07.27.20

Gemini version available ♊︎

Golden Cages Are Still Cages and Working From Home Can Become a Legal Mess

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Even the most luxurious cages still restrict one’s most fundamental freedoms (ILO is still way behind wrt legal protections/safeguards for workers, just as FSF is failing to catch up with “clown computing” as a threat to users)

A wireless home office

Summary: There seems to be a misconception about working from home as emancipation and freedom enablement; legal issues aside, the reality is a lot more intricate than this

HAVING spoken to a number of people who work “remotely” (from home, i.e. locally) and having read about experiences of EPO workers, it seems clear that most employers typically want something in return for the ‘favour’ of “remote work” (like decrease in compensation or longer working hours/availability). Benoît Battistelli canceled many holidays and António Campinos gets people to work all night long while home-schooling/teaching. There’s no time off per se; people are always ‘at work’ (granting lots of patents of questionable quality, e.g. software patents that even the USPTO can no longer grant so easily, thanks primarily to Alice/35 U.S.C. § 101)

“It does not matter if one works from the garden or the garage or the bedroom, basement, home office etc. The rules remain pretty much the same and — to use EPO terminology — “production targets” stay the same.”I’ve just posted a little prose about “Glass and Metal Cages” or cheaply-made office buildings designed to accommodate people quite densely in an ‘open’ office where nobody has any form of intimacy (nothing discreet even when speaking on the phone or sneezing). It’s a rant about both “remote work” and “in-office work”; in both contexts labour forces tend to be exploited and abused, one way or another. Some argue that once they lose the separation between work and personal life it has a devastating effect on appetite, health, relationships and psychology. This is most likely to get yet worse, over time. Just as employees are adapting to the new conditions so do employers (bosses), looking for new and ‘innovative’ ways to spy on staff and oppress/suppress interaction with one’s surroundings… in one’s private space. It does not matter if one works from the garden or the garage or the bedroom, basement, home office etc. The rules remain pretty much the same and — to use EPO terminology — “production targets” stay the same. The stress and the fear are still there; one doesn’t leave them behind when finishing work and leaving the office to commute back home.

Peter Parker eating a hot dog: Going back home... ...I mean, back to work

Now comes the use and misuse of technology; when working from home one relies on an Internet connection (typically) and access to data, even confidential data. In a lot of cases people ‘take home’ with them a lot of sensitive data and there’s no oversight; that’s certainly true in today’s Facebook. And when taking espionage (government or corporate) into account things get creepier. On the other hand, there are those who work from home and stream over the Web — even against their will — audio and video from their private space. That data passes through companies whose employees are in the “surveillance capitalism” business (like Microsoft processing EPO tribunal streams). Certainly this is not legal, but EPO management does anything it wants anyway and always gets away with it. Many legal questions are still ‘up in the air’, mostly undealt with because “it’s an emergency” and a “crisis” (they tell us). As if not granting patents for a few months would cause the sky to fall…

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

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, September 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, September 26, 2021



  2. Links 27/9/2021: Librem 14 Reviewed, Linux 5.15 RC3 is Out

    Links for the day



  3. Links 26/9/2021: GNU Wget2 2.0.0 and MenuLibre 2.2.3 Released

    Links for the day



  4. How Basic Laws and Fundamental Rights Got Crushed in the European Patent Office

    Our next series will show the sheer hypocrisy of the EPO, hiding behind the veil of (patent) law while so shamelessly violating just about every law in the books without facing any form of accountability



  5. Regrettable Acts of Self-Harm: OpenMandriva and Mozilla Being Outsourced to Microsoft Proprietary Software and Monopoly

    In another blow to software freedom, OpenMandriva and Mozilla decide to abandon their own systems and use proprietary software from Microsoft instead



  6. Links 26/9/2021: Mozilla Spends on PR, OpenMandriva Outsourcing to Microsoft

    Links for the day



  7. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, September 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, September 25, 2021



  8. Links 25/9/2021: GNU/Linux Recognition in Mainstream Media and Wine-Staging 6.18

    Links for the day



  9. Reminder: GNU Turns 38 This Monday Around Midday (When GNU's Founder Gives Talk in Poland)

    With media and Torvalds speaking again about anniversaries (this has gone on for the past week because Torvalds wrote about it yet again), it is important to recall the announcement that got the ball rolling and basically started it all (the GNU/Linux operating system) because it was in 1983, not 1991. We reproduce in full the announcement.



  10. Links 25/9/2021: Wine 6.18 and Chromium Complier Woes

    Links for the day



  11. [Meme] When the EPO Watches Everything ('Dissidents', Media, Etc.) and Isn't Being Watched by Anybody

    The EPO is taking Europe for a wild ride; Everything is a vehicle for the very same agenda, with nobody left to hold it accountable or ask any tough questions… (even the media is in the EPO’s back pocket or back seat)



  12. Virtual Oversight

    “eMeetings” that simulate an impression of oversight are like ‘ViCo’ to simulate access to justice; will that ever change and will oversight be restored at EPOnia, Europe’s second-largest institution?



  13. The Corporate Coup Against the Soul of the Free Software Community Is Not Over

    The erosion of community role in the development of GNU/Linux is a growing problem; part of the problem is that large corporations target technical and philosophical (perceived) leaders in coordinated smear campaigns, led by media they own



  14. IRC Proceedings: Friday, September 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, September 24, 2021



  15. Links 24/9/2021: GNU Coreutils 9.0, BattlEye GNU/Linux Support

    Links for the day



  16. [Meme] 'Linux' Foundation is Greenwashing Microsoft Again, Misusing the Linux Brand Like Nobody's Business

    Microsoft has weaponised the Linux brand to dub a toxic company like itself (helping notoriously polluting companies and generating lots of waste, both directly and through planned obsolescence, inefficient software, DRM, etc.) as "green"



  17. Richard Stallman to Speak (in Person) in Poland, Dedicate the Talk to Medical Professionals

    Days after his talk in Ukraine Richard Stallman plans to do the same in Poland (just announced)



  18. Links 24/9/2021: 30 Years of Europe’s First Root Name Server, Repairability of Laptops Discussed

    Links for the day



  19. ZDNet Has Failed

    ZDNet is on the decline and its demise appears to have greatly accelerated in recent months; we take a quick look at this month's coverage and explain the conflict of interest (it's PR, not news, and it's far too shallow/blatant to simply overlook)



  20. [Meme] Some People Are Just Above the Law

    A lot of people are still flabbergasted or at least baffled/miffed to discover that some people are in effect above the law; not even Europol and Interpol can apprehend and hold them accountable; that needs to change. Had Benoît Battistelli worked for France Télécom S.A. (not the EPO), would he be arrested? What about António Campinos and his drunk son?



  21. NPR and PBS, Both Funded by Bill Gates, Try to Save Him

    Bill Gates continues to corrupt the media and corrupt social control media (such as Twitter) using his money



  22. The EPO Must Forsake Its Diplomatic Immunity and Quit Pretending It's About Patent Law (or Any Law)

    There's no sign of the EPO actually trying to obey the law and correct the mistakes of the past; to make matters worse, the existing administration adds yet more corruption to an already-massive pile while dismissing any form of oversight



  23. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, September 23, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, September 23, 2021



  24. Links 24/9/2021: Ubuntu 21.10 Beta, Istio 1.11.3, and More Milestones for Steam Deck

    Links for the day



  25. [Meme] President Campinos Addresses the Legacy of Battistelli's “Strike Regulations”

    A sequence of four EPO memes about those infamous and unlawful “strike regulations” that Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos have exploited to abuse thousands of workers



  26. [Meme] Bill Gates Keeps Digging Himself Deeper in the Grave Each Time He Speaks

    These sorts of ‘interviews’ with Gates’ own propaganda mills (he also pays Twitter now) aren’t going to improve his image; people aren’t infinitely gullible (Source)



  27. Linux Foundation and Other 'Diploma Mills' Say There's Demand for Their Products in Their New 'Research' (Marketing)

    The so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation (LF), together with edX, are basically marketing their services and products, but this is disguised as 'research' (a false narrative widely parroted by shallow and paid-for media partners of theirs), piggybacking brands like “Linux” and buzzwords like “Open Source” (even when they promote proprietary things, e.g. memorisation of proprietary GUIs)



  28. [Meme] The EPO's Carte Blanche and 'Diplomatic Immunity' Card

    EPO staff is being taken for another ride by António Campinos and his cohorts, whose popularity among staff has likely gone down to sub-zero levels already (even faster than Benoît Battistelli)



  29. As Expected, Minimal Pseudo Compliance From EPO Management, Adding Insult to Injury

    SUEPO Central, the core of the staff union of EPO staff (almost 7,000 workers at the EPO, most of whom are SUEPO members), has strong words about the EPO's attitude and stance, which is perhaps unsurprising but still extremely disappointing



  30. Links 23/9/2021: PostgreSQL 14 RC 1 and MidnightBSD 2.1

    Links for the day


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

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

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

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

Recent Posts