Bonum Certa Men Certa

Intellectual Exclusion Makes Intellectual Abuse

Intellectually appalling

Here is just a quick roundup of news which revolves around our 'favourite' patents trolls, our 'favourite' anti-Free software laws, and Microsoft's latest intellectual monopoly offenses.

Software Patents



Only a week or so ago we wrote Nathan Myhrvold, a patent troll who comes from Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. He is probably worse than Acacia [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10], which also comprises former Microsoft employees. An article from the New Yorker show just how busy he is exploiting the already-broken system.

Nathan Myhrvold met Jack Horner on the set of the “Jurassic Park” sequel in 1996.

[...]

But then, in August of 2003, I.V. held its first invention session, and it was a revelation. “Afterward, Nathan kept saying, ‘There are so many inventions,’ ” Wood recalled. “He thought if we came up with a half-dozen good ideas it would be great, and we came up with somewhere between fifty and a hundred. I said to him, ‘But you had eight people in that room who are seasoned inventors. Weren’t you expecting a multiplier effect?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, but it was more than multiplicity.’ Not even Nathan had any idea of what it was going to be like.”

The original expectation was that I.V. would file a hundred patents a year. Currently, it’s filing five hundred a year. It has a backlog of three thousand ideas.


This figure is, needless to say, rather ridiculous because it says something about the poor quality of these patents. It's all about inspiring awe and fear for settlements (royalties). Look back at this talk about computer program ideas and this one about patent trolls.

Another short piece proposes the idea of making software patents usable only for defense purposes, knowing that promises which companies make about it are only valid as long as they do well. As soon as they struggle, it becomes their obligation to shareholders to use whatever weapon can be used to attack, even if it means going litigious like SCO (with or without the bogus claims). Public image becomes a secondary consideration, a negligible factor.

A friend of mine - who recently was "paid to file a patent" said he considered requesting that - if granted - the patent only be used defensively. I asked him why. He responded that he felt conflicted and thinks a lot of his peers feel the same way. He didn't think the patent was particularly valuable, useful, or valid.


That last statement relates this fairly recent post which is titled "My Dumb Software Patents". It said: "Many think that Software Patents are stupid. I conceptually agree with this statement. Having spent what seems like millions of hours constructing these, baby sitting them, defending them; it is really all wasted time and effort, at least in a conceptual sense." In conclusion, even actual owners of software patents have no faith in the system.

The Economist meanwhile speaks of the possibility of software patents getting rubbished. It refers to Bilski again [1, 2, 3, 4].

...the court took the unusual step of calling for the parties, and anyone else with an interest in the case, to address not only whether the patent should be granted, but also whether the court should overturn the 1998 case in which it first held that business-methods patents could be awarded.


The Huffington Post also has this piece which criticises scope of patent laws. [via Digital Majority]

Should we allow patents on tax-avoidance strategies? Legal arguments? Mathematical algorithms? Toilet reservation systems? Negotiation tactics? Business models?


Microsoft and Trademarks



Trademarks are separate from patents, but to illustrate Microsoft's disregard for what it calls "intellectual property" -- an imaginary umbrella really -- consider this news story about Microsoft policing use of language.

Unicaresoft loses MSNLock case against Microsoft



[...]

The Dutch version of Oxford English Dictionary, Van Dale, also mentions MSN as a generic term meaning to contact someone via an instant messenger.


This won't do any good. It won't recover Microsoft's stagnant popularity in a country that's already moving to Free software and ODF while complaining about Microsoft's "arrogance". Recall how Microsoft 'stole' the "Open Office" term, among others [1, 2]. The IPocrisy (a term coined by Pieter, apparently) hasn't bounds.

Merely by chance, Microsoft eats its own poison as it has just been sued over trademark as well.

Microsoft's TerraServer-USA satellite imagery project has been slapped with a trademark lawsuit from a small North Carolina company with a confusingly similar name.


There are other recent examples where Microsoft does not honour other people's copyrights and trademarks. Those examples include:



More on Copyrights and Intellectual Monopoly



Over at MilkingTheGNU, a nice article has just appeared which deals with the notion of ownership and how it relates to the GPL.

Open source and implicitly the GPL (well explicitly but not everybody realizes it) question the very nature of property and ownership. If you’re skeptical, think about this: why are open source proponents almost always anti-DRM, always among the first ones to advocate for a free distribution of music, games and movies?

Note that the point here is to offer a new set of glasses to look at the world, not to make a political statement. Besides, asking people about the nature of property usually transcends traditional barriers. In the US for instance, it’s almost impossible to infer people’s opinion just by knowing whether they are Republicans, Democrats or Libertarians. How property must be controlled or by whom, is subjected to political debates but the very nature of property seems to trigger such a very personal, emotional response that opinions largely eludes partisan cleavages.


There is a rather amusing discussion also at The Register where copyrights around sporting events are put at stake.

Iain Connor, an intellectual property partner at law firm Pinsent Masons, said: "A football match is not a performance for the purposes of copyright because you can't reproduce it. It isn't choreographed."


A good and recent article on "Intellectual Insanity" you'll also find here. It puts the whole problem in better perspective. At the end of the day, it's all about perception, which comes from education. This is something that Microsoft too has recognised and I attempted to frame this as a risk factor to Microsoft with the following message from yesterday (mind Reason #3):




    Subject: What Makes GNU/Linux Microsoft's #1 Rival     Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy     Date: Thu, 08 May 2008 17:32:31 +0100

What Makes GNU/Linux Microsoft's #1 Rival



Reason #1: it forces Microsoft to lower its prices, regardless of market share. Microsoft adjusts its prices in order to remain relevant. Free software keeps it on its toes in that respect. Apple, on the other hand, makes sales for Microsoft (Office), keeps its prices up (fixing), and has Microsoft as a partner and shareholder.

Reason #2: Linux dominates the embedded space, which is very large (probably orders of magnitude larger than the desktop, in terms of CPUs). It also controls supercomputers that are increasingly becoming part of the more universal network, including search engines (Hadoop comes to mind, bigtable).

Reason #3: it shatters misconceptions about Microsoft's foundations, which are intellectual monopolies and other nasties like DRM. That's why Microsoft talks about 'education' (pollution of minds) as an anti-Linux tactic in its latest SEC filing.

Looking at (1-3) again:

     * Linux lowers cost.

     * Linux enables real innovation, performance, efficiency (environment)

     * Linux enables people to be free and it democratises

February 2008:

http://www.news.com/Feeling-the-heat-at-Microsoft/2008-1012_3-6232458.html?tag=ne.fd.mnbc

"[If I ask you who is Microsoft's biggest competitor now, who would it be?]

[Steve] Ballmer: Open...Linux. I don't want to say open source. Linux, certainly have to go with that..."




The responses so far have been interesting.

Recent Techrights' Posts

12 Days Have Passed Since the Edward Brocklesby Revelations and Debian Project Has Said Absolutely Nothing About That
One must therefore assume they have nothing to say in their defence (covering up severe security failings)
One More (Failed) Attempt to Deplatform the Sites by Harassing and Threatening Webhosts
What we're seeing here is a person who abuses the system in Canada at Canadian taxpayers' expense trying to do the same in the UK, at British taxpayers' expense
Coercion From the "Consent" and "CoC" Crowd is a Self-Defeating Tactic
Freedom of the press; Nothing less
According to statCounter, GNU/Linux Increased From 3.77% to 3.89% This Month (Worldwide), Windows Now Below 20% in 78 Nations, Below 10% in 27 Nations
Highest since March (for GNU/Linux)
Patriotism is OK, But We Need Facts and Reason, Not Blind Obedience to Authority
Very seldom in the history of human civilisation has groupthink proven to be of real merit
 
Debian's Personal Attacks Are Upsetting Women, Too
Female Debian Developer: "I Believe Daniel [Pocock] is On the Right Track."
Microsoft's Bing is So Irrelevant in Moldova (1%) That Russia's Yandex is About 5 Times Bigger
How much longer before Microsoft throws in the towel?
Yes, You Can
Unless you live somewhere like Russia...
[Meme] Listen to the Experts
Bill Gates didn't even finish university]
Roy and Rianne's Righteously Royalty-free RSS Reader (R.R.R.R.R.R.) and the Front-End Interfaces
As the Web deteriorates the availability, quality and prevalence of RSS feeds is not improving, to put it mildly
Algeria Shows High GNU/Linux and Android Adoption, All-Time High and Almost Three-Quarters of Web Requests
GNU/Linux was below 3%, now it is above 3%
Mass Layoffs at Microsoft-owned GitHub (About 80 Percent of the Staff in India Laid Off)
It's not just in India
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, June 16, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, June 16, 2024
Gemini Links 16/06/2024: Scarecrows, Moles, Ham Radio, and No IPs
Links for the day
Africa is Android and Green (Chrome, Not Just Android Logo)
In Africa Firefox is almost below 1% now
Covering Abuses and Corruption
We'll never surrender to blackmail
Ubuntu Running Out of Energy
Its planet too is deteriorating
Links 16/06/2024: In Defence of Email and Why Recycling Symbol Lost All Meaning
Links for the day
Gemini Links 16/06/2024: Computer Science Course Union and Potentiometer
Links for the day
Cross border crime: sale of Swiss insurance in France and European Union without authorisation
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Letting Microsoft systemd Manage /home Was a Terrible Idea All Along
systemd-tmpfiles, deleting /home
When You Touch One of Us You Touch All of Us
We have a principled, uncompromising stance on this matter
Links 16/06/2024: New Sanctions Against Russia, Fentanylware (TikTok) Causing More Problems
Links for the day
Social Control Media in Japan: Twitter (X) Has Collapsed, YouTube Rising (Apparently)
What a genius Mr. Musk is!
Windows Cleansed in South Africa (Already Hovering Around 10% Market Share)
Plus Microsoft's mass layoffs in Africa
[Meme] Satya Nadella's Windows PC RECALLS Not What He Did
Satya got lucky
Usage of Let's Encrypt in Geminispace Has Collapsed (That's a Good Thing!)
Ideally, or eventually, all capsules will sign their own certificates or have their own CA
North Macedonia: Windows Down From 99.2% to 28.5%
Last year it was even measured at 26%
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, June 15, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, June 15, 2024
Gemini Links 16/06/2024: Hand Held Maneuvering Unit and Hugo Static Files
Links for the day
Removing the Tumour From IRC
looking back
[Meme] The Free(dom) Software Engineer in European Elections
“When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser.”
Vista 11 Was 'Leaked' Exactly 3 Years Ago and This One Picture Says It All
how 'well' Vista 11 has done
A Smokescreen for Brad Smith
Maybe the key point was to say "Linux is not secure either" or "Windows and Linux are equally vulnerable", so don't bother dumping Microsoft
Windows Sinking Below 13% Market Share in the Island of Jamaica
Microsoft's decline continues and will mostly likely continue indefinitely in Jamaica and its neighbours
Links 15/06/2024: Microsoft's Intellectual Ventures Attacks Kubernetes With Software Patents, More Layoff Waves
Links for the day
Gemini Links 15/06/2024: On Lagrange and on YouTube Getting Worse
Links for the day
Edward Brocklesby: hacker received advance notice of zero-day vulnerabilities in MH and NMH email software
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
[Meme] Code Liberates Kids
Matthias Kirschner: I can't code, but I can write a book
In Armenia, Bing is Measured at 0.6%, About Ten Times Less Than Yandex
Bing will probably get mothballed in the coming years
[Meme] A Pack and Pact (Collusion Against Computer Users)
They never really cared about users, no more than drug dealers care about drug users...
GNU/Linux in Azerbaijan: From ~0.1% to 7%
Azerbaijan is around the same size as Portugal
Women in Free Software (FOSS) Need Action, Not Mere Words
the men who are loudest about women's rights are some of the very worst offenders
Embrace, Extend, Extinguish Minecraft
These folks should check out Minetest
Techrights Statement on Men Who Viciously Attack Women in Free Software
history shows women will win
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Friday, June 14, 2024
IRC logs for Friday, June 14, 2024
[Meme] People Who Cannot Find Gainful Employment Because of Their Poor Behaviour Online (Not the People Who Merely Call Them Out on It)
Imagine trying to become a lecturer while talking like this in public
You Too Would Get Nervous
countries where Windows is down to 2%
[Meme] The Two Phases (and Faces) of Microsofters
Microsofters: stalk IRC, then troll IRC
The 'Nobody Reads Techrights Anyway' Crowd
Send In the Clowns
Books in the Making
I intend to spend a considerable amount of time explaining what my family and I were subjected to for the 'crime' of promoting/covering Free software
Microsoft is Still Losing Malta
And GNU/Linux is doing well on laptops and desktops
Tux Machines: Third Party Impending
There will be more next week