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

03.10.16

Microsoft Has Just Blackmailed Linux Twice in One Single Week and the Media Didn’t Notice or Just Ignored It Because of Microsoft’s Charm Offensives

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 2:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

How many people even noticed (let alone wrote about) Microsoft’s Wistron and Rakuten patent settlements that explicitly cover Linux?

Direction banner
Sending journalists in many different directions to distract from the really outrageous news

Summary: Microsoft loves Linux enough to strangle it to death with patents while the media isn’t paying attention and instead telling us that Microsoft is now a buddy or “pal” of GNU/Linux

MICROSOFT HAS — whether deliberately or not — been distracting the media and disguising several patent attacks on Linux by openwashing its latest proprietary crusades (bringing Microsoft’s proprietary software and lock-in to FOSS and/or GNU/Linux). For those who have been living under a rock/tree since 2006 (the Novell-Microsoft patent deal), Microsoft is trying to tax GNU/Linux, raising its cost while also making it a cash cow of Microsoft, by leveraging software patents. Microsoft always coerces the extorted party into stating (in the public eye) that everything is amicable while the settlements are wrapped in a coat of NDAs. We gave an example of this last month (Acer). It’s not only unjust; as per the RICO Act, this should come under investigation for potential violations of the law. This, in our view, is racketeering. “That’s extortion,” Mark Shuttleworth (founder of Canonical) said many years ago, “and we should call it what it is. To say, as Ballmer did, that there is undisclosed balance sheet liability, that’s just extortion and we should refuse to get drawn into that game.” On another occasion he told the media: “Microsoft is asking people to pay them for patents, but they won’t say which ones. If a guy walks into a shop and says: “It’s an unsafe neighbourhood, why don’t you pay me 20 bucks and I’ll make sure you’re okay,” that’s illegal. It’s racketeering.”

To add insult to injury, Microsoft is ripping GNU/Linux off (Canonical in this one example) and then patenting the ideas of Canonical/Ubuntu. See this new article from a Microsoft propaganda site. It’s titled “Microsoft applies for Continuum patent” and comments on it say (among other things): “The issue is that mainstream media think it is MS idea, even calling Ubuntu convergence being inspired by continuum.

“To add insult to injury, Microsoft is ripping GNU/Linux off (Canonical in this one example) and then patenting the ideas of Canonical/Ubuntu.”“Canonical took to long to deliver (and still actually didn’t) on the convergence idea, now it’s too late and Ubuntu phone will soon die.”

Quoting comments from the article itself we have: “I wonder how this patent compares to Ubuntu’s convergence that they’ve been working on for years? It seems essentially the same in that they expect Ubuntu Phones to attach to a monitor and act as a full computer.”

Another person wrote: “Not sure that MS can get this. Prior-Art argument. Ubuntu has been working on the same thing for the last few years. They call it “Convergence”, it’s been in testing for at least a year or more…. not to mention the previous project to run Android and Ubuntu on a single device with the same purpose.”

“Despite being anything but an innovator, Microsoft is extorting companies behind the scenes using these bogus patents.”“It’s not worth doing,” another person wrote. “Continuum has been done with Convergence with Ubuntu, and I think KDE Plasma Mobile is working on something similar too. Microsoft is just attempting to gain a patent for something that they can then sue everyone away from doing. In other words, Microsofting the competition.”

Among the other comments we have “Prior art is all over the place” and “This is a complete bullshit patent.”

Despite being anything but an innovator, Microsoft is extorting companies behind the scenes using these bogus patents. Days ago we wrote about Wistron, whose patent ‘deal’ (surrender) with Microsoft is now covered in a variety of other sites, e.g. [1, 2, 3]. A lot of sites did not cover this because they were too busy writing puff pieces about Microsoft ‘embracing’ FOSS or Linux (Microsoft embraced neither, except in the E.E.E. sense). “The deal,” WIPR said, “announced on Monday, March 7, covers Wistron’s tablets, mobile phones, e-readers and other devices running the Android and Chrome platforms that fall under Microsoft’s patent portfolio.”

“Microsoft loves Linux? Well, just ignore “Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC,” which is attacking Linux, essentially engaging in blackmail and extortion with software patents.”How interesting a timing. “Microsoft can embrace open source all it wants,” Simon Phipps wrote (he is a FOSS luminary), “but until it foreswears patent aggression against community members it’s a hostile party.”

I had a bit of a chat with him about this [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. He’s clearly too smart to fall for Microsoft’s charm offensive. Microsoft loves Linux? Well, just ignore “Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC,” which is attacking Linux, essentially engaging in blackmail and extortion with software patents. Also take note of this report from yesterday (“EU Taking Steps Towards Formal Complaint Against Google’s Android” over at Bloomberg) which reminds us that Microsoft is still lobbying and AstroTurfing (lobbying by proxy) against Linux, as we explained many times before.

So, this is the real Microsoft and for those who think it “loves Linux” perhaps a bit of a broader perspective may be necessary. The media sure isn’t helping because all it has done this past week is reposts/recycling of marketing images from Microsoft (with red-coloured hearts in them). That’s hardly journalism; it’s often called churnalism as it requires no research or input, just a little editing.

“The media sure isn’t helping because all it has done this past week is reposts/recycling of marketing images from Microsoft (with red-coloured hearts in them).”Microsoft, you see, loves Linux enough to just blackmail it. Again and again. It happened a second time this week alone, while the media wasn’t paying attention. Only Microsoft propaganda sites [1, 2] have covered it (so far, with the expected bias) and the Microsoft boosters try to make this racketeering look like “pals”. Why are general news sites or GNU/Linux sites not paying attention? It was simply nowhere in the news, not ‘on the radar’. Microsoft is now acting exactly like a patent troll, and it’s called “Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC,” based on the announcement which says: “Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC and Rakuten Inc. on March 9 signed a worldwide patent cross-licensing agreement covering each company’s respective consumer electronics products, including Linux and Android-based devices.”

So only 2 days apart Microsoft signed two Linux-related patent ‘deals’ (extortion), but the media focused only on Microsoft PR. Here is a sort of press release that almost nobody noticed, except perhaps this belated article (this morning) which says “Microsoft has just announced that it signed a new deal over its Android and Linux patents, this time with Japanese company Rakuten.”

“So only 2 days apart Microsoft signed two Linux-related patent ‘deals’ (extortion), but the media focused only on Microsoft PR.”Where was the media in the midst of all this? Why is this not being covered? IT Wire portrays Microsoft as a friend of Linux. This is far too shallow an article by an occasional writer and another new article from his colleague, Sam Varghese, mentions almost nothing at all about Microsoft’s attacks on GNU/Linux. Planet Debian also obsesses over the wrong news (so do Debian supporters), which isn’t even news at all. The Microsoft/SONiC/Debian thing is not news because it was mentioned in passing several months ago. It’s old new recycled or re-announced by Microsoft for propaganda, serving to distract from patent extortion (two incidents thereof), whether by design or by pure coincidence, which we doubt.

Over at FOSS Force, Christine says that “[a]ll of these efforts are entirely aimed at channeling business Microsoft’s way. It’s a one-way street. Redmond is only making it easy for open source developers to work and play well with the Microsoft universe.”

One journalist said that the “big thing today is SDN – or software defined networking – and Microsoft turned to Linux to enable it.” While also taxing Linux with patents? In the courts, Microsoft insists that Linux is its “intellectual property”. Now it’s just acting as though Linux is its property. How conveniently some people forget that Microsoft is still attacking Linux with software patents. Maybe they’re just not paying attention and the media surely isn’t helping. Microsoft cannot love Linux or even learn to love it. It can only pretend when it suits the goals of the marketing or E.E.E. strategy.

“Microsoft cannot love Linux or even learn to love it. It can only pretend when it suits the goals of the marketing or E.E.E. strategy.”Considering in general terms whether there was a deliberate design/plan here (intended to bury certain news while propping up some old/recycled news), Microsoft boosters sure covered the wrong thing and in general news sites the headline was changed from “Microsoft will release a custom Debian Linux. Repeat, a custom Debian Linux for networking” to “Microsoft has released a Debian Linux switch OS. Repeat, a Debian Linux switch operating system” (which is an entirely different thing, suggesting that it’s just recycled old news). The Register had rewritten its initial misleading headline about Microsoft and Debian and suddenly it looked like news from last year.

Why is there no investigative reporting about Microsoft’s patent attacks on Linux? Microsoft apologists played along by taking this news from last year and saying: “Put down your coffee gently. Microsoft will today release a homegrown open-source operating system, based on none other than Debian GNU/Linux, for network switches.”

Nope, not today, not yesterday. This is old news. And they’re missing the real news.

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. deltaexplorer said,

    March 14, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    Gravatar

    Microsoft is DOOMED. They are rotten.

  2. deltaexplorer said,

    March 14, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    Gravatar

    Microsoft, they are so rotten to the core.

What Else is New


  1. Berkheimer or No Berkheimer, Software Patents Remain Mostly Unenforceable in the United States and the Supreme Court is Fine With That

    35 U.S.C. § 101, which is based on cases like Alice and Mayo, offers the 'perfect storm' against software patents; it doesn't look like any of that will change any time soon (if ever)



  2. Ignoring and Bashing Courts: Is This the Future of Patent Offices in the West?

    Andrei Iancu, who is trying to water down 35 U.S.C. § 101 while Trump ‘waters down’ SCOTUS (which delivered Alice), isn’t alone; António Campinos, the new President of the EPO, is constantly promoting software patents (which European courts reject, citing the EPC) and even Australia’s litigation ‘industry’ is dissenting against Australian courts that stubbornly reject software patents



  3. Patent Maximalists Are Still Trying to Figure Out How to Stop PTAB or Prevent US Patent Quality From Ever Improving

    Improvements are being made to US patents because of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which amends/culls/pro-actively rejects (at application phases) bad patents; but the likes of Andrei Iancu cannot stand that because they're patent maximalists, who personally gain from an over-saturation of patents



  4. Links 15/11/2018: Zentyal 6.0, Deepin 15.8, Thunderbird Project Hiring

    Links for the day



  5. A Question of Debt: António Campinos, Lexology, Law Gazette, and Sam Gyimah

    Ineptitude in the media which dominates if not monopolises UPC coverage means that laws detrimental to everyone but patent lawyers are nowadays being pushed even by ministers (not just those whose clandestine vote is used/bought to steal democracy overnight)



  6. Science Minister Sam Gyimah and the EPO Are Eager to Attack Science by Bringing Patent Trolls to Europe/European Union and the United Kingdom

    Team UPC has managed to indoctrinate or hijack key positions, causing those whose job is to promote science to actually promote patent trolls and litigation (suppressing science rather than advancing it)



  7. USF Revisits EPO Abuses, Highlighting an Urgent Need for Action

    “Staff Representation Disciplinary Cases” — a message circulated at the end of last week — reveals the persistence of union-busting agenda and injustice at the EPO



  8. Links 14/11/2018: KDevelop 5.3, Omarine 5.3, Canonical Not for Sale

    Links for the day



  9. Second Day of EPOPIC: Yet More Promotion of Software Patents in Europe in Defiance of Courts, EPC, Parliament and Common Sense

    Using bogus interpretations of the EPC — ones that courts have repeatedly rejected — the EPO continues to grant bogus/fake/bunk patents on abstract ideas, then justifies that practice (when the audience comes from the litigation ‘industry’)



  10. Allegations That António Campinos 'Bought' His Presidency and is Still Paying for it

    Rumours persist that after Battistelli had rigged the election in favour of his compatriot nefarious things related to that were still visible



  11. WIPO Corruption and Coverup Mirror EPO Tactics

    Suppression of staff representatives and whistleblowers carries on at WIPO and the EPO; people who speak out about abuses are themselves being treated like abusers



  12. Links 13/11/2018: HPC Domination (Top 500 All GNU/Linux) and OpenStack News

    Links for the day



  13. The USPTO and EPO Pretend to Care About Patent Quality by Mingling With the Terms “Patent” and “Quality”

    The whole "patent quality" propaganda from EPO and USPTO management continues unabated; they strive to maintain the fiction that quality rather than money is their prime motivator



  14. Yannis Skulikaris Promotes Software Patents at EPOPIC, Defending the Questionable Practice Under António Campinos

    The reckless advocacy for abstract patents on mere algorithms from a new and less familiar face; the EPO is definitely eager to grant software patents and it explains to stakeholders how to do it



  15. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is Working for Patent Trolls and Patent Maximalists

    The patent trolls' propagandists are joining forces and pushing for a patent system that is hostile to science, technology, and innovation in general (so as to enable a bunch of aggressive law firms to tax everybody)



  16. Team UPC, Fronting for Patent Trolls From the US, is Calling Facts “Resistance”

    The tactics of Team UPC have gotten so tastelessly bad and its motivation so shallow (extortion in Europe) that one begins to wonder why these people are willing to tarnish everything that's left of their reputation



  17. The Federal Circuit Bar Association (FCBA) Will Spread the Berkheimer Lie While Legal Certainty Associated With Patents Remains Low and Few Lawsuits Filed

    New figures regarding patent litigation in the United States (number of lawsuits) show a decrease by about a tenth in just one year; there's still no sign of software patents making any kind of return/rebound in the United States, contrary to lies told by the litigation 'industry' (those who profit from frivolous lawsuits/threats)



  18. Links 12/11/2018: Linux 4.20 RC2, Denuvo DRM Defeated Again

    Links for the day



  19. Automation of Searches Will Not Solve the Legitimacy Problem Caused by Patents Lust

    The false belief that better searches and so-called 'AI' can miraculously assess patents will simply drive/motivate bad decisions and already steers bad management towards patent maximalism (presumption of examination/validation where none actually exists)



  20. The Federal Circuit and PTAB Are Not Slowing Down; Patent Maximalists Claim It's 'Harassment' to Question a Patent's Validity

    There’s no sign of stopping when it comes to harassment of judges and courts; those who make a living from patent threats and litigation do anything conceivable to stop the ‘bloodbath’ of US patents which were never supposed to have been granted in the first place



  21. Patent Maximalists Will Latch Onto Return Mail v US Postal Service in an Effort to Weaken or Limit Post-Grant Reviews of US Patents

    An upcoming case, dealing with what governments can and cannot do with/to patents (specifically the US government and US patents), interests the litigation 'industry' because it loathes reviews of low-quality and/or controversial patents (these reviews discourage litigation or stop lawsuits early on in the cycle)



  22. Guest Post: EPO Spins Censorship of Staff Representation

    Another concrete example of Campinos' cynical story-telling



  23. Andrei Iancu and Laura Peter Are Two Proponents of Patent Trolls at the Top of the USPTO

    Patent offices do not seem to care about the law, about the courts, about judges and so on; all they care about is money (and litigation costs) and that’s a very major problem



  24. The Patent 'Industry' Wants Incitations and Feuds, Not Innovation and Collaboration

    The litigation giants and their drones keep insisting that they're interested in helping scientists; but sooner or later the real (productive) industry learns to kick them to the curb and work together instead of suing



  25. EPO 'Outsourcing' Rumours

    The EPO advertises jobs in Prague and Lisbon; this leads to speculations less than a year after António Campinos sent EU-IPO jobs to India (for cost reduction)



  26. Links 11/11/2018: Bison 3.2.1 and FreeBSD 12.0 Beta 4

    Links for the day



  27. Pro-Litigation Front Groups Like CIPA and Team UPC Control the EPO, Which Shamelessly Grants Software Patents

    With buzzwords and hype like "insurtech", "fintech", "blockchains" and "AI" the EPO (and to some degree the USPTO as well) looks to allow a very wide range of software patents; the sole goal is to grant millions of low-quality patents, creating unnecessary litigation in Europe



  28. Latest Loophole: To Get Software Patents From the EPO One Can Just Claim That They're 'on a Car'

    The EPO has a new 'study' (accompanied by an extensive media/PR campaign) that paints software as "SDV" if it runs on a car, celebrating growth of such software patents



  29. The Huge Cost of Wrongly-Granted European Patents, Recklessly Granted by the European Patent Office (EPO)

    It took 4 years for many thousands of people to have just one patent of Monsanto/Bayer revoked; what does that say about the impact of erroneous patent awards?



  30. Links 10/11/2018: Mesa 18.3 RC2, ‘Linux on DeX’ Beta and Windows Breaking Itself Again

    Links for the day


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