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

02.17.14

Proprietary Software Turns Users Into Informants Against Their Neighbours

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Intellectual Monopoly at 6:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: An example of anti-social aspects of proprietary software and a look at recent news about intellectual monopolies that go way too far

ONE of the best examples of anti-social behaviour is Facebook, where people are basically carrying out surveillance on their friends, family, colleagues, etc. and then send it in image/video/text form to authorities and to other people. This may be counter-intuitive given the marketing with “social” theme, but that’s what it is. Taking this even further, the Apple- and Microsoft-backed front group BSA is now offering useds [sic] of Facebook money to rat on their ‘friends’ who may be using proprietary software without a licence. As TorrentFreak (a news site banned for some people in the UK, thanks to ever-increasing government censorship) has put it: “The Business Software Alliance, a trade group representing Adobe, Apple and Microsoft, is offering hard cash to Facebook users who report businesses that use unlicensed software. The anti-piracy group is running an ad-campaign luring people with the prospect of a “free” ski-trip.”

This is what proprietary software does to people. It sure seems like proprietary software promotes behaviour that alienates oneself, leaving people suspicious of one another and generally divided. Hopefully, now that Windows turns into a security threat to many (not just back doors), more people will turn to Free software through GNU/Linux. Not only XP users are being deserted. Vista users too are left out in the cold. There is news related to this. “Microsoft confirms both IE9 and IE10 contain vulnerability, urges customers to upgrade to IE11; leaves Vista users out in the cold,” Gregg Keizer writes. This is yet another example of neglect — a common symptom of proprietary software. Users are pressured to pay through the nose for an upgrade (or “die”).

There is clearly something wrong with this current system where copyright makes the singing of “Happy Birthday” an infringement [1] and even linking to a site an infringement (this is challenged by EU reforms [2] and court cases [3,4]) right now). In the US, which is run by the copyright monopoly [5] (at a legislative level), the military is trademarking everything [6,7] and the telecoms cartel trademarks even colours [8]. All sorts of trade deals are only threatening to make things worse (e.g. expansion to Europe), but fortunately the push back against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, for example, is proving to be effective [9].

A society of few proprietor and many people who are by design “infringers” (similar to incarcerating by wide classification like that of the “War on Drugs”) is a society of selected rulers and many slaves. We need to reject proprietary software and we need to encourage or promote a culture of increased sharing. It’s an ethical matter. It improves co-existence/cooperation and speeds up advancement.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. “Happy Birthday” copyright defense: Those “words” and “text” are ours

    There may be no song more widely sung in America than “Happy Birthday,” but it isn’t free to sing. Warner/Chappell music licensing, which has long claimed copyright to the words, typically dings filmmakers and TV producers a few thousand bucks for a “synchronization license” any time the song is used in video. Warner reported that by the 1990s the “Happy Birthday” licensing enterprise was pulling in upwards of $2 million annually.

  2. European Commission Public Consultation on Copyright: La Quadrature du Net’s Answer

    The European Commission’s public consultation on copyright reform is open until 5 March [The European Commission extended the deadline by a month]. This consultation represents an important opportunity for European citizens to demand that access to culture and knowledge be recognised as their fundamental right. It also allows the interests of authors and creators to be defended against those of the cultural industries, major distributors and intermediaries, and heirs of rightholders who currently receive the greatest share of income from copyrighted works. La Quadrature du Net therefore calls on the maximum number of citizens and organisations to reply to the consultation and support a positive reform of copyright.

  3. Hyperlinking is Not Copyright Infringement, EU Court Rules

    Does publishing a hyperlink to freely available content amount to an illegal communication to the public and therefore a breach of creator’s copyrights under European law? After examining a case referred to it by Sweden’s Court of Appeal, the Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled today that no, it does not.

  4. Europe’s Highest Court Says Linking Doesn’t Require Permission

    Recently, Techdirt has reported on a number of important judgments from the Court of Justice of the European Union, the EU’s highest court. Here’s another one that represents a good win for common sense. It concerns hyperlinking to copyright materials held on another site (pdf).

  5. Another Friend Of The Recording Industry Joins The House Subcommittee On Courts, Intellectual Property And The Internet

    There’s a new ranking member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, and it’s another copyright maximalist. Mel Watt, the former ranking member and one of SOPA’s biggest supporters, has moved on to the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Before Mel Watt, there was subcommittee chair “Hollywood” Howard Berman, whose nickname clearly spells out which side of the copyright argument he espoused.

  6. US Military Looking To Trademark Everything

    As we’ve noted plenty of times in the past, works produced by the federal government are not subject to copyright. However, they are (almost inexplicably) subject to both patent and trademark protection, where those things apply. A little while back, Jim Gourley over at Foreign Policy looked into how the Pentagon has gone trademark slap happy over the last five years or so (the headline of the article falsely implies that it has also gone copyright happy, despite barely mentioning copyright, and in the one spot it does, totally confusing copyright and trademarks).

  7. Jim Gourley’s Military Culture column: Who knew? The Pentagon is TM and ©

    Christmas is almost upon us, which means military brats, Twitter junkies, and Google Earth nuts around the world will gather online for NORAD’s yearly tracking of Saint Nick as he delivers presents across the globe. How the tradition began is a heart-touching story that demonstrates the holiday spirit. The tradition now enters its 58th year, and despite some PR snags you can keep faith that the Air Force will ensure it’s an authentic experience.

  8. Court orders AT&T to stop infringing on T-Mobile’s magenta color
  9. The Trans-Pacific Partnership Is in Trouble Thanks to Grassroots Pressure

    Multilateral trade agreements like the TPP are virtually impossible to enact without fast track, which allows the executive branch to submit a treaty to Congress for an up or down vote, without amendments.

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. Alice Continues to Smash Software Patents So Patent Lawyers, Monopolists' Lobbyists Etc. Now Attack the Supreme Court for Doing This

    Corporate lobbyists and patent lawyers are trying to put Alice in the grave, for its impact on software patents is very profound and thus far almost unstoppable



  2. How to Salvage the EPO's Reputation: Create More Boards of Appeal in Europe and Abolish the Misguided UPC Fantasy

    A critical evaluation of what goes on at the European Patent Office (EPO), which is quickly descending down (and overall degrading) to the level of Chinese systems, along with the corruption, the abuses, and the low quality of patents



  3. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) Has Just Sided With Patent Trolls

    The notorious CAFC, which manifested software patents in the United States, has just given a gift to patent trolls that typically use software patents for extortion down in Texas



  4. Analyses of the Latest Data From Lex Machina About Patent Litigation Show Some Litigation Declines

    Professor Mark Lemley's Lex Machina highlights litigation trends by collecting and analysing data related to patents and pertaining to intellectual monopolies in general; now it shows litigation droughts



  5. India is Having Another Taste of the Dangers of Western Patents, Must Learn to Reject Software Patents in the Face of Great Pressure

    The growing software giant which is India continues to face cruel and aggressive lobbying from the West, enabling the West to control India by patents that should not exist in the first place



  6. Links 29/4/2016: GNOME 3.21.1, Fairphone

    Links for the day



  7. Microsoft Says It Will Continue to Extort Companies That Distribute Linux, Using Software Patents As Usual

    Microsoft's war on Linux, a war which is waged using software patents (for revenue and/or for coercion in bundling deals), is still going on in spite of all the PR tactics from Microsoft and its paid partners



  8. Australia Might be Next to Block Software Patents If Commission's Advice is Followed

    Australian advice against software patents, which can hopefully influence Australian politicians and put an end, once and for all, to all software patents in Australia



  9. [ES] ''Si la Forma de Pensar de la EPO fuese Seguida, Guantánamo Sería Posible en Suelo Alemán.”

    La EPO está todavía bajo fuego, pero mucho de ello pasa detrás de las cortinas y envuelve abogados y/o burócratas



  10. The European Copy-Paste Office (EPO)

    This morning's example (not the first) of how the EPO uses 'social' media



  11. Links 28/4/2016: Fedora 24, EE Goes Open Source

    Links for the day



  12. Amid Referendum “the New European Unitary Patent System is Likely to Collapse Before It Started”

    The Unitary Patent Court (UPC) vision seems like it may be just one month away from its gradual death, depending on British voices amongst other key factors



  13. USTR is Trying to Shame and Bully India Into Introducing Software Patents in India

    Lobbying body of the US (corporations-led) is trying its usual dirty tactics against India's sound policy which excludes software/algorithms from patent scope



  14. No, Visual Studio is NOT Open Source and Xamarin Openwashing is NOT News

    The latest example of Microsoft openwashing, courtesy of confidants of Microsoft and those who got bamboozled by them



  15. Latest Black Duck Puff Pieces a Good Example of Bad Journalism and How Not to Report

    Why the latest "Future of Open Source Survey" -- much like its predecessors -- isn't really a survey but just another churnalism opportunity for the Microsoft-connected Black Duck, which is a proprietary parasite inside the FOSS community



  16. If EPO “Form of Thinking Were to be Followed, Guantanamo on German Soil Would be Possible.”

    The EPO is still under fire, but a lot of it happens behind the scenes and involves lawyers and/or bureaucrats



  17. Links 28/4/2016: Tomb Raider for GNU/Linux, Proxmox VE 4.2

    Links for the day



  18. [ES] La Departura de la Readidad de la EPO Y Su Entrada en la Esféra Industrial China de Propaganda

    La deceptiva trampa del maximálism de patentes, donde se asume que artficialmente aumentando el número de patentes otorgadas traerá el resultado esperado



  19. [ES] Una Fársa de Sistema: ¿Cómo la SIPO, USPTO, y cada vez más la EPO se Convierten en Llenado de Patentes (No Se Requiere Propia Examinación)

    Una crítica al decline en la calidad de patentes en algunas de las más grandes oficinas de patentes del mundo, donde aspiración parece ser neo-liberal en el sentido económico



  20. [ES] Microsoft ‘Asalto con Todo’ Contra Android, Java, y GNU/Linux, Usando la Clásica E.E.E. Táctica de Nuevo

    Otro recordatorio de la realidad que Microsoft está muy activo en el frente E.E.E., not no sólo contra GNU/Linux pero también Android y Java



  21. [ES] Más Rumores y Llamadas Acerca de Prospectos de Microsoft Vaya a Comprar Canonical (Ubuntu con todo y Zapatos)

    Teniendo en cuenta los últimos movimientos de Canonical, algunos expertos piensan que es posible que Shuttleworth elija el dinero a Microsoft sobre principios sino también inste para que esto ocurra



  22. Links 27/4/2016: A Lot About OpenStack, Vivaldi 1.1 Released

    Links for the day



  23. A Farce of a System: How SIPO, USPTO, and Increasingly the EPO Too Turn Into Filing Systems (No Proper Examination/Filtering Required)

    A critique of the declining quality of patents in some of the world's biggest patent offices, where the aspiration seems to be neo-liberal in the economic sense



  24. Microsoft's 'Full Assault' on Android, Java, and GNU/Linux, Using Classic E.E.E. Tactics Again

    Another reminder of the fact that Microsoft is very active on the E.E.E. front, not just against GNU/Linux but also Android and Java



  25. More Rumours and Calls Surrounding Prospects of Microsoft Buying Canonical (Ubuntu and More)

    Taking some of Canonical's recent moves into account, some pundits not only think it's possible for Shuttleworth to choose Microsoft money over principles but also urge for this to happen



  26. [ES] El Nuevo Impulso Finánciado por Microsoft Para Reforzar las Patentes de Software en los EE.UU., Apoyado por los Sospechosos Usuales (La Sagrada Familia) Mientras que Microsoft Cada Vez Más Lucha Como Compañíá Productiva

    Una mirada al esfuérzo de trae una resurgencia de las patentes de software en los Estados Unidos (con un clarísimo rol de Microsoft en él) y la fundación/conf ianza de Microsoften las patentes de software como arma contr Linux/Android porque las ganancias de Windows se están secando y el Windows Phone está al borde del colápso



  27. Links 26/4/2016: Firefox 46.0, Thunderbird's Stewardship

    Links for the day



  28. Links 25/4/2016: Kodi 16.1, OpenStack Summit

    Links for the day



  29. New Microsoft-Funded Push to Make Software Patents Stronger in the US, Backed by the Usual Suspects as Microsoft Increasingly Struggles as a Producing Company

    A look at the effort to bring about a software patents resurgence to the US (with clear Microsoft role in it) and Microsoft's reliance on software patents as a weapon against Linux/Android because Windows profits dry up and Windows Phone is on the verge of collapse



  30. Patents Roundup: Marijuana Patents, Patent Satellites, Patent Trolls, Wars, and Merchants (Notably Lawyers)

    Various strands of news about patents, focused on issues raised in the latter half of last week


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