Conversation With Richard Stallman in Brazil, May 31st 2021

Posted in America, Free/Libre Software at 6:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: At the end of last month Richard Stallman had a 2-hour (and beyond, considering some of the afterthoughts) conversation, which is now available online


[Meme] When All That Matters is ‘Production’ and ‘Timeliness’

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 11:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A patent on animal toy

A patent on a portable display

A patent on organising files

A patent on mail

A patent on cat exercise

A patent on swing

Chong And Judge: GUILTY! For swinging a swing?
Give him the death sentence!

Summary: The EPO has gone down the same route as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) when it comes to patent quality; as if the goal is to grant 11 million patents (most of them in just a few decades) rather than assess the impact of such patents


USPTO for Monopolies, Keeping GNU/Linux in the Dark

Posted in America, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft, Patents at 1:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Growing evidence of gross discrimination against GNU/Linux (or Free software, even BSD/UNIX) users at the USPTO is too hard to ignore; some people out there challenge the Office over this travesty

“On Wednesday,” one reader told us after we had published “Conflict of Interest: Microsoft and IBM Controlling the USPTO and Leaving GNU/Linux Users Shut Out (in the Cold),” action was taken. He shared letters with us, adding: “I mailed the report to people in Congress who might be able to do something, or at least might be interested. I also sent it to the Antitrust division of the Department of Justice, and to the Anticompetitive Practices Division of the Federal Trade Commission. Waste of time and money, because they won’t do anything, but did it anyway.”

“It will be interesting to see if they respond at all.”“Adobe is making millions and millions of the US government,” he added, “and forces Americans to use Microsoft or Apple.”

We’ve received and have decided to publish the two letters below; if there’s any follow-up or response, we’ll probably receive a copy and reproduce it at a later date.

April 6, 2021

Mr. Richard A. Powers
Acting Assistant Attorney General
Department of Justice, Antitrust Division
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Dear Mr. Powers:
Your webpage https://www.justice.gov/atr says this: “To view PDF files on this website you need the free Adobe Reader.” But, de facto, Adobe is not free, because it does not work with the free operating system: Linux. It requires proprietary software: either Microsoft Windows or the Apple operating system for laptops. See Attachment D in the enclosed 38-page report about the USPTO.

If you look at Attachment F in the report, you will see that the White House and various parts of the military and federal government use Linux; and, if you look at Attachment G, you might think it reasonable to believe that perhaps 7.5% of the computers in America run on Linux.

Adobe is making millions upon millions peddling stuff to the US government, and they discriminate against maybe 7.5% of computer users. And, something is extremely rotten at the USPTO, when IBM and Microsoft takes over and institutes an “Electronic Filing Incentive.”

Why don’t you demand that Adobe work with Linux? Why don’t you demand that the USPTO stop requiring inventors to use Microsoft? And, please don’t suggest they use the much more pricey Apple. If you want more information, you can contact me at ████████████, or at ██████████.

Best regards,


The second letter:

April 6, 2021

Federal Trade Commission
Anticompetitive Practices Division
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580

To whom it may concern:
I would like to ask you why I am being punished by the USPTO for using the Linux operating system, and why this sorta-government, sorta-not-government agency – which had people from IBM and Microsoft in its leadership – is trying to force me to use Microsoft.

The issue of Linux and IBM and Microsoft begins at page fourteen in the enclosed report about the USPTO, which I am circulating in DC, so, maybe, somebody might ask you about it, so here’s your chance to read it, and make yourself look informed. And, why don’t you go ahead and act on it, and make yourself look smart and responsible?

I was born in the District of Columbia, and I studied accounting at George Washington University, and I am a self-taught inventor who was in the Patent Office in 1980 when it was in Crystal City, so I know what I am talking about.

If you want more information, please feel free to contact me at ████████████, or at ██████████.

Best regards,


It will be interesting to see if they respond at all. I sent several letter to the Federal Trade Commission over the years, but all I got was a generic response saying they had received my complaints. Nothing more, or barely anything of substance (just saying they’re looking into it). No evidence of actual progress, just template-like acknowledgements.


EPO President Pushes Illegal Software Patents in South America (Over the Telephone With a Misleading New Puff Piece)

Posted in America, Deception, Europe, Law, Patents at 7:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: The EPO’s “news” section has become worse than a form of distraction (from the EPO’s internal rot); it celebrates illegal and unlawful practices, spreading them to other continents

THE EPO is a non-stop propaganda machine that occupies its own staff and oppresses the European continent. Run by Mafia-like leaders and their friends/family members (nepotism of the Benoît Battistelli era very much continued under António Campinos), it is pushing European software patents, usually by referring to them as “CII” or “Hey Hi” (AI).

This time too, as per this morning’s puff piece (warning: epo.org link), the EPO mis-portrays a call, instead dubbing it a “meeting” and dropping in the obligatory promotion of software patents, ever so nonchalantly.

“EPO workers aren’t gullible enough to fall for it, but lies are being used to compel them to grant software patents regardless.”The puff piece speaks of “understanding of each office’s practice in the examination of computer-implemented inventions and Artificial Intelligence related applications…”

They just mean software patents. The above video discusses the deception and the lies. EPO workers aren’t gullible enough to fall for it, but lies are being used to compel them to grant software patents regardless. Nowadays many European Patents are in effect fake patents, unlawful under the EPC even if many are unlikely to have been challenged and properly tested in court (so they can be used for coercive purposes instead). This policy not only harms Europe; it harms small business or “indies” everywhere because it’s guarding monopolists, offering them protectionism in the form of patent thickets (where the underlying patents are mostly junk in bulk).


As Andrei Iancu Removes Himself From the Patent and Trademark Office All Eyes Are on Biden’s Next Nomination

Posted in America, Patents at 6:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Patent zealots and their front groups already lobby Joe Biden to put one of them in charge of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; we’ll soon see if Joe Biden “means business” or simply means monopoly/large corporations (and their law firms/departments)

ABOUT a week ago, the Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Andrei Iancu, resigned along with his deputy. He did not expect to keep his job under the Biden Administration, so he proactively removed himself. This is great news and a positive signal, which makes us hopeful that 35 U.S.C. § 101/Alice (SCOTUS) will become “great again”, at the expense of corruption and nepotism like Donald Trump/Andrei Iancu. The above video explains the situation and shows how Patently-O covered the news while alluding to Watchtroll. Patent maximalists are very concerned that Iancu is now gone; this means that those of us who actually get work done are likely to be better off. That of course depends on who the Biden administration soon appoints/chooses to lead the USPTO, nominating and soon thereafter confirming based on corporate approval rates (they always choose those people for corporations, not inventors or society at large).


Technology, Citizenship, Democracy and Tyrants

Posted in America, Europe, Free/Libre Software at 7:46 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock

This week, the world saw dramatic scenes in Washington as a mob stormed the US Capitol building. Scenes like this are painful to watch but they also provide fascinating opportunities to learn lessons about leadership and the world we live in.

At the same time, the free software world has been coming to grips with the judicial complaints at least one woman has made against a free software organization, the Free Software Foundation Europe e.V. and its leader, Matthias Kirschner.

This is relevant for all of us in every free software organization. Try to put yourself in the shoes of a female employee or a volunteer, a foreigner in Germany, when they go into a court room and they are confronted by this vile defamation from somebody who claims, as President of an organization using the name Free Software, that he speaks on behalf of all of us.

Now stop for a moment and think of the woman shot during the riots in Washington. As an employee of the armed services, President Trump was not just a political leader, he was also commander in chief and therefore her boss. As both an American and a soldier, even if her conduct looks outrageous to many of us, she believed she belonged there.

The communications of both these presidents, Kirschner’s vile campaigns of vilification against multiple women and volunteers and Trump’s call to resist, resonated with each of these women in ways that outsiders may never appreciate.

The stories of these “leaders” are intertwined and among other things, begin on my birthday.

9 November

9 November 1989 is the day that a mob began pulling down the Berlin Wall. As a thought exercise, how would censors at Twitter or Facebook decide which side to take in such an event? Would they focus on the short term risk to human life or the long term benefit of democracy in former communist states? Should they make such decisions at all?

On 9 November 2016, I woke up on my birthday to the news that Donald Trump had been elected president of the United States.

As a belated birthday gift, I’m giving the world this White House briefing room scene for OBS Studio so you can all peacefully simulate a visit to the White House during President Trump’s absence from social media. OBS Studio is free software, that means it is free for everybody to download and use, whether you are a president or not.

President Trump has shown us the promise of democracy: anyone can be president. Now let free software do the rest.

The censorship question, Silicon Valley against the US constitution

Having mentioned censorship, I can’t resist the urge to put Mark Zuckerberg in his place.

Twitter, Google-Youtube and Facebook all censored the US President. Many people will not lose sleep over that decision.

The US constitution provides two means to remove a president. Neither of these procedures puts power in the hands of Silicon Valley. The US constitution requires the action to come from the democratically elected lawmakers and Vice President. Many Americans are furious at Trump for failing to uphold his oath and protect the US constitution against a mob: but who will protect the constitution from Silicon Valley?

It is at exactly this time that Silicon Valley overlords will arrive and pretend to be saviors. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing.

If you sincerely care about the loss of human life, contemplate the hundreds of thousands of Americans who died under Trump’s Coronavirus response. Silicon Valley did little to restrain him when he advised people not to wear face masks, a far more deadly policy than the riots.

It is a simple fact that the US death toll from Coronavirus far exceeds the combined death toll from Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Why did Twitter and friends stop procrastinating and finally cut him off on 7 January 2021? Was it because of the loss of life at the US Capitol or was it because on the same day, voters in Georgia had just given the incoming president control of the US Senate?

When Trump advised the US population to drink or inject bleach, nobody took any action against him.

Google, Twitter and Facebook tolerated Trump while hundreds of thousands of people were dying. They feared another four years of his rule. When the run-off vote in Georgia banished the Republicans, Silicon Valley had no more use for Trump and they cut him loose. Had Trump remained in office or had the Republicans won Georgia, Trump would still be tweeting today. Hundreds of thousands of dead Coronavirus patients wouldn’t be mentioned. Silicon Valley’s intervention was entirely self-serving.

Nominating for the FSFE elections

Shortly after that birthday surprise in 2016, I submitted my nomination for the role of Fellowship Representative in the elections of FSFE.

Ever since then, I’ve been subjected to something that the former leader of Debian described as a campaign of harassment.

Even before the US election in November 2020, media outlets leaked details about a Trump conspiracy to undermine the vote. While FSFE’s fellows were deciding how to vote in 2017, FSFE’s management were secretly discussing how to avoid further elections:

florian snow, matthias kirschner, fsfe

Well dressed children

Since losing the US election in November 2020, President Trump has behaved like a giant toddler stamping his foot.

On a daily basis, this reminded me of the state of free software organizations. From the disappearance of my nomination email in the Fedora Council elections, my removal from the Debian keyring days before nominations opened in 2019 and the situation in FSFE.

FSFE stands out. The community clearly voted for me, putting Florian Snow second, as results at Cornell’s independent Internet Voting Service clearly show.

Yet just a few months later, the president, Matthias Kirschner, used his executive power to give the same General Assembly voting rights to the loser, Snow, in effect, changing the result of the election.

Subject: Re: [GA] Membership Application: Florian Snow, Feedback until 15 December
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2017 07:16:04 +0100
From: Matthias Kirschner <mk@fsfe.org>
To: ga@lists.fsfe.org

After all the positive feedback by you, I have now accepted Florian as
member to be officially confirmed at the next general assembly.

Jonas will add him to the mailing list.



The community had voted for me but Kirschner needed to have another white German male. I’ve never seen anything like this in any other country. What was he looking for with this move, an emotional support animal? If we really care about diversity, we have to consider that this same psychology made it impossible for Kirschner to work with women as equals, so he fired them all.

The way that Snow entered the General Assembly, despite losing the election, is what came to mind when I saw people clambering into the US Senate.

florian snow, matthias kirschner, fsfe

Elections were just an illusion

It turns out that everything FSFE gave us, the Fellowship smart cards with our names on them, like membership cards, the fsfe.org email addresses and even the elections were just a gimmick to make us feel like members without really being members.

In other words, these Fellowships were comparable to investments in funds operated by Bernard Madoff or Allen Stanford. Their Ponzi schemes gave investors bank statements showing balances that didn’t exist while FSFE voting gave us a feeling of membership that didn’t really exist.

Challenging such deceptions was my responsibility as an elected representative of the community. If the representative doesn’t call out something like this, they are not doing their job properly. Yet whenever I asked about it, the only reply was Kirschner’s fury. When FSFE’s female employees wrote about asking for equal pay, I could relate to their words completely in my quest for volunteers to have equal voting:

A female colleague and me had dared to discuss wage transparency and gender pay gap in the office. Apparently it is common in Germany that this gap exceeds 20%, but we both felt secure that the free software movement is progressive, and cares about being inclusive and equal opportunities oriented. Unfortunately we miscalculated – our boss Matthias was beyond furious. After that office meeting, he told my colleague “there will be consequences”.

Another round of censorship

The woman in question writes about defamation in particular:

The court process was taxing. The FSFE lawyer made up easily disprovable slanders against me – and I say “easily” because their charges were demonstrably false, but of course finding evidence that is also admissible in the conservative German court system did not do much good for my stress levels over summer. They disrespected the court by not submitting papers on time, and they refused to answer my allegations, opting instead to portray me as a disobedient, sexist, racist, incompetent belligerent. Why did they give such a person a permanent contract after a six month probation period?

People noticed that after I resigned in disgust from the FSFE, my blog was censored from Planet Fedora, Planet Mozilla, Planet Ubuntu and Planet Debian. I receive regular reports of emails being sent behind my back. Several people leaked an email from Kirschner about how he wanted to gather information:

One general wish — which I agreed with — from Debian was to better share information about people

What is the purpose of such a communication which is clearly illegal under the GDPR? Did Kirschner hope to obtain information with which to coerce or discredit a representative elected by the community, just as Trump has tried to discredit the US elections?

At the point Kirschner wrote that email, I was no longer a member of FSFE. His methods and motives were completely illegal under the GDPR, just as Trump’s attempts to cling on to power are illegal.

Home invasions

We could think of the US Capitol, rather than the White House, as the home of US democracy. How would this woman feel about the president of the Free Software organization going to her home against her will?

A weekend of non-stop calls followed, including from hidden phone numbers. He even texted telling me I should answer my phone, for my own better. Even after my lawyer warned him to terminate all attempts to communicate with me and send someone else to pick up my work laptop, he came in person to my house, and was very irritated that I was not alone.

This is incredible stuff.

Take a moment to put yourself in this woman’s shoes, imagine your boss arriving at your home anticipating he would find you alone.

Now imagine if this woman has spent much of her life in the free software world, she volunteers for other groups, maybe Fedora or Mozilla and she attends one of their booths at an event. How is she going to feel if she is standing at a Fedora booth or Mozilla booth and it is right beside the FSFE booth, right beside the man who violated her home in this way?

A few weeks ago, I politely asked on the Fedora Council mailing list whether it was appropriate for Red Hat to give money to Kirschner’s group. Kirschner’s behavior at this woman’s home is no more tolerable than Trump’s behavior at the US Capitol.

Choking democracy

After Kirschner used his executive authority to grant Florian Snow voting rights in the FSFE, Kirschner then put Snow in charge of the communications from the representative elected by the Fellows. This was a hideous snub to democracy, matched only by the antics of Trump and his mob:

Subject: Request to mailing list Discussion rejected
Date: Tue, 18 Sep 2018 05:06:09 +0000
From: discussion-owner@lists.fsfe.org
To: daniel@pocock.pro

Your request to the Discussion mailing list

Posting of your message titled “Re: FSFE and censorship – not true?”

has been rejected by the list moderator.

Snow, the interloper, shutting down debate, just as interlopers shut down the US Capitol…

florian snow, matthias kirschner, fsfe



Posted in America, Deception, Europe, Google, Microsoft, Patents at 11:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Matthias Kirschner, FSFE, harassment, bullying, women

Summary: There’s still too much American (and corporate) control over the ‘European’ FOSDEM, but the grip is — on least on the surface — slipping slightly

A READER has informed us that the FSFE is now at FOSDEM’s legal devroom, citing this message from SFC. “FSFE has now 2 people as organisers of the legal fosdem devroom,” the reader said, whereas “before it was organised by only 5 Americans.”

Sounds like a step in the right direction (FFII used to complain about this too).

“The good news is, not 100% of the co-organizers are Americans.”But FSFE is largely sponsored by an American company, Google. It also takes money from Microsoft and it has a bunch of other issues, as we’ve covered before. Kuhn and Sandler too are taking money from Google and Microsoft. Richard Fontana works for IBM, not Red Hat (as it says below). It emphasises diversity.

Under “Diversity Statement” is says: “The organizers of this DevRoom are committed to increasing the diversity of the free software movement. To that end, our CFP process takes demographic information into account in order to build a program that features as many different voices and perspectives as possible. If you are comfortable doing so, please share any demographic information about yourself in the “Submission Notes”. Such disclosure is not mandatory by any means.”

Most of them are US citizens (60%), still:

The co-organizers of the FOSDEM 2021 Legal and Policy Issues DevRoom are (in alphabetical order by surname):

- Richard Fontana, Senior Commercial Counsel, Red Hat

- Matthias Kirschner, President, Free Software Foundation Europe

- Bradley M. Kuhn, Policy Fellow and Hacker-in-Residence at Software
Freedom Conservancy

- Alexander Sander, FSFE Policy Coordinator

- Karen M. Sandler, Executive Director of the Software Freedom Conservancy, Adjunct Lecturer-In-Law Columbia Law School

The good news is, not 100% of the co-organizers are Americans. For a change. But still, notice a lack of community. Kirschner is also directly involved in spite of recent scandals, never mind the whole cause of diversity.

We’re sadly seeing that many NGOs become corporate outposts disguised as voices of the “community” (we mentioned OIN last night); whose community? Follow the money…


Many Thanks to Free Software, the Demise of Software Patents (in Europe and the US), and So Much More

Posted in America, Europe, Patents at 5:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Thank you

Summary: On a positive note we’re heading into the end of November, one month before Boxing Day; we take stock of patent affairs that impact software developers

ACROSS the United States people celebrate a holiday that we do not have here in ‘Englandia’. Except of course the shopping-related offshoots (cyber Mondays and black Fridays — whatever they even have to do with holidays when we’re still in national/nationwide lock-down).

“Enjoy the long weekend, don’t shop (“consume”) too much, and don’t believe anything Team UPC says.”This coming (long) weekend we’ll be doing some site housekeeping, having ‘earned’ some rest after 29,000+ blog posts. We’re motivated, not tired. Exhilarated, not demoralised.

What happened today in Germany was not a surprise; neither to me nor to Benjamin Henrion, among many others (we correctly predicted this outcome). Daily Links have some coverage from Team UPC, but we will write about the latest on the subject when the constitutional complaint comes (we’re rather certain it’ll arrive soon). Team UPC is, as usual, using Trump-style hype and premature victory laps in an effort to gaslight and demoralise otherwise rational people. António Campinos of the EPO did the same in the afternoon, but even his own workers don’t believe a word that comes out of his mouth.

FFII is crowd-sourcing and crowd-funding a complaint and we also expect the famous Düsseldorf attorney/lawyer to say something. People expect a complaint from him, not just from FFII, and various other parties will likely step in (at some level or capacity). We expect to see some frustrating times for Team UPC ahead of us, e.g. get ready for the FCC… actually dealing with the actual substance this time around (a key Justice already publicly insinuated it would likely come next).

Benoît Battistelli is thankful to lobbyists (CEIPI has long wanted and attempted to profit from UPC courses, even if UPC does not exist) and those who think legislation can be magically retrofitted to bypass Brexit are in for a surprise. Also, those who think they can introduce a new court system to authorise software patents in Europe (without the highest court in the EU getting involved) are simply dreaming.

Thank youIt was almost 24 months ago (2 years) that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) attempted to crush/bypass 35 U.S.C. § 101. Not only will Biden replace the current USPTO leadership (it seems inevitable); in the meantime the Federal Circuit only doubled down on 35 U.S.C. § 101/Alice. Coons and his friends made no progress with a Congressional bypass and the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) continues to handle inter partes reviews (IPRs), habitually crushing American software patents. So we’re generally still in a good position. Not perfect, but not too bad, either.

Enjoy the long weekend, don’t shop (“consume”) too much, and don’t believe anything Team UPC says. They’ve been lying to us all for well over a decade; it’s not like this week their lies miraculously stopped.

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