Bonum Certa Men Certa

Legitimisers of Software Patents

FOSS stamp



Summary: News about initiatives and companies that under the guise or true intention of promoting Free software actually promote proprietary software and software patents (with Microsoft "patent tax")

EVERY NOW AND THEN we politely name those players in the industry whose actions contribute to software patent entanglements and thus barriers to software freedom. The intention is not to provoke but rather to inform. So today we'll start by naming Peer-To-Patent again. It's hard to criticise the project, which takes a 'pragmatic' approach and has some inter-personal roots in Linux-friendly companies; we -- as well as others whose approach is similar -- have been critics of Peer-To-Patent because it is promoting "good" software patents, albeit passively. Groklaw seems to like Peer-To-Patent and their staff is always sending us E-mail, however we -- along with others like FFII and TechDirt -- are rather sceptical because valuable time of volunteers is being spent gardening the work of people who applied for patent monopolies on software. TechDirt says that Peer-To-Patent may be coming back; it's better than nothing at all, but there may be better ways (also better than OIN) to eliminate the problem. TechDirt starts by stating:



We've been a bit critical of the Peer-to-Patent program that was tested in the US a couple years ago. The idea -- which I appreciate -- was that certain patent applications would be opened up in a "crowdsourcing"-style, for the wider community to provide evidence of prior art. My problem with it wasn't the concept of involving others, but the idea that prior review during the application process would really be all that meaningful or useful in the long run. That's because it's often tough to get the necessary people to care about a bad patent or bad patent application until it's being used against them. So the incentives to keep swatting down bad patents just isn't that exciting. Second, the worst of the bad patents are ones that are asserted later, for something that seems completely different or unexpected, but which the patent holder claims violates their patent. It's tough to predict that ahead of time. Finally, the program only focused on prior art, not obviousness, which is an even bigger issue.

Yes, you could argue that such a peer review system wouldn't hurt, but it often felt like the program's backers thought it would solve most of the problems of the patent system, where I can only see it maybe helping out at the margins. That's why we weren't surprised at all to find out that the program had quitely shut down last year and almost no one had noticed.


Another player which is hard for us to criticise is Tuxera, which actually did bring some invaluable software to Linux (NTFS) before it signed a deal with Microsoft and started selling software patent licences rather than just software. Well, Tuxera's NTFS is coming to Macs now. It's not entirely clear what role Microsoft plays in it (if any) now that these companies are together in a patent bed.

There is another company called Likewise which helps sell Microsoft UNIX/Linux patent licences (Active Directory and the likes of it). Likewise uses the latest release of Ubuntu to sell its patent ploy again [1, 2], taking advantage of users who are not already familiar with Samba. "Likewise Integrates Alien Systems with Microsoft Active Directory" says this resultant article. For those who do not know, Likewise has roots in Microsoft and so does Black Duck, whose CEO will become part of an "open source" think tank (even though Black Duck is a proprietary software company). Black Duck is located next to Novell's headquarters and not far from Microsoft's other attempts to harm GNU/Linux from the inside (Cambridge labs), by means of fusion with software patents. To quote a new article:

Black Duck CEO Yeaton joins China open-source think tank



Waltham-based Black Duck Software announced last week that it had acquired open-source online resource Ohloh.net, an online directory of open-source-related software and people.


Ohloh is not open source, either. Like Black Duck, it only takes advantage of open source, just in the data sense. The products themselves are proprietary, but the data they get applied to is free/open source software source code.

“Apple is now devising software patents as path to an exclusive censorship mechanism.”Another company which loves to pretend that it is an "open source" player is Apple, even though software patents are a high priority at Apple and the latest outrageous patent raises a brow and makes many headlines (e.g. [1, 2, 3, 4]). To quote one article: "Apple has just been awarded a patent for what people are already calling 'anti-sexting' software."

It's still about restrictions at Apple because Apple knows best and it wishes to impose its beliefs/preferences on customers. Jobs has already spoken about “freedom from porn” and that's a classic example of where freedom comes to mean the exact opposite. Orwell once warned: “Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.”

Apple is now devising software patents as path to an exclusive censorship mechanism. Does society need restraint to be imposed by gadgets? Need it be a monopoly, too?

Recent Techrights' Posts

Gemini at 3,800+
total number of known capsules at above 3.8k
Be a Navalny
We salute Mr. Navalny
 
GNU/Linux Peaking in Europe, Android Measured as Higher or More Prevalent Than Windows
Android topping Windows
For Every Action There's a Reaction
Gates lobbying Modi
Like in Africa, Android Takes Control, Raking in Almost All the 'Chips' in Asia
So Microsoft has no OS majority except in Japan and Russia (and tiny Armenia).
Links 03/03/2024: Goodbye, Navalny (Funeral Reports)
Links for the day
Gemini Links 03/03/2024: A Wild Devlog Appeared and GrapheneOS Ramble
Links for the day
Mozilla Firefox is Back in ~2% Territories, Jeopardising Its Status as Web Browser to Test/Target/Validate With
Some new stats
Now Only Has Adoption of Windows Vista 11 Flatlined/Plateaued, Now It is Going Down!
Did many people delete Vista 11 and install GNU/Linux instead?
[Meme] Russian Standards of Law: The Executive Branch Decides Everything
the president's kangaroo court
Up Next: The Tricky Relationship Between the Administrative Tribunal of the ILO and the European Patent Organisation (EPO)
We've moved from presidents who run a republic by consent to corrupt, unqualified, dictatorial officials who bribe for the seat (buying the votes)
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, March 02, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, March 02, 2024
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
Beware Imposter Sites of Techrights (Not Techrights.com or Techrights.org)
Only trust pages accessed through the domains controlled by us
Italy visa & residence permit: Albanian Outreachy, Wikimedia & Debian tighten control over woman
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Links 02/03/2024: Actual Journalists Under Attack, More Software Patents Being Challenged
Links for the day
Gemini Links 02/03/2024: NixOS on GPD, Meson Woes
Links for the day
statCounter March 2024 Statistics (Preliminary)
Notice Asia
Links 02/03/2024: More Lawsuits Against Microsoft, Facebook Killing Hard-To-Find News
Links for the day
ZDNet (Red Ventures) Works for Microsoft (Redmond), Many Of Its Pages Are Spam/Advertisements Paid for by Microsoft
Here is the "smoking gun"
Wikipedia Demotes CNET Due to Chatbot-Generated Spew as 'Articles'; It Should Do the Same to ZDNet (Also Red Ventures, Also Microsoft Propaganda)
Redmond Ventures?
IBM Sends Money to Microsoft
Red Hat basically helps sponsor the company that's a attacking our community
The Direction WordPress (GPL) Has Taken is an Embarrassment
it comes with strings attached
When the Cancer 'Metastasises'
We had a red flag
March in Techrights (EPO Litigation and More)
One theme we'll explore a lot when it comes to GNU/Linux is the extent to which communities truly serve communities
Don't Forget to Also Follow Tux Machines
We've split the material
Yandex Usage Has Surged Since the Invasion of Ukraine, Microsoft Fell to 0.7% (It Was 1.7% Before the 'Bing Chat' Hype Campaign)
In Soviet Russia, Bing searches user
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Friday, March 01, 2024
IRC logs for Friday, March 01, 2024
Sellout Completed: Linux Foundation Converging With the Gates Foundation
not a joke
Hitler Rants Parodies on Steve Ballmer
Parody created using clips from Downfall (Der Untergang)
With Windows This Low (27% of the "OS" Market), Steve Ballmer Would Have Thrown Another Chair
The media produced many puff pieces about Nadella at 10 (as CEO), but what has he done for Windows? Nothing.
[Meme] The Naked President
EPO Suffers From Shrinkage
Attacks on the EPC: Reality and Fiction
EPO leaks
Understanding Cardinal George Pell prosecution, Institutional abuse & Debian cybertorture
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
Links 01/03/2024: Many More Layoffs, "Funerals" for Software Patents in the US
Links for the day
Gemini Links 01/03/2024: OFFLFIRSOCH 2024 and Dark Streets Tech Demo
Links for the day
Links 01/03/2024: Navalny Funeral and Media Under Attack
Links for the day
Gemini Links 01/03/2024: Making Art and the Concept of Work Management
Links for the day
Schriftleitergesetz: Hiding the Holocaust with censorship
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
[Meme] His Lips Moved
Here is your national "news" for today
statCounter: GNU/Linux Exceeded 6% in Asia Last Month (Compared to 4% Just 12 Months Earlier)
numbers may be biased
What the End of Journalism Looks Like
All on the same day
Links 01/03/2024: Microsoft 'Retiring' More Services and Raspberry Pi Celebrates 3rd Birthday (Launched on February 29th, 2012)
Links for the day
Women's Empowerment
Sponsored by Bill Gates
Gemini Links 01/03/2024: Speed Bumps and Analog Stuff
Links for the day
[Meme] Those Greedy EPO Examiners
Says the litigation industry, charging 300 euros an hour per attorney
EPO Discriminates Against Families of Its Own Workers, the Union Explains Legal Basis Upon Which It's Likely Illegal and Must be Challenged
To the Council, the EPO boasts about its wealth (seeking to impress by how much breaking the law "pays off")
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 29, 2024
IRC logs for Thursday, February 29, 2024
Links 01/03/2024: Misuse of Surveillance Against UK-Based Journalism, EPO Conflict Now in the Media
Links for the day
Taking a Break From Paid Promotion of the Illegal, Unconstitutional Kangaroo Court for Patents (UPC)
JUVE returns to its 'roots'?