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.”

Open Source Initiative (OSI): A Boat Without a Captain

Posted in Free/Libre Software, OSI at 6:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Hong Phuc Dang announces victory on LinkedIn

Summary: A leaderless Open Source Initiative (OSI) isn’t functioning anymore; it can barely even conduct a process by which to decide who its leaders will be

THE two founders of the OSI stepped aside last year. Simon Phipps is almost no longer involved either, right? The General Manager of the OSI (their sole full-time member of staff)? He left abruptly months ago. So who actually runs the OSI? Why is the majority of its budget (half or more than half of it) funneled to help Microsoft monopolise “Open Source”? Why would any individual people (“members” or “supporters”) give them a portion of their salaries? It’s not even clear who runs the OSI anymore…

“Why would any individual people (“members” or “supporters”) give them a portion of their salaries? It’s not even clear who runs the OSI anymore…”The OSI itself would probably not hesitate to admit a state of disarray. As we noted (briefly, in passing) last night, the OSI had suffered a compromised election, maybe even a security breach (hard to tell; no real transparency).

Hong Phuc Dang, shown above, thought she had won, but dang! Not so fast…

“OSI election vulnerability in process,” one reader told us, led to the OSI “asking users to “vote again” March 23 – April 2 – after… Hong Phuc Dang announces victory on LinkedIn.” (Microsoft)

“Apparently,” the reader told us, “there was a “vulnerability” in the election process as announced by Deb Nicholson. Looks like the edit was made on the 19th… [i.e.] 3 days after… election closed.”

“So what is this vague vulnerability,” our reader asked aloud, “can we get details?”

Here’s where to look. Our reader told us she had checked this and the original election was “running from March 5 through March 16.”

“Hong Phuc Dang, shown above, thought she had won, but dang! Not so fast…”This can be confirmed in the official sources/site.

“On March 18, Hong Phuc Dang announced she won…” (image above)

“Today, I saw this: “Because of a vulnerability in our voting process, we are re-running our 2021 Board Election. We sincerely hope you will take a minute to vote again.

New election starts: March 23rd, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. PDT
New election closes: April 2nd, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. PDT

“Perens mentioned something about a system problem in one of his mailing list posts just before he jumped ship,” our reader recalled. “I wonder if this is what he was referring to. At any rate, these pebbles leftover after the implosion and demise are not even holding on well. How do you botch up yearly voting? That takes some effort!”

“Either way, the OSI is in a bad and sad state. Its most major demise/collapse happened last year.”“Also,” she added, as a side note, “what’s with the %20s in the first wiki link… that seems like something from back when people used spaces, right?”

She was referring to URLs with “OSI%20Board%20of%20Directors”, “Board%20Member%20Elections” and “2021%20Individual%20″… or “%20Affiliate%20Elections” (maybe they don’t know how to use the wiki software properly; maybe they even use Windows).

Either way, the OSI is in a bad and sad state. Its most major demise/collapse happened last year. Some of its leadership is nowadays openwashing professionals, not Free software (or Open Source) champions and some are using operating systems that are proprietary, which says where they stand on the real (core) issues.

Hey, Hi, Welcome to the EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents at 5:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Judge Jacob once said that the “technical” excuse of the EPO was a restatement of the same problem. In other words, it’s a loophole to make software patentable anyway, despite the exclusion in the law.”A comment made days ago

SORRY, WE DON'T DO SOFTWARE PATENTS HERE. HEY HI! Shit, the guidebook says grant 'AI'.

Summary: The EPO keeps granting European software patents to fake so-called ‘production’ and examiners are compelled to obey corrupt management instead of following the EPC (which this management violates)

Almost 100 Pages of Self-Congratulatory Marketing Isn’t a Case of Informing the Administrative Council of the EPO But Misleading It Using Fluff and Buzzwords

Posted in Deception, Europe, Marketing, Microsoft, Patents at 5:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

And pictures like the one below:

EPO IT report

Video download link

Summary: The video above quickly runs through nearly 100 pages of self-promotional fluff; the Administrative Council of the EPO, which meets in a few days, is being misled or shamelessly lied to by the Office

YESTERDAY we showed that it is notoriously hard to find documents associated with meetings of the Administrative Council of the EPO, so we’ve made available here a recent document and this addendum (CA/40/20 and CA/40/20 Add. 5, respectively).

“What’s worth noting (and seeing; it’s covered hurriedly in the video above) is how the Office exploits “diversity” (which it is patently lacking) and greenwashing tactics to paint itself as ethical, still pretending to have a real dialogue with the union (SUEPO), misleading about “quality”, and bragging about bribing the media for lots of puff pieces and TV ‘air time’…”They’re both PDF files, outlined as followed:

CA/40/20
Munich, 12.06.2020
SUBJECT: Annual Review 2019
SUBMITTED BY: President of the European Patent Office
ADDRESSEES: Administrative Council (for information)

CA/40/20 Add. 5
Munich, 12.06.2020
SUBJECT: IT Report 2019 – Driving digital transformation
SUBMITTED BY: President of the European Patent Office
ADDRESSEES: Administrative Council (for information)

One can find the original at https://www.epo.org/about-us/annual-reports-statistics/annual-report/2019/deeper-look/it.html but it takes some efforts to locate because the search facility at epo.org is mostly broken (we demonstrated this in a video one day ago). “Some other interesting EPO documents,” as a source noted to us, show just how little the Administrative Council of the EPO is being told about the real situation at the Office. “Two more interesting EPO documents which are publicly available are these ones which contain information about the ongoing “digital transformation” for the information of the Administrative Council…”

Let’s take a look at the part about “IT” (a direct link to “Deeper look at: IT – driving digital transformation” (warning: epo.org link) is possible to reach through navigation menus).

“These documents were submitted to the Administrative Council “for information” in June 2020 by the Office Administration,” a source said. “The “IT Report 2019 – Driving digital transformation” is full of buzzwords like “fasttrack digitalisation”, “IT delivery highway”, “Kubernetes” and “migrating to cloud-native architectures”.”

In the video above (towards the end) we examine key pages.

Page 3 of 19 says:

Accelerating delivery via a new highway
Based on a new reference architecture (Kubernetes), we launched a technical platform for streamlined continuous delivery (an IT delivery “highway”). After building cross-functional teams and improving co-operation with all areas of the EPO, we began to prepare several pilots and create product teams. These initiatives were designed to pave the way for fasttrack digitalisation and paperless solutions for the patent granting process (PGP).

PGP would typically be associated with encryption, but not at the EPO.

Page 4 of 19 says:

Migrating to cloud-native architectures
One of our goals is to simplify our overly-complex application landscape, replacing it with a harmonised, open source IT architecture. We embarked upon this journey in 2019 by beginning to decommission obsolete hardware and software, and roll out state-of-the-art alternatives. Going forward, we intend to decouple from our legacy systems and migrate to cloud-native architectures. This will positively impact information security, lower operating costs and ensure that our key applications are future-ready.

We’ve looked at nearly 100 pages and didn’t see Microsoft mentioned except in relation to Vista 10 and OOXML. The report is long and full of pictures/charts. “But there doesn’t seem to be anything about the issue of GDPR compliance or any attempt to address the potential risks in outsourcing data processing to US-based multinationals like Microsoft,” our source emphasised. “Also the annual audit reports from the Board of Auditors don’t appear to contain any meaningful analysis of these issues. So it seems that the Administrative Council is not being properly briefed about what is happening to the EPO’s infrastructure.”

In the next part (tomorrow) we shall look at more internal documents. What’s worth noting (and seeing; it’s covered hurriedly in the video above) is how the Office exploits “diversity” (which it is patently lacking) and greenwashing tactics to paint itself as ethical, still pretending to have a real dialogue with the union (SUEPO), misleading about “quality”, and bragging about bribing the media for lots of puff pieces and TV ‘air time’…

A First Look at the Alpha of Moonlander, a Graphical Gemini Client/Browser

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Review at 4:09 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: There’s now yet another option for browsing Gemini space (with Gemini protocol, gemini://) and it’s called Moonlander, a GTK3-based application

BROWSING Gemini capsules isn’t easy because getting software for Gemini is not yet easy; in most GNU/Linux distributions there’s nothing in software repositories for this purpose, so people must download binaries or compile from source, at least for now.

“Amfora has a lot more features, but the downside is that it doesn’t work with a mouse and textual elements are always of the same size, even headings.”Last night in the Gemini mailing list the first alpha of Moonlander was announced and then received some feedback regarding accessibility. The software is now available for download (AppImage) and I’ve taken it for a spin to demonstrate its simplicity. So far I’ve seen no crashes and bugs. Maybe it’s considered alpha because of the lack of features. Amfora has a lot more features, but the downside is that it doesn’t work with a mouse and textual elements are always of the same size, even headings. Both are developed in Rust.

IRC Proceedings: Saturday, March 20, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:30 am by Needs Sunlight

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