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01.14.16

La Ultima disfrazada de ¨Abierto¨ de Microsoft Dá la FALSA Impresión de su Propietario Spyware/Malware es ¨Abierto¨ y Amigable a Linux

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 6:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Original/English

Publicado en Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 7:45 am por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Una nueva clase del caballo de Troya

Wooden idol

Sumario: Abraza, extiende y extingue (E.E.E.) tácticas que todavía siguen siendo usadas en un esfuerzo de poner el código proprietario de Microsoft (con puertas tráseras) y sus formatos propietarios (candado de Microsoft) dentro de la competencia.

Hace un año escribimos acerca de la adqusición de Revolution Analytics por parte de Microsoft. Microsoft está comprando partes de la academia (recuerdén Moodle), trayéndoles al campo proprietario. R estará MUERTO pronto. No será lo que solía ser. ABRAZA, EXTIENDE y EXTINGUE (E.E.E.) trabaja de esta manera, así que más tarde removerán los bits que no son de Microsot, incluyendo formatos/estándares neutrales.

Muchos del las redes amigables a Microsoft escribierón acerca E.E.E [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]. ¿Qué bueno es ¨LIBRE y ABIERTO¨ (para citar a IDG cuando trabaja en un stack proprietari con puertas traseras? Esto es E.E.E. en acción realmente (ahora en fase uno, el ¨ABRAZA¨). Simplemente mira quien está escribiendo acerca de esto [1, 2, 3, 4]. Muchos FANS de Microsoft. El vociferoso fan de Microsoft Tim Anderson trató de añadirle un ángulo de Linux:

Microsoft a puesto al público el Sérvidor R – para análisis estadísticos usando el lenguaje R – basado en software de Revolution Analytics, una compañía comprada por el gigante en Abril de 2015

Lo que solía ser una distribucion de R ahora llamada ¨Microsoft R Abierta¨, que es destinada para Windows, SUSE Linux, y Red Hat Linux.

Lo que solía ser de FOSS y GNU/Linux ha sido efectivamente secuestrada por Microsoft. ¿Cuáles de los de arriba la gente piensa que Microsoft recomendará? Microsoft sigue ARRIMANDO SU CÓDIGO PROPRIETARIO en GNU/Linux no por que ayuda otras plataformas pero por que está TRATANDO DE DOMINAR OTRAS PLATAFORMAS, potencialmente DESTRUYÉNDOLAS a voluntad. Un artículo de Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols dice ¨Microsoft abre la JavaScript engine de su web browser Edge, planea modificarla para Linux¨, pero ¿GNU/Linux necesita esto? Esto es un esfuerzo para EXTINGUIR otras JavaScript engines que al presente son FOSS y no controladas por Microsoft. (Ese es su objetivo controlar todo en todo el mundo). Hemos escrito acerca de esto anteriormente y considerado ¨disfrazado de abierto¨ por que el todo permanece proprietario. Microsoft está jugando con nuestras percepciones. La misma jugada fué alabada por Microsoft Emil, sitios amigables to Microsoft, así como sitios que abrogan por Microsoft.

“Microsoft está jugando con nuestras percepciones.”Microfot no esta jugando amablemente aquí y el CODIGO NO ES SEGURO. Todavía otro serio hueco ha sido encontrado [1] en Vista 10, el que es promovido como ¨ABIERTO¨ (si ABIERTO a la NSA y cualquier agencia gubernamental que se los pida) usando a Chakra (no la GNU/Linux distribución, Microsft sólo está SECUESTRANDO nombres de otros projectos FOSS de nuevo, simplemente como VistA or OpenOffice). Microsoft Emil [2] y otros ahora están tratando de presionar al pueblo de adoptar el SYSTEMA OPERATIVO FAVORITO DE LA NSA (Vista 10) usando el alarmismo de ¨seguridad¨, así como Microsoft está abandonando sus propios browsers EXCEPTO el último y más HÓSTIL PARA LA PRIVACIDAD (propietario con disfraz de open por medio de ´Chakra´).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Windows 10 shattered Remote Desktop’s security defaults – so get patching

    Microsoft reckons no one is actively exploiting the security vulnerabilities addressed in this month’s patch bundle, but it’s only a matter of time before criminals reverse-engineer the updates and target them.

  2. Microsoft ends support for IE8, IE9, IE10, and Windows 8

    Microsoft today ended support for old versions of Internet Explorer, including IE8, IE9, and IE10, as well as Windows 8. For the browsers, the company has also released a final patch (KB3123303) that includes the latest cumulative security updates and an “End of Life” upgrade notification.

The Latest Openwashing by Microsoft Gives False Impression of Microsoft’s Proprietary Spyware/Malware Being ‘Open’ and Linux-friendly

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 7:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A new kind of Trojan horse

Wooden idol

Summary: Embrace, extend, extinguish (E.E.E.) tactics are still being used in an effort to put Microsoft’s proprietary code (with back doors) and proprietary formats (Microsoft lock-in) inside the competition

ONE year ago we wrote about Microsoft’s Revolution Analytics acquisition. Microsoft is buying out parts of academia (recall Moodle), bringing them into the proprietary fold. R will be dead soon. It won’t be what it used to be; not anymore. Embrace, extend, extinguish (E.E.E.) works like this, so later on they’ll remove the non-Microsoft bits, including standard/platform-neutral formats.

A lot of Microsoft-friendly networks wrote about the latest E.E.E. [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]. What good is “free and open” (to quote IDG) when it’s run on proprietary stacks with back doors? E.E.E. in the making is what this really is (now at phase one, the “embrace”). Just look who’s writing about it [1, 2, 3, 4]. A lot of Microsoft fans. The Microsoft booster Tim Anderson tried adding a Linux angle to it:

Microsoft has released R Server – for statistical analysis using the R language – based on software from Revolution Analytics, a company acquired by the tech giant in April 2015.

What’s used is a distribution of R now called “Microsoft R Open”, which is available for Windows, SUSE Linux, and Red Hat Linux.

What used to be a FOSS and GNU/Linux thing has been effectively hijacked by Microsoft. Which of the above do people think Microsoft will recommend? Microsoft keeps pushing its proprietary software into GNU/Linux not because it helps other platforms but because it is trying to dominate these platforms, potentially derailing them at will. An article from Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols says “​Microsoft open sources Edge web browser’s JavaScript engine, plans port to Linux“, but does GNU/Linux even need that? This is an effort to extinguish other JavaScript engines that are FOSS and not controlled by Microsoft. We wrote about this move before and deemed/considered it openwashing because the whole remains proprietary. Microsoft is just messing with perceptions. This same move was hailed by Microsoft Emil, Microsoft-friendly sites, and Microsoft advocacy sites.

“Microsoft is just messing with perceptions.”Make no mistakes about it. Microsoft isn’t playing nice here and the code isn’t safe to use. Yet another serious hole has just been found [1] in Vista 10, which is being promoted as ‘open’ using Chakra (not the GNU/Linux distribution, Microsoft is just hijacking names of other FOSS projects again, just like with VistA or OpenOffice). Microsoft Emil [2] and others now try to pressure people to adopt the NSA’s favourite operating system (Vista 10) using ‘security’ alarmism, as Microsoft is abandoning its own browsers except the latest and most privacy-hostile one (proprietary with openwashing by means of ‘Chakra’).

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Windows 10 shattered Remote Desktop’s security defaults – so get patching

    Microsoft reckons no one is actively exploiting the security vulnerabilities addressed in this month’s patch bundle, but it’s only a matter of time before criminals reverse-engineer the updates and target them.

  2. Microsoft ends support for IE8, IE9, IE10, and Windows 8

    Microsoft today ended support for old versions of Internet Explorer, including IE8, IE9, and IE10, as well as Windows 8. For the browsers, the company has also released a final patch (KB3123303) that includes the latest cumulative security updates and an “End of Life” upgrade notification.

01.04.16

Microsoft Tries to Conquer Asia’s Largest Populations (India, China) But Still Fails and Should be Stubbornly Rejected

Posted in Asia, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft at 7:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“They’ll get sort of addicted, and then we’ll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.”

Bill Gates about China

Summary: As India and China, whose combined population is now approaching 3 billion people, turn to Free/libre software there are efforts by Microsoft to put an end to all that and interject Microsoft (with very strong NSA links) into their national infrastructure and ICT systems

TECHRIGHTS does not write much about Microsoft anymore because Microsoft is frail compared to one decade ago. Nadella is now hinting at the possibility of ending Windows on phones altogether because of the massive losses. Android (and by generalisation Linux) won the war — a point made by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols earlier today.

“How stupid does Microsoft think the Chinese are?”Days ago we saw some disturbing articles which suggest Microsoft is trying to interfere with China’s migration to its distributions of GNU/Linux (see Microsoft influence in Asia). Microsoft — and occasionally Bill Gates personally — try to get Chinese people to put malware (most insecure ever) on their PCs. Despite the NSA “elephant in the room”, despite the cost, and so on. Vista 10 is not an operating system but malware calling itself an operating system. How stupid does Microsoft think the Chinese are? Every person with a clue knows that Vista 10 has been more or less designed to suck up data and dominate over the users. Microsoft Windows is going the way of the dodo and enters the territories of nagware, covert (forced) installs, and Microsoft boosters are at the moment trying to pretend that there is a way to opt out (that’s the themes of several articles from Microsoft’s messengers in the media). But as Empty Wheel pointed out earlier today, “Microsoft spreads FUD” to pressure people to move to Vista 10.

“If you’re an oldster IT person like me,” wrote the author at Empty Wheel, “you recall the Halloween memo scandal of 1998, documenting Microsoft’s practice of promulgating fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) about competing operating systems in order to gain and control Windows market share. For more than a decade, Microsoft relied on FUD to ensure near-ubiquity of Windows and Word software products. Now Microsoft is using FUD not to prevent customers from using other products, but to encourage migration from Windows 7 to Windows 10, to reduce possible state-sponsored attacks on Win 7 systems.

“Microsoft is now lobbying China, however, based on various articles about its efforts to derail GNU/Linux in China’s public sector — as if they’ll foolishly take the bait.”“Personally, I think Microsoft has already been ridiculously ham-handed in its push for Win 10 upgrades before this latest FUD. If you are a Win 7 or Win 8 user, you’ve already seen attempts to migrate users embedded in recent security patches (read: crapware). I’ve had enough FUD for a lifetime — I’m already running open source operating systems Linux and Android on most of my devices. I would kill for an Android desktop or laptop…”

Empty Wheel is a good Web site that usually explores issues such as mass surveillance, espionage, and covert operations. It can definitely give the Chinese government very compelling reasons to tell Microsoft to go away and leave China alone. Microsoft is now lobbying China, however, based on various articles about its efforts to derail GNU/Linux in China’s public sector — as if they’ll foolishly take the bait. Let’s see how long it takes for the Gates Foundation to flex its lobbying muscles there.

“As Modi has been visiting Microsoft executives we sure hope he has the strength and the integrity to say “No” to Nadella.”Meanwhile, further south in Asia, Microsoft shamelessly attacks India’s technology policy, for merely ‘daring’ to not be kind enough to Microsoft. Recall these recent stories (especially from 2015) about Microsoft’s attacks on Free software in India. Microsoft India hates Free software and it constantly shows it. Remember what Microsoft did in India with EDGI. Also remember that Microsoft is trying to bring to India software patents, despite Indians not wanting these. Microsoft is lobbying in so-called conferences, with its CEO present (and supposedly his Indian roots are somehow supposed to compel Indian politicians to trust such a villainous company). To quote this new article, “Pramanik said that at a recent Microsoft conference which was attended by its global chief Satya Nadella, both communications and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and IT secretary JS Deepak had strongly emphasized the need for a policy that leverages the use of public cloud infrastructure.”

“Cloud” is just a nonsensical term that has become almost synonymous with or a byword for mass surveillance. To let Microsoft anywhere in India’s public sector would be worse than irresponsible. It’s a serious degradation of India’s autonomy, privacy, national interests, and national security. The same goes for China, and this is why China has been moving away from Microsoft and banning Windows, Office, etc. (especially the more recent versions with “cloud” — meaning surveillance — in them).

As Modi has been visiting Microsoft executives we sure hope he has the strength and the integrity to say “No” to Nadella. He should host everything locally, by Indian companies, using Free software, and without software patents (which in themselves are a huge threat to Free software). India has all the talent and the resources that it takes to be technologically independent in the realm of software. The same goes for China, especially so in the realm of hardware.

12.15.15

Samsung Turns to SCOTUS (Killer of Many Software Patents) to Annul Mega-fine Induced by Apple’s Patent Aggression

Posted in Apple, Courtroom, Free/Libre Software, Patents, Samsung at 11:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Koreans believe that a US court might actually rule against an influential US company

Korean dancers

Summary: Remarks about Apple’s relentless attacks on Free/Open Source software (FOSS), using dubious software patents and patents on vague/generic ‘designs’ that probably never ought to have been granted in the first place

THE USPTO-granted patents, especially after the SCOTUS ruling on Alice, are a lot more limited, primarily but not only when it comes to software. Does it mean that SCOTUS can offer redemption to Samsung, and by extension to Android? Well, only if the Apple-connected government actually allows the case to proceed to SCOTUS, which we very highly doubt (see Oracle v. Android [sic] with the government’s now-infamous denial [1, 2, 3]). SCOTUS should really be dealing with important human rights issues and landmark decisions pertaining to civil liberties, not Apple fanatics who almost religiously believe that Apple invented everything (even when the necro-worshiped leader publicly admits "stealing" ideas but still acts like a spoiled brat [1, 2]).

“Samsung may need to waste a lot of money on lawyers and also pursue rather silly patents because Apple is aggressive and is constantly attacking whoever sells the best of Android.”Nevertheless, as we have demonstrated here for a number of years, Apple was stockpiling a lot of software patents after it had struggled with the rise of Android, which is of course based on Linux and is Free/Open Source software (FOSS). Apple attacked Samsung after it had viciously attacked HTC (with a far smaller patent portfolio, hence an easier target). Samsung must now tread more carefully or at least wisely. It needs to be smart, not just pursuing justice at all costs (which can be enormous costs, as has been proven to be the case thus far), so “Samsung is on track to unseat IBM as the number one company when it comes to winning U.S. utility patents,” according to this new article. Another new article, titled “Apple Stealing the Show with New Patents”, says: “As we know Apple frequently steals the show with marvelous patents that it files with the passage of time prior to its new offerings. The number of patents under Apple’s belt is so exceptional and that is why Apple has been appreciated by millions across the globe. The new feather in Apple’s cap is the awe-inspiring patent that the company has filed with the Patent and Trademark Office.”

Samsung may need to waste a lot of money on lawyers and also pursue rather silly patents because Apple is aggressive and is constantly attacking whoever sells the best of Android. All these fees are passed down the customers; phones become more expensive and sometimes, despite market demand and free code already being available (FOSS), key features are removed for fear of litigation. Cui bono? That’s why we even called for a boycott of Apple nearly half a decade ago. It was all to do with patents and these shameless attacks on FOSS. Does Apple even have the humility to claim to be some kind of “Open Source” leader? What ever happened to dignity and adherence to truth? Brand worship won’t last forever if Apple is launching an assault on truth itself.

“Does Apple even have the humility to claim to be some kind of “Open Source” leader?”Anyway, the massive news last night was the latest important move from Samsung. it was covered bty the Wall Street (actually News Corp.) Journal and many other sites, in articles such as:

There are many more articles about this. Is this what ‘innovation’ is supposed to look like? It looks more like protectionism, for those who are affluent and infinitely greedy. What ever happened to the myths of patents as protectors of the ‘little guy’? Well, these were just myths intended to help ‘sell’ an unjust system to the wider public, ensuring consent that is based on misapprehension, misconceptions, and misinterpretations.

Rajesh Vallabh of Foley Hoag (patent lawyers, i.e. those who profit from patents at the expense of everyone else) now gives advice to startups regarding patents. We’re rather appalled that he can write this with a straight face; it was published only in a journal of patent lawyers (for the most part) and it says things like “Patents can be vitally important for protecting the innovations of a start-up company” (and he sounds like he’s actually serious).

Start-ups are massively overwhelmed by trolls (see what happens in the US these days) and also crushed by companies with far more patents, even broader ones. Empirical evidence serves to suggest that the real benefactors in today’s largest patent systems are companies such as Apple. These systems are used for monopolisation, occupation, etc.

“Empirical evidence serves to suggest that the real benefactors in today’s largest patent systems are companies such as Apple.”Nowadays, considering how the patent systems have devolved, patents primarily exist to benefit large multinationals. Just see how the EPO already works primarily for large multinationals and even discriminates in their favour. Those who point this out (hi!) are threatened with lawsuits. Saying this and providing evidence of this thus becomes the unsayable.

12.07.15

FRAND Tax, Patent Trolls as Satellites of Large Patent Aggressors, EPO Puff Pieces, and Another Imminent EPO Protest

Posted in America, Europe, Free/Libre Software, Microsoft, Patents, RAND at 8:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Satellite

Summary: A roundup of patent news from the US and from Europe, focusing on various themes which we have been covering for many years

Unfair, Discriminatory and Unreasonable FRAND (no FRIEND)

POPULAR patent lawyers’ Web site/blog, Patently-O (usually quite subjective on the subject of software patents, although not as grossly so as IAM or Gene Quinn, whom we’ll allude to later on) has just published a piece from Prof. Contreras, who therein remarks on the now-popular subject which is RAND (or FRAND, an even more misleading euphemism because it adds the word “fair” to something which is clearly unfair, never mind unreasonable and discriminatory, definitely no FRIEND). We wrote a lot about RAND/FRAND more than three quarters of a decade ago (perhaps 18,000 articles ago), especially in relation to Europe because there were technical parliamentary debates about it, accompanied by heavy lobbying by Microsoft, very persistently in fact so as to exclude Free/Open Source software as a matter of law. A Microsoft front group is now lobbying on the FRAND front again, using a new livery, “All Things FRAND”. So watch out! This new guest post by Prof. Contreras cites a somewhat popular caselaw, involving Microsoft’s patent war on Android/Linux, fought through Motorola before the Google takeover (see our Wiki page about it).

“We wrote a lot about RAND/FRAND more than three quarters of a decade ago (perhaps 18,000 articles ago), especially in relation to Europe because there were technical parliamentary debates about it, accompanied by heavy lobbying by Microsoft, very persistently in fact so as to exclude Free/Open Source software as a matter of law.”To quote one relevant (to us) part of the piece: “Interestingly, this case represents the second appellate decision this year in which the admissibility of comparable license agreements has been challenged in RAND royalty determinations. In the prior case, Microsoft v. Motorola, 795 F.3d 1024 (9th Cir. 2015), the Ninth Circuit was more deferential to the District Court’s exclusion of potentially comparable license agreements. In Microsoft, the Circuit Court upheld the District Court’s exclusion of three arm’s length license agreements to which Motorola was a party for reasons including the fact that some agreements were entered into to settle or forestall litigation, they included patents other than the patents at issue, they included cross-licenses and they included royalty caps. It will be interesting to see how the Circuits reconcile their interpretations of this key evidentiary standard in future cases.”

Litigation/Extortion by (Patent) Proxy

Now, recall and consider the latest output from other pro-patent maximalism sites (meaning they want more feuds, hence more lawyer income). Right now it’s IAM which, without using the T word (troll), reveals that Panasonic too, not just companies like Microsoft, supports outside trolls for business objectives (Microsoft uses trolls like Intellectual Ventures and MOSAID, which has been renamed in a likely effort to dodge negative publicity). These companies use their patent portfolio in a very mischievous way, passing patents to trolls like Ericsson did. Ericsson’s troll too has changed its name after receiving a lot of negative press. Remember that Ericsson is a European company and take note of new or emergent patent trolls in Europe. This plague is spreading across the Atlantic.

“These companies use their patent portfolio in a very mischievous way, passing patents to trolls like Ericsson did.”Notice the connection of all the above companies to the EPO (we covered all of these before) and recall the special the role of one of them in discriminatory patent granting at the EPO (or closer/special contacts).

EPO is Innovative! According to Shallow ‘Placements’…

Speaking of contacts, we must wonder if this new patent lawyers’ analysis is basically some kind of media placement or presence (this new one from Managing IP also looks similar to classic puff pieces, but not exactly so). It paints the EPO as some kind of a super-advanced system where — gasp! — video conferencing is used. Welcome to the 1990s!

“It paints the EPO as some kind of a super-advanced system where — gasp! — video conferencing is used. Welcome to the 1990s!”“Many of us,” wrote the author, “are familiar with conducting business by video conference. It provides an extra option for talking to remote clients that is much less expensive and time-consuming than an in-person meeting, but can result in a better personal connection than a phone meeting.”

So basically the whole article then hails the EPO for using — gasp! — video conferencing. Wow, the innovation!

EPO Staff Not Gonna Take It Anymore

Well, it’s now increasingly clear that the EPO is desperate for positive publicity because it is widely loathed. Another EPO staff protest will take place this Thursday, as planned quite some time ago. The exact plans are now being outlined by SUEPO in their new update (top of this public page). To quote SUEPO: “The next demonstration will take place on Thursday 10 December, starting from the Pschorrhöfe building at 12h. The demonstrators will march peacefully to the local Palace of Justice.

“Isn’t it funny that the EPO’s management tries to frame staff as the issuer of threats when it’s actually the management doing so?”“With these demonstrations staff protests against the persistent attacks on its staff representatives, culminating in the suspension of and disciplinary procedures against 3 Union officials in Munich.”

Of course there will (as usual) be attempt to crush these protests by all means possible/available, even ahead of time. It’s commonly done using threats directed at organisers. Isn’t it funny that the EPO’s management tries to frame staff as the issuer of threats when it’s actually the management doing so? Well, a French politician who represents French workers abroad (that’s a lot of French patent examiners) rapidly becomes Battistelli’s Nemesis and we hope these protests will help demonstrate to more politicians that not all is well and serious reform is desperately needed.

Software Patents

Longtime readers already know that our main concern about the EPO has always been software patents in Europe. Software professionals universally reject software patents, but they’re not the ones voting on such matters if the likes of Battistelli want to meet so-called ‘production’ goals, meaning, by definition of these goals, granting patents in more domains and granting invalid/bogus patents.

“Europe’s patent system is now having far broader an issue than just patent scope.”Gene Quinn, a “blowhard” (to quote IP Troll Tracker) patent lawyer and longtime proponent of software patents, is still at it. He and I exchanged over a hundred messages in Twitter, only to find out that he never wrote any code that he can point to (he claimed he had written some but was unable to find evidence). He just doesn’t understand how software works and cannot tell the difference between data/input and program code. He is now trying to give people tips for patenting software, even after US courts repeatedly ruled against (many) such patents.

Europe’s patent system is now having far broader an issue than just patent scope. At the end — and we hope or suppose patent examiners will agree — we sorely need a patent policy that represents public opinion and maximises benefit to the public. Over-patenting leads to higher costs on everything (the ‘lawyers tax’) and can also suppress innovation and development, either by means of deterrence/fear or by over-encumbering litigation, sometimes initiated by opportunistic patent trolls (occasionally operating at the behest of larger entities seeking to annihilate rivals, as noted above).

11.23.15

HeBS Digital and Black Duck Press Releases Treated Like Articles, Used to Muddy the FOSS Waters

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FUD, Microsoft at 6:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“A man never lies as much as after a hunt, during a war, and before an election.”

Otto von Bismarck

Summary: Free/Open Source software (FOSS) is under attack again, and it’s the proprietary software lobby that’s responsible for that

EVERY now and then we see claims that Free software is very dangerous because of licensing obligations, as if proprietary software comes with no licensing obligations and potentially severe fines (if not a jail term!). We also occasionally hear about Free software being dangerous on the security side, despite proprietary software being far worse, merely hiding flaws and rarely patching them (or patching them when it’s too late). Several Web sites published this biased ‘analysis’ composed by two proprietary software ‘sales’ people (HeBS Digital’s Max Starkov and Jaan Paljasma) only a few days ago. They rely on non-technical people actually believing that there are no downsides to proprietary software. It should also be noted that, while several sites distribute this ‘article’ as though it’s an original report, it is actually more like a press release commissioned by a stakeholder. It’s not journalism and some sites fail to flag it accordingly.

In my professional capacity I have built sites using FOSS content management systems (e.g. Drupal, WordPress) for commerce, education, and more. These frameworks are so flexible and so full of modules/plug-ins that virtually everything is possible. Not even once have such sites been compromised due to security bugs (even when some existed and remained unpatched for a while).

“It should also be noted that, while several sites distribute this ‘article’ as though it’s an original report, it is actually more like a press release commissioned by a stakeholder.”Speaking of proprietary software salespeople, the Microsoft-connected Black Duck is at it again. “The study’s findings also highlighted a number of other specific ways the adoption of appropriate internal controls has not kept pace with the increasing use of open source software, leaving many organizations exposed to significant potential risks,” wrote a lawyers’ site, based on this self-promotional press release from Black Duck.

“As highlighted in the Information Week blog DARKReading,” the lawyers’ site said, actually referring to a press release, not a blog. We shall guess that it takes more than average levels of intelligence to distinguish blog posts from press releases. We can also safely assume that Black Duck hasn’t changed its ways. It’s a de facto FUD firm which uses scare tactics for sales of its proprietary software (with software patents on it).

Speaking of Black Duck, distrust its figures or statistics regarding software licences because by taking tiny JavaScript bits of code (typically MIT-licensed) and treating these as equal to large GPL-licensed programs they’ll have us believe that copyleft-type licences are dying. They are comparing apples and oranges, but then again, that’s the art of misleading with so-called statistics.

11.13.15

Linux Voice Stresses the Importance of the Software Patents Question in Relation to Free Software

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Patents at 5:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Linux Voice

Summary: Adam Saunders of Linux Voice authored a detailed report about prominent software patents-centric cases and how they impact the viability of Free/Open Source software (FOSS)

A new article from Adam Saunders, who writes “Free Software” rather than “Open Source”, has just been published online by Linux Voice, which is a magazine that we support because its writers are trustworthy and there is no pressure from any dubious sponsors (many magazines have this problem which results in self-censorship). We’ve been raving fans right from the very start. The article is a long overview of the patent situation (and to a lesser degree copyright situation) when it comes to Free/Open Source software (FOSS). It begins by stating that “[t]he United States is a popular region for patent litigation for a few reasons. There are some courts, such as the Eastern District of Texas, that have earned a reputation for being “plaintiff-friendly” when it comes to patent cases. That is, if someone brings a patent infringement lawsuit there, they’re more likely than not to win it. The payouts are also pretty high in the United States for a victorious plaintiff; awards can be in the hundreds of millions of dollars, with the highest award given weighing in at over $1.6 billion (US).”

The article is detailed and insightful. It later explains why software patents are now being chased out of the United States (Linux Voice is British by the way, not American). It explains it as follows: “Alice Corporation, a non-practice patent-holding entity, held patents on a method, system, and process for a particular type of financial risk hedging: namely, that one party to a set of financial transactions won’t pay at one or more stages in the set. This risk is known as “settlement risk”. Alice’s patents describe using a computer to keep track of the transactions between the parties. If the computer determines that a party does not have sufficient funds to pay their obligations to the other side, then the transaction is blocked. Litigation against CLS Bank International for alleged infringement of these patented ideas started in 2007, eventually winding its way up to the Supreme Court of the United States.

“Writing for a unanimous court, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas begins with a brief description of what the patents claimed. There are effectively three different types of claims made: “(1) the foregoing method for exchanging obligations (the method claims), (2) a computer system configured to carry out the method for exchanging obligations (the system claims), and (3) a computer-readable medium containing program code for performing the method of exchanging obligations (the media claims)” (page 3 of the ruling).

“Thomas then goes on to cite the court’s recent ruling in Mayo vs Prometheus, which established a test to determine which inventions incorporating abstract ideas are patent-eligible: “First, we determine whether the claims at issue are directed to one of those patent-ineligible concepts” (page 7). If it is so directed, then the court looks at “the elements of each claim both individually and ‘as an ordered combination’ to determine whether the additional elements ‘transform the nature of the claim’ into a patent-eligible application” (page 7). This is what Thomas refers to as “a search for an ‘inventive concept’” (page 7).”

As we have repeatedly stressed here over the past week [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8], therein existed an opportunity for Red Hat to smash Microsoft’s patents that it was actively using against Linux (even days ago). Instead Red Hat is filing/applying for software patents of its own (still) and it has just signed a patent agreement with Microsoft. This agreement seemingly leaves exposed all who are not Red Hat or Red Hat customers, so it would take something rather surprising to show Red Hat did not act selfishly and recklessly (a cleverly-crafted short FAQ is not a contractual agreement). A “standstill” serves to insinuate that two sides are in conflict, but the matter of fact is that only Microsoft is attacking and a “standstill” implies only temporary peace. What kind of a ‘bargain’ is that? Red Hat sold out and it hopes that critics will just forget about it and go away.

We are still pursuing answers from Red Hat. It’s work in progress and continued silence will serve the reinforce suspicions of guilt. Red hat would be better off becoming transparent. If it fails to provide answers in the next few weeks we are going to speak to come influential people like Richard Stallman about the problem and look for solution, or even a damning statement on this matter.

11.10.15

Mozilla Follows Red Hat’s Misguided Strategy of Trying to Fight (Software) Patents With Patents Rather Than Invalidate Them

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Patents at 11:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

M.A.D. strategy where one side massively outweighs the other

Chris Beard
Source: Chris Beard, CEO of Mozilla (via Wikipedia)

Summary: Despite progress in the US patent system (limiting the patentability of software), the Mozilla Foundation leans towards patents with an acquisition and patent filing program

FOLLOWING a ruling by SCOTUS, the USPTO begrudgingly adopted new examination guidelines and software patents are demolished in retail quantities as a result. One might think that, consequently, FOSS firms would go on the offensive against software patents. Instead, however, some leading FOSS entities now befriend their patent enemies or even assimilate. Red Hat, for instance, has been filing for software patents for a number of years (we wrote a lot about this half a decade ago). Red Hat staff tells me that Red Hat is still applying for more software patents. This is relevant in light of the following recent articles:

Larry Cafiero from FOSS Force just wrote:

While it’s true that we’re past the Ballmer “cancer” era, let’s be clear on this issue: Microsoft only “loves” Linux because it has come to the realization that it needs Linux and FOSS to survive. I’m not willing to accept this “love” as sincere, and until Microsoft decides to “walk the walk” instead of just talking the talk, I am going to just have to consider this claim to be, well, complete nonsense.

Finally, let’s not forget the true nature and history of Microsoft, as outlined centuries ago by that famous Greek programmer Aesop:

“A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The frog asks, ‘how do I know you won’t sting me?’ The scorpion says, ‘because if I do, I will die too.’

“The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream, the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown,
but has just enough time to gasp ‘Why?’

“Replies the scorpion: ‘It’s my nature…’”

Earlier today we showed that Microsoft is still attacking Linux with patents (it’s Microsoft's nature), just days after the deal with Red Hat. But it’s not just Red Hat.

“Mozilla will file software patents,” Benjamin Henrion wrote (citing this article in French), “time to crowdfund PTAB invalidations under Alice” (well, yes, it’s well overdue and vastly better use of funds).

“They are essentially fighting fire with fire.”PTAB (Patent Trial and Appeals), which we last wrote about several months ago, got mentioned by a large corporations’ lobbying site (focusing on patent trolls). “It amazes me,” Matt Levy wrote, “that a procedure like inter partes review has become so controversial, with the Patent Trial and Appeals Board being called a “patent death squad” and people talking about patent “kill rates.” The argument typically goes something like this: a high percentage of patent claims are invalidated in inter partes review (the exact percentage claimed varies), therefore the PTAB is killing patents.”

Looking at the automated translation of the article Henrion linked to, it says that, “Mozilla on Friday announced an acquisition and patent filing program, with the intention to place them immediately under viral free licenses, that would encourage proprietary software vendors to join the movement free.”

No, that’s just a waste of time. It’s like OIN and it’s not going to protect from trolls such as MPEG-LA, which Mozilla is already paying.

It is rather disappointing to see some of the most powerful companies that are (almost) purely focused on FOSS choosing to adopt patents rather than properly fight against them. They are essentially fighting fire with fire. This isn’t what we need in order to defend the freedom of software. Are these firms being advised or even steered by lawyers, who make a living from perpetuating this kind of mess?

“Small Software companies cannot afford to go to court or pay damages. Who is this software patent system for?” —Marco Schulze, Nightlabs Gmbh

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