04.27.21

[Meme] Red Hat’s RHEL 8.4: GNU OS Rebranded?

Posted in GNU/Linux, GPL, IBM, Red Hat at 11:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We don't want or need the FSF anymore BUT! Give us GNU so we can build RHEL!

Summary: There’s no Red Hat and no RHEL without GNU; but don’t let facts get in the way of IBM, which opposes copyleft any time it can get away with it

04.21.21

Overt Abuse and Mischaracterisations by Bully de Blanc

Posted in Deception, FSF, GNOME, GNU/Linux, GPL, IBM, Microsoft, OSI at 1:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Blue hair is not a substitute for skills and experience

Blue hair, Bully de Blanc
This screenshot is real and it is a real account, not a prank

Summary: The campaign to ruin the FSF and silence its founder, Richard M. Stallman (RMS), goes months prior to the hate letter set up by Bully de Blanc, her boss, and the Microsoft-sponsored OSI; they just attack the licence (GPL/copyleft) and they try to redefine things for the corporations which fund them

A reader of ours recently wanted to add some more information on Molly de Blanc, whom we dubbed “Bully de Blanc” last month because of the bullying (some people have since then copied the name; MinceR says “Bully the blanc” or “the blank”).

“Earlier this year (in February) Bully de Blanc attacked the very definition of Free software (in apparent collaboration between the GNOME Foundation and OSI) and the desire to attack RMS was already expressed out in the open (in Bully de Blanc’s blog) months before he even came back to the FSF’s Board.”When someone engages in character assassination (based on deliberate distortion, libel, and a gish gallop of falsehoods), he or she should not be shocked to find online criticism of him or her. This is why when it comes to Bully de Blanc we’ve shown no particular remorse; we objectively explained what we had observed. Earlier this year (in February) Bully de Blanc attacked the very definition of Free software (in apparent collaboration between the GNOME Foundation and OSI) and the desire to attack RMS was already expressed out in the open (in Bully de Blanc’s blog) months before he even came back to the FSF's Board. So they must have waited for an excuse or a “trigger” event.

This post contains a polite, calm, and fact-checked interpretation. It will also quote, anonymously, some people who read this site and have researched the matter themselves.

“I have noticed your video here,” one reader noted. “Please put attention here on [the] official Molly de Blanc profile” (in Debian.org).

“As where she tries to be “Debian developer” but it most probably is over,” the reader said, “as status is “Closed”. That is contradictory information and false representation which in the end is also illegal act. She is stating there to be “I also work at the FSF, and serve on the Open Source Initiative board of directions.” — whereby I do not think she is now at FSF — please verify and use your connections to remove that profile, or archive it. This page says she is not on the board. Maybe she was on both boards, but it is very obvious that she has no clear policy neither on “Open Source” [nor] on FSF, she is image maker. As a conclusion, I wish to point out to a pattern of false representations by Molly de Blanc. I think that it would be worth putting it into the timeline, as I have seen pattern of false representations.”

DreyfusWe too have noticed some of that. “All the roles are past roles,” a reader noted. “She doesn’t remove the roles from web sites, she keeps using all these titles as a substitute for skills.”

To us, it doesn’t necessarily matter whether the credentials are false, outdated, or acquired by means like a romantic relationship. What matters to us is the persistent and ongoing agenda, which was outlined even months before the hate letter was put online, backed by corporate media sponsored by the same corporations that control the OSI and GNOME Foundation. Don’t think those people are just going away and won’t be coming back. They try to induce fear and self-shame to keep RMS silent. He’s still reluctant to do new interviews with us (or with anyone else for that matter). The hate letter was updated just over a week ago, just to say that aren’t accepting a public apology from RMS. Nothing he does will ever make them happy. They’re still concern-trolling the FSF, trying to shun it while taking money from Microsoft (which bribes officials, not just the OSI and Linux Foundation).

To better understand what we’re up against, we must understand the agenda and also understand whose agenda that is. IBM, which is now under fire for abuses against workers, has many reasons to dislike what RMS says.

“If thought can corrupt language, then language can also corrupt thought.”

George Orwell

04.02.21

The Message of RMS That Monopolies Dislike Isn’t Political

Posted in FSF, GPL, Videos at 7:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Speeches such as this one are the real reason IBM, Microsoft, Google and so on still try very, very hard to ‘cancel’ the person and his message

Transcript added below.

[00:00]

I have been fighting for freedom for a long time.

22 years now, I announced the beginning of the free software movement, a social movement for freedom for computer users.

Specifically, the freedom to cooperate and the freedom to control your own computer, the freedom for users to work together in a community controlling the software that they use

This was

[00:30]

impossible in 1983 because computers don’t do anything without an operating system it’s just a piece of metal and silicon that’s totally useless.

But all the operating systems 22 years ago were proprietary software, software that keeps users divided and helpless. So, I was determined not to have to live that way when using computers I don’t want to be helpless and I don’t want to be forbidden to share with you.

[01:00]

So I decided I would do something about it. What could I do? I had no political party behind me. I couldn’t expect to convince governments or corporations to change any of their policies, but I did know how to write software. So I said I’m going to develop another operating system with the help of whoever will join in and together we will make it free software. We will respect your freedom and you will be able

[01:30]

then to use computers in freedom with this operating system. What does this freedom mean? There are four essential freedoms that make the definition of free software. And, they are: freedom 0, the freedom to run the program however you wish. Freedom 1, the freedom to help yourself. That’s the freedom to study the source code and change it to do what you wish. Then there’s

[02:00]

freedom 2, the freedom to help your neighbor. That’s the freedom to copy the program and distribute the copies to others when you wish. And freedom 3 is the freedom to help your community. That’s the freedom to publish or distribute a modified version when you wish. With all four freedoms, the program is free software. But these freedoms should not be strange to you. At least not if you cook. Because people who cook enjoy the same

[02:30]

four freedoms in using recipes. The freedom to cook the recipe when you want. That’s freedom 0. The freedom to study the ingredients and how it’s done and then change it. That’s freedom 1. Cooks frequently change recipes. And then the freedom to copy it and hand copies to your friends. That’s freedom 2. And then there’s freedom 3 [which] is less frequently exercised because it’s more work but if you cook your version of the recipe for a dinner for your friends and a

[03:00]

friend says, “that was great, could I have the recipe?”, you can write down your version of the recipe and make a copy for your friend. The same four freedoms, and this is no coincidence, because programs like recipes are works that you use for practical work. You’re using them to do something. And when you use a work to do something, if you’re not in control of it, you’re not in control of your life and if you can’t share

[03:30]

with other people you’re forbidden to be part of a community. Imagine how angry everyone who cooks would be if some day the government says, “from now on if you share or change a recipe we’re going to call you a pirate. We’re going to compare you with people who attack ships. And we’re going to put you in prison for years, because that’s forbidden cooperation.” Imagine the anger that there would be. That anger is at the basis of the Free

[04:00]

Software Movement too. We want to have freedom in using our computers. So we developed the GNU operating system throughout the 1980s and in 1992 the last missing piece was put in place. That last missing piece is a kernel called Linux. So Linux is not an operating system it is one essential component of the system which is the GNU system plus Linux the GNU / Linux system. And that system now

[04:30]

is used on tens of millions of computers. Jon Hall estimated a 100 million a year or two ago. No one really knows because you see we are all free. Nobody can keep track of what we’re doing that’s part of freedom that nobody knows what’s going on because you don’t have to tell anybody. So today it’s possible to use a computer in freedom. But that doesn’t mean freedom is safe forever. Freedom is

[05:00]

never safe forever. There’s always a danger that you’ll get somebody like George Bush who wants to take it away. Even in the countries like the US which says freedom is what we’re all about that can be turned into mere lip service. Freedoms can be crushed. So for people to have freedom we have to be prepared to defend freedom. And in order to defend our freedom we have to recognize what it means.

[05:30]

That’s the first step. So that’s why I’m here today talking to you about Free Software and the freedoms that it represents freedoms for you. Because that way you will know what your freedom means. And then maybe next year or next decade you will help use defend these freedoms and they may continue. Many people focus on encouraging more users to switch to Free Software. Well, that’s a useful thing to do,

[06:00]

but that alone is not going to bring us to freedoms that endure. If we gave everybody in the world Free Software today but we failed to teach them about the four freedoms then five years from now would they still have Free Software? Probably not, because if they don’t recognize their freedoms, they’ll let their freedoms fall, they’ll let their freedoms slip through their fingers because they won’t bother to close their hands but

[06:30]

they don’t know why. So along with developing Free Software, along with distributing, teaching people to use it, encouraging people to try and switch to it, we have to be constantly teaching these same people why it matters. That it’s not just about how to get powerful convenient software and how to get it as cheap as possible, it’s about how you can live in freedom and be a good neighbor.

[07:00]
So how does this relate to the issue of development? Is Free Software better for development? Well that’s an understatement. Free Software is the only software whose use constitutes development. Because the use of a non-free program is not development, it is electronic colonization. What does it mean if your society increases the use of

[07:30]

non-Free software? Well that software which nobody in your city unless you happen to live in just the right place in the world nobody in you city is in a position to understand it maintain it adapt it extend it or do anything with it. It’s just like the old colonial system where the colonial power had all the industry, they made all the technology and the people in the

[08:00]

colony, they just had to buy it and weren’t supposed to understand anything or make anything they hardly even knew how to fix it. Imagine if you were buying cars and they came from the US and any time they broke you had to ship them back to the US because it’s a secret how they work inside and nobody in your country is allowed to learn how to fix them. That’s what proprietary software is like so this is not sustainable

[08:30]

development. It’s not appropriate technology, this is the technology of dependence. And dependence is exactly what that system is all about. It’s keeping people helpless. Another feature of the old, colonial system was divide and rule. Set people against each other don’t allow them to cooperate because that makes it easier to keep all of them in subjection. Now dividing

[09:00]
people and subjugating them is not just a minor side aspect of proprietary software it is what makes it proprietary software. The license says you are forbidden to share it with anyone, and you can’t get the source code so you don’t know what’s inside it so you can’t control it. Divided and subjugated. That’s the nature of proprietary software. Of course the system comes out looking like the colonial system. Another feature you might remember from the colonial system was that the colonial power would recruit a local elite, a few local people, like maybe the nobles or whoever and pit one tribe against another or they would create tribes if there weren’t tribes so they can massacre each other decades later. So the local elite, they would get certain privileges and in return they would help keep everybody else

[10:00]

down. Well you can see that today, some proprietary software companies actively recruit local elites. They set up a software development center in your country and the people who work there who are part of the local elite or they do some favors for local politicians secretly or for the government openly but it doesn’t make any difference which one either way they are buying influence in the government, converting that government

[10:30]

from a sovereign state into their local overseer of their empire whose job is to make sure everybody else becomes dependent on the same non-Free software. They say to schools, “we will help you by giving you these gratis copies of our non-Free software, so that you can turn your students into addicts of our software”. Why do I use the term addicts because

[11:00]

they develop a dependency on this software and then after they graduate you can be sure they are not going to be offered these gratis copies any more. Because it’s only the first dose that’s gratis. Once you’re addicted then you’re supposed to pay and also of course these companies whose graduates work for , those companies are not going to be offered gratis copies. So what essentially these developers, these software companies are doing is they are recruiting the schools

[11:30]

into agents to lead people into permanent, life-long dependency. These are things that the Open Source movement usually doesn’t talk about, that’s why I don’t support Open Source. Open Source is a way of promoting software that usually is Free but without mentioning these ideals. These issues of freedom. They’re left in the background. Open Source people usually talk only

[12:00]

about practical value, how do you get powerful convenient software and how much will it cost. Well Free Software probably allows you to save money too if you’re not being forced to pay for permission to use it you can probably save money. But I think that’s a secondary issue. Even in poor countries, freedom is important. We should never start saying well they’re so poor freedom doesn’t matter all they need is bread and circuses. Which they

[12:30]

had here once upon a time. And then they shouldn’t even think about being free. I think freedom is important in every country and every society whether it is rich or poor. Nonetheless, people who support Open Source often contribute to extending the Free Software community. Many of them develop Free Software. Those are useful contributions. I am not saying what they do is bad. I am saying that by itself it is not enough,

[13:00]

because it’s weak. You see, when you say the goal is to have powerful, reliable, convenient software and get it cheaply then it becomes possible for the representatives of proprietary software to say, “well we claim that we’ll deliver you more powerful, reliable software. We claimed that our total cost of ownership will be cheaper.” And I think they’re usually bullshit. When Microsoft says this it’s based on distorted facts.

[13:30]

But it’s weak. But when we say the goal is to live in freedom and to be allowed to cooperated with other people in a community, they can’t say they’re going to offer us more of that cheaper. Because they don’t offer that at all. They’re not even competing with us. They’re out of the running. Once you decide you want to live in freedom, they are out of the running. So, we are trying to help you reach

[14:00]

freedom in a community. They are trying to subjugate you, but they’ll say they’ll get you there faster. And maybe they would. …

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.”

03.11.21

Trolling Community Developers of GNU/Linux Via Patent Trolls — Part II: Monopolies, Patents, and Their GPL Violations

Posted in GNU/Linux, GPL, Law at 8:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Respect our patents, say those who infringe copyright law

We call you a violator because that's what we are

Summary: The introductory part (first of this series, Part I) explained the problem at hand; today we look at one particular aspect of the problem, namely GPL violations and cover-up

THERE is a story with a twist or a tinge of hypocrisy, as mentioned in passing last year [1, 2]. As readers are likely aware by now (having heard about it), the EPO under Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos lobbies aggressively for European software patents, which they grant regardless of the law (and pressure judges to say "OK").

“We’d like to begin by introducing readers to the GPL violations at hand.”This story isn’t about the EPO, at least not directly. It concerns trolls (or patent trolls) that intimidate the Free software community while taking away its work and violating the licence, i.e. infringing copyright law.

We’d like to begin by introducing readers to the GPL violations at hand. We’ve been kindly contacted and supplied with proof, which is publicly available in a proprietary software platform called GitHub (i.e. visible for all to see).

“Regarding GPL violations,” a source told us about the aggressor, “it’s apparent that their implementation of Dolby Vision on AMLogic SoCs violates the GPL.”

So intimidation tactics seem to have been adopted. “Anyway,” the source asserted, “here are two files that AMLogic and Dolby provide without sources.”

  1. dovi.a is a binary object which is bundled with U-Boot (which is GPLv20 without any sources and linked at build time for AMLogic SoCs. One customer published AMLogic sources here, and you can see this violation for yourself: https://github.com/khadas/u-boot/commit/bf69339498b9f6efc811c278b80ed2c0fb168ae0
  2. dovi.ko is a kernel module which is shipped to customers that implement Dolby Vision support. This kernel module is stated to be GPL:

To reproduce:

strings dovi.ko | grep license
license=GPL
__UNIQUE_ID_license9
__UNIQUE_ID_license9

These binaries are expected to run on specific licensed AmLogic chips which supposedly have additional hardware (sounds like a crypto check) to facilitate playback.

In the next part we’ll explain some of the context, but for the time being we also focus on covering a major Microsoft/EPO scandal. This means that this particular series may be published a little more slowly. We’ll record some videos to show and explain what’s going on, probably as we go along. If some of the details seem obscure, it is for source protection purposes.

02.25.21

Techrights Gemini Capsule, Now With Over 35,000 Pages and Files

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GPL, Site News at 9:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Techrights feed

Summary: Blog posts combined with static (plain text) files are now 36,000+ in number, just for Gemini protocol alone; that number keeps growing as our conversion proceeds and evolves (our software will be released under terms of the AGPLv3)

THE rapid conversion of this Web site to Gemini is still ongoing and it’s being improved (we’re rerunning old conversions with new improvements incorporated, as the converters too are being enhanced).

“It’s not simple to estimate how many pages we have in total as that depends on the exact definition of page (e.g. multi-page or multi-part articles, category pages, daily archives).”As of last night, “there are 34727 pages in the Gemini capsule, of which 34554 are the articles,” an associate wrote. Code is being prepared for release (AGPLv3) in order to encourage more sites to convert to Gemini (from Web sites to capsules, which are vastly smaller in size because everything is extremely compact). Some of the latest stats:


$ time find /home/gemini/gemini/2* -type f -name '*.gmi' \
-print | wc -l
34727

With intermediate pages omitted:

$ time find /home/gemini/gemini/2* -mindepth 3 -type f \
-name '*.gmi' -print | wc -l
34554

That does not include the wiki, the Drupal side, index pages, static text files, various documents, videos etc. Those are just blog posts. This number does not include bulletins and IRC logs, either (there are thousands of them). It’s not simple to estimate how many pages we have in total as that depends on the exact definition of page (e.g. multi-page or multi-part articles, category pages, daily archives).

Techrights daily feedsIf the Gemini capsule outgrows the capacity of the 4-core SBC (to deliver in pages a timely fashion and self-update regularly), we’ll move it to a bigger server. That should not be hard. Gemini is K.I.S.S. As stated in the previous post, Gemini is definitely growing. It’s growing fast. Join now to become an “early adopter”. A good start may be setting up your own capsule.

02.09.21

GNOME Foundation and OSI Move on to ‘Extend’ Phase Against the Free Software Definition (or Against Software Freedom)

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNOME, GPL, OSI at 4:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Today, February 9th, the anti-RMS lobby seems to have shifted gear by redefining proprietary software as ‘kinda open’ (openwashing)

The video above, which is in no way scripted or edited, is an urgent call for action because the war on software freedom is gradually progressing to the next phase, which is “extend” (the “embrace” goes quite some time back). The flailing OSI is changing its “Mission Statement”, just as both OSI co-founders warned last year (one thought "ethical" licences would be the vector and the other said that licences not compliant w.r.t. OSD were being approved regardless). The GNOME Foundation, which still works against the founder of GNU (the “G” in GNOME) while on IBM payroll and with two former leaders who now work full-time for Microsoft, redefines proprietary software (Four Freedoms be gone!), apparently one hour apart from the OSI post. The video discusses the importance of this and who stands to benefit. Moving the goalposts in whose favour? In favour of proprietary software.

11.19.20

Dolby Patents Are Being Used in Patent-Trolling Activity Against GNU/Linux, But Dolby is Said to Be a GPL Violator

Posted in GNU/Linux, GPL, Patents at 12:32 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We call you a violator because that's what we are

Summary: Dolby’s serial litigation strategy [1, 2] seems to have come into conflict with Free-as-in-freedom software — the very same software Dolby is happy to exploit without complying with the copyleft licence

SOMETIMES we sit on important stories for weeks, months, and even years (earlier this year we published a story more than a year after we had received it, purely for source protection reasons). Many things we expose about the patent system are also strategically timed and belatedly disclosed. Maximising the effect of a publication while minimising risk to a source is just the right thing to do.

StopEPO examiners who read this site (there are thousands of them) very well know we had been condemning software patents in Europe and berating autocrats who promoted this agenda almost a decade before we wrote about workplace scandals. We ridiculed bogus and abstract patents that ought not be granted, anywhere. In recent years we reduced the focus on patent policy somewhat; that’s a good decision in retrospect. This was mostly strategic and the same trend can be seen across patent blogs, the EFF, and various technology news sites. Patents, as a topic, seem to be waning, and it’s easily measurable using a number of different criteria (e.g., number of lawsuits, number of articles, and so on).

“Let Dolby understand that if it contributes to blackmail against GNU/Linux, there will be public shaming and maybe GPL enforcement as well.”Our growing concern about software patents in Europe wasn’t in vain. Earlier this year we wrote about developers of GNU/Linux distributions who had contacted us, having found and read our articles. They wanted to tell us about what kept them awake at night. They’re European, but somehow they’ve been receiving threatening letters regarding software patents they allegedly infringe. Some of those patents are Dolby’s. We think it’s safe to name the original recipient of these patents, even if they’re being asserted through parasites and proxies — not out of the ordinary in recent years. Dolby itself can be sued (counter-suits), proxies cannot, especially when they produce nothing at all.

Dolby is a parasite. The name “Dolby” may be visible in some frames in some films (a glorified brand), but Dolby isn’t actually doing or producing very much. The GPL violation angle might also be of interest, as we’re being told that they’re serial violators. As one developer told us:

I’m waiting for another email / message before doing so, as we have found a few GPL violations from Dolby, which seems to suggest some prior art.

If or once we have evidence of those violations, for we have no reason to believe otherwise, we can do a separate article about that. Let Dolby understand that if it contributes to blackmail against GNU/Linux, there will be public shaming and maybe GPL enforcement as well. What goes around comes around. Stay tuned.

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