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10.11.19

MIT Scandal in a Nutshell

Posted in Bill Gates, Free/Libre Software, FSF at 6:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bill Gates bribed MIT through his mate Epstein, whose crimes he knew

Summary: What happened a month ago, explained using a meme

A: Bill Gates bribed MIT through his mate Epstein, whose crimes he knew

B: But Stallman argued about semantics… over an accused deceased professor

A: Gates had child porn found in his house and his chief IT guy was awarded money in Epstein’s will after Gates had met with him and flew the “Lolita Express”

B: But I don’t like Stallman’s message!

A: You got the media all diverted!

António Campinos, With Diplomatic Immunity, Continues Breaking the Law by Granting Patents the EU and EPC Forbade

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Like father, like son (and grandpa): Immunity of the Intellectual Property Office of the European Union Causes Outrage in Spanish Media

The unequal fight
Source: Yesterday’s tweet

Summary: The EPO shows how immunity leads to crimes being committed with total impunity; at this point the EPO’s immunity must be removed and judges should be permitted to do their job, which is enforcing the law

THE European Patent Office (EPO) breaks the law every single day.

It may sound crazy until one grasps the concept — however illogical — of immunity. Battistelli was never held accountable for his crimes, including the Benalla affairs. António Campinos knows that he too is immune. He can do anything he likes!

Come again?

“Who holds the EPO accountable? Nobody! Not even judges. Not even the highest court in the same city as the ICC!”Yes, it’s true!

This is why we end up with staff being bullied, people dying without an investigation (on EPO premises), and ridiculous patents such as software patents get granted in Europe in violation of direct instructions from elected politicians who are there to represent us. Who holds the EPO accountable? Nobody! Not even judges. Not even the highest court in the same city as the ICC! Even after determining that the EPO did, in fact, break the law!

Just reposted by Haseltine Lake Kempner LLP was this piece about patents on brews or their ingredients (close to patents on recipes!) and IAM, the megaphone of the EPO, mentioned the illegality of it. “Naturally obtained plants and seeds should not patentable say MEPs,” but the EPO illegally grants patents on these anyway (because it’s run by unaccountable thugs). Here’s the whole relevant section:

Naturally obtained plants and seeds should not patentable say MEPs – Members of the European Parliament passed a non-legislative resolution that fruit, vegetables or animals obtained from conventional breeding processes, such as crossing, must not become patentable because open access to plant material is essential to the innovation and competitiveness of the agricultural and horticultural sectors. The decision was made against the background of a recent controversy concerning EPO president Antonio Campinos’ request for the office’s Enlarged Board of Appeal to reconsider its ruling that such inventions can be protected.

But the Enlarged Board of Appeal is largely controlled by him and his Office. That’s like a principal at a school reprimanding a boy through a parent.

“Remember that nobody at the EPO’s top-level management — not even a single person — has been held accountable.”In any event, one day (sooner or later) the whole thing will come tumbling down, an avalanche of invalid patents that are rejected en masse like patents on life were (a few years ago). Sooner or later the Administrative Council won’t be able to defend this. Sooner or later the public too will rebel, seeing that the EPO gives patents (i.e. monopoly) on treating cancer. This helps nobody, but the EPO has also given awards for such notorious patents. Yesterday we saw this new press release about an opposition being filed:

Cantargia AB today announces that an opposition has been filed against one of the European patents in Cantargia’s patent family covering antibody therapy in solid tumors. The patent, with number EP3020730B1, confers protection for e.g. IL1RAP targeted antibodies in tumor forms not already covered in the European mother patent, which was granted in 2016. The current opponent, Mab Discovery GmbH, also filed an opposition against the mother patent in 2016. That opposition was unsuccessful and the mother patent, valid until 2032, remains in force after the opposition proceedings were concluded in 2018.

As we explained earlier this week, the task of assessing oppositions has been encumbered by a soaring number of filings, limiting the ability to handle these properly. It’s the same problem with appeals (backlog exceeding 10,000 cases!), but law firms don’t seem particularly bothered. An article by J A Kemp, just boosted by Mondaq, focuses on the EPO (re)arranging the seats on the Titanic’s deck:

The EPO has recently revised the Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal (RPBA)[1]. The revised RPBA will come into force on 1 January 2020. The revisions are fairly extensive, and are primarily concerned with harmonising the practices of the various different Boards of Appeal. The EPO is also hoping that the changes will increase the overall efficiency of the appeal procedure. Many of the changes may require users of the European patent system to modify their day-to-day practice, both during first instance proceedings and in subsequent appeals.

[...]

The efforts to codify many aspects of Board of Appeal practice currently governed by the case law are very welcome, and will hopefully result in the various different Boards of Appeal taking a more consistent and predictable approach. Further, the Boards of Appeal are sending a message that parties should present their entire case as early as possible during proceedings, and should not expect to have changes to their case admitted later in proceedings as a matter of course.

Notice how nothing at all has been done to restore judges’ independence. Nothing. So in effect the EPO remains an unaccountable entity which grants — through precedented pressure on examiners to break the law — illegal patents. Preventing this from happening at an individual level would be career suicide. The only way to properly deal with this deadlock is to remove/strip the EPO’s immunity, holding the management legally accountable. Remember that nobody at the EPO’s top-level management — not even a single person — has been held accountable. One of them even opened a private business in Zagreb.

EPO is Trying to ‘Force-Feed’ Europe Some Fake Patents by Hijacking Courts

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO parking lot
Source: Yesterday’s tweet

Summary: Having granted a lot of dubious European Patents (to maintain constant growth despite a decreasing number of applications) the EPO seeks to subvert the court system; so far only the constitutions and the laws are being subverted — to the point where these ambitions are collapsing in Europe’s highest courts

THE U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is nowadays seeing a lot of its patents rejected by American courts at all levels, citing a bunch of sections that greatly limit the scope of patents.

The European Patent Office (EPO) is currently at the phase the USPTO was in a decade or so ago. It’s just trying to grant more and more patents each year. António Campinos has similar demands to those of Battistelli (endless growth), so it necessarily means reduction in patent quality to the point of illegally granting patents (noncompliance with EPC). This is why we see patents on life, on plants, on seeds and even classic software patents, nowadays disguised as “IoT” or “4IR” or “AI” or whatever…

“This is why we see patents on life, on plants, on seeds and even classic software patents, nowadays disguised as “IoT” or “4IR” or “AI” or whatever…”This is what happens when a patent office is captured by nontechnical people, including lawyers, politicians and PR agents. There’s no integrity whatsoever and now they try to do the same to the court system under the guise of a so-called ‘unified’ patent court dealing with so-called ‘unitary’ patents. As Benjamin Henrion put it a couple of days ago: “Capitalize on the Unitary Patent, when “specialized” means “captured”…”.

Captured by the litigation zealots who profit from fighting, embargoes, extortion and so on.

It doesn’t take a genius to see that it would greatly damage European businesses and cripple the EU economy.

“It doesn’t take a genius to see that it would greatly damage European businesses and cripple the EU economy.”Notice the calm if not silence surrounding this coup attempt; it wasn’t successful. It just wasn’t. But only because people fight back.

Yesterday we saw this article from AA Thornton’s Rachel Havard promoted by lawyers’ media and notice that it does not even comment on the UPC at all because she probably knows it’s dead. How could she gloss over it unless she intentionally omits it?

A few days ago we saw the article “Brexit: How Do US And Overseas Investors Take Advantage?” reposted in lawyers’ media (we debunked it earlier this month). When these people speak of businesses and investors they think primarily of litigation, not science. Something like the UPC would be a boon to them and ‘open up’ the litigation ‘market’.

“Here we are edging towards the end of 2019 and comments in Kluwer Patent Blog don’t exactly predict much progress.”“Regardless of whether the UK leaves or remains in the EU, European patents will be unaffected,” said the above article. “The European Patent Office is independent of membership of the EU.”

Again, no comment at all regarding the UPC. Shades of CIPA. They address the wrong question.

Compare this to articles like this one from almost 3 years ago (“Unitary patent expected this year, despite Brexit”).

How foolish do they look now? Here we are edging towards the end of 2019 and comments in Kluwer Patent Blog don’t exactly predict much progress. It’s all negative (all the comments). The following two comments (almost latest ones) mention the EPC — not just Brexit — as a concrete barrier. To quote:

Good thoughts from Concerned Observer. One thing though: who (other than the judges of the BVerfG) cares?

In particular, you write optimistically that a decision of the BVerfG will force the EPC Contracting States to “sit up and take notice”. Really? I don’t believe that for one second. They couldn’t care less.

In these populist times, they all have better things to do, pandering cravenly to voters who have been whipped up by irresponsible rabble-rousers who give them the message that it’s quite OK to ignore anything that an expert has to say on their area of speciality.

The depth of the hole we are in is evidenced by the irresponsible behaviour (and dereliction of their duty to educate and inform) of venerable public TV channels (including the BBC) that depend for maintenance of their funding stream on decisions by politicians.

And the reply:

Max, a BVerfG ruling that the EPC is incompatible with the Basic Law of Germany would surely catch the attention of even the most complacent politicians and civil servants. However, despite the manifest and numerous ways in which the EPC departs from the minimum standards demanded by Germany’s Basic Law, it is not clear whether the BVerfG will be comfortable with reaching the only logical conclusion – namely that Germany must either withdraw from the EPC or ensure that the EPC is amended in a manner that addresses its fundamental flaws. We shall just have to wait and see.

We shall explain in our next post that lack of independence for judges remains a serious problem. It’s a lingering barrier that Campinos has done nothing to tackle.

If the EPO Plans to Go ‘Virtually’ Private (Outside Contracting), Then Failing It Would be Deliberate

Posted in Europe, Finance, Patents at 4:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The same modus operandi has been used against the NHS, which is covertly being converted into a set of private firms

4-stage privatisation Chomsky

Summary: Sooner rather than later EPO workers need to entertain the possibility that so-called ‘plan Battistelli’ is to enrich a bunch of well-connected people rather than improve the Office or its services

YESTERDAY we published three articles about the European Patent Office (EPO). What’s most troubling to us, at least at this moment in time, is seeing the EPO 'sold' to private companies. The report we cited was soon followed by another which said: “OTE Group undertook, through an international competition, a five-year project to monitor and support the operation of the European Patent Office (EPO) network and information systems in The Hague.”

“At the moment we explore several means by which to restore justice at the EPO.”This happens in several other domains of the EPO. Work that used to be done ‘in-house’ is being outsourced. António Campinos did that at EUIPO, so why stop short of that a couple of years later, seeing he doesn’t need to be any better than Battistelli, just come across as ‘shy’ and ‘gentle’ (the soft power skills)? Might this help explain the EPO’s disregard for staff? Even some examination-related tasks are being outsourced (Serco Germany). Remember that people contracted to serve private companies are not civil servants and therefore are far more vulnerable (no safeguards such as ILO-AT)

At the moment we explore several means by which to restore justice at the EPO. Our goal is to rectify rather than destroy. We love workers of the EPO (many share the love back, so it’s reciprocal); high-level management with its hidden, corrosive agenda is another matter and it’s acting like a force of occupation, not inspiring and motivational people who strive to lead by good example.

Linux Oughtn’t Be Just a Brand

Posted in GNU/Linux, Humour, Kernel at 3:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

I USE Linux™. IF YOU COULD STOP TALKING ABOUT FREEDOM AND JUST USE THE NAME, THAT'D BE GREAT.

Summary: The non-Linux-using Linux Foundation and how it views the Linux project

Software Freedom Eroding in Linux and Nobody Seems to Care or Oppose This

Posted in DRM, GNU/Linux, Kernel at 2:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Free Software and Open Source Proprietary Software (OSPS)

Summary: Linux, the kernel, continues its trajectory or the route towards becoming Open Source Proprietary Software (OSPS)

THE importance of Software Freedom will be understood more and more (or better) over time. Here’s a new example from the news. When people do not control the software it’s the software controlling them — a point that Richard Stallman has been stressing for decades.

“The people in charge of Linux don’t care (they don’t even use Linux) or won’t dare say a thing — seeing what happens to those who do.”The Linux Foundation‘s chief and the sole editor of Linux.com are Mac users (the latter bragged about his multiple “Macs” yesterday), so don’t expect them to care about Software Freedom. They don’t. We haven’t been speaking much (or frequently) about them lately because they’re a lost cause. We gave up. They prop up anti-Stallman stories. Linux.com feels like an openwashing and Microsoft site (new examples to that effect).

It has meanwhile emerged — yet again — that AMD pushes ahead with DRM. As Michael Larabel put it:

Initial HDCP support. Yes, High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection. This HDCP Linux support on the Radeon side is coming for Raven Ridge and newer. As explained in that aforelinked article, it’s likely due to AMD APUs coming to more Chromebooks and so all-in can be viewed as a good thing. For those not wanting HDCP support, the AMDGPU DC implementation does allow disabling it as a Kconfig option.

“More AMDGPU changes for Linux 5.5 are still coming over the next few weeks,” Larabel added. “The Linux 5.5 cycle will formally kick off around the end of November while it will reach stable in early 2020. The list of changes for this initial AMDGPU DRM-Next-5.5 pull via this mailing list post.”

That second DRM isn’t the same DRM (just the same acronym) and it’s not something even Stallman would oppose. The worrying thing, however, is that it has become ‘normal’ to toss user-restricting DRM into Linux (using words/technical terms like “HDCP”), the most famous/well-known piece of Free software. The people in charge of Linux don’t care (they don’t even use Linux) or won’t dare say a thing — seeing what happens to those who do.

People speak a lot about Stallman’s situation at the moment (a second wave of calls to remove him from GNU) though few connect what’s being done to Stallman to what happened to Torvalds a year ago. People are being incited against those who do what’s right.

Guest Post: An Open Letter to Matt Lee Regarding freesw.org

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 12:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

By figosdev

Matt Lee
Via Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons CC BY 4.0

Summary: “I realise you and I probably don’t agree on very much. What I think we do agree on is the importance of getting Free Culture and Free Software right.”

Here is a great idea: https://freesw.org/

The webpage states: “Starting today we are going to start an effort to unite our community around our shared values and to document, promote and publicize any and all software, artwork, documentation, and supporting material that meets the Debian Free Software Guidelines.”

There are hints that this won’t just be about software:

“Thanks to the work of hundreds of thousands of individuals and dozens of organizations, we now have free and open music, movies, books, and encyclopedias, as well as software.”

The Free Media Alliance promotes this sort of idea and encourages people (including Lee) to pursue building such collections.

I would personally recommend that such a collection be licensed CC0, to maximise its usefulness to a global network of such libraries. Library-like Listings of works do not add value by restricting what other people can do with them; on the contrary, the more we build these libraries online the more we can contribute substantially to each others’ libraries — simply by managing our own.

I don’t have any details on the plans regarding freesw.org, nor do I assume that anybody will make use of any of this advice, but if they don’t then I would offer the same advice to anybody else creating a library online.

The choice to provide “supporting material that meets the Debian Free Software Guidelines” is a particularly good one. In the past, the DFSG was used to discourage people from choosing a “documentation license” over one suitable to OER; I support the GNU GPL but the “Free Documentation License” restricts paper copies.

For OER, restrictions on paper copies are not ideal, and the FDL was unsuitable enough that Wikipedia worked to migrate from that license to a proper Free Culture license for its encyclopedia project. Fortunately for us, the FSF helped them.

If textbooks are better off with Free Culture licenses, then we are better off scrapping special licenses for “documentation” and just use the better (also more free) OER standards. If those OER standards do not offer the 4 freedoms, then we should create a “Libre Education Resource” standard that does. GPL compatibility is a serious bonus.

As for this library, the easier we make it to find works (both software works and cultural works) under free licenses, the better these licenses and their associated freedoms will be known — the better promoted and considered by all as a means of communication and spreading intellectual freedom.

It was my hope, years ago, that Students for Free Culture would both change their name to the Free Culture Foundation and create a library such as the one Lee describes. Today, the Free Culture Foundation website seems to be missing, the freeculture.org wiki seems to be vandalised and even the Creative Commons wiki has deleted valuable data on freely-licensed books that they used to host.

What is it about Free Culture that makes people walk away?

As each iteration of a major Free Culture resource has risen and wavered, my hope is that we will finally build a collaborative network of libraries that together serve the many different needs, desires (and perhaps demands) of different people. Each year, more Free Culture and Free Software works are created. Free Software has a directory; Free Culture still lacks one (though I continue to find new things to add to the Alliance Library, and people are gradually contributing more works.)

I cannot even find the Free Culture Foundation’s collection now, but I predicted that what would keep them from growing was a very narrow definition of what they were looking for — the licenses weren’t the issue; it was their expectations of people and of works that I found too exclusive.

Speaking of which, I believe you still work for the FSF; would you ask whomever is in charge of email to stop censoring Daniel Pocock? Thanks.

I realise you and I probably don’t agree on very much. What I think we do agree on is the importance of getting Free Culture and Free Software right. That leaves a lot of things to differ on, but make no mistake — I would like freesw.org to succeed. My hope is that it gets the most important things right.

Long Live Stallman and Happy Hacking.

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