08.12.09

Guess Which Software Giant is Promoting Software Patents

Posted in Bill Gates, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft at 4:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IBM Netvista

Summary: IBM is still advocating a barrier to Free software

SEVERAL readers have independently notified us of more patent insanity — a system whereby new entrants are denied an opportunity to compete.

In Re Bilski is off to the Supreme Court, which could mean an ultimate elimination of software patents in the United States. But there is (at least) one major company standing in the way of such destruction of software patents. That company is not Microsoft (not in this case anyway); It is IBM, whose amicus brief [PDF] (HTML copy) in the Bilski case is far from helpful to Free software. IBM is truly blowing an opportunity here. FFII’s president argues that “IBM says that [software patenting] has promoted the free sharing of source code and fueled the growth of open source software.”

“IBM have a huge patent portfolio across all kinds of things… but they have a blanket position of not chasing open source projects over them…”
      –Ng
“IBM have a huge patent portfolio across all kinds of things,” writes Ng, “but they have a blanket position of not chasing open source projects over them… maybe it’s not blanket, but they’re part of OIN.” It is not necessarily a good thing because it only legitimises software patents and the OIN is now harvesting more patents.

See the footnote on page 23, which says: “Given the reality that software source code is human readable, and object code can be reverse engineered, it is difficult for software developers to resort to secrecy. Thus, without patent protection, the incentives to innovate in the field of software are significantly reduced. Patent protection has promoted the free sharing of source code on a patentee’s terms—which has fueled the explosive growth of open source software development.

“Note the lack of a citation supporting the proposition stated in that last sentence,” notes another reader.

In other disappointing news, watch how patents are putting a price on life. The New York Times fails to convey what a travesty it truly is.

Dr. Quake calculates that the most recently sequenced human genome cost $250,000 to decode, and that his machine brings the cost to less than a fifth of that.

How ‘affordable’. Human life is now in private hands.

Also see this new essay titled “Poverty Kills” and remember relationships between the Gates Foundation and the pharmaceutical industry (it is a critique by the way).

How do you even decide what minimal nutritional requirements are? Why three? The answer is simple: just count deaths instead.

To the industry which explores medicine and genome, death usually means business.

“The day that the software sector forms a clear front against software patents, as pharma does for a unitary patent system… will be the day our cause comes close to winning.” —Pieter Hintjens, Fosdem07 Interview

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2009/08/12/ibm-promoting-software-patents/

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

3 Comments

  1. Jose_X said,

    August 12, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Gravatar

    First mistake is that they brush over reverse engineering of binaries as if it was a similar thing (ie, as complete and efficient) to having human-readable source code.

    Yeah, Bob. That is why FOSS stands for Free and Reversed-Engineered Software. That is why IBM will from this day forward distribute any source code at low cost to everyone that asks (since reverse engineering is so easy, cheap, and effective — why anger your clients for no real reason). Sure.

    The second mistake is that contributing to FOSS has many advantages if you are a hardware company, service provider, or a user .. and that includes the vast majority of the world (including IBM on all three counts). It’s these groups (and others) that are contributing to FOSS. They benefit immediately and directly. Since patents are easier to come up with than a solid piece of software, would so many people be wasting their time writing software at such low gains (if we believe IBM) and not going after patents instead? Or is it that the people contributing to and using/leveraging FOSS are really gaining?

    IBM wants the government to keep handing out unethical, stifling, and unconstitutional monopolies to prop up profit margins and unjust weapons against competitors despite the costs to the rest of society and to innovation. It’s not that patents are needed. It’s that they continue to be profitable assets to those that take the time (and have the money, experience, and lack of ethics) to exploit that broken system that survives on the backs of the many that are writing software instead of writing patents.

    Microsoft and IBM want to continue to keep their levers so as to buy out for cheap the companies doing the real work and keep companies growing fast from FOSS unable to escape heavy Industry-Giants Taxes.

    http://boycottnovell.com/2009/08/12/mckool-smith-i4i-vs-msft/comment-page-1/#comment-72064

  2. Charles Oliver said,

    August 12, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    Gravatar

    As pointed out, IBM are a member of the Open Invention Network.

    It’s not terribly surprising that a company that is so heavily invested in patents is riding to defend them. IBM’s patents give them a competitive advantage.

    If anything the number of large companies represented in these friends of the court briefs shows what a big advantage patents are to incumbents in the market.

  3. BrownieBoy said,

    August 13, 2009 at 5:03 am

    Gravatar

    Scarey stuff, maybe. But on the positive side, it’s also a restraint on Microsoft’s patent lawsuits.

    Microsoft has been poking around the edges so far – i.e. the TomTom thing. But it knows that it can’t risk open patent warfare with IBM. That would be MAD (as in Mutually Assured Destruction).

    And IBM has been Linux-friendly so far. So some good as well as bad here, IMHO.

What Else is New


  1. Video: “Unjust Computing Clamps Down” by Richard Stallman

    12 days ago the FSF uploaded the video above, in which current threats to software freedom are explained by the FSF's founder



  2. FSF Web Site Now Lists the Seven Voting Members, Including Alexandre Oliva, Former Acting FSF President

    The FSF is now in good and reliable hands, which we're told are all supportive of the decision to bring back the FSF's founder to the Board; Oliva remains involved as a voting member



  3. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 11: The Rapporteur Who Once Was Vice-President

    EPO‘s former Vice-President of DG3 will be the person to decide on the EPO’s (mis)conduct



  4. [Meme] Captured EPO

    Put the EPO back in the hands of people who do all the work and actually understand the real goals of a patent office



  5. An Urgent Need to Fix the EPO, Which is Becoming Rogue at Every Level (Even the 'Legal' Level)

    Helpless examiners are being put in a grave dilemma: violate the EPC or lose the job; it's meanwhile clear that internal appeals, including referrals to the Boards of Appeal, are also hopeless because these courts or tribunals obey tyrants, not the EPC, and moreover they cover up past abuses of the tyrants



  6. IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 17, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, May 17, 2021



  7. 6,700 Signatures in Support of Richard Stallman's Return to the FSF's Board

    6,700 signatures will be secured any day now (maybe later today); we thought the graph is worth replotting again, even if only to remind people how badly the defamatory hate letter has backfired



  8. [Meme] The Real Gates Scandal is About Connections to Sex Trafficking (Epstein), Not Infidelity

    Some media is still trying to shift attention (some of the very same media that misdirected focus to Richard Stallman when a Gates-Epstein scandal unfolded at MIT), but people aren't gullible enough



  9. Links 17/5/2021: New GeckoLinux and Kdenlive 21.04.1

    Links for the day



  10. Richard Stallman Refers to Intel's Management Engine (ME) -- or a Back Door -- as 'Master', and the Processor Intel Lets Us Use as 'Slave'

    “The president and founder of the Free Software Foundation will speak about pressing issues in free software today, and will present the winners of the 2018 Free Software Awards,” says the summary (this was 3 years ago, i.e. before the purge of language, with a prominent role played by Intel)



  11. Links 17/5/2021: NetBSD 9.2 and Early Look at Bodhi Linux 6.0.0

    Links for the day



  12. Calle Josefsson as Living Proof That Attacking the Causes You Once Proclaimed to Stand for is Very Profitable

    Some thoughts on the situation of the Boards of Appeal in Haar; they're led by someone who receives a huge salary (a four- or five-fold increase) in exchange for an epic sellout and abandonment of principles; as a de facto legal slinger or imposter/poser he has already done incredible damage on several levels



  13. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 10: A Faustian Pact?

    Benoît Battistelli‘s rubber-stamping judge from Sweden saw his salary growing four- or five-fold and he has meanwhile lowered his public profile, fearing that people will see what he sold his soul for



  14. EPO Staff Representatives Not Amused to See an Office That Steals From Staff and Even From Pensioners

    The heist continues; the EPO isn't just a milking cow of Germany but also of EPO officials who keep the 'lid' or the 'cover' on this whole financial instrument, which would enrage member states if they truly understood what's going on



  15. [Meme] Virtual Prisons for Virtual Hearings (Haarings)

    Today’s EPO has a truly twisted notion of the “rule of law”



  16. President of the Boards of Appeal, the Star of the Haar Show

    It’s best in the metal version; burn in Hell, Lesley Gore



  17. Right To Repair: When You Don't Own What You Buy (and Cannot Even Repair It Legally)

    The second part of preliminary background regarding the Right To Repair; our associate who extracted the videos from YouTube says that both are relevant to “Freedom 0″ (as per the FSF’s definition of Free software)



  18. Right To Repair: What It's About and How That Relates to Software

    A short (less than one minute) video that offers some background or sheds light on the intersection between Software Freedom and the Right To Repair



  19. Brand as Distraction From the Core Issues Surrounding the Right To Repair

    Excerpt of a video from Odysee, in which an important point is explained regarding a very actual and relevant case, more so given a recent ruling that indirectly impacts software freedom, mostly in (but not limited to) the United States



  20. Virtual 'Courts' Aren't Courts and Aren't Suitable Substitutes, Either

    The cheapening of the concept of justice, even as the pandemic that serves to justify that cheapening is gradually being brought under control, is the real issue that should be debated in Haar (or from private homes, probably somewhere around Haar); whether it's compulsory or not ought to be a side question



  21. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 16, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, May 16, 2021



  22. Links 17/5/2021: Linux 5.13 RC2 and a Lot About Patents

    Links for the day



  23. (All-Time) Archive of Techrights Videos Contains About 1,000 Videos, All Listed in One Place Now

    We're improving access to old material in the site and right now the focus is ways to improve discovery of old video/multimedia files



  24. Haar Song

    The Office in Munich is overseen by “a municipality near Munich,” according to Wikipedia (not inside Munich, so that in itself is a violation of the EPC)



  25. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 9: Squeezing Out the Lifeblood of Democracy?

    The lack of public discourse at the EPO (where tyrants like Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos make up the rules and then have them rubber-stamped by kangaroo courts) helps explain an atrocious policy and moral abyss, which recently led to acceptance of European software patents and mass surveillance disguised as “access to justice”



  26. Luke Smith on Why Free Software Matters and 'Open Source' is Meaningless

    A video just released by a popular YouTube channel



  27. Links 16/5/2021: ExTiX 21.5, Drumstick Multiplatform MIDI File Player Refresh

    Links for the day



  28. EPO.org is a Really Awful Source of Information

    The site that bears a .org suffix is actually more like a private corporation lying about itself in order to save face and attract more money -- or in other words funds that will be squandered and stolen by corrupt administrators



  29. IBM Has Changed a Lot Since 2018, and Not for the Better

    IBM isn't that much of an ally of GNU/Linux as a community-led or community-centric operating system; IBM is in it all just for IBM and we need to treat IBM accordingly



  30. [Meme] Criticising IBM is Racist and Intolerant

    Systemd is becoming untouchable and its critics are framed as "toxic" or "trolls", no matter the facts and irrespective of the technical substance of their complaints


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts