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03.03.17

IBM is a Massive Patent Bully That Amasses Software Patents, So Invalidation or ‘Sharing’ of One Single Patent Misses the Point Entirely

Posted in America, EFF, IBM, Patents at 8:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Today’s IBM is not Samuel Palmisano’s IBM but a shameless patent aggressor and legal bully

Samuel J. Palmisano
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore

Summary: IBM’s patent gold rush and worldwide lobbying for software patents yield lawsuits but also draw complaints — to the point where IBM resorts to face-saving moves and the Patent Office looks foolish for accepting bogus patent applications

FOR A rather large number of years (nearly a decade) we were mostly supportive and friendly towards IBM. Readers and especially longtime readers can agree. We were never inherently biased against IBM, maybe only the contrary (primarily because IBM supported ODF, GNU/Linux and so on). A lot of this changed, however, when IBM became an active patent bully again (2016), not to mention a vocal lobbyist for software patents (it had done this more covertly in the past). In a sense, IBM has become even an anti-FOSS bully. We cannot tolerate this because it directly and unequivocally betrays our values and principles. What on Earth happened to the 'old' IBM that Samuel Palmisano ran for quite some time with great success? IBM can barely sell its crown jewels anymore (stuff like mainframes), it lays off a lot of staff, and so it tries converting software patents — its last potent ‘asset’ (many of which due to expire soon) — into some kind of Mafia culture led by Ginni Rometty. For shame! What did IBM foresee — if it brothered with any projections/forecasts at all — as the impact to its brand and reputation which it so uniquely relies on? People don’t spent half a million dollars on a single machine unless they have great confidence in the brand (like the old saying, “Nobody ever got fired for choosing IBM”).

“What on Earth happened to the ‘old’ IBM that Samuel Palmisano ran for quite some time with great success?”A couple of days ago, prolific sites noticed yet another one of these notorious IBM patents. Slashdot in this case has many comments about it and this is far from the first time that Slashdot nitpicks or criticises IBM patents, resulting in public concessions and/or apologies from IBM. But the whole debate started like this not at the beginning of this month but at the end of February, courtesy of the EFF. It called it “Stupid Patent of the Month” and explained it as follows:

On January 17, 2017, the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted IBM a patent on an out-of-office email system. Yes, really.

United States Patent No. 9,547,842 (the ’842 Patent),“Out-of-office electronic mail messaging system,” traces its history to an application filed back in 2010. That means it supposedly represents a new, non-obvious advance over technology from that time. But, as many office workers know, automated out-of-office messages were a “workplace staple” decades before IBM filed its application. The Patent Office is so out of touch that it conducted years of review of this application without ever discussing any real-world software.

“”Watson” is another such marketing stunt — selling that old illusion of IBM being sharp and ahead of the curve.”“IBM Shamed Into Giving Away Awful Patent On Email Out-Of-Office Messages,” TechDirt wrote soon afterwards. TechDirt typically reprints the “Stupid Patent of the Month” series, but it didn’t do it this time around. TechDirt‘s coverage was better than the rest because it emphasised the real reasons for IBM’s ‘generous’ giveaway. To quote: “IBM basically tries to patent everything, no matter how stupid. The company has (no, really) been at the top of the patent recipient list in the United States for an astounding 24 straight years. Really. And, yes, sure, the company has done some innovative things and yes, Watson’s pretty cool, but does anyone actually think IBM is the most innovative company around for the past two and a half decades? It gets tons of patents because IBM has an army of lawyers who just try to patent anything. Earlier this week, the EFF put out its regular Stupid Patent of the Month post, and it was about an incredibly stupid patent from IBM. The patent (US Patent 9,547,842) is for an out-of-office email messaging system.”

IBM is somewhat of a fake innovator, which (as we last explained in January) exploits the illusion of patents as surrogates of innovation to sell the idea that it’s the most clever company out there and thus worth the high cost of hardware and/or services. “Watson” is another such marketing stunt — selling that old illusion of IBM being sharp and ahead of the curve. IBM was a leader in many areas several decades ago, but this has not been the case for a good number of years. All that IBM has to show now is a big pile of patents, many of which are worthless and should never have been granted. It likely helped them when they had one of their own running the Patent Office.

“All that IBM has to show now is a big pile of patents, many of which are worthless and should never have been granted.”The latest patent controversy was covered in many places and sites, and not just in English. There were about a dozen press articles about this ‘Out-Of-Office’ patent in English alone (e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]). It’s only this kind of negative publicity which drove IBM to putting aside one simple patent, simply out of shame.

This is still making headlines/news in some circles, but the story has lost momentum by now, hence we decided to do a media survey of sorts. We believe it’s exhaustive or at least comprehensive. This might help next time IBM does it, as it did the above many times before. Instead of IBM doing the right thing, like Infosys, it keeps pursuing just more and more of these patents, simply adding buzzwords like “cloud” or “AI” to old ideas (to make them appear novel/innovative and thus worthy of a patent grant).

“Victory!” wrote the EFF, “After EFF’s Stupid Patent of the Month post, IBM dedicates patent on out-of-office email to the public.”

“It’s like that old (a decade-old) EFF campaign where they went after one patent at a time, striving to squash some high-profile ‘nuisance’ patents rather than the entire class of such patents.”But it would be an even bigger victory if Big Thug IBM (or International Bullying Machine, as Florian Müller once called it) altogether stopped pursuing software patents, gave away all its software patents, surrendered all lawsuits it had initiated over software patents, and ceased lobbying for software patents. Better yet, it would be nice if the EFF compelled the USPTO to stop granting software patents, and not just to IBM. There are many thousands of IBM patents like the above patent; that’s a lot more where that came from and some of these are actively being used to shake down IBM’s smaller competitors. So the key problem isn’t solved. It’s like that old (a decade-old) EFF campaign where they went after one patent at a time, striving to squash some high-profile ‘nuisance’ patents rather than the entire class of such patents.

“Fighting patents one by one will never eliminate the danger of software patents, any more than swatting mosquitoes will eliminate malaria.”

Richard Stallman

Dutch Foreign Minister Reads the Riot Act to EPO Vice-President Willy/Guillaume Minnoye

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Letter from the Dutch Foreign Minister

Dutch Foreign Minister letter's screenshot

Summary: The Dutch Foreign Minister is not tolerating the abuses of the EPO and seems eager to remove the immunity unless things miraculously improve (which is very unlikely)

MR. Minnoye loves secrecy (he has repeatedly failed at that) and he will flee the EPO in a few months as first rumoured about half a year ago (last summer, before a confirmation that came just before Christmas). Minnoye also became rather infamous for asserting that he would ignore/disregard (or put another way: disobey) the highest court’s ruling. He was referring to the Dutch High Court and said this on Dutch television! How foolish. How arrogant. As we noted earlier today, there is a growing possibility right now that the EPO will soon lose its immunity. Minnoye will probably have retired by then.

Before Minnoye is out the door, however, there is a score to settle and the above letter reached us today. People who comprehend Dutch explained it to us as follows:

The document recently appeared on the website of the Dutch Parliament.

The letter is dated February 23 and is from the Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs, Bert Koenders, to the Chairman of the Dutch House of Representatives (Tweede Kamer).

In the letter Mr. Koenders is reporting to the Parliament on his discussion with the EPO Vice-President Minnoye which took place on January 30, 2017.

According to Mr. Koenders, part of the discussion related to the verdict of the Supreme Court of January 20, 2017, in which the EPO’s immunity was confirmed.

Mr. Koenders goes on to note that:
“This immunity does not prevent the host country from entering into discussion with the management of the EPO about the continuing conflict between management and staff of the EPO. Especially now that this conflict has become part of the public and political debate.”

The letter continues:
“In this context, I have communicated to Mr Minnoye that the internal conflict has been going on for too long and that the situation now demands rapid improvement.”

Apparently Minnoye came out with the usual official EPO management line about how progress was been made. He referred to the recent social conference – which was described by the French Senator Richard Yung as “Potemkinite” – and he expressed the hope that the EPO was moving into calmer waters.

The letter from Mr. Koenders concludes with the following statement:
“I indicated that I share this hope, but have noted an important caveat: if no visible improvements take place in the short term in the relations within the EPO, I see no other option but to discuss the situation at a high political level with the Member States of the European Patent Organisation.
I continue to monitor this matter closely having regard to responsibility of the host state and will press Vice President Minnoye for normalization of the situation within the EPO.”

Bearing in mind that this letter is from the Foreign Minister of the Netherlands and is couched in diplomatic language it can safely be said that it is “strong stuff”.

In plain language: it looks like the Foreign Minister has just “read the riot act” to Minnoye and the EPO’s senior management.

We also have this letter as text, for those who can read the Dutch:

Aan de Voorzitter van de
Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal
Binnenhof 4
Den Haag

Datum 23 februari 2017
Betreft Gesprek Vice President Europees Octrooi Bureau

Geachte voorzitter,

Hierbij informeer ik uw Kamer, conform mijn toezegging in het algemeen overleg van de vaste commissie voor Buitenlandse Zaken over diplomatieke immuniteit van 14 december 2016, over mijn gesprek met de heer Minnoye, Vice President van het Europees Octrooi Bureau (EOB), dat op 30 januari 2017 plaatsvond.

Onderdeel van dit gesprek was de uitspraak van de Hoge Raad van 20 januari 2017, waarin de immuniteit van de organisatie werd bevestigd. Nederland respecteert de immuniteit van het EOB, net als die van de andere intergouvernementele organisaties die zich hier hebben gevestigd. Deze immuniteit laat onverlet dat het gastland met het management van het EOB in gesprek kan gaan over de voortdurende onrust tussen het management en het personeel van het EOB. Zeker nu deze onrust onderdeel is geworden van publiek en politiek debat.

In dit kader heb ik de heer Minnoye meegegeven dat de interne onrust te lang voortduurt en dat de situatie nu snel verbetering behoeft. Om met spoed een begin te maken aan herstel van vertrouwen tussen het management en het personeel, is voorgesteld de sociale dialoog constructief te hervatten en daarbij op zeer korte termijn een aantal vertrouwenwekkende maatregelen, onder andere gebaseerd op de Social Study, door te voeren:

- Externen betrekken in de interne bezwaarprocedure, zodat deze procedure door het personeel als onpartijdig en onafhankelijk wordt ervaren;

- Heroverweging van disciplinaire maatregelen die ten aanzien van enkele vakbondsleden zijn ingezet.

Tot slot heb ik vanuit mijn gastlandverantwoordelijkheid aangegeven dat het EOB een beroep op het gastland kan doen als het gaat om steun voor initiatieven die bijdragen aan normalisering van de huidige situatie van onrust.


De heer Minnoye heeft aangegeven dat op dit moment op verschillende manieren wordt geprobeerd een positieve dialoog met het personeel op te starten. Als voorbeeld noemde hij de townhall meetings die recentelijk plaatsvonden. Vice President Minnoye sprak de hoop en verwachting uit dat de organisatie binnenkort in rustiger vaarwater komt.

Ik heb aangegeven dat ik deze hoop deel, maar heb daarbij een belangrijke kanttekening geplaatst: indien op korte termijn geen zichtbare verbeteringen plaatsvinden in de arbeidsverhoudingen binnen het EOB, zie ik geen andere mogelijkheid dan het bespreken van de situatie op hoog politiek niveau met de andere lidstaten van de Europese Octrooi Organisatie.

Ik blijf dit dossier vanuit de gastlandverantwoordelijkheid nauwlettend volgen en bij Vice President Minnoye aandringen op normalisering van de situatie binnen het EOB.

De Minister van Buitenlandse Zaken,

Bert Koenders

This is likely to be the basis for future and perhaps imminent political debates in the Netherlands. We previously wrote about the subject in articles published earlier this year; among them (there are more):

  1. Battistelli is an Autocrat Above the Law and It’s OK, Holland’s High Council Says
  2. EPO Abuses Now Make the Netherlands Look Like a Facilitator of Human/Labour Rights Abuses
  3. Media Blasts EPO Over Immunity Amid Suicides, Battistelli’s Behaviour Compared to Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s
  4. Leaked: Team Battistelli, Exploiting a Controversial Decision From the Netherlands, is Trying to Squash SUEPO
  5. The EPO’s Freedom to Disregard the Law and Abuse Employees is “Being Taken up by the Council of Europe”
  6. The Netherlands With Its Bizarre Decision to Let the EPO Violate Dutch Law, Now in English
  7. “Team Battistelli Continues With Intimidation Tactics”
  8. The European Patent Office Officially Dishonours Justice, So It’s Time for SUEPO to Become Clandestine
  9. Culture of Terror at The European Patent Office Escalates Thanks to Dutch Government’s Complicity
  10. Lack of Justice in and Around the EPO Drawing Scrutiny

When will this madness end? We have a lot more material to publish about the EPO, probably this weekend and next week. Things are about to get worse — definitely not better — for the EPO. Bert Koenders deserves to know that and we hope he will pay attention to some abuses we’ll show happening on Dutch territory.

If Dutch politicians wish to maintain the perception of their country being a leader in international law, then they must act now on the EPO.

Links 3/3/2017: Plasma 5.10 Plans, PCLinuxOS 2017.03 KDE Edition

Posted in News Roundup at 6:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • AMD Ryzen/Zen Currently Doesn’t Support Coreboot Today

    Back in 2011 was the glorious announcement that AMD would support Coreboot with its future CPUs. Sadly, a lot has changed at AMD over the past half-decade, and there isn’t any Coreboot support to find today for Zen/Ryzen.

  • NASA Has Just Released Tons Of Free And Open Source Software, Here’s How To Get Them
  • Node.js: A project for casual contributors

    I sat down at the Open Source Leadership Summit to record a podcast with Mikeal Rogers, who heads the Node.js Foundation, a collaborative project under the Linux Foundation. He observed that one of the characteristics of Node.js and its community is that it’s a “post-GitHub platform,” meaning “the first release of Node.js and the first code written on Node.js were in a GitHub repository. That’s the environment we live in, so we had to come up with some newer ways of managing the project that are unique to this newer and more modern open source.”

  • Tune Up Your Code with the Crankshaft Compiler

    Safia Abdalla is an open source developer and a maintainer on a project called nteract, but her pet topic is compilers. And, in her talk at Node.js Interactive, Abdalla explained the inner workings of the V8 compiler and how it can optimize the code it gets fed. Although Abdalla specifically focused on what goes on in the V8 compiler, she noted that there are many similarities to other compilers.

  • Using open source APM software: InspectIT

    Thus, system failures and poor performance usually have a significant negative impact on a company’s reputation and economic success. The discipline of APM (Application Performance Management) comes to the rescue by providing methodologies and tools to ensure a high quality of service. APM tools provide the means to monitor the health of software systems, detect and react on emerging performance anomalies, and allow for the diagnosis of the root causes of performance problems. A set of commercial APM tools (AppDynamics, DynaTrace, NewRelic, etc.) are available that are rich in their scope of functionality and maturity; however, in some cases commercial tools may not be suitable due to license costs, vendor lock-in, or other reasons that can negatively affect companies following an open source strategy.

  • Events

  • Web Browsers

    • What’s the fastest Linux web browser?

      Firefox is easily the most popular Linux web browser. In the recent LinuxQuestions survey, Firefox took first place with 51.7 percent of the vote. Chrome came in second with a mere 15.67 percent. The other browsers all had, at most, scores in single percentages. But is Firefox really the fastest browser? I put them them to the test, and here’s what I found.

    • Chrome

    • Mozilla

      • The Story of Firefox OS

        I remember at a team dinner once Mitchell Baker, Mozilla’s Chairwoman and “Chief Lizard Wrangler”, talked about the importance of storytelling. She talked about how telling stories in the open source software community helps us to reflect on shared experiences and learn from them.

        Well, I’m Ben and I’m a Mozillian. I’m a Software Engineer who worked on the “Boot to Gecko” project full time for five years and I have a story to tell.

        As an engineer on the project I don’t quite have the full picture when it comes to the high level decision making, financials and business partnerships. But I was involved in the project for a long period of time, longer in fact than any of its co-founders, and gained quite a lot of insight at the engineering, design and product levels.

      • Mozilla and BrowserStack Partner to Drive Mobile Testing on Real Devices

        At Mozilla a fundamental part of our beliefs is that all websites should work equally well across all browsers and all devices. The Internet should just work everywhere, flawlessly, with no questions asked. We’re therefore really happy that, as of this week, the BrowserStack team is launching a mobile test capability for Firefox browser products and a unique offering – one year of free testing on Firefox mobile browsers on BrowserStack’s Real Device Cloud. In addition, developers can test Firefox browsers on different desktop operating systems for free for 30 days.

        We know that today the majority of web content consumption and activity is on mobile. That’s what makes BrowserStack’s new Firefox test capability so important for web developers trying to build web compatible mobile sites. And helping developers be more successful with their sites is great for users too, and for Mozilla.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Italian military share LibreOffice eLearning course

      Italy’s Ministry of Defence is sharing the eLearning course that it developed together with LibreItalia, the Italian promoters of LibreOffice. The course is made available via the LibreItalia website, and the source material is available on GitHub. The Ministry hopes that making it available will inspire others to modify and reuse the LibreOffice course.

  • BSD

    • LLVM 4.0 Release Candidate 3

      LLVM 4.0 remains running behind schedule but the third release candidate is now available for testing with hopes of shipping this updated compiler stack in the next week or so.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

  • Public Services/Government

    • What happened in Munich [iophk: "Microsoft fifth columnists inside .de government"]

      What lead to this public hearing on 15 February? In 2014, Dieter Reiter was elected new mayor of Munich. He had referred to himself as “Microsoft fan” even before he took office. He prides himself with having played a major part in the decision to move the Microsoft Germany headquarters to downtown Munich. He started to question the LiMux strategy as soon as his term started, and asked Accenture, a Microsoft partner in the same building as Microsoft, to analyse Munich’s IT infrastructure. The report can be found here (German). It’s noteworthy that in their report, the analysts identify primarily organisational issues at the root of the problems troubling LiMux uptake, rather than technical challenges.

    • FSFE: What happened in Munich [Ed: Microsoft played dirty]

      On 15 February 2017, the city council of Munich, Germany convened to discuss the future of their LiMux project. In its public session, the plenary voted to have the city administration develop a strategy to unify client-side IT architecture, building atop a yet-to-be-developed “Windows-Basis-Client”. A translation of the complete decision is included further down.

      The opposing parties were overruled, but the decision was amended such that the strategy document must specify which LiMux-applications will no longer be needed, the extent in which prior investments must be written off, and a rough calculation of the overall costs of the desired unification.

      Since this decision was reached, the majority of media have reported that a final call was made to halt LiMux and switch back to Microsoft software. This is, however, not an accurate representation of the outcome of the city council meeting. We studied the available documentation and our impression is that the last word has not been spoken.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Rational thoughts on the GitHub ToS change

      I woke this morning to Thorsten claiming the new GitHub Terms of Service could require the removal of Free software projects from it. This was followed by joeyh removing everything from github. I hadn’t actually been paying attention, so I went looking for some sort of summary of whether I should be worried and ended up reading the actual ToS instead. TL;DR version: No, I’m not worried and I don’t think you should be either.

      First, a disclaimer. I’m not a lawyer. I have some legal training, but none of what I’m about to say is legal advice. If you’re really worried about the changes then you should engage the services of a professional.

    • what I would ask my lawyers about the new Github TOS

      The Internet saw Github’s new TOS yesterday and collectively shrugged.

      That’s weird..

      I don’t have any lawyers, but the way Github’s new TOS is written, I feel I’d need to consult with lawyers to understand how it might affect the license of my software if I hosted it on Github.

      And the license of my software is important to me, because it is the legal framework within which my software lives or dies. If I didn’t care about my software, I’d be able to shrug this off, but since I do it seems very important indeed, and not worth taking risks with.

      If I were looking over the TOS with my lawyers, I’d ask these questions…

    • New GitHub Terms of Service r̲e̲q̲u̲i̲r̲e̲ removing many Open Source works from it

      The new Terms of Service of GitHub became effective today, which is quite problematic — there was a review phase, but my reviews pointing out the problems were not answered, and, while the language is somewhat changed from the draft, they became effective immediately.

      Now, the new ToS are not so bad that one immediately must stop using their service for disagreement, but it’s important that certain content may no longer legally be pushed to GitHub. I’ll try to explain which is affected, and why.

      I’m mostly working my way backwards through section D, as that’s where the problems I identified lie, and because this is from easier to harder.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • Storytelling in the 21st Century

      Some words for thought from this week’s video on nteract: “Open science isn’t truly open and open source isn’t truly open.”

      [...]

      I work as a technologist at a public library and my undergraduate degree is in philosophy. I like it when I hear technologists talking in these kinds of terms. It’s evidence of someone thinking at a very high level.

    • Open Data

      • Peer-review activists push psychology journals towards open data

        An editor on the board of a journal published by the prestigious American Psychological Association (APA) has been asked to resign in a controversy over data sharing in peer review.

        Gert Storms — who says he won’t step down — is one of a few hundred scientists who have vowed that, from the start of this year, they will begin rejecting papers if authors won’t publicly share the underlying data, or explain why they can’t.

        The idea, called the Peer Reviewers’ Openness Initiative, was launched by psychologists hoping to increase transparency in a field beset by reports of fraud and dubious research practices. And the APA, which does not ask that data be made available to peer reviewers or shared openly online, seems set to become an early testing ground for the initiative’s influence. With Storms’ situation still unresolved, the society’s council of editors will discuss whether it should change its policies at a meeting in late March.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

  • Programming/Development

    • Master JavaScript Programming with 18 Open-Source Books

      This is the fifth in OSSBlog’s series of open source programming books. This compilation focuses on the JavaScript language with 18 solid recommendations. There are books here for beginner, intermediate, and advanced programmers alike. All of the texts are released under an open source license.

    • 10 Best Java IDEs For Linux

      Java, the famous programming language that is useful to us at almost every time in our daily work. Directly or indirectly we work on Java software almost everyday. My fellow developers, coders, programmers also use to develop Java software that is why I decided that it would be worth to write an article on it. Many of you who are reading this may be new at Java IDE( Integrated Development Environment) who want to develop some kind of software, want to code or modify some kind of string and may be wondering that which IDE to use or which is the best. So here I list the 10 best Java IDE for Linux. This list is based on several opinions, research, comments, update, and support, stability as I wanted to list the best. Let’s start now!

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • How the Chili Dog Transcended America’s Divisions

      Forget about commercial feedlots and GMOs. Forget high cholesterol, expanding waistlines, and the merits of plant-based diets. Forget The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Fast Food Nation. Forget the trends of locavorism and clean eating.

    • Detroit’s hot dog eatery is a piece of American history

      100 years and three generations later, American Coney Island claims to be the oldest family-owned business in Michigan. By any measure, it is one of the nation’s most iconic restaurants, a fixture in downtown Detroit since the city was riding high on the auto business, through its decline, and now during its upswing.

      American Coney sits next door to its arch rival, Lafayette Coney Island, making this downtown stretch of Lafayette Boulevard the Motor City’s epicenter of all things hot dog. While each has its devoted fans, I’ve been to both, and for visitors seeking to experience Michigan’s “Coney culture,” I heartily recommend American for food, service and ambiance (though grittier Lafayette has better fries).

    • Rand Paul creates storm over access to ObamaCare draft bill

      Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Thursday went off in search of a draft of the House Republicans’ plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare, creating a storm of controversy gleefully embraced by Democrats.

      Paul complained that the ObamaCare bill was being kept in a “secret location.” He then walked over to the House side with a copy machine in tow to seek access to a room where he said the bill was being held.

      His move quickly created a spectacle, with reporters gathering around Paul for an impromptu press conference.

    • E-Commerce, Access To Medicines Catching On At WTO TRIPS Council

      The World Trade Organization committee on intellectual property rights met this week with some discussion items that departed from past agendas but are becoming more familiar. A discussion on electronic commerce revealed interest from members, despite a slow start on details. And discussions on the United Nations High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines prompted nourished interactions and a wish by some countries to pursue the subject in future sessions.

      [...]

      India gave a statement along the same lines, and underlined the panel recommendation that governments “should require manufacturers and distributors of health technologies to disclose to drug regulatory and procurement authorities information pertaining to: (1) the costs of R&D, production, marketing and distribution of health technology being procured or given marketing approval with each expense category separated; and (2) any public funding received in the development of the health technology, including tax credits, subsidies and grants,” according to its statement.

      India suggested that at future sessions of the Council, India cosponsor, with like-minded members, sub-agenda items under the main agenda item “the United Nations Secretary-General’s High Level Panel Report on Access to Medicines.” Under those sub-agenda items, members could share their experiences including on specific recommendations of the panel, the Indian delegate said.

  • Security

    • HackerOne Offers Free Bug Bounty Programs for Open Source Projects

      HackerOne, a platform that is offering hosting for bug bounty programs, announced today that open-source projects can now sign up for a free bug bounty program if they meet a few simple conditions.

      The new offering, named HackerOne Community Edition, is identical with HackerOne Professional Edition, the commercial service the company is offering to some of the world’s largest organizations, such as Twitter, Dropbox, Adobe, Yahoo, Uber, GitHub, Snapchat, and many others.

    • Once overlooked, uninitialized-use ‘bugs’ may provide portal for hacker attacks on linux

      Popular with programmers the world over for its stability, flexibilityand security, Linux now appears to be vulnerable to hackers.

    • Amazon S3-izure cause: Half the web vanished because an AWS bod fat-fingered a command

      Amazon has provided the postmortem for Tuesday’s AWS S3 meltdown, shedding light on what caused one of its largest cloud facilities to bring a chunk of the web down.

      In a note today to customers, the tech giant said the storage system was knocked offline by a staffer trying to address a problem with its billing system. Essentially, someone mistyped a command within a production environment while debugging a performance gremlin.

      “The Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) team was debugging an issue causing the S3 billing system to progress more slowly than expected. At 9:37AM PST, an authorized S3 team member using an established playbook executed a command which was intended to remove a small number of servers for one of the S3 subsystems that is used by the S3 billing process,” the team wrote in its message.

    • Human error caused Amazon Web Services outage

      A wrong command entered by a member of its technical staff was responsible for the outage experienced by Amazon Web Services simple storage service this week.

      In a detailed explanation, the company said the S3 team was attempting to debug an issue that caused a slowdown in its billing system when, at 9.37am PST on Tuesday (4.30am Wednesday AEST), one of its technical staff ran a command that was intended to remove a few servers from one of the subsystems used by the S3 billing process.

      The worker entered one wrong input for the command and ended up removing a much larger number of servers than intended, some of which supported two other S3 subsystems.

    • Apple’s macOS bitten by a brace of backdoors

      OH JEEZ, THE SANCTITY OF THE Apple operating system continues to be whittled away at, and now two reasonably fresh backdoors have been revealed by a concerned security company.

      Apple backdoors are much prized, just ask the FBI, so to have two in a day should be a thing to celebrate. But only if you like that kind of stuff.

      The Malwarebytes blog dishes the dirt on the pair and the threat that they pose to people who use Macs.

      One of them is XAgent, which Palo Alto Networks clocked onto in February. It is a nasty business indeed.

    • SHA-1 crack just got real: System Center uses it to talk to Linux

      When Google revealed last week that it had destroyed the SHA-1 algorithm, it hammered another nail into the venerable algo’s coffin.

      But as we noted in our report on the feat, many applications still use SHA-1. And if you’re one of the many Windows shops running Microsoft’s System Center Operations Manager Management Server, you’ve got an exposure.

    • SSH Communications Security’s Universal SSH Key Manager

      Today’s IAM solutions, warns enterprise cybersecurity expert SSH Communications Security, fail to address fully the requirements of trusted access. Organizations lack an efficient way to manage and govern trusted access credentials and have no visibility into the activities that occur within the secure channels that are created for trusted access operations.

    • Three Years after Heartbleed, How Vulnerable Are You? [Ed: Fools who cling on to hype, marketing and FUD from a Microsoft-connected firm even 3 years later]

      Three years ago, the Heartbleed vulnerability in the OpenSSL cryptographic library sent the software industry and companies around the world into a panic. Software developers didn’t know enough about the open source components used in their own products to understand whether their software was vulnerable — and customers using that software didn’t know either.

  • Defence/Aggression

  • Finance

    • Zero hours contracts reach record levels

      The number of people on controversial zero hours contracts has reached a record high of 910,000.

      New figures based on an analysis of Office for National Statistics data reveal that 105,000 more people were on contracts that do not guarantee work in 2016 compared with the same period in 2015.

      That’s an increase of nearly 14%, and 30% higher than 2014.

      In 2005, there were just 100,000 people on zero hours contracts (ZHCs).

      But although the new figures are a record, they also reveal a sharp slowing in the rate of increase in the last six months of 2016.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • California City Finds Optimum Balance Between Safety And Profit, Trims Yellow Light Times To Produce Spike In Citations
    • Matthew Fisher: Trump was wrong on the details, but right about ‘problems’ in Sweden

      Though U.S. President Donald Trump probably stumbled upon it accidentally — and though he invoked a terror attack that never happened — he was right about there being “problems they never thought possible” in Sweden since it “took in” large numbers of refugees from Muslim-majority countries.

      There is little sign yet of such frictions in Canada. But as Trump’s utterances and the support he got from almost half the American electorate demonstrate, the debate now taking place across the Old World about refugees from the Middle East has already crossed the Atlantic. It will inevitably shape the discussion in Canada about immigration and Muslim refugees.

    • Attacking right to dissent

      Last week’s events at Delhi University, where the ABVP, the BJP’s student affiliate, disrupted a seminar on “protest cultures” and initiated a campaign of violence and intimidation that is yet to die down, signals that we are passing through a disturbing phase when anyone can cite nationalism or patriotism to inflict violence, with the police standing by. The pity is that top government figures have virtually given cover to trouble-makers by arguing — falsely — that free expression is sacrosanct but criticising India is intolerable.

    • 5 Ways To Stay Sane In An Era Of Non-Stop Outrage

      You ever get so bored that you feel like you could kill 27 people and then mail their body parts to the police station?

      Serial killers do. Get that bored, I mean. The whole deal with psychopaths is that their brains don’t handle dopamine correctly. That’s the chemical that makes you feel pleasure. They get so starved for stimulation that they keep trying crazier and crazier shit just to fight the boredom.

    • Here’s what happened when this Swede introduced fika at her London office

      You can take the Swede out of Sweden, but you can never take their fika. Hanna Månsson writes about what happened when she brought the concept to her London office.

      When I left Sweden for London almost 12 years ago I also left behind a lot of things that I really love. Friends and family aside, I left ‘mosbricka’ at one o’clock in the morning, grillchips with dip at fredagsmys, Eurovision hysteria and a lot of fairly fabulous employment rights. And perhaps the hardest one of all – I left behind fika.

    • Engineer says Uber hired firm to investigate her after she reported sexual harassment

      The former Uber engineer who published a viral account of sexual harassment and discrimination said her former employer had hired a law firm to investigate her.

      Susan Fowler, whose blogpost about sexism and misconduct sparked widespread debate about the mistreatment of women in Silicon Valley, said on Thursday that Uber was investigating her and that she had hired the law firm Baker Curtis & Schwartz to represent her.

      An Uber spokesperson told the Guardian that the law form Perkins Coie was “investigating Susan’s claims, not Susan personally”.

      Fowler’s claim on Twitter comes a week after she said she had learned of some kind of “smear campaign” and that investigators had reached out to contacts of hers for “personal and intimate” details of her life.

      Shortly after Fowler posted her account last month – which claimed that a manager immediately propositioned her for sex when she joined the company and that HR refused to hold him accountable despite clear evidence – Uber said it was launching an “urgent investigation” into her claims. The company subsequently hired the former US attorney general Eric Holder to assist with the process.

    • Silicon Valley Needs To Get Its Act Together On Sexual Harassment & Discrimination

      You may have heard, recently, about a series of reports about sexual harassment (and general sexism and other similarly awful behavior) in Silicon Valley. It’s not a new thing, but it’s getting a lot of necessary attention right now and it’s seriously messed up. It’s unacceptable. It needs to stop — and people need to speak up about it, and to come down hard on anyone who’s engaging in it or letting it slide. If you’re doing the kind of crap being discussed, stop it now (and go apologize). If someone tells you you’re acting inappropriately, listen to them. And if you see someone else doing something awful, tell them to knock it off and then follow through.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • FCC Partially Kills Rules Requiring ISPs Be Clear About Usage Caps, Hidden Fees

      FCC boss Ajit Pai made it clear that overturning net neutrality would be the new FCC’s top priority (apparently right behind paying lip service to the poor), and his behavior is making it very clear that wasn’t an empty promise. Pai recently killed the FCC’s inquiry into Verizon and AT&T’s zero rating, which lets both companies use arbitrary usage caps to give their own content an unfair market advantage. The previous FCC argued both ISPs were violating net neutrality and engaged in anti-competitive behavior. The new FCC, in contrast, now says zero rating “enhances competition in the wireless marketplace.”

    • Why the dark net is more resilient to attack than the internet

      The internet is amazingly robust, but like any complex network is still prone to the occasional failure. A new analysis using network theory explains why the dark net – the hidden underbelly of the regular internet, invisible to search engines – is less vulnerable to attacks. The lessons learned could help inform the design of more robust communications networks in the future.

      The regular internet’s design is deliberately decentralised, which makes it very stable under normal circumstances. Think of each site or server as a node, connected to numerous nodes around it, which in turn connect to even more nodes, and so on. Take out a node or two here or there and the network continues to function just fine. But this structure also makes it more vulnerable to a coordinated attack: take out many nodes at once, as happens during a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, and the result can be catastrophic failure that cascades through the entire network.

    • Broadband lobbyists celebrate as FCC halts data security requirements

      Broadband industry lobby groups are celebrating a Federal Communications Commission decision to prevent enforcement of a rule intended to protect customers’ private data from security breaches.

      The data security rule that was scheduled to take effect today would have required ISPs and phone companies to take “reasonable” steps to protect customers’ information—such as Social Security numbers, financial and health information, and Web browsing data—from theft and data breaches. The FCC issued a stay of the rule yesterday, and Chairman Ajit Pai said he wants to shift authority over data security and privacy entirely to the Federal Trade Commission.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Australia’s Indigenous Culture Event at WIPO Showcases Human Rights Candidacy

      The creativity-oriented UN World Intellectual Property Organization is often at its best when displaying the colorfully multicultural nature of its membership.

      [...]

      The event was followed by a lavish array of foods from Australia, mainly dishes featuring Australian lamb and beef, along with wines.

      The event was a prime networking opportunity. Not only a platform to spotlight Australia’s candidacy, but among others there were two of the candidates to be next director general of the neighbouring World Health Organization.

    • The Vatican Announces Plan To Protect Pope Francis’ Publicity Rights

      Now, I was raised Catholic, and this all feels a little off. To start, there are some pretty clear passages from the Old Testament about making a big thing out of symbols and idols. I’m not saying that claiming dominion over the images of the Pope and Vatican symbols violates those passages, but it does seem to me that this is something of an effort to plunge His Holiness into the murky depths of celebrity culture. After all, while the language bandied about deals with copyright, much of this seems to actually be more in line with trademark and publicity rights.

    • Copyrights

      • Chicago PD Uses Copyright To Refuse Release Of Its 35-Year-Old Deadly Force Training Film

        When copyright is deployed as a censor, it usually means the removal of content. In the case of Freddy Martinez of Lucy Parsons Lab (instrumental in peeling back the opacity covering the Chicago PD’s “black budget”), copyright is the excuse being given to prevent the release of information.

        Martinez was hoping to obtain a copy of an instructional film the Chicago PD shows to incoming officers. This video — made more than 30 years ago — was highlighted in the DOJ’s damning civil rights report. The DOJ noted that the video was outdated and the instructors presenting the film did absolutely nothing to ensure engagement or, you know, provide actual instruction.

      • ExtraTorrent’s Main Domain Name Shut Down By Registrar

        ExtraTorrent, one of the world’s largest torrent indexes, has lost control of its main domain Extratorrent.cc. The domain name has been disconnected by the registrar, which has rendered the site hard to reach. However, it’s still accessible through several backups.

      • Private Anti-Piracy Deals With Domain Registries are Dangerous, Professor Warns

        Last year the MPAA signed its first anti-piracy deals with a domain name registries, hoping to limit widespread copyright infringement. A dangerous development, according to University of Idaho Law Professor Annemarie Bridy, who warns that DNS filtering could gradually become a common tool to supress disfavored speech.

      • Copyright Troll Sues Tor Exit Node, Gets Partial Win

        Copyright trolls still labor under the (deliberate) misconception that an IP address is a person. Sometimes judges allow it. Sometimes judges remind them not to conflate the two. And sometimes — well, maybe just this once — the IP address being sued is actually a Tor exit node, evidence of nothing. (h/t Raul)

        In an opinion handed down by Judge Michael Simon, the person Dallas Buyers Club is suing for infringement will be subject to adverse jury instructions thanks to the Tor exit node DBC sued. The order refers to alleged evidence spoliation by the defendant, who shut down his exit node after being sued. The defendant has (correctly) pointed out “Evidence of what?” because it’s highly unlikely his node would cough up any usable identifying information about infringers utilizing the node.

East Asia is Known for Hardware Innovations, Not Software Innovations, and Software Patents Will Do the Latter No Favours

Posted in Asia, Patents at 8:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

By granting patents even on abstract concepts such as algorithms, China and Japan (but not Korea, which forbids software patents) leave India all the liberty to develop software without fear of ruinous lawsuits

“The day that the software sector forms a clear front against software patents, as pharma does for a unitary patent system… will be the day our cause comes close to winning.”

Pieter Hintjens, Fosdem07 Interview

Summary: China’s and Japan’s patent systems continue to be liberal on software patents, but this is actually a very bad thing which in no way favours software developers; it actively harms their work

“China’s IP office has released new guidelines that include a reduction in restrictions on software patents. Observers say it is not clear how big an effect it will have in practice,” Shaun Tan wrote from Hong Kong for MIP just hours ago. Hours earlier we had noted that China cannot help shooting itself in the foot with this policy. China’s interests are not served but harmed by this. Can they not see it? Who is advising them on these matters? Probably not software engineers but lawyers…

Published over a week ago, on February 21st to be precise, Adriana L. Burgy from Finnegan (Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP) wrote this piece that mentions China’s patent policy. Prosecutors from Finnegan obviously try to maximise the damage caused by patents because to them it means profit. Who cares about coexistence and open cooperation (like sharing of code) anyway?

Here is a portion from Burgy’s article:

Excess claim fees are not new and are used in many patent offices worldwide. For example, the European Patent Office varies their claim fees for the 16th to the 50th claim and then, again for the 51st and each subsequent claim; when filing a request for examination, the Japanese Patent Office fee is directly proportional to the number of claims; and the Chinese Patent Office charges for claims in excess of ten. Here in the U.S., the basic filing fee includes three independent claims and a total of twenty claims. Today in our post-grant proceeding world, do we need to rethink the number of claims we use to cover an invention?

Another new article, this one about chemical patents, explains how it works in China. We read that with interest as we are trying to better grasp the differences between patent offices rather than rely on lawyers who have their own selfish agenda and belief (like faith, or religion) that more patents are always more desirable.

Here is IAM, part of the the litigation lobby, moaning that “[f]oreign patent owners face big hurdles when seeking to get damage awards and licence fees out of China”. To quote:

One consequence is that for foreign companies that win a court case in China, it has reportedly become very difficult to remit any damages they’re awarded back to headquarters. Normally, Chinese courts collect damage money from defendants and turn it over to the plaintiff’s lawyers. But if the winner is based overseas, its lawyers are going to have a very tough time exchanging the RMB award into a convertible currency. Chinese courts can also give damages directly to plaintiffs – if they are foreign companies, this involves asking currency authorities to convert the judgment into, say, Euros. The problem? “Very few courts are willing to risk gaining a reputation for readily sending money overseas,” says one China-based lawyer with first-hand experience of the issue. “Nobody wants to step out of line, and very soon infringers will be aware of that.”

So perhaps they should quit wasting time with the SIPO, where patent quality is so low that it will become impossible to distinguish between potent patents and waste of paper.

Japan, based on another new article, still grapples with the situation where employers take credit (and ‘ownership’) of employees’ ideas. Changes effective from the first of April 2016 (i.e. exactly one year before the above-mentioned changes in China) address that conundrum and the article explains the scenario as follows: “The Patent Law prescribed that a right to obtain a patent for an invention, which occurs when the invention is made by the inventor, is inherently vested in the inventor, on the grounds that only a natural person (not an artificial person such as a business entity) is eligible as an inventor.”

“That’s just happens when lawyers (or liars) use terms like “Intellectual Property”, lumping together copyrights, trademarks, patents, and even trade secrets.”So basically, there’s not much for mere employees, i.e. technical people, to gain from patents. It’s the lawyers and managers who seem to have an insatiable appetite for plenty of patents. They think differently. They, especially the management, probably don’t even know exactly what patents are and how they work; as for lawyers, they don’t comprehend the process of research and development. They never did any of that stuff!

“Can I protect my trademark through a patent?”

That’s an actual question from this article. That’s just happens when lawyers (or liars) use terms like “Intellectual Property”, lumping together copyrights, trademarks, patents, and even trade secrets. As long as politicians are mostly lawyers (not scientists) change and honest debates are merely a distant dream. Patent lawyers are to debates about innovation what oil companies are to debates about climate.

Watchtroll, IAM and Other Patent Maximalists Lobby Donald Trump, Neil Gorsuch and Others for Patent Maximalism

Posted in America, Deception, Patents at 8:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The litigation lobby (which profits when others lose money in legal expenses) is still at it

Watchtroll great againSummary: The prosecution and litigation meta-industry wants more lawsuits, a lot more patents, and it is trying to convince the public — and officials at the same time — that this is a Good Thing

Making up for the gap left by Scalia’s death, Trump recently nominated Gorsuch (who will probably be appointed given the lack of political resistance, even from the opposition party) for SCOTUS.

Gorsuch is so young for a Justice (broad track record should be a prerequisite, but not under Trump) and it means he has barely any experience when it comes to patents; nobody knows where he stands, probably because he almost never took a stance. What Gorsuch might therefore become is “his master’s voice” (Trump), though it might be prejudiced to assume so (leave the baseless speculations to the patent microcosm).

IAM, a lobbying group (or think tank, or propaganda mill) disguised as a news site, republished this so-called “international report” about Gorsuch. As is typical, this wasn’t composed by some analyst, academic, journalist or whatever but by a law firm, which hopes to project its own agenda onto Gorsuch. Peter L Brewer wrote:

On February 1 2017 President Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to fill the US Supreme Court slot vacated by deceased Justice Antonin Scalia. Gorsuch is a native of Colorado who has served on the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit since 2006. Much is currently being written and reported about him, particularly with regard to his previous writings and writing style over the past 10 years. However, nothing has been said thus far about intellectual property. This may be because there is not much to say.

When it comes to patents, the Federal Circuit holds exclusive appellate jurisdiction. While it was thus not possible to locate a decision presented by a panel on which Gorsuch served addressing a patent question, he did prepare an oft-cited opinion which reviewed a question of personal jurisdiction in an IP dispute.

Gorsuch’s views on trademarks were also speculatively covered by IAM in another so-called “international report” from the very same law firm.

“These aren’t the first examples that we have given since Trump’s inauguration and almost certainly these won’t be the last.”Watchtroll, in the mean time, is framing the whole debate as “pro” or “anti” patent rather than seeking sane (or rational) patent scope. The headline alone is loaded: “Will the Trump Administration Be Pro Patent?”

What they mean to ask is, “Will the Trump Administration Be Pro Litigation?”

Suffice to say, this is what law firms are hoping for and they are hoping to influence US politics so as to enrich themselves. We have no problem with free speech (we loathe censorship), but let it be understand what the above really is, how biased it is, and who it is coming from. These aren’t the first examples that we have given since Trump’s inauguration and almost certainly these won’t be the last.

The Sickness of the EPO – Part VI: Firing Handicapped People and Hiring Unskilled, Inexperienced, ‘Cheap’ Staff

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

European Scabs Office

Wheelchair

Summary: Mistreatment of employees with disabilities, courtesy of Team Battistelli, which complains about alleged tampering with Battistelli’s bicycle in order to justify millions of Euros still being wasted on body-guarding bills (for Battistelli and Elodie Bergot)

THE EPO is a cruel, merciless place. People who are ill receive not sympathy but abuse. The same goes for people who grieve (e.g. death in the family). Any other workplace, assuming it does not enjoy immunity from the law (as crazy as that concept may be), would be sued into bankruptcy.

“Any other workplace, assuming it does not enjoy immunity from the law (as crazy as that concept may be), would be sued into bankruptcy.”A separate but overlapping series of ours currently covers medical aspects as well; it speaks of cancer and mentions patents that impact lives and can cause deaths if treated illiberally. As we mentioned the other day, the EPO is warming up to CRISPR (essentially patents on life) and last night we saw yet another article about it. How long can the EPO hold lives hostage? How long can the EPO’s management cause suicides among staff and get away with it, dodging accountability and impeding even investigations? It’s absolutely astounding what the EPO is allowed to get away with. In any other (normal) institution there would probably be cops all over the place, not in order to investigate (or arrest) staff but to apprehend managers.

Previous articles in this series are as follows:

“Last one heard from within the EPO,” a reader told us this week, emphasising that it is yet “to be confirmed,” is the following:

In The Hague a new example of “gestion dynamique des ressources humaines” (according to the (shameful) euphemistical expression favored by PD43 [Ms Bergot] which stand actually for “get rid of all sorts of crippled which do not produce like cheap new-comers”)

An examiner with handicap (at the EPO for over 20 years and much appreciated by his colleagues) was recently intended to be transferred to pre-classification, since he obviously cannot produce like a hamster in his wheel…

This time, fortunately, it caused negative reaction of staff and possibly led to a back-pedalling by the Administration in view of the reputational damage.
Too late!

At EPO, the number of handicapped staff, skin-coloured colleagues, or even women is by far less than what it is in the outside world in Europe (in any case much below national thresholds imposed by national law-makers to companies operating on their soil).

Hey violating the law is so much fun when you have Immunity to hide behind!

Well maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel as French National Front leader Marine Le Pen has lost her right to parliamentary immunity in the country after MEPs decided to allow French prosecutors to take legal action over her use of graphic images of IS killings on Twitter.

Is Battistelli, Topic and Kongstad getting nervous when reading this headlines about Marine Le Pen? Could investigations and prosecution stop those 3 inglorious bastards? Do you see the sword of Damocles hanging over their of heads? Only time will tell.

We are currently pursuing and trying to get a hold of truly nasty letters from Bergot to disabled employees. We know that these exist.

We certainly hope that by the time we finish our long series of posts there will be legal proceedings against the culprits. The above-mentioned Vice-President, Željko Topić, already faces corruption indictments in Strasbourg, but justice is far too slow and innocent (sometimes even handicapped) people suffer a lot. We continue rely on input from readers/insiders. With enough truth out there (compelling evidence), justice will eventually have to be served.

What Battistelli Means by Social Democracy at the EPO is What North Korea Means by Democratic People’s Republic

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Disagreements or dissent are not tolerated and fair trials are a myth

Social Democracy and union-busting
Not only SUEPO is impacted by union-busting witch-hunts but also the Central Staff Committee

Summary: The delegates of the Administrative Council are told about the ironically-labeled “Social Democracy” which turned into one of the world’s most abusive (and operating outside the Rule of Law) autocracies

HAVING repeatedly and systematically misused the term "Social Democracy", the EPO‘s management proceeds to further crackdowns on staff and the CSC (Central Staff Committee) fights back in the face of growing risk of retaliation (false accusations, followed by downgrades or dismissals).

“Its misleadingly-named vision, with nice-sounding terms like “Social Democracy” peppered around it, was nothing but down-your-throat autocracy, implemented by a sociopath from ENA.”This long letter [PDF], signed as above, sent to delegates 2 days ago and leaked to us today, speaks of further crackdowns and shows an attempt to stop these or at least slow them down.

Members or delegates of the Administrative Council have mostly been complicit in Battistelli’s abuses and they are led by a cruel, crooked person, so we hardly believe that later this month they will take any concrete steps towards saving the EPO, i.e. ousting Battistelli and his “swamp”. History will tell — as long as people care to remember it correctly — that the Administrative Council was all along part of the problem. Its misleadingly-named vision, with nice-sounding terms like “Social Democracy” peppered around it, was nothing but down-your-throat autocracy, implemented by a sociopath from ENA. UPC is one symptom of these down-your-throat politics.

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