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06.23.19

Bill Gates Said He Was on a “Jihad” Against GNU/Linux, But GNU/Linux Users/Developers Engaged in Self-Defense Are Foul-Mouthed ‘Microsoft Haters’?

Posted in Bill Gates, Deception, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 2:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Where are we on this Jihad?”

Bill Gates

Jihadi John

Summary: Microsoft, which routinely commits very serious crimes, tries to come across as some sort of philanthropy whereas those who share their work with the public (for greater good) are described as erratic, rude and unworthy of respect from corporations (outcasts basically, deprived of income source)

THE manager of Microsoft is Bill Gates. He was always the manager of Microsoft (and cofounder, the other one is dead). This narcissist created a sham ‘charity’ (the Gates Foundation) and he’s on top of the Board of Microsoft, which means he can fire Nadella if he wants to (nobody else in the Board has got the clout he has and there’s a cult-like worship, if not of the person then his money, which nearly doubled in less than a decade). A lot of people still choose to ignore that. Nadella is to Gates What Dmitry Medvedev was to Vladimir Putin (it’s a tandemocracy).

“Bill Gates call call for a “Jihad” (his word), but we cannot use words like “bullshit”…”The chief of the Linux Foundation infamously said we need to “respect Microsoft” and that speaking negatively of Microsoft is like “kicking a puppy” (we’re not making this up, look it up!) and this is the kind of attitude that makes Microsoft more than happy with him being the boss of Linus Torvalds, whose face is far more familiar (he’s more popular and has more influence in general, so it threatens Bill Gates/Microsoft’s narrative). The same can be said about Richard Stallman, an atheist whose ‘beliefs’ (stances) on software are often compared, derogatorily, to religion.

Can Torvalds still use “slurs” against Microsoft? Well, he has not done anything to that effect since the Code of Conduct was put in place. He had definitely done so beforehand, e.g. here. On Friday The Register published this article entitled “‘Bulls%^t! Complete bull$h*t!’ Reset the clock on the last time woke Linus Torvalds exploded at a Linux kernel dev”. All this melodrama in the Microsoft-friendly rag is about Torvalds using the terms “bullshit,” “complete bullshit,” and “obviously garbage.” These aren’t sexist or racist or anything like that. But what we see here is corporate media playing the part of “language police”, trying to maintain Torvalds in a corporate-friendly ‘mode’ (like his boss, who poses for photo ops with Microsoft). This was the sole purpose of the article and even the headline alone makes Linux ‘stink’…

Bill Gates can call for a “Jihad” (his word), but we cannot use words like “bullshit”…

Microsoft executives, Gates included, have used far worse words (here’s a compilation from 12 years ago).

Microsoft’s de facto PR people (for a decade) can anally rape children, but we in the FOSS community are “dangerous” and “zealots”.

06.22.19

Say ‘Hey Hi’ to Software Patents

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 5:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

AI hype at EPO

Summary: Using the “AI” (“HEY HI”) hype the ‘community’ of patent maximalists hopes that every little (and possibly very old) algorithm will suddenly sound amazing and innovative — to the point where it becomes unthinkable to deny a patent monopoly on it

SEEING That 35 U.S.C. § 101 is likely secure in the United States (the courts more so than the USPTO), we’ve decided to leave that aside for the most part. Instead we focus on patent policy in Europe, which got a lot worse under Battistelli. Software patents aren’t just promoted “as such”; they’re being blatantly promoted as “4IR”, “AI”, “blockchain” and so on…

Got a buzzword? You name it! The European Patent Office (EPO) will scrape the deep well of cash repository (applicants fees) and pay European media to spread that buzzword in relation to patents. This was done already. We covered that.

“By today’s definition of it, I’ve done “HEY HI” since I was 20, but we never called it that. We called those algorithms all sorts of other things.”One of the most pervasive hype waves at the moment is “AI”, which we call “HEY HI” as means of ridicule. We ridicule the term for the most part; it has become utterly ridiculous and it covers just about everything, in the same way “cloud” and “smart” do. By today’s definition of it, I’ve done “HEY HI” since I was 20, but we never called it that. We called those algorithms all sorts of other things. Terms like “machine vision” or “game theory” are a lot more meaningful and descriptive than “HEY HI”.

Days ago the UK-IPO and EPO were both pushing “HEY HI” agenda in public. It was about patents rather than “HEY HI”. To quote (with buzzword substitution): “Pihlajamaa added that there are three main categories of HEY HI: inventions on HEY HI such as machine learning, inventions which use HEY HI, and inventions created by HEY HI.”

Marvelous, gentlemen! Just marvelous!

Where can I buy some HEY HI?

Show me to your HEY HI leader!

These buzzwords for algorithms would be merely cause for amusement and ridicule if they weren’t actively used to feed patent trolls with software patents. There’s nothing comical about extortion/blackmail leveraging fake patents that are invalid as per the EPC.

Articles like the one cited above show a degree of complicity inside the media; there have been lots of these lately from World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR), as we noted days ago. We saw at least four in the past couple of days alone. All about HEY HI! In relation to patents:

The EPO’s discussions on AI with member states have focused on four aspects: patentability, disclosure, persons skilled in the art, and inventorship.

With respect to disclosure, Pihlajamaa said there is concern over ‘black box’ patenting, with inventions in the AI space not being sufficiently disclosed in patent applications.

Pihlajamaa added: “I have seen a lot of new technologies and often, when we talk about new technology, there is a new language created…a new [set of] terminology. It takes some time before there is a general agreement on how we express these different things.

“But, as I hear from examiner colleagues, we are already there. There’s already a lot of common understanding about how to draft patent applications [in the AI technology area].”

Sir Robin Jacob, the Sir Hugh Laddie chair of IP law at University College London, added that patent law will survive the fourth industrial revolution of AI, just as it has survived the first three.

So law firms and EPO officials just say “HEY HI” again and again. It “provided “very clear” guidance in this respect, particularly for the first of the two-step patentability test for AI applications,” says the next article after that. It’s article #18238 in WIPR, the above is #18237:

According to Mike Jennings, partner and patent attorney at AA Thornton in London, the European Patent Office (EPO) has provided “very clear” guidance in this respect, particularly for the first of the two-step patentability test for AI applications.

WIPR used to do some decent work back in the days. It had some decent writers I could speak to; but this publication is nowadays beholden to patent maximalists and this never-ending “HEY HI” craze that they’ve promoted like a PR campaign says a lot about WIPR.

We should note that not only WIPR is the culprit. There has been much of the same from Managing IP lately, not to mention IAM. And here comes Patently-O with a new post in which Grant Harrison promotes the “HEY HI” hype as part of the attempt to frame algorithms as “HEY HI” and then get bogus patents on them. To quote: “Artificial Intelligence: Artificial Intelligence ( A.I. ) is one of the most sought-after fields in Computer Science. A.I. often implemented an algorithm or machine that can be trained by learning through datasets, the most common approach to this is through deep learning and natural language processing neural networks somewhat resembling human neuronal interactions. A.I is also emerging as a practice-of-law topic, with many ongoing endeavors into automated lawyers and assisted decision making.”
See the comments there, e.g.: “Every time I hear the term, “artificial intelligence,” our country’s fearless / fearful / feckless pres comes to mind and I chuckle.” (the response to which was: “I think that if machines actually had feelings, that you would have just hurt them.”)

The EPO officials, not to mention the law firms that support them (patent maximalists support like-minded people), probably think they sound very sophisticated every time they invoke “HEY HI!” Even when projects based on such hype turn out to be epic failures.

A Personal Note From Ted MacReilly (How Microsoft Works Against GNU/Linux)

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 3:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft actually wrote this:

Microsoft dirty tactics

Summary: A tongue-in-cheek write-up highlighting the ways Microsoft insiders think and how they strategise against GNU/Linux and Free/libre software

The pseudonym of the author of this series (written by a fictitious character to highlight yet again authentic Microsoft leaks) has this update:



I am writing this from Gedit in the “Disco Dingo” version of Ubuntu LTS. I should probably explain.

The Brazilian Python Association and Python Software Foundation are having an event in São Paulo. I was hoping to attend but I have conflicting obligations in October, so I decided to travel to Ribeirão Preto and meet with the community there. I wanted to look into the event preparations and get a feel for what will be going on later this year.

During the trip, I kept thinking back to a strange thing that happened while writing my handbook for destroying free software. For all my life, I have loved powerful corporations like Microsoft and IBM. I love technological marvels. I have always considered these free software developers to be ripoff artists: unoriginal, self-aggrandizing imposters and software engineer wannabes.

“Like Gates, Facebook talks like it’s running a charity– not a corporate platform for global surveillance.”I have always been steeped in corporate culture. My late mother worked in marketing, my father was an industry man and retired less than rich, but comfortable. Looking back at my career so far, I feel like I take more after my mother. My parents were both hard working but I think my father tolerated the industry, while mother was a true believer.

But back to Brazil– when I was writing the handbook, I thought about how the original Halloween documents were leaked, and wondered if that would ever happen to my handbook. What would people think of it? The Halloween documents are nearly forgotten, people don’t pay them much attention anymore. A lot of people think that they are an old playbook, that Microsoft has suddenly stopped trying to destroy its competitors.

That’s simply hilarious. As my mother would tell you, the job of corporations is to say and do whatever is necessary to succeed. There’s a certain obsessive focus in that regard, a fundamental selfishness. But it goes beyond that, because the definition of success for large corporations is to be at the very top of the game– both in competition with other businesses, and in terms of constantly moving upwards from quarter to financial quarter. YOU DO NOT CEDE. Cooperation is a diplomatic move, a tactical move, it is not a way of doing things in and of itself.

Sure, you may truly believe in cooperation. You may think of collaboration as something shared between participants. For a large company it is just another means to an end– a foot in the door, a place at the table. If you can reach across to the head of the table and stab your host and take his place, that’s what you do. Until then, you wait. You get away with a lot more being polite than always tipping your hand.

“They were reading an article from ZDNet about Microsoft and poking fun at it.”On that note, I completely understand if you do not trust the intentions of what I’m saying. I’ve given you no reason to do so. I have followed my heart through my career, even when it put more value on corporate success than personal integrity. I do not ask for your trust, I will not even beg for your attention.

When I was thinking about the possibility of the handbook getting leaked, a strange thought– as if from somewhere else– suddenly crossed my mind.

“Good.”

“Good?” What? What’s good, everyday people finding out more about these tactics? As I said in the book: “manipulation works more effectively if we are quiet about doing it– or even deny that it makes any sort of difference.” It’s important to appear as friendly as possible, and let shills and fans do our dirty campaigning for us.

It doesn’t help if people know our tactics. Microsoft has obviously continued moving forward with every working tactic in the original documents (and Techrights can certainly make this more apparent to anybody interested) but after stating their real intentions, Microsoft (as well as Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook) have shifted their rhetoric over time. Like Gates, Facebook talks like it’s running a charity– not a corporate platform for global surveillance. (Zuck the philanthropist? Dumb fucks!)

I realize you might think I’m playing the same game here. I want the legacy of being a philanthropist too. But I’m not looking for your money, or your trust. I’m only looking to for an opportunity to talk, if somebody wants to listen.

I still don’t know why I thought “good” at the prospect of the handbook getting leaked. But as I sat in a bar in São Paulo, trying to think of ways the Python convention could be exploited by various software companies, I saw some college kids on laptops, laughing and talking. They were reading an article from ZDNet about Microsoft and poking fun at it.

“For whatever reason, they thought if I was forced to tell the world that corporations work exactly the same now as they did 20 years ago when “Linux” was fairly new, I might reconsider my position.”At first I just listened, but I picked up my drink and cautiously made my way over, trying to decide whether I wanted to talk to them. When I finally asked what they thought of the article, it started a conversation that would go on for more than an hour. They showed me some articles they thought were more thoughtful, more honest. We debated a few minor points, the way you might in a bar or with friends, not a boardroom or editorial. I went back to my hotel and did some more reading.

I sent the handbook to Techrights myself, I knew they were going to get it eventually anyway. I knew through a friend of mine that it was going to be leaked anyway. But the people who had it gave me a heads up, and some advice.

“Why don’t you leak it yourself?” The email taunted. For whatever reason, they thought if I was forced to tell the world that corporations work exactly the same now as they did 20 years ago when “Linux” was fairly new, I might reconsider my position.

I still don’t know why even for a moment, part of me hoped this very thing would happen. Maybe it’s watching my father grow older, the memory of my mother’s cynical view of the world– maybe it really is worth a look at the other side of open source, for a change.

Maybe I feel bad, but I’m not telling you this by way of apology. I’m not even sure how I really feel about all this. But something has changed, and I’m not going to stop writing about the software world just because I lack the certainty I felt in my mission against Free software and Open source.

If you’ve ever felt this way, I don’t know what to tell you. There’s another side to this story. If you find it, you might want to tell someone about it. Your next job will then be to find out who’s interested in the other side of the story.

MacReilly, June 2019

“Apple was once a small company taking on giants from a garage.”

Previously in this series:

Introduction: Cover and quick Introduction [PDF]

Chapter 1: Know your enemies– Act like a friend [PDF]

Chapter 2: Work with the system– Use OEMs and your legal team [PDF]

Chapter 3: Playing the victim– Show the world that too much freedom hurts development [PDF]

Chapter 4: You get what you pay for– Getting skeptics to work for you [PDF]

Chapter 5: Open Source Judo– How to bribe the moderates to your side [PDF]

Chapter 6: Damning with faint praise– Take the right examples of free software and exploit them for everything [PDF]

Chapter 7: Patent War– Use low-quality patents to prove that all software rips off your company [PDF]

Chapter 8: A foot in the door– how to train sympathetic developers and infiltrate other projects [PDF]

Chapter 9: Ownership through Branding– Change the names, and change the world [PDF]

Chapter 10: Moving forward– Getting the best results from Open source with your monopoly [PDF]

06.20.19

Patent Professionals in Europe Have Devolved Into a Marketing Industry

Posted in Deception, Europe, Marketing, Patents at 2:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It’s just a big buzzwords salad

Nice salad

Summary: Lies, buzzwords and hype waves is all that the patent bubble in Europe boils down to these days; loads of bogus patents get granted only for European judges to smack these down (if one can afford the court battle)

European Patent Office (EPO) President António Campinos and others were in Austria today. They tell us that the EPO has budgetary woes (it's a lie); but at the same time they blow several millions of euros per hour on a stupid, wasteful ceremony that’s a slap across the face to patent neutrality.

“The EPO has offered bribes to both media and academia in recent years, trying to get both on its side (that also means not covering EPO corruption).”We promised ourselves that this year we wouldn’t give this ceremony any publicity (even negative) because it’s mostly a distraction from bigger issues. We can certainly note that it seems plausible that the EPO now pays Euronews for PR, meaning that this publisher is as corruptible as Les Echos (which this year/week too has produced puff pieces and eliminated all the negatives). The EPO has offered bribes to both media and academia in recent years, trying to get both on its side (that also means not covering EPO corruption). Some publications that covered this festival in the early afternoon literally copied and pasted the EPO’s press release and in the late afternoon the EPO’s site had a rather dull statement. Thankfully, none of the winners had software patents; finalists with such patents won nothing. Does that mean that the EPO will quit granting bogus patents? Of course not. Maybe it won’t glorify these, but it’s still granting them by the bucket-loads.

Looking instead at the situation of the staff, there’s no word from SUEPO. They just dump a few links every now and then, but since the strike ballot was postponed (we assume it’ll come sooner or later) not much has been said. On the patent quality front, it’s all buzzwords. It has become so incredibly childish and pathetic. Law firms and EPO management are acting like marketing firms, not like patent professionals. Let us explain using this week’s examples (from the news).

Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick’s Alyssa Telfer wrote about how to keep monopolies in positions of perpetual monopoly — using the fiction of “AYE PEE” (IP) leveraged by their corporate lawyers. Those who still refer to patents as “IP” merely perpetuate misleading propaganda. The words in the acronym are a misfit, both technically and legally.

“The challenge of obtaining patent protection for artificial intelligence (AI) inventions from IP offices across the globe dominated discussion,” said this new article. Having eliminated some writers, WIPR (World Intellectual Property Review) now participates in illegal agenda of promoting invalid, abstract software patents by calling them "HEY HI" (AI). WIPR, which no longer covers EPO scandals, has become an utter marketer; PR rather than news and lobby rather than a publication; it’s funded by the patent microcosm and composed by relatively clueless buzzword aficionados, picking headlines with both “AYE PEE” (a lie) and “HEY HI” (fiction). Here’s another new example, entitled “Is it time for IP monopoly to come to an end in AI datasets space?”

Databases (or datasets) created by algorithms are not “HEY HI” databases; they’re computer-generated data. And there’s no “AYE PEE” on these, there might be copyright applicable somewhere and one wonders who it’s assigned to (the machine?).

Francis Gurry, the ‘other Battistelli‘ (he almosy became WIPO’s chief and might retry in the future), also props up the “HEY HI” hype so as to allow illegal, invalid software patents. We covered this in past months. This new article/preview shows him talking mostly about ‘owning’ what gets generated by some algorithms and obviously they call it “HEY HI” (the headline is “Preview: WIPO director general predicts AI liability changes”).

The director general of WIPO says that questions of liability for artificial intelligence should be linked to IP ownership as technological developments begin to change established laws.

So they justify change to laws based on hype waves? Here’s that very same front group of the patent and copyright lawyers (MIP) promoting “HEY HI” (AI) hype, or “artificial intelligence”. “In-house counsel at Getty, Expedia and the BBC tell Managing IP about the opportunities and threats posed by artificial intelligence, and call for clarification over Brexit,” said the next article. The majority of their articles in recent days are about “HEY HI”. Talk about hype…

Meanwhile, another cabal of patent lawyers lobbies for patent monopolies on life and nature. In their own words:

Coverage of the morning sessions of CDR’s Life Sciences Litigation Symposium held this week, including highlights from keynote speaker Michael Prior of the UK government’s Intellectual Property Office.

While Britain’s exit from the European Union was not a topic the Intellectual Property Office’s (IPO) Michael Prior could discuss in an official capacity, he did say that unanswered questions around when and how that exit happens “has been the biggest challenge for the IPO” in a number of years.

Prior, who serves as deputy director of patents policy, focused his keynote address on three areas: policy, filing trends and working together.

For those who have not given any thought to it, those patents help few oligarchs claim to ‘own’ the whole world; what a sham…

Thankfully the European courts continue to reject patents on life, nature, and maths. There’s no sign that these courts will be overridden. Some more UPC spin has come from Bristows (it was mentioned briefly earlier today) and Team UPC is happy to cite that as ‘proof’ of ‘progress’. But when one looks for underlying substance it turns out there’s none. It’s all marketing.

06.18.19

Indifference or Even Hostility Towards Patent Quality Results in Grave Injustice

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 9:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

European Digital SME AllianceSummary: The patent extravaganza in Europe harms small businesses the most (they complain about it), but administrative staff at patent offices only cares about the views of prolific applicants rather than the interests of citizens in respective countries

THE Battistelli/Campinos-run EPO is a blatant, shameless promoter of software patents in Europe, as we last noted earlier today. Similarly, the new USPTO Director is hostile towards 35 U.S.C. § 101 because he has long been an advocate of software patents. He made money from litigation, just like Michael Borella who earlier today promoted the rigged 'panels' that merely discredited the US Senate. What makes these people so sure that 'dissing' courts/judges is a good idea? It only aggravates them.

“They’re an illusion of value (like Ponzi schemes) or simply fake ‘assets’ that are just a piece of paper courts would spit at.”Earlier today Ben Wodecki (IPPro Magazine) wrote about “HEY HI!” (AI) patents — whatever they actually are; they’re usually just bogus, abstract patents. They’re an illusion of value (like Ponzi schemes) or simply fake ‘assets’ that are just a piece of paper courts would spit at.

It certainly seems like UK-IPO is trying to attract dubious applications; it wants patent applications of low quality and drops a big number (£630 billion) because of “AI patents”, which Wodecki was happy to pass on as though it was factual. To quote:

The number of UK patents in artificial intelligence (AI) has grown exponentially and is expected to add £630 billion to the UK’s economy by 2035, according to a report from the UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO).
The report, which gives an overview of AI patents and patenting by the UK AI sector, showed that the UK’s patent activity related to AI technologies has more than doubled in the last decade.

However, according to UKIPO figures, around 88 percent of AI-related patents first filed in the UK are also protected elsewhere.

The US still dominates globally in the number of AI-related patents, with double the number of patents compared to the UK. The UK sits in a respectable fourth place, behind two multinational offices, the European Patent Office (EPO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

What good are these patents though? Here’s another way to put it; as a reminder, the UK Supreme Court is no friend of patent extremists [1, 2]. It throws out patents like these and the higher the court is, the more likely it is to do so because at the higher levels corruption and mischief are harder to get away with; so the law is adhered to/respected more often, ratio-wise. Also among the contributing factors: more eyes (scrutiny) due to importance by precedent.

“It certainly seems like UK-IPO is trying to attract dubious applications…”As it turns out, or as patent maximalists put it today, UK Supreme Court judge Lord Justice David Kitchin slaps down this whole “HEY HI!” (AI) hype that’s used to justify bogus patents in places that are run by clueless and greedy bureaucrats (like at the EPO). To quote the outline:

UK Supreme Court judge Lord Justice David Kitchin says he is not convinced AI-created works warrant the same IP protection as human creations

The EPO does not seem to care what European judges are saying; instead, the EPO hopes to just replace them all with judges more closely/directly controlled by the EPO. “French ratification of the UPC was pushed through the Senate by rapporteur M. Ronan Le Gleut, who was examiner at the EPO,” Benjamin Henrion noted some time ago (we wrote about him before) and another EPO alumnus, Christian Archambeau, moved from the EPO to EUIPO, where both institutions are still ‘googlebombing’ the term “SMEs”. They just try to distract from the harm they cause to these, expediting work that concerns large foreign companies; the UPC would of course cause further harm to SMEs. Over the past month or so, several times per week in fact, the EPO and EUIPO have promoted the same bogus ‘study’, which they paid for (it invalidates the argument of neutrality or motivation being benign). Earlier today the EPO once again tweeted: “Our joint study with the @EU_IPO shows that the likelihood of experiencing a high-growth period is 17% higher for SMEs that have filed for at east one European IPR.”

“The EPO does not seem to care what European judges are saying; instead, the EPO hopes to just replace them all with judges more closely/directly controlled by the EPO.”That’s based on bad science, just like prior ‘studies’ they did on SMEs, which are harmed the most. Watch them bragging (warning: epo.org link), even in Twitter this morning, about that stupid “award” of theirs; they reward software patents from foreign giants like Qualcomm and want us to believe that those patents exist for a positive purpose.

“Munich fake injunction [with EP2724461] published,” wrote Florian Müller in his blog only a few hours ago, demonstrating that patent quality is a disaster and this results in highly expensive injustice. This is what Qualcomm did:

This is a long-overdue follow-up to a post of two months back on an order by the Oberlandesgericht München (Munich Higher Regional Court) granting a motion by Apple to stay the enforcement of Qualcomm’s illegitimate (for multiple reasons) Germany-wide injunction over EP2724461 on a “low-voltage power-efficient envelope tracker”–a patent that an opposition panel of the European Patent Office revoked last month because it shouldn’t have been granted in the first place, not even in a narrower form (Qualcomm can and likely will appeal that decision). And Judge Lucy H. Koh’s landmark FTC v. Qualcomm antitrust ruling came down that same week.

Of all the cases I’ve watched since I started this blog nearly a decade ago, what went wrong in this Munich case makes it the worst non-standard-essential patent case by a wide margin, just like the district court’s Oracle v. Google rulings were the worst in any software copyright case and the Mannheim Regional Court, in 2012, set a negative example for how to handle a standard-essential patent (SEP) case when it totally failed to recognize Motorola Mobility’s blatant antitrust violation by seeking to enforce SEPs after initially making bad-faith out-of-this-world royalty demands (a royalty on computers that was effectively more than a 100% royalty rate since Microsoft would have had to pay Motorola more than it typically earned per copy of Windows sold to an OEM). Apart from that, I’ve certainly seen–and keep seeing–very bad stuff coming out of the Eastern District of Texas on various occasions, but those weren’t cases I followed closely.

The regional government of the state of Bavaria published the December 2018 fake injunction ruling, but I still haven’t been able to find a public redacted version of the appeals court’s order that tears the fake injunction into pieces, so I’m going to publish it here and now (this post continues below the document):

It’s not hard to see that an SME would not be able to endure because it’s just too expensive. Yet patent extremists from CIPA and Team UPC not only promote the UPC but also software patents. IP Kat (Jonathan Pratt) has just advertised an event in which patent extremists from CIPA promote patents on life and nature. To quote:

CIPA’s annual Life Science Conference is taking place on 11 and 12 November 2019 in Brighton. The conference is an educational and networking event for patent and IP professionals active in the pharma, medical technology and biotechnology sectors. There will be a pre-dinner speech by Lord Kitchin. More information can be found here.

“Intellectual Property Magazine is recruiting a Reporter in its Business Intelligence division,” he adds. Some of their writers left. We’ve noticed. In fact, staff turnover in these think tanks (disguised as “news”) seems very high. Many quit and just vanish without notice. Same in MIP and IAM. The patent maximalists in general experience calamity these days.

“One has to wonder if they even care about science at all. They don’t.”Just over an hour ago IP Kat (Cecilia Sbrolli) wrote some more fluff about “Fourth Industrial Revolution” — a vague marketing term that the EPO likes to use when it talks about software patents (knowing it cannot use the term “software patents”). To quote the introduction: “A few weeks ago this Kat was pleased to participate in the event “Institutions And Regulation For The Fourth Industrial Revolution” jointly organised by the Liège Innovation and Innovation Institute (LCII), Hoover IP2 (Stanford University), and the Center for Intellectual Property of the University of Gothenburg.”

Yeah, so-called ‘Intellectual Property’ [sic]. One has to wonder if they even care about science at all. They don’t.

‘AI Taskforce’ is Actually a Taskforce for Software Patents

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 1:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Published Sunday:

Summary: The mainstream media has been calling just about everything “HEY HI!” (AI), but what it typically refers to is a family of old algorithms being applied in possibly new areas; patent maximalists in eastern Asia and the West hope that this mainstream media’s obsession can be leveraged to justify new kinds of patents on code

W

e have recently published several articles about how the European Patent Office (EPO) and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) leveraged a bunch of meaningless buzzwords and misnomers to bypass whatever barriers exist to software patenting. It happened again in Korea last week [1, 2]. António Campinos still promotes software patents in Europe using the “AI” hype like Battistelli did and sometimes the nonsense that is “4IR” or “Industry 4.0″ or whatever the media fancies (or paid to fancy; the EPO paid some publishers to promote these terms and the money was disguised with the veneer of “study” or “research”).

“The EPO facilitates such patents mostly through buzzwords; it doesn’t care what European courts say.”Earlier this week D Young & Co LLP’s Arun Roy and Jonathan Jackson wrote about misusing the "blockchain" hype wave to get illegal software patents (that actual courts would throw out). Other law firms have just mentioned that ludicrous “AI taskforce” — a Trojan horse by which to enable software patents worldwide, in clear defiance of courts, using the “HEY HI!” hype wave (see the new paper from Prof. Clark D. Asay, entitled Artificial Stupidity).

To quote:

On June 13th 2019, the heads of the five largest patent offices in the world held their annual meeting in Incheon, Korea. The five patent offices, commonly known as the IP5 consist of the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), European Patent Office (EPO), Japan Patent Office (JPO), China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) and United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). These offices are said to handle over 85% of the world’s patent applications. Apart from the five heads of the IP5, the meeting was attended by the Director of WIPO, Francis Gurry and chaired by KIPO Commissioner, Park Wonjoo. Representatives of the IP5 held discussions on various subjects including classification of emerging technologies, enhanced work sharing and harmonization of patent practices between the Office’s. Talks were also held in order to bring improvement to the Global Dossier services. The highlight of the event was the decision to collaborate with each other in order to launch a New Emerging Technologies and AI Taskforce that’s aims to establish initiatives to harness global technological developments. The next Annual meeting of the IP5 will take place in 2020 at CNIPA.

So the low-quality (patent quality) Chinese patent office will be next to lead? It’s the only patent office (among the large ones) that explicitly permits software patents, right? The EPO facilitates such patents mostly through buzzwords; it doesn’t care what European courts say. EPO officials don’t even appear in court when summoned to participate (over allegations of their corruption in Zagreb). It’s worth noting that Topić IP, Željko Topić‘s private outfit, is still marked as “under construction” (the English page). He left half a year ago, so now he’s ‘monetising’ a career of abuse in Croatia and the EPO (Munich, Germany). Above the law? Certainly. Would anyone look for legal advice from such people? Asking such people to advise on law is like asking pedophiles for child daycare recommendations.

06.16.19

Stuffed/Stacked Panels Sent Back Packing After One-Sided Patent Hearings That Will Convince Nobody, Just Preach to the Choir

Posted in America, Deception, EFF, Law, Patents at 9:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“A stacked panel, on the other hand, is like a stacked deck: it is packed with people who, on the face of things, should be neutral, but who are in fact strong supporters of our technology. The key to stacking a panel is being able to choose the moderator. Most conference organizers allow the moderator to select die panel, so if you can pick the moderator, you win. [...] Thus, the “independent” panel ends up telling the audience that our technology beats the others hands down. Get the press to cover this panel, and you’ve got a major win on your hands.”
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Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

TripsSummary: Almost a week ago the ‘world tour’ of patent lobbyists in US Senate finally ended; it was an utterly ridiculous case study in panel stacking and bribery (attempts to buy laws)

THE NEW Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) does not like 35 U.S.C. § 101, but there’s nothing he can do about it. He has already crafted some poor guidelines and it doesn’t change how judges decide cases. To make matters worse, the USPTO got bombarded with very negative comments, perhaps 90% of all the comments, based on some estimates we saw. The patent maximalists try to blame it on the EFF, which means that the EFF is doing something right (rallying supporters who actually support technology rather than litigation).

“The EFF was there, but it was surrounded by dozens of think tanks and lobbyists of litigators.”Sites of patent trolls (sponsored by them) tried hard to amplify this month’s Senate hearings, knowing these hearings were grossly biased, one-sided, and therefore misleading. The EFF was there, but it was surrounded by dozens of think tanks and lobbyists of litigators. It was so profoundly ridiculous that we couldn’t help but respond, repeatedly, even though we said that we’d try focusing on the European Patent Office (EPO) instead.

“Apple is a constant target of high-tech patent assertions, with 58 cases filed against it in the US last year (Lex Machina),” Battistelli‘s friends at IAM write at the moment. But actually, Apple itself is a patent aggressor and bully. Hardly the victim. Taking into account the Eastern District of Texas (EDTX), the EFF has just told this story of trolls whose targets include Apple. To quote:

For years, the Eastern District of Texas (EDTX) has been a magnet for lawsuits filed by patent trolls—companies who make money with patent threats, rather than selling products or services. Technology companies large and small were sued in EDTX every week. We’ve written about how that district’s unfair and irregular procedures made it a haven for patent trolls.

In 2017, the Supreme Court put limits on this venue abuse with its TC Heartland decision. The court ruled that companies can only be sued in a particular venue if they are incorporated there, or have a “regular and established” place of business.

That was great for tech companies that had no connection to EDTX, but it left brick-and-mortar retailers exposed. In February, Apple, a company that has been sued hundreds of times in EDTX, closed its only two stores that were in the district, located in Richardson and Plano. With no stores located in EDTX, Apple will be able to ask for a transfer in any future patent cases.

In the last few days those stores were open, Apple was sued for patent infringement four times, as patent trolls took what is likely their last chance to sue Apple in EDTX.

This month, as part of our Stupid Patent of the Month series, we’re taking a closer look at one of these last-minute lawsuits against Apple. On April 12, the last day the store was open, Apple was sued by LBS Innovations, LLC, a patent-licensing company owned by two New York patent lawyers, Daniel Mitry and Timothy Salmon. Since it was formed in 2011, LBS has sued more than 60 companies, all in the Eastern District of Texas. Those defendants include some companies that make their own technology, like Yahoo, Waze, and Microsoft, but they’re mostly retailers that use software made by others. LBS has sued tire stores, pizza shops, pet-food stores, and many others, all for using internet-based maps and “store location” features. LBS has sued retailers that use software made by Microsoft, others that use Mapquest, some that use Google, as well as those that use the open-source provider OpenStreetMaps.

So it has become a serious problem for Free/Open Source software, even directly. Thankfully, nowadays it’s easier to tackle the underlying patents these trolls leverage. Will any of that change? Not any time soon. We doubt it.

Regardless, the EFF’s Joe Mullin wrote the following some days ago:

xperts Warn Congress: Proposed Changes to Patent Law Would Thwart Innovation

It should be clear now that messing around with Section 101 of the Patent Act is a bad idea. A Senate subcommittee has just finished hearing testimony about a bill that would wreak havoc on the patent system. Dozens of witnesses have testified, including EFF Staff Attorney Alex Moss. Alex’s testimony [PDF] emphasized EFF’s success in protecting individuals and small businesses from threats of meritless patent litigation, thanks to Section 101.

Section 101 is one the most powerful tools patent law provides for defending against patents that never should have been issued in the first place. We’ve written many times about small businesses that were saved because the patents being used to sue them were thrown out under Section 101, especially following the Supreme Court’s Alice v. CLS Bank decision. Now, the Senate IP subcommittee is currently considering a proposal that will eviscerate Section 101, opening the door to more stupid patents, more aggressive patent licensing demands, and more litigation threats from patent trolls.

Three days of testimony has made it clear that we’re far from alone in seeing the problems in this bill. Patents that would fail today’s Section 101 aren’t necessary to promote innovation. We’ve written about how the proposal, by Senators Thom Tillis and Chris Coons, would create a field day for patent trolls with abstract software patents. Here, we’ll take a look at a few of the other potential effects of the proposal, none of them good.

This will hopefully be our last post in this subject (we have already published about half a dozen). Over the past week we’ve kept an eye on Twitter (sadly, a lot of input goes into those social control media sites instead of proper news sites) and here’s what we can report as concisely as possible.

“So it has become a serious problem for Free/Open Source software, even directly.”First of all, the hearings were full of buzzwords. They were, as usual, misusing/misapplying buzzwords like “HEY AI” (AI) to promote fake patents on software. It isn’t just done in Europe but also in the US and in Israel [1, 2] (we mentioned this the other day; that same article has been reposted everywhere they could fling it).

Benjamin Henrion (FFII) quoted and said: “the ILPO adopted the “technical effect” test used in the EU jurisprudence” while there is no European Union involved, only rogue EPO administrative tribunals…”

That’s based on a purely promotional piece, more or less marketing and lobbying by law firms, but it’s still worth entertaining again because we see the same buzzwords brought up in the hearings. As one person put it: “Senate Judiciary Committee on 101: Laurie Hill (Genentech); Genentech pioneers biologics; Under 101/Alice/Mayo, many of these inventions are unpatentable; AI/bioinformatics/biology is the future of medicine but is not patentable.”

“They were, as usual, misusing/misapplying buzzwords like “HEY AI” (AI) to promote fake patents on software.”There it is: “AI”. And again here: “The SCP (Standing Committee on the Law of Patents) at @WIPO has just published a revealing document on AI and Patentability under the title “Background document on patents and emerging technologies”.”

Of course WIPO too participates in the “HEY AI” (AI) hype; that’s just done in order to grant fake patents on maths — no doubt patents that would be rejected if tested by courts.

Henrion also said (having watched these dull hearings): “Till and Coons strongly motivated to restore software patents, citing buzzwords such as “AI”, “quantum computing”, or “5G”…”

He found this tweet: “The AI hype is pervasive and everybody wonders when the bubble will burst, but it is true this technology poses some challenges to patentability…”

It links to this blog post by Leopoldo Belda Soriano. He says “AI” many dozens of times.

“Of course WIPO too participates in the “HEY AI” (AI) hype; that’s just done in order to grant fake patents on maths — no doubt patents that would be rejected if tested by courts.”On the rogue composition of the panels, as expected, much has been said as well. Here’s the list of people. Stacked panels. Very stacked. Patent zealots were (at the time) linking to things like “Final Panelists at Senate 101 Hearing Stress Real-World Effects of Status Quo, Tillis Signals Changes to Draft Text” from Watchtroll’s Eileen McDermott and other blogs like Patently-O.

Henrion took note of IBM’s role in these hearings when he wrote: “Senate hearing: IBM has also used super low quality software patents such as a diff between 2 contact lists to extract money from Groupon [] Qualcomm says they want to patent encoding algos such as OFDM, you could infringe them with a pen and paper https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthogonal_frequency-division_multiplexing … [] At least americans are pretty clear about software patents, and not this CII mess…”

Henrion carried on speaking about IBM: “Nokia and IBM thanks Tillis and Coons for an “open legislative process”, while the interventions are all stacked by the patent community [] Not inviting small companies nor software developers “reminding those present that they had specifically invited Apple, Google, Microsoft, Oracle and Dell, who declined to come in favor of being represented by industry associations.”

Jan Wildeboer, who will soon be an IBM employee, expressed concerns about policies that are actually supported by IBM: “51 pages on so-called #FRAND licensing of Standard Essential Patents (SEP) by CEN/CENELEC. And they manage to completely avoid the simple question of how such schemes would work for #OpenSource implementations (Hint: it’s not possible IMHO). https://www.cencenelec.eu/news/workshops/Pages/WS-2019-014.aspx …”

“On the rogue composition of the panels, as expected, much has been said as well.”All these patents on maths are highly problematic. They oughtn’t be granted. On went Henrion: “Michael Blankstein of Scientific Games wants to restore software patents for games, and wants US to avoid copying the European Patent Convention, which explicitely bans computer programs, and rules for playing games [] Cyborg patents logic to compress data, wants to see Alice abolished https://cyborg.co/tech/intellectual-property [] John D. Vandenberg says Alice is not a mess, says the proposed bill will restore software patents…”

Alice actually restored order. How is elimination of fake patents not a positive thing? For patent trolls it certainly isn’t… but should they count?

The CCIA’s main patent person soon weighed in as well, followed by Henrion: “The “innovation” is using existing data mining techniques on data sets to determine a correlative relationship. Is that what we want to promote with patents? [] [Spot the disconnect: Tillis/Coons, op-ed: “We have no intention of overruling that central holding of the Myriad decision.” Tillis/Coons, bill: ‘No implicit exceptions to subject matter eligibility shall be used and all cases regarding those exceptions are abrogated.” [] Also, Tillis made it a point to complain that tech didn’t come. Given that the 4-1 stacked panels today on other issues, is it any wonder those companies didn’t want to show up?”

“That’s just political corruption (check who’s bribing Coons for this bill).”The funding of Coons (over a million bucks from lawyers and liars) means that lying is part of the show. As Henrion explained: “Lawyers always win when they own the “patent reform”, law firms sending donations to Senators @ChrisCoons , I guess “Small Businesses” don’t donate enough…”

That’s just political corruption (check who’s bribing Coons for this bill). It’s quite blatant and obvious.

“ACLU popping up a banner against genes patents at the senate hearing on the patent maximalist bill,” Henrion added, “where are the protesters against software patents?”

Here’s a photo of it.

ACLU banner

On the other hand we could also quote some patent maximalists, to whom these stacked hearings were a festival of joy; one of them said: “Senate Judiciary Committee on 101: Sean Reilly (Clearing House); Financial Services Industry has strong interest in strong patent system; 101/Alice has killed low quality patents; Clearing House opposes any changes to status quo.”

“The sponsors called these initiatives of theirs “bipartisan” to give an illusion of widespread consent, but what they really meant was, they got a couple of politicians from two ‘opposing’ (corporate) parties inside their pockets.”Another one quoted “George, Invitae (1:11:00): “As you consider legislative proposals, instead of abrogating 150 years of precedent case law [e.g. fixing 101], I believe the right approach is to start where the law is correctly working…” https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/meetings/the-state-of-patent-eligibility-in-america-part-iii …”

Working for who? Lawyers? Trolls? Science? Anyway, these hearings are now nearly a week behind us. As we’ve said right from the very start, we don’t expect these to change anything. The sponsors called these initiatives of theirs “bipartisan” to give an illusion of widespread consent, but what they really meant was, they got a couple of politicians from two ‘opposing’ (corporate) parties inside their pockets. So much for ‘public’ support…

06.11.19

Chapter 10: Moving Forward — Getting the Best Results From Open Source With Your Monopoly

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 1:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Table of Contents

Introduction: Cover and quick Introduction [PDF]

Chapter 1: Know your enemies– Act like a friend [PDF]

Chapter 2: Work with the system– Use OEMs and your legal team [PDF]

Chapter 3: Playing the victim– Show the world that too much freedom hurts development [PDF]

Chapter 4: You get what you pay for– Getting skeptics to work for you [PDF]

Chapter 5: Open Source Judo– How to bribe the moderates to your side [PDF]

Chapter 6: Damning with faint praise– Take the right examples of free software and exploit them for everything [PDF]

Chapter 7: Patent War– Use low-quality patents to prove that all software rips off your company [PDF]

Chapter 8: A foot in the door– how to train sympathetic developers and infiltrate other projects [PDF]

Chapter 9: Ownership through Branding– Change the names, and change the world [PDF]

You are here ☞ Chapter 10: Moving forward– Getting the best results from Open source with your monopoly [PDF]


In this chapter, there will be no more quotes from the original Halloween documents; hopefully we have already proven that the things that are working now are the same things we talked about doing 20 years ago.

Instead, we will look for ways to go forward from several of the ideas covered in previous chapters– we will take points from each chapter and add an idea to each point. You are encouraged to do the same.

“Developers have less control and less reward for their invaluable contributions than any other point in software history.”

Our companies are still growing, and are forced to adapt to the landscape as each new form of competition presents itself. We knew the Web posed a serious threat, and we fought Java with notable success using the same tactics we are using against Linux. Other companies such as Google have also exploited Java, and it is not dead, but it did not realize the potential that posed so much threat to our model.

The record industry plays victim by talking about the well-being of artists, who are doing fine. The movie industry plays victim by talking about the guys in charge of lighting and editing. The software industry pretends to care about developers. Of course each industry rewards its serfs, otherwise people would be hard-pressed to explain what the point of the industry is. But for example, Microsoft’s yearly growth from 2006 to 2019 is no sad story. We are still at it.

“Above all, the key strategy is not to destroy free software completely, but to break it in enough important places so that it poses less and less of a threat to your near-monopoly.”

We purchase and gut competitors whenever we can. Sometimes we go after a company as large as Red Hat or Nokia, but smaller acquisitions grow our IP and give us raw material to exploit for relatively cheap. Thomas Edison worked in the patent office, where people brought in half-baked, half-implemented ideas all day that were not patentable. He had the knowledge and experience to turn unmarketable and unfinished ideas into products. Very little of what we “innovate” is truly original. We transform useful things into products and IP.

“Marketing isn’t just about highlighting the good points of what you sell– it’s about inventing reasons that people want and need your product, and then convincing people of those reasons.”

People don’t need a good reason to buy our products. They only need a good-sounding reason. Certainly there is talent in leading people this way, but while free software types convince themselves that they should be ethical, we still have the advantage in making up reasons why everything we offer is better. A salesman does this on the storeroom floor, by improvising. We improvise too, but then test our made-up reasons with focus groups, to see what they will fall for.

“A company’s image is an important part of its brand, and you want an overall positive image no matter what… You must look like you care. And nobody knows more about fooling people into thinking you care, than your marketing team.”

Remember to smile. Your smile should come out in your message, the people who are the face of your company, and in the image of your company. Also, when making up reasons that people need your products– be sure to come up with many reasons that make your company look positive. They don’t all have to be convincing. Don’t just use creative spins on the truth to sell the products– use it to sell the company to the customers and the tech press.

Make everything look like a giveaway, even when it is just bait.

“the important thing is that your brand and marketing outweigh anything said by critics.”

Being able to afford saturation in advertising and press coverage is your best friend. Get people in the company to speak for you– get people in other companies to speak for you– get your customers to speak for you.

“find a way to focus on how the probably-unwanted or unneeded features are something the user gains rather than loses by choosing (or remaining stuck with) your product.”

There are no unwanted features– everything is an advantage (for us, if not for the customer.) You can tell people this all the time. They will find it difficult not to wonder if you really mean it, because you believe it yourself. That’s one route to something almost indistinguishable from sincerity.

“people who feel like they’re your friends will share more with you than people you treat like a competitor.“

This includes all the telemetry and handling of personal data that you exploit to reinforce your position in the market. The more people like your products, the more you can get away with.

“By working with hardware manufacturers and lawyers, you can help reinforce and update the rules that keep the world operating in a way that works for you.”

We still need more lobbying and more features in integrated chipsets that favor our companies over open source.

“Hardware and firmware make it possible to add unwanted features that the vast majority of free software users won’t be able to simply uninstall and replace.”

In the future, we may want to get more involved in firmware and move more features from software to hardware. So far, we have mostly used firmware as a way to reinforce our place in the software market. Meanwhile Lenovo has used firmware to actually reinstall unwanted software, features and surveillance directly. We need to learn from Lenovo– but as usual we need to make this look like a boon, not an attack.

“People are afraid to turn off features that sound as if they add security– won’t that make them less secure? Aha, Gotcha!”

Remember: there’s always room for more features related to “security.”

Without “free hardware” (and we know that won’t ever happen) the free software people are stuck reverse-engineering hardware and guessing how to write drivers based on trial-and-error.

Both in theory and in practice (USB, Android firmware) it is easier to attack hardware than software with patents, even if the patents are low-quality. We need to go after hardware more, to prevent free software users from leaving Intel (and their hooks) and becoming more independent.

Also what we failed to control in the server market, we need to work on controlling in server hardware, where we can be sure Intel retains monopoly power as it loses a small amount of ground to ARM and SBCs.

“always stress that to get the most of your hardware, you need industry software– not cottage or basement software.“

We have typically focused on attacking larger Linux distributions, because we are best positioned to complete with them on our terms. As we gain tools to position ourselves with IOT and cloudware, it’s about time to go after smaller, lower-power devices again as Microsoft did with CE and Apple did with iOS.

“When you have a monopoly… you can actually demand [features that favor your company] (or work out deals to get your way.)”

Our image as not just a ruthless industry powerhouse, but a company bridging together other industries with truly flexible and customizable solutions (which of course we will continue to drag people towards and away from again in endless, revenue-producing churn) is more positive now than in many years. We not only have a larger margin to play dirty with OEMs and the press (and customers) we have more plausibility than ever in scamming people to do things our way.

We will continue to make demands, but we are in a rare position to make even our demands and requirements look more like “offers” and “options.” Technically, when we “forced” OEMs with anti-competitive pricing, even that was an “offer” and an “option.” But that wasn’t built on top of the stellar reputation we enjoy now.

“So long as you have relationships with OEMs you can exploit, you have the upper hand any time the free software devs want to run their software on popular consumer hardware. That translates to their reduced marketshare, wasted time for free software developers, and ultimately– a well-guarded software monopoly.”

In the mobile market, the companies offering mobile platforms actually like having more control than their customers. iOS and Android have provided, we can still explore new deals with providers in countries where iOS and Android have farther from 100% saturation in the market.

Consumer network appliances have not done as well as IOT with focus groups or sales, as network appliances lost ground to mobile. Though we can still explore SmartTVs, Smarthome devices and we rare not remotely done with automotive. We need to work more with OEMs for all of these relatively new device categories– not just the PC.

“The point isn’t to keep them out entirely. It’s to be sure it takes them so long to get in, that by the time they’ve supported the hardware it is already obsolete.”

Being first is a lot like being only. We need to avoid being second in new markets.

“Leasing the use of your company’s intellectual property is the core of your software business– you need to protect that property to maintain control of your customer base.”

Instead of just selling IP, we can sell developer access. Of course we will still sell IP, but we have a new market to exploit (and the latest acquisitions are already helping.) People forget that we own multiple developer and business networks now. We can offer premium advantages within those networks– selling and reselling access, as well as aggregate/business intelligence data we did not previously own. We can maintain control of not only our customer base, but our competitors also.

“instead of fighting to prove that something is ours, we have it in writing– so when we stop bothering with their licenses and terms and co-opt the software in whatever way we choose, how are they going to stop us? We have an agreement! Even the largest Linux-based companies said this is ours! Who’s going to argue then– the little student coders that work for them?”

We need to start gradually explaining to people that we own these things. This has to be done slowly, because done too early or too quickly it will hurt our ability to exploit our allies in Open source. We can afford to take risks now, but not to be reckless.

Now that we have convinced the companies that we own their software, we need to convince the users. If we handle this slowly and with care and close monitoring of progress, they can’t stop us from convincing the world that these things belong more to us than anybody– we can turn their offerings into our next semi-exclusive platform, our brand, our control over details.

“And if somehow the lawyers have nothing else to do– you can always lobby to make new laws, for your legal team to exploit.”

“The important thing is that they’re working for us– and on our terms.”

We may need to preempt some GDPR-like regulations in the United States with neutered versions of the same, drafted by our own lobbyists. This will also help improve our image.

Look how well Mozilla can ramble about new privacy features all day and still drag their users through scandal after reputation-destroying scandal– and look like they still care about users.

“Without control, there is chaos. Even when a competing developer makes a terrible mistake– it hurts people’s trust in the digital connectivity and surveillance we want to put in every home”

We need a new campaign sort of like “better with Windows” but for “trust,” as long as we are doing more with Open source. We need people to know they can trust our “open source” more than theirs for certain applications. This needs to be more subtle than previous campaigns like it, because of our place in the middle of open source development– not the outskirts like before.

“If we want to sell the internet of things, we can’t have people thinking that a bunch of amateurs are creating their software– we want them to know that everything is under control.”

Trust and security and surveillance will be the hallmarks of our IOT strategy. People think they don’t like surveillance, but they do want security. Just as people will put Wi-Fi cameras in their own homes only to have them hacked and used against them, we need to sell our surveillance by making it look less like our technology, and more like their own. But we also need to remind people that our brand can be trusted more than these no-name baby monitor companies.

“Over the years, we have had great success getting people to accept subscriptions instead of purchases”

“A lot of people think that a subscription model is just about charging people over and over again for something they already bought legally. ..but there is a more important angle– we basically “own” (at least control) every machine that uses this model.“

We have developer licenses that give enormous options under what is basically a subscription model. We should create a new tier of subscription that lets customers do more business with us– not a complete subscription to everything, but a higher-tier “user subscription” akin to a season pass for more of our products.

We are not making full use of the subscription model yet, but we have proven that it works.

“this is one more reason that we don’t want software to be free and controlled by the user: if the user controls their files and programs, they can also copy media that the film industry and e-book publishers want to control after purchase.”

“By allying with the media companies and major publishers, we have an additional source of revenue that not only gives us an industry we can first tap into and then gradually become its vendors”

When are we going to get more into streaming, like hulu and netflix and youtube?

“we do it with guilt trips, with lobbying and public-service-like advertising, and (though it’s a subject for a later chapter) by working with schools to indoctrinate students with our pro-monopoly point of view.”

We (always) need more opportunities for education that involve our products. Obviously BillandM are working on the usual school takeover, but we also need our own training centers or tutoring centers– at least a pilot program.

“if your intention is to lead customers by the nose, then you don’t just want to come of as self-righteous. You want to actually make the people who differ from you look like worse people.”

“you’re doing it to protect the customers themselves.”

So far we have done very little to attack people for not giving us as many chances as other companies. We have Torvalds calling that “hate” though we are pulling so many punches about exclusion these days. We can push this a bit harder.

We can protect customers from so much more than lousy software from competitors. We can protect customers from the bigots in the freedom brigade.

“With a little finesse, we can also feed the customer’s fear of not getting enough– to make them afraid of being “ripped off” if they don’t pay anything. We want to take people who think they want to get something for free, and convince them to associate value with spending– not saving– their money.”

We can also explore the freemium model being used in the mobile app market. We should do this with application features, not miniature apps like the failed Metro nonsense. That was nothing but “Active Desktop”/IE4 all over again. People still want real applications.

“The internet allows us to focus more exclusively on the advantages of our products over free “competitors,” and outsource our attacks to fans and useful third parties.“

Considering that we have things like GitHub, we can play this up even more. We can also use it to introduce more advertising, as Microsoft did with Windows 10. We are pushing more advertising of products into Debian, Ubuntu, and open source outlets like Phoronix. Nothing is stopping us any longer in our new home.

“People will always point out that this is cynical. It doesn’t really matter, because this ‘cynical’ point of view is what continues to drive consumers to spend and overspend, year after year.”

We can probably do a little more to paint our critics as cynical– or encourage them to be more open.

“We can control updates; we don’t really care who pirates the ‘starter pack’ for our platform anymore, because we can monitor and update and deactivate whatever parts of the platform we want pirates to have or not have.”

Windows 10 was helped when we made it a free upgrade for a limited time. We could try that with some other things– we could start diluting the term “free” a bit more, now that “open” just means “with Microsoft and Apple.”

“As long as our proprietary and commercial offerings have more perceived value than the free counterparts, we can point out that these charities could do more for people by raising additional funds to send higher quality commercial software to the people they want to help”

Nothing to add to this, really. What are BillandM doing in this regard? What about Apple?

“If we involve ourselves just the right amount in open source, we can use it as a platform to upsell customers to whatever products we want them to purchase.“

“By accentuating the positive and outsourcing our attacks on the competition to sympathetic third parties, we can help people to remember that it’s silly to settle for less.”

“do you want the free version, or the great version? It’s your choice.”

Experience a free trial/free tier of our cloudware subscription. You’re going to fall in love and want more features!

“when we send press releases or hire copywriters, we can throw our values into the conversation and remind people why everything is better when our tools are included

Even when this isn’t true, the tech press has taken our side again and again. We can even push journalists– just like Microsoft did to push OEMs to cooperate– to lean favorably or lose our participation and cooperation.”

Special deals for Instagram / social media influencers? Sell “access–” bundled.

“they keep telling themselves that writers write their own stories. Sure they do– from whatever they glean from our press releases, press events, and corporate evangelists.”

“No matter where you go, you’re going to hear how great we are.”

We can teach more people in social media how to get readers by repackaging our message.

“A superior product is like a politician’s speech– the best way to sell a lie is to put a truth in it, so people assume the rest of it is also the truth. And when you want to sell a new product you can do the same thing: start with a feature people are desperate to have, and you can build a lot of garbage around it as long as the important features are satisfying enough.”

What are the features people don’t have that we can build new products on?

“We also need a ‘path forward’ to our products. Whenever we outline our strategies to feed to our shills and the tech press, they need to paint free software and its authors as true gems– from a bygone era.”

“The future is (always) us, and the products we want people to use.”

Every one of our products should be viewed as an “upgrade” to whatever else people are using.

“The lead developer is free to do basically whatever they want– keeping a project true to its roots.”

We need to keep fighting software stability or consistency by portraying it as selfishness and being close-minded, old-fashioned, uneducated, and uninformed.

“If their personality is not to the liking of other developers, it doesn’t necessarily matter– they don’t have to join and the lead developer doesn’t have to invite anybody. This works for many projects of small to medium size.”

There is no room for impolite or unattractive developers. We should work to get rid of them entirely.

“You can be the leader of your own project and do what you want to with it, but now you shouldn’t– every project should have a community, a code of conduct…“

And we should host it.

“Open source continues to pave the way forward for monopolies to own and direct free software– which was originally created to be independent of control by monopolies.”

Fortunately, most people don’t care about history lesson that would put our rewriting of it into perspective. That was old, this is new, and so on.

“Free software developers seem to care very little about this, because they have their stripped free software versions of everything open source. So what if we make things less modular, more brittle, more bloated, and more poorly designed? They only use projects with a license allows them to clean up after us, so they’re content no matter what we sabotage.”

They view this completely differently. Open source says that we have changed where we haven’t– we just keep getting better. Free software says that we haven’t changed where we have– we can just keep getting worse, and they won’t notice.

“We can overwhelm them and send them to clean up mess after mess, with the remaining effect of steering key projects to work more the way we want, and them accepting our changes.”

Are there any tools they rely on that we aren’t already “contributing” to in some way?

“In exchange for software with more churn, more bloat, less choice and less user control and reliability– they get “cooler” software tools, larger sponsorships, bigger marketing and events that feature their software– everything they would enjoy if we took over their world and did things our way. And we still get royalties and the chance to steer development away from things that help our competitors more than they help us.”

Maybe we can go further and have pages where they can donate…

“We de-commoditize protocols. We add features we want and deprecate ones that people rely on, and we tell them to get with the program. We create the same kind of lock-in (in practice) by decreasing the compatibility with trusted development tools and utilities, so we can move more quickly (and drag users along) from one industry fad to another.”

We could probably use more foothold in the maker/3D printing communities.

“We say this leads to more compatibility– but it’s more compatibility with the things we care about, and less compatibility among the free software ecosystem they created for themselves. Essentially we drag them out of their world, and back into ours.“

“Recently, a company used Wikipedia servers as a blank canvas for their own corporate advertising and message. They were called “bastards” and “vandals” and their changes were reverted.”

“It’s quite different in the world of Free and Open source software. We can behave exactly like The North Face, do just as much to vandalize and be bastardly, we can even stake claim to their work (and have them agree it is our own!) and become wealthier and gain a heroic reputation in the process.”

“Apple was once a small company taking on giants from a garage, and often cares little about compatibility with industry standards. It has used the image of being ‘different’ and rebellious to justify overpriced, more proprietary components in its products.”

“Microsoft, more than Apple, has worked on its reputation of being ruthless and having unfair practices that hurt the computer industry on several different levels.”

“While spying on users and selling their data mined by artificial intelligence and unscrupulous third parties, Facebook continues to work to make itself look like a philanthropic organization.”

“Like with these other companies, the real power is the power they have over the industry and the users of their products. But their brand is about the smaller amount of power they ‘share’ with users.”

“The goal for those fighting against Open source, against the true openness (let’s call it the yet unexploited opportunities) of Open source, has to be first to figuratively own the Linux brand, then literally own or destroy the brand, then to move the public awareness of the Linux brand to something like Azure, or whatever IBM is going to do with Red Hat.“

“Someday, Linux will be no more– we said in those Halloween memos that it’s just a kernel, but by making it into an Operating System we managed to make it stand for less, while making it look like more than it is.“

“the gradual shift in public consciousness from their branding towards our own, is the next best thing to owning them outright.”

Look at everything we said we wanted to do. Look at all we’ve managed from our list. If we had even tried to follow a 20-year plan, it didn’t come out too badly.

Here’s to the next 20 years!

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