A New Wave of the EPO’s Much-Expected Propaganda Push, Aided by ‘Managing IP’ and IAM ‘Magazine’

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 11:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Media as cheerleaders, not journalists

IAM logo and friends

Summary: Managing IP (MIP), in addition to IAM, is pushing the EPO’s agenda, including the antidemocratic UPC, which MIP dedicated an entire event (even a couple) to

THE EPO is not a friend of Europe. Heck, it’s not even a friend of its own staff! See staff surveys about it.

Two days ago we wrote about MIP-EPO intersections (we refer to Managing IP as MIP for abbreviation) and earlier this week, just after Labor Day in the US (a long weekend), the EPO kicked off a series of propaganda (a seemingly new campaign). This means we’ll cover the subject more often and issue rebuttals more frequently than last month. We have a lot of material that we are eager to publish.

Battistelli is trying to grease up delegates/participants of the Administrative Council and pave the way to the UPC even if by truly nefarious tricks like entryism and lobbying. We won’t let him have his way. The guy is a liar. That’s an understatement actually. He’s thuggish, he’s manipulative and one might even say “corrupt” based on some of the recent appointments at the EPO’s management. The reason he has managed to keep his job (thus far, maybe until the term’s end) is a serious set of flaws in the EPC (which Battistelli ignores anyway) and the EPO’s detachment from national laws (Eponia makes up its own laws with no external review or discretion, then changes the laws as it goes along while management is allowed to break these laws).

Margot Fröhlinger (mentioned here for her UPC lobbying before) came from the EPO to MIP’s UPC advocacy event (there are actually two such events this week, for maximal impact). According to this MIP account (they have several), “Margot Fröhlinger believes UPC will go ahead with or without the UK. UK’s participation post-Brexit not a problem.”

Really? Will the EPO be lobbying with wishful thinking and self-fulfilling prophecy attempts? Again? Another tweet said: “Fröhlinger says there is a risk, no guarantees, but hopes CJEU will agree to UK participation in UPC.”

There’s also a photo in there. The EPO is a rogue organisation, so we are expecting it to game this debate and do whatever it takes to push forth such an antidemocratic UPC deal. It would push TTIP/TISA/CETA/TPP as well if it had to. ISDS would be very much in ‘the spirit’ of Battistelli.

Watch how MIP emphasises EPO views, which MIP entertains by setting up those two events. “That’s certainly one view,” it said. Well, good, so where are the opposing views? Oh, wait… that’s not part of the programme. They have essentially created a platform for EPO and UPC lobbying, trying to steer policy in the presence of people whom they try to influence. We saw that before in the US. We’ll get to that in a moment (IAM was responsible for that).

MIP then notes that “Winfried Tilmann of @HoganLovellsIP thinks if UK doesn’t ratify UPCA before Brexit, then door will be closed.”

Nice alarmism there from Winfried Tilmann, who is a Battistellite that mentioned earlier this year and at the start of the year. The truly ‘balanced’ panel of MIP sure begins to smell rather fishy. Is this a debate or an echo chamber? Maybe it’s more like a church where UPC is the undisputable religion.

“Lots of ‘different’ [sic] views on UPC,” claims MIP, but it just happens to be the case that all of them are in favour of the UPC, even though in reality the UPC would probably harm more than 99% of Europeans. No public interest groups are present (or speaking) at this event. When Managing IP says “Lots of different views on #UPC” it means it in the same way that Presidential Debates in the US, controlled and funded only by the two major parties, call the debates “different views” (it’s controlled, scripted, no hard questions and no absolutely public representation/intervention).

Going back to notable tweets, “George Moore of Sandoz: UPC without UK isn’t fatal.System beneficial. Cordula Schumacher: UK’s experience in early stages ideal” (assuming that passing the UPC would be “ideal”, which is in itself overly loaded and presumptuous a statement).

As expected, anti-FOSS and pro-software patents promotion creeps into this EPO-leaning event, in the form of FRAND. “According to Joachim Feldges, there is difference in opinion between German courts on Huawei v ZTE SEP FRAND guidance,” one tweet said. Another said: “Matthias Schneider of Audi: Needs to be clarity on what good value is re security & FRAND isn’t all about royalty rate.”

They are talking about SEPs, i.e. patents you are not allowed (or unable) to work around. We already mentioned how FRAND was on the agenda as well (before the event) and why it’s about software patents a lot of the time. “There is a view here that @EPOorg & @The_IPO are predictable on computer-related inventions. But be careful with drafting,” said another tweet. Just renaming software patents “computer-related inventions” won’t magically make them patentable, as software patents are clearly NOT legal in Europe. Here is what the FFII’s Benjamin Henrion said about it: “yet another quote to show that UPC is about swpats [software patents] after all.”

Mind the fact that the EPO is now promoting next week’s event about software patents (in part). The EPO is going to America! Yesterday it said: “Why is it important for US industry to protect its inventions in Europe? Find out at this event”

Today it said: “Join this event to find out about the differences between US & European practice for ICT patent applications” (“ICT” is just the latest weasel word/phrase).

Going back to the MIP event, this tweet said: “Here is what Graham Burnett-Hall of @marksandclerk thinks of BREXIT. He remains optimistic on UPC” (picture/photo included in there).

Wow, what a ‘diversity’ of views. Everyone is in favour of UPC (as intended), even if they know it’s unlikely to ever happen. Someone left the following comment in Techrights regarding this event, possibly conflating IAM with MIP, but here is what it said:

{i}[IAM]“We’re not in the business of promoting #UPC or #Unitarypatent – just providing a platform for discussion!”{/i}
Well, they’re right. They get paid for,prviding a meeting space for discussions among IP professionals.
The issue is extremely few want to discuss the advantages of “status quo”, which is incidentally also the current status “post-brexit-vote”. There is not more money for those advocating this position, but there may be more money in it for those who hope to profit from a change. So one side sees a chance to “invest”, the other sees no improvement in their position, so no need to invest, as any investment into defending “status quo” can never earn that money back.
So only one side will come in large numbers…
So of course the discussions will go towards one topic, and within that one topic be very one sided…

The IAM panels will include the “UPC will not happen” opinions, but those will usually be brushed aside for being “opposed to changes”…
Also, too me it felt like they do not want to have a look at real politics. The current brexit situation does not allow politics to do much in this regard right now, but this seemed to be out of grasp for their minds.
They want a change to happen, and find it difficult that politics sometimes cannot and will not listen to “expert”.
And the VolksWagen diesel scandal showed us where it goes when politicians listened too long to the opinions of “experts”…

Whoops, I am mixing topics again….
Yes, it wll be one-sided, but there will be a few who are of the opinion to stop UPC for the time being,and continue discussions once Britain has finally filed their article fifty notification or officially decided to stop the whole brexit discussion. But no discussion=no money for panel organisers. So IAM will continue holding panels. And advertise them. I just wishes they would try to attract a discussion starting from the other side.
E.g. “UPC is dead, what now?”
The discussion in situ may still go the old ways, but they would appear less biased.

Here we have Maarten Mooij of Nokia lying. It’s well established that the UPC would help patent trolls (they too know it!), yet this tweet said: “Maarten Mooij of Nokia doesn’t see a major change re NPE activity in Europe if UPC comes into force. Depends on case law though” (NPE is a euphemism for troll; Nokia itself helps patent trolls right now, as we last covered earlier in the week).

Jumping the gun again (as there's no UPC_, here is another UPC ‘genius’. “David Barron @GowlingWLG_UK: panel on SEP litigation in Europe, incl how it might play out in UPC (if)” (photograph in the tweet).

Nice propaganda event MIP has got going on for Battistelli in both France (his home country) and Germany (home of the EPO). Does all this lobbying pay well in attendance fees? Maybe favours in the long run? We don’t know for sure, but they’re now running a series of puff pieces with Battistelli. From the “litigation panel,” says this morning’s tweet, we have “Joachim Feldges @AllenOvery estimates there are about 100 SEP cases pending in Germany” (see what we wrote about SEP above).

That’s good for the patent litigation industry (patent law firms), no doubt about it. It’s also good for the patent mafia, firms like Sisvel that raid expos/events and confiscate (or steal) products “because patents!”

Is this the vision of Europe that we want? Where is the public in all this? What we have MIP presenting to us are very large corporations, their patent lawyers, and the EPO. Where are the rest of the European stakeholders? Maybe they cannot afford to pay over 1,000 Euros to attend a one-day event in which they cannot even speak (just listen). We wrote and complained about this a month ago.

Wise men and women are in the audience after all, but they’re paid to lie and promote the UPC. They can’t quite admit in public that the UPC is a sham. According to this: “In Munich for #EUPATENT16: no one in audience thinks that UK will ratify #UPC agreement”


Meanwhile in IP Kat Annsley Merelle Ward from Bristows (major UPC boosters) tries to create some more false hopes that UPC will happen, piggypacking David Davis and manufacturing a misleading headline (“Does David Davis want to ratify the UPC Agreement?”). Read the sole comment there from Ellie Wilson. It says: “I noticed that at the Managing IP European Patent Forum this week Margot Frohlinger of the EPO has suggested that UK could either join UPC via a separate agreement or under Article 142 of the EPC.

“This is not really news – in terms of the massive uncertainty, or the need for external agreement if the UK is to participate at all – as much as it is perhaps interesting because of the source.

“Maybe, maybe it justifies having a bit of optimism, but, like Amerikat, I’m not holding my breath.”

“No one except [the EPO's] Fröhlinger,” Henrion joked about (almost religious) belief in the likelihood of UPC. Fröhlinger is bossed by Battistelli who does not tolerate dissent (he has already proven this with extreme actions).

So what’s all this charade about and why are they not just going on stage (not audience) to acknowledge this pessimism? EPO and Team UPC (mostly self-serving litigators) will likely rename and redo UPC, then try to implement it without the UK. Nym-shifting or eternal morphisms isn’t new for for UPC. It has had many names and identities over the years, dodging criticism all the time. Battistelli has been promoting this since well before it was known as “UPC”.

Speaking of Battistelli, do rumours of a UPC based in Paris with Battistelli as its head not far-fetched after all? The above event is in France too and this tweet says: “Caroline Casalonga of Casalonga leading session on getting evidence in patent litigation in France/UPC” (photograph therein).

Here is why we think a lot of this charade is very closely connected to the EPO, and MIP isn’t just commissioning or organising such an event for spontaneous desires. The EPO retweeted its Managing IP puff piece (interview with Battistelli) a very short time after it had been published (maybe minutes). It’s like they had the whole thing timed and coordinated all along. Did it work as planned, Battistelli et al? An intersection between the event and this puff piece? They are going to cover the ‘social’ [sic] nonsense of Battistelli in future part/s. More lies, more money and power for Battistelli. Will some of this money ‘trickle down’ to MIP? The EPO certainly launched a well-executed (if not so shallow) propaganda campaign so we shall do a reactionary anti-propaganda series of posts.

Regarding claims that AMBA’s views were ignored by MIP (while Battistelli continued to lie about the boards), MIP responded (via) to one who asked: “I heard also you interviewed amba. Will you be soon publishing it?”

“We haven’t interviewed AMBA yet,” MIP replied, “but have written to request an interview – watch this space.”

Well, perhaps they need to ask the EPO for permission. After all, reality check with AMBA might interfere with Battistelli’s interview (the already-published part 1 in particular).

For those who think that the EPO’s latest wave of propaganda involves only MIP, think again. A self-selecting survey (just ~600 people who are already inside the IAM cult) is being used to spread EPO propaganda about patent quality. They are relying on a very small and biased sample set (population), as any scientist with the faintest clue about statistics should be able to immediately tell. The editor in chief of IAM published this piece, not disclosing the very close if not incestuous relationship with the EPO. “In order to get a better idea of why the EPO does so well and the USPTO lags behind,” he wrote, “earlier this year we worked with Professor Colleen Chien of the Santa Clara University School of Law, and a former White House senior IP adviser, to develop a follow-up survey designed to drill deeper into our readership’s opinions of both offices. During June readers were emailed and invited to take part. We got approximately 650 responses. Below Colleen Chien summarises some of the main findings.”

With “approximately 650 responses” from people who are self-selecting, how legitimate is this bound to be? Also, they are not even sure how many people exactly have participated (notice the word “approximately”)? What kind of survey is uncertain about th size of the data? it’s just very easy to rig such things, e.g. to select who to E-mail and how often, in order to get the desired outcome, never mind loaded questions or push-polling. Remember that IAM has EPO money on its table, so will it risk delivering an output that’s not desirable to the Battistellites? We very much doubt that. By spreading a lot of money through PR agencies, the EPO has polluted a lot of news sites and metaphorically poisoned the well. IAM is not a legitimate source of information about the EPO and we are going to show that behind the scenes Battistelli uses this propaganda from IAM, and occasionally drops citations into letters to “media partners” (i.e. paid-for coverage) of the EPO in support of his ludicrous claims, just like the most dishonest politicians out there.

Going back to MIP, they don’t take our criticism too well. They offer so much “balance” that their STARS account blocked me in Twitter. They don’t like opposing views, do they? They blocked me in Twitter not because I abused them (I didn’t even talk to them!) but because I highlighted their bias by linking to things they said. They want invisibility. They just don’t want me to see what goes on in their UPC events. As I put it yesterday, “Managing IP is going to learn, just like IAM, that blocking someone from visibility is 1) ineffective 2) increases criticism 3) futile” (someone then added: “4) a mark for very poor journalistic performance”).

With advocacy of the antidemocratic UPC and a human rights violator, Battistelli of the EPO, we cannot assume that information from MIP can be taken without a grain of salt. Earlier today we showed how it published a “Sponsored Post”. That was last night! MIP is rapidly going down the bin, along with IAM (it too does sponsored posts)…

The timing of EPO propaganda is perfect because they try to push several objectives/talking points ahead of October’s meeting of the Council. They not only dump Battistelli lobbying on all Twitter followers but they are also still 'spamming' universities. Here are the latest 5 examples [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. They don’t quite realise how foolish it makes them look. They are wasting millions of Euros on this nonsense.

Regarding Battistelli’s “Social Conference”, one EPO insider sent us the following (to illustrate the attitude of staff towards Battistelli these days):

Dear Roy,

The mere thought of it makes me feel sick…

This is no joke: the EPO will organise in October a “Social Conference”. They dare! After having disciplined dozens of staff, fired staff representatives and union officials, downgraded others, put thousands under huge pressure, deny sickness to many, refuse promotion to pregnant women and soon (according to well placed insiders) stop granting social leave which are in the Codex with all sorts of “friendly advise” such as “think of your career….”.

The official EPO propaganda has it (quote verbatim):

“The conference will focus on all social-related aspects and will be based on the outcomes of the Financial Study, Social Study and OHSRA currently under finalisation. Themes to be discussed will be Social Dialogue, Financial sustainability and social package,
Well-being at the workplace, and Change management and readiness to change.

All interested stakeholders will be invited to participate: representatives from the Office’s management and staff, as well as members of the Staff Committees and recognized trade union, and delegates of the Administrative Council. To facilitate the discussions and interactions, general presentations by the consultants in charge of the studies will be followed by 8 to 12 thematic workshops.

The Social Conference will take place in Munich, Isar building, over the course of a full day on Tuesday 11 October. It is a unique opportunity for a wide range of participants to assess and discuss the challenges faced by our Organisation. If you wish to participate in the conference, please contact your line management by 14 September at the latest as places in the meeting rooms are limited.”




So not only does the EPO ignore the Technologia survey (from a renowned French consulting which worked among many others on France Telecom’s debacle, the Renault Technopole one) but when they are about to sack Laurent Prunier, Central Staff Representative and SUEPO Official in TH (and perhaps others who too are in the death row, in particular in TH), they dare to write about “well-being at the workplace”.


Furthermore, to illustrate the attitude of staff towards Battistelli, one person has just come up with the following ode that spells out EULOGY:

E UREKA was the former in-house publication
U ncensored, informative and short of fabrication
L atest Gazette, lots of pictures of our Batters
O nce again Pravda style, credibility in tatters
G lorified half-truths, with a hand of sleight
Y es, only the obituaries seemed to be dead right

The “usual problem,” one person explained, is that “the EPO is not part of the EU…” (“…but a part of Hell!” added this remark about it). Here is a new comment from Tuesday. It too speaks about the structural deficiencies:

The AC has a clear conflict of interest, which under a different situation would be considered intolerable. But who cares about the EPO? It is a bit like putting the CEOs of Samsung, LG, Nokia etc. in the governing board of Apple. It is clear that this would not work to improve Apples success, and it is the same at the EPO.
The ILO does not respect the right to be heard, because she does not hold hearings even when they are requested, but this is apparently legally acceptable. Who cares?
I believe the drafters of the EPC were honest and upright men who could not envision that a generation would come after them who had a different moral standard.
The ILO is the only independent review employees of the EPO have when in dispute (the first two instances are internal and cannot be considered independent).
But hey, if you get paid a lot you should just accept being robbed of your rights…. so stop complaining, you are still not doing so bad. “We consulted you (according to the management of the EPO), even though the representatives did not agree to the changes requested, “so we can change your work contract, rules an regulations. WE only need to consult you, it is nowhere written that you have to agree for us to introduce changes which are detrimental to you”. In a national setting this would be unacceptable, and an employer would be taken to court. But not so with the EPO because the EPO has immunity.
But no immunity is absolute, and should never be, because absolute immunity corrupts.

We invite feedback and information regarding the EPO even through we already have plenty which we intend to publish soon. September is going to be a very busy month.

Software Patents Deathwatch: Panic in the Patent Microcosm as “Since Alice, the Reject Rate for Patents for Payment Technologies is Above 90 Percent.”

Posted in America, Courtroom, Patents at 9:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Look! Dead dolphins!” (how the patent microcosm tries to frame the demise of bad patents)

Dead dolphin

Summary: With the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB, part of AIA), the International Trade Commission (ITC), the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) and even the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) showing disdain for software patents time is running out for patent examiners and lower courts that still pretend such patents sometimes have merit

THE USPTO‘s examiners now face the challenge of PTAB. It’s professionally embarrassing to be proven to have granted patents in error, so the examiners cannot simply ignore Alice, not any longer. “On USPTO Oversight,” Patently-O wrote yesterday: “I am generally in favor of additional Congressional oversight of the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office – this is especially true because members of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees tend to be smart, well informed, and act with intention to improve the patent system.* Although partisan politics do come into play, much of the focus tends to be on real issues and real solutions. The oversight process forces additional USPTO transparency and is the standard mechanism for getting information from Executive Agencies. On this point, I will note that the information exchange is often done in the background lead-up to the actual hearing — thus, although a hearing might not be too exciting or informative, the associated deadlines force the new communications.”

We are overwhelmingly in favour of having oversight affecting examiners at every patent office, as otherwise the profit motive takes over and quality control is virtually abolished (until the late and expensive stage which is a lawsuit in the court/s). Management of every patent office too needs to be subjected to scrutiny. The USPTO’s former Director, for example, has become somewhat of a lobbying giant, disgracing not only the Office but the entire system (he is now lobbying on behalf of large corporations in favour of software patents and against Alice, i.e. against a Supreme Court‘s ruling).

“Management of every patent office too needs to be subjected to scrutiny.”According to Mr. Loney from New York, “143 PTAB petitions [were] filed in August, down from 157 in July and 2016 high of 176 in June. Monthly average for year now 140.8 petitions.” Here is his full analysis (partly behind paywall), showing that PTAB activity has been increasing over the years, throwing out a lot of software patents (which courts would throw out anyway). As time goes on it ought to become apparent also to holders of such patents (not just their rivals) that these patents are worthless piles of paper and not even PTAB will be needed to prove it, let alone the courts. “The number of Patent Trial and Appeal Board petitions filed in August was slightly above 2016 average,” Loney wrote. “The month also saw notable Federal Circuit decisions on common sense, motions to amend and claim construction [...] The 143 Patent Trial and Appeal Board petitions (PTAB) filed in August was down from 157 in July and the 2016 high of 176 in June. The monthly average for the year is now 140.8 petitions.”

Up-to-date statistics regarding software patent invalidations in the courts of the United States (mostly lower ones, i.e. friendlier to plaintiffs than CAFC) got published last night. “June, July and August showed an uptick in the number Section 101 decisions from April and May, the majority of these being motions to dismiss and judgments on the pleadings,” the expert notes (he has been tracking this closely for years). “The rates of invalidity holdings continue to be steady: 70% overall, and 66.3% in the district courts. Success on motions on the pleadings is up to 68.1%. We’ve recently started tracking ITC proceedings as well, as shown above in the last row. Three of the five holdings of invalidity recorded above involved direct competitors and counterparties, Fitbit and Jawbone. In March 2016, Fitbit invalidated Jawbone’s fitness tracking patents in an ITC proceeding brought by Jawbone (ITC 337-TA-963). In July, Jawbone returned the favor and successfully invalidated Fitbit’s patents (ITC 337-TA-973); the ITC judge in the latter decision even relied upon Fitbit’s arguments that it made in its own motion against Jawbone.”

“That seems like wonderful news, but sites of patent law firms portray that as terrible news (to them it is).”We previously covered these rulings from the ITC, which certainly seems to be software patents-hostile. According to this new article, “above 90 percent” of patents on payment technologies (such patents are a subset of software patents) are dead/dying. Thanks to Alice! “Since Alice,” says the article, “the reject rate for patents for payment technologies is above 90 percent. This is a development that many contend has been crippling the innovation in this space. However, one company CardinalCommerce has secured one, and according to many lawyers, if someone can manage to get an e-commerce patent in this environment, it is worth a lot.”

That seems like wonderful news, but sites of patent law firms portray that as terrible news (to them it is).

Here is a new paid-for article, published in MIP by the patent industry last night. Having seen MIP becoming somewhat of a Battistelli/EPO platform, we worry they’re going to do more of those “Sponsored posts” (at least this time there’s disclosure). This one particular article speaks of telematics patents post-Alice and says “the patentability of such inventions could be impacted by the Supreme Court’s 2014 decision in Alice Corp Pty v CLS Bank Int’l, because inventions that arguably can be performed by humans are not patent-eligible subject matter under 35 USC § 101 (134 S Ct 2347, 2354-55 (2014)).”

Well, so be it. These patents should never have been granted in the first place. If patents (applications) never get granted, then they cannot be used for litigation or even for shakedowns, where the accused fears having to go to court not because of the outcome but because of the legal fees, obviously prohibitive unless one works for a large company.

The European Privacy Offender (EPO) Sells Data But Only to the Rich and Powerful

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A programme wherein the EPO gives huge amounts of data, but only at a price

THE EPO has no shortage of scandals. We just have a shortage of time to cover them all. Privacy scandals alone are humongous and we mentioned violations that relate to medical data protection very recently and again two days ago.

One reader drew our attention to this new article from Switzerland (“Sur le Net, les entreprises se montrent trop naïves”). Translations would be very much appreciated, but we got the gist of it. “A Swiss based company named Centredoc bought back in 2015, 90 millions of data from the EPO,” one person told me a couple of times. “En Suisse, Centredoc a acheté, en 2015, les 90 millions de données de l’Office européen des brevets,” put in another language. “In general,” this person added, “they talk about storage of sensible information related to patents” (sounds familiar).

I asked, “does it say what data? Could use a detailed summary…”

In general, we kindly ask readers to become familiar with the following articles (published around last Christmas, so not many people paid attention):

  1. Jacques Michel (Former EPO VP1), Benoît Battistelli’s EPO, and the Leak of Internal Staff Data to Michel’s Private Venture
  2. Europatis: “Turnover of €211,800 and Zero Employees”
  3. Loose Data ‘Protection’ and Likely Privacy Infringements at the EPO: Here’s Who Gets Employees’ Internal Data
  4. Summary of the EPO-Europatis Series
  5. Revolving Doors of High-Level EPO Management: Jacques Michel and the Questel Deal With the EPO

“Suffice to say, this favours deep-pocketed companies and countries like Switzerland.”Having asked for additional information about this article from Le Matin Online, we got told that the “EPO sells Patent Data” and received a copy of anonymised communication (with hypos corrected), namely:

Dear *****,

The EPO sells the data to data providers on a marginal cost basis. We have big hosts, SMEs and natural persons as customers. The EPO encourages the use of the data and is happy about an active patent information market. The strategy was not on exclusivity … AND I think that this right.

You can find the various products in the EPO price list: http://documents.epo.org/projects/babylon/eponet.nsf/0/0B52985F1EFEBCBBC12574EC00263E07/$File/epo_patent_information_price-list_08_2016.pdf

Most probably the mentioning is about the mother of the databases: DOCDB

Please contact if you want to know more about this….

Best regards


Suffice to say, this favours deep-pocketed companies and countries like Switzerland. What ever happened to patent neutrality?

Another New Low for the EPO and Battistelli (Updated)

Posted in Asia, Europe, Patents at 8:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Maybe they can do some ‘knowledge transfer’ regarding purges

Battistelli and Cambodia

Summary: Benoît Battistelli keeps scraping the bottom of the barrel by meeting with notorious tyrants and leaders from nations which have virtually nothing to do with the EPO (no patents)

YESTERDAY the EPO reinforced our observation that Battistelli has turned the EPO into something that nobody wishes to be associated with, not even in the world of politics. The exceptions are typically tyrants or politicians from notorious countries that have virtually no European Patents (e.g. in Latin America).

“One can judge an Office and a President based on the company s/he keeps…”From the country best known for Pol Pot (studied in Paris, just like Battistelli) and French colonisation we now have this new Battistelli charade [caution: EPO can probably track clicks on this]. It’s almost as if people from respected nations don’t want to be seen with Battistelli (not anymore), so he races to the bottom for photo ops. Can someone from the EPO (or from patent agents) please check for us how many European Patents exist in the database from Cambodia? According to the EPO’s media people, “EPO President Benoît Battistelli hosted the delegation, which was led by Senior Minister Cham Prasidh, Minister of Industry and Handicraft, and also included Cambodia’s Ambassador to Germany, Thai Chun.”

We look forward to Battistelli’s IP talks with Iran, North Korea, and maybe even Libya. One can judge an Office and a President based on the company s/he keeps…

Update: it has meanwhile come to our attention that the number of European Patents from Cambodia is 0. Yes, zero! Well done, Battistelli.

Links 8/9/2016: Samba 4.5, Wireshark 2.2

Posted in News Roundup at 6:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • I can’t stop thinking big. In a world where I feel so small.

        Returned from GUADEC and again it was a wonderful time. Big kudos to the organizing team putting together a great conference! For me to meet everyone is such a adrenaline rush, and I always feel so pumped when I come back.

        Speaking of conferences, I spent a lot of time volunteering to understand the mechanics of running a local conference since you know, I have one of my own that is coming up in a few short weeks. Libre Application Summit presented by GNOME or LAS GNOME conference.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

      • openSUSE Tumbleweed Linux Users Get Firefox 48.0.2, Thunderbird 45.3 & GCC 6.2.1

        Today, September 7, 2016, Douglas DeMaio published yet another informative bulletin to keep users of the openSUSE Tumbleweed Linux operating system up to date with the latest changes and software versions that landed lately.

        openSUSE Tumbleweed is a rolling release GNU/Linux distribution, so it’s always getting new components via so-called snapshots. Just last week we told you the Tumbleweed is based on Linux kernel 4.7.2, and now one more snapshot arrive in the repositories this week, and it’s the first for the month of September, bringing updates for some of the most important applications.

      • Highlights of YaST development sprint 24
      • HP Enterprise Names SUSE (Not Red Hat) Preferred Linux Partner

        Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) is playing favorites in the Linux market, selecting SUSE rather than Red Hat and Canonical Ubuntu as the company’s preferred Linux distribution partner. The move, in theory, could potentially trigger a ripple effect across corporate data centers worldwide — especially for customers that are deploying OpenStack private clouds.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Debian CI updates for September 2016

        That is it for now. If you want to contribute to the Debian CI project and want to get in touch, you can pop up on the #debci channel on the OFTC IRC network, or mail the autopkgtest-devel mailing list.

      • Derivatives

        • Elive 2.7.6 Beta Linux OS Lands with Amazing Speedup Improvements for Some Apps

          Today, September 7, 2016, the Elive development team announced the release and immediate availability of yet another Beta milestone of the Elive Linux operating system.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Phone Now Has a Nifty, Native Photo Editing App

            Ubuntu Phone finally has a photo editing app. Although early alpha quality, Instant FX for Ubuntu is already looking like an impressive app. And with so few native Ubuntu apps around, each one is truly appreciated. Now, obvious things first: InstantFX is very obviously styled around the Instagram Android & iOS app’s editing interface.

          • Flavours and Variants

            • You Can Now Download a Single ISO Image with All the Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS Flavors – Exclusive

              Softpedia was informed today, September 8, 2016, by Željko Popivoda from the Linux AIO team about the availability of an updated Linux AIO Ubuntu Live ISO image, based on Canonical’s recently released Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS (Xenial Xerus) OS.

              Yes, you’re reading it right, Linux AIO Ubuntu 16.04.1 Live ISO images are now available for download in 64-bit and 32-bit variants, based on the Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS Live ISO images, which were officially released on July 21, 2016, and they include all the essential Ubuntu Linux flavors.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Camera/sensor kit adds obstacle avoidance to drones

      Parrot’s Ubuntu- and ROS-driven, Tegra K1 based “S.L.A.M.dunk” development kit has a stereo camera and sensors that adds obstacle avoidance to drones.

      Parrot’s S.L.A.M.dunk, which is named for its integrated Simultaneous Localization and Mapping algorithm, can be added to any Linux-driven drone to help it navigate indoors or in other barrier-rich outdoor environments where GPS signals are not available. Assuming obstacle avoidance technology can be sufficiently refined, indoor package delivery may be the next big application for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). There are also many outdoor environments such as wooded and urban areas where drones struggle to navigate by GPS and standard imaging alone.

    • This drone development kit can also be an Ubuntu PC
    • Parrot announces a dev kit that helps drones see and avoid obstacles
    • MinnowBoard Turbot jumps to quad-core Atom E3845

      ADI has opened pre-orders on a $190, open-spec “MinnowBoard Turbo Quad” SBC that advances to a 1.91GHz, 10W TDP quad-core Atom E3845.

      In late June, ADI Engineering, which built the latest MinnowBoard Turbot version of the MinnowBoard single-board computer for the MinnowBoard.org community, announced an unpriced MinnowBoard Turbot Dual-E SBC. The Dual-E, which was scheduled to ship later this month, offers a quad-core Atom E3845 option in addition to the standard dual-core E3826.

      Now, ADI has now opened $190 pre-orders on a simpler, quad-core E3845 only board called the MinnowBoard Turbot Quad, with shipments due in December.

    • Phones

      • Tizen

      • Android

        • Google given more time to reply to EU antitrust charge on Android [Ed: Microsoft started this attack. This is well documented.]

          Alphabet’s Google has been given two more weeks to counter EU antitrust charges that it uses its dominant Android mobile operating system to block competitors, the European Commission said on Thursday.

          The EU competition enforcer in April accused the U.S. technology giant of harming consumers because of its demand that mobile phone makers pre-install Google Search and the Google Chrome browser on their smartphones to access other Google apps.

          Google was initially given until July 27 to respond to the charges but asked for an extension to Sept. 7.

        • Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 Gets Android Marshmallow
        • Google squashes another Mediaserver bug in Android
        • Android Pay is coming to the mobile web ‘soon,’ available first on Chrome
        • New YouTube UI with navigation bar on bottom rolling out server-side on Android
        • Don’t worry, ‘Super Mario Run’ is coming to Android too
        • Google Patches 55 Android Vulnerabilities in September Update
        • Google’s 3-level Android patch could cause confusion
        • Google’s Russian Android Appeal Falls Flat

          A Russian appeals court recently rejected Google’s appeal of a $6.75 million fine regulators imposed on it for anticompetitive behavior — that is, for forcing mobile device vendors to put Google Play apps on the main screens of devices using the Android operating system. The Ninth Arbitration Appeal Court’s ruling, handed down last month, means that the court considered the decision of Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service to be reasonable and legitimate. Google therefore would have to pay the fine and take steps to remedy the situation.

        • The Android Runtime On Chrome OS Makes Use Of Wayland

          With Google’s Android Runtime for Chrome (ARC) it turns out that this technology for letting Android apps run on Chrome OS is making use of the Wayland protocol and could open up other Wayland clients to running on Chrome OS.

          Readers in the Phoronix Forums pointed out that the ARC++ runtime makes use of Wayland, per a session description for this month’s XDC2016 conference in Helsinki.

        • How the new iPhone 7 compares to the best Android phones

          Apple announced the latest iterations of the iPhone today, with what the company claims are its best iPhones yet. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus bring faster processors, new cameras, and some minor visual updates to antenna placement and color choices from last year’s iPhone 6S — but these improvements come at the cost of the 3.5mm headphone jack.

          And while Apple has always been coy about the actual specifications of their devices, hard numbers for processor speed, RAM, and battery life are less important than ever nowadays. With phones like the Galaxy Note 7 leading the pack despite claims of “underpowered” hardware, it’s clear that a good experience in using a smartphone is far more crucial than necessarily having the fastest processor, most megapixels, or highest screen resolution. Which, to be fair, is more or less the strategy Apple’s been betting on for the last few years with its previous iPhones, and there’s no reason to suspect why the new models won’t continue to live up to that.

        • LG launches V20 smartphone with Android 7.0 Nougat

          LG took the wraps off the V20, its latest Android flagship, at an event in San Francisco this evening. The phone, a successor to last year’s V10, is the first to ship with Google’s latest Android 7.0 Nougat. Like it’s predecessor. the V20 contains a dual-camera system and a second display located at the top of the phone. Both have been upgraded in this year’s model; the cameras are more capable and the second display is now brighter with bigger font. More importantly, the V20 not only retains the headphone jack some phone makers are trying to phase out, but it also packs in some audiophile-grade features for music lovers who like lossless file formats and expensive headphones.

        • Seven features the iPhone 7 ‘borrows’ from Android

          If you were watching the Apple live stream and shouting at your computer, “hey, Android already has that!” over and over, you weren’t alone.

          Apple certainly took some “inspiration” from many of the hardware innovations brought about by Android phone makers. Here’s a recap of the features that Apple ballyhooed on stage, but aren’t exactly news to those of us who have been using Android phones for the past few years.

Free Software/Open Source

  • Christine Hall: FOSS Force’s Grandmama Frump

    Yes, that Christine Hall. The one whose byline you often see on this very site. Recorded under lousy lighting with a 10-year-old (or older) webcam that was probably lousy new, this video is about information, not cinematography. So meet Christine Hall. Listen to what she says about looking for contributing writers. Does she mean you? It’s possible. If you have a story idea, please send it to her. We could see [YOUR NAME] in lights right here on FOSS Force!

    Meanwhile, sit back, relax, and listen as Christine tells you how FOSS Force got started, what the site is up to, and what she hopes to see in its future. And please feel free to razz her (or the interviewer) in the comments section below this paragraph. We promise not to jump through the Internet, out of your screen, and bite your head off. Well… we probably won’t, anyway.

  • GNU Libreboot Adds Support For Another (Outdated) Intel Motherboard

    A mini-ITX board running the GNU Libreboot downstream of Coreboot sounds interesting for a fully free software HTPC/media center PC, right? Too bad this new motherboard port is for an i945 board released back in 2008 and has integrated a painfully slow original, single-core Atom chip.

    If you happen to have the Intel D945GCLF2 motherboard, it’s now supported by GNU Libreboot eight years after the product was launched with the i945GC Express chipset. The port landed with this commit.

  • How to Eliminate Foundation Fatigue in Open Source Networking

    Dave Ward, CTO of engineering and chief architect at Cisco, says the OpenDaylight Project really propelled the Linux Foundation as the go-to host for open source projects related to network virtualization. But, he adds, people working in open source networking are now experiencing “foundation fatigue.”

  • Keeping DOS alive and kicking with open source

    No, I don’t run FreeDOS as my primary system. That would really be impressive!

    I run Linux at home. My laptop is a Lenovo X1 Carbon (first gen) running Fedora 24 with GNOME 3.

    The tools I use every day include: Google Chrome, Firefox, and GNOMEWeb to browse the web; Gedit to edit text or simple code (such as Bash); GNU Emacs to edit program code (I prefer C); GNOME Terminal to SSH to my personal server and to the FreeDOS website; RhythmBox to listen to music.

    I run FreeDOS in a virtual machine. I use DOSEmu if I’m writingFreeDOS code, so I can use GNU Emacs on Linux to write code and immediately compile it in FreeDOS via DOSEmu. That’s really convenient because DOSEmu maps a folder in your home directory as the C: drive.

    If I need to run FreeDOS as though it’s running on hardware, such as testing the upcoming FreeDOS 1.2 release, I use qemu.

  • Has open source gone mainstream?

    Open source has officially made it. While open source advocates may have faced an uphill battle to convince their colleagues in the past, the technology has now become a legitimate component of the mainstream technological scene.

    That’s according to GitHub’s senior director of infrastructure engineering Sam Lambert, who told IT Pro that open source software is no longer the niche field it once was.

    “I feel like we’re not selling open source any more,” he said. He pointed out that not only are major companies in multiple sectors using open source technologies, they’re even starting and contributing to open source projects themselves.

    “A lot of large enterprises [view] being open source as an essential way of propagating the use of their technologies,” he said, “and they’re open sourcing stuff quickly.”

  • Yahoo open-sources Pulsar, a low-latency alternative to Apache Kafka

    Yahoo! Inc. has open-sourced a new distributed “publish and subscribe” messaging system called Pulsar that’s capable of scaling out while maintaining low latencies. Yahoo has long used Pulsar to back some of its own critical applications, and now wants the open-source community to help further its development.

  • The CORD Project: Unforeseen Efficiencies – A Truly Unified Access Architecture

    The CORD Project, according to ON.Lab, is a vision, an architecture and a reference implementation. It’s also “a concept car” according to Tom Anschutz, distinguished member of tech staff at AT&T. What you see today is only the beginning of a fundamental evolution of the legacy telecommunication central office (CO).

  • Synacor Launches New Support Program for 400+ Million Zimbra Open Source Users
  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • LibOCon 2016 Kicks off with LibreOffice 5.2.1

      The Document Foundation today announced the release of LibreOffice 5.2.1, the first update to the 5.2 branch, to kick off LibOCon in Brno, Czech Republic. LibOCon will run from today, September 7, to September 9, 2016. The conference “is a showcase of the project activity, and will feature over 60 talks in three days, covering development, QA, localization, ODF, marketing, community and documentation.”

    • LibreOffice 5.2.1 Office Suite Released with Over 100 Improvements, Download Now

      Today, September 7, 2016, Italo Vignoli from The Document Foundation was happy to inform Softpedia via an email announcement about the general availability of the first point release of the LibreOffice 5.2 open-source and cross-platform office suite.

      LibreOffice 5.2.1 is here one month after the launch of the most advanced LibreOffice release ever, version 5.2, which brought countless improvements to all of the office suite’s components, including Writer, Draw, Math, Calc, etc., along with a bunch of user interface refinements that users will love, especially on GNU/Linux platforms.

  • CMS

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

  • Standards/Consortia

    • Porn Sites Feel Exposed by Flash, Get It on With HTML5

      Soon, Google Chrome will phase out full support for Flash, meaning that, on most sites, users will have to manually activate the aging software if necessary. The move is largely for security reasons: Researchers regularly find dangerous vulnerabilities in Flash.

      On Tuesday, porn site Pornhub said it would be ditching all Flash content from its site, opting instead for HTML5, the most recent version of the web language that offers more support for multimedia content. Since hackers have had a number of successes at compromising porn sites, it’s notable that one of the largest is taking this step, albeit when Flash is already on its last legs.

      “It was just a matter of time until we switched, as HTML5 is becoming the standard across platforms. Now makes the most sense as Google and Firefox are slowly pushing Flash support out of their browsers. Plus HTML5 has improved security, better power consumption and it’s faster to load,” Corey Price, vice president of Pornhub, told Motherboard in an email.


  • What the 21st Century Has Done to Our News
  • Free Isn’t Freedom: How Silicon Valley Tricks Us

    Small business owners have long complained of the Google’s frequent and mysterious adjustments to its search algorithm, which effectively punishes them for violating one of the search engine’s mostly obscure criteria.

    Even some of the world’s largest companies live in constant “fear of Google”; sudden banishment from search results, YouTube, AdWords, Adsense, or a dozen other Alphabet-owned platforms can be devastating.

  • Science

    • How to Raise a Genius: Lessons from a 45-Year Study of Supersmart Children

      On a summer day in 1968, professor Julian Stanley met a brilliant but bored 12-year-old named Joseph Bates. The Baltimore student was so far ahead of his classmates in mathematics that his parents had arranged for him to take a computer-science course at Johns Hopkins University, where Stanley taught. Even that wasn’t enough. Having leapfrogged ahead of the adults in the class, the child kept himself busy by teaching the FORTRAN programming language to graduate students.

      Unsure of what to do with Bates, his computer instructor introduced him to Stanley, a researcher well known for his work in psychometrics—the study of cognitive performance. To discover more about the young prodigy’s talent, Stanley gave Bates a battery of tests that included the SAT college-admissions exam, normally taken by university-bound 16- to 18-year-olds in the United States.

      Bates’s score was well above the threshold for admission to Johns Hopkins, and prompted Stanley to search for a local high school that would let the child take advanced mathematics and science classes. When that plan failed, Stanley convinced a dean at Johns Hopkins to let Bates, then 13, enrol as an undergraduate.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Legal Levels of Roundup Pose Risks for Stream Algae

      Even though glyphosate is used to control weeds in agricultural fields, the world’s most commonly used weedkiller has also been detected in streams, rivers and other aquatic systems worldwide due to runoff.

      As we learn more and more about the potential environmental risks of glyphosate runoff, in Brazil—where almost 188,000 tons of glyphosate was sold in 2013 alone—new research published in the peer-reviewed journal Phycologia found that all-important macroalgae is sensitive to glyphosate exposure, even at legal levels. According to the study, the herbicide can alter the photosynthesis, chlorophyll levels and respiration of these key freshwater organisms.

    • Education Minister: Three hours a day exercise for kids under 8

      Finnish officials have upgraded their recommendations for the amounts of physical activity that kids should be getting. Children under the age of eight should be physically active for at least three hours per day, according to Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • The Hard Message from Brazil’s ‘Soft Coup’

      With little protest from Washington, Brazil’s elected President Dilma Rousseff was ousted in a politically motivated impeachment, a “soft coup” undermining South American democracy, write Hector Perla Jr., Laura Sholtz and Liliana Muscarella.

    • The ebbing Latin American tide

      The differences between the richest 10% and the poorest 10%, which was 100, 150, 200 times in the 90s, had been reduced at the end of the first decade of the century to 80, 60, 40, in a way that broadened the contribution – and equality – of the different social sectors.

    • Neocon Dilemma: Israeli-Russian Detente

      As Official Washington’s neocons lead the charge into a New Cold War – deeming Russia an implacable enemy – an inconvenient truth is that the neocons’ beloved Israel is warming its relationship with Moscow, writes Stephen J. Sniegoski.

    • Old Cold Warriors Cool to New Cold War

      It seems that some who have the ears of U.S. elite decision-makers are at least shifting away from wishing to provoke wars with Russia and China.

      In recent articles, Zbigniew Brzezinski and Thomas Graham, two architects of the U.S. Cold War with Russia, have acknowledged that the era of uncontested U.S. global imperialism is coming to an end. Both analysts urge more cooperation with Russia and China to achieve traditional, still imperial, U.S. aims.

    • New York Times and the New McCarthyism

      Traditional U.S. journalism and the American people are facing a crisis as the preeminent American newspaper, The New York Times, has fully lost its professional bearings, transforming itself into a neoconservative propaganda sheet eager for a New Cold War with Russia and imposing a New McCarthyism on public debate.

      The crisis is particularly acute because another top national newspaper, The Washington Post, is also deeply inside the neocon camp.

    • Trump’s ‘Cyber’ Policy Against ISIS Is… ‘Hey Look At This New Poll!’

      So, uh, wait. What? Apparently Donald Trump’s “cybersecurity” policy is “Hey, look at this poll that says I’m winning!” And also “How did ISIS get cell phones?” Meanwhile, the brave Philip Bump over at the Washington Post tried to fact check the only clear factual statement in that rambling mess: that the word “cyber” was just created a few years ago. Of course, that’s not true (though I guess that depends on what you consider to be a “short number of years ago”), but I’d argue that the fact that “cyber” predates the birth of one Donald Trump, that the statement isn’t all that accurate.

      But, really, who gives a fuck concerning when Donald Trump thinks the word “cyber” was first coined? The real question should be on what’s the actual policy here, because in those three paragraphs above there’s nothing even remotely resembling a policy, or a coherent idea. Clinton’s tech policy is a hot mess of emptiness, but at least there’s a policy that people can look at and talk about. Trump, on the other hand doesn’t even seem to recognize what cybersecurity means and what a policy would entail.

      Oh, and as for the claims about how ISIS is “recruiting people through the internet” multiple studies on that have suggested that ISIS’s internet recruitment strategy isn’t all that effective — that most recruiting is done through real world networks, rather than virtual ones. But you know which groups really are having success growing their online presence? White nationalists and neo Nazis, with many of them strongly supporting… Donald Trump.

    • Britain’s ‘most hated man,’ Anjem Choudary, jailed for ISIS support

      Notorious hate preacher Anjem Choudary, who led a flag-burning demonstration outside the US embassy on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and voiced support for jihad, has been jailed for inviting support for ISIS.
      The former lawyer was sentenced to five years and six months in prison. His supporters shouted “Allahu Akhbar” as he was led away from the dock in London’s Old Bailey court.
      Choudary’s co-defendant Mohammad Mizanur Rahman, 33, was also handed a sentence of five years and six months.

      Choudary has courted controversy over two decades, skirting the edges of the law, backing extremism but with no proof of actually inciting violence. He earned the wrath of Britain’s tabloid newspapers, making him – by his own admission — the country’s “most hated man.”
      In 2014, he pledged allegiance to ISIS and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, bringing him under scrutiny and leading to his arrest.

    • Automated systems fight ISIS propaganda, but at what cost?

      The spread of ISIS propaganda online has put social media companies in a tough position. Governments are urging Facebook, Twitter, and Google to more aggressively remove extremist content, in the hopes of reducing the terrorist group’s influence. But the companies’ self-moderation systems have struggled to keep pace, and terrorist material continues to spread online.

      Now, a nonprofit organization has developed an algorithm that it says can automate the removal of terrorist-related content. But there are concerns that it could infringe on freedom of speech, and some question whether automated content removal would mitigate radicalization.

      The algorithm, called eGLYPH, was announced in June by the Counter Extremism Project (CEP), a New York-based nonprofit organization that tracks extremist groups. eGLYPH uses so-called “hashing” technology to assign a unique fingerprint to images, videos, and audio that have already been flagged as extremist, and automatically removes any versions that have been uploaded to a social network. It will also automatically delete other versions as soon as users attempt to upload them.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • New Assange case details expected from Sweden

      New information on the Jullian Assange case could be released today when the Swedish prosecutor holds a media conference before the broadcast of a new documentary on the WikiLeaks founder.

    • Showdown in the Assange case?

      The normally so media shy Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny today held a press conference about the Assange case. Nothing new was presented, the prosecutor’s office repeated its talking points and there was mention of yet another half-hearted attempt to interview Mr. Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London. (Something Ms. Ny have avoided to do for years, thereby keeping the investigation open and Mr. Assange at bay.)

      It might have been her last chance to play the media by her rules. On prime time Swedish national television tonight, the investigative team at SVT Uppdrag Granskning had an hour-long special about the Assange case. (The program in Swedish » | A summary of some of the findings in English ») It is pretty obvious that Swedish authorities are very interested in getting Mr. Assange to Sweden – even though it has been and still is possible to interview him in London in person, online or over the phone.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Who’s Banking on the Dakota Access Pipeline?

      When the Army Corps of Engineers issued a permit for the 1,100-mile Dakota Access Pipeline in July, executives at the corporations behind the plan probably thought their path forward was clear. They’d moved easily through the permit process, seemingly dodging the concerns of people affected by the pipeline, and were ready to go ahead with construction.

      But the communities in the pipeline’s path, especially local tribes, had other ideas. Thousands of people, mostly Native Americans, have converged at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota in an effort to stop the pipeline from being built. The Standing Rock Sioux call the pipeline a black snake, and they know that if it were to rupture and spill — a serious risk, given the well-documented history of pipeline leaks in the U.S. — it could poison their drinking water and pollute their sacred land.

  • Finance

    • The Surreal Politics of a Billionaire’s Tax Loophole

      For years, Democratic elected officials in Washington have been wary of going after Wall Street excesses too hard, lest the deep-pocketed financial industry throw all its resources to Republicans.

      This has been especially true of one of the most notorious targets for financial reform: the favorable tax treatment of the outsized compensation earned by partners in private equity firms. Democrats have long spoken out against this so-called “carried-interest loophole,” yet have often not pushed as hard as they could to change the law, which saves some of the very wealthiest people in finance billions of dollars in taxes each year.

      All of this explains why the scenario presented by the 2016 election is so surreal. The Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, has vowed to close the loophole, saying it’s unfair that the highly compensated money managers who benefit from it “pay lower tax rates than nurses or … truckers.” Clinton recently went even further than President Obama on the issue, saying she would close the loophole through executive action if Congress continued to resist a legislative fix, a step that Obama has shied away from taking.

      One might reasonably expect Clinton’s campaign contributions from private equity to suffer as a result of this stance, and for the money to flow overwhelmingly to the Republicans, as it did in the last presidential election.

      That hasn’t happened. In fact, Clinton is receiving all of the industry’s support.

      As of the end of July, the executives and employees of the four biggest private equity firms (the Blackstone Group, Carlyle Group, KKR and Apollo Global Management) had given her campaign a combined $182,295 in direct contributions, according to the database compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

    • Silent Tax Foreclosure Auction Is Detroit’s Largest Missed Opportunity

      Back in July, the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit against Wayne County Treasurer Eric Sabree for foreclosing on owner-occupied homes in the area around Detroit. The lawsuit, which was anticipated for years, could dramatically affect the fate of thousands of families if it is successful. But even so, it will only impact about one-tenth of the properties headed for auction starting this Wednesday, Sept. 7, at 9 a.m. EST.

      The Wayne County Tax Foreclosure auction is seen nationwide as an opportunity to buy Detroit homes on the cheap. But the people who have the most to gain and the most to lose in the auction – the homes’ current residents – in many cases have little access to information in order to take advantage of it.

      In some ways, the greater tragedy of this area’s foreclosure crisis lies in the foreclosures that go unchallenged because certain infractions aren’t deemed technically illegal. There are protections for owners, for example, that simply don’t exist for renters. In last year’s auction, a full 5,000 properties went unsold, even though they could have been bought for the minimum bid of $500. Again, it was not lack of money, but lack of information, that allowed these properties to be swept aside.

    • The transatlantic trade deal TTIP may be dead, but something even worse is coming

      Is it over? Can it be true? If so, it’s a victory for a campaign that once looked hopeless, pitched against a fortress of political, corporate and bureaucratic power.

      TTIP – the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – appears to be dead. The German economy minister, Sigmar Gabriel, says that “the talks with the United States have de facto failed”. The French prime minister, Manuel Valls, has announced “a clear halt”. Belgian and Austrian ministers have said the same thing. People power wins. For now.


      When you are told that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance, this is what it means. This struggle will continue throughout your life. We have to succeed every time; they have to succeed only once. Never drop your guard. Never let them win.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Hold Dueling Rallies – But Trump Gets Most of the TV Coverage

      Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton held rallies at nearly the same time on Tuesday, with Trump doing an event in Virginia and Clinton holding one in Florida.

      Trump, in a national-security focused Q-and-A with former Defense Intelligence Agency chief Michael Flynn, described the Iran-Iraq war in flippant terms, saying that the two countries would “fight fight fight. And then Saddam Hussein would do the gas. And somebody else would do something else. And they’d rest.”

      Clinton, on the other hand, focused her remarks on issues like college affordability and small businesses.

      Fox, CNN, and MSNBC responded by giving almost all of their attention to Trump.

    • Guccifer 1’s Potentially Russian IP Address

      The passage is appropriately ambiguous. Guccifer (Lazar) successfully hacked Blumenthal on March 14, 2013. The next day — and again on March 19 and 21 — there were unsuccessful probes on Hillary’s server. The FBI suggests those may have been Guccifer, though states it doesn’t know whether it is or not (which is weird, because Guccifer has been in US custody for some time, though I suppose his lawyer advised him against admitting he tried to hack Hillary).

      I find all this interesting because those probes were made from Russian and Ukrainian IPs. That’s not surprising. Lots of hackers use Russian and Ukrainian IPs. What’s surprising is there has been no peep about this from the Russian fear industry.

      That may be because the FBI isn’t leaking wildly about this. Or maybe FBI has less interest to pretend that all IPs in Russia are used exclusively by state agents of Vlad Putin (not least because then they should have been looking for Russians hacking the DNC?).

      It’s just an example of what an attempted hack might look like without that Russian fear industry.

    • Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to Talk Policy, Act Presidential in Commander-in-Chief Forum

      On Wednesday at 5 p.m. PDT, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton will face off against her Republican counterpart in New York City for NBC News’ live broadcast of what the network is calling its “Commander-in-Chief Forum.”

      The GOP contender had a much-ballyhooed dress rehearsal as the would-be national security envoy of the United States during his recent visit to Mexico. No doubt the former secretary of state will have something to say about that at their first televised encounter in what has seemed like the longest presidential election cycle in recorded history.

      Another surefire keyword: Benghazi.

    • Internet Disinformation Service for Hire
    • This Leaked Catalog Offers ‘Weaponized Information’ That Can Flood the Web

      In the summer of 2014, a little known boutique contractor from New Delhi, India, was trying to crack into the lucrative $5 billion a year market of outsourced government surveillance and hacking services.

      To impress potential customers, the company, called Aglaya, outlined an impressive—and shady—series of offerings in a detailed 20-page brochure. The brochure, obtained by Motherboard, offers detailed insight into purveyors of surveillance and hacking tools who advertise their wares at industry and government-only conferences across the world.

      The leaked brochure, which had never been published before, not only exposes Aglaya’s questionable services, but offers a unique glimpse into the shadowy backroom dealings between hacking contractors, infosecurity middlemen, and governments around the world which are rushing to boost their surveillance and hacking capabilities as their targets go online.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Arrest warrant issued for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein

      Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein is facing criminal charges in connection with vandalism at the Dakota Access Pipeline construction site near Cannon Ball, ND.

      Stein and her running mate, Ajamu Baraka, have each been charged with misdemeanor criminal trespass and criminal mischief.

    • Arrest warrant issued for Jill Stein in vandalism investigation

      North Dakota police have reportedly issued a warrant for the arrest of Green Party nominee Jill Stein.

      Stein was spotted in the wrong place at the wrong time. And this time, it wasn’t because she flew to the wrong city for a campaign event, as she did last week when traveling to Cincinnati instead of Columbus, Ohio.

    • Green Party Candidates Charged for Activism at Dakota Pipeline

      The arrest warrants issued are for criminal trespass and criminal mischief for spray painting construction equipment.

      North Dakota pressed charges Wednesday against presidential candidate Jill Stein and her running partner Ajamu Baraka for spray painting Dakota pipeline equipment, issuing warrants for their arrests.

    • Jill Stein, Green Party Candidate, Is Charged Over Role in Pipeline Protest

      Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential candidate, is facing misdemeanor criminal charges in North Dakota after she spray-painted a bulldozer at a rally protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, law enforcement officials said on Wednesday.

      Warrants charging Ms. Stein, 66, and her running mate, Ajamu Baraka, with criminal trespass and criminal mischief were issued after several Caterpillar bulldozers were found to have been defaced at the protest, which was held on Tuesday, according to an affidavit prepared by the Morton County Sheriff’s Department.

      “Officers were alerted to video that displayed presidential candidate Jill Stein painting the front of one of the Caterpillars with the message ‘I approve this message,’ ” the affidavit said.

      The warrants are valid only in North Dakota, said Rob Keller, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Department, adding that Ms. Stein and Mr. Baraka would be arrested only if they returned to the state.

    • Sheriff issues arrest warrant for Green Party’s Jill Stein after North Dakota oil pipeline protest

      Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has faced obstacle after obstacle. First the Commission on Presidential Debates refused to let her participate in the presidential debates; now a warrant has been issued for her arrest.

      The sheriff’s department in Morton County, North Dakota announced on Wednesday that it had issued arrest warrants for Stein and her vice presidential candidate, Ajamu Baraka.

      Both have been charged with criminal trespass and criminal mischief, class-B misdemeanors, after participating in protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

    • ICE Denies FOIA Request From Lawyer Because It Might Help Her Better Defend Her Client

      The government doesn’t care much for a level judicial playing field. That whole checks and balances thing? It’s just getting in the way of speedy prosecutions. Federal and state prosecutors have engaged in routine Brady violations — the withholding of exculpatory evidence from defendants.

      Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is taking this to a whole new level. It’s refusing to turn over FOIAed records to a defendant’s lawyer expressly because they could be used to mount a defense against the government’s charges. Of course, ICE doesn’t say so in those exact words, but the words it does use leave that distinct impression.

    • Police Union’s Proposed Contract Looks To Whitewash Officers’ Disciplinary Records

      Touched on briefly during our rundown of police unions demanding better pay for better behavior and accountability was the San Antonio Police Officers Association’s (SAPOA) demand that the city should be willing to raise wages if it really expected its officers to perform their duties without veering into abuse or misconduct.

      Part of what’s keeping a deal from being struck between the city and the union is the amount of money on the table. This gives the union the appearance of holding the city’s safety hostage until its demands are met. That may not be an entirely fair characterization (there’s some “hostage-taking” on the other side as well), but there’s something far more worrying in the proposed contract that’s keeping this from being resolved.

      The San Antonio police union wants changes to disciplinary procedures that would effectively whitewash past misconduct by officers. Michael Barajas, writing for the San Antonio Current, takes a close look at the controversial clause, and how it’s likely to allow bad officers to not only stay employed longer, but possibly rise through the ranks as well.

    • Police Union President Says He Couldn’t Change Contract Even if He Wanted To (Also: He Doesn’t Want To)

      Neal received a 14 month state jail sentence and had to surrender his peace officer certification, so it’s hard to know exactly what his case says about the department’s disciplinary procedures—due to the criminal charges, he never made it to a disciplinary hearing or arbitration. But Neal’s case does beg the question: if, for whatever reason, prosecutors couldn’t have charged him with rape, what would have happened to him? Would officials taking any disciplinary action against him have been required to ignore the fact that he’d previously been reprimanded for having sex with a high school student he was supposed to be supervising?

    • Ferguson activist Darren Seals dies at 29

      A locally known Ferguson activist who protested in the streets seeking justice for Michael Brown Jr.’s death was killed early Tuesday, September 6 in North St. Louis County.

      Darren Seals, 29, was a factory line worker and hip-hop musician. Following the death of Mike Brown – an unarmed black teenager who was fatally shot by a white Ferguson police officer – Seals protested in the streets of Ferguson.

      Seals was extremely vocal about issues surrounding Brown’s death and the St. Louis region. He was featured in national news outlets such as The Washington Post and Al Jazeera.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Thanks, Google, For Fucking Over A Bunch Of Media Websites

      So… yeah. For what it’s worth, we received absolutely no notifications from Google about this. No explanation of how we had “violated” their policy. And it was doubly nice of them to do this over a long weekend when we were all off and away, so that nothing worked for multiple days before we had a chance to dump their RSS feed system completely.

      And… apparently we were not alone. A bunch of other sites had the exact same experience and there are a bunch of people asking what the hell happened. With no explanation, no notification, Google just made a lot of websites’ RSS and Twitter feeds break completely. And this includes some other high-profile bloggers as well, like Violet Blue.

      The leading theory that I’ve seen going around is that Google is actually blocking all links in any FeedBurner feed, because it’s a violation of its own terms of service. Seriously.

    • What Net Neutrality? While The FCC Naps, AT&T Now Exempting DirecTV Content From Wireless Usage Caps

      When the FCC crafted its new net neutrality rules, we noted that the agency’s failure to ban “zero rating” (exempting your own company’s content from usage caps) was going to be a problem. And lo and behold, with the FCC AWOL on the subject, companies are starting to take full advantage. Verizon and Comcast now exempt their own streaming video services from usage caps without penalty, while companies like T-Mobile and Sprint have launched new confusing and punitive data plans that throttle games, music and video content — unless users pay a premium.


      Much like T-Mobile’s Binge On efforts (which zero rate only the biggest video services) the idea of getting something for “free” sounds wonderful upon superficial inspection. At least until you realize that AT&T’s decision to give its own content an unfair leg up in this fashion puts its competitors, like Netflix and Amazon, at a distinct disadvantage. That’s why so many people had urged the FCC to follow India, Japan, Finland, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia, Norway, The Netherlands, and Chile’s approach to net neutrality rules and ban zero rating entirely.

      The FCC didn’t, and thanks to its failure, we now face a scenario where net neutrality can be trampled without repercussion — and may even be celebrated by the press and public — provided you just use the right shade of public relations paint.

      And there’s every indication AT&T’s just getting started. This particular announcement (made on Apple product announcement day to capitalize on the tech media’s distraction) was just AT&T dipping its toe into the zero rating water. The company plans to launch three different streaming services under the DirecTV brand later this year, and you can be fairly sure that AT&T intends to use zero rating to give all of them a distinct, and notably unfair, market advantage.

    • EU free roaming to be restricted by ‘fair use’ clause

      THE EU’S PLANS to impose Europe-wide free roaming on mobile operators contain a number of restrictions intended to prevent mobile phone users shopping around for the best deal.

      The draft law released this week shows that the European Commission plans to include a ‘fair use’ clause that would limit the amount of free roaming to 90 days a year and a maximum 30 consecutive days before regulated roaming charges apply.

      However, anyone commuting from London to Paris via the Channel Tunnel, for example, won’t be subject to the new limits if they return to their home network every day.

      Moreover, anyone busting their limits will have their roaming surcharges capped at 4c per minute for calls, 1c for every text message and just 0.85c per megabyte of data.

      Operators will also be able to impose restrictions on call and data volumes, and will be allowed to require subscribers to pay for a certain volume of services on their home network before the contract can be used for roaming.

  • DRM

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • WIPO Human Resources Report A “Whitewash” [Ed: officials there are thugs and crooks]

      The HRMD report from which this article is lifted presents a whitewashed and totally unrealistic picture of the current situation at WIPO.

      The International Federation of Civil Servants (FICSA) recently stated that « staff-management relations have deteriorated further as the WIPO Director General continues to push forward with his intended elections of a ‘new Staff Council’ even though members of the WIPO Staff Association recently (re)elected their representatives to serve on the Staff Council ». FICSA also went on to say that the Director General’s « new interpretation» of the relevant WIPO Staff Regulation allowing non-members to vote is « in total contradiction with the Organization’s interpretation and practice which has been in place since the conception of the Staff Association ».

      Convinced that this intervention by the executive head of the Organization is a violation of freedom of assembly and free speech, the WIPO Staff Council has filed an internal appeal and intends to take the matter to the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organization if necessary. The WIPO Staff Association has the support of staff associations from all over the UN system. A recently issued Labourstart petition entitled « Stop union-busting and stop retaliation against whistleblowers at WIPO », has already obtained more than 5,400 signatures in support.

    • Copyrights

      • Scary Torrent Site Blocking Message Has to Change, Judge Rules

        The High Court of Bombay has clarified that simply viewing a pirated file won’t land people in jail. This question was raised after a blocking message shown by many Indian ISPs made this claim. The court ordered ISPs to show an updated message. In addition, providers should consider an ombudsman to prevent overblocking and other problems that may arise.

      • Anti-Piracy Groups Petition Clinton & Trump for Tough Copyright Laws

        Two leading anti-piracy groups have penned an open letter and Change.org petition calling on Clinton and Trump to adopt a tough approach to copyright law. Copyright Alliance and CreativeFuture, which count dozens of major studios and record labels among their members, say that protecting content is vital, no matter which party is in power.

      • Megaupload: Court Copy-Pasted U.S. Lawyers, Made Glaring Errors

        A New Zealand District Court made several major errors when it decided to grant the extradition of Kim Dotcom and his Megaupload colleagues, Dotcom’s lawyer said today. Noting that the judge copy-pasted extensively from lawyers working for the U.S. Government, he argues that there is absolutely no legal ground to extradite Megaupload’s founder.

      • SUPER-BREAKING: (Liberal) CJEU says that linking to unauthorised content is NOT a communication to the public unless one seeks financial gain and has knowledge of illegality

        This was a reference for a preliminary ruling from the Dutch Supreme Court. It had been made in the context of proceedings between Sanoma (the publisher of Playboy magazine) and GS Media, concerning the publication by the latter on a website that it operates (GeenStijl.nl) of hyperlinks to other websites hosting unpublished photographs of Dutch starlet Britt Dekker. These photographs were due for publication in a forthcoming issue of Playboy.

      • When ISPs Become Anti-Troll Advocates: Bahnhof Turns The IP Tables On A Copyright Troll

        Copyright trolls still plague the world, unfortunately. While many are the group and individuals that advocate against this form of legal extortion, nearly always built upon shaky evidence at best, too silent have been the ISPs that copyright trolls utilize to send out their settlement letters. For whatever reason, ISPs en masse have decided that it isn’t prudent to advocate for their clients. But not all ISPs behave this way. In Sweden, ISP Bahnhof, which we have written about previously for its client-friendly practices, is fighting back against one copyright troll on behalf of its customers in the best way possible: by turning the intellectual property tables back upon them.

        Sweden has recently become something of a target for copyright trolls, with Spridningskollen leading the charge. This group, the name of which translates into English as “Distribution Check,” uses data gathered by anti-piracy groups to send out the typical threat letters and settlement requests to people who have IP addresses accused of infringing on copyrighted material. A spokesman for Spridningskollen, Gordon Odenbark, insisted that his group’s work was necessary for both providing revenue to rights holders and, more importantly, to deter the general public from violating the intellectual property rights of others.

      • Austrian Courts Uphold Creative Commons License Terms — For Now

        Last week, Mike wrote about an important case involving one of the Creative Commons licenses. The fact that some 15 years after the CC movement started and the courts are still trying to bring legal clarity to the use of CC licenses is further proof that the law tends to lag far behind technology. Given their rarity, it’s interesting to see another recent case involving a CC license, this time in Austria, pointed out by Alan Toner on his blog.

        As the timeline (in German) of the events indicates, the story began in January 2014, when thousands of left-wing protesters demonstrated against a ball organized by the far-right Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ), held annually in Vienna. Following attacks on property and the police during the protest, one person was arrested, and in June 2014 his trial began.

        The left-wing film collective Filmpiraten published a couple of short videos relating to the person involved. Shortly afterwards, the FPÖ used excerpts from the two Filmpiraten videos as part of a report published on its YouTube channel. The FPÖ video was released under the standard YouTube license, which claims full copyright in the material. However, both the Filmpiraten videos used a Creative Commons license — specifically, the BY-NC-SA license. Under its terms, others may use the material free of charge, but are required to release the resulting work under the same CC license.

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