it vainly overrides people's privacy settings to spy on these people, sometimes with help from malicious hardware vendors such as Dell or Lenovo

  19. When the EPO Liaised With Capone (Literally) to Silence Bloggers, Delete Articles

    A dissection of the EPO's current media strategy, which involves not only funneling money into the media but also actively silencing opposing views

  20. Blogger Who Wrote About the EPO's Abuses Retires

    Bloggers' independent rebuttal capability against a media apparatus that is deep in the EPO's pocket is greatly diminished as Jeremy Phillips suddenly retires

  21. Leaked: EPO Award of €880,000 “in Order to Address the Media Presence of the EPO” (Reputation Laundering)

    The European Patent Office, a public body, wastes extravagant amounts of money on public relations (for 'damage control', like FIFA's) in an effort to undermine critics, not only among staff (internally) but also among the media (externally)

  22. Links 27/11/2015: KDE Plasma 5.5 Plans, Oracle Linux 7.2

    Links for the day

  23. Documents Needed: Contract or Information About EPO PR/Media Campaign to Mislead the World

    Rumour that the EPO spends almost as much as a million US dollars “with some selected press agencies to refurbish the image of the EPO”

  24. Guest Post: The EPO, EPC, Unitary Patent and the Money Issue

    Remarks on the Unitary Patent (UP) and the lesser-known aspects of the EPO and EPC, where the “real issue is money, about which very little is discussed in public...”

  25. Saving the Integrity of the European Patent Office (EPO)

    Some timely perspective on what's needed at the European Patent Office, which was detabilised by 'virtue' of making tyrants its official figureheads

  26. A Call for Bloggers and Journalists: Did EPO Intimidate and Threaten You Too? Please Speak Out.

    An effort to discover just how many people out there have been subjected to censorship and/or self-censorship by EPO aggression against the media

  27. European Patent Office (EPO) a “Kingdom Above the EU Countries, a Tyranny With ZERO Accountability”

    Criticism of the EPO's thuggish behaviour and endless efforts to crush dissenting voices by all means available, even when these means are in clear violation of international or European laws

  28. Links 26/11/2015: The $5 Raspberry Pi Zero, Running Sans Systemd Gets Hard

    Links for the day

  29. EPO Management Needs to Finally Recognise That It Itself is the Issue, Not the Staff or the Unions

    A showing of dissent even from the representatives whom the EPO tightly controls and why the latest union-busting goes a lot further than most people realise

  30. Even the EPO Central Staff Committee is Unhappy With EPO Management

    The questions asked by the Central Staff Committee shared for the public to see that not only a single union is concerned about the management's behaviour


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