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[News] Time to Shun Software Patents, End Racketeering Against Linux

  • Subject: [News] Time to Shun Software Patents, End Racketeering Against Linux
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 05 May 2010 06:51:05 +0100
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • User-agent: KNode/4.4.2
Hash: SHA1

First, we kill all the patent lawyers

,----[ Quote ]
| Actually, I don't think we should kill all 
| the patent lawyers. Some of my best friends 
| are patent attorneys -- no, really. But I'd 
| happily stick a knife into the American 
| patent system.
| In the beginning, the U.S. patent system 
| was meant to encourage inventors and 
| innovation. Abraham Lincoln is reputed to 
| have said, "The Patent System added the 
| fuel of interest to the fire of genius." 
| That was then. This is now.
| Today, unless the Supreme Court does the 
| right thing and tosses out business 
| practice and, by implication, software 
| patents with the proper decision in the 
| Bilski case, we're stuck with a system 
| designed to wreck anyone who actually tries 
| to implement his own ideas.
| You see, with many software patents there 
| is no specific language, no hard code, but 
| only descriptions of general processes that 
| can be implemented in multiple ways. Now, 
| you might think you could avoid patent 
| trouble by looking up the appropriate 
| patents and not using them. Good luck with 
| that. 
| [...]
| This is why Microsoft, despite being the 
| loser in some whopping patent lawsuits, 
| such as the $200 million-plus it owes i4i 
| for violating its patents and the $1.5 
| billion it once owed Alcatel-Lucent, is 
| happy to threaten other companies, 
| especially those that use Linux or open-
| source software, such as Amazon  and TomTom  
| into licensing agreements. 


Isn't It Strange That Microsoft Only Singles Out *Linux* As "Infringing On Its Patents"? 

,----[ Quote ]
| Good ol' Roy Schestowitz continues the 
| quest for truth over at a new site, 
| techrights.org. And while pursuing the 
| latest scoop on Microsoft's continued 
| puppetry of the media, a lightning bolt 
| suddenly hit me. So even though I retired 
| from direct Linux activism, I'll visit this 
| one time since I've had an idea which I 
| don't see anyone else raising:
| Funny how it's always Linux which Microsoft 
| is alleging is infringing on Microsoft's 
| patent portfolio, isn't it? Not FreeBSD, 
| not OpenBSD, not NetBSD, not Solaris (open 
| or closed), not Plan Nine From Bell Labs, 
| not ReactOS, not Minix, not GNU-HURD, not 
| any of the flavors of proprietary Unix.


Microsoft IP Tax Makes Its Way to Linux-based Gadgets  

,----[ Quote ]
| Thereâs a disturbance in the gadget force 
| everyone. You probably arenât aware of it 
| because most you are Mac or Windows users, 
| but those whoâve been using Linux on the 
| desktop or on servers have known for some 
| time that Microsoft has been bullying Linux 
| software vendors with threats of lawsuits 
| for infringing on their intellectual 
| property (IP). Remedy: sign our âpatent 
| agreementâ and share your technology in 
| exchange for immunity.
| Microsoft claims that most parts of what 
| makes up the GNU/Linux OS infringes on 
| Microsoftâs closed-source patent war-chest. 
| To put it in simple terms, they claim that 
| they came up with X process or X 
| functionality first and they have a patent 
| on that feature. Iâm not a IP or patent 
| lawyer, so I canât get into specifics, but 
| I can tell you that the Free Open Source 
| Software (FOSS) movement prides itself on 
| being open and sharing code with others to 
| be used how one sees fit. And, if you make 
| an improvement, to share that improvement 
| back with the community. FOSS developers 
| like to look at a proprietary app and say, 
| we can make thatâ and not only can we make 
| it, weâll make it better through the 
| inspection of thousands of users who will 
| voluntarily test the code, kill bugs, 
| improve upon the feature-set, and so on and 
| so on.

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