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07.17.19

Red Hat’s Freedom Reduced to Just Online Partner Enablement Network (OPEN) and Microsoft as a Close Partner; Canonical’s Ubuntu Just an ‘App’ for Windows?

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Patents, Red Hat, Ubuntu at 3:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNU boiling

Summary: Free software is being snapped up by proprietary software giants and patent bullies that treat it as little more than an ‘add-on’ for their proprietary offerings

WE HAVE long been sceptical and apprehensive about IBM, not only because it lobbies for software patents at the EPO and USPTO (IBM spearheads a lobbying campaign against 35 U.S.C. § 101). IBM still did it — quite a lot in fact — since announcing its plans for Red Hat. IBM that we remember from one or more decades ago is very different from today’s IBM; the management too isn’t the same. For example, 2 decades ago IBM aggressively pushed (GNU) “Linux”, but in recent years it was mostly in bed with Apple. A decade ago IBM promoted OpenDocument Format (ODF), but IBM has since then more or less abandoned office suite-type endeavours (sold outwards, just like the ThinkPad business which had become famous for Linux friendliness).

“No connection whatsoever to Free software; also remember that the word “community” means nothing to IBM.”When I first heard about Red Hat getting bought by IBM I found solace in nothing but the fact that Red Hat did not sell to Microsoft or to Oracle. As it turned out days later, Red Hat had actually entertained a Microsoft takeover. What a betrayal that would have been (had that happened).

Last night (or around the afternoon/evening) Red Hat published this worrisome new page entitled “Microsoft and Red Hat, inspired,” which said “we’re pleased to be recognized as the 2019 Microsoft US Partner Award winner for ISV Azure Accelerator.”

Here we go again with the Azure agenda, which is all about Microsoft controlling GNU/Linux. Then came another new Red Hat page, this one entitled “Red Hat Global Services + IBM” and to quote: “Last week, we announced the IBM acquisition of Red Hat. It is a monumental deal, one that will enable us to work together to help customers deliver any app, anywhere, to realize the true value of the hybrid cloud.”

Here they go again with “cloud” (meaningless nonsense, pure marketing), but scroll down and find that under IBM “open” at Red Hat is reduced to just an acronym: “Online Partner Enablement Network (OPEN).”

No connection whatsoever to Free software; also remember that the word “community” means nothing to IBM. Nothing.

“They are promoting Microsoft Windows (Vista 10) using the “Linux” brand. “We are getting somewhat worried here. Ubuntu fans will be very pissed off if or when Microsoft decides to buy Ubuntu via Canonical (it’s now possible as it changed the way it’s registered). Canonical still refuses to delete GitHub (even after an embarrassing security incident). Microsoft is already 'eating' desktop GNU/Linux with WSL and Michael Larabel has just highlighted this post we cited a day ago. Hosted on GitHub, i.e. Microsoft, what we have is the next phase of EEE: “Ubuntu-WSL Package Offers Better Ubuntu Integration On Windows Subsystem For Linux” (to quote the headline)

Here’s another one: “Want Better Integration with Ubuntu on Windows Subsystem for Linux? Try This New Metapackage”

So this is where the efforts go?

“In related reading,” Larabel said, “Microsoft’s Tara Raj wrote a Medium post yesterday on more background information on Linux/WSL for Windows.”

They are promoting Microsoft Windows (Vista 10) using the “Linux” brand.

“WSL is about ensuring people never leave Windows; Microsoft already works to make it a lot harder to install GNU/Linux as a standalone/dual OS…”See the Phoronix comments. One person said: “MS has realized that Linux is superior for development, and developers are moving to Linux. However, why would anybody compromise security by using Windows and WSL instead of Linux? Also, I’m considering to run Qubes OS to strengthen security, not other way around,… Lowering security by moving to windows.”
​​​​​​
A further comment says: “MS has realized that Linux is superior for development, and developers are moving to Linux. However, why would anybody compromise security by using Windows and WSL instead of Linux? Also, I’m considering to run Qubes OS to strengthen security, not other way around,… Lowering security by moving to windows.
​​
“No, Microsoft isn’t acknowledging any such thing, and there’s a great many Windows developers that would disagree with you. What you’re seeing is Microsoft acknowledging it’s basically lost the server closet and data center wars. So to stop hemorrhaging server platform and administrators to MacOS and Linux who require a decent compatible terminal to do their job – much like the graybeards used to need for IBM mainframes (3270 compatible terminal software) – they are adding Linux compatible terminal software in Windows along with the ability to prototype Linux server software in Windows.

“Will it work? Probably. Most people still need Windows to do the rest of their job and WSJ is more convenient than VirtualBox et al.

“But if you think business client development and the multi billion dollar gaming industry are starting to or going to switch en mass to Linux you are sadly mistaken.”

WSL is about ensuring people never leave Windows; Microsoft already works to make it a lot harder to install GNU/Linux as a standalone/dual OS, e.g. using UEFI ‘secure boot’ restrictions — an agenda incidentally shared by IBM.

07.16.19

IBM is a Threat to the Internet, Not Just to Software Development (Due to Software Patents Aggression)

Posted in IBM, Microsoft, Patents, Red Hat at 3:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Backed by exhaustive research, Black’s case is simple and stunning: that IBM facilitated the identification and roundup of millions of Jews during the 12 years of the Third Reich … Black’s evidence may be the most damning to appear yet against a purported corporate accomplice.”

Michael Hirsh, Newsweek

IBM recently published a dataset for facial recognition AI made up of images...

Summary: IBM continues its aggression against technology — a fact that’s even more distressing now that IBM calls the shots at Red Hat

Because of Red Hat we are going to at least try to like IBM (it was a much more benign and FOSS-friendly company a decade ago! Its ODF work is one example among many), but each time IBM advocates and lobbies for software patents at the European Patent Office (EPO) and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) we’ll call IBM out on it. So should Red Hat’s people, whose walkout can potentially sway policy a bit. IBM not only fires people (or sends their jobs to India) but it also lobbies for software patents in India. We wrote many articles about it over the past half decade. India has the most to lose because software is the gem of its economy.

Yesterday Mike Masnick wrote about IBM, opening with the following paragraph: “This perhaps isn’t a huge surprise, but IBM is being disdainful of the wider tech ecosystem, yet again. It has an incredibly long history of this kind of activity — mostly in the patent space, where it is the world’s foremost patent bully. The company gleefully announces each and every year that it gets the most patents of any company in the US. It has done this (no joke) for 26 straight years. Of course, given how many patents it gets, if patents actually were a marker for innovation, you’d think that IBM would still be putting out all sorts of innovative new products all the time. Right? Except, of course, it is not. Instead, it uses the patents to shake down companies who actually do innovate. The most famous of these stories is the one about IBM and Sun in its early days, in which IBM showed up at Sun’s offices with threats of patent infringement…”

“IBM not only fires people (or sends their jobs to India) but it also lobbies for software patents in India.”Masnick then cited a famous old article. This is the new boss of Red Hat, mind you, and what a malicious company it has become in recent years. Again, we must stress, it wasn’t like this a decade ago. The current CEO of IBM is a disaster. Masnick recalled that “[b]ack in 2013, when IBM first went after Twitter, I highlighted how it was an example of how older tech companies focus on litigation when they have no innovation left. In the comments, a few people challenged that claim, saying that IBM was innovative. “Just look at Watson,” the company’s big AI project, they all said.”

It’s disgusting marketing. IBM did more such marketing to hide reports about it racially profiling people for NYPD. IBM is still a highly problematic company and that hasn’t changed since the buyout of Red Hat was first announced. They simply refuse to change. They still push for software patents. They not only apply for these but also lobby/bully/bribe politicians to welcome such patents (in defiance of 35 U.S.C. § 101).

“IBM is still a highly problematic company and that hasn’t changed since the buyout of Red Hat was first announced. They simply refuse to change.”Masnick’s new article (less than a day old) is mostly a rant about IBM’s latest attack on the Net. “Of course,” he wrote, “IBM doesn’t give a shit about the open internet. To them, killing Section 230 opens up all sorts of neat possibilities. First off, IBM doesn’t host any significant online services that rely on Section 230 protections, so it doesn’t increase its own liability. Second, it handicaps the companies who actually have been innovating in AI technology, like Google and Microsoft. Third — and this is the key — you can bet that one way that many companies will try to prove “reasonable care” would be to purchase an expensive filtering technology. Perhaps one based on… Watson? IBM gets to salvage its junk technology and have the government create a market for it. Bonus. [...] IBM has long been a black hole for actual innovation. Now it wants to suck down the open internet with it. Don’t let it.”

We’re trying to be optimistic about Red Hat, but we aren’t able to see IBM changing, certainly not for the better. Over the past week we saw several reports about Fedora that made it seem like IBM already gave up on GNU/Linux (as a laptop/desktop platform). Then there’s the question of public advocacy; the bigger problem for opensource.com (a Red Hat site) is that IBM might not spare it (layoffs) because many positions expressed there, e.g. on software patents and on patents in general, are not compatible with IBM’s patent blackmail agenda. IBM has been preparing some very big “parcels” of patents on blockchain while Zemlin’s PAC (the Linux Foundation) let IBM lead the HyperLedger push. Will IBM leverage that too as a patent trap? Time will tell, but let’s hope not…

Remember that Linux Foundation staff such as Zemlin does not oppose software patents. It has not even brought up this subject in nearly a decade! The same is true for OIN, but we’ll say more about that in our next post, which concerns the Zemlin-led group.

“We’ve long said that when it comes to software patents IBM is hardly more benign than Microsoft.”Yesterday the FFII’s President highlighted this new tweet that said: “In just 1 year the number of IBM blockchain patents has grown by 300%. When one of the largest companies in the world (366,000 employees) spends so much of their resources on developing a blockchain department, this tells a lot about the market potential…”

As we explained last week, we expect IBM to pressure Red Hat staff to apply for software patents; one worker who refused to do so at Red Hat (Oliva) quit his job about a month ago. What we have above isn’t innovation; it’s software with a database somewhere disguised as “AI” and “blockchain” (for lazy USPTO examiners to grant fake patents — patents which IBM then uses in bulk for blackmail). IBM is a real pest or parasite when it comes to patents. IBM makes billions of dollars per year this way. We’ve long said that when it comes to software patents IBM is hardly more benign than Microsoft.

07.14.19

Microsoft’s WSL is Designed to Weaken GNU/Linux (on the Desktop/Laptop) and Strengthen Vista 10

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, Java, Microsoft, Red Hat at 12:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Don’t encourage new, cross-platform Java classes, especially don’t help get great Win 32 implementations written/deployed. [...] Do encourage fragmentation of the Java classlib space.”

Ben Slivka, Microsoft

Summary: What Microsoft does to GNU/Linux on the desktop (and/or laptop) bears much resemblance to what Microsoft did to Java a couple of decades ago

Windows Vista 10 is a terrible operating system, both technically and commercially. Its track record in the market has been appalling and not even sick deviants like Microsoft Peter could spin that (they tried a lot, every day/week). Microsoft, fearing a growing adoption of Chromebooks and various forms of more Freedom-respecting distros (than Chrome OS), is trying to chew the competition and hijack the brand, then distort it. It’s an old strategy, so many analogies exist.

“The person in charge of GitHub (Microsoft put him in charge!) has a history of attacks on Java.”Java is a powerful toolset and language (it became a lot more than just syntax). It’s still very widely used, though not everyone is a fan. “If Java had true garbage collection,” ‬Robert Sewell jokingly said,‭” ‬most programs would delete themselves upon execution.‭” Some would say similar things about Python and other high-level languages. Similarly, many people mock low-level languages because they involve more complicated things such as pointers and may be prone to buffer overflows, especially when used by inexperienced programmers with little or no testing. I haven’t touched Java in years, but many moons ago I used it for its cross-platform nature. That’s one of its major selling points; not many frameworks are as portable and cross-platform, so it’s hardly surprising Google adopted the APIs.

“With Java, Microsoft gave out a broken, non-standard, Windows-only variant in violation of their contract with Sun AND nonetheless persisted in trying to call it Java. I see that as what Microsoft is doing to GNU/Linux via WSL,” one reader told us this afternoon.

“They attempted, relentlessly, to infect GNU/Linux with this patent trap; thankfully they failed. People pushed back.”The person in charge of GitHub (Microsoft put him in charge!) has a history of attacks on Java [1, 2]. It’s hardly surprising that his Xamarin sidekick Miguel de Icaza has a history of FUD and bashing of Java, e.g. after the Oracle lawsuit against Google/Android. They have been pushing .NET for ages, in the form of Mono. They attempted, relentlessly, to infect GNU/Linux with this patent trap; thankfully they failed. People pushed back. We won one battle, but not yet the war. Microsoft keeps fighting Bill Gates' "Jihad".

Our reader believes that what Microsoft plans to do with WSL is somewhat similar to what it did to Java, not just to Netscape. “It is unlikely that Microsoft is in violation of the GPL in this specific case,” he added. “However, it is certain that what we see is a port to Windows and probably increasingly incompatible over time.”

“Our reader believes that what Microsoft plans to do with WSL is somewhat similar to what it did to Java, not just to Netscape.”They already did this numerous times before, e.g. with curl (there was a controversy a couple of years back). By deviating from known and accepted standards they can make stuff constructed or coded on Windows incapable of running in its original, native environment. “Some research again on Java can help come up with similarly alarming analogies,” I replied, knowing some of the things that Microsoft said internally while sabotaging Java. We have quite a repository of old articles on this topic, including antitrust material.

The fact that Linux Foundation staff keeps celebrating WSL and even the takeover of GitHub serves to show whose side the Foundation is on. Let that sink in for a while…

Christine Hall from the OSI’s Board told me a few days ago that “considering the name, the Linux Foundation is no friend to Linux or the spirit behind open source.”

“Many of us (GNU/Linux users) feel so technically-orphaned or homeless when it comes to representation of GNU/Linux, especially on the desktop.”“Jim Zemlin never met a dollar he didn’t like,” she told me separately (and publicly) about Jim Zemlin. “He has nothing but disdain for desktop Linux,” she continued. “He wishes we would just go away.”

Many of us (GNU/Linux users) feel so technically-orphaned or homeless when it comes to representation of GNU/Linux, especially on the desktop. We don’t suppose IBM will take leadership; earlier today Phoronix reported that platform support is being narrowed in Fedora (less than a week after the IBM deal was closed!). Fedora/Red Hat/IBM staff is meanwhile starting unnecessary disputes with Canonical/Ubuntu over Snaps in GNOME.

07.13.19

Linux is Doing ‘Well’ Only for Those Who Dislike Software Freedom and Love Control Over Users

Posted in Deception, DRM, GNU/Linux, IBM, Kernel, Microsoft, Red Hat at 9:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Recent: Azure Running GNU/Linux Isn’t About ‘Love’ But About Control

Microsoft loves control

Summary: Linux, the kernel, has become a corporate playground or a sandbox that’s used to upsell proprietary software, including surveillance; freedom in Linux is gradually being diminished if not completely obliterated and it does not worry the foundations entrusted to guard against it

THE urgent need to return to old topics (hence this reader consultation) was realised some time last year, especially after we had seen various groups — OIN included — becoming mouthpieces of Microsoft and its PR/reputation laundering campaigns (e.g. "Microsoft loves Linux" at OIN). Months ago we also saw Microsoft staff (on Microsoft’s payroll) entering the Board of OSI, then speaking for the OSI in the OSI’s official blog. We responded similarly to the Microsoft/Novell deal, which yielded various other lies. Now there’s the IBM/Red Hat problem. As we noted last night, Alexandre Oliva, who refused to pursue (software) patents at Red Hat, very recently left the company. It’s pretty significant because he was one of the few in that company who truly valued Software Freedom (as in Free/libre software in its purest form). He told me he had declined this push for patents and days ago he told me that he no longer works for Red Hat. These companies no longer attract these high-calibre developers. These companies become incompatible with them. It’s not the developers who change; it’s those companies that change (Oliva cited problems associated with the company’s move to “the cloud” and some likely proprietary, privacy-hostile tools).

All of these things very much matter to Software Freedom (perhaps we should start capitalising that). “It is relevant to the OSI because the LF [Linux Foundation] is using its position to weaken and undermine the GPL rather than advance its for its advantages,” one reader told us. “However … As mentioned, I think the fundamental premise of the LF is wrong: it’s currently about representing the members’ interests inside Linux rather than advancing Linux itself and representing it to the world. That would be a very hard situation to turn around now that it has been allowed to develop for so long.”

We often feel guilty for, having covered European matters so closely for a number of years, dropping the ball on the LF situation. We barely wrote about it until earlier this year, whereupon sources came forth and gave us a lot of additional, invaluable information. Days ago Benjamin Henrion quoted his deceased friend, who suggested starting new initiatives rather than trying to repair broken ones. “I was thinking of that as an option as one way of ‘turning around’ the situation,” one reader then told us, urging us to cover these things at Techrights rather than pressuring the likes of OSI or LF to do the same. “For a new [Linux] foundation to have any relevance,” he added, “it falls nearly 100% on Linus being willing to pull up stakes and move to it. He still owns the trademark but is probably still uninterested in the bureaucracy. And all of that will involve a lot of money. I presume the current group has him tightly by the mortgage and college bills.”

Speaking personally, I’ve become more sympathetic towards Torvalds after what they did to him last year, indirectly removing (or shaming) him from his own project, even if just temporarily. It reminded me of what happened in Docker after Microsoft had gotten involved (Docker is nowadays in Microsoft’s pockets and the founder, who originally came from Red Hat, was pretty much ousted).

Looking at the latest from the Linux Foundation and Linux.com, I am rather frustrated. It has a very long history (OSDN, OSTG, then the golden days with Tina Gasperson and others under SourceForge). Over the past few days I kept asking my wife whether to cover this or how to even approach the issue without offending anyone*. It seems as though some generally good people have been ‘co-opted’ by the Foundation (and its corporate overlords), so I don’t think they deserve blasting, let alone naming. Attached to the pockets of millionaires like Jim Zemlin, these people are just desperate for a job or a gig (they’re vulnerable, poorly-paid writers swimming around ‘big sharks’ like Zemlin, funded by proprietary giants). Linux.com essentially shut down back in April, leaving some people unemployed or partly employed. Days ago we noticed that Linux.com sort of came back to life at a very limited capacity of just a couple of paragraphs a day, authored by “swapnilbhartiya” (the RSS feeds give that identity away; he’s sometimes linking to his own blog, where Foundation puff pieces get posted).

“Looking at the latest from the Linux Foundation and Linux.com, I am rather frustrated.”Well, if the Foundation is trying to revive Linux.com with just one writer doing about 2 paragraphs a day, including Microsoft promotion, then it’s using a site called “LINUX” (.com) to promote “Microsoft” and other Linux-hostile interests. Just before the weekend they advertised Microsoft, rendering it not too hard to see what these sellouts really are…

Some time on Friday they published: “Get a digest of original Linux and open source news and tutorials from Linux.com delivered to your inbox weekly.”

So there is at least some intent or a plan to make something of the site. On Friday morning Google News search results for “Linux” included several items from Linux.com, but 50% of the results were actually about Microsoft (promotion of Microsoft and Azure) and a quarter came from the Linux Foundation, so who’s this good for? You search for Linux, you get Microsoft (articles like this one or this one.) This is what Microsoft wants us to see in search results for “Linux”: Azure, WSL and so on.

“Linux.com essentially shut down back in April, leaving some people unemployed or partly employed.”Eric Brown, who used to write for Linux.com, has just done this Azure piece; there are also AWS pieces in similar sites about devices. What we see here has been brewing for a while and it’s getting worse all the time. My wife too complains about it. She wants to post news stories about Linux in Tux Machines, but RSS feeds are stuffed with Microsoft instead. Whose kernel is it now? IBM’s? Microsoft’s? Intel’s? Can we support Linux if it’s led and controlled by companies that use it to spread DRM? And Microsoft patent traps? Remember that Microsoft is still suing over it.

“Can we support Linux if it’s led and controlled by companies that use it to spread DRM?”We recently began wondering if Linux still holds the same promises of freedom the GNU project initially put forth. “I’d say yes for now,” one reader argued. “And especially support Linus himself. If he moves, follow.”

And when asked “what about other OSes?” (as in supporting Hurd, Guix etc.) this reader said: “Yes, though with caution. The FreeBSD Foundation has a very different structure and goal than the LF but is no less out of the sights of Microsoft. OpenBSD is quite insular but maybe a higher priority for Microsoft to crush. There are also trivial side projects like Haiku OS and ReactOS. I’m not in favor of the latter though it still deserves some respect as an Open Source project. There are also major disruptors flying for now under the radar. Fuchsia is the main one there and it carries a lot of danger along with its positive potential.”

This reader went on to expressing his concerns about IBM. “I really don’t know what to do about the IBM/RHT thing,” I confessed. “Or rather, not sure… that too needs to be clearly defined and time will tell (depending on what IBM does)…”

“Proprietary stuff gets built around “Linux” and then sold/rented. That’s not freedom; that’s arguably a ‘lesser’ form of digital slavery.”“I’m neutral on that,” the reader replied. “Close to 20 years ago, IBM invested $1 billion in the kernel and got that money back with profit within the year. So this purchase might turn out to be quite beneficial for RH. However, there is also a different generation involved at IBM now. Some of these have grown up on anti-GPL rhetoric and some have intentionally funded Poettering to name one of their money attacks. The risk I see from IBM is that they might be following the decommoditization strategy outlined in The Halloween Documents. They are in a position to do so, far more than Microsoft is. However, Microsoft is really trying that with Azure and, I suspect, moving more and more departments’ budgets under Azure to give the illusion of growth. Fake-it-till-you-make-it is admired in the business community and those chumps are Microsoft target still.”

IBM won’t profit from “Linux”; it will profit from stuff like RHEL subscription (supporting systemd and Wayland or other Red Hat-centric things when they break); Microsoft profits from Azure and WSL helps Microsoft push Vista 10 at the expense of GNU/Linux. Surely the likes of Torvalds understand that. How they feel about it and what they do (if anything) about it is another question altogether. Proprietary stuff gets built around “Linux” and then sold/rented. That’s not freedom; that’s arguably a ‘lesser’ form of digital slavery.

“Torvalds is wealthy enough to run the kernel on his own, even without a salary.”The Linux Foundation was supposed to prevent one single company from controlling Torvalds (and by extension the kernel) through salaries; at the end, however, it controls him collectively on behalf of companies that are largely hostile towards freedom. So what is really achieved by that? Torvalds is wealthy enough to run the kernel on his own, even without a salary.
_____
* I’ve said dozens more things in microblogs over the past week or two, but they were not too significant and might cause offense (although likely to those who deserve it… for helping foes of Linux).

07.11.19

The EFF Responds to IBM’s Liars and Lobbyists for Software Patents Just a Day After Red Hat is Officially Absorbed

Posted in EFF, Europe, IBM, Patents, Red Hat at 9:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

David Kappos
Source: David Kappos 2013 interview

Kappos PAI

Summary: IBM’s unacceptable stance and abominable actions on the patent front continue to haunt it; IBM must quickly dissociate and reconsider its patent strategy so as to not alienate thousands of workers (the real asset of Red Hat) it has just spent a fortune on

IT hadn’t even been more than a day since IBM took over Red Hat, rendering its patent policy all moot. Already, as of last night, the EFF’s Alex Moss and Joe Mullin responded to lobbyist David Kappos using the European system as a talking point (EPO grants software patents in Europe). Remember that IBM is lobbying for software patents everywhere, even in India and Europe. We wrote about a dozen articles about this behaviour of IBM. It’s probably even worse than Microsoft in that regard.

“If IBM doesn’t get its patent extortion tendencies under control (and its lies for software patents don’t reach an end, i.e. both actions and words), maybe it’s time for a mass Red Hat walkout/resignation.”Kappos was there at the stacked 'debate' about 35 U.S.C. § 101; Kappos is a deplorable lobbyist for patent trolls and patent bullies. He profits from his connections. IBM is still paying him to lobby for software patents (he came from IBM). The new owner of Red Hat is in that regard highly incompatible with Red Hat, as we’ve been arguing for months. If IBM doesn’t get its patent extortion tendencies under control (and its lies for software patents reach an end, i.e. both actions and words), maybe it’s time for a mass Red Hat walkout/resignation. IBM continues to fund a malicious, FOSS-hostile lobby.

From the EFF’s blog post, which names software patents in the headline (in relation to Europe and China, but it’s all connected across IP5):

A Senate subcommittee recently concluded three days of testimony about a proposed patent bill that, we have explained, would be a terrible idea. Proponents of the bill keep saying that Section 101 of U.S. patent law, which bars patents on things like abstract ideas and laws of nature, needs to be changed. One recurring argument is that Section 101 is killing patents that are being granted in Europe and China and that somehow this hurts innovation in the U.S.

The argument is flawed for many reasons. Proponents of this bill have vastly overstated the number of Section 101 rejections. Patent applications are rejected for many different reasons. For instance, an examiner could find that an invention would have been obvious—that might lead to a Section 103 rejection. Or an examiner could find that the application simply isn’t clear at all, leading to a Section 112 rejection.

But proponents of the bill, such as former US Patent Office Director David Kappos, simply claim there’s an epidemic of Section 101 rejections by lumping all these different types of rejections together. When Joshua Landau, a patent attorney who works for a computer industry group, examined a selection of the data set that Kappos was using, he found that only 13 percent of the applications in the group were clearly Section 101 rejections.

[...]

In Europe, there is an explicit rule against patenting “mathematical methods” and “programs for computers.” That prohibition isn’t as broad as it sounds—it’s limited by guidelines allowing patents on computer programs that have a “technical character” and on artificial intelligence software that has a “technical purpose.” As a result, Europe has similar rules around patenting software—for better and for worse. The point here is, proponents are wrong that Europe grants lots of software patents that the U.S. rejects.

Second, bill proponents have said that China is granting lots of patents. That is true, but the vast majority of them are extremely low-value. Recent news reports suggest that only 23 percent of Chinese patents even cover “inventions”—the majority are for “utility models” which are often allowed to lapse after a few years. And virtually none of the applications originating in China are “triadic patents” (patents filed jointly in the patent offices of Japan, the United States, and European Union), which are widely considered “the gold standard” for patent protection.

We’ll deal with the EPO in our next post, but the above lies and distortions from Kappos are particularly noteworthy. He and IBM’s patent chief habitually write pieces for Watchtroll, thereby associating themselves with the worst of the worst. Gene Quinn, the Watchtroll in chief, is attacking the courts again this week/yesterday. He’s doing it again in “It May Be Time to Abolish the Federal Circuit” (see our Wiki).

“We should note, at the very least as a side note, the deterioration of patent blogs. Their collapse carries on; they hardly write anything anymore, not even microblogging.”How is this loony blog managing to get the EPO to work with it? Simple. Both hate judges and loathe justice. How does it get IBM to participate? Simple. IBM is a terrible company and a patent bully.

We should note, at the very least as a side note, the deterioration of patent blogs. Their collapse carries on; they hardly write anything anymore, not even microblogging. Watchtroll’s Quinn hardly even writes there anymore and he stepped down as editor after 2 decades. Will IBM continue to support and maybe fund Watchtroll?

07.09.19

IBM Has Just Wiped Clean Red Hat’s Position on Software Patents

Posted in Deals, IBM, Law, Patents, Red Hat at 9:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Red Hat pukeSummary: Proprietary software/hardware giant buying Red Hat is not good news; but now it is confirmed and damage limitation may be in order

IT IS no longer surprising that Red Hat becomes IBM (or part of IBM). Now it’s official. I got the initial headsup (link to IBM’s own openwashing hogwash) and then saw some blog posts like this one that says “IBM today closed the acquisition of Red Hat for $34 billion, marking one of the biggest acquisition of any open source company.”

“IBM will probably wait for a while (a “goodwill gesture”) before it announces what parts of the business it is going to shut down (or whose job will be axed).”Red Hat could sell itself to Microsoft and even considered that. We’re thankful that this never happened. But Red Hat’s main casualty will be its policy on patents. Since IBM calls all the shots it’s safe to assume that Red Hat’s staff has become or will become a major booster of software patents (or at best passive). We also envision IBM putting a lot of pressure on new joiners (from Red Hat) to apply for software patents, maybe ‘spiced up’ with buzzwords such as "hey hi" (AI) so as to dodge 35 U.S.C. § 101. It’s important for IBM to show up at the top of U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) ladders. IBM also lobbies for software patents in Europe, so Red Hat is perhaps becoming a threat to Europe — even if only by extension.

IBM will probably wait for a while (a “goodwill gesture”) before it announces what parts of the business it is going to shut down (or whose job will be axed). Layoffs are very common at IBM nowadays; it fired over 1,000 employees as recently as a month ago. For the time being we wish Red Hat staff a happy and enjoyable honeymoon. Try to change IBM for the better, from the inside…

06.25.19

IBM Happy That Patent Quality at EPO Collapsed and It’s Easy to Get Software Patents

Posted in Deception, Europe, IBM, Patents at 5:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IBM explains that "HEY HI" (AI) helps applicants patent software where such patents are not actually legal

On shortcuts

Summary: The EPO keeps granting illegal European Patents and the media almost never mentions this illegality because it’s in too amicable a relationship (typically financial) with the EPO

THE European Patent Office’s (EPO) President António Campinos, the chosen successor of Battistelli, continues to promote software patents in Europe. This is no laughing matter; what they do is illegal. We’re not exaggerating. It’s not a “crib notes”-type offense because they give actual monopolies (to bully companies with) that are illegal. The damage is potentially enormous. It’s difficult to measure because much of this is happening behind closed doors (e.g. secret settlements, like those IBM has plenty of). I’ve heard lots of stories, but there are NDAs.

“It’s not a “crib notes”-type offense because they give actual monopolies (to bully companies with) that are illegal.”Where’s the media? Where the Hell is the media? Why on Earth is nobody covering these things? Why do real journalists no longer write at sites such as those that specialise in patents? We used to know some. But they’re gone. Did something happen? I’ve asked those whom I know. They don’t want to talk about it, perhaps fearing retribution. We’ve been investigating in recent days why European (or EU-ropean) “news” sites no longer cover EPO corruption. I sent questions to people I knew, questions like “Why do you no longer write at [x]?”

“Did something happen?”

Techrights used to write many articles about why European media won’t cover EPO corruption (not much, barely and rarely).”Several European (or EU-ropean) “news” are bribed by American billionaires (we know that much as they admitted it) and we have legitimate reasons to believe they demote or even fire people for covering crimes. That’s just not good for attracting businesses, advertisers and so on. Techrights used to write many articles about why European media won’t cover EPO corruption (not much, barely and rarely). It hardly covers that at all anymore. Amplifiers of law firms dominate the media; their business model is just that. It’s not really news, it’s just marketing that looks like reporting. Look at last week’s ‘reports’ about the EPO’s ‘festival’ in Australia. Some sites literally copied press releases from the EPO and filed those under “news” or “articles” sections. How about this new one? It’s rather frustrating to see. This morning I saw one company running a paid press release about being granted patents by patent offices not exactly renowned for quality (yes, EPO). I hardly find anything (anymore) about EPO scandals. One might be led to think that everything is suddenly rosy. SUEPO too is afraid to speak directly. IP Kat has become an utter joke (we wrote about it recently). What gives? As we pointed out over the weekend, World Intellectual Property Review (WIPR) had done lots of puff pieces recently about “hey hi” (AI), pushing software patents using these buzzwords. WIPR is like EPO PR. It used to cover EPO scandals, but not anymore. I can guess why, but I’m waiting for replies (if any). Here is the new EPO puff piece from WIPR. It’s about its annual ‘festival’ that cost millions of euros per hour (they even pay for so-called ‘journalists’ to fly over).

“Amplifiers of law firms dominate the media; their business model is just that.”Staying with WIPR for a moment, it has just done another “hey hi” article (“TPN Europe 2019: Keep software patents simple, says IBM lawyer”). Blue Bully IBM, which is buying Red Hat, is a pusher of algorithm monopolies in Europe (yes, Red Hat’s stance on software patents is in trouble because lawyers from IBM will wipe it out). “With the EPO, it’s a lot clearer [and] a lot easier,” IBM lawyers say. Some large European law firms too have publicly said (at events) that it’s easier to get software patents at the EPO (than the USPTO and others). That’s how bad things have become. To quote some portions:

According to Kevin Fournier, IP lawyer at IBM in the UK, when drafting a software patent application, the best means of assessing an idea or an invention was to show it to a software developer.

Speaking at Technology Patent Network Europe 2019, hosted by WIPR in London last Thursday, June 20, Fournier said that “if software developers are impressed by the invention, then you’re really on a winner”.

Outlining his approach to patent claim construction, Fournier said “the worst thing that you can possibly do is have a method claim that requires the action of three or four different entities”.

The IBM lawyer advocated for the single method patent claim as a useful tool for patent attorneys.

The more complex a claim and the more actors are involved, then an applicant has “more to prove; [it’s] another argument that you have to make,” Fournier said.

[...]

Commenting on the UK Intellectual Property Office’s approach, Fournier said that, in his experience, “the technical contribution seems to be interpreted more narrowly”.

“With the EPO, it’s a lot clearer [and] a lot easier, as long as you can show that the features that are critical to the invention are contributing to the technical effect,” he added.

Fournier also questioned Kennedy on his observations on emerging principles in AI patent drafting.

Notice that part about “hey hi” (AI); it’s their favourite term these days. Benjamin Henrion has just found this tweet: “Una vez más, como experto en el Comité de Derecho de Patentes de @wipo #scp30 con interesantes documentos sobre “licencias obligatorias”, “actividad inventiva en química” e “Inteligencia Artificial, IA” los dos últimos elaborados a propuesta de la @OEPM_es (IA con @INPIFrance) pic.twitter.com/LNeMgs7G5W”

“Yes, not only the EPO but also the USPTO uses the same trick; they’re sharing this ‘toolkit’ for software patents.”IA, AI… different languages, same nonsense. On “hey hi” he also noted “Coons and Tillis to restore US swpats: “we will investigate ways to sharpen the “field of technology” requirement to ensure that critical advances like AI and medical diagnostics qualify, but not economic transactions or social interactions” https://is.gd/elsynt” (“Cached here,” he told me because of the paywall)

“Nobody seems to care. Not in the media anyway; too busy liaising with law firms and booking flights to EPO events at the EPO’s expense.”Yes, not only the EPO but also the USPTO uses the same trick; they’re sharing this ‘toolkit’ for software patents. As Henrion noted, linking to this page and new tweets, the EPO also still allows software patents which are disguised as hardware. To quote these vocal proponents of software patents in Europe: “Protecting a cryptographic computation against power attacks is considered a technical problem if, and only if, the computation is actually carried out on hardware and thus open to such attacks.”

“Oh, wait,” I responded, “I thought I was going to execute it with/on pen and paper. Software (patents) are “hardware” (patents) because machines can run programs?”

As we said at the start, nobody covers these very serious issues that will cost Europe billions in damages. Nobody seems to care. Not in the media anyway; too busy liaising with law firms and booking flights to EPO events at the EPO’s expense.

06.22.19

American Front Group Open Invention Network (Riding the Linux Brand) is a Proponent of Software Patents in Europe

Posted in Europe, IBM, OIN, Patents at 6:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Just like IBM (with its Trojan gifts to Europe), its foremost member (and where it originally came from)

IBM and the Holocaust in Europe

Summary: The impact of American multinationals on Europe’s policy is difficult to deny; in fact, we’re observing the same old lobbying/lobbies still working hard albeit more covertly (typically using front groups)

AT the start of the year we said that “IBM, Which Will Soon be Buying Red Hat, is Promoting Software Patents in Europe” (none of this has changed). IBM’s lobbying for software patents in Europe is a subject we’ve covered for over a decade. About a decade ago IBM said ‘on behalf’ of Free/Open Source software that patents on software would be beneficial to it or that such software would not be possible without the patents. It was an incredible lie that enraged many people at the time. Remember that the first CEO of OIN was from IBM, a founding member. OIN is now run by a politician, the tennis partner of Timothy Geithner. After his political career he did work that’s akin to patent trolls’. OIN is partly managed by patent trolls or 'former' trolls and is similar to the Linux Foundation in the sense that it hardly represents what it’s called after. It’s somewhat of a PR-centric façade — a marketing-esque strategy for influence-buying and policy-shaping. It’s a corporate front group of very large corporations with about half a million patents and many thousands of patent lawyers. Many if not most patents they deal with are on algorithms. They value these bubbles of theirs at tens of not hundreds of millions of dollars; they don’t want to lose that imaginary ‘asset’ (in essence a state-guarded monopoly).

Also recall David Kappos, who had worked for IBM before becoming the Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). After his term there he’s a lobbyist (paid by IBM and Microsoft) against 35 U.S.C. § 101, i.e. for software patents. We already wrote several articles about how IBM paid IPO (another front group) to lobby against 35 U.S.C. § 101. Don’t expect anyone at Red Hat to comment on it (that would put the future job in jeopardy as takeover looms*). IBM spoke for software patents as recently as this month (the mock/stacked 'hearings' in Senate) and so did Kappos. Nothing has changed since the declaration of intentions to take over Red Hat.

“OIN is now run by a politician, the tennis partner of Timothy Geithner.”Citing this recent report from IP Kat on “4IR” (buzzwords that the European Patent Office (EPO) paid European media to promote), Benjamin Henrion wrote in Twitter: “When the patent industry wants to know about “Open Source”, they invite “Open Invention Network (OIN)”, which is working for the patent industry. So it loops back to itself, while insulting independent developers at the same time” (referring to Keith Bergelt, who was there alongside Battistelli‘s friend Yann Ménière). To quote the relevant part about the “EPO study”:

The discussion during Panel 2 concerned “Autonomous Vehicles: Changing Markets, Business Models and Institutions” and had a more practical approach: the panelists, Monica Mangnusson (Ericsson), Yann Ménière (European Patent Office), Ruud Peters (Philips) and Matthias Schneider (Audi), and moderator Keith Bergelt (Open Invention Network) discussed various underlying issues concerning the topic at hand, including the EPO study Patents and self-driving vehicles and the role of patents in autonomous vehicles, SEPs and the combination of technology therein. Questions that were raised included: who will be the beneficiaries, i.e., who will be willing to pay a higher price for autonomous cars? Will autonomous cars create more traffic? What is the value assigned to the patents? Is 5G or WiFi technology more suitable? How do carmakers know what needs to be developed?

OIN is facilitating this ludicrous narrative, wherein “Open Source” too was invited. It recently participated in an EPO event that promoted software patents in Europe under the guise of “blockchains”. It generally boasts large members that are proponents of such patents. That now includes (formally) Microsoft! They’re happy to even repeat PR lies such as “Microsoft loves Linux,” rendering them complicit in a campaign of deception.

Microsoft also in the shadows…

Over at the site connected to IAM, a writer now obsesses over Microsoft ‘cloud’ (NSA surveillance) and António Campinos as EUIPO chief. The headline is a question: “Cloud computing: an answer to cybersecurity?”

The short answer is no because sending all your data to the Pentagon is the very opposite of security, it is a data breach. It’s a violation of privacy and basic/fundamental laws. To quote some bits:

The president of the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), Antonio Campinos, recalled how the digital world transformed the fight against counterfeiting, citing an IP Perception Study led by the European Observatory that showed 42% of young people feel that illegal downloading is a legitimate act when done for private use.

[...]

The Director of Microsoft Digital Crime Unit, Juan Hardoy, pointed out…

[...]

Is this a way to promote the Microsoft Cloud server or does Cloud computing really prevent companies from cyber criminality? Companies seem to be pretty divided on this topic.

Which companies? The ones that do the surveillance and those that do not? Whose voice is being aired?

“Innovation and litigation summit” has just been promoted by its organiser, another think tank funded by only one side of the debate (to air only its views). Their own writers admitted this to me last month. This event from the trolls’ think tank has nothing to do with innovation, only litigation. Obviously no innovators there, only parasites who sue. And IP Kat has also just published an article about a legalised ‘protection racket’ scheme. This scam insurance ‘industry’ is cashing in on patent trolls and that “AYE PEE” cult (people who pretend to themselves that the world would be better off with every single gene and thought privatised and monopolised). What we have here is one bunch of parasites profiting from other parasites; one can eliminate the former to get rid of the other (the latter being this insurance scam). Firms like IBM are the biggest culprits and the firm of Kappos profits from this mess, so don’t expect them to abandon their twisted mindset any time soon. Instead they’ll mock scholars who do. They will urge small companies to buy “insurance” (for lawyers’ fees in case IBM decides to sue, as it often does).
_____
* In a recent public interview with Fedora Project leadership (“Ask Me Anything”) they said upfront that people can ask anything except about IBM. This is how afraid they are (of the new/upcoming boss). Some Red Hat staff used to campaign against software patents — a practice that no doubt IBM frowned upon.

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