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09.20.13

IBM: Using GNU/Linux to Sell Hardware, Still Defending and Promoting Software Patents

Posted in IBM at 7:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Big Blue marketing binge

Blue abstract

Summary: IBM’s boosting of patents (and infamous policy — plus aggressive lobbying — for software patents) conflicts with its pledge to GNU/Linux

IN a Linux-centric event this month a lot of companies try to portray themselves as the BFF of Linux. Links [1-3] below are the IBM flavour of marketing, throwing bogus numbers around for marketing purposes (like the “R&D” type marketing). They know why they’re doing this. They’re trying to appeal to geeks.

To put things in perspective, IBM has a complex relationship with GNU/Linux because it is also a bit of a Microsoft partner (on the patents and software side). The Open Invention Network, as this new article about “bad software patents” shows, continues to blur the gap between real patent reform (abolishing software patents) and corporate reform which gets painted as “pro-Linux”. Jon Brodkin is saying in the summary of his article that OIN, which gets called “Linux defenders” and is prominently backed by IBM (its founder is from IBM), will:

…attack bad software patents before they’re approved

How about just attacking all software patents, banning their approval? No, IBM would not want that. Along with Microsoft IBM has been lobbying around the world for software patents. So be careful not to confuse IBM with a Linux BFF. IBM is a confusing, giant squid and its commitment to GNU/Linux is only possible when we compartmentalise this company. As a side note, and as pointed out on numerous occasions in July and August, IBM is back to its notorious practices which resemble how it was helping the Nazis “barcode” people for detention and extermination; IBM has been fighting very hard (publicly even) for a giant CIA contract. Yes, that’s the CIA whose heads tell us they want to grab copies of all data and hang on to it forever (joined to the NSA by the hip). There are many other reasons to be cautious and sceptical of IBM; some of these reasons were covered here before.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. IBM proffers $1bn for Linux development on Power

    Rising open source tide carries all boats, IBM hopes

  2. IBM and Linux: The next billion dollars
  3. IBM Bets Big Again on Linux: $1B for Linux on Power Systems

    Linux is a thoroughbred in the world of computing and as sure a thing as you can get. With a community of tens of thousands of developers from more than 200 companies supporting the Linux operating system, it is constantly being updated with changes that are shared across a wide variety of industries and with users in diverse environments.

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