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IBM's Day of Shame

Invention in dictionary



Summary: IBM's dark side shown to the public

THE story we wrote about this morning is spreading to news sites. Here is some coverage of interest:



IBM uses pledged patents against open source mainframe emulator

The letter includes a "non-exhaustive" list of 106 IBM patents and 67 pending patent applications. Mueller found that on examining the list, two of the patents mentioned in the letter, 5613086 and 5220669 are among the five hundred patents in the IBM patent pledgePDF. Mueller says "This betrayal of the promise is unbelievable, but I never believed that IBM was sincere about that pledge in the first place". He calls for regulatory intervention against IBM and points out that TurboHercules had already lodged anti-trust complaint with the European Commission.


IBM: Open Source's Friend? Not So Much Now

IBM certainly has some explaining to do. It needs to make clear where it stands on open source, and where on software patents. It needs to understand that the two are not compatible, and that it cannot truly be a friend of the former while deploying the latter as weapons against free software, even when the victims sit on the latter's fringe rather than at its heart. After such a long and mutually beneficial relationship, it would be sad if IBM decides that it prefers software patents to open source – and ultimately to its detriment.


IBM tears up open source patent pledge, claims FOSS

IBM Breaks Open Source Patent Pledge

IBM breaks OSS patent promise, targets mainframe emulator

IBM TurboHercules Patent Threat Letter

For people reading this page from Slashdot, I have to confess that IBM is still lobbying for software patents in the European Union though the creation of a central patent court. IBM, like Microsoft, is actively lobbying in Brussels not to reopen the software patent directive through the Community Patent discussions, and the creation of a central patent court.


Open-source Advocate Enters IBM Antitrust Fray

Software developer and political lobbyist Florian Mueller weighed in on the European Commission's investigation of monopoly abuse claims against IBM, accusing the computing giant of deserting the interests of the open-source software community.


Florian Mueller finds a new windmill to attack in IBM

Fresh off his humiliating defeat at the hands of Oracle, Florian Mueller is now tilting at IBM, accusing it of open source treason for trying to enforce a monopoly it won before he was born.

[...]

The question is just how much IBM credibility might be lost as a result of TurboHercules. Mueller wants to make certain it’s a lot.


Regardless of Mueller's agenda, the letter from IBM is authentic. To IBM, it's a black eye. Is it a blunder because it contradicts IBM's policy or is it a blunder because it was leaked? Either way, IBM has a habit of patenting insulting things and then backtracking/apologising when there is public backlash (i.e. only when it gets caught and exposed). If IBM is a friend of Free software, then unlike Novell, it ought to trash software patents rather than quietly hoard them. As Glyn Moody put it, IBM needs to understand that Free software and software patents are simply not compatible.

Nefarious Organisation Vilifies Every Linux Law

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