02.15.12

Gemini version available ♊︎

Tim Berners-Lee Finally Takes Action Against Patents on the Web

Posted in Patents at 2:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Tim Berners-Lee

Image from Wikimedia

Summary: The Web’s inventor, who always insisted on patent- and royalty-free Web, addresses a standing issue

THE HONOURABLE MAN who was inspired in part by Richard Stallman when he created the free Web is making headlines again. It is about the case which we wrote about in posts such as [1, 2, 3].

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, a journalist who is currently being smeared by Microsoft employees, writes about this piece of news that’s pretty big. Timothy B. Lee’s angle on Timothy Berners-Lee can be found here. “But no third cheer,” writes Simon Phipps (OSI), “because, all the same, it’s a hollow victory. Despite the fact every technically-competent engineer on the Internet (including my colleagues at Sun who worked on the HotJava browser and were also pursued) could see the patent claim was specious, Eolas has still been able to spend more than a decade making huge sums of money simply by threatening people with enormously expensive litigation.”

Here are some more articles about this theme:

  • WebKit dominance threatens the open web
  • Tim Berners-Lee Takes the Stand to Keep the Web Free

    The inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, testified in a courtroom Tuesday for the first time in his life. The web pioneer flew down from Boston, near where he teaches at MIT, to an eastern Texas federal court to speak to a jury of two men and six women about the early days of the web.

    His trip is part of an effort by a group of internet companies and retailers trying to defeat two patents — patents that a patent-licensing company called Eolas and the University of California are saying entitle them to royalty payments from just about anyone running a website with “interactive” features, like rotating pictures or streaming video.

Last year Tim and I chatted briefly on Twitter about patents in the Web, so the above action is reassuring. Glyn Moody writes about this by retweeting Tim:

RT @timberners_lee Texas jury agreed Eolas 906 patent invalid. Good thing too! >>that’s a relief…#swpats

As an aside, there is this ongoing discussion about why the patent system fails. Jan summarises as follows:

What started as a post on Googleplus turned into quite a nice braindump of my struggle with the current patent system. Hence I decided to also turn it into a blog entry. Please do read the comments on googleplus as they contain a lot of additional insight and counterarguments.

[...]

So when both sides of the equation fail in society (not the market, patents are a deal between society and creators, not a deal in the market, a mistake many people make) the patent system is NOT doing what it is meant to do.

Now can we get back to the original deal? I doubt it. Reforms will not suffice for that.

A good first step would be to annul all software patents. Tim said that software patents are "terrible". He is a scientist and renowned innovator, not a lawyer.

“Let me make my position on the patentability of software clear. I believe that software per se should not be allowed patent protection. […] We take this position because it is the best policy for maintaining a healthy software industry, where innovation can prosper.” —Douglas Brotz, Adobe Systems, Inc.

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.

4 Comments

  1. Michael said,

    February 15, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Gravatar

    Webkit is open source and does not threaten the open web.

    What silliness.

    I thought you were *for* open software and standards!

  2. DaemonFC said,

    February 16, 2012 at 2:08 am

    Gravatar

    It is a problem when they suggest that people use their own additions to web standards.

    The vendor prefix for CSS items that have not been approved as standards are there to encourage people to test them out, not call them on actual sites meant to be viewed by the public.

    It’s good that we have an implementation of these things in free software (Webkit), but it’s still only one step up from what was going on with Internet Explorer.

    In this case, the Webkit project can make anything they want a de facto standard, bypassing the standards approval process of the W3C and forcing other browsers to implement things that have no public standard or simply render the broken sites in standards compliance mode and baffle users when the page in question is garbled.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Let’s not forget the whole Webkit-KHTML story, either.

    Michael Reply:

    Forks happen.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Austria's Right-Wing Politicians Displaying Their Arrogance to EPO Examiners

    The EPO‘s current regime seems to be serving a money-hungry lobby of corrupt officials and pathological liars; tonight we focus on Austria



  2. [Meme] Friedrich Rödler's Increasingly Incomprehensible Debt Quagmire, Years Before EPO Money Was Trafficked Into the Stock Market

    As it turns out, numerous members of the Administrative Council of the EPO are abundantly corrupt and greedy; They falsely claim or selfishly pretend there’s a financial crisis and then moan about a "gap" that does not exist (unless one counts the illegal gambling, notably EPOTIF, which they approved), in turn recruiting or resorting to scabs that help improve ‘profit margins’



  3. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XV: Et Tu Felix Austria…

    Prior to the Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos regime the EPO‘s hard-working staff was slandered by a corrupt Austrian official, Mr. Rödler



  4. Links 17/10/2021: Blender 2.93.5, Microsoft Bailouts

    Links for the day



  5. Links 17/10/2021: GhostBSD 21.10.16 and Mattermost 6.0

    Links for the day



  6. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 16, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, October 16, 2021



  7. [Meme] First Illegally Banning Strikes, Then Illegally Taking Over Courts

    The vision of Team Battistelli/Campinos is a hostile takeover of the entire patent system, not just patent offices like the EPO; they’d stop at nothing to get there



  8. Portuguese Network of Enablers

    Instead of serving Portuguese people or serving thousands of EPO workers (including many who are Portuguese) the delegation from Portugal served the network of Campinos



  9. In Picture: After Billions Spent on Marketing, With Vista 11 Hype and Vapourware, No Real Gains for Windows

    The very latest figures from Web usage show that it’s hardly even a blip on the radar; Windows continues bleeding to death, not only in servers



  10. [Meme] [Teaser] Double-Dipping Friedrich Rödler

    As we shall see tomorrow night, the EPO regime was supported by a fair share of corrupt officials inside the Administrative Council



  11. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIV: Battistelli's Iberian Facilitators - Portugal

    How illegal “Strike Regulations” and regressive ‘reforms’ at the EPO, empowering Benoît Battistelli to the detriment of the Rule of Law, were ushered in by António Campinos and by Portugal 5 years before Campinos took Battistelli’s seat (and power he had given himself)



  12. Links 16/10/2021: SparkyLinux Turns 10 and Sculpt OS 21.10

    Links for the day



  13. “Facebook Whistleblowers” Aside, It Has Been a Dying Platform for Years, and It's Mentally Perverting the Older Generation

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  14. [Meme] Microsoft Has Always Been About Control Over Others

    Hosting by Microsoft means subjugation or a slavery-like relationship; contrary to the current media narrative, Microsoft has long been censoring LinkedIn for China’s autocratic regime; and over at GitHub, as we shall show for months to come, there’s a war on information, a war on women, and gross violations of the law



  15. EFF Pushes for Users to Install DuckDuckGo Software After Being Paid to Kill HTTPS Everywhere

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  16. The Reign in Spain

    Discussion about the role of Spain in the EPO‘s autocratic regime which violates the rights of EPO staff, including Spanish workers



  17. [Meme] Spanish Inquisition

    Let it be widely known that Spain played a role in crushing the basic rights of all EPO workers, including hundreds of Spaniards



  18. Why You Shouldn’t Use SteamOS, a Really Incompetent GNU/Linux Distribution With Security Pitfalls (Lutris is a Great Alternative)

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  19. IRC Proceedings: Friday, October 15, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, October 15, 2021



  20. Links 16/10/2021: Xubuntu 21.10 and DearPyGui 1.0.0

    Links for the day



  21. DuckDuckGo’s HQ is Smaller Than My Apartment

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  22. Post About Whether Vivaldi is a GPL violation Was Quietly Knifed by the Mods of /r/uBlockOrigin in Reddit

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  23. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIII: Battistelli's Iberian Facilitators - Spain

    The EPO‘s António Campinos is an ‘Academy’ of overt nepotism; what Benoît Battistelli did mostly in France Campinos does in Spain and Portugal, severely harming the international image of these countries



  24. From Competitive (Top-Level, High-Calibre, Well-Paid) Jobs to 2,000 Euros a Month -- How the EPO is Becoming a Sweatshop by Patent Examiners' Standards

    A longish video about the dreadful situation at the EPO, where staff is being ‘robbed’ and EPO funds get funnelled into some dodgy stock market investments (a clear violation of the institution’s charter)



  25. [Meme] Protecting European Patent Courts From EPO 'Mafia'

    With flagrant disregard for court rulings (or workarounds to dodge actual compliance) it seems clear that today's EPO management is allergic to justice and to judges; European Patents perish at unprecedented levels in national European courts and it should be kept that way



  26. Links 15/10/2021: Pine64's New PinePhone Pro and Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Codename

    Links for the day



  27. [Meme] GitHub Isn't Free Hosting, It's All About Control by Microsoft

    Deleting GitHub isn’t a political statement but a pragmatic decision, seeing how Microsoft routinely misuses its control over GitHub to manipulate the market



  28. With EPO 'Strike Regulations' Belatedly Ruled Unlawful, EPO Management May be Lowering the Salary Even Further by Introducing Outside 'Temps' or Casual Workers

    Institutional capture by an 'IP' (litigation) Mafia is nearly complete; with illegal so-called (anti) 'Strike Regulations' out the door, they're quickly moving on to another plan, or so it seems on the surface



  29. Links 15/10/2021: 95% of Ransomware Targets Windows

    Links for the day



  30. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, October 14, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, October 14, 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