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Red Hat Should Follow Google’s and Twitter’s Footsteps on Patents to Avoid Becoming the Next Novell

Posted in Patents, Red Hat at 3:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A message to Rob Tiller and his team

Rob Tiller
Official Rob Tiller photo from Red Hat’s Web site

Summary: Red Hat continues to ignore my plea to defang the software patents it is applying for, potentially making them weaponised like Novell’s and Sun’s patents (e.g. Java at Oracle) upon buyout or another major event

THE previous post talked about how The Guardian deceives readers when it comes to patents. It deceives readers in many other areas, pretending to be a “guardian”. Anyway, since The Guardian considers Twitter to be news, let’s recall Twitter‘s promise to make patents defensive (we already urged Red Hat to follow suit too) — a fact which The Guardian would prefer you did not know as that would weaken the smear against Kim Dotcom. It would ruin the narrative of Dotcom as a ruthless outlaw.

“Everyone should appeal, petition, and politely approach Red Hat on this subject until the danger is addressed.”The news from The Guardian and other Dotcom-hostile entities, e.g. CBS, followed this timely reminder/news (covered by ZDNet, part of CBS also), which says “Twitter has applied its new innovator’s agreement for the first time to a patent on a ‘pull down to refresh trigger’.”

Twitter has devised a licence of some kind and Google did this too (we had called for it), perhaps with Twitter’s inspiration. If Red Hat pursues software patents — and it does — then it should do what Twitter did. Otherwise, if Red Hat gets sold for instance, its patents will become chaos. I already told this to several people like Tiller, even years ago*. They did nothing, so their patents are as safe as Novell’s (first in OIN, then CPTN). Everyone should appeal, petition, and politely approach Red Hat on this subject until the danger is addressed. It’s not as though Red Hat is ignorant about it, this strategic choice is very conscious (it is beneficial only to Red Hat, but bad for FOSS) and Red Hat does not get enough PR damage for it, so nothing is changing.
* It should be noted that when Red Hat’s PR was contacting me and even getting me in touch with their truly cool CEO I came to discover how unresponsive and even arrogant Red Hat’s legal team can be; they were the only ones never to respond to my polite queries, which I relayed through their PR department persistently, leaving even the PR reps rather embarrassed by lack of transparency from the lawyers in the company.

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