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07.31.14

Microsoft-Linked Codenomicon and Bluebox in the Business of Smearing FOSS/Linux/Android

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FUD, Google, Microsoft at 3:03 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Name tag
Embracing and extending, but not yet extinguishing

Summary: Codenomicon and Bluebox, two companies with strong Microsoft links, fill the media with negative articles about Android

“M

icrosoft marketing again” is what our reader labeled it. Brett Winterford, who played ball for OOXML after Microsoft had given him gifts, smears Android using a Microsoft buddy, Codenomicon, the company that hyped up an OpenSSL bug, or as this new article puts it:

Codenomicon, which coined the term “Heartbleed” upon discovering the OpenSSL flaw, will name and shame app developers later this month when it publishes its findings on those that neglected robust security practices.

Codenomicon did not discover the bug (a man from Google did, but some give both credit); Codenomicon did the marketing, registered a domain, and spread the “Heartbleed” brand.

The “Heartbleed” marketing is still floating in the media, this time because of Venafi, keeping it in the media nearly 4 months later. What we basically have here is Codenomicon making a comeback, this time making derogatory claims about Android.

A reader of ours says that “it makes sense. I have trouble tracking all the names though. If one is cynical, pretty much 100% of the pro-Microsoft or anti-Linux (especially anti-FOSS) writings can be tracked to direct Microsoft influence. One wonders society can do with all the “former” employees, especially the managers.”

Codenomicon’s board is managed by a man from Microsoft, one of Microsoft’s chief executives, for those who have not been keeping up.

Another company like this is Bluebox, whose Microsoft connection we covered here before. It is a Microsoft partner created and managed by a Microsoft guy. Now it has some dirt to throw on Android, too.

We first saw that covered by the FOSS-hostile Dan Goodin (he still only covers FOSS/Linux security issues, ignoring any proprietary software issues) and then we saw this in the Bill Gates-funded “The Guardian” and BBC, which like to chastise only Google over things that Microsoft does (and worse). This is definitely some of the earliest coverage, maybe coordinated ahead of distribution, leading other sites to covering it, only later on, even though the issue was already fixed. Later on we saw a report saying that it “Could Put Millions in Jeopardy” (key word is “could”) and Microsoft-friendly sites joined in, making a huge fuss about a bug that was patched very quickly.

“One need to keep track of who’s who and where the money travels.”While it is hard to show a conspiracy to smear Android, like Microsoft asking its former employees and affiliates who run Codenomicon and Bluebox to fill the media with negative coverage about Android bugs, we do need to consider such possibilities based on evidence that exists. It is clear who these companies are loyal to; it’s no secret, just follow the money. Why don’t they cover the loads of bugs in Windows or even the back doors, which are there by design?

The media too should be held accountable here, as we know that Microsoft bribes publishers like O’Reilly (we gave examples for years) and based on fresh complaints from the President of OSI [1], it is true that OSCON (O’Reilly’s so-called ‘open source’ conference) has become more of a Microsoft-subsidised breeding ground for moles and misdirection (sponsored by Microsoft in exchange for stage time/room).

When living in a spin zone (not spin-free zone), where many of the messengers are funded by Microsoft, it would be unwise to take and accept everything at face value. One need to keep track of who’s who and where the money travels.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. SAP embraces opens source — sort of

    At the annual OSCON (Open Source Convention) last week, those stuck in a worldview of open source from the previous decade would have suffered serious cognitive dissonance.

    First, Microsoft was an anchor of the conference, with a full-scale display from Jean Paoli’s subsidiary Microsoft Open Technologies. As I walked past I repeatedly heard people expressing shock that Microsoft was there at such scale. Wholehearted support for open source still largely stops at the boundaries of Microsoft’s Azure cloud offering, but plenty of staff people with genuine open source credentials were showing their wares. Microsoft’s journey is definitely progressing.

06.29.14

Good Nokia (Jolla) and Bad Nokia (Microsoft); or Good Derivatives and Bad Derivatives of Android Hardware

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 4:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Jolla is what Nokia should have been

Jolla phone

Summary: A reminder of what Nokia has really become (a part of Microsoft) and where people should go if they pursue what Nokia would have been without the mole (Elop)

SEVERAL months ago we wrote about Microsoft’s disturbing attempt to use Nokia’s brand and reputation to ‘steal’ Android. Microsoft will never succeed, but it can do some damage. There are still some fools out there who buy phones solely based on brand loyalty and moreover they are loyal to Nokia. They don’t know what happened to Nokia; They won’t realise that they are giving all their data to the NSA through Microsoft, the #1 PRISM partner (the NSA easily sucks in everything Microsoft has).

Much of the corporate press fails to critically assess what Microsoft is doing to Android, which it is attacking while pretending to embrace it. Here is an example of it and also a technical response that says:

I wish I could say I was impressed with the Nokia X2, but I’m not for the simple reason that it seems to be the worst of both worlds. You have Android of course, but it has been modified to try to make the phone into a hybrid that resembles Windows Phone and promotes Microsoft’s online services.

How many people would really want to buy this thing? If you want Microsoft’s services then the logical thing to do is to simply buy a Windows phone. And if you prefer Android then wouldn’t you go for an Android phone that hasn’t been tweaked to look like Windows Phone?

Sorry, I just don’t see who the market is for this kind of device. I doubt very many Android users are going to bother with it, and I can’t see it having enough appeal for Windows Phone users either. It seems to be a franken-phone with one foot in both camps and I doubt it’ll do much in the way of sales.

Looking at this from a purely technical point of view misses the point. We have already explains what Microsoft is hoping to accomplish here [1, 2, 3]. It’s pretty serious.

Many people are rightly concerned that Android (Google’s and others’) is not privacy-respecting either. For that reason we are still advocating the phoned from Nokia’s Linux proponents, who left the company and started Jolla, basing the work on MeeGo. The latest report [1] says that “Jolla has announced the availability of an Android launcher based on Sailfish operating system for Android devices.”

This is good news. My wife and I are excited about it because buying a Jolla phone has been her plan for a long time, provided it’s sold in the UK and is privacy-enhancing. Last week there were some teasers about this [2-7] and it seems like many Android devices (including ours) will be easily convertible to Sailfish OS devices. Replicant is another interesting option, but device compatibility is still too limited for it.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. Jolla unveils Sailfish Launcher for Android

    Jolla has announced the availability of an Android launcher based on Sailfish operating system for Android devices. The product will be officially called the “Jolla Launcher,” and the company’s invitation based Alpha phase testing will begin next week.

  2. Jolla Launcher Looking For Beta Testers Before Hitting Google Play Store
  3. Nexus 4 gets Saapunki update for its Jolla Sailfish OS port
  4. Jolla Delivers ‘Saapunki’ Update For Nexus 4; Bugs Included
  5. Android Apps Free Download: Try Out Jolla Launcher When It Gets Released In The Play Store Next Week
  6. Jolla Launcher for Android starts alpha tests next week
  7. Jolla Launcher alpha testing program launching, promises Sailfish OS experience on Android

06.04.14

Media Bias Against GNU/Linux, Android, and FOSS

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Google at 11:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Examples of dubious media coverage about GNU/Linux, Android, and FOSS matters

There is a disturbing new pattern in the corporate media other than Microsoft openwashing [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6] (Microsoft actively recruits and pays for this perceptions-distorting campaign), as we last covered yesterday with an example from CNET (its chief editor became some kind of Microsoft propaganda front). Well, compare to this mirror of a new article to the original from CNET and notice how the editor deleted mentions of Linux.

The article used to say “The $130 Linux-based Crock-Pot”, but it sure looks it the editor has quietly deleted Linux (unless the author rewrote the article hours later to that effect, which is unlikely). Something fishy is going on at CNET. The CBS-steered openwashing of Microsoft seems to be more than just an editorial preference and one has to pay careful attention to what editors do when accepting sponsors (e.g. advertisers). It’s hard doing version control (other than mental, i.e. observations-based) without access to the back end/CMS, seeing exactly how censorship (like watering down of text) really works. This time my wife caught it and showed it to me. I saw it from the inside as a writer for Datamation over half a decade ago. Writers are not allowed to criticise certain companies or use ‘strong’ opinions. In CNET, Linux may have become a forbidden word, apparently with the goal of appeasing the sponsors, if not because of some warped ideas in the editor’s mind (one deserves the blame here).

Speaking of openwashing, Black Duck, which has openwashed Microsoft for years (it is connected to and partly funded by Microsoft), rears its ugly head again with the whole compliance FUD. The opening seems promising: “Open source software has become ubiquitous, which means CXOs need to understand its benefits and its challenges, says Black Duck Software execs. Find out which open source trends to follow.” From there onwards it is subtle FUD and the FOSS-hostike site is happy to give it a platform.

A platform is given to Microsoft mouthpieces also at ECT, which helps the seeding of negative spin about Android, using an article that is quoting extensively FOSS-hostile and Microsoft-linked people or groups, notably Yankee Group and Rob Enderle. There is also a Russia angle. Why is Richard Adhikari choosing known Microsoft moles to be quoted as experts on Linux matters? Well, with Enderle it’s complicated because ECT gave him a platform for years (even as author) and Yankee people have been quoted on occasions also. Have they learned no lessons? They are seeding FUD and they hide the conflicts of interest.

There is generally much of the same rhetoric in some other sites, including from Microsoft boosters like Reisinger, who chose the headline “Samsung’s Tizen-Based Z Handset Poses Future Challenge to Android”. His colleague Michelle Maisto published a more balanced article.

All in all, let’s hope that journalists will choose to write more objective articles or speak to people who are objective, rather than those who are paid by Microsoft to smear Microsoft’s competition.

05.31.14

Manufacturing Propaganda in Microsoft-funded Circles to Belittle FOSS and Magnify Microsoft

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 3:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Some timely examples of facts being abandoned and an alternative reality being introduced by Microsoft-funded firms and lobbyists

FOR nearly 8 years we have focused on tackling FUD and showing where the FUD came from. Public perceptions and truths (objective facts) are an abyss apart when massive PR agencies do what they’re paid to do, which is to screw with public perceptions and drive the population further away from the truth (for a profit).

In Microsoft’s parallel universe, only the desktop counts and GNU/Linux is still somewhat of an underdog with 1% market share. Microsoft relies on corruptible voices to spread such myths and it is improperly counting share in other areas, not just on desktops/laptops.

Charlie Demerjian, whom Microsoft tried to corrupt with some freebies (he declined), has published this long article titled “Microsoft is now irrelevant to computing, and they want you to know it” (highly recommended read).

To quote one portion: “With two major cave-ins in the past few weeks, Microsoft is screaming at the top of its lungs about how irrelevant it is. If you didn’t understand the fall of Microsoft from powerful monopolist to computing afterthought, let SemiAccurate explain it to you.

“For the past few decades, Microsoft has been a monopoly with one game plan, leverage what they have to exclude competition. If someone had a good idea, Microsoft would come out with a barely functional copy, give it away, and shut out the income stream of the innovator. Novell, Netscape, Pen, and countless others were crushed by this one dirty trick, and the hardware world bowed to Redmond’s whims.”

Here is more: “Competition was likewise non-existent, anyone that tried was shut out of new PCs, shut out of interoperability, had revenues devastated by free offerings from Microsoft, and many other similar monopoly games. Microsoft was the proverbial fat and lazy behemoth that was quite content to count their money and turn screws on customers whenever they needed more. If you doubt the seriousness of this stagnation, ask yourself what the last innovation Microsoft came up with was, not evolution but true innovation. I can’t think of any either.”

Here is the part about GNU/Linux: “Similarly with Linux, Microsoft just made sure that no OEM could bundle it with PCs, any that tried paid a high price. It was shut out. On the datacenter side however, Microsoft couldn’t force bundle Windows Server, customers put their own software on. For some strange reason, most large datacenters balk at paying $2000+ per two sockets for something that is vastly inferior to manage, slower, more resource hungry, and completely insecure versus the free alternative.

“Microsoft’s server market share went from 66%+ of sockets to less than 30% in five years, mostly due to datacenters and consolidation. Please don’t look for this to be reflected in the numbers from the big consulting houses, they are too afraid of revenue loss to count sockets. Instead they use the metrics that their customers want them to use, and only count sales of servers from certain vendors and sold OSes, a small fraction of the market. Microsoft didn’t just lose the server market, they were blown out of the water and have no way to recover. Other than internal services, Microsoft is just not relevant in the cloud. If you doubt this, go price a server instance from Rackspace, keep hardware constant and only vary the OS. Game over.”

Demerjian is alluding right there at the start to Gartner and IDC, two firms that create an illusion that Microsoft is relevant on servers (in top Web servers Microsoft is at around 9% and in HPC Microsoft is hardly even at 1%).

Then come mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.) which basically count as computers quite comparable to laptops. Demerjian writes: “That said most people didn’t grasp how badly Microsoft had fallen, they were totally irrelevant and had no more monopoly to leverage. This played out with the Windows 8 launch, Microsoft was desperately trying to stay relevant in mobile by forcing the entire computing ecosystem to adopt their new mobile OS. In theory this would lead to software being leveraged across platforms, and between Office and Exchange, they could force people to use Microsoft mobile products.

“A funny thing happened though, an entire generation of users didn’t want to give up their beloved iPhones or Android devices for an inferior, slower, more expensive, app-free Microsoft device. Microsoft repeated their threat loudly, “Use our mobile OS or you won’t get Office or Exchange on your phone!” To their abject horror the response was almost universally, “OK, bye”.”

Microsoft is now attempting to fight Linux domination in mobile devices by taxing them. Mike Masnick becomes an accidental victim of spin and deception from Microsoft lobbyist Florian Müller, spreading another myth by naming only potential costs and making it look like patents add up to $120 on a phone. It’s a shame that Masnick fell for it. Everyone knows that many phones cost far less than $120 and the nature of this warped analysis seeks to ‘normalise’ patent extortion against the likes of Android/Linux. There is agenda there. Hopefully Masnick will recognise this error because other than that he has done great work exposing Microsoft trolls like Intellectual Ventures that still do evil every month (usually via proxies). Masnick has also covered the sham of a ‘reform’ against patent trolls, which did not happen because trolls like Intellectual Ventures lobbied Congress for years and are still doing everything to keep this broken system of endless scope in place.

In order to artificially make Android more expensive Microsoft has been passing patents to patent trolls such as MOSAID. This is how Microsoft ‘competes’. Microsoft wants taxes on phones to be seen as ‘normal’, or a status quo.

05.28.14

CAFC Historically a Facilitator of Software Patents and Other Abusive Means of Monopolisation

Posted in Courtroom, GNU/Linux, Google, Intellectual Monopoly at 10:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

CAFC

Summary: The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s judgments on software historically based on dogma and misunderstanding/misrepresentation/misinterpretation of facts, not adherence to rules, logic, or even public interest

NOW THAT Ballnux giant Samsung hoards more patents we should take a moment to remember that not all companies that are using GNU/Linux are actually friends. Even Microsoft claims to be embracing Linux in Android (through Nokia), but its intents are malicious, as we have explained numerous times before. Then there is Oracle, which joined Apple and Microsoft in hoarding Novell patents for malicious purposes. It also sued Google over Android and did some damage to Red Hat with Unbreakable, never mind all the damage Oracle did to Sun projects.

Deb Nicholson (FSF), writing for an established Web site, explained “How The Changing Legal Landscape Impacts Free And Open Source Software Development”. She correctly pointed out the following: “A patent is a limited monopoly granted for certain amount of time (20 years in many places) in exchange for full disclosure. Based on the description in the patent application, a person who is knowledgeable in that field should be able to recreate the invention. Patents used to be reserved for physical processes, new devices and sometimes a limited monopoly on a particular business opportunity. The scope of patentability has expanded in the last few decades and can now include software, as well as business methods and even certain medical procedures. The intent of patents is purportedly to encourage inventors to make investments and create new inventions that might have otherwise been too financially risky to complete. As soon as a patent expires the idea can be freely implemented by anyone.”

Patents, however, are no longer the only risk factor. Consider what the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) recently did. The FSF has just come out with this formal statement:

FSF statement on Court of Appeals ruling in Oracle v Google

[...]

The situation then is substantially similar to the situation today. The key difference is that some of Google’s affirmative defenses to claim non-infringement have been eliminated by this new ruling. The FSF now sincerely hopes for the next best thing to Alsup’s original ruling: that Google is successful in its fair use defense.

Notwithstanding our support of Google’s fair use defense, the FSF urges caution to all prospective Android users. Even though the core of the Android system is free, every Android device sold comes pre-loaded with a variety of proprietary applications and proprietary hardware drivers. The FSF encourages users to support the development of Replicant, a distribution of Android that is 100% free software. The FSF also encourages users of any Android-based system to install F-Droid, a free replacement for the Google Play app that allows users to browse, install, and receive updates from a repository of free software Android apps. Replicant uses F-Droid as its default repository.

Generally speaking, CAFC has been a sham for many years as it was also responsible for making software patents legitimate in the United States, before this trend/precedent spread to other countries. In 2012 it was points out that the court stood in the way of stopping software patents and a week or so ago TechDirt cited this article, accusing the person who did this in the court. As TechDirt put it: “Tim Lee recently got to talk to Michel following a talk he gave, and what becomes clear is that Michel is completely out of touch with how much of a problem patents are in the tech world today. Lee knows this subject better than probably anyone else, and when he tried to dig in on key points, it was obvious that Michel’s knowledge of what actually is happening in the industry is based on myths and imagination, rather than reality. For example, when Michel pointed out that he’s “a facts and figures guy” rather than one who focuses on “anecdotes and assumptions,” Lee quickly points to James Bessen and Michael Meurer’s comprehensive book on why patents hurt the tech industry.”

Lawyers defy logic.

Here is the latest relevant article about this, an article from TechDirt about CAFC:

For many years we’ve written about the serious problems with CAFC, the court of appeals for the federal circuit, which is better known as the appeals court where all patent cases go. CAFC was created in the early 1980s under the belief that a more “specialized” court could better handle the more complicated technical issues related to patents. But what really happened is that it basically built a club of patent-friendly judges, who spent nearly all of their time with patent lawyers, and thus took an increasingly patent-friendly view of the world. That one of the key original judges on CAFC was also a long-time well known patent lawyer who almost single-handedly wrote the 1952 Patent Act, seemed to set the tone that has remained throughout the court’s existence.

It is not unusual for this disgraceful court to do this type of thing. TechDirt also gave this other new example one week ago:

A few weeks ago, the Supreme Court smacked down the Federal Circuit (CAFC) for its made up rules that made it almost impossible to enable victims of patent trolls to get the courts to order the trolls to pay legal fees. As the Supreme Court noted, CAFC seemed to set up arbitrary rules for no reasons at all. And this is important, because courts almost never award legal fees, and with the untimely death of patent reform, hopefully this small change will at least help in the meantime.

Notice the tend. CAFC is a not a legitimate court, it has become a pack of software patents (and more broadly patents) boosters. Its latest judgment, as before, should be appealed and brought to SCOTUS, but this is expensive and can take years.

05.22.14

Apple is Abandoning Steve Jobs’ Thermonuclear War on Linux/Android

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Patents, Samsung at 10:28 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Apple is reportedly folding and moving away from the counterproductive war that Steve Jobs started before his death

There are indications in the media (both large and small outlets) that after vicious attacks against HTC Apple may end litigation against Samsung, quite similarly. As one person put it: “The long and drawn out battle between Samsung Electronics and Apple over the ownership of various intellectual properties may be coming to a close.”

Samsung and Apple have been in the courts for years (only lawyers won). Apple started it all because Apple is silly and it was headed by an arrogant man at the time. To quote HBR:

Look out across today’s ultra-competitive smartphone market and you’ll see something resembling the religious wars of the Middle Ages. This is no quaint summer-weekend reenactment. The weapons being brandished are devilishly constructed patents; the rules of engagement the arcane procedures of federal courts. And the havoc being wreaked — in higher prices, banned devices, and stifled innovation — is laying waste to the industry landscape.

The central battle pits Apple against everyone and everything involved with Android, Google’s open source operating system.

Android’s release, for Apple’s late founder and CEO Steve Jobs, was the ultimate heresy. “I will spend my last dying breath if I need to,” Jobs is quoted as saying in a series of jeremiads, “and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40bn in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”

And so Apple has. Between 2006 and 2012, the company was involved, sometimes as plaintiff and sometimes as defendant, in nearly 150 patent lawsuits around the world over various features of its iPhone — including hardware, software, and product design.

Like the religious wars of old, a complex web of alliances, side agreements, and mutual defense pacts have conspired to draw the entire industry into open warfare. Sony is suing LG. Nokia is suing HTC. Motorola (owned by Google since 2011) is suing and being sued by everyone.

Based on this other new report, Apple is close to giving up, having failed to tax Android in any significant way. Reuters says the following:

Apple Inc and Google Inc’s Motorola Mobility unit have agreed to settle all patent litigation between them over smartphone technology, ending one of the highest profile lawsuits in technology.

In a joint statement on Friday, the companies said the settlement does not include a cross license to their respective patents.

“Apple and Google have also agreed to work together in some areas of patent reform,” the statement said.

Apple and companies that make phones using Google’s Android software have filed dozens of such lawsuits against each other around the world to protect their technology. Apple argued that Android phones that use Google software copy its iPhones.

It is starting to look like Apple is admitting defeat and abandoning Jobs’ aggressive legacy. It is worth noting that Apple has launched no new major cases since Jobs died. It is a good sign because it may mean that Apple as an aggressor in the courtroom might be a dead legacy.

05.11.14

Analysis of Text From the CAFC Reveals Lack of Technical Comprehension

Posted in Courtroom, Google, Intellectual Monopoly, Oracle at 3:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Lawyers deciding on technical issues

CAFC

Summary: The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) shows us yet again that it does not understand technology and its latest ruling is harmful to the technical community

YESTERDAY we wrote about the menacing CAFC ruling, which basically throws a lot of FOSS under the rug (by extension) for it alleges that APIs are copyrightable and that their reuse does not qualify as fair use. We have already criticised CAFC for being very pro-software patents and for being utterly clueless on technical matters on numerous occasions, so the latest decision from it oughtn’t be so shocking. As Ars Technica put it, “Google, which said it was exploring its legal options, decried Friday’s ruling. The Mountain View, CA-based media giant said the decision “sets a damaging precedent for computer science and software development.””

Google is correct and it will hopefully appeal this decision. What we have here is misuse of copyrights, SCO style, by Oracle.

TechDirt posted the best rebuttal to this decision, attracting hundreds of comments and revealing a lot of holes and mistakes in CAFC’s ruling (the text). Here’s a sample:

Appeals Court Doesn’t Understand The Difference Between Software And An API; Declares APIs Copyrightable

[...]

We sort of expected this to happen after the appeals court for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) held its oral arguments back in December, but CAFC has now spit at basic common sense and has declared that you can copyright an API. As we noted, back when Judge William Alsup (who learned to code Java to better understand the issues in the case) ruled that APIs were not subject to copyright protection, his ruling was somewhat unique in that it was clearly directed as much at an appeals court panel who would be hearing the appeal as it was at the parties. Alsup rightly suspected that the judges on the appeal wouldn’t actually understand the issues as well as he did, and tried to break it down clearly for them. Unfortunately, the three judge CAFC panel did not pay attention. The ruling is so bad that legal scholars are suggesting that it may be as bad as the horrific ruling in the Garcia case.

[...]

As for the ruling itself… well… it’s bad. The court seems to not understand what an API is, confusing it with software functionality. It also appears to misread Judge Alsup’s ruling, thinking that he’s mistakenly using a fair use analysis to determine whether or not something is copyrightable. But that was not the basis of Judge Alsup’s ruling. He very specifically noted that the “command structure is a system or method of operation under Section 102(b) of the Copyright Act and, therefore, cannot be copyrighted.” The CAFC panel doesn’t seem to understand this at all.

[...]

It seems fairly clear that the CAFC judges don’t understand the difference between an API and software. And thus they make a decision that makes no sense. There is no distinction recognized when it comes to the functionality of an API and how it’s entirely different than the purpose of the software itself. This is especially clear towards the end, in which the CAFC ruling misrepresents some discussions on whether certain functionality is best protected by patents or copyright. But the problem is that they misinterpret statements people are making about APIs, thinking that those statements were made about software as a whole. This is just a flat-out fundamental misunderstanding of what an API is, assuming that it’s just software.

[...]

Note that “[software]” thrown in before interfaces? Google is talking about whether APIs — “application programming interfaces” — are copyrightable. Not whether or not software is copyrightable. And yet the CAFC doesn’t even seem to realize this. Ridiculously, CAFC then uses its own misunderstanding and misquote, and points to some of the (many) arguments where people argue that patents are inappropriate for software to dismiss Google’s argument about APIs. It honestly doesn’t realize that it’s comparing two totally different things. What lots of people agree on: software shouldn’t be patentable and APIs shouldn’t be copyrightable, but software can be copyrightable and API functionality may be patentable. But by confusing APIs and software, CAFC totally misreads both arguments.

This will probably go to SCOTUS next (unless they decline to weigh in), but in the mean time it spreads uncertainty and doubt, harming not only Free software developers but developers in general. As TechDirt put it, “CAFC has mucked up another form of intellectual property law through a basic (and near total) misunderstanding of technology.”

05.04.14

Antitrust Class Action Lawsuit Against Android/Linux Comes From ‘Former’ Lead Counsel for Microsoft (Hiding Behind Proxy)

Posted in Antitrust, Google, Microsoft at 5:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: A lot of sites portray Android/Google as anti-competitive, but none seems to notice where this hypocritical accusation originally came from

A LOT OF disappointing ‘news’ coverage (gossip) promotes the notion that Google’s business, and Android in particular, is some kind of illegal activity. It is the tiresome old strategy of casting “free” (even when it means freedom-respecting) as anti-competitive. That’s the very opposite of what should be considered “true”.

A lot of the so-called ‘news’ (not really news) omits important details, just as the media did when it came to an OpenSSL bug, dubbed “Heartbleed” by the firm of a ‘former’ Microsoft chief for increased fear (we covered this before and there is this new response from the OSI’s President).

So let’s start with the alleged ‘news’. Who’s behind it? The man who “was lead counsel for Microsoft during part of its defense against antitrust claims,” based on Wikipedia. It’s an opportunist and an antitrust actions maximalist.

It wasn’t long ago that we saw other antitrust motions against Android and they have been always tied to Microsoft or Microsoft proxies such as Nokia (there is a collusion there).

Sadly, every journalist whom we have seen covering the “antitrust trolling” missed this important connection between Microsoft and Berman. One example from the British press said: “Google is facing a new antitrust class action lawsuit in the US over its “illegal monopoly” on internet and mobile search.”

It also said: “These deals are hampering the market and keeping the price of devices from manufacturers like Samsung and HTC artificially high, the firm said.”

This is nonsense. It doesn’t even pass the “bullshit test” because the very opposite is true. A high price, if ever, is caused by patents, which are not in Google’s interest. Price is not the issue with Google, so the allegations are bogus. Privacy would be a more legitimite concern, but given how Nokia is trying to shove Microsoft spyware into the OS, there’s room for hypocrisy. Consider this new analysis:

When Nokia delivered its Android-based phones at Mobile World Congress, the big news was that with Microsoft acquiring the company, Microsoft would suddenly be in the Android business. But there was another storyline that accompanied the delivery of the Nokia Android phones, which was that they are based on a forked version of Android. Among other issues that creates, the phones don’t support the Google Play app store and the apps there, all of which ring the cash register for Google.

What we may be dealing with here is more of the "Scroogled" attack ads, this time in litigious form. We have already exposed and chastised other anti-Google lawyers who had shrewdly hidden their Microsoft payments by editing their CV prior to their assaults on Android, which basically used all sorts of distortion and libel.

Looking back at the responses to the article in the British press, there are many good comments, preceded by this: “Instead of having me read through all the stupid why not say “greedy lawyers with no grasp over what they are talking about drool over the potential payments from Google but most likely from people that will pay to be represented in the trial””

Another commenter responds: “Hopefully the courts will see through this ruse and slap down these lawyers. Their only purpose is to collect $Millions at the expense of Google and the people they claim to represent.”

Well, the author, Brid-Aine Parnell, gave coverage to this non-news, using the editor’s trollish headline and the following attempt at balance: “A Google spokesperson told The Reg in an emailed statement that Android had brought more competition into the market.”

Well, unlike Apple. So what’s the basis for singling out Google? It’s nonsense. No matter how the case ends up, it make Google look bad and this was probably the intention of this whole PR blitz.

It’s not just this one angle that seems to be pointing a gun at Google. Watch the latest relentless attacks from the Murdoch press against net neutrality and against Google (there is always anti-Google bias in there and more recently a lot of net neutrality disinformation).

Over at IDG, Jim Lynch responds to this original IDG report that almost everyone is citing. The Microsoft connection not even named, so no wonder nobody mentions where a lot of it may be coming from. IDG should be shamed of itself for publishing many lobbying/PR paragraphs without mentioning even once the Microsoft ties. It’s not responsible journalism, as it distorts by omission.

Microsoft says “don’t be Scroogled.” We say, don’t be bamboozled by “Scroogled”; it’s a nasty PR campaign (attacks ads) and the people behind it recently got promoted,

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