03.21.21

Trolling Community Developers of GNU/Linux Via Patent Trolls — Part IV: GPL Violators Apparently Use Patents to Bully People Aware of These Violations

Posted in Deception, Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, GPL, Patents at 6:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Dog eat dog barks

Summary: Software patents and other ludicrous patents are being used as tools of extortion and blackmail not just for financial gain but also coercive power, including (apparently) efforts to silence critics and exposers

THIS is the final part of a series that we started early in the month (see Part I, Part II, and Part III). Some more background information was published here last year [1, 2]. In a nutshell, the real Free software community (not monopolies) is under attack from software patents and monopolies like IBM and Google couldn’t care any less. They want us to keep thinking that OIN miraculously tackles the threat, along with LOT, which is closely connected to OIN. They’re both proponents of software patents and even Microsoft apologists (no matter if Microsoft still blackmails Linux with patents).

“They want us to keep thinking that OIN miraculously tackles the threat, along with LOT, which is closely connected to OIN.”Today we deal with one example where software patents are being leveraged to attack a GNU/Linux distribution and people aren’t supposed to know about it (threats aren’t always aired or broadcast out in the open). “I’ve managed to clean room reverse engineer Dolby Vision (at least the LLDV specification),” one developer told us, “with only an HDMI analyser and can get it to work without any additional hardware — proving that it’s a true software implementation and not patentable in our territories. But I’m not sure I want to support their proprietary format and would rather see it die a slow death. With that said — open sourcing the implementation may be a way to achieve this.”

“As we also noted before, there are GPL violations committed by the companies that bully Free software developers.”By “territories” the developer means Europe. As the EPO grants European software patents (Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos basically violate the EPC) software developers based in Europe are under constant threat. Even if the patents are easy to invalidate in court, it won’t be cheap. Especially if those patents are to be challenged en masse or in bulk.

As a previous part noted, Dolby is shaking down developers using proxies (as is typical these days). “I’m hopeful that VIA / Dolby have moved on with their shakedowns,” the developer told us, “but recognise that this behaviour isn’t acceptable.”

As we also noted before, there are GPL violations committed by the companies that bully Free software developers. What hypocrites…

Dog eat dog pees“AMLogic definitely introduced that Dolby Vision binary in to their U-Boots sources,” we’ve been told, “but I can’t see any linking / building against it from a quick grep of the sources. The kernel module is handed out to Dolby certified customers and shipped to those that purchase boxes from those customers. The module is loaded on boot and is marked as GPL but no source is provided. I think this is a clear-cut GPL violation.”

“Seems big,” a Techrights Associate said. “A lot of companies avoid acknowledging that the actual goal of the license is to get the source out in the hands of the public.”

“About the rough outline, it’s not just about the GPL violation, it is that the code has not been published, that is (part of) what is involved in the GPL violation. The goal of the GPL is to get the code out to the public and keep it there.”

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