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Bastian Best is Still Wrong and Dishonest About Software Patents

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 7:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 6a1fe35c0475566fe721a002f28c8a50
Worst Explanation by Best
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: A quick rebuttal to abysmal arguments in favour of software patents, courtesy of people who neither code nor disclose a very obvious conflict of interest (they profit from promotion of such illegal patents, helped by crooked EPO presidencies that violate the European Patent Convention with impunity)

Having campaigned online for ages (about 20 years) against software patents, I’ve long noticed Bastian Best [1, 2], an attorney who shamelessly promoted them while working for law firms I strongly disliked. They’re software patent profiteers and they spread false ‘news’ about the UPC (also what one can rightly call “disinformation” — a lot worse than misinformation).

This video of Mr. Best mentions Techrights, so it merits a quick rebuttal (which is very easy to do because what he says is utterly false).

Mr. Best has long been an apologist for illegal EPO policies from Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos because he’s looking for profit from European software patents and has long marketed himself as such (even by ‘hijacking’ hashtags/usernames formed by opponents of software patents, i.e. groups which actually write code*).

“Free (or “open source”) software is a matter of copyrights, not patents.”Nowadays, having started a one-man shop, Mr. Best is selling himself as the ‘expert’ in getting such illegal patents (disguised as “Hey Hi” or similar nonsense while Campinos subverts examination guidelines to blur the gaps). In the video above he’s pretending that the vast majority of software developers opposing software patents — as per many polls — isn’t a real thing based on anecdotes or the rare subset** (few who actually do pursue such a thing).

I can haz patentz on the maths?In a subtle or implicit fashion he’s also namecalling or suggesting it is “extreme” to oppose such patents… or that developers oppose patents in general (that’s a red herring).

One real sloppy argument (misframing the debate) says that “open source”*** and patents are opposites when in fact that’s like comparing cats to cars. Software patents hurt all software developers, including developers of proprietary software.

And “while the statement about hurting all developers is accurate,” an associate notes, “the scope of the damage is actually much wider. Because patents govern usage it is not just the developers who are affected.”

“Indeed the case might even be made that developers are less affected. The people really hurt by the software patents are those that wish to actually use the software, again because software patents govern usage and not distribution.”

Free (or “open source”) software is a matter of copyrights, not patents. In any event, the video above highlights how much of the very basics he gets wrong; it’s like he doesn’t know what he’s talking about! People pay for this? We suppose that given the unqualified aristocracy — or kakistocracy — running the EPO (very bare comprehension of patents) it should not be too shocking that it’s facilitating a lobby or lawyers, liars, and fake patent attorneys who illegally (fraudulently) claim to be European patent attorneys.
* It is my vague recollection that he took the namespace #swpats or #swpat in Twitter about 13 years ago, maybe the username/s too.

** Vocal proponents of such patents, especially when they do not code themselves (i.e. they’re external to the outcome/consequences), have long been condemned here. Some ran whole blogs/sites to demonise and misrepresent software developers.

*** It is a misleading term that has spun out of control and lost all consistent meaning, hence we say Free software — the original term which “Open Source” opportunistically sought to replace.

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