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05.10.08

Microsoft + Government + Patent Troll Push Against Free Software

Posted in Europe, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 12:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Obligatory NO-FUD Clarification/Disclaimer: Knowing the threat and recognising foes makes you more defensible, less uncertain, and less vulnerable

In this continued pursuit for identification of attacks on GNU/Linux we spot some other (old & new) intrusion vectors. We previously mentioned the push in the UK to crack down on — or at least expose (in the transparency sense alone, i.e. no action) — heavy corporate lobbying activities, which are akin to bribery that’s legalised, no matter how questionable this analogy may seem. It has been only a week since the last update. This came from The Register which is at it once again. A blast from the past comes loose in this new follow-up article,

The IT industry has had an often controversial role in lobbying European institutions. There was heavy criticism of dodgy campaigns in favour of software patents in 2005. In its battle with the European courts Microsoft drafted in big companies and even the US government to lobby on its behalf.

We wrote about Microsoft’s intimate relationship with the United States Government many times before, including here.

“Microsoft is still trying to acquire some laws overseas — laws that essentially ban Free software or put a legal cloud over its head, which is bad for business.”To those who are still wondering why decent proportions of GNU/Linux users seem obsessed with Microsoft, just watch the article above. Microsoft is still trying to acquire some laws overseas — laws that essentially ban Free software or put a legal cloud over its head, which is bad for business.

You may or may not remember Finjan, which is a UK-based company that is partly owned by Microsoft. Recently it appeared to be making a subtle push for software patents in the UK and to an extent these recent pushes (a joint effort) have been fruitful.

Meanwhile, over at IDG, Microsoft’s own patent troll extraordinaire, Nathan Myhrvold, gets another mention. He had been receiving a lot of undeserved attention recently [1, 2].

Nathan Myhrvold, former chief technology officer of Microsoft, commissioned the Difference Engine No. 2 that is set to debut at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, on Saturday. It’s the second such engine built from plans left by Charles Babbage, a 19th-century mathematician who was never able to build one. Myhrvold now leads Intellectual Ventures, a Bellevue, Washington, company, which he says fosters “invention capital” to help inventors get their products into the real world, but critics say it’s a “patent troll,” buying up patents so it can later sue companies that use them.

Keep a close eye on this troll. He mocks Free software (video evidence herein). Microsoft could use him a proxy and one mustn’t forget Acacia [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10].

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