Bonum Certa Men Certa

Harming the GPL With Doomsday Predictions and FRAND

Microsoft lobbying for Linux tax


Summary: What Linux/Android foes are up to these days

MICROSOFT is trying to eliminate Free software by diluting or killing licences that pose a threat to its business. One method for elimination is disinformation and another is legal instruments that are not compatible with particular licences, such as the GPL.

Firms with strong Microsoft connections, such as Black Duck or OpenLogic (which reports "strong growth" right now) deliver the message Microsoft craves and "[t]he horror is coming," writes the FFII's president, "FRAND written in EU law by the Greens" (link).

To quote:

Amendment 260 Heide Rühle, Emilie Turunen Proposal for a regulation Annex 2 – point 3 – point c

(c) intellectual property rights essential to the implementation of specifications are licensed to applicants on a (fair) reasonable and non-discriminatory basis ((F)RAND), which includes licensing essential intellectual property without compensation.

Microsoft hired a self-serving lobbyist, Florian Müller, to promote FRAND. It also bought Novell's patents along with Linux foes and the US DOJ lets it be. To quote: "CPTN was the name of a holding company – owned equally by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and EMC – created to purchase the patents of Novell when it was being acquired by Attachmate. In its announcement, the DoJ noted that Novell patents that Apple had acquired were "important to the open source community and to Linux-based software in particular". But it also pointed out that Novell was a participant in the Open Invention Network, a patent pool which requires patent-holders to offer a perpetual, royalty-free license for use of their patents in the "Linux-system". The DoJ looked into whether Apple would be permitted to use the change of ownership to avoid OIN commitments and concluded it would not. Apple also committed to honour Novell's OIN licensing commitments."

Considering legal attacks on Android from Apple, Microsoft and Oracle (an OIN member), the above decision was foolish and irresponsible. Groklaw has the latest on the Oracle case. Google tries squashing another patent, but let's remember CPTN provides more potential ammunition. To quote:

Google is seeking to immediately knock out one of the remaining six patents asserted in this case, this time by summary judgment. In a letter to the court filed yesterday Google asks that claim 14 of U.S. Patent No. 6,192,476 be found invalid on the grounds that it claims unpatentable subject matter. (715 [PDF; Text])

The case is also covered in IDG.

Carrying on along the same lines, Microsoft's extortion against Android is weakened as more patents are being pulled. Microsoft boosters understate the importance of this and Bloomberg's usual propaganda carries on with opening paragraphs like this: "Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), the largest software maker, said it would be “fair and reasonable” in licensing its industry-standard technology, pledging to negotiate with competitors instead of trying to block sales of their products."

Yes, Microsoft hired at least one lobbyist to push this propaganda, so it's not surprising that PR people push it into news. There are tricks. Serious extortion as "play nice", eh? And while passing patents to trolls for attacks on Linux it "will not be a patent troll", or so it wants people to believe.

Speaking of patents, recall the impact of the Skype purchase and also see Cisco's response to it:

Networking company Cisco said Wednesday that it is challenging Microsoft's $8.5 billion takeover of Skype at the European Union's top court to ensure Microsoft won't block other video conferencing services.

The European Commission, the EU's competition regulator, cleared the takeover in October and the merger was completed later that month. Microsoft Corp. hopes that owning Skype will allow it to better compete across platforms with other tech giants including Apple Inc. or Google Inc.

But for Cisco Systems Inc., the world's largest maker of computer networking equipment, the Skype deal creates a serious challenger to its video conferencing systems.

The problem there is patents too. We covered this before. What we increasingly see is Microsoft becoming a decreasingly-practising patent parasite.

Recent Techrights' Posts

The Ongoing Evolutionary Process of News-Reading (or News-Finding) on the World Wide Web
it gets worse
"It's Obvious There's No Future For Any of Us from Blizzard at Microsoft"
The rumours suggest that more Microsoft layoffs are on the way
[Meme] Who's the Boss?
"I thought EPC governed the Office"
Salary Adjustment Procedure (SAP) at the EPO and Why Workers' Salary is Actually Decreasing Each Year (Currency Loses Its Purchasing Power)
outline and update on a years-old blunder
Links 27/02/2024: PlayStation Layoffs and More Oppressive New Laws for Hong Kong
Links for the day
Gemini Links 27/02/2024: Facebook as Containment Field and Depression Driven Development (DDD)
Links for the day
They're Adding Warnings Now: The Site "It's FOSS" is Not FOSS
It's better that they at least explicitly state this
Links 27/02/2024: Nevada Versus End-To-End Encryption, Birmingham Bankrupt
Links for the day
End of an Era
The Web isn't just filled with marketing spam but actual disinformation
[Meme] Onboarding New EPO Staff
You read the patent application and grant within hours
The Legacy Prolific Writers Leave Behind Them
"Free Software Credibility Index" after more than 15 years
Phoronix in Google News
congratulating or welcoming Embrace, Extend, Extinguish (E.E.E.)
Google Fired Many Employees Working on Google News (Which Had Deteriorated and Became Gulag Noise, Littered and Gamed by Blogspam, Plagiarism, and Chatbot/Translator-Generated Spew), Now Comes the Likely 'Phase-out'
No wonder many yearn for the days of DMOZ and Web directories in general
IRC Proceedings: Monday, February 26, 2024
IRC logs for Monday, February 26, 2024
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
Exposed: FSFE, Legal & Licensing Workshop (LLW), Legal Network & Modern Slavery
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Gemini Links 26/02/2024: Mastodon Trouble, RSS, and Zombie-scrolling
Links for the day
Links 26/02/2024: Suicide Crisis and Doctor Walkouts in South Korea
Links for the day
Why Do People Who Attack GNU/Linux Hate Women So Much?
My wife is being viciously targeted again
Ongoing Media Campaign, Sponsored by Bill Gates, to Portray Critics of Gates Crimes as "Conspiracy" Cranks
In prior years we wrote about this PR tactic of Gates
[Meme] Follow the Law, Not Corrupt Bosses
pressuring staff to break the rules to make more money
The EPO Uses Appraisals to Force Staff to Illegally Grant European Patents or Lose the Job. The Matter is Being Escalated en Masse to ILO-AT, Requesting a Review of Appraisal Reports.
it is only getting worse over time
Debian History Harassment & Abuse culture evolution
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, February 25, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, February 25, 2024IRC logs for Sunday, February 25, 2024
Gemini Links 25/02/2024: Chronic Pain and a Hall of the Broken Things
Links for the day
Links 25/02/2024: New Rants About 'Hey Hi' Hype and JavaScript Bloat
Links for the day
Going Static Helped the Planet, Too
As we've been saying since last year
Chris Rutter, Winchester College, Clare College choir, Arm Ltd, underage workers & Debian accidental deaths
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Gemini Links 25/02/2024: Blocking Crawlers and Moving to gemserv
Links for the day
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, February 24, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, February 24, 2024
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day