05.03.10

Gemini version available ♊︎

Behind the Microsoft Puppetmaster: SCO-Type Libel, Acacia-Type Patent Trolls, and Novell-Type Patent Deals to Make GNU/Linux Not Free (Gratis)

Posted in Courtroom, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, OpenSUSE, Patents, Samsung, SCO at 3:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Donkey Kong

Summary: Microsoft has been trying anything from copyright libel to patent trolls to actually suing companies like TomTom (after using extortion), so what are the implications?

THREE years ago we wrote about Microsoft’s 3 (or more) “Generations of Anti-Linux Lawsuits, by Proxy”. It is neither news nor rumour that Microsoft is sending companies to fight its battles against competitors, GNU/Linux included. One which we cannot be sure Microsoft was involved in is the Acacia lawsuit which ended some days ago (here is Red Hat’s own version/copy of the press release). Just like in the case of SCO, this whole mess took years to end and the GNU/Linux system was found not guilty (the software patent in question is junk). The damage done is one of reputation (FUD) and lawyers/litigation fees, which would be beneficial to Microsoft either way (no matter of the outcome of these lawsuits). Slashdot wrote about the subject and so did Groklaw, which added a reference to SCO:

Say, that’s what SCO wanted, and Microsoft. Everyone wants to use IP bogo lawsuits to get money from Linux, it seems.

Paula Rooney also mentioned SCO in her coverage of the Acacia case:

Now that the SCO and IP Innovation cases are disposed of, it anyone else want to take on Linux?

SCO and Acacia are both sharing some connections with Microsoft.

TechDirt wrote about the SCO case which never seems to end. There is also yet another cartoon about it [1, 2] as coverage carries on.

Well, this is fascinating. Here’s an order from Judge Ted Stewart in a dispute between Novell and its insurer, Vigilant Insurance Company. Novell tried to get them to pay for the SCO v. Novell litigation back in 2004 and they refused, so Novell sued last May. They were seeking to have at least some of their expense to defend from SCO’s attacks covered by the insurer, but Judge Stewart just ruled on summary judgment [PDF] that slander of title isn’t included in the policy and SCO’s initial complaint was for slander of title only, so Vigilant doesn’t have to pay.

[...]

You know what is sort of odd? This order was signed on April 27. The jury in SCO v. Novell ruled that SCO doesn’t own the copyrights in dispute on March 30, 2010. Yet Judge Stewart never mentions that.

Pogson wrote about “Trying to Tax GNU/Linux,” noting that:

There are the doers and the slugs. Slug are living things and need to survive but they do slimy stuff to eat what others produce. In the world of IT there are all kinds of slugs trying to tax the doers of GNU/Linux:

* M$ shaking down manufacturers for “royalties”
* other more obvious patent trolls sued RedHat and Novell and Lost
* SCO tried to claim copyright that software they did not own was copied in GNU/Linux

Microsoft has already initiated or at least supported lawsuits against Linux. What does that say about Microsoft’s relationship with Free/open source software? As we found out a few days ago, Microsoft was apparently going to sue HTC before HTC decided to cough out some ‘protection’ money. HTC is coming up with the Android-based “Incredible” quite soon and it’s just as incredible as the name suggests. Why should Microsoft make money from it given that it contributed not a single line of code to it? Welcome to the bizarre world of software patents and racketeering [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] as a profitable business model that does not put you in jail, assuming you have the right connections in the government.

Here is a look at the HTC Incredible:

“The Droid Incredible by HTC is an absolutely amazing device,” says PC Magazine, giving the phone its Editors’ Choice award and a 4.5 star rating. “The most powerful phone on the U.S. market today, it reflects and enhances the state of the art smartphone…It’s one of our highest-rated phones in the past year.”

The HTC Legend finally allows rooting, which makes one wonder if HTC can just sell its phones without an operating system (and without Microsoft extortion tax) to install an operating system of one’s own choice.

The HTC Legend, probably one of the best Android devices ever, has finally been rooted, which means you can now access the smartphone’s file system.

Here is what SJVN wrote about Microsoft’s extortion:

For years, Microsoft has made patent threats against Linux. Mind you, Microsoft has never proven, or even attempted to prove, any of these claims. But that hasn’t stopped Microsoft from using the threat of Linux patent lawsuit to force companies like Amazon into paying them off. Now, Microsoft has upped the ante. Microsoft has muscled mobile phone maker HTC into paying Microsoft off for patents that may apply to its Google Android-powered phones. In short, without actually proving that Linux is violating Microsoft’s patents, the Redmond giant is ‘taxing’ companies for using Linux.

The ‘Microsoft press’ chose the headline “Microsoft Attacks Android in HTC Patent Deal” (strong wording) and Samsung expects to sell half of its phones with Microsoft’s extortion tax included in the cost (please do not buy Samsung or HTC phones by the way).

There is another sign today that Android continues to pick up steam in the smartphone industry. Reuters is reporting that Samsung plans to put Android on 50% of it’s smartphones in 2010, and possibly more beyond this year.

The HTC situation is also covered here, along with a new example of the patent system going awry.

Texas-based DDB Technologies, an intellectual property-holding company, has sued a host of US sporting leagues and companies which it alleges copied its live simulation, play-by-play text, graphics, animation and other patented interactive media-based technologies.

Just last week it filed a lawsuit against the National Basketball Association (NBA) and has also brought cases against ESPN, the NFL and Yahoo. The company recently settled a case against Major League Baseball, with the defendants, as part of the settlement, agreeing to buy a patent and entering into a licensing agreement with another.

It has been a while since we last covered Novell’s OpenBallnux, but here is a weekly summary of news and a new video titled “Working With Suse Studio”.


Finally, as a quick reminder, we urge readers to avoid products from HTC, LG, Samsung, Novell, and other companies that pay Microsoft for Linux. Only by refusing to buy from them will they (and Microsoft) get the message that extortion is not an acceptable business model and that software patents need to be shunned.

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.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. [Meme] Sirius Corporation Run by Dummies

    At Sirius ‘Open Source’, the fish rots from the head down



  2. Code of Conduct-Like Culture at Sirius ‘Open Source’ (Managers Never Held Accountable for Anything, Other Staff Blamed for Management's Failures)

    Sirius was abandoned a week ago (my wife and I resigned with immediate effect), leaving a skeleton crew that’s about 50% ‘management’ (barely qualified or not qualified at all) and 50% 'low-paid' geeks (what’s left of them); guess who’s blaming who and who always gets punished



  3. Virtually (i.e. Online) and for Only One Hour the EPO's Staff Representation Was Allowed to Discuss Many Lingering Concerns

    “Report on the LSCMN meeting with VP4 of 9 November 2022″ (i.e. one month ago) is being circulated this week; “On 9 November 2022,” says the union or the local officials (Staff Union of the EPO, or SUEPO for short, has overlaps), “the Local Staff Committee Munich (LSCMN) met with VP4, Ms Nellie Simon, to discuss a number of prevailing local matters in a virtual meeting which had been scheduled, as had the previous one, for one hour only.” (the usual; they intentionally don’t allocate sufficient time)



  4. [Meme] António Campinos-Controlled (EPO-Commissioned) Surveys Are Just for Show (to Help 'Validate' Lies)

    The real EPO survey is not that one conducted by (and for) António Campinos



  5. European Patent Office (EPO) on the Decline, According to the Fifth Edition of the Technologia Staff Survey

    Today we share some documents that circulated amongst EPO staff yesterday; it's about this year's staff survey that was not conducted by the EPO itself (to serve EPO management and its twisted agenda



  6. Free Software is So Robust That Its Opponents Need to Travel 12 Months Back in Time in Order to Find Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) Material

    Microsoft- and Linux Foundation-connected sites help smear or stigmatise Free software (citing hostile 'experts'); this week they borrow news from 12 months ago to make a point



  7. IDG Has Resorted to Microsoft Marketing SPAM Instead of Actual Journalism

    Microsoft puff pieces are published as "opinions", disguised as "news" while in fact serving no purpose other than marketing



  8. Open Invention Network (OIN) Protects Amazon and AWS From Activists Like Us Who Want to Abolish Software Patents Through Reforms of the Patent Systems

    The Open Invention Network (OIN) does not exist to serve the Free software community but to work against it; the latest joining (AWS) proves this



  9. Sirius ‘Open Source’ and the Money Missing From the Pension

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ is unable to cope with basic legal requirements such as sending payslips to staff (this hasn’t been done for months already!) and such issues have gone on for almost 4 years already



  10. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 07, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 07, 2022



  11. Links 07/12/2022: ArcoLinux Beta 23.01 and Cryostat 2.2

    Links for the day



  12. [Meme] Where Did the Money Go?

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ became a company that cannot even do accounting right; pertinent technical employees had to do a lot of chasing for years just to get the basics rectified



  13. Evidence of Sirius ‘Open Source’ (or Sirius Corporation) Failing to Pay Pensions, Failing to Inform Staff, Not Responding to Staff

    The job my wife and I left this past Friday (after about 21 years combined) had turned sour years ago; hoping that this serves as a cautionary tale to others, we've decided to show pension lapses, lack of payslips, and excuses that accompanied that for years



  14. Links 07/12/2022: Blender 3.4 and Apple GPU Drivers Now in Asahi Linux

    Links for the day



  15. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, December 06, 2022

    IRC logs for Tuesday, December 06, 2022



  16. Links 07/12/2022: Kali Linux 2022.4, GNUnet 0.19.0, and Pgpool-II 4.4.0

    Links for the day



  17. Subsidising the Likes of Rupert Murdoch is Not Supporting Journalism

    There are yet more attempts to tax citations; not only does that make no practical or moral sense, it's being lumped in or joined together with a must-pass "defence" (military) bill in order to suppress opposition



  18. Microsoft Layoffs Again

    The company behind Windows is in a bad state, but it is being propped up by the taxpayers; if rumours are true, Microsoft might get a lot smaller next year



  19. Microsoft is Killing Hospital Patients With Its Insecure-by-design Windows Operating System

    Many people continue to needlessly die because many hospitals still foolishly deploy Windows on mission-critical life-saving machines



  20. Sirius ‘Open Source’ Failing at the Most Basic Employment Regulations

    The company we left behind last week was a repeat violator of employment laws; to make matters worse, it led to its long-term or long(time)-serving staff becoming very baffled, having to contact the pension provider for clarifications



  21. Sirius ‘Open Source’: When the Company Stops Paying Your Pension and You Don't Know Until the Pension Provider Keeps Sending Physical Post to Alert You

    Today we turn our attention to pension blunders at Sirius ‘Open Source’; in recent years even something basic like pension contributions wasn’t smooth sailing



  22. [Meme] Sirius Open Source, Closed-Minded Bossing

    At Sirius ‘Open Source’, decisions are made in the dark without consultation with staff and many things go wrong as a result; of course the culprits never hold themselves accountable



  23. Links 06/12/2022: LibreOffice 7.5 Alpha and digiKam 7.9.0

    Links for the day



  24. Rumour: Very Large Microsoft Layoffs (Another Round) Next Month, Lists Already Being Prepared





  25. Benoît Battistelli in 2015: EPO is Ready to Start Unified Patent Court (UPC), Expect UPC in 2016

    We’re almost in 2023 and UPC is being delayed again; this is what EPO President Benoît Battistelli said way back in 2015 (official video from the EPO; 3:45-4:34 cropped apart)



  26. IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 05, 2022

    IRC logs for Monday, December 05, 2022



  27. Links 06/12/2022: FreeBSD 12.4 and Inkscape 1.2.2

    Links for the day



  28. Sirius Not-So-‘Open Source’: Cannot Talk to Colleagues, Cannot Speak About Work

    Cover-up and lies became a corporate pattern at the company where I had worked since 2011; it was time to go in order to avoid cooperation in unethical activities



  29. [Meme] Guilt by Association

    Sirius ‘Open Source’ has a history of hostility towards people with disabilities; the company got sued over this, but kept the lawsuit secret



  30. That Time Sirius 'Open Source' Fired a Blind Lady While Gagging Sympathetic Staff

    Sirius 'Open Source' was taken to court after it had wrongly fired a couple of employees, one of whom was blind; this was accompanied by lies about why the staff's communication server was shut down


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