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

12.03.13

Apple and Microsoft Claim Patent Tax on GNU/Linux, Red Hat’s Response Too Weak

Posted in Apple, Google, Microsoft, Patents, Red Hat at 10:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Racketeering — like bank bailouts — increasingly seen like “business as usual”

Rob TillerSummary: GNU/Linux is said to be among the targets for illegal extortion, but even self-professed backers of GNU/Linux aren’t interested in addressing this problem

Apple and Microsoft are only alleged to be making money from Linux; nobody knows for sure, but analysts who are close to Microsoft (or Microsoft lobbyists) try to tell us that somehow they know what's behind NDAs, almost as if they relay the official party line on behalf of Microsoft. What’s probably most disturbing about it is lack of an effective response from the likes of Google and Red Hat. IBM is a lost cause because when it comes to patents IBM is more or less in the same camp as Microsoft (they cross-license and they lobby for software patents around the world, not just in the US).

Mr. Pogson, who tends to find interesting stuff every now and then, picked up this link from sec.gov and as iophk points out, “”commenter “IGnatius T Foobar” picked up on the fact that M$ is including income from Android patent extortion as Windows Phone revenue.

“Follow the link and scroll down to “Windows Phone, including related patent licensing; and certain other patent licensing revenue;” The only way I can think to interpret that is that it is income from extorting Android. Because that is a lot of money it can be hiding a really bad situation for Windows Phone, up to and including losses.”

According to this new report, “Apple’s secret deals with mobile operators are squeezing smaller companies out of the market and driving up costs even for those who don’t use their products, according to Register sources across the industry.

“”In my opinion Apple are in a grey area,” one legal expert with first hand experience of the contracts told us.”

If this is true at all (and evidence is still absent), then this is extortion and we need to bring it to light in order for legal procedures to follow. Some company needs to leak out information, potentially breaking an NDA. That’s how Edward Snowden helped hold the NSA and GCHQ accountable.

One would expect companies like Red Hat and Google (most affected by such extortion) to do something about it, but Google hired patent lawyers and is now accumulating software patents. Red Hat follows a similar trajectory and its lawyer Mr. Tiller keeps on talking about trolls rather than about giants like Microsoft and software patents in general. The other day he wrote: “With patent reform legislation moving forward, an impressive group of law professors weighed in last week in favor of reform. The group submitted a letter to Congress that effectively demonstrates the seriousness of the problem of patent assertion entities (PAEs) and supports pending legislation.

“This issue is timely, because the Innovation Act (HR 3309) was approved by the House Judiciary Committee on November 20 with a strong majority (33-5) in favor. There is a good chance that the full House will take up the bill this week.”

As iophk points out, Tiller is doing “[e]verything except removing the actual problem: software and business method patents. All those that write but dodge the question of software patents themselves just feed the problem. I’m disappointed that some choose not to look for the base cause and buy into the PR from the lawyers.”

We find more or less the same in FOSS Force, which writes: “We find it very heartening that some firms are now fighting back rather than rolling over when the patent trolls come knocking. We especially like the hardball route being taken by FindTheBest. After all, when we were growing up we were taught that the best defense is a good offense.”

Personally, I more or less gave up (for the time being at least) on the cause against software patents because the scene got abducted by large corporations and billionaires who fund laywers (even EFF lawyers) to tell us that the problem is “bad” patents or “trolls’. That’s not the problem, it’s just a decoy and the real debates are being crushed by this corporate hijack of grassroots movements against software patents. The real problems here are patents on algorithms (reducible to mathematics) and extortion/racketeering, which is of course against the law. Here we are dealing with very high levels of criminality, where companies are engaging in racketeering and nobody goes to prison, just as those same companies illegally spy on people in exchange for government contracts/favours. Back doors seem to become more common (home routers now have back doors), showing the high degree of collusion between government and business [1]. Never count on corporations to serve people’s interests; they serve particular people’s interests: shareholders and government officials (with a huge budget and an open door to favouritism). Red Hat too helps the NSA.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Stallman: Microsoft, Facebook Spying for US Government

    Famous computer programmer and President of Free Software Foundation Stallman says it’s so many years now that Microsoft and recently Facebook have been gathering the personal information of users in violation of the US constitution.

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

2 Comments

  1. saulgoode said,

    December 4, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Gravatar

    I remain skeptical that Microsoft derives any significant amount of income from patent licensing for Linux-based products. There is no evidence to support this, merely innuendo from Microsoft and speculation from everybody else.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    When so-called experts said that HTC paid Apple 5 dollars per device (right after they had settled) the CEO of HTC publicly debunked those ‘experts’.

    I already wrote (several times before) about why I think a lot of the speculations about Microsoft tax rates are bogus and unfounded; they simply serve Microsoft fear and lead more companies into submission.

    Remember that Microsoft paid B&N (yes, paid, or bribed) after B&N had refused to roll over or remove features from devices.

What Else is New


  1. SCOTUS Decision Affects Not Only Patent Trolls

    Unified Patents -- not just Lex Machina -- claims a sharp drop in patent lawsuits and patent boosters try to characterise this as a trend pertaining to patent trolls even though it is about software patents, irrespective of the nature of their 'holder'



  2. How to Complain About the EPO to National Delegations in Europe: Part IX

    Contact details for national delegations to whom complaints can and should be made regarding irregularities and bad behaviour at the European Patent Office (EPO)



  3. Microsoft Still Engages in Criminal Activities Against Linux, Openwashing Efforts Continue Nonetheless





  4. Microsoft Openwashing and Hatred of GNU/Linux

    Microsoft's outrageous claim that it really "loves" that which it is constantly attacking gets rejected by Free/Open Source software (FOSS) luminaries; the Microsoft-friendly media continues the charm offensive nonetheless



  5. Links 31/10/2014: Rubin Leaves Google, Neelie Kroes Ends EU Career

    Links for the day



  6. The EPO Is More Corrupt Under Battistelli Than Under Alison Brimelow: Part VIII

    After Brimelow, with all her flaws and her scandals, an even worse President is installed who then abolishes oversight and seemingly brings his old friends to the EPO, creating a sort of subculture that is impenetrable to outsiders



  7. Claiming That Microsoft 'Loves' Linux While Windows Update Bricks Devices With Linux

    The sheer absurdity of claims that Microsoft -- which not only attacks those who distribute Linux and GNU but also blackmails them, takes them to court, or bricks their products without any liability -- 'loves' Linux



  8. Protectionist Reign: Corporations in Complete Control of Everything With Domination Over Patent Law

    How multinational corporations, joined by the corporate press that they are funding, promote a corporations- but not people-friendly patent policy in north America



  9. Links 30/10/2014: GNOME 3.15.1, Red Hat Software Collections 1.2

    Links for the day



  10. Links 29/10/2014: Ubuntu Touch Tablet, Puppy Linux 6.0

    Links for the day



  11. Links 28/10/2014: SUSE Linux Enterprise 12, Canonical OpenStack Distro

    Links for the day



  12. Links 28/10/2014: PiFxOS, The Document Foundation in OSBA

    Links for the day



  13. Microsoft is Bricking Devices With Linux (Yet Again!), So a Microsoft Booster Spins/Paints Linux Devices as 'Fakes'

    Microsoft delivers rogue drivers through Windows Update and they brick Arduino microcontrollers



  14. How Bill Gates Continues to Pass Wealth From the Public to His Own Bank Account

    Having put a universal tax on many things (not just computers) and evaded tax using the classic 'charity' trick, Gates is now buying the media, the schools, politicians etc. and earns as much as 10 billion dollars per year while the public is taught that Gates is a giver, not a hoarder of the worst kind



  15. Links 27/10/2014: Lenovo Unbundling, Linux 3.18 RC2

    Links for the day



  16. IRC Proceedings: September 14th, 2014 – October 25th, 2014

    Many IRC logs



  17. Links 25/10/2014: KDE Mockups, Update on GNOME Outreach Program for Women

    Links for the day



  18. After Infecting Unity -- Successfully -- Microsoft's Partner Xamarin Wants to Infect Unreal Engine With .NET

    Xamarin continues to spread dependence on Microsoft to more gaming frameworks, not just platforms such as GNU/Linux, Android, and even permanent-state devices



  19. Taking Microsoft Windows Off the Grid for Damage to Businesses, the Internet, and Banking Systems

    Microsoft's insecure-by-design software is causing massive damages ([cref 27802 possibly trillions] of [cref 13992 dollars in damages to date]) and yet the corporate press does not ask the right questions, let alone suggest a ban on Microsoft software



  20. City of Berlin Does Not Abandon Free Software, It's Only Tax Authorities

    A Softpedia report that says the City of Berlin is moving to Microsoft Office is flawed and may be based on a poor translation



  21. Nadella a Liar in Chief at Microsoft, Pretending That His Anti-Competitive Practices Are Unfortunately Imposed on Microsoft

    The nastiness of Microsoft knows no bounds as even its assault on GNU/Linux and dirty tricks against Free software adoption are characterised as the fault of 'pirates'



  22. Reuters Writes About the Demise of Software Patents, But Focuses on 'Trolls' and Quotes Lawyers

    How the corporate media chooses to cover the invalidity of many software patents and the effect of that



  23. Links 24/10/2014: Microsoft Tax Axed in Italy, Google's Linux (ChromeOS/Android) Leader Promoted

    Links for the day



  24. Links 24/10/2014: GNU/Linux History, Fedora Delay

    Links for the day



  25. Links 23/10/2014: New *buntu, Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  26. Links 22/10/2014: Chromebooks Surge, NSA Android Endorsement

    Links for the day



  27. Links 21/10/2014: Debian Fork Debate, New GNU IceCat

    Links for the day



  28. Criminal Microsoft is Censoring the Web and Breaks Laws to Do So; the Web Should Censor (Remove) Microsoft

    Microsoft is still breaking the Internet using completely bogus takedown requests (an abuse of DMCA) and why Microsoft Windows, which contains weaponised back doors (shared with the NSA), should be banned from the Internet, not just from the Web



  29. Microsoft 'Loving' GNU/Linux and Other Corporate Media Fiction

    Microsoft has bullied or cleverly bribed enough technology-centric media sites to have them characterise Microsoft as a friend of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) that also "loves Linux"



  30. India May be Taking Bill Gates to Court for Misusing His So-called 'Charity' to Conduct Clinical Trials Without Consent on Behalf of Companies He Invests in

    Bill Gates may finally be pulled into the courtroom again, having been identified for large-scale abuses that he commits in the name of profit (not "charity")


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