11.17.20

OIN is Lying Because It’s Not Helping GNU/Linux and Not Defending the Community, It’s Only Defending Software Patents From Activists and Actual Developers

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OIN, Patents at 8:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Not too shockingly, the toothless (barks only) OIN isn’t developers and isn’t for coders; it’s just diplomats and lawyers in “Linux” clothing (they don’t even use Linux)

Just come closerSummary: The ‘suits’ running the Open Invention Network (OIN) have done nothing for software freedom and programmers’ safety; 15 years down the line they have almost no accomplishments to show, just a massive patent pool that hardly protects anyone, only the status quo

WE recently wrote about — albeit without mentioning names (in order to avoid negative impact on an ongoing dispute) — GNU/Linux distros being shaken down by patent trolls.

“As we recently noted, without naming distros or the patent trolls that attack those distros, there’s a campaign of patent extortion underway.”We heard from a well-known community member about this matter. It’s a real problem.

Hours ago the Open Invention Network (OIN) released another lousy press release merely celebrating its existence. The headline is a lie. OIN is not protecting us, it is protecting software patents from our scrutiny. It uses terms like “Open Source” (which are themselves inherently dishonest) and so far nobody covered it except ZDNet‘s OIN parrots, who wrote about this non-news. It’s just some lousy anniversary of a corporate front group (for corporations with massive troves of patents). The thing we must remember about the so-called ‘Open’ Invention Network is what Bruce Perens keeps remining us. They protect IBM et al (software patents proponents) but not the community or community-centric distros… just as was intended all along. Patents are instruments of monopolisation and the ‘Open’ Invention Network helps monopolies (including Microsoft now, just like the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation). It’s not new that ZDNet is a megaphone of Open Invention Network and LOT propaganda (those two groups have overlaps) — in essence promoting the software patents agenda. Snakeoil vending for monopolies…

For the rest us? Nothing.

As we recently noted, without naming distros or the patent trolls that attack those distros, there’s a campaign of patent extortion underway. The developers reach out to us, but they don’t want us to say too much. “Did OIN offer any help with this?” I asked one of them. “If not, I’d like to write something about that…”

It has been a fortnight now and no reply.

“I would appreciate any advice that you have,” one of them said. “I am not responding presently [to the patent trolls] and if it comes to it, I intend to fight this. It is making me very anxious however and I suspect this is their intention. Settling is another problem: if I do so, I have effectively admitted that their patents are valid and this queues me up for a long line of encounters with [redacted], other [redacted] codecs etc.”

Yes, it’s about codecs, i.e. software patents.

“I’ve contacted Jean Baptiste-Kempf (VideoLan) president and Ben Henrion,” (FFII) the developer added. “Both have told me that the patents are not legal.”

What has OIN done to help? Nothing. “I’ve been a member of OIN for years,” the developer noted when asked about it, “but haven’t contacted them yet. I plan to do so later this week.”

It has been over a month. “I was wondering if it’s worth getting in touch with United Patents,” said the next suggestion (for Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) inter partes reviews (IPRs), “although they seem primarily focused in the US.”

They started tackling software patents in Europe as well not too long ago. EPO-granted patents…

A month ago I said: “This will be interesting to follow. It will be very important to see if OIN even lifts a finger to help.”

It has not. I’ve kept this in my notes for a while. And OIN has done nothing to help. So when the ZDNet propaganda says (hours ago) that OIN is our friend it’s pretty clear that it bothered talking to nobody outside OIN and its circles. It’s just parroting press releases and PR, quite frankly as usual.

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