A better initiative would strive and work towards ending software patents, not faith-based ‘protection’
“Where knowledge ends, religion begins.”
Summary: The Open Invention Network (OIN) reports growth, but in practical terms it does little or nothing to help developers of Free/Open Source software
THE function of OIN seems benign if not benevolent on the surface; the problem is, it helps distract from better efforts that would more effectively defend Free/Open Source software (FOSS). Another not-so-useful initiative was Peer-to-Patent, but it seems to be gone by now.
OIN is growing (see the OIN ‘Community’) and MRV has just joined OIN (see the press release [1, 2], mostly or completely overlooked by reporters). This is a sign of growth, but it is growth which won't help FOSS all that much because it was never truly designed with FOSS in mind. The “Open Source Innovation” mentioned in the title of the press release wrongly assumes this will be beneficial to FOSS, but unless every company in the world joined and vowed not to sue any of the other members (like Oracle suing Google), what would it achieve? And what about lawsuits by proxy? Even if Microsoft was ever to join, its patent trolls (two of which we wrote about last night) would still be capable of suing Linux developers/companies.
Speaking of which, even Android players are a patent menace at times (e.g. Sony). A new and relatively long article by Professor Jason Rantanen speaks about Ericsson’s patent troll, Unwired Planet, and its case against Apple. “This post will focus on the issue of fault in the context of Unwired Planet,” he wrote upfront, “although its observations about fault are relevant to issues of culpability in the context of enhanced damages determinations.”
Even if Ericsson was ever to join OIN, this would not prevent it from suing Android OEMs, directly or via proxies like Unwired Planet (which even operates in Europe now). █
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Read between the lines then…
Summary: Blockstream says that it comes in peace when it comes to software patents, which triggers speculations about coming Blockchain patent wars
THE PAST few years were baffling as companies equated promises not to sue with “Open Source” or “open-source” (with a dash, to help dodge the trademark perhaps). Examples we covered here included, notably, Tesla and Panasonic.
A couple of days ago we saw that Blockstream had claimed the following: “Today we are excited to announce some important steps we are taking on the patent front, why these defensive steps are necessary, and our hope that others will see merit in our approach and follow our lead.
“The system as it stands is inherently hostile towards GNU/Linux and Free/Open Source software, which is what Blockchain is all about.”“Core to the Bitcoin ethos is permissionless innovation. Without it and the level of contribution to which it gave rise Blockstream would not be on the exciting path we find ourselves today. It should not come as a surprise then that permissionless innovation is also core to Blockstream’s ethos. We firmly believe that in order for Bitcoin and related technologies’ potential to be fully realized they must be underpinned by a global platform that is free for any innovator to use without hesitation.”
As Benjamin Henrion rightly asked, “where do you have patents? which numbers?” Another person, a patent attorney who specialises in patent data/statistics, noted that “Blockstream Does Not Have Any Patents Assigned to It.” This is not entirely shocking. Having written about Blockstream in the past (we have very broad scope in our daily links), not once did we mention it in relation to patents. Patently German hypothesised: “Preparation for future #blockchain #patent wars? Blockstream announces defensive patent pledge and patent agreement…” (IBM, a patent bully with software patents, is also heavily involved in the same Linux-centric space)
IP Watch, a decent watchdog of patent matters, wrote the headline “Trust Us, We Won’t Sue You” (it sounds rather humourous or sarcastic). It said that “Blockstream, which developed the blockchain technology and bitcoin, has announced a defensive patent strategy. The crux of it: assurance that users of its technology won’t be sued.”
“It seems like shameless self-promotion or a publicity stunt with a “patents” angle.”The EFF wrote about this as follows: “We’ve written many times about the need for comprehensive patent reform to stop innovation-killing trolls. While we continue to push for reform in Congress, there are a number of steps that companies and inventors can take to keep from contributing to the patent troll problem. These steps include pledges and defensive patent licenses. In recent years, companies like Twitter and Tesla have promised not to use their patents offensively. This week, blockchain startup Blockstream joins them with a robust set of commitments over how it uses software patents.”
Bob Summerwill told me [1, 2]: “I see this as hugely positive. Looks directly analogous to what the GPL does for copyrights. Use system against itself.”
Right, but unless Blockstream actually has some patents (there is no evidence of it so far), what can they really use against the system? The system as it stands is inherently hostile towards GNU/Linux and Free/Open Source software, which is what Blockchain is all about.
Blockstream’s message is suggestive of unknown context (like something they know but are not telling us). It seems like shameless self-promotion or a publicity stunt with a “patents” angle. We have become accustomed to it. One company that should definitely do the same thing (but has not) is Red Hat. OIN membership does not guarantee this and if Red Hat got sold to some relatively hostile entity (like Sun to Oracle), there is no guarantee that Red Hat’s patents would not be used to wreak havoc (like a $10 billion lawsuit over a programming language alone, i.e. an order of magnitude worse than SCO versus IBM). █
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The role of Ericsson and the EPO’s PR agency is mentioned as well
Summary: Weaponisation of European companies for the sake of artificial elevation of prices (patent taxes) a growing issue for Free/Open Source software (FOSS) and those behind it are circulating money among themselves not for betterment of products but for the crippling of FOSS contenders
THE long if not endless war waged by Microsoft against GNU/Linux is far from over. This past week, e.g. in our daily links, we gave several examples of the latest assaults by Microsoft (Android antitrust, Linux booting restrictions, lobbying against freedom-respecting policies and more), aside from the patent angle. Microsoft sure knows what it’s doing and if Microsoft succeeds, Linux-powered products will lose their broad appeal due to removed (thanks to legal threats) features and artificially-elevated prices. In this post we shall focus on the patent aspects alone, as we so typically do in order to keep things simpler.
“Microsoft sure knows what it’s doing and if Microsoft succeeds, Linux-powered products will lose their broad appeal due to removed (thanks to legal threats) features and artificially-elevated prices.”Let’s start with the Microsoft-friendly advocacy site, IAM ‘magazine’. IAM’s innuendo-filled focus on China’s patent activity as of late [1, 2] finally culminates in China’s “misuse of competition law for protectionist policies,” as if the West never ever does this (it’s certainly the norm at the USPTO and ITC). IAM wants to make China’s system (patents, courts etc.) look unfair and unjust, as it did the other day too. China is apparently very mean because there’s bias there that’s hardly unique to China. Huawei is the one major Android OEM that Microsoft never managed to blackmail using patents (it reportedly did try over the years) and IAM now says that “Huawei attracts flak from Nokia, while adversary Samsung signs major deal with the Finnish company” (good cop, bad cop). It is obviously a loaded headline and IAM does not tell readers that Nokia’s patent troll, MOSAID (now Conversant), is paying IAM. What a farce of a ‘news’ site. MOSAID (fed with Nokia patents at Microsoft’s instruction) can be viewed as somewhat of an extension of these entities and after Microsoft effectively hijacked Nokia it’s taxing Google/Android (hence Linux) in a royalty stacking fashion. This happens right now not only in the Western world but also in Asia, albeit Huawei has been one of the very few exceptions (the Chinese government, which is connected to it, seems to have protected it). “Here’s Why Nokia Is About To Get More Money Out Of Its Patents” is a new article from Fortune (writing a lot about patents so far this month) which reminds us that Microsoft essentially turned Nokia into a patent aggressor. Put another way, Microsoft made Nokia yet another one of its (many) patent trolls that are openly against Android and Linux. “I booked http://nokiaplanp.com,” wrote Benjamin Henrion, but that was “years ago, I was right.” The P stands for Patents and it happened around the time people were making jokes about Nokia’s plans under Microsoft’s mole, Elop (there were nearly a dozen such plans with a different alphabetic letter for each).
People are kindly asked to remember what Microsoft did to Nokia as revisionism about it is quite routine nowadays. Not only Nokia engages in such behaviour; Ericsson does this too and it goes as far as south Asia, e.g. India. European patent trolls come to India even if there are no software patents in India and virtually no patent trolls either, as we mentioned here before. Well, Micromax was last mentioned here a couple of months ago in relation to patent trolls, primarily Ericsson’s (the equivalent of MOSAID/Conversant to Nokia) and here is a new blog post about it:
Ericsson has been going all out to enforce its Standard Essentials Patents (SEP) against several mobile phone companies, such as Micromax, Intex and Lava, among others, who are primarily selling mobile phones in India. The outcome of these law suits will no doubt play a significant role in defining the future of licensing and enforcement of SEP in India.
The latest in these law suits is an interim judgement by The High Court of Delhi in the matter between TELEFONKTIEBOLAGET LM ERICSSON (Ericsson) and LAVA INTERNATIONAL LTD (Lava). The interim judgement is in favour of Ericsson. More importantly, the judgement deals with various aspects of licensing and enforcement of SEP.
Ericsson keeps 'hiding' behind proxies that are patent trolls in order to shake down practicing companies. It’s hardly even covert like Microsoft’s scheme. Everyone knows that Ericsson is doing this. Standard-essential patents (SEPs) are used here (Nokia has many of these too) and speaking of which, the Kat who is the most pro-software patents (based on years of posting history) wrote about the EPO's PR firm the other day, noting its take on SEP holders. “The final speaker was Mark Bezant from FTI consulting,” she wrote. “He mentioned that he is amongst the FRAND experts in the pending UK case of Unwired Planet v Samsung and Huawei [last reported by IPKat here]. He noted the two key issues in FRAND disputes: (a) the obligations placed on the SEP holders, and (b) the appropriate level of royalty rates. After reminding the audience of some of the methods discussed by Garreth Wong, he mentioned particular issues that arise in practice, such as having to rely on outdated licences or inherently complicated agreements. With respect to the incremental method of calculating royalties, he noted the difficulty in understanding the exact value a single patent has added to a standard. The most common approach, he explained, is looking at established comparable rates and matching them to the situation at hand. Mr Bezant concluded that one must establish a number of factors before assessing whether a licence is FRAND, such as the validity of the patents, the number of declared essential patents, the number of essential patents confirmed by a court, and the qualitative assessment performed by experts on the patents.”
“Remember that there are practically no workarounds for SEPs (by definition) and FRAND is not compatible with FOSS.”It’s rather curious to see Battistelli’s PR firm (at the expense of the EPO) promoting a software patents loophole and patent aggression. Then again, they also promote the UPC and pay IAM, which incidentally gets paid by patent trolls also. It is a hostile world out there and it makes life hard for FOSS proponents. Remember that there are practically no workarounds for SEPs (by definition) and FRAND is not compatible with FOSS. █
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Summary: Free/Open Source software (FOSS) continues to be used as a cover for large corporations (like Google, IBM, NEC, Philips and Sony) to maintain a grip on patent pools and act as gatekeepers with software patents that they openwash (not even cross-license, as Oracle v Google serves to illustrate)
WE were never huge fans of OIN, which is why OIN’s CEO and PR people tried hard to convince us otherwise. I saw first-hand accounts where patent trolls were repelled by OIN, which didn’t quite seem to care (maybe because OIN cannot do anything at all about patent trolls, other than attempt to buy/harvest patents before they’re bought to be used offensively). OIN is basically the world’s biggest legitimiser of software patents. IBM, the main company behind OIN (recall its first head of operations, Jerry Rosenthal from IBM), is a patent bully and a notorious software patents proponent, so how can one honestly expect OIN to be part of a true solution? IBM is demonstrably part of many problems.
“IBM is demonstrably part of many problems.”According to this new article from Fortune, joining OIN makes one “a Patron of Open-Source Software” (what a ludicrous headline). To quote from the article: “It’s called the Open Invention Network, and its other members are Google, IBM, Red Hat rht , NEC nec-electronics , Philips phg , Sony sne , and SUSE (a unit of Britain’s Micro Focus). Fortune is the first to report Toyota’s startling move.
“Formed in 2005, OIN’s mission is to protect and encourage the collaborative development and use of open-source software, like the Linux operating system, which can be freely copied, altered, and distributed, and which no one person or company owns. OIN pursues a variety of strategies aimed at protecting the users and developers of such software against the threat of patent suits by proprietary software manufacturers, like Microsoft and Apple. Such suits, if successful, could deny users the freedoms that make open-source software desirable.
“That Toyota would now join the group reflects the growing importance that software is playing in cars, and the growing number of automakers who believe that open-source software is the best approach to providing many of the needed solutions for its vehicles. Open-source champions say such software is cheaper, more flexible, and of higher quality, because it benefits from the pooled resources of collaborative input.”
Toyota, a very close Microsoft partner (probably more so than any other vehicles maker), claims to have joined OIN, but what good will that do for FOSS? Nothing. Toyota is not even a software company. It’s about as relevant to FOSS as that openwashing campaign from Tesla (and later Panasonic). Total nonsense. It’s about as helpful to FOSS as RAND is and speaking of RAND (or FRAND), this new article from IP Watch speaks about FRAND in relation to Europe, where the term FRAND is typically a Trojan horse (or surrogate) for software patents in Europe.
“Toyota, a very close Microsoft partner (probably more so than any other vehicles maker), claims to have joined OIN, but what good will that do for FOSS?”Going back to OIN, it has done virtually nothing so far to protect FOSS. It’s like bogus insurance plan which does not actually work or cover anything (no matter the circumstances). Where is OIN every time Microsoft blackmails Linux/Android OEMs? Speaking of which, Professor Crouch has this new article about insurance based on patents (or copyright, trademark, and trade secret). He says that “Hammond’s insurance company USLI had refused to indemnify Hammond based in-part upon the intellectual property exclusion found in the policy that specifically excluded coverage for any “loss, cost, or expense . . . [a]rising out of any infringement of copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret or other intellectual property rights.” Agreeing, the court particularly found that the basis for TCA’s attorney fee requests stemmed from the Pennsylvania Uniform Trade Secrets Act as well as the Copyright Act – even though no intellectual property infringement claim had been asserted in the underlying case.”
Look what we have come to. With misnomers like “intellectual property”, which compare ideas to “property” and ascribe physical attributes to them (like insurance traditionally did, covering for damage caused to physical things), no wonder the media says joining OIN is becoming “a Patron of Open-Source Software” (FOSS inherently rejects the notion of patron or owner, except in the copyright assignment sense).
“Fortune is the first to report Toyota’s startling move,” its author wrote, but in reality Fortune is the media partner to peddle Toyota’s marketing/propaganda, along with OIN’s agenda. █
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Reputation laundering with sound bites like the ‘new Microsoft’
Summary: A look at the reality behind today’s Microsoft and what proponents of Microsoft (often connected to the company) want us to believe
THE aggressive company which is widely hated/loathed (and deserves this hatred, which is well earned based on its actions) just can’t help doing evil. Those who try hard to convince themselves that Microsoft has changed must not have noticed that the management is virtually the same and the company continues to operate like a death squad, attempting to prematurely destroy anything which resembles potent competition, based on suspicion alone.
“Those who try hard to convince themselves that Microsoft has changed must not have noticed that the management is virtually the same and the company continues to operate like a death squad, attempting to prematurely destroy anything which resembles potent competition, based on suspicion alone.”Several years ago we explained what Microsoft was hoping to achieve when it took over Skype (soon thereafter to enter NSA’s PRISM, right after Microsoft which was the first in the whole programme and had already provided back doors to the NSA for over a decade). Recently we saw Skype support for GNU/Linux (which was handed over to Microsoft) gradually being withdrawn and this new thread in Reddit says that “Microsoft is lobbying the Indian government to link peoples’ National IDs with their Skype calling” (no source to verify this with).
Microsoft has turned Windows into something as privacy-hostile as Skype itself, if not a lot worse. With Skype, for example, Microsoft spies on people’s private conversations and even follows links; in Vista 10 Microsoft has a keylogger, which spies on everything (even password typing) in real time. Vista 10 should be made illegal, as it is clearly malicious software and should be treated as such. Ironically enough, Microsoft is almost trying to make it impossible not to use Vista 10 and despite that, as Vista 10 infection rates are increasing, very few people actually use this ‘free’ (so-called ‘bargain’) piece of malware. As one report put it, “Windows 10: less than 15 per cent of those who can upgrade have bothered” and “The big question is whether Microsoft will hit the 20 per cent mark by the time the free offer is over.”
“Microsoft has turned Windows into something as privacy-hostile as Skype itself, if not a lot worse.”This is a disastrous result given the way Microsoft fooled and bamboozled people into installing it, even using malware tactics. According to some reports, Microsoft has just made it virtually impossible not to use this malware (one must supply an ‘upgrade’ date) and anyone who still thinks there’s a ‘new Microsoft’ must be either very gullible or bribed.
This new article, “Microsoft Meets Open Source,” is based on a Big Lie. It is not hard to see that Microsoft is attacking FOSS (Open Source), but this site is doing too many sponsored ‘articles’ (advertisements) these days, such as this one (see disclosure). We expect a lot of the usual Microsoft apologists to pretend Microsoft is fine and dandy and indeed, looking at the company’s boosters, we see exactly what’s expected. Microsoft Peter, for instance, continues to attack FOSS using Oracle’s lies. As iophk put it, “now Microsoft has spoken” (alluding to Peter, who very often relays the company’s positions) and given Microsoft’s propaganda sites’ effort to ‘Linuxwash’ SQL Server (also openwashing it, referring to Microsoft’s own employees/mouthpieces), we identify the old strategy which is to associate SQL Server (among other such pieces of proprietary software) with FOSS.
“We expect a lot of the usual Microsoft apologists to pretend Microsoft is fine and dandy and indeed, looking at the company’s boosters, we see exactly what’s expected.”Don’t fall for it. Some people do, but others have been falling for it for a number of years. Sam Dean, who works for a media company that has been receiving Microsoft money to embed propaganda within the articles (and got caught), is still promoting Microsoft proprietary software and repeats the Big Lie, starting with: “According to more and more people, Microsoft may have finally, truly warmed up to Linux and open source. CEO Satya Nadella (shown) has been much in the news for his comments on how he “loves Linux” and he has noted that much of the Azure cloud platform is Linux-based.”
That’s nonsense. It’s a media strategy which we explained before. What is the ‘real Microsoft’, which one might call the ‘new Microsoft’? It’s hardly any better than a patent troll. As Richi Jennings put it the other day in his IDG headline, “Xiaomi feeds Microsoft patent troll — pays patent toll” (Jennings quotes various comments about it).
“What is the ‘real Microsoft’, which one might call the ‘new Microsoft’? It’s hardly any better than a patent troll.”This article quotes Mary Jo Foley (a longtime Microsoft mouthpiece) as saying: “Microsoft is both continuing to collect patent royalties from Android [and defending] antitrust charges in China. … Some outlets are saying Xiaomi “bought” these patents [not] licensed them.”
We wrote about this the other day, noting that this came from Microsoft -- not Xiaomi -- and Xiaomi paid Microsoft for patents. Here is what the patent propagandists have said over at IAM: “Whichever way you look at it, the deal between Microsoft and Xiaomi which was announced earlier this week has to go down as one of the most significant of the year so far. There are the terms of the deal itself – Xiaomi gets 1,500 patents from the software giant’s global portfolio, Microsoft gets Office and Skype pre-installed on Xiaomi’s Android phones and tablets and the two sides put in place a cross-licence (which it’s probably safe to say is more valuable to the Chinese company).”
“What kind of drug does one have to take to believe Microsoft is a friend?”IAM, which is funded by patent trolls, has always been so Microsoft-friendly that it makes one wonder. Even its Web site, unusually enough, is Windows-powered (in 2016!) and another new article about Xiaomi says that “Xiaomi absorbs patent fund operator Zhigu as it re-shuffles IP team”. This too mentions the Microsoft extortion: “Yesterday, this blog covered a major deal between Xiaomi and Microsoft that saw the Chinese company acquire 1,500 patents along with a cross-licence. While the financial details are unknown, the fact that Xiaomi is now likely among the top 200 or so holders of US patents has to be seen as a coup for the smartphone startup. It also comes just three months after some big changes to its relatively young IP function.”
The bottom line is, Microsoft spreads malware, it spreads it forcibly, it lies about its proprietary software being “open” and it goes after the “open” rivals (such as Android) using software patents. What kind of drug does one have to take to believe Microsoft is a friend? █
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Article as ODF
Publicado en Deception, Free/Libre Software, Patents a las 6:52 am por el Dr. Roy Schestowitz
Ya es tiempo que los desarrolladores se unan activamente se envuelvan en poner fin a las patentes de software
Sumario: Impuestos al desarrollo — o el costo relaciónado con el caos de patentes — rápidamente creciéndo cada vez mas y en el caso del Free software rápidamente excede las ganancias por distribución, que usualmente es $0
EL sistema de patentes de los EE.UU es extremadamente hostil al Free software, por lo que toda clase de grupos como la OIN surgieron (aunque en práctica sean inefectivos). Poniéndolo crudamente, la USPTO y el Free software no pueden coexistir a menos que los examinadores de patentes dejen de otorgar patentes de software y la PTAB (o equivalente) se deshaga de las que ya fueron otorgadas (hay un alto grado de invalidación allí).
Law 360, un sitio con tercas cajas de pagos, tiene estas noticias acerca de un caso de alto perfil. Vale la pena notar que en el caso SRI International Inc. v. Cisco Systems Inc. es Free software, el software creado por Sourcefire, el cual fue considerado infractor. To quote Law 360:
Cisco Systems Inc. ha infringido dos patentes de vigilancia en red propiedad de SRI International Inc., un jurado federal de Delaware decidió el jueves, ordenando a la empresa de tecnología de California a pagar casi $ 24 millones en daños y perjuicios.
La demanda de SRI había apuntado productos como el llamado Sistema de prevención de intrusiones de Cisco y algunos servicios que Cisco adquirió cuando compró Sourcefire Inc. (Crédito: AP) Los ocho miembros del jurado acordaron por unanimidad el Cisco sede en San José infringió deliberadamente las patentes de sus productos de prevención de intrusiones en la red y no pudo probar las patentes eran inválidas.
¿Qué sigue, Jabber? Cisco merece crédito por defenderse, pero de todas maneras perdió. Esto son malas noticias para el Free software y demuestra el problema con las patentes de software. Cisco debería apelar si fuese posible; talvez Alice pueda ayudar aquí.
“Las patentes de software son asesinos silenciósos y los principales medios de comunicación hacen nada o muy poco para resaltar el problema.”
A través de los años hemos cubierto como proyectos de Free software (programas, apps, plugins) fuéron asesinados (sacados del internet de la noche a la mañana) debido a agresión de patentes, o litigación o amenazas de ella. Las patentes de software son asesinos silenciósos y los principales medios de comunicación hacen nada o muy poco para resaltar el problema. Esta apatía sólo empeora cuando ellos deciden citar abogados de patentes no a desarrolladores de software, acerca de patentes de software (a veces dejándolos contribuír a una completa columna/artículo).
Otro nuevo artículo de Law 360 habla de los masivos costos legales en los casos de patentes. Para citar: “El costo es $2,000 cada hora, de acuerdo a una investigación del BTI Consulting Group, un crecimiénto notorio del anterior $1,600 alcanzado el año pasado y relativamente tres veces más que lo que clientes normales pagan por trabajo legal.”
“59% de las compañías pagan por lo menos a una Firma Legal $1000 por Hora,” escribió un abogado de patentes, a lo cual Benjamin Henrion respondió con “Siempre dije que era una ocupación parasítica.”
“Los medios de comunicación son acosados por los abogados de patentes.”
¿Cuántos desarrolladores de software libre pueden pagar los abogados de patentes a estos precios realmente exorbitantes? ¿Por qué no son los desarrolladores no se levantan en armas? ¿Dónde está la resistencia? Los medios de comunicación son acosados por los abogados de patentes.
The Hill, medios de comunicación de los grupos de presión, está ahora ocupado spor maximalistas de patente para la maximización de la patente (¡sorpresa!). Para citar la divulgación de esta última pieza de propaganda: “Stoll es un socio y co-presidente del grupo de la propiedad intelectual en Drinker Biddle & Reath y ex comisionado de patentes en la Oficina de Patentes y Marcas de Estados Unidos.”
Y esta gente posa como ‘periodistas’. ¿Dónde esta la voz de los desarrolladores de software? Los proponentes de patentes de software tratan de amplificar el mensaje de Stoll con tonterías como: “¿Las decisiónes de patentes estan estrángulando nuestra economíá? El antiguo Comisionado de Patentes Bob Stoll dice que sí.”
“No hay nada que posea una amenaza existencial para el Free software (no el FOSS cautivo a vendedores) más que las patentes de software y más envolvimiénto es necesario de más programadores con el objetivo de poner fin a ello.”
“Es “su economíá,” Henrion señaló. “Los agentes de patentes viven de ellas.” Bueno, ellos también conquistan a los medios.
“DDR Holdings no es más el punto de esperanza para los innovadores y dueños de patentes en el espacio de software,” escribió otro maximalista, “Discutiéndo Enfish” (lo que acabamos de cubrir).
Como Henrion notó, es esta “¿esperanza de la pesadilla regresando?”
“Hoy celebramos el aniversario de la #MSFT 1st #patente,” escribió una cuenta de Microsoft. “Salud a 30 años de innovación y muchos más por venir” (no innovación, chantaje, incluso contra el Free software).
Como Henrion lo puso, “¿quiéres decir la pesadilla para los desarrolladores?”
Necesitamos más desarrolladores — no sólo desarrolladores de Free software — que se involucren y contrarresten el mensaje de los abogados de patetnes, algunos de los cuales quieren salirse con la suya al traer más patentes a Europa, incluyendo patentes de software que Alemania notoriamente otorga (“¿Son la mayoría de patentes en Alemania válidas después de todo?”)
No hay nada que posea una amenaza existencial para el Free software (no el FOSS cautivo a vendedores) más que las patentes de software y más envolvimiénto es necesario de más programadores con el objetivo de poner fin a ello.
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Time for programmers to get actively involved and put an end to software patenting
Summary: The tax on development — or the cost associated with patent-related mess — is rapidly increasing and in the case of Free software it by far exceeds the revenue gained from distribution, which is usually $0
THE US patent system is extremely hostile towards Free software, which is why all sorts of groups like OIN came into existence (even if they’re ineffective in practice). Put rather bluntly, the USPTO and Free software cannot coexist unless or until the patent examiners stop granting software patents and PTAB (or equivalent) tosses away already-granted software patents (there is a very high invalidation rate there).
Law 360, a site with stubborn paywalls, has this news about a new high-profile decision. It is worth noting that in SRI International Inc. v. Cisco Systems Inc. it’s Free software, the software created by Sourcefire, which is deemed infringing. To quote Law 360:
Cisco Systems Inc. infringed two network surveillance patents owned by SRI International Inc., a Delaware federal jury decided Thursday, ordering the California tech company to pay nearly $24 million in damages.
SRI’s lawsuit had targeted products like Cisco’s so-called Intrusion Prevention System and some services Cisco acquired when it bought Sourcefire Inc. (Credit: AP) The eight jurors unanimously agreed the San Jose-based Cisco willfully infringed the patents with its network intrusion prevention products and failed to prove the patents were invalid.
What next? Jabber? Cisco deserves some credit for fighting back, but it lost anyway. This is bad news for Free software and it demonstrates the problem with software patents. Cisco should appeal if it’s possible; maybe Alice can help here.
“Software patents are silent killers and the mainstream media does little or nothing at all to highlight this problem.”Over the years we have covered several examples of Free software projects (programs, apps, plugins) which were killed (removed from the Net overnight) due to patent aggression, either litigation or threats thereof. Software patents are silent killers and the mainstream media does little or nothing at all to highlight this problem. This apathy is only made worse when they decide to quote patent lawyers, not software developers, regarding software patents (at times even just letting them contribute a whole column/article).
Another new article from Law 360 speaks about the massive legal fees in patent cases. To quote: “That rate has now reached $2,000 per hour, according to research conducted by BTI Consulting Group, a significant increase from the previous high of $1,600 reached last year and nearly three times the average rate clients pay for outside legal work.”
“59% of Companies Pay at Least One Law Firm $1000 per Hour,” one patent attorney wrote, to which Benjamin Henrion responded with “I always said it was a parasitic profession.”
“The media is besieged by patent lawyers.”How many Free software developers can afford patent lawyers at these truly extortionate rates? Why aren’t developers not up in arms? Where is the resistance? The media is besieged by patent lawyers.
The Hill, the lobbyists’ media, is now occupied by patent maximalists for patent maximisation (no surprise here). To quote the disclosure of this latest propaganda piece: “Stoll is a partner and co-chair of the intellectual property group at Drinker Biddle & Reath and a former commissioner for patents at the United States Patent and Trademark Office.”
And these people now pose as ‘journalists’. Where are the software developers’ voices? The proponents of software patents try to amplify Stoll’s message with nonsense like: “Are patent decisions strangling our economy? Former Patent Commissioner Bob Stoll says yes.”
“There is nothing that poses an existential threat to Free software (not the vendor captive FOSS) more than software patents and more involvement is needed from more programmers in order to put an end to that.”“It’s “his economy,” Henrion pointed out. “Patent agents live off patents.” Well, they also take over the media.
“DDR Holdings is no longer only point of hope for innovators and patent owners in software space,” wrote another maximalist, “discussing Enfish” (which we have just covered).
As Henrion noted, is this “hope of the nightmare coming back?”
“Today we celebrate the anniversary of #MSFT’s very 1st #patent,” wrote a Microsoft account. “Cheers to 30 years of innovation & much more to come” (not innovation, blackmail, even against Free software).
As Henrion put it, “you mean the best nightmare for developers?”
We really need more developers — not just Free software developers — to get involved and counter these messages from patent lawyers, some of whom wish their way into more patents in Europe, including software patents that Germany is notorious for granting (“Are most patents in Germany valid after all?”).
There is nothing that poses an existential threat to Free software (not the vendor captive FOSS) more than software patents and more involvement is needed from more programmers in order to put an end to that. █
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No investigation, just churnalism
Summary: Why the latest “Future of Open Source Survey” — much like its predecessors — isn’t really a survey but just another churnalism opportunity for the Microsoft-connected Black Duck, which is a proprietary parasite inside the FOSS community
THE “Future of Open Source Survey” is not a survey. It’s just Black Duck’s self-promotional (marketing) tripe packaged as a “survey”. This is a common PR tactic, it’s not unique. We wrote about this so-called ‘survey’ in several articles in the past, e.g.:
We now have more of the same churnalism and it comes from the usual ‘news’ networks, in addition to paid press releases. When we first mentioned Shipley 8 years ago he was busy doing one nefarious thing and two years ago we saw him joining the Microsoft-connected Black Duck. He is quoted as saying (CBS) that “the rapid adoption of open source has outpaced the implementation of effective open-source management and security practices. We see opportunities to make significant improvements in those areas. With nearly half of respondents saying they have no formal processes to track their open source, and half reporting that no one has responsibility for identifying known vulnerabilities and tracking remediation, we expect to see more focus on those areas.” Thanks for the FUD, Mr. Shipley. So where do I buy your proprietary software (and software patents-protected) ‘solution’? That is, after all, what it’s all about, isn’t it? The ‘survey’ is an excuse or a carrier (if not Trojan horse) for proprietary software marketing.
Here is similar coverage from IDG and the Linux Foundation, whose writers did little more than repeat the talking points of Black Duck after the press release got spread around. █
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