Microsoft’s Charm Offensive Against GNU/Linux Uses the Same Media Strategy Donald Trump Uses

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Oracle, Patents, Ubuntu at 6:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Harm offensive or charm offensive? “A campaign of flattery, friendliness, and cajolement designed to achieve the support or agreement of others” –Oxford Dictionary

“I once preached peaceful coexistence with Windows. You may laugh at my expense — I deserve it.”

Be’s CEO Jean-Louis Gassée

Embrace and Extend
Credit: unknown (Twitter)

Summary: An analysis of last week’s Microsoft media frenzy, which despite Microsoft’s persistence with and insistence on proprietary software (not to mention its perpetual war on GNU/Linux using software patents) truly succeeded and it looks a great deal like the media strategy championed by Donald Trump

HAVING studied Microsoft and its extensive network of external PR agencies for well over a decade, and having studied the latest PR charm offensive for a whole week (while patiently taking notes along the way), I now feel prepared (on a Sunday when it’s all said and done) to provide my explanation of what happened. In short, it’s a PR campaign. It’s not a new PR campaign; it’s continuation of an existing PR campaign, whose banner is typically “Microsoft loves Linux” (that’s the misleading motto). Those who have followed non-disclosure agreements probably know that Microsoft is still attacking Linux. It’s a demonstration of hatred, not love. The genius of this PR campaign is that it logically reverses what’s true. It’s like BP stating that it loves wind power, the Koch Brothers stating that they love Senator Sanders, and Clinton stating that she loves self-determination.

“The genius of this PR campaign is that it logically reverses what’s true.”At the moment, judging by the reaction of people to this PR campaign, I can see roughly three groups. There are those who are still distrusting Microsoft. There are those who are increasingly confused by what Microsoft is doing, not sure what they’re really up to. The third group is either people who are in the Microsoft camp (profiting from it) or those gullible enough to believe what Microsoft is saying, sometimes even repeating the “Microsoft loves Linux” lie.

In this article we shall break down last week’s ‘news’ into roughly three categories or strands. We are going to show the reality behind all this PR, which was emitted in big quantities (with help from lousy media) and in quick succession. Little time and space were left to respond to the PR.

Microsoft Hates Linux

Dozens of articles, some of which were very long, were published here in 2015 and in 2016 and therein we responded to the “Microsoft loves Linux” lie. We gave actual examples from the news (not old stories) which demonstrate Microsoft’s ongoing campaign of hatred towards GNU/Linux. Microsoft is, as usual (as per its notorious history), using its money in an effort to undermine the competition (GNU/Linux in this case), not just with/through SCO, which it supported financially before dunking money into Novell (Microsoft used Novell to start a campaign of patent litigation and extortion, finally sweeping up Novell’s own patents as a grand finale). We wrote about this a few days ago and also one month ago when media wrongly claimed that it was all over. Here is what FOSS Force has just had to say about it. Don’t be easily fooled. There are no coincidences there. Microsoft-funded Linux kernel lawsuit: 13 years and counting (better headline for this article from Condé Nast) because Microsoft just loves Linux…

“We are going to show the reality behind all this PR, which was emitted in big quantities (with help from lousy media) and in quick succession.”Microsoft hates Linux. It just needs people to believe otherwise whilst attacks go on. Microsoft tries to conceal its real intentions (in the minds of top management, not low-level developers).

Microsoft’s Media Strategy

Last week we explained how the "Tay" story (or non-story) got used as Microsoft opportunism, PR, a distraction, and propaganda. It was the Donald Trump kind of PR strategy. Just mention “Hitler” or something like that and the press will be all over you; and if there’s no such thing as “bad publicity” (as all such publicity can be spun positively given the skilled personnel), then you inevitably win hearts and minds.

“Tay” was not news at all… it was more of a PR stunt. Like the “Microsoft loves Linux” stunt, among other things, as we shall show in a moment. The more shocking the statement, the more press you are guaranteed to receive. Provocation or “rhetoric” is what some call this strategy (in relation to Trump in politics).

“It was the Donald Trump kind of PR strategy.”In a nutshell, all that happened last week was, the media got invited to play a role in a provocative media strategy that baits the reader (including misleading images with hearts in them), someone called Wim ended up being hired by Microsoft because he got offered a higher salary (so he moved from one evil proprietary software giant to another), and finally, as expected, Miguel de Icaza and his colleagues at Microsoft once again openwash .NET. That’s pretty much all that it boils down to. Not much to see here, so why not just move along?

No, Linux (or Ubuntu) Isn’t on Windows

There’s no news here ((2-19] below are headlines we didn’t include in our daily links because they added nothing new), except maybe Vista 10 promotion. It now rides the wave or enjoys the positive publicity of the Linux brand. Some people ‘reviewed’ this supposedly ‘new’ thing [20-24] and some rightly criticised it [25-26].

I personally used Cygwin when I started university more than 15 years ago (one partition of mine ran Windows 98, the last version I ever had). At work and at university I was using GNU/Linux exclusively, so sometimes I needed somewhat of a ‘bridge’.

“The more shocking the statement, the more press you are guaranteed to receive.”Microsoft now claims credit for Cygwin, or sort of claims to have innovated/invented it. What a shame. Did the media not research this properly? Early coverage regarding this came from 3 Microsoft boosters (the night before the actual announcement) and it was highly misleading, probably by design. As we wrote at the time, they’re probably being gamed or fed by Microsoft’s PR agents (if not directly). They published highly misleading ‘teasers’ that set the tone to many misleading articles the following day.

“WSL doesn’t really let you do very much that you couldn’t already do for many years via Cygwin,” one person explained [1] (a reasonably good journalist), so it was all hype and lies. Some comments said the same: “Does anyone understand how this works? I thought Cygwin worked the same way.”

Microsoft is not really offering anything new, just putting Microsoft’s name on old stuff. This quickly raised questions about GPL compatibility.

“Microsoft is not really offering anything new, just putting Microsoft’s name on old stuff.”As FOSS Force put it: “Then there was the twelve hour scare, when news was leaked that Canonical and its newfound buddy Microsoft were bringing Ubuntu to Windows. At first look, that turned out to be something of a non-story, as the Windows version of the Linux-distro-that-would-be-Windows comes without just about everything you might expect to find in a GNU/Linux distribution. What you get, basically, is access to Ubuntu’s implementation of the Bash shell, which we now might call MS-Linux-DOS.”

Many journalists ended up mischaracterising it as “Ubuntu on Windows 10″ (that’s from today!). It’s not Ubuntu on Windows 10. That’s just a gross oversimplification.

“Mister Linux” Nonsense

“Mister Linux” is Mr. Torvalds. Everyone knows Torvalds, more so than people know or recognise Mr. Stallman. How many people even heard the name Wim Coekaerts? Surely not many. Yet Microsoft propaganda sites now make Wim sound like some kind of a huge celebrity; “Mister Linux” is what some of them dub/call him. Yes, someone who worked for a proprietary software firm that attacks Linux/Android using patents is apparently “Mister Linux”. Poppycock! Judge the total of 7 articles about it [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] and notice how many of them came from Microsoft boosters and/or apologists. Why is it “news” when a company the size of Microsoft hires someone? He’s not even that famous. They make it seem like he is. How convenient. They try to bolster that “Microsoft loves Linux” narrative rather desperately now. They give feet to a myth. What really happened here? Most likely Microsoft offered this man a lot of money. As we noted here over the years, Microsoft offered huge lumps of money to FOSS luminaries, in order for them to join Microsoft. Simon Phipps openly complained about it. Jono Bacon, who managed the Ubuntu community, was among those whom Microsoft offered a lot of money in an effort to poach him. He declined.

Shame on Canonical? No, on Greed and Self Interest.

Canonical is now doing Microsoft’s E.E.E. (embrace, extend, extinguish) for Microsoft. It actively helped the E.E.E. The Canonical employee who did this said in his blog that Microsoft had even sponsored him. What does that tell us in light of the situation Bacon was in? OMG Ubuntu was dumb enough to call E.E.E. (not FOSS) “lovefest” (this reminds us of its Mono enthusiasm). A loaded headline, “Nothing To Worry About Microsoft Newly Found Love For Linux”, misleads the reader by reinforcing Microsoft lies amid E.E.E. There’s no love there. Microsoft has accelerated not only E.E.E. tactics. It also accelerated patent strikes against Linux and Android, but one (the former charm offensive) helps distract from the latter.

Microsoft’s Most Notorious Propagandists Come Out as ‘Experts’

“Speed and competition mean that a lot of so-called ‘journalists’ rush to write things based on hearsay and press releases, which typically means Microsoft and its confidants inside the media.”Mary Branscombe, whom we mentioned here recently , has spent many years acting like a Microsoft PR agent in ‘reporter’ clothing, habitually attacking FOSS and openwashing Microsoft. “New Microsoft, new attitude” says her latest puff piece and she is not alone. Well, it’s clear what the strategy (as in media strategy) is because we quickly saw several of Microsoft’s other anti-Linux actors coming out from the shadow, along with Mary. They’re really attacking by pressing on with E.E.E. agenda. Suddenly, for the first time in months if not years, Rob Enderle rears his head regarding FOSS (he is also femmewashing Microsoft, not just openwashing it this/last week) and so does Al Hilwa. For those who don’t know who he is, it’s a Microsoft mouthpiece, previously salaried by Microsoft [1, 2, 3]. Adrian Bridgwater cites and extensively quotes Hilwa without noting that he’s a person from Microsoft pretending to be an “analyst” now (Linux-hostile). Very disappointing level of journalism, that’s for sure. There’s even worse journalism out there, for example this article which is openwashing proprietary software from Microsoft. There’s no new FOSS, just E.E.E. of other people’s work. Some people may occasionally say, give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt. How can one do this while Microsoft is attacking (covertly) Linux behind the scenes every week? Selective vision works only because of media omission (e.g. of patent deals). Microsoft has managed to blur the gap between journalism and PR by paying large network to have writers who are de facto Microsoft PR people (we named some of them before) and they game the media by quoting people who are close to Microsoft, shifting the focus of news before it’s even announced, and so on and so forth. This post/article about Microsoft E.E.E. thus focuses not on technical issues but on how Microsoft manipulated the media. Speed and competition mean that a lot of so-called ‘journalists’ rush to write things based on hearsay and press releases, which typically means Microsoft and its confidants inside the media. Those who don’t research are bound to repeat their propaganda. We see a lot of the same stuff as it involves EPO PR people, who bombard journalists with their spin (or ‘prepared’ statements).

Developers, Developers, Developers, Use Our Proprietary Software!

Microsoft wants C++ developers (even those developing for GNU/Linux) to use proprietary software that does not run on GNU/Linux (Microsoft Visual Studio). Here is what Microsoft Gavin wrote about Microsoft’s latest proprietary software ‘gift’ (lock-in, E.E.E., and media manipulation). Watch this article and responses to it, e.g. in Reddit. Watch how Microsoft-friendly sites repeated Microsoft’s own words. It’s all proprietary as pointed out here, but now comes Miguel de Icaza with his misleading/distracting blog post. “Microsoft Mono seems to have chosen a license that allows the ongoing threat of software patents,” iophk told us, linking to this older page about licence choices.

“Going back to Xamarin, it’s mostly openwashing (that’s what Mono did) because Visual Studio remains proprietary and .NET is all promises but still no complete code one can compile from the ground up.”XFaCE, linking to an article about this topic from Wired mocks the use of words like “Delights” and “Freeing” (right there in the headline). “WIRED removed comments I’ve seen,” says XFaCE, so we know that comments that are hostile towards this spin got censored out of existence (standard routine at Condé Nast, which now owns Wired). MinceR was “guessing the koolaid must flow uninhibited,” based on what he wrote in IRC. Condé Nast already has an epidemic of comment censorship in Reddit, Ars Technica and apparently that extends to Wired. What you see there is thus HEAVILY sanitised. And in whose favour? So now we know that Condé Nast not only spreads Microsoft propaganda to aid E.E.E. against Linux but also deletes messages of resistors. Back in the days, before Condé Nast bought Wired magazine, this magazine had actually stood up to Microsoft. Now it has a DEDICATED Microsoft section (PR) and it helps Microsoft silence voices of opposition. Now, that is a media strategy, is it not? Some of Condé Nast’s Web sites, based on what we got told by their managers, were actually launched with Microsoft’s funding (Ars Technica UK for sure).

To give another example of poor reporting/journalism, AOL chose the headline “Xamarin CEO Nat Friedman on getting acquired by Microsoft” (don’t laugh, see our page about Xamarin).

Friedman actually CAME from Microsoft, so that’s like Microsoft buying Elop or an Elop-led Nokia). Speaking of Nokia, today we finally found news about Nokia launching an Android phone (5 years too late). How does Nokia feel (especially the rational people who left after 2011) now that Microsoft basically declares Windows ‘mobile’ dead (ish)? To quote this new article from IDG:

Microsoft puts Windows Phone on hold


Well, now we know why Microsoft’s Windows Phone didn’t appear at Microsoft’s Build keynote on Wednesday: it simply isn’t on Microsoft’s radar screen at the moment.

The question, of course, is whether it will ever be again.

“We’re going to do some cool things with phones, but this year phones are an important part of our family but not the tip of the spear,” Windows chief Terry Myerson told The Verge on Wednesday.

Phones, Myerson added, “is the wrong place for us to lead.”

Going back to Xamarin, it’s mostly openwashing (that’s what Mono did) because Visual Studio remains proprietary and .NET is all promises but still no complete code one can compile from the ground up. Microsoft loves proprietary SQL Server, proprietary Windows, proprietary Visual Studio etc. It wants GNU/Linux users to buy those. That’s how far the “love” goes. For its next act, Microsoft shall probably do something to paint Microsoft Office “open” even when it’s proprietary. Like bribing people in order for ISO to ‘bless’ OOXML.

“The reason “Linux” news get flooded/dominated by Microsoft (again) isn’t that Microsoft is loved or hip. It is just a lot more greased up on the marketing side.”Looking at the media for coverage about this ‘news’, we see that a lot of Microsoft’s boosters wrote about it, with some (few) exceptions [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10]. It’s Microsoft news, it’s not FOSS news. What’s even more laughable is that when a longtime Mono booster and inadvertent GNU/Linux basher (see the latest in [1, 2]) “joined” the latest .NET (i.e. Microsoft lock-in) advocacy the media made it sound like .NET was widely loved. Microsoft-dominated ‘media’, 1105 Media [1, 2], went even further and labelled the whole event “Spotlight on Open Source” (as if something actually got liberated rather than “embraced”, as in E.E.E.). The same media company (highly and tightly connected to Microsoft) said that “Microsoft Adds Support for Linux Bash Shell on Windows” (nothing to do with Ubuntu or Linux and not even news, as we noted above).

In Summary

The reason “Linux” news get flooded/dominated by Microsoft (again) isn’t that Microsoft is loved or hip. It is just a lot more greased up on the marketing side. Like Donald Trump, it knows how to pull the strings of the media/press — strings which are sometimes already in place (because of financial strings).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Microsoft and Canonical Bring Ubuntu Linux Apps to Windows

    It’s also worth noting that WSL doesn’t really let you do very much that you couldn’t already do for many years via Cygwin, which allows a lot of GNU/Linux apps to run on Windows. Cygwin is not as seamless a solution as WSL, but the end result it provides is basically the same. For that reason, some GNU/Linux fans will probably be left wondering what WSL really changes.

  2. Microsoft announces preview of Azure Batch for Linux virtual machines
  3. Microsoft cozies up to Ubuntu as developers welcome cold day in hell
  4. Ubuntu brings Linux Bash Shell to Windows 10
  5. Microsoft joins hands with Canonical to bring Ubuntu to Windows 10
  6. Cross Platform: You will be able to run Ubuntu on Windows 10 ; Microsoft Bolsters Canonical
  7. Ubuntu for Windows brings ‘bash’ to Windows 10
  8. Microsoft set to integrate Linux to its platform
  9. Developers can run Bash Shell and user-mode Ubuntu Linux binaries on Windows 10
  10. Bash on Windows. Repeat, Microsoft demos Bash on Windows
  11. Ubuntu’s User-Space Ported To Run On Windows 10 By Canonical/Microsoft
  12. Why Microsoft Making Linux Apps Run on Windows Isn’t Crazy
  13. Ubuntu Goes to Microsoft’s Windows 10 Bash
  14. Bringing Ubuntu to Windows is a step in the right direction for Microsoft

    Will Windows eventually work its way into computer science courses anytime soon? Probably not, considering a copy of Ubuntu is free.

  15. The Odd Couple: Ubuntu is Coming to Windows
  16. Native Ubuntu Bash command line coming to Windows 10 (for developers)
  17. Windows 10 will soon let you run Ubuntu and access your workspace natively
  18. Ubuntu on Windows — The Ubuntu Userspace for Windows Developers
  19. Ubuntu brings Linux Bash Shell to Windows 10
  20. Here’s how Windows 10′s Ubuntu-based Bash shell will actually work
  21. Ubuntu Linux On Windows 10 — Here Are The First Pictures For You
  22. Winbuntu review
  23. Watch Microsoft show off the Linux command line on Windows 10 (video)
  24. Windows 10 + Bash Preview
  25. The devils spawn

    I just heard from several sources that Canonical and Microsoft are forming a partnership a marriage if you will between themselves. This unholy matrimony, this putrid partnership is not to bring windows to the Linux operating system, it is to bring ubuntu to the windows operating system.

  26. How bad is the Windows command line really?

    Kevin Gallo just announced Bash support on Windows.

    If you have never had to interact with the Windows Batch language, this might not seem like such a big deal. Surely Batch could not be substantially worse than Bash, right?

    Bash: a language that was neither designed, nor evolved. An adequate solution to a problem that has since become orders of magnitude harder. As arcane as it is useful, as dangerous as it is ubiquitous, Bash: the language that asks how much we are willing to give up for convenience’s sake?

    Sure, Bash could be worse. But substantially worse? Bash had one value proposition: it was just good enough. It is difficult to imagine that it would have flourished as it has, if that had that not been true.

    But the truth is what it is. Batch is substantially worse. And how much worse sort of beggars belief.

EPO Strike in 3.5 Days Effective in All Sites, Lots for EPO Staff to be Angry About

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Stuff for staff of the EPO to be aware of

EPO strike banner

Summary: An outline of the strike at the European Patent Office (EPO), why it is happening, how EPO’s management attempted to derail it (even pro-actively), how the Administrative Council’s inaction contributed to it, and why this matters to Techrights

THIS was inevitably going to happen. The staff has had enough and it won’t tolerate it without sending out a strong message. For some context and background on this we suggest the following older articles of ours (sorted chronologically):

There are a few more articles on this topic, but the above are linked to them one way or another. It is important to also remember that EPO Vice-President Željko Topić formally weakened the right to strike last year, threatening financial retaliation against those who go on strike. He must be thinking that Eponia is as lawless as his own/home country; well, Eponia is technically worse in many ways. It’s like a kingdom with a king — one who can also break his own rules whenever he feels like it and ignores his sort of 'judges' (because a king is a king, Sun King).

The strike images are apparently being circulated this weekend* and earlier today (Sunday) SUEPO posted the following text in its public pages:

One-day Office-wide strike on 7 April 2016

No essential progress has been made on staff’s claims as expressed in the call for strike entitled “Lawfulness at the EPO” that was sent to the President on 10 February 2016. The initiators of the call for strike have informed the CSC that they would like the strike to happen at the earliest opportunity. Accordingly, the strike shall take place on 7 April 2016 at all sites of employment: Munich, The Hague, Berlin and Vienna.

This is not a SUEPO thing but also a CSC thing**, so it’s very broad and widely supported.

Meanwhile, according to this morning’s new comment, CA/26/16 is out. AC-DC (Administrative Council-Disciplinary Committee presumably, as a band-named joke) wrote:

“The AC, [...] having repeatedly expressed its deep concerns about the social unrest within the EPOffice;
having repeatedly urged the EPOffice President and the trade unions to reach a consensus on an MOU which would establish a framework for negotiation between social partners;
noting that disciplinary sanctions and proceedings against staff or trade union
representatives have, among other reasons, made it more difficult to reach such a consensus;
noting that these disciplinary sanctions and proceedings are widely being questioned in the public opinion;
recalling the importance and the urgency of the structural reform of the BOA;
recognizing the important institutional role of the AC and its dependence on a well-resourced and independent secretariat;
Calls on both parties to the social dialogue to recognize their responsibilities and to work diligently and in good faith to find a way forward, and:
Requests the EPOffice President – to ensure that disciplinary sanctions and proceedings are not only fair but also seen to be so, and to consider the possibility of involvement of an external reviewer or of arbitration or mediation pending the outcome of this process and before further decisions in disciplinary cases are taken, to inform the AC in appropriate detail and make proposals that enhance confidence in fair and reasonable proceedings and sanctions;
to submit to the AC a draft revision of the Staff Regulations which incorporates investigation guidelines (including the investigation unit) and disciplinary procedures which have been reviewed and amended;
to achieve, within the framework of the tripartite negotiations, an MOU simultaneously with both trade unions, which would have no pre-conditions or exclude any topics from future discussions;
to submit proposals to the AC at its June 2016 meeting, after discussion in B28, for immediate implementation of the structural reform of the BOA, on the lines of the 5 points agreed by the AC at its December 2015 meeting and of the legal advice given by Prof. Sarooshi, and taking into account comments from the Presidium of the BOA;
to submit proposals to the AC at its June 2016 meeting, after discussion in B28, for reinforcement of the AC secretariat and a clarification of its position in terms of governance.
Requests the staff representation and the Trade Unions – to acknowledge the importance
of firm and fair disciplinary procedures; and to respond constructively to the initiatives set out above, in particular to work rapidly to an agreement on Union recognition without preconditions.”

Sounds like the AC did not have a clue of what was going on, did they? Supervisory body? European model institution? Frightening …

Yours, AC-DC

By failing to take firm action in the middle of March the Administrative Council failed to prevent a strike. In a sense, it’s partly at fault and arguably to blame for this. It’s just too close to Battistelli, still. People can sense it and they act accordingly.

Personally, and as many readers of Techrights would agree, I have an issue with software patents in Europe, which the UPC threatens to bring/cement. EPO lobbying for UPC at Fordham 2016 was covered here in English and in Spanish over the weekend and another blog update from a UPC proponent who was there says:

In the UPC, the risk of a pan-European injunction increases these considerations. Tina suggested that a concept of an automatic one-size fits all injunction can distort how companies do business. Indeed, a concept of an automatic injunction may prioritize litigation over licensing.

Annabelle Bennett, in the audience, commented that the patent is the right to exclude: “Previously, in the ordinary patent sense, people would come to court and almost automatically be granted an injunction. But, an injunction is a discretionary remedy which means you do not get an injunction in all cases. Standard essential patents (SEPs) are a classic example or where a device has 1000 patents in it. Judges are not automatons – they will fashion the remedy to the case.” This will hopefully also ring true in the UPC, says Merpel.

There is generally a lot more to be angry about than just abuse of EPO workers. This institution does not serve humans, it increasingly just serves large corporations (at the expense of people) and many of these corporations are not at all European.
* One image/message we took a glimpse at said: “From a friend of a friend… The future of the EPO is at stake! 3701 colleagues voted for strike. You made it possible: The restoration of fundamental rights and the end of injustice at the EPO is now within our reach. The cracks in the system can no longer be hidden. Join now for a day of office-wide strike. Change the course of the EPO. As everyone is watching, your determination can now restore our rights. On 7 April, you will decide about your future and the future of the EPO. Strike on 7 April”

** “Please note,” one message stated, “that has been notified by this strike day has been officially notified by CSC to the President in a letter on the 30.03.16 [...] the choice of the date is a consequence of a letter from the lawyer acting on behalf of the initiators of the strike “Lawfulness at the EPO”. Please note that, even though the strike is “organised by the EPO”, it seems that so far (four working days before) no registration tool has been put in place. But it can only be a matter of time.”

Patents Roundup: More on Patent Shakedowns, IBM Rejoins the Shakedowns Club With Software Patents, China Worries About Patent Certainty (Too Low a Standard)

Posted in America, Asia, IBM, Patents at 2:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“The digital version of a protection racket.”

“Steve Jobs threatened to sue me, too. [and also] Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer. They’d flown in over a weekend to meet with Scott McNealy. [...] Bill skipped the small talk, and went straight to the point, “Microsoft owns the office productivity market, and our patents read all over OpenOffice.” [...] Bill was delivering a slightly more sophisticated variant of the threat Steve had made, but he had a different solution in mind. “We’re happy to get you under license.” That was code for “We’ll go away if you pay us a royalty for every download” – the digital version of a protection racket.”

Jonathan I. Schwartz, Sun

Summary: Patent news from the United States and new input from China, where there is growing concern about the scope of patents and certainty that granted patents are in fact valid and enforceable (except using shakedowns for ‘protection money’ or secret settlements)

Patent Litigation Costs and Exploitation Thereof

A lot of firms in the US, primarily but not only patent trolls, take advantage of the high cost of patent lawsuits and basically try to settle with victims (prospective defendants). This is a form of ‘protection money’ strategy, akin to racketeering or extortion. Even the copyright field/domain now tends to have such parasites, often referred to as “copyright trolls” (a relatively new term, coined only a few years ago). Watch this new article (or blog post) which states: “Most patent holders would agree that licensing patents for revenue has gone from bad to awful — from difficult less than a decade ago, to virtually impossible today.”

“This is a form of ‘protection money’ strategy, akin to racketeering or extortion.”This article actually bemoans this, as if more ‘protection money’ is a good thing. What this article’s referrer calls “patent industry” is actually a shakedown industry. “Obstacles to innovation” is just gobbledygook intended to make it sound as though innovation and patents are synonymous and interchangeable. Watch this tweet that says “Rather gloomy article on the state of the patent industry and obstacles to innovation” (nothing to do with innovation).

Remarking on this article, Julian wrote: “What an awful article. It refuses to admit that trolls are a problem, sees no flaw in the idea that litigation should be easy. It also believes patents should be “in the middle.” No. Patents exist for public good. There is no “middle.””

IBM Now Acting Like a Patent Troll (Microsoft’s Anti-Linux Strategy)

IBM now does to the Internet what Microsoft has been doing to Linux.

“IBM now does to the Internet what Microsoft has been doing to Linux.”As noted here yesterday, IBM continues to extort companies with software patents it has amassed like an arsenal (by the thousands per year), and this time it’s Priceline facing the firing line. J Nicholas Gross, “Berkeley IP Law Master” by his own description, wrote that “if IBM cant stop patent infringers who can? Priceline “refused to engage in any meaningful discussion on merits” [meaning agree to pay for software patents that are unproven in court, only in the biased and increasingly reckless USPTO]”

“So basically, IBM is now on a warpath of patent extortion using software patents (amid many IBM layoffs).”Here is an article about it which says: “A federal judge has denied several travel and reservation websites’ objections to a report and recommendation that International Business Machines’ patent infringement lawsuit against them should proceed.”

So basically, IBM is now on a warpath of patent extortion using software patents (amid many IBM layoffs). Just like Microsoft. And we’re supposed to actually trust IBM’s OIN? It’s not even so effective. Here comes a new red herring from IBM’s patents chief, who pretends that the only alternative is having no patents at all; well, almost nobody suggests abolishing the whole thing, just software patents. How nice of Manny Schecter to mislead people like this, even with false dichotomies. IBM is becoming increasingly shameless about its patent aggression, even aggression using software patents, i.e. patents that are dubious anyway. Schecter spends too much time hanging out with patent maximalists like Gene Quinn and it truly shows. IBM becomes more like IAM. As the latest figures from Bliski Blog help show, a lot of software patents are still being ruled invalid by US courts. To quote the latest from Bliski Blog (second article in 2 days, which is rare as there are only about a dozen posts per year): “March 2016 is the first month since Alice was decided that the number of decisions upholding patents (15) exceed the number of invalidating decisions (12). However, this is not a sea change. Rather, it’s an artifact of the data: on March 22, 2016, Judge Robinson (D. Del.) released four decisions denying motions to dismiss that had been pending for many months. The clustering of these four decisions spiked the numbers. More important is that underlying trend of invalidating decisions continues upwards.”

“It’s rather disappointing to find that China and the US moved closer into alignment when it comes to patents.”Tell that to IBM. It’s now that confidence in software patents is on the decline (like the number of IBM employees) that IBM chooses to attack perfectly legitimate companies using patent lawsuits.

“Supreme Court vacate Alice patent decision,” as the author of Bliski Blog (Robert Sachs) put it, and “UPSTO reacts” (we covered this before).


China’s own Supreme Court (Supreme People’s Court) has meanwhile remarked as follows, based on the USITO: “On March 22, the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) issued a new legal interpretation that will impact patent infringement case resolution. The policy, called the “Interpretation of Several Issues Concerning the Trial of Patent Infringement Dispute Cases (II)” (henceforth “Interpretation II”), will be implemented beginning on April 1.”

“Low-quality patents for the sake of quantity take their toll.”One of the points made there is: “With the compromise interpretation principle, strengthen functions in the publicity and delimitation of claims and increase the certainty of the scope of patent protection” (something which decreased in the US following Alice).

It’s rather disappointing to find that China and the US moved closer into alignment when it comes to patents. They basically patent just about everything under the Sun (or the Dragon) and now there’s low confidence that patents will actually endure in the courts. Low-quality patents for the sake of quantity take their toll.

Cabildeo por la UPC y Propaganda en el Grupo de Interés Fordham IP (‘Conferencia’) 2016 en Nueav York, Con un Claro Rol de la EPO

Posted in America, Europe, Law, Patents at 1:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Publicado en America, Europe, Law, Patents at 8:25 am por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Moldeando las leyes de la Unión Europea (EU) en los Estados Unidos’ Grupo de Interés [EN | ES], en frente de una audiencia que no es europea

Fordham IP Conference

Sumario: Margot Fröhlinger de la EPO y unos pocos ‘empleados de la casa’ (especuladores, no inventores) promueven su horrífica visión del sistema Europeo de patentes, que lo haría atractivo a los trolles de patentes basados en los US y a los proponentes de patentes de software, así como también a la agresión/extorción (como la de Microsoft, EL PRINCIPAL INVERSIONISTA DEL FORDHAM IP)

LA EPO no ha aprendido las lecciones del contragolpe que dio lugar a una crisis. Battistelli ha sido aconsejado a mantener un bajo perfil (es profúndamente odiado), pero sus soldados ahora han heredado el rol de advocar por al UPC (Battistelli y su Guardia Pretoriana vendrán a Londres este mes para continúar haciéndolo también).

La UPC básicamente amenaza deshacerce de lo que ha quedado dentro de la EPO que actualmente combaten las patentes de software, principalmetne los jurados independientes y otros factores externos (la EPO es una máquina de hacer dinero, riésgosamente ignorándo a la EPC cuando quiera que se ajuste a sus objetivos estrechos de mente). Como este comentario lo pone:

Sir Robin imagina menos uso de la oposición en la EPO, una vez que la UPC este funcionándo.

¡Por supuesto! Una obviedad, uno podría aventurarse. Desde que comenzó la EOP, en 1978, el 70% de todas las oposiciones se han presentado por hablantes de alemán, todo debido a la bifurcación en Alemania de los problemas de violación y de validez. ¿Por qué bifurcación? La Ley Fundamental alemana (Constitución) hace que sea inevitable, ¿verdad? ¿Pero ahora? La UPC va a deshacerse de todas esas tonterías.

En respuesta a esto, un abogado de patentes escribió:

Sí claro. Oponentes van a abandonar una oposición de bajo costo para un alto costo (con imposición de costas) de la UPC. Se utilizarán las dos pistas, y el punzón añadido de una patente unitaria harán una oposición más convincente.

Entonces otro abogado de patentes dijo:

Como siempre, sagaz comentario de Meldrew. Aceptando que la patente unitaria añade “punzón”, lo que debería ser la respuesta de tipo empresarial de los que van con el temor de ser golpeado, los que han visto el puño y el miedo que pueda usarse?

En Alemania, hasta ahora, era para conseguir su venganza en la primera, y se oponen a que, en Inglaterra, no lo era. Me atrevo a sugerir que en Inglaterra tenía más sentido, la mayoría de las veces, para conseguir uno de defensa bien organizada, pero luego esperar a un ataque que, en su mayoría, no ocurriría. Después de todo, el litigio se supone que debe ser un último recurso, ¿verdad?

Y si llegara a suceder, que un ataque viene, y uno realmente es demandado en la corte unitaria de la infracción, uno contra demanda de nulidad, lo haría uno no, así como el argumento de no infracción, todo en el mismo tribunal, la misma acción.

así, Meldrew, han cambiado los tiempos entonces, que supones oposición con derecho preferente a ser “convincente”?

Y ¿qué hay de “oposición de los pobres” a saber, la presentación de las observaciones partido EPO 3º de patentabilidad? Hmmmmh, lo dudo. ¿Por qué acelerar la concesión de la patente, con créditos que gozan de una presunción de validez superior, reclamaciones impulsán un “golpe” mayor?

Y así continuó:

Hasta que la UPC tiene una trayectoria que no estará claro si va a alentar o desalentar la enemistad fraternal que se produce en Alemania, pero no es que tema que me preocupa.

Es el valor incrementado dramáticamente de una patente europea que hará que sea un objetivo más tentador.

Todavía es posible en la actualidad para hacer una buena vida con la venta de productos fuera de la santa trinidad de DE-FR-GB y haciendo caso omiso de las patentes validados sólo en aquellos países. Si la UP consigue un gran uso de esta posibilidad se reducirá y habrá más gente que quiere despejar el camino. Para mí esto es muy probable que resulte en un aumento de las oposiciones.

En cuanto a 3POS, utilizo estos mucho. Mis clientes prefieren la certeza temprana a la incertidumbre prolongada, por lo que prefieren sus competidores tenían fuertes patentes mis clientes no infringen las patentes, de inciertos mis clientes puedan atentar contra.

Lejos de ser “oposición de los pobres” un 3POS son una parte esencial del kit de herramientas de un abogado, y no se oponen a la oposición después. Tal vez por eso se informó el número de 3POS haber aumentado de forma espectacular en los últimos años. Otro factor es el uso de las presentaciones de emisión previamente en los EE.UU.. A medida que nuestros amigos del otro lado del charco crecen más familiarizados con este tipo de herramientas que cabe esperar que sean utilizados más. Especialmente en lo que se puede decir las cosas de una 3PO no se puede decir en una presentación emisión pre ..

Lo siguiénte es de esperarse de un sitio que atraé muchos abogados de patentes:

“Desde donde estoy sentado, oposicion a la EPO va a continuar, y van a ser la opción preferida de eliminar las malos patentes. La velocidad de oposiciones hasta la DO se está acelerando, aunque el diámetro exterior de estiramiento TBA es todavía demasiado largo. El, la ruta oposición EPO seguirá siendo rentable en comparación con una acción de revocación de la UPC “.

Tal vez Sir Robin estaba contribuyendo a su poco de tontería de día de inocentes antes de la fecha de vencimiento? A menos que la UPC comienza rechazando sistemáticamente las solicitudes de estancias de procedimiento, mientras que las oposiciones están pendientes (y no espero que), oposiciones seguirá siendo interesante para los supuestos infractores aunque sólo sea como una táctica dilatoria. Tácticamente, el único inconveniente de una oposición frente a la UPC invalidación es que la EPO es notoriamente perspicaz alrededor de evidencia de uso público con anterioridad. Si sus mejores ataques dependen de tales pruebas, es posible que un buen consejo para ir directamente a la UPC para invalidar esa patente. De lo contrario, me gustaría empezar con una oposición.

Estos comentarios agradables. ¿Dónde nos dejan?

¿Caballos de carreras? Hay WO A y publicaciones tratan mejor usando un 3PO, otros en los que por supuesto sería contraindicado. Luego están los casos que están más o menos pidiendo a gritos que se oponen en la OEP. Y luego están los casos en que uno dudaría en dar el primer paso, pero se acumularían en una oposición en la OEP si el titular de la patente hace el primer movimiento.

En resumen, todos los fabricantes deben estar manteniendo activamente claro el camino a seguir, por todos los medios son los más adecuados.

Por lo tanto, un montón de trabajo para cualquier abogado de patentes europeas con suficiente visión para los negocios para ayudar a este tipo de clientes llegan a la estrategia óptima. Y todas las razones para tener confianza, va hacia adelante, que el régimen de patentes de la UE está en forma, justa y económica, no sólo para los propietarios de patentes, sino también para aquellos molestados por los titulares de patentes.

Por mucho que admiro a Sir Robin, no puedo tener mucho sentido de la sugerencia de que los litigios de la UPC podría hacer efectiva acabar con la necesidad de oposiciones de EPO.

Su sugerencia puede tener sentido para algunos litigantes, pero dudo que será todo lo que muchos – al menos no en el corto plazo. Esto se debe a oposiciones de EPO continuarán haciendo una gran cantidad de sentido para: (a) cualquier persona que intenta eliminar a validaciones nacionales de los países no-UPC (como España); (B) aquellos que buscan noquear EPs optado de salida; (C) las de escasos recursos, que están tratando de “despejar el camino”; y (d) los que tienen bolsillos más profundos que quieren jugar en ambos sistemas.

En mi opinión, la mayoría de los litigantes es probable que se incluyan al menos una de esas categorías. Sin embargo, queda por ver si el equilibrio cambia una vez que los usuarios se familiarizan con el funcionamiento de la UPC.

En este último punto, sospecho que la UPC tendrá un momento difícil de la misma en los primeros años. Esto es porque el sistema legal que tendrá que aplicar simplemente la Corte tiene un asombroso número de complejidades y las lagunas / deficiencias (y, posiblemente, se está aplicando indebidamente por los Estados miembros). En este sentido, los comentarios de la Sra Fröhlinger (si se informa correctamente) son potencialmente bastante revelador. Es decir, si la clasificación de las complejidades legales se ve en los altos círculos como “aburrido”, no es de extrañar que nos encontramos ante un sistema UPC que se ve actualmente como a medias en el mejor.

“Como una oposición en la Oficina Europea de Patentes necesita ser llenada dentro de 9 meses de otorgamiento,” notó esta persona, “es sólo un proceso útil si terceras partes tienen un interés potencial comercial en la patente a ese tiempo. Claramente, este será el caso en muchas instancias, pero no todas, y es dependiente de la tecnología.”

El context de lo de arriba fue este artículo de un empleado de Bristows (masivos proponetes de la UPC). Ayuda a mostrar que Margot Fröhlinger de la EPO ES UN ENEMIGO DE LOS 99% (o más) de la población de Europe ya que fiéramente impulsa la UPC con los mismos viejos intents de profecíás-que-se-cumplen. Para citar un poquito:

Margot Fröhlinger (Director Principal, la Ley de Patentes y Asuntos Multilaterales, EPO) fue la primera en tomar la tribuna para discutir las cuestiones pendientes acerca de la patente unitaria. El próximo año, explicó Margot, es de esperar que tenga una patente unitaria y un Tribunal Unificado de Patentes (UPC) en Europa. Esto significa una ventanilla única para el procedimiento posterior a la concesión para la protección y la observancia. Esto ayudará a eliminar la complejidad de un mercado fragmentado, pero hay otras cuestiones que deben abordarse – algunos que son bastante tedioso y que deben ser tratados por acuerdo de los Estados miembros participantes o tratados por la UPC. La primera cuestión es en relación con los certificados complementarios de protección unitaria (es decir, sobre la base de los CCP patentes unitarias). La Comisión Europea ha anunciado recientemente que van a crear un SPC unitaria. Margot les desea buena suerte. La creación de un SPC unitaria puede ser tan complicado como la UPC (que tomó 40 años). Hay una serie de cuestiones jurídicas y políticas – es decir, la creación de un título unitario Europea que sólo tiene efecto en algunos Estados miembros de la UE? ¿Quién va a conceder CCP unitarios y fijar los honorarios? ¿Quién va a obtener las tasas para los RCP unitaria? Por el momento las tasas de SPC son retenidos por las oficinas nacionales. Será difícil de crear, pero en espera de la creación de un SPC unitaria, RCP nacionales puede ser obtenido a partir de la patente unitaria. La Comisión de la UE estará indicando claramente esto. La segunda cuestión es qué ocurre si la solicitud de efecto unitario es rechazada por la EPO o sea revocada por la UPC en el momento en que los plazos de validación ya ha expirado. Los Estados miembros están de acuerdo sobre todo de que deben volver a abrir el plazo para las validaciones nacionales. Esto se ha implementado en Suecia, Finlandia, Países Bajos y Alemania. El Reino Unido considera que el titular de la patente sólo debe pagar las tasas nacionales de renovación (y estaría protegido). Un enfoque armonizado en este punto puede ser difícil. La tercera dificultad es que los derechos nacionales anteriores conducen a una limitación o revocación de la patente para el territorio de uno de los Estados miembros participantes tras el registro de efecto unitario. Existen diferentes soluciones – ya sea nulidad o la limitación del efecto unitario solo para el territorio del Estado miembro de que se trate, o la revocación o limitación de todo el efecto unitario y la reapertura del plazo para validaciones o pérdida de la totalidad de la patente nacional. La UPC puede tener que hacer frente a este problema también. La última cuestión es la doble protección para la misma invención mediante patentes unitarias y las patentes nacionales. No existe ninguna prohibición en virtud del Convenio sobre la Patente Europea. Esto se deja a los Estados miembros. Los Estados miembros tienen diferentes enfoques – algunos permiten una doble protección, otros lo prohíben. la ley alemana que prohíbe la doble protección que tradicionalmente ha proporcionado ahora para una doble protección en su nuevo proyecto de ley. Esto añade otra capa de complejidad y puede afectar las estrategias de darse de baja de los titulares de patentes. En conclusión, Margot dice que no debemos comparar la patente UPC y unitario con lo que un mundo ideal puede parecer – que tiene que ser comparado con lo que el sistema es fragmentado como ahora. La patente UPC es una mejora.

Aquí esta Managing IP (MIP) con su propia versión de esto:

Margot Fröhlinger de la OEP (ver nuestra reciente entrevista con ella) se explica a través de algunas cuestiones pendientes en la patente unitaria y la UPC:

La Comisión Europea va a crear un SPC unitaria – “Les deseo buena suerte”, dice Fröhlinger, diciendo que hay una serie de obstáculos legales y políticos.

¿Qué pasa si una solicitud de efecto unitario es rechazada por la EPO o sea revocada por la UPC después de la fecha límite para la validación nacional ha expirado (fecha límite es habitualmente de tres meses). Ella informa discusiones “intensivos” en este punto, con la mayoría de los Estados miembros teniendo en cuenta que el plazo debe ser reabierto.

¿Qué pasa si un derecho nacional previo se invoca en contra de una patente unitaria en la UPC? Esta complicada pregunta puede ser una de la UPC para hacer frente.

Doble protección por patentes unitarias y las patentes nacionales – este problema se deja abierto, los estados miembros tienen diferentes enfoques.

TPP and TTIP están nombradas en su conjunto con la UPC en la misma página. Así para que la gente sepa quiénes están por todo y acerca de ella. Es completamente un extraordinario golpe de estado. Es guerra de clases.

Los críticos de la UPC, o fuentes que actualmente estan al tanto de los detalles minimos, corréctamente dijeron esto:

Los Costos de la Patente Unitaria

En una entrevista reciente Sr. Battistelli afirmó que la patente unitaria (UPC) “va a ser más accesible, menos costoso y más sencillo, especialmente para las pequeñas empresas de Europa, con la reducción de costos en el rango de 70-80%.” Según el Sr. Battistelli, el costo de solicitud y mantenimiento de una patente europea en toda la UE es actualmente alrededor de € 159.000 en más de 20 años. Bajo los nuevos planes, esto se reduciría a “alrededor de € 35.500″. No sabemos cómo el Sr. Battistelli llega a su suma “pre-UPC” de € 159.000 que parece extremadamente alta. Lo que sí sabemos es que los solicitantes rara vez, o nunca, se aplican para todos los estados miembros de la UE y que el tiempo de vida media de una patente está más cerca de 12 años que a 20 años. La cifra mencionada – si es correcto – es, por tanto, poco realista. SC / D 2/156 nos da alguna información acerca de los honorarios para la UPC. De acuerdo con ese documento las tasas anuales por el segundo a los 20 años (página 5/18) se suman a € 35.555. Eso es sospechosamente cerca de la “alrededor de € 35.500″ que el Sr. Battistelli menciona. Pero esos son solamente las tasas de renovación, es decir, los costos de mantenimiento de una patente europea en la UE más de 20 años. Si se añaden los gastos de traducción, representación legal y las tasas de procedimiento de la OEP, el costo mínimo de “solicitud y mantenimiento de” una patente unitaria estará más cerca de € 55.000.

La cuestión más fundamental que el Sr. Battistelli evita cuidadosamente, sin embargo: deben las patentes (unitarios u otros) ser barato, en particular teniendo en cuenta que DOS TERCIOS DE LAS SOLICITUDES DE PATENTES EUROPEAS NO SON DE ORIGEN EUROPEO? ¿Realmente queremos correr el riesgo inundar Europa, con una masa de patentes baratas, sobre no Europeas?


Así que, para hacerla corta, Battistelli está guíado erróneamente, (engañándose a si mismo) o MINTIENDO.

Usando el sistema de patentes como instrumento por el cuád defender la riqueza de los ya BILLONARIOS (con el antidemócratico golpe de la UPC) no es aceptable. Derrota la misión del sistema de patentes. Aquí tenemos el último “reporte de progreso” de la MIP para la UPC (como si no hubiese oportunidad de evitarla, como si fueron previos esfuerzos bajo diferentes nombres anteriormente). Para citar a MIP: “El parlamente del Reino Unido ha aprobado la legislaciln para aprobar la implementación de las Regulaciones de la Patente Unitaria y el acuerdo UPC en el Reino Uido. Asimismo, el Parlamento debe aprobar una ley la aplicación del Protocolo de acuerdo sobre los privilegios y las inmunidades de la UPC antes de que el Reino Unido puede ser totalmente dispuestos a ratificar. Todavía no está claro si esto llegará antes o después del referéndum de la UE el 23 de junio principios de este mes, la salida a bolsa del Reino Unido dijo que la gestión de la PI “referéndum no tendrá ningún efecto sobre la ratificación del Reino Unido”. Algunos se mantienen escépticos. El tiempo lo dirá

“Ellos están haciendo una completa burla de la democracia, tanto como la EPO la que arrogantemente se ve a si misma por encima de la ley.”El Parlamenteo del Reino Unido nunca pregunto al pueblo Británico acerca de esto. Ellos están haciendo una completa burla de la democracia, tanto como la EPO la que arrogantemente se ve a si misma por encima de la ley. Michael Loney, escribiendo para el MIP de Nueva York, tenía esto que decir acerca de la toma de Robin Jacob en la UPC (que los británicos nunca llegó habló de o consultado sobre): “Sir Robin Jacob habla de su carrera en IP. Cuando empezó, “IP estaba dormido” en todo el mundo, y luego se quitó el litigio. Añade que él cree que la Convención Europea de Patentes es la mejor ley de patentes en el mundo, y añade que hay una ley común en Europa – pero no los procedimientos comunes. Cuando los casos paralelos llegan a conclusiones diferentes en Europa, que se debe a diferentes pruebas ley no diferente, dice. [...] Cuando se le preguntó a reflexionar sobre su carrera, Klaus Grabinski dice que el papel más interesante es ser un juez de primera instancia. Él está de acuerdo con Jacob que “derecho material” de las patentes es la misma en toda Europa, y dice que la UPC será asimismo que la armonización … “(detrás del muro de pago)

El empleado de Bristows añadió mas tarde lo siguiente acerca de Jacob:

“Sir Robin Jacob (UCL) se enfrentó a la primera pregunta de si cambiaría nada de su carrera. Robin dijo que no, que era una suerte increíble, pero señaló que cuando llegó a la barra, la PI es un mundo feliz pero tranquilo. IP, lo que dijo fue dormido, pero que no sabía por qué estaba dormido en especial, ya que era muy despierto en el siglo 19. Se despertó en Inglaterra cuando un juez de Inglés comenzó a hacer cumplir las patentes con el resultado de que los estadounidenses, que estaban perdiendo sus patentes en los EE.UU., comenzó litigar en el Reino Unido. Hugh preguntó Sir Robin, que la ley de patentes se considera que es la mejor ley de patentes. Sir Robin dijo que el Convenio sobre la Patente Europea “es la ley de patentes mejor escrito en el mundo. Está claro que es eficaz “. Hugh preguntó si existía una diferencia entre la ley del Inglés y del derecho de patente europea. Sir Robin dijo que no había. la ley de patentes Inglés es la ley de patente europea. Aunque la ley es la misma, esto no significa que los jueces de distintos tribunales nacionales aplicarán la ley de la misma. A menudo, señaló, un juez alemán y holandés es probable que aplicar la ley de manera similar. Las diferencias vienen cuando nos fijamos en las diferencias de procedimiento con los tribunales de derecho común (Reino Unido) que llevan a cabo una inmersión más intensivo de los hechos y las pruebas que los tribunales de justicia civil (holandés y alemán). Sir Robin comentó que un área del derecho de la PI que nadie ha entendido siempre el derecho de marcas y particularmente señalado que huele sólo deben transportarse protegido como marca cuando los consumidores utilizan sus narices para caminar alrededor de supermercados de averiguar lo que van comprar.”

Entonces viene la parte acerca de la UPC:

“Justin Watts (Freshfields) estaba dotado de elegir quién fue el siguiente juez de hablar. Él eligió el juez Klaus Grabinski (Tribunal Supremo), quien explicó que el ser un juez de primera instancia es mucho más divertido que ser un juez de la corte de apelaciones. Esto se debe a que un juez de primera instancia se llega a ver cómo se ejecuta el caso en la primera línea y descubrir, al igual que un inventor, las cuestiones legales que deben ser abordados. Haciéndose eco de los comentarios de Sir Robin, el juez declaró Grabinski las diferencias entre los tribunales nacionales europeas son en su mayoría cuestiones de procedimiento, no de fondo. Esto podría ser visto, explicó el juez Grabinski, en el simposio jueces que se celebra cada dos años. Los jueces están divididos en grupos por idioma para decidir cuestiones legales y, a menudo, el grupo alemán Inglés y adoptarían más o menos el mismo razonamiento. Los grupos franceses a menudo llegar a un resultado diferente. Juez Grabinski considera que los tribunales alemanes y británicos son más armonizadas, como resultado directo. La UPC examinará estas diferencias en la práctica, en virtud de las normas de procedimiento de la UPC son una mezcla de procedimientos de derecho común y civiles. Vamos a ver lo que funciona y lo que no funciona y si hay problemas que necesitan una mayor armonización. Hugh preguntó si la reputación de los primeros impactos juez ejemplo de cómo una apelación ofertas de las opiniones de los tribunales de primera instancia. Dijo que no, que él no tiene una lista negra de los jueces en mente. En los EE.UU., respondió Hugh, a veces es mejor haber perdido abajo y subir a la Corte de Apelaciones sobre la base de una decisión de ciertos jueces (es decir. Que no son muy respetado por lo que será más fácil para revocar).”

Todo lo anterior supone erróneamente que la UPC se convertirá en una realidad, utilizando proyecciones demasiado optimistas sobre cuándo va a suceder (como si fuera una certeza de que esto inevitablemente sucederá y que sólo una cuestión de tiempo).

Francamente, la propaganda UPC tiene que parar e instamos a todos nuestros lectores a poner fin a la misma antes de que siempre se las arregla para saltar más allá de las puertas de Troya como un pájaro catapultado por Pinocho Battistelli y sus compadres bárbaros. Estos son, evidentemente, un montón de gente borracha de poder, suponiendo erróneamente que están por encima de la ley y también fijan la (la ley de patentes, por ejemplo, a la UPC) ley. En sus propias palabras…

Willy Minnoye caricature
¨¿Por lo tanto no aceptarás el veredicto del juez más alto de los Países Bajos?¨
- Si su Señoría

“El gobierno no está tratándo de destruír a Microsoft, está simplemente buscando forzar a Microsoft a obedecer la ley. Es completamente revelador que Sr. [Bill] Gates iguala las dos cosas.”

Government official

EUIPO y sus Sospechosa Relación con la EPO

Posted in Europe, Intellectual Monopoly, Patents at 12:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Publicado en Europe, Intellectual Monopoly, Patents at 7:40 am por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Demasiádo sigilo para una supuesta sociedad demócratica

Men's shade

Sumario: Un montón de actividad bajo el telón (conferencias de acceso limitado, contratos secretos, arreglos sigilósos), se diluyen en cuánto se trata de la EUIPO (formerly OHIM), EPO, and WIPO)

Desde hace bastánte tiempo hemos estado escuchando acerca de la relación entre la EPO y la EUIPO, el cual es un nuevo nombre para una existente entidad. Siempre es importante asegurarse que tales entidades Europeas se adhieran y obedescan intereses Europeos, o poniéndolo claramente, los intereses de las personas ordinarias de todo el mundo en vez de simplemente los intereses de corpóraciones masivas (usualmente extranjeras). Recuerden la época en que patentes MONOPOLIZABAN los tratamientos contra el cancer en Europa, actitud criminal que afectaba a los pacientes de cancer. Como resulta basado en nuevos reportajes (e.g. [1, 2]), GSK considera no mantener un monopolio (usando patentes) en ciertos tratamientos contra el cancer, al menos en naciones pobres. Esta es la clase de noticias que la gente quiere escuchar.

“Siempre es importante asegurarse que tales entidades Europeas se adhieran y obedescan intereses Europeos, o poniéndolo claramente, los intereses de las personas ordinarias de todo el mundo en vez de simplemente los intereses de corpóraciones masivas (usualmente extranjeras).”IP Kat, que reciéntemente celebro su 10,000 blog post, toma una mirada a este nuevo libro acerca de leyes para diseño y patentes en Europe — un interésante coctel o mescla (para reusar las palabras de Battistelli). Ne es siempre claro si robo de diseños puedan ser prevenidos usando marcas, derechos de autor, patentes o alguna rara combinación de ellas). Eso es donde la EUIPO tiene su lugar. Respondiéndo a este nuevo artículo acerca de Fordham 2016 (un evento que críticamente mencionanos en Inglés anoche y Español esta mañana), una persona escribió: “El más importante resultado de tal reunión es el consenco en como debe ser pronunciado EUIPO” (como si el nombre fue lo que importa y no lo que es decidido en una cerrada camara de eco en Nueva York, incluso no en Europa -una señal más de lo que nos quieren imponer (UPC) desde el otro lado del charco. Despierta Europa!-)

Par citar a IP Kat:

Dimitris Botis (Director Adjunto de Asuntos Jurídicos en el recién nombrado EQUIPO) fue el siguiente Para discutir el futuro del sistema de marcas de la EU, en particular el comercio reciente marca paquete de reforma consiste en la Directiva 2015/2436 y el Reglamento 2015/2424. El mayor cambio en el Derecho de marcas de fondo es la supresión del requisito de representación gráfica que significa que será más fácil para registrar las marcas no tradicionales. El impacto exacto de este cambio en la práctica de presentación y tipos de marcas que pueden ser aceptados no se verá hasta que las normas de aplicación son emitidos el 1 de octubre de 2017. El cambio más grande es la segunda a la prohibición funcionalidad a “otras características”. En la actualidad existe también un requisito expreso para mayor claridad y precisión en la especificación de los bienes y servicios que se especifican para la marca. Se basará en el “sentido natural y habitual” de términos (es decir .interpreted literalmente). La nueva estructura de tarifas y niveles, un nuevo sistema de “pago-por-clase” es también un gran cambio. Ha habido una reducción moderada de la tasa de solicitud y la reducción sustancial de las tasas de renovación. Dimitris también señaló que también hay nueva marca de certificación de la EU que puede ser registrado para garantizar la certificación de la calidad, el material, el modo de fabricación, etc, pero no se puede utilizar en relación con el origen geográfico. A nivel institucional, no habrá cambios en la terminología – hola euipo! Pero no sólo sus cambios en la terminología, hay un cambio en la estructura de administración. Los cambios van a tomar en un sabor más política (la Comisión de la EU tiene dos asientos ahora). El nuevo Reglamento también requiere una mayor cooperación entre los Estados miembros. Trevor Cook, de Wilmer Hale dijo que el cambio es realmente sólo de carácter técnico y no generan un gran impacto en el Derecho de marcas de fondo. Dimitris acuerdo, pero los cambios técnicos asegurará un funcionamiento más eficiente

He aqui lo que Michael Loney escribió por MIP en Nueva York:

Dos primeros para Fordham: debut de Dimitris Botis y la primera charla de alguien de EUIPO (OHIM fué cambiada de nombre el 23 de marzo). Él resume los cambios en el paquete de marcas de la EU, en las que hubo una sesión en la mañana y otra en la tarde

Se dice que los cambios fueron “enmiendas dirigidas” para mejorar la previsibilidad y la accesibilidad, y la más importante es la supresión del requisito de representación gráfica (a partir de octubre 1 2017).

El siguiente es Antony Taubman de la WTO, que describe su estancamiento como “muy arraigado” sin trabajo en el proyecto GI durante cinco años (por ejemplo). Es aquí en Nueva York para cosecha “ideas”, añade.

Interesante notar, como se ve arriba, que OHIM fue oficialmente cambiada renombrada del 23 de Marzo y esto fue hecho sin publicidad. Juzgando por el nombre simplemente, la IPO podría convertirse algúnd dia en una organización paraguas para la Oficina/Organización de Patentes, asumiéndo que “IP” es realmente lo que es (simplemente un término paraguas para derechos de autor, marcas, patentes, y talvez también secretos de comercio).

“Interesante notar, como se ve arriba, que OHIM fue oficialmente cambiada renombrada del 23 de Marzo y esto fue hecho sin publicidad.”Algunas personas dentro de la EPO comparan a Pinocho Battistelli con Gurry (ahora muy conocido por los escándalos de la WIPO) y Campinos, quien es rumoreado ser a remplazo de Battistelli y al presente lidera la OHIM, alias EUIPO.

Como una persoa escogió ponerlo, “WIPO, OHIM, EPO: ¿tres de una misma clase?”

OHIM es probablemente el nombre antiguo ahora, pero aquí es donde la analogía va:

El 24 de febrero, una audiencia del Congreso de Estados Unidos se llevó a cabo en la rendición de cuentas de la WIPO. El Jefe de la WIPO, Francis Gurry, está acusado de faltas graves y las represalias contra los denunciantes, entre los cuales es el presidente del Sindicato del Personal de la WIPO, que fue despedido sumariamente de un año y medio atrás 1. El jefe de la tercera internacional oficina de objetos, el Sr. Campinos, ha logrado hasta el momento para permanecer fuera de la vista del público. Esto puede, sin embargo, ser sólo cuestión de tiempo. Oímos de personal en la Oficina de que él tiene un estilo de gestión y la falta de respeto al estado de derecho que son muy similares a las del Sr. Battistelli. Las tres oficinas de PI internacionales tienen estructuras muy diferentes: la OEP es totalmente independiente, la WIPO es un organismo de la ONU y la OAMI es una agencia de la UE. Ellos, sin embargo, parecen sufrir los mismos problemas. ¿Cómo? Tal vez porque las causas subyacentes son los mismos: un órgano rector que es casi totalmente dependiente de la cabeza de la oficina para su información, un montón de dinero y la falta de transparencia que permite a la cabeza de la organización que utilice ese dinero para aumentar su personal influencia, todo rematado con la inmunidad. Desde las mismas causas tienden a provocar el mismo efecto, la eliminación de los directivos responsables no resolvería los problemas. Lo que se necesita es una reforma de la gobernanza de estas organizaciones, empezando por una mayor transparencia y rendición de cuentas – que el órgano de gobierno y al público.

Propria “transparencia y acountabilidad” — como lo de arriba lo pone — podría por lo menos informar al público de lo que esta sucediéndo en la OHIM. Hay muchísimo sigilo. En la EPO, por ejemplo, contratos de la alta gerencia son altamente guardados, tanto como secretos son los contratos compañíás como Microsoft y Gemalto. Estos no son organismos públicos. Ellos actúan como organismos privados [1, 2] which enjoy immunity from the law.

Expandiéndonos en la Oficina de IP de la Unión Europea (EUIPO), lo que la hace sonar como parte de la EU (a diferencia de la EPO, el cual la EPC trajo a existencia):

Justo después que Sr Battistelli asumió su cargo, empleados y el público fueron informados que acuerdos bilaterales habían sido firmado entre la EPO y la WIPO, y entre la EPO y la OHIM. Parece que el contexto de esos acuerdos nunca fué hecho público. Vistasos de ello pueden ser encontrado en otros documentos, e.g. CA/24/14 (puntos 51-57), por ejemplo, explica que la EPO continuará participando como observador en los cuerpos de la OHIM y sus grupos de trabajo. Por lo que hasta ahora sabemos, OHIM también tiene observadores en el Consejo Administrativo de la EPO.

En una basis más permanete, Sr Telmo Vilela, antiguo compañero de trabajo del Sr Campinos en la Oficina Portuguesa de Patentes, fue contratado por la EPO en DG5 pero fue transferido a la oficina del Presidente ni bien se presentó la oportunidad. Más aún de acuerdo al CA/24/14 (punto 57) cooperación IT entre la EPO y la OHIM está prevista con el objetivo de “allanar el camino para la implementación proyectos y actividades en armonización y interoperabilidad”. El Sr Campinos es tambié el candidato favorito del Sr Battistelli para su succeción como Presidente de la EPO. Un poquito más de información: OHIM cambiará su nombre al de European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) más tarde este mes.

Vale la pena notar que Pinocho Battistelli intentó ser la cabeza de la WIPO antes que se vuelva el emperador de la EPO. Hay un sentido de sobrecubimiento aquí, alguno implicando a Željko Topić, VP4 en la EPO. Un tópico qiue la SIPO tiene en común con la EPO y la WIPO son suicidios de emplealos (usualmente voces disidentes).

Queda tanto secreto en torno a estas instituciones (y abusos extremos contra los críticos o las personas que se ‘atreven’ explorar la verdad) que uno tiene que cavar más profundo y más profundo. Ciertamente hay una gran cantidad de material de estas personas están ansiosos por ocultar (porque ya lo están ocultando, incluso cuando hay una profundización de la crisis).

Links 3/4/2016: LabPlot 2.2.0, NixOS 16.03

Posted in News Roundup at 11:06 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish



Free Software/Open Source

  • Crowdsourcing code: why startups are turning to open-source software

    A startup wants a mobile menu for their new app. It’s going to cost them time and money to build one from scratch, so they search on Google to find one that is ready-made, a template if you will.

    It is because of publicly available ‘open-source software’ (OSS) that finding such a component is relatively easy. Simply put, OSS is when a product, and the source code that accompanies it, is made available for others to use and even change, or add on to, as they see fit.

  • Events

    • Tickets are live for foss-north

      I’ve written about foss-north earlier. From now, tickets are available. What we are looking at is a free and open source one day conference in Gothenburg. Great speakers already now, and the CfP isn’t even closed.

    • Talking at FOSSASIA 2016 in Singapore

      This year I was able to attend this year’s FOSSASIA in Singapore. It’s quite a decently sized event with more than 150 speakers and more than 1000 people attending. Given the number of speakers you can infer that there was an insane number of talks in the two and a half day of the conference. I’ve seen recordings being made so I would expect those to show up at some stage, but I don’t have any details. The atmosphere was very friendly and the venue a-maze-ing. By that I mean that it was a fantastic and huge maze. We were hosted in Singapore’s Science Museum which exhibits various things around biology, physics, chemistry, and much more. It is a rather large building in which it was easy to get lost. But it was great being among those sciency exhibits and to exchange ideas and thoughts. Sometimes, we could see an experiment being made as a show to the kids visiting the museum. These shows included a Tesla coil or a fire tornado. Quite impressive.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Firefox and cookie micromanagement

        For most of its existence, Firefox has provided users with the ability to manage how cookies are stored with a rather high degree of granularity: users can block specific cookies, create site-wide exceptions to the accept/block policy, and configure behavior for third-party cookies. Up until Firefox 44, there was an additional option as well, one that allowed users to choose the expiration point (that is, expiring them at the end of the session or letting them persist) for every cookie they encounter. That option was removed in the Firefox 44 release, which has made some users rather unhappy.

        The option in question was found in the Privacy preferences screen, labeled “Ask me every time” on the “Keep until:” selector. When enabled, the option raised a dialog box asking the user to accept or reject each cookie encountered, with a “accept for this session only” choice provided. Removing the option was proposed in 2010, although the patch to perform the removal did not land until 2015. It was released in Firefox 44 in January 2016.

      • How Safe Browsing works in Firefox

        If you want to learn more about how Safe Browsing works in Firefox, you can find all of the technical details on the Safe Browsing and Application Reputation pages of the Mozilla wiki or you can ask questions on our mailing list.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Testing ODF on Document Freedom Day

      Because OpenDocument Format (ODF) is the open standard that I am involved in most, I want to write a few words about it.

      Since last autumn, I’m working on the ODF standard for the Dutch government. Supporting standards in government is an important task: new software comes and goes, but documents, once created, should be readable and reusable into the future.

    • LibreOffice Logic

      When you switch to LibreOffice, you can usually assume that all the features available in other office suites are available. They might have a slightly different name, or be placed in another menu, but the basic functionality should be the same in both. If you make a note of the features you use most often, and systematically learn how to do each one, you can often cope with the transition.

  • BSD

    • Book Review: FreeBSD Mastery: Specialty Filesystem

      A filesystem is nothing but the data structures that an operating system uses to keep track of files on a disk. The filesystem stores pictures, music, videos, accounting data and more. The different operating system comes with various filesystems. One may need to move data between FreeBSD and other Unix-like systems like OS X or Linux based devices. Knowing all about filesystem help us to archive or move data between system. The “FreeBSD Mastery: Specialty Filesystem” is an essential, practical and well-written book.


    • Inessential weirdnesses in free software

      I’ll discuss aspects of our behavior and jargon that stop or slow down some new users and contributors in free software, so that in outreach efforts, we can be better at bridging the gap. These include git’s terrible UI, our in-person conference structures, and widespread scorn of and dismissiveness towards team sports, Top 40 music, patriotism, religion, small talk, and Microsoft Windows. In getting rid of unnecessary barriers, we need to watch out for disrespectful oversimplification, so I’ll outline ways you can know if one of our weirdnesses is necessary. And I’ll talk about how to mitigate the effects of an inessential weirdness in your outreach efforts.

    • PSPP 0.10.1 has been released

      I’m very pleased to announce the release of a new version of GNU PSPP. PSPP is a program for statistical analysis of sampled data. It is a free replacement for the proprietary program SPSS.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Is Source Code covered by the PSI Directive?

      Concerning France, the court decision may have a considerable impact, as the source code of any software produced by or for the various national or local administrations becomes legally “libre” or open source under no or very permissive conditions. Therefore the interest to clarify the applicable licence: when communicating it, relevant administration should then apply the EUPL or the French CeCILL, according to the 12 September 2012 prime minister Ayrault circular.

    • MIT Media Lab Changes Software Default to FLOSS*

      The MIT Media Lab is part of an academic ecosystem committed to liberal sharing of knowledge. In that spirit, I’m proud to announce that we are changing our internal procedures to encourage more free and open-source software.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • BMW *are* complying with the GPL

      Earlier this month I accidentally kicked off a minor kerfuffle over whether BMW was respecting the GPL. Their i3 car contains a huge amount of Open Source Software and there was some confusion as to BMW’s compliance with the licence terms.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

    • Atom reaches one million active users

      We have reached an exciting milestone: one million people have launched some version of Atom in the last month. That’s three times the number of active users we had under a year ago at the one-year anniversary of Atom becoming completely open-source.

    • Here’s A New Programming Language That Talks To Living Cells And DNA

      The genius minds at MIT have created a new system that uses a programming language to design complex DNA circuits and control the living cells. As a part of their research, MIT researchers have programmed 60 circuits with a variety of functions.

    • JavaScripthon — A Simple Python To ES6 JavaScript Translator

      So many, Python and JavaScript seem like similar languages — object oriented, functional hybrid, dynamically typed and a rich library. Keeping the same in mind, probably, a coder has created a small and simple Python to JavaScript translator.


  • Here’s What Happened to Apple’s Third Co-Founder

    “WHEREAS,” it read, “Mr. Stephen G. Wozniak (hereinafter referred to as WOZNIAK), Mr. Steven P. Jobs (hereinafter referred to as JOBS), and Mr. Ronald G. Wayne (hereinafter referred to as WAYNE), all residents of the County of Santa Clara, State of California, have mutually agreed to the formation of a company to be specifically organized for the manufacture and marketing of computer devices, components, and related material, said company to be organized under the fictitious name of APPLE COMPUTER COMPANY.”

  • Can Premier League leaders Leicester City hold their nerve? [Ed: off topic]

    It was a year ago, on 4 April 2015, when the great recovery to survival started as bottom-of-the-table Leicester beat West Ham United 2-1. With the pressure to avoid relegation at its height, Leicester won seven of their last nine games to stay up.

  • Southampton boss: Jamie Vardy’s rise from non-league to Leicester and England is crazy

    Vardy has helped push Leicester City to the verge of the Premier League title, and forced his way into England’s Euro 2016 reckoning just four years after plying his trade in non-league football.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • The Libyan Enterprise: Hillary’s Imperial Massacre

      In fact two documents strongly backed Qaddafi on this issue. The first was a secret cable to the State Department from the US embassy in Tripoli in 2008, part of the Wikileaks trove, entitled “Extremism in Eastern Libya,” which revealed that this area was rife with anti-American, pro-jihad sentiment.


      By October of that year, Muammar Qaddafi was dead and stuffed in a meat locker. Denied post mortem imagery of Osama bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki, the world was presented with photographs of Qaddafi, dispatched with a bullet to the head after being wounded by NATO’s ground troops outside Sirte.

    • Cleaning Up Hillary’s Libyan Mess

      U.S. officials are pushing a dubious new scheme to “unify” a shattered Libya, but the political risk at home is that voters will finally realize Hillary Clinton’s responsibility for the mess, writes Robert Parry.

    • Obama’s Nuclear Security Summit Neglects 98 Percent of the World’s Bomb-Ready Uranium

      But critics have pointed out that the summits have only focused on highly enriched uranium in civilian possession, which, according to the Department of Energy, only accounts for 2 to 3 percent of the world’s supply. That small percentage is used mostly by academics for research and medical isotope production.

      The remaining 97 to 98 percent is held in military stockpiles, which the security summits have largely ignored. Countries keep the safeguards on these stockpiles secret, and military material falls outside the scope of international security agreements.

    • A ‘Silent Coup’ for Brazil?

      Brazil and other Latin American progressive governments are on the defensive as U.S.-backed political movements employ “silent coup” tactics to discredit and remove troublesome leaders, writes Ted Snider.

    • Iraq is Broke. You Have to Pay for It.

      The next time a candidate or reporter asks during a debate about education or healthcare “But how are you going to pay for that?” I would like the person being questioned to respond “The same way we find money to pay for Iraq.”

      So maybe it would just be better for Flint, Michigan to claim it is under attack by ISIS instead of just being poisoned because no one has the money to fix America’s infrastructure.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • ‘I am so sick of the Sanders campaign lying about me’: Clinton snaps at Greenpeace activist

      A question about fossil-fuel-industry donations to her campaign unleashed a rare flash of anger from Hillary Clinton on the rope line in New York on Thursday.

      The moment was recorded by an activist, whom Greenpeace identified as Eva Resnick-Day, who sought to pressure Clinton about the roughly hundreds of thousands of dollars her campaign has received from individuals with ties to fossil-fuel industries.

    • Unilever ditches major palm oil trader after its sustainability certification is revoked

      Unilever has cancelled its contracts with the IOI Group, after the major Malaysian palm oil trader was suspended by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) for destroying forests and peatlands in Indonesia.

      The IOI Group – whose customers include Kellogg’s and Mars – is one of the largest companies to have lost RSPO certification since the roundtable was formed in 2004.

      The decision will be seen as a test of consumer company policies on responsible sourcing of palm oil, which commit major brands to excluding suppliers responsible for deforestation and peatland drainage.

    • The Danger of a Runaway Antarctica

      The startling new finding was published Wednesday in the journal Nature by two experts in ice-sheet behavior: Robert DeConto of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and David Pollard of Pennsylvania State University. It paints a grimmer picture than the one presented only three years ago by a United Nations panel that forecast a maximum sea level rise of three feet by 2100. But that projection assumed only a minimal contribution from the massive ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica. And things could get worse in the centuries to come — the melting from Antarctica alone, not counting other factors like thermal expansion, could cause the seas to rise by nearly 50 feet by 2500, drowning many cities.

    • Saudi Arabia Plans $2 Trillion Megafund for Post-Oil Era: Deputy Crown Prince

      Saudi Arabia is getting ready for the twilight of the oil age by creating the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund for the kingdom’s most prized assets.

      Over a five-hour conversation, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman laid out his vision for the Public Investment Fund, which will eventually control more than $2 trillion and help wean the kingdom off oil. As part of that strategy, the prince said Saudi will sell shares in Aramco’s parent company and transform the oil giant into an industrial conglomerate. The initial public offering could happen as soon as next year, with the country currently planning to sell less than 5 percent.

    • Norway Is Killing Whales To Feed Animals Raised For Fur

      Norway has killed more whales than any other nation over the past four years, and some of that meat has become animal feed for the Norwegian fur industry, according to new documents unveiled by two environmental organizations.

      Revelations from the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) come as Norway opened up its whaling season Friday, and a week after Japan reported killing more than 300 minke whales — including pregnant females — for what it labeled as research. Now, groups are once again calling for an end to whaling — though this time the attention is placed on Norway, which along with Iceland and Japan, ignores a 30-year-old international moratorium on whale hunting.

    • With Coal Crashing, Will Polluted Communities Be Left Holding the Bag?

      Federal law requires coal companies to clean up and reclaim toxic mining sites. But what happens when a coal company’s gone bankrupt?

    • Flesh Vs Fossil: Let’s shut down the UK’s largest opencast coal mine in May

      2016 has got off to an even worse start. The United States’ second largest coal company – Arch Coal –­ filed for bankruptcy. The Chinese government announced the closure of more than 5,000 coal mines, with 1,000 to go this year. Almost half the UK’s coal power stations have announced closure in the last 12 months.

    • Did Sanders Lie About Clinton’s Oil Money? NPR Factchecker Can’t Be Bothered to Check

      So the factchecker’s job is to determine whether Clinton is right to say that she just gets money from people who work for fossil fuel companies, and that the Sanders campaign is lying about this, or whether the Sanders campaign is actually correct in saying that she relies heavily on funds from fossil-fuel lobbyists—right?

      See, that’s why you don’t have a job at NPR.

    • Bernie Sanders Took Money From the Fossil Fuel Lobby, Too — Just Not Much

      The Bernie Sanders campaign countered by pointing to a Greenpeace tally that says she has collected “$1,259,280 in bundled and direct donations from lobbyists currently registered as lobbying for the fossil fuel industry.”

      Additionally, Greenpeace found “$3,250,000 in donations from large donors connected to the fossil fuel industry to Priorities Action USA,” the main Super PAC backing Clinton’s campaign.

    • Flint Moves to Sue Michigan Over Water Contamination Fallout

      Flint has made moves to sue the state of Michigan, citing “grossly negligent oversight” that led to the city’s ongoing water contamination crisis.

      The city filed a notice of intent to sue with the Court of Claims on March 24, and it was reported on by various Michigan news outlets on Friday.

      It names the state, the Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), and four MDEQ employees as defendants.

      Flint mayor Karen Weaver wrote in the notice of intention to file claim, which the Flint Journal has posted here (pdf), that “the damage to the water system infrastructure caused by the MDEQ employees’ grossly negligent oversight is irreversible.”

  • Finance

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • You’re not a farm animal: A plea to journalists to release themselves from Trump’s press pens

      Covering the Trump campaign on a daily basis today appears to be a rather miserable media existence. Reporters are threatened by staffers, and the Trump communications team seems to be utterly nonresponsive to media inquires. (“There is no Trump press operation,” one reporter told Slate.)

    • “It’s a Revolution”: Actress Rosario Dawson on Why She Supports Sanders for President Over Clinton

      As former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders campaign in New York ahead of the state’s primary later this month, more than 16,000 people gathered in St. Mary’s Park in the South Bronx for a Sanders rally on Thursday. He spoke alongside film director Spike Lee and actress and activist Rosario Dawson, known for her roles in “Kids” and many other films, including “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.” Amy Goodman caught up with Dawson after the rally to discuss why she supports Bernie Sanders. “It’s a revolution,” Dawson says, noting the corporate media has failed to fairly cover his platform. She also discusses the rise of Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump. “He isn’t the problem,” she says. “There is a lot of stuff been going on for many years that has gotten out of control.”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • German Television Pulls Satire Mocking Turkey’s Erdogan

      GERMANY’S STATE BROADCASTER, ZDF, apologized on Friday for what it called satire that had crossed the line into slander and removed video of a comedian reading an obscene poem about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from its website and YouTube channel.

      The poem, which was read by the German satirist Jan Böhmermann on Thursday’s edition of his late-night show “Neo Magazin Royale,” described Erdogan in vile, obscene terms — even comparing him, at one stage, to Josef Fritzl, an Austrian man who fathered seven children with a daughter he held in a cellar for 24 years — but the text was presented as part of a comic demonstration of the difference between satire and slander.

    • For Israel’s Sake The Israel Lobby Must Be Held To Account

      It was ten years ago that the London Review of Books published an article on the Israel Lobby by John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt, distinguished scholars at two of America’s top universities. The following year the publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux found the courage to publish The Israel Lobby, a book with 357 overwhelmingly 5 star amazon.com reviews.

      The Israel Lobby is an understated critique of the enomous influence that the tiny state of Israel, which consists of land stolen by fire and sword from the helpless Palestinians, exercises over United States foreign policy. The crazed Israel Lobby went berserk. Mearsheimer and Walt were demonized as anti-semetics who wanted to bring back Hitler.

      Also in 2006 former President Jimmy Carter’s book, Peace Not Apartheid, was published by Simon & Schuster and became a New York Times bestseller with 846 overwhelmingly 5 star amazon.com reviews. Carter, who as US president did his best to bring Israel and Palestine to a settlement, truthrully explained that Israel was the barrier to a settlement. The Israel Lobby demonized Carter as an anti-semite, and the Jews on the board of the Carter Center resigned.

    • Espousing freedom of speech, and practising censorship

      Have you noticed how people you are eager to meet often prove to be disillusioning? Perhaps anticipation builds up huge expectations but they end up less than they originally seemed. Rather than their perceived star qualities it’s their faults and flaws you notice. Consequently, heroes end up with feet of clay.

    • Bonnici wants criminal libel removed, but censorship law comes first

      Justice minister says government is discussing the removal of criminal libel but the pending censorship and freedom of expression law takes precedence

    • Criminal libel should have been abolished in 2011 – Law Commissioner Franco Debono

      Law Commissioner Franco Debono yesterday told The Malta Independent that the whole criminal libel controversy involving shadow Justice Minister Jason Azzopardi could have been avoided if criminal libel was abolished in 2011, as he had proposed in a private members bill.

      The ‘controversy’ that Dr Debono spoke of is the 6 April criminal libel case against Shadow Minister for Justice, Dr Jason Azzopardi which was instituted through a criminal complaint by former police Commissioner Peter Paul Zammit.

    • Busuttil insists police ‘in Muscat’s grip’ over Azzopardi arraignment

      Opposition leader Simon Busuttil insisted that the police, who are instituting criminal defamation charges against PN MP Jason Azzopardi, are “state apparatus in the grip of Joseph Muscat”.

      Busuttil told MaltaToday that criminal defamation is a perfectly acceptable legal tool unless “manipulated by government to intimidate the Opposition” and that Opposition MPs are only charged in court with criminal defamation in banana republics and dictatorial regimes.

    • Some prominent Chinese are chafing against censorship

      The editor-in-chief of China’s Global Times, a tabloid closely tied to the Communist Party and known for its often-rabid nationalism, isn’t exactly the kind of guy you’d expect to be calling publicly for more freedom of speech and less censorship.

    • China Party journal denounces critics seeking to discredit anti-graft drive

      A top magazine of China’s ruling Communist Party lashed out at critics of its ongoing anti-corruption campaign, saying foreign media and individuals from home and abroad were intentionally trying to discredit the effort as a political “power struggle”.

      Chinese President Xi Jinping has pursued a sweeping campaign to root out corruption since assuming power about three years ago, and has promised to strike hard at both senior and low-level officials, the “tigers” and “flies”.

      Nonetheless, there has been persistent speculation that the graft crackdown is also about Xi taking down his rivals.

    • It’s time for America’s lawyers to come to the aid of their Chinese counterparts

      Last summer, the Chinese Communist Party regime began a nationwide crackdown on human rights activists and attorneys. It’s time that the American Bar Association, the largest attorneys organization in the world’s most powerful democracy, took a clear, unequivocal stand on the crackdown in defense of universal values and the rule of law.

    • China’s tight control of speech
    • Norwegian band Slutface change name to Sløtface due to ‘social media censorship’
    • Slutface change name to Sløtface due to “social media censorship”
    • Slutface changes name to SLØTFACE, shares new single “Sponge State” — listen
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Bringing Signal to the desktop

      The non-profit Open Whisper Systems (OWS) organization is best known for its smartphone apps: first TextSecure and, more recently, Signal. Lately, however, the project started branching out by developing a desktop front-end for Signal, thus allowing users to take advantage of verifiable, end-to-end encryption for instant messages and group chats from the comfort of a full-size keyboard. The desktop version remains linked to the smartphone edition, although opinions certainly may vary as to whether that constitutes a plus or a minus.

      TextSecure was released as open-source software in 2011, followed by an encrypted voice-calling app named RedPhone in 2012. OWS then merged the functionality into a single iOS app called Signal in March 2015; the Android version was released in November of the same year. Signal Desktop was announced in December, via a beta program for which potential users had to sign up and wait to receive an invitation. As with all of OWS’s projects, of course, the source code for Signal Desktop is available on GitHub.

    • Decentraleyes Addon Fixes Browser Privacy, Circumvents CDNs

      Widespread CDN acceptance has been a security flaw that sacrifices privacy simply because it breaks web pages on anything put a text-based browser, which is a sacrifice few are willing to make for the sake of their information remaining local.

    • Remember that California bill to ban the sale of encrypted phones? It just got worse

      The assemblyman, who decried Apple for “risking our national security and the safety of our kids” by using encryption, also uses an iPhone.

    • RAF’s new ‘GCHQ in the sky’ spy planes which can hack enemy emails and phone calls

      Air chiefs have bought nine spy planes, each one like a flying GCHQ.

      The Boeing P-8 Poseidon is as effective at information ­gathering as the Government’s eavesdropping headquarters.

    • Sure, why not? FBI agrees to unlock iPhone for Arkansas prosecutor

      The FBI, which just a few days ago was attempting to convince the country of its helplessness in the face of encrypted iPhones, has generously offered its assistance in unlocking an iPhone and iPod for a prosecutor in Arkansas, the Associated Press reports.

      TechCrunch has contacted the prosecutor’s office for details, which for the moment are thin on the ground — but the timing seems unlikely to be a coincidence. It was only Monday that the FBI announced it had successfully accessed a phone after saying for months that it couldn’t possibly do so — and that Apple was endangering national security by refusing to help.

    • British Authorities Demand Encryption Keys in Case With “Huge Implications”

      BRITISH AUTHORITIES are attempting to force a man accused of hacking the U.S. government to hand over his encryption keys in a case that campaigners believe could have ramifications for journalists and activists.

      England-based Lauri Love (pictured above) was arrested in October 2013 by the U.K.’s equivalent of the FBI, the National Crime Agency, over allegations that he hacked a range of U.S. government systems between 2012 and 2013, including those of the Department of Defense, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, and NASA.

      The U.S. Justice Department is seeking the extradition of Love, claiming that he and a group of conspirators breached “thousands of networks” in total and caused millions of dollars in damages. But Love has been fighting the extradition attempt in British courts, insisting that he should be tried for the alleged offenses within the U.K. The 31-year-old, who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, has argued that he would not get a fair trial in the U.S., where his legal team says he could face a sentence of up to 99 years in jail.

    • ODNI Lawyer Bob Litt Says There’s No NSA Data Sharing With Law Enforcement… If You Don’t Count The FBI, DEA, Etc.

      Just when we thought some surveillance reforms might stick, the administration announced it was expanding law enforcement access to NSA data hauls. This prompted expressions of disbelief and dismay, along with a letter from Congressional representatives demanding the NSA cease this expanded information sharing immediately.

    • The Trouble with CloudFlare

      Wednesday, CloudFlare blogged that 94% of the requests it sees from Tor are “malicious.” We find that unlikely, and we’ve asked CloudFlare to provide justification to back up this claim. We suspect this figure is based on a flawed methodology by which CloudFlare labels all traffic from an IP address that has ever sent spam as “malicious.” Tor IP addresses are conduits for millions of people who are then blocked from reaching websites under CloudFlare’s system.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Video shows white cops performing roadside cavity search of black man

      For the past few weeks, I’ve been working on an investigative series about police abuse in South Carolina. I’ve found a dizzying number of cases, including illegal arrests, botched raids, fatal shootings and serious questions about how all those incidents are investigated. Many of these cases were previously unreported, or if they were reported, the initial reports were a far cry from what actually happened. The series will run at some point in the next week. But in the meantime, I want to share one particularly horrifying incident that I came across this week while researching the series.

    • asha bandele and Laura Carlsen on the War on Drugs

      What this country calls a War on Drugs has never been indiscriminate in its victims. The punitive, interventionist drug policies embraced by a succession of US administrations have hit hardest in communities of color, and, in Latin America, it has been the poor, the indigenous and those outside of power that have borne the brunt of practices, nominally aimed at stopping drug-trafficking, that have only driven corruption and horrific violence.

    • DOJ Reopens Asset Forfeiture Sharing Program After Temporary, Budget-Related Shutdown

      Right before the end of last year, the DOJ — facing budget cuts — announced it would be ceasing its “equitable sharing” program with local law enforcement agencies. These agencies complained loudly about the unfairness of being decoupled from the asset forfeiture money train, as this partnership often allowed them to route around more restrictive state laws.

    • The feds have resumed a controversial program that lets cops take stuff and keep it

      The Justice Department has announced that it is resuming a controversial practice that allows local police departments to funnel a large portion of assets seized from citizens into their own coffers under federal law.

    • ‘They Want South America Back the Way They Used to Have It’

      Mark Weisbrot: “They’ve been trying to get rid of all the left governments, really, for the whole 21st century.”


      “In a flash, Argentina has become pro-American,” CBS’s 60 Minutes told viewers, and Leslie Stahl shared that watching Macri and his wife play with their daughter, “you can’t help but think of the Kennedys and Camelot.” US corporate media seem to concur: Macri is a pragmatist, and though they aren’t certain he can lift Argentina from what CBS called “a morass of debt, inflation and international isolation,” it’s clear we’re meant to wish him well.

    • Houston Federal Marshal Tries to Snatch Camera from Citizen Journalist Who Was Assaulted by 2nd Agent

      “You’re about to go to jail for being a dumb-ass,” said a Houston Federal Agent Calderon to PINAC citizen journalist David Warden.

      Boy, was he wrong.

      The Houston Federal Court Security Agent assaulted PINAC correspondent David Warden when he lawfully recorded outside of a Federal Courthouse on its sidewalk.

    • Texas Cops’ Complaint Censorship Attacks YouTube Videos of Public Officials in Public

      Texas police launched a “complaint censorship” attack on David Warden’s YouTube channel News Now Houston, claiming his videos violate their privacy.

    • Houston Prosecutors Exonerate PINAC Correspondent Recording Near Shell Oil Refinery

      Texas prosecutors admitted they can’t prove their contempt of cop case “BARD” against PINAC correspondent David Warden, who recorded video near a Shell Oil Refinery on the outskirts of Houston.

      In other words, state attorneys had no way to prove that David Warden interfered with public duties of an officer last December, as charged, because BARD stands for ‘beyond a reasonable doubt,’ and officers couldn’t conceive of a single illegal thing Warden did while recording near the oil refinery as you can see in the legal document below.

  • DRM

    • Fighting DRM in HTML, again

      In 2013, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) raised the ire of many in the free-software community (and elsewhere) by adopting an API that adds support for DRM modules within web content. Now, the working group that produced the API in question has come up for renewal, and a number of high-profile parties—including the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Free Software Foundation (FSF)—are using the occasion to push back against the DRM camp, in hopes of regaining some of what was lost.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • Awesome Stuff: Putting Nature In The Public Domain

        This week, we’ve got one standout project that seems worth highlighting here at Techdirt because of its commitment to things we all care about: cutting-edge media technology, the planet we all live on, and the public domain. Catalog.Earth is a project to use the first to capture the second and dedicate it to the third.

      • EFF to Copyright Office: Improper Content Takedowns Hurt Online Free Expression

        Safe Harbors Work for Rightsholders and Service Providers

        Washington, D.C. – Content takedowns based on unfounded copyright claims are hurting online free expression, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) told the U.S. Copyright Office Friday, arguing that any reform of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) should focus on protecting Internet speech and creativity.

        EFF’s written comments were filed as part of a series of studies on the effectiveness of the DMCA, begun by the Copyright Office this year. This round of public comments focuses on Section 512, which provides a notice-and-takedown process for addressing online copyright infringement, as well as “safe harbors” for Internet services that comply.

        “One of the central questions of the study is whether the safe harbors are working as intended, and the answer is largely yes,” said EFF Legal Director Corynne McSherry. “The safe harbors were supposed to give rightsholders streamlined tools to police infringement, and give service providers clear rules so they could avoid liability for the potentially infringing acts of their users. Without those safe harbors, the Internet as we know it simply wouldn’t exist, and our ability to create, innovate, and share ideas would suffer.”

      • Today [Friday] is your last day to comment on Internet censorship through copyright abuse
      • Music Industry: DMCA Copyright Law is Obsolete and Harmful

        A coalition of 400 artists and various music groups including the RIAA are calling on Congress to reform existing copyright law. The DMCA is obsolete, dysfunctional and harmful, they claim, calling for stronger measures against the ongoing piracy troubles they face.

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 Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources




Samba logo

We support

End software patents


GNU project


EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com

Recent Posts