05.12.12

Gemini version available ♊︎

Did Microsoft Buy FUD From Barnes and Noble? Did Microsoft Simply Pay a Bribe? If So, Is That Legal?

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Oracle, Patents at 8:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Dollar

Summary: News updates about Android/Google defence in the face of aggression and market distortion from Microsoft and from Oracle

THE wide range of bribe types includes gentle bribe [1, 2, 3, 4] and lobbying.

Not every bribe is being referred to as such; this is the art of buying influence short of classical bribery. Sometimes it is being painted with the “just politics” or “just business” brush.

“Sometimes it is being painted with the “just politics” or “just business” brush.”We recently alluded to the Barnes & Noble deal, about which Jay Lyman writes: “with the deal in place, Barnes & Noble is no longer putting pressure on Microsoft to explain exactly where it asserted IP rights over Android.”

This is a trick that Microsoft pulled before. It’s like buying terror, paying the reluctant victim some money to stop fighting against extortion and thus paving the way to more of it. As the same source put it, “Microsoft has bought a share of Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-reader business.”

Nice way to pass a bribe — “buying a share”. Barnes & Noble was important in this battle for Android freedom (gratis) and Microsoft has just neutralised it. It may make “business sense” for both sides to make such a transaction, but it’s akin to a bribe that helps Microsoft further distort the market.

As SJVN put it:

So, did Microsoft do the deal just because they realized that if their anti-Android patents would be ruled to be FUD? No, but it did have a heck of a lot to do with it. As Alison Frankel, senior writer at The American Lawyer, commented, “Microsoft paid B&N, the patent defendant, a sum of money that exceeded the marketplace value of its investment. How often does a patent plaintiff pay the defendant in a settlement? Especially when that defendant is on the ropes and urgently searching for a strategic investor?”

I know the answer to that one: Never.

Yes, but it’s a bribe. The “b” word oughtn’t be a taboo.

On another front, APIs in Android are leading to copyright madness. “Irrespective of my opinion on the subject,” writes one analyst, “what will the impact be should APIs prove copyrightable? It is likely to be extensive, cascading and a lesson in unintended consequences. Even parties with no intention of asserting their intellectual property rights concerning APIs – think authors of permissively licensed programming languages, as one example – will presumably be required to commit to non-enforcement, contractually. And obviously those parties wishing to realize another revenue stream, limit competition or both will ramp up legal actions around unlicensed usage of the APIs in question. It’s difficult to fully predict the downstream effects, but given the accelerating servicification of the world, a decision in favor of copyrightable APIs is likely to be at least as damaging as the patent system is today.”

Here is what Simon Phipps wrote while the Microsoft boosters used it against Android. Joe Mullin said that headaches loom, whereas the FSF issued this statement and Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols mocked the case, calling it a “Dead lawsuit walking”:

Oracle’s case is as dead now as when it began. Like SCO with its insane attacks against IBM and Linux, Oracle doesn’t have a leg to stand on in its Google litigation.

Later on SJVN remarked on this whole copyright nonsense and the Against Monopoly Web site used it to show how outdated copyright law is becoming. To quote:

The courts continue to get to make copyright and patent law. The latest involves Oracle which is suing Google over Oracle’s Application Programming Interface (API) as well as other lesser elements.

It has become more apparent that copyrights law — not just patent law — is an impediment to software freedom and programming in general. Tech dinosaurs use those antiquated laws to hold back progress.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 07/12/2022: ArcoLinux Beta 23.01 and Cryostat 2.2

    Links for the day



  2. [Meme] Where Did the Money Go?

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ became a company that cannot even do accounting right; pertinent technical employees had to do a lot of chasing for years just to get the basics rectified



  3. Evidence of Sirius ‘Open Source’ (or Sirius Corporation) Failing to Pay Pensions, Failing to Inform Staff, Not Responding to Staff

    The job my wife and I left this past Friday (after about 21 years combined) had turned sour years ago; hoping that this serves as a cautionary tale to others, we've decided to show pension lapses, lack of payslips, and excuses that accompanied that for years



  4. Links 07/12/2022: Blender 3.4 and Apple GPU Drivers Now in Asahi Linux

    Links for the day



  5. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, December 06, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, December 06, 2022



  6. Links 07/12/2022: Kali Linux 2022.4, GNUnet 0.19.0, and Pgpool-II 4.4.0

    Links for the day



  7. Subsidising the Likes of Rupert Murdoch is Not Supporting Journalism

    There are yet more attempts to tax citations; not only does that make no practical or moral sense, it's being lumped in or joined together with a must-pass "defence" (military) bill in order to suppress opposition



  8. Microsoft Layoffs Again

    The company behind Windows is in a bad state, but it is being propped up by the taxpayers; if rumours are true, Microsoft might get a lot smaller next year



  9. Microsoft is Killing Hospital Patients With Its Insecure-by-design Windows Operating System

    Many people continue to needlessly die because many hospitals still foolishly deploy Windows on mission-critical life-saving machines



  10. Sirius ‘Open Source’ Failing at the Most Basic Employment Regulations

    The company we left behind last week was a repeat violator of employment laws; to make matters worse, it led to its long-term or long(time)-serving staff becoming very baffled, having to contact the pension provider for clarifications



  11. Sirius ‘Open Source’: When the Company Stops Paying Your Pension and You Don't Know Until the Pension Provider Keeps Sending Physical Post to Alert You

    Today we turn our attention to pension blunders at Sirius ‘Open Source’; in recent years even something basic like pension contributions wasn’t smooth sailing



  12. [Meme] Sirius Open Source, Closed-Minded Bossing

    At Sirius ‘Open Source’, decisions are made in the dark without consultation with staff and many things go wrong as a result; of course the culprits never hold themselves accountable



  13. Links 06/12/2022: LibreOffice 7.5 Alpha and digiKam 7.9.0

    Links for the day



  14. Rumour: Very Large Microsoft Layoffs (Another Round) Next Month, Lists Already Being Prepared





  15. Benoît Battistelli in 2015: EPO is Ready to Start Unified Patent Court (UPC), Expect UPC in 2016

    We’re almost in 2023 and UPC is being delayed again; this is what EPO President Benoît Battistelli said way back in 2015 (official video from the EPO; 3:45-4:34 cropped apart)



  16. IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 05, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, December 05, 2022



  17. Links 06/12/2022: FreeBSD 12.4 and Inkscape 1.2.2

    Links for the day



  18. Sirius Not-So-‘Open Source’: Cannot Talk to Colleagues, Cannot Speak About Work

    Cover-up and lies became a corporate pattern at the company where I had worked since 2011; it was time to go in order to avoid cooperation in unethical activities



  19. [Meme] Guilt by Association

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ has a history of hostility towards people with disabilities; the company got sued over this, but kept the lawsuit secret



  20. That Time Sirius 'Open Source' Fired a Blind Lady While Gagging Sympathetic Staff

    Sirius 'Open Source' was taken to court after it had wrongly fired a couple of employees, one of whom was blind; this was accompanied by lies about why the staff's communication server was shut down



  21. Links 05/12/2022: Gnoppix Linux 22.12 and Armbian 22.11

    Links for the day



  22. Unified Patent Court (UPC) is “Real Soon Now!” Since 2014

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) lobby is once again forced to admit issues and delays; we've seen this time and time again for nearly a decade already



  23. Unified Patent Court (UPC) 'Delayed' Again, As Usual, as Unitary Patent Boosters Caught Up in Lies and Scandals

    “UPC [is] delayed by 2 months,” a source has told us, dubbing it “good news” and reaffirming what we’ve said this past year; this litigation lobby's 'wishlist' system isn’t legal, it’s not ready, there are yet more scandals, and journalists have been catching up with these scandals



  24. Links 05/12/2022: GStreamer 1.21.3

    Links for the day



  25. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 04, 2022

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 04, 2022



  26. Links 04/12/2022: Status of the 15-Minute Bug Initiative

    Links for the day



  27. When a Company Simply Refuses to Talk to Technical and Exerienced Staff Through Internal Avenues

    When companies behave like monarchies where staff has no role at all in decision-making and decisions are made in violation of those companies’ tenets (or mission statements) it is inevitable that staff will issue concerns, first internally and — failing that — in other channels



  28. [Meme] Kings Instead of Open Consultation Among Peers

    In Sirius there’s no room for debate, even among half a dozen or so technical colleagues; decisions are made in the dark by a tightly-knit cabal (with rather childish superhero cartoons as their avatars) and then imposed on everybody else (hardly democratic, not sane)



  29. Sirius Open Source: The Home of Stress and Bullying by Management

    Part 3 of a report regarding Sirius Open Source, which is imploding after bad judgement and misuse of power against employees



  30. Links 04/12/2022: Fosshost Shudown and OpenIndiana Hipster 2022.10

    Links for the day


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