12.19.09

Gemini version available ♊︎

European Commission Unable to Defend Free Software from Microsoft Patent Racket

Posted in ECMA, Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Interoperability, Law, Microsoft, Patents, SUN at 11:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Microsoft is asking people to pay them for patents, but they won’t say which ones. If a guy walks into a shop and says: “It’s an unsafe neighbourhood, why don’t you pay me 20 bucks and I’ll make sure you’re okay,” that’s illegal. It’s racketeering.”

Mark Shuttleworth

Charlie McCreevy portrait

Summary: The European Commission is either unwilling or unable to understand how Microsoft uses software patents against Free software, even in Europe where such patents are illegal

ACCORDING to Charlie McCreevy's (shown above) vision of Europe, one unified patent law might soon become a reality that incorporates software patents. The European Commission is being either totally bamboozled or simply lobbied to death. It’s already manned by the wrong people. André Rebentisch has this little update about McCreevy’s folly (he is no longer one among candidate Commission heads whom André is watching):

Issue 56 features the outgoing Commissioner Charlie McCreevy. McCreevy’s pet project financial market deregulation was cratered last year together with the Irish model and won’t come back in the new portfolio. He assumes an ideological mission to defend the single market for his successor:

The job of the next Commission, I believe would be to stand against those who, for a variety of political reasons, some of them may be ideological or philosophical, whatever they’d be, block the Single Market. To not allow the Single Market, the European markets to be interfered with.

Indeed, there are such forces, for instance those who prefer protection of geographical indications or the member states patent offices which obstruct the creation of a community patent for the single market.

Microsoft front group ACT is lobbying for this as it enables Microsoft to bypass the law. It is more or less the same with EIF, which we mentioned in:

  1. European Interoperability Framework (EIF) Corrupted by Microsoft et al, Its Lobbyists
  2. Orwellian EIF, Fake Open Source, and Security Implications
  3. No Sense of Shame Left at Microsoft
  4. Lobbying Leads to Protest — the FFII and the FSFE Rise in Opposition to Subverted EIF
  5. IBM and Open Forum Europe Address European Interoperability Framework (EIF) Fiasco
  6. EIF Scrutinised, ODF Evolves, and Microsoft’s OOXML “Lies” Lead to Backlash from Danish Standards Committee
  7. Complaints About Perverted EIF Continue to Pile Up
  8. More Complaints About EIFv2 Abuse and Free Software FUD from General Electric (GE)

Microsoft is meanwhile patenting everything under the sun. Yesterday in Slashdot there was another new example:

“A newly disclosed Microsoft patent application — Avatar Individualized by Physical Characteristic — takes aim at fat people, proposing to generate fat avatars in gaming environments for individuals whose health records indicate they’re overweight, limiting their game play, and even banning them. From the patent application: ‘An undesirable body weight could be reflected in an overweight or underweight appearance for the avatar. Only requisite health levels are allowed to compete in a certain competition level. A dedicated gamer could exercise for a period of time until his health indicator gadget shows a sufficiently high health/health credit in order to allow reentering the avatar environment.’ Linking one’s gaming avatar to one’s physique, explains Microsoft, will produce healthy and virtuous behaviors in individuals. Microsoft also proposes shaping gaming experiences by using ‘psychological and demographic information such as education level, geographic location, age, sex, intelligence quotient, socioeconomic class, occupation, marital/relationship status, religious belief, political affiliation, etc.’”

We have already shown that using a new deal with the EU Commission Microsoft is trying to ban commercial use of Free software. The ‘Microsoft press’ is working to distract or to hide it, but Simon Phipps, whom we mentioned in the previous post, writes the following words about the Microsoft-sponsored blogger who was speaking to Brad Smith for the Microsoft spin: “Well worth reading to understand Microsoft’s world-view. Sadly Smith wasn’t asked about the “patent promise” I mention below, but this interview helps us understand why Microsoft believed IE was important (developer APIs) and why they love “interoperability” (because it was the keyword for release from 12 years of investigation).”

“[T]he Microsoft “patent promise” is roughly useless for open source communities as it only gives protection for non-commercial uses…”
      –Simon Phipps
In reference to the FSFE’s complaint, Phipps writes: “The long war is finally over, without really correcting any of the injustices but with a few small concessions from a Microsoft that wants us to think it is contrite and changed. But the FSFE is right – the Microsoft “patent promise” is roughly useless for open source communities as it only gives protection for non-commercial uses; the very essence of open source is the alignment of fragments of (usually commercial) interest by many community participants. This should be the first thing Microsoft’s new head of open source addresses on appointment, but to do it will be tough since it will take air-cover at the highest levels to address.”

It’s not about the browser ballot screen (which is no justice, either), it’s about Free software. Some reporters like Paula Rooney wrongly describe the Web browser case as though it is related to Free software, even though Opera (case originator) is proprietary. In fact, too few publications wrote about the stunt Microsoft has just pulled on the “interoperability” front.

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

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

A Single Comment

  1. uberVU - social comments said,

    December 20, 2009 at 5:24 am

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Identica by schestowitz: #European Commission Unable to Defend #FreeSoftware from #Microsoft #Patent Racket http://ur1.ca/i7p2

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 29/11/2021: NuTyX 21.10.5 and CrossOver 21.1.0

    Links for the day



  2. This Apt Has Super Dumbass Powers. Linus Sebastian and Pop_OS!

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  3. [Meme] Trying to Appease Provocateurs and Borderline Trolls

    GNU/Linux isn’t just a clone of Microsoft Windows and it oughtn’t be a clone of Microsoft Windows, either; some people set themselves up for failure, maybe by intention



  4. Centralised Git Hosting Has a Business Model Which is Hostile Towards Developers' Interests (in Microsoft's Case, It's an Attack on Reciprocal Licensing and Persistent Manipulation)

    Spying, censoring, and abusing projects/developers/users are among the perks Microsoft found in GitHub; the E.E.E.-styled takeover is being misused for perception manipulation and even racism, so projects really need to take control of their hosting (outsourcing is risky and very expensive in the long run)



  5. Links 29/11/2021: FWUPD's 'Best Known Configuration' and Glimpse at OpenZFS 3.0

    Links for the day



  6. President Biden Wants to Put Microsofter in Charge of the Patent Office, Soon to Penalise Patent Applicants Who Don't Use Microsoft's Proprietary Formats

    The tradition of GAFAM or GIAFAM inside the USPTO carries on (e.g. Kappos and Lee; Kappos lobbies for Microsoft and IBM, whereas Lee now works for Amazon/Bezos after a career at Google); it's hard to believe anymore that the USPTO exists to serve innovators rather than aggressive monopolists, shielding their territory by patent threats (lawsuits or worse aggression) and cross-licensing that's akin to a cartel



  7. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part VIII — Mr. Graveley's Long Career Serving Microsoft's Agenda (Before Hiring by Microsoft to Work on GitHub's GPL Violations Machine)

    Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley was promoting .NET (or Mono) since his young days; his current job at Microsoft is consistent with past harms to GNU/Linux, basically pushing undesirable (except to Microsoft) things to GNU/Linux users; Tomboy used to be the main reason for distro ISOs to include Mono



  8. Dr. Andy Farnell on Teaching Cybersecurity in an Age of 'Fake Security'

    By Dr. Andy Farnell



  9. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 28, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, November 28, 2021



  10. Links 29/11/2021: Linux 5.16 RC3 and Lots of Patent Catch-up

    Links for the day



  11. By 2022 0% of 'News' Coverage About Patents Will Be Actual Journalism (Patent Litigation Sector Has Hijacked the World Wide Web to Disseminate Self-Promotional Misinformation)

    Finding news about the EPO is almost impossible because today’s so-called ‘news’ sites are in the pockets of Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos, and their cohorts who turned the EPO into a hub of litigation, not science; this is part of an international (worldwide) problem because financial resources for journalism have run out, and so the vacuum is filled/replaced almost entirely by Public Relations (PR) and marketing



  12. Trying to Appease Those Who Never Liked Free Software or Those Who Blindly Loved All Patent Monopolies to Begin With

    It’s crystal clear that trying to appease everyone, all the time, is impossible; in the case of the EPO, for example, we hope that exposing Team Battistelli/Campinos helps raise awareness of the harms of patent maximalism, and when speaking about Free software — whilst occasionally bashing the alternatives (proprietary) — we hope to convince more people to join the “Good Fight”



  13. Links 28/11/2021: Laravel 8.73 Released, GitHub Offline for Hours

    Links for the day



  14. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, November 27, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, November 27, 2021



  15. Links 27/11/2021: Nvidia’s DLSS Hype and Why GNU/Linux Matters

    Links for the day



  16. [Meme] Linus Gabriel Sebastian Takes GNU/Linux for a (Tail)'Spin'

    If you’re trying to prove that GNU/Linux is NOT Windows, then “haha! Well done…”



  17. GNU/Linux is for Freedom and It'll Gain Many Users When (or Where) People Understand What Software (or Computing) Freedom Means

    Software that respects people's freedom (and by extension privacy as well) is an alluring proposition; those who choose to try GNU/Linux for the wrong reasons are likely the wrong target audience for advocates



  18. Amid Reports of Microsoft's Competition Crimes in Europe...

    European companies are complaining, but they seem to overlook the principal aspect of an imperialistic system with bottomless pockets (almost 30 trillion dollars in debt already; US national debt soared again last month); Microsoft is shielded by a political system with military (“defence”) as bailout budget to help cushion international expansion for data grab and technical leverage, as we've seen in the case of EPO (this is all political, not technical, and should thus be treated as a political/corruption issue)



  19. Is Linus Trolling the GNU/Linux Community?

    This new video responds to what many sites have been provoked into amplifying



  20. Links 27/11/2021: Tux Paint 0.9.27 and SeaMonkey 1.1.19 in EasyOS

    Links for the day



  21. [Meme] Keeping Our Distance From Microsoft

    The OSI is the dagger, the Linux Foundation is the knife, and many others are the sword by which Microsoft tries to get into the very heart of GNU/Linux and extinguish the Free software movement



  22. Microsoft Edge Encourages Indebted Americans to Guilt-spend Just in Time for Christmas

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  23. IRC Proceedings: Friday, November 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, November 26, 2021



  24. 38+ Years of GNU and 19+ Years of FSF Associate Membership

    “On November 25, 2002,” Wikipedia notes, “the FSF launched the FSF Associate Membership program for individuals.” As the above video points out, it all started almost 40 years ago.



  25. Gemini as a Platform for Gamers

    Contrary to what people often assume (or are led to assume), even without client-side scripting Gemini can accomplish a great deal; early adopters, many of whom are technical, test the limits of the very minimalistic (by design and intention) specification



  26. Improved Workflows: Achievement Unlocked

    Today we've completed a bunch of small projects that can make us more efficient (e.g. more Daily Links per day, more articles); the above video was recorded many hours ago to accompany the outline below



  27. Links 26/11/2021: New Complaint About Microsoft Competition Crimes in Europe, EuroLinux 8.5, GhostBSD 21.11.24, and Kiwi TCMS 10.5 Released

    Links for the day



  28. Links 26/11/2021: F35 Elections, Whonix 16.0.3.7, OSMC's November Refresh With Kodi 19.3

    Links for the day



  29. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, November 25, 2021



  30. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, November 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, November 24, 2021


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