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

06.04.16

Software Patents in Europe and the UPC Already a Problem

Posted in Europe, Patents, RAND at 2:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Whose public service is this and why are European politicians allowing software patents?

A transit bus

Summary: More patent trolling in Europe (using software patents, as usual) and another disappointing move from the European Commission which serves to reinforce software patents deep inside public services, in effect overriding Europe’s policy on patent scope due to lobbying from proprietary software giants from abroad

“Trolls at the gates,” Francisco warned the other day. “Unitary patent is coming.” Francisco happens to have warned about the EPO and UPC for quite some time now and he is not alone (we gave examples of that). The President of the FFII, Benjamin, has just said “this is what is waiting us if nobody moves their ass on the Unitary Patent.”

“As we have noted here for a number of years, Germany is undoubtedly the worst in Europe when it comes to software patenting and this latest bit of news seems to reinforce this trend.”This was said in response to Jan Wildeboer, who works for Red Hat in Germany (Europe’s capital of software patenting) after years of activism against software patents (he is spending a lot less time fighting for this cause nowadays). “Patent troll forces Flickr to deactivate mobile upload in Germany,” Wildeboer warned. As we have noted here for a number of years, Germany is undoubtedly the worst in Europe when it comes to software patenting and this latest bit of news seems to reinforce this trend. I can’t help but wonder if upload tools in my own self-hosted albums are infringing too. Recently in the United States some very small and weak entities, such as family businesses, got sued/blackmailed by a patent troll over photo albums they had online. We wrote some articles about it earlier this year.

As Benjamin put it, “as long as those Patent Courts stays in Germany, I am fine. Problem is with the Unitary Patent.” Well, some of these patent trolls have begun coming to the UK. They use software patents, too. To quote the page from Flickr, “patent litigation is a tremendous drain on the global economy, and Yahoo has been a vocal proponent for years in the United States to restore balance to patent litigation by encouraging innovation and discouraging abuse.

“Patent troll forces Flickr to deactivate mobile upload in Germany…”
      –Jan Wildeboer
“Unfortunately, as of today, our Flickr users in Germany are the victims of abuse in the patent litigation system. In recent months, Yahoo and several other major US tech companies were sued in Germany by TLI Comms, a company that does not practice the patent at issue, but rather asserts it against others for financial gain — sometimes referred to as a “patent troll.” TLI Comms has accused Yahoo of infringing its European patent (EP 0814611 B1) by providing users the ability to upload photos and videos to our servers via the Flickr mobile web page or the Flickr mobile apps. TLI has asserted similar claims against a number of other major US tech companies. As of today, a German court has enjoined Yahoo from providing the upload feature of the Flickr mobile web page and mobile apps to our users in Germany.”

How long before other European nations suffer the same ‘castration’ of features? It might only be a matter of time. Bear the UPC in mind.

“European Commission kills FLOSS with FRAND patents,” Benjamin warned in a separate note after Glyn Moody, who had written articles on this subject earlier this year (we covered these), alerted followers to the fact that the “EU Commission confirms that it is abandoning open source to market forces – http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-16-1963_en.htm

Benjamin thought “market forces” are better off called “dark forces” and another opposer of software patents said “the EU are creating these standards & they cannot be used in Free Software?”

Dr. Moody responded with “very; but they care more about big business that likes FRAND” (a topic often covered here for nearly a decade).

As Benjamin noted, “patents means free software becomes proprietary. That’s what the GPL said in 1991 already.”

“EU Commission confirms that it is abandoning open source to market forces…”
      –Glyn Moody
If there is no freedom to redistribute the program, then it’s not Free software anymore. “The reference implementations can be whatever,” Benjamin noted, but “patent holders can still tax any other implementation of the standard.”

As I noted in response to the above (twice even) the EU/European Commission is a Microsoft shop that failed to move away from Microsoft and even failed to investigate Microsoft’s OOXML abuses as it had promised to do so (giving a false sense of hope to antagonists). Whose EU Commission is this and why are we still implicitly endorsing software patents, in spite of the EPC and the 2005 directive?

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email
  • Slashdot

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. [Meme] People Get Fired for Being Bought by IBM (With a Crummy Severance Package)

    IBM used to proudly provide job security and one could have a job there for decades (career ladders and worker benefits of all sorts are what some people assess this when looking for an employer, e.g. whether they can progress, get promoted, stay onboard); by today’s standards only a month’s salary is exceptionally bad, especially when one gets fired without warning, but this is what IBM did to some Red Hat employees



  2. New FSF Video Makes the Case Against Microsoft GitHub (and Similar), So Why is the FSF's Board Being Filled Up With Active GitHub Users?

    The FSF makes a good point about “important values like autonomy, sharing, social responsibility, and collaboration” — the very things that are under attack by Microsoft’s GitHub, which is all about coercion and monopolistic control over developers



  3. Techrights is Not Against Microsoft

    It may be a suitable time to explain why Microsoft is mentioned so much and why it's not a fixation but a reactionary priority



  4. The THRIVE Guidelines

    "Nobody is perfect, and it's obvious that people already hold some to a more unreasonable interpretation of their standards than others."



  5. Links 8/8/2020: Mageia 8 Hits Beta and FSF Has New Video

    Links for the day



  6. [Meme/History] OpenPOWER or Just White POWER?

    Antiwar and anti-nukes activists cannot support those causes and support IBM at the same time, as the founder’s son (father received a medal from the Nazi Party) flew “an American heavy bomber” and enjoyed a track record of nepotism, propelling him to the top both in the military and at IBM



  7. Rebuilding Communities

    "First, we should talk about how our communities have regressed."



  8. [Meme] Microsoft in 2020: Liaising With Criminals to Make Crime the New Normal

    As the TikTok situation serves to show, Microsoft is little but a criminal cult that relies on other criminals to do Microsoft's biddings



  9. The Computer Anybody Can Edit

    "Without rebuilding and recompiling all of the packages on a large distribution, it is possible to "remaster" an ISO and get a different system -- even before you install it."



  10. Former Microsoft Employee on So-called 'Journalists' Being Blackmailed by Microsoft

    Mitchel Lewis, a former Microsoft employee, remarks on Mary Jo Foley being 'punished' by Microsoft for not mindlessly publishing Microsoft propaganda (we remarked on this before as she had spoken to me about this over a decade ago)



  11. IRC Proceedings: Friday, August 07, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, August 07, 2020



  12. For the Want of a Pixel

    "It is still possible to win, but the FSF has practically left the field."



  13. Ubuntu and Fedora Project Serving Microsoft

    The Ubuntu 'community' as well as the 'community' component of Red Hat (IBM) don't view Microsoft as a rival; over a decade ago Mark Shuttleworth accused Microsoft of "extortion" and "racketeering" (his words), but now he's paid to change his tune



  14. (Don't Let's) Throw Caution to the Wind

    "As it will become crucial to explain, the effect of all this dancing around truth and reality was to transform a volunteer force primed to bring freedom to users into cheap labour for an industry that exploits everyone in it -- all the way to the very top of Open Source itself."



  15. Links 7/8/2020: Mesa 20.2 RC, Radeon Software for Linux 20.30

    Links for the day



  16. Computing Fundamentals

    "A graphical interface is better, for some things -- sometimes. But it will also put a lot more on our plates."



  17. IBM and the Bomb: Series Index (on 75th Anniversary of Atomic Bombs Being Dropped on Civilians)

    Today seems an apt time to remind readers that IBM participated in the creation of the only bombs ever to be dropped in a war (not tests) and this tradition carries on because IBM is still profiting from it, to this very day (countless billions made by IBM during the Cold War too)



  18. Freedom is Personal

    "Before I say anything else, note that there are literally hundreds of GNU/Linux distros, and I put in a lot of work to rate which were the least encumbered by corporate politics — directly or indirectly."



  19. Links 7/8/2020: Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS and GNU C Library 2.32 Released

    Links for the day



  20. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, August 06, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, August 06, 2020



  21. Our Collective Privacy is Under Unprecedented Attacks and Privacy is Now Conflated With Bad Hygiene, Not Just Criminality

    At warp speed the "War on cash" or "War on anonymous transactions" is moving ahead; now that COVID-19 infects a lot of people we're led to assume that mass surveillance saves lives not because of counter-terrorism but because of contact-tracing or whatever (in practice it's hardly effective, but it's conditioning people to give up any remnants of their privacy)



  22. The Psychology of Developers

    "It turns out, there are ways around a free license -- you can make software "less free" or more imposing, without changing the license at all."



  23. Social Justice is Fine... When It is Not Just a Shallow Marketing Ploy

    Don't let well-meaning concepts such as "Social Justice" become mere buzzwords or tools of corporate propaganda (greedy people's objectives disguised as populism)



  24. Site Upgrades Likely Coming Soon

    After more than 28,000 posts are published it might be time to move from the WordPress x.9.x LTS to something newer (5.5 is about to be released); we explain why it’s not as simple as it might first seem



  25. Focus on the Big Issues, Not the Words

    The pattern that is emerging in recent months if not years is that words hurt and therefore contributors to code must shut up about injustices, including corporate misbehaviour



  26. Computing vs. Marketing

    “The important lesson here is that Windows is NOT a computer — it is actually a horrible thing that people DO to a computer, and to themselves.”



  27. Release: Several Police Reports About Searching the Home of Bill Gates' Engineer (Stockpiles of Child Pornography Found Along With Illegal Firearm)

    The final part of the first installment from Seattle PD, this one focusing on people who searched the home to find a lot of underage pornographic material being amassed



  28. Video: Microsoft-Sponsored 'Copyleft' Conf (Keynote Sold to Microsoft, a Serial GPL Violator and Primary FUD Source) Features Previous FSF (Co)President and RMS Ouster

    There's now a video online of the debates in CopyleftConf 2020



  29. Miseducation

    "...the real crime (OLPC founder Nicholas Negropontes word for it) is that schools aren't teaching computers at all -- they're doing application training."



  30. [Meme] RMS Succeeded by a Microsoft Sponsor

    Congratulations to the FSF, which elected a president almost a year after pushing RMS (its founder) out; but questions need to be answered by the new president, who apparently sees nothing wrong reinforcing the Microsoft monopoly, participating in a PR ploy designed to distract from the notorious ICE contract, and even paying Microsoft (as if it deserves the money)


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts