EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

08.27.09

Why is IDG News Service Attacking the GPL?

Posted in FSF, FUD, GPL, Law, Microsoft at 9:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Richard Stallman

Summary: The smears against the GPL need tracing back to their roots

FOR people’s awareness, it seems important to alert that attacks on the GPL have risen in number. These are not the typical attacks and they are accompanied by personal attacks, as stated earlier.

We found out that a PR agency from the United States is sending people semi-personalised press releases about a debate which seems hostile towards the GPL, based on the participants (what’s called a “stacked panel”). Somehow they ended up getting my E-mail address, scooping it from somewhere and then striving to promote this nonsense, which they did. It came from IDG (which relies on Microsoft as a large revenue source [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] and also employs Microsoft/Apple investors as writers). IDG is being mentioned in the form of InfoWorld, which also fed this to the news feeds. It was IDG that published and spread an article which was moronic, boldly stating in the headline, “is the GPL irrelevant?”

“It was IDG that published and spread an article which was moronic, boldly stating in the headline, “is the GPL irrelevant?””That was of course a nonsensical contention to start an article with. The GPL is used by most Free/open source software projects and it is by far the most ubiquitous software licence in the world. How does irrelevance come into it?

Attacks on the GPL and anything and anyone associated with it are not news.

Black Duck — with some roots in Microsoft — was funneling in Microsoft-centered code automatically (no filtering) to saturate its pool and then claim a dip in GPL. This deceptive claim is still being parroted today and also today we’ve heard of private stories where similar anti-GPL actions were taken in Europe. Programmers are being pressured by bosses (maybe Microsoft-guided) to abandon the licence, maybe because of all the FUD, some of which comes from Microsoft lawyers [1, 2]. Such dissemination of lies (or myths) about the GPL leads to further misuse and misappropriation, as expressed in the following new story:

A report published Sunday in The New York Times says Aleynikov told FBI investigators that he had inadvertently taken about 32MB of proprietary Goldman Sachs software while taking open-source code that he said can be used freely by anyone.

Aleynikov, a high-level developer for Goldman Sachs, was arrested by the FBI on July 3 on charges of stealing computer code that automates the firm’s high-volume trading on stock and commodities markets.

As Sam Dean puts it:

The case discussed in the post concerns a Goldman Sachs Group programmer, Sergey Aleynikov, who was arrested–by the FBI, no less–and charged with stealing computer code designed to automate Goldman Sachs’ massive trading business. Aleynikov’s defense was that he was only trying to download open source software governed by the GPL.

The truth — or at least the verdict — remains to be seen, but why is it that the perception of free as "illegal" lives on?

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

A Single Comment

  1. Roy Schestowitz said,

    August 28, 2009 at 5:50 am

    Gravatar

    Here is Matt Asay perpetuating the same deception from Black Duck. From the comments (one sole comment at the moment):

    Matt:
    With all due respect, your analysis is based on flawed data.

    You got your data from http://www.blackducksoftware.com/oss/licenses#top20

    What do these license statistics tell us?
    What are they based on?
    A number of project?

    A number of projects downloaded and used in the real life? a numberof new projects?
    or just a number of projects that have been randomly added in some blackduck repo?

    Does this reflect any kind of actual usage of GPL vs other licenses?

    Does this reflect the importance of a project?

    For instance if the Linux is Kernel is one project, does it count as one in a breakdown of projects licenses?

    Note, the stats that blackduck publishes tell that the Microsoft public license (MsPL) is really quite popular. The fact is that the MsPL license became popular in blackduck stats the day blackduck started indexing the Microsoft supported Codeplex, a site with a strong bias towards the MsPL.
    ( see http://port25.technet.com/archive/2009/07/07/codeplex-10-000-hosted-projects-and-counting.aspx )

    What kind of a joke this is? This is a bad quacking from a badduck.
    Lies, damned lies, and statistics, imho.

    Short of having any element of answers to these questions, the conclusions you draw from lying stats are baseless.

    Philippe

What Else is New


  1. Links 23/4/2018: Second RC of Linux 4.17 and First RC of Mesa 18.1

    Links for the day



  2. The Good Work of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the Latest Attempts to Undermine It

    A week's roundup of news about PTAB, which is eliminating many bad (wrongly-granted) patents and is therefore becoming "enemy number one" to those who got accustomed to blackmailing real (productive) firms with their questionable patents



  3. District Courts' Patent Cases, Including the Eastern District of Texas (EDTX/TXED), in a Nutshell

    A roundup of patent cases in 'low courts' of the United States, where patents are being reasoned about or objected to while patent law firms make a lot of money



  4. The Federal Circuit's (CAFC) Decisions Are Being Twisted by Patent Propaganda Sites Which Merely Cherry-Pick Cases With Outcomes That Suit Them

    The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) continues to reject the vast majority of software patents, citing Section 101 in many such cases, but the likes of Managing IP, Patently-O, IAM and Watchtroll only selectively cover such cases (instead they’re ‘pulling a Berkheimer’ or some similar name-dropping)



  5. Patents Roundup: Metaswitch, GENBAND, Susman, Cisco, Konami, High 5 Games, HTC, and Nintendo

    A look at existing legal actions, the application of 35 U.S.C. § 101, and questionable patents that are being pursued on software (algorithms or "software infrastructure")



  6. In Maxon v Funai the High 'Patent Court' (CAFC) Reaffirms Disdain for Software Patents, Which Are Nowadays Harder to Get and Then Defend

    With the wealth of decisions from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) wherein software patents get discarded (Funai being the latest example), the public needs to ask itself whether patent law firms are honest when they make claims about resurgence of software patents by 'pulling a Berkheimer' or coming up with terms like “Berkheimer Effect”



  7. Today's European Patent Office Works for Patent Extremists and for Team UPC Rather Than for Europe or for Innovation

    The International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI) and other patent maximalists who have nothing to do with Europe, helped by a malicious and rather clueless politician called Benoît Battistelli, are turning the EPO into a patent-printing machine rather than an examination office as envisioned by the EPC (founders) and member states



  8. The EPO is Dying and Those Who Have Killed It Are Becoming Very Rich in the Process

    Following the footsteps of Ron Hovsepian at Novell, Battistelli at the EPO (along with Team Battistelli) may mean the end of the EPO as we know it (or the end altogether); one manager and a cabal of confidants make themselves obscenely rich by basically sacrificing the very organisation they were entrusted to serve



  9. Short: Just Keep Repeating the Lie (“Quality”) Until People Might Believe It

    Battistelli’s patent-printing bureau (EPO without quality control) keeps lying about the quality of patents by repeating the word “quality” a lot of times, including no less than twice in the summary alone



  10. Shelston IP Keeps Pressuring IP Australia to Allow Software Patents and Harm Software Development

    Shelston IP wants exactly the opposite of what's good for Australia; it just wants what's good for itself, yet it habitually pretends to speak for a productive industry (nothing could be further from the truth)



  11. Is Andy Ramer's Departure the End of Cantor Fitzgerald's Patent Trolls-Feeding Operations and Ambitions?

    The managing director of the 'IP' group at Cantor Fitzgerald is leaving, but it does not yet mean that patent trolls will be starved/deprived access to patents



  12. EPO Hoards Billions of Euros (Taken From the Public), Decreases Quality to Get More Money, Reduces Payments to Staff

    The EPO continues to collect money from everyone, distributes bogus/dubious patents that usher patent trolls into Europe (to cost European businesses billions in the long run), and staff of the EPO faces more cuts while EPO management swims in cash and perks



  13. Short: Calling Battistelli's Town (Where He Works) “Force for Innovation” to Justify the Funneling of EPO Funds to It

    How the EPO‘s management ‘explained’ (or sought to rationalise) to staff its opaque decision to send a multi-million, one-day ceremony to Battistelli’s own theatre only weeks before he leaves



  14. Short: EPO Bribes the Media and Then Brags About the Paid-for Outcome to Staff

    The EPO‘s systematic corruption of the media at the expense of EPO stakeholders — not to mention hiring of lawyers to bully media which exposes EPO corruption — in the EPO’s own words (amended by us)



  15. Short: EPO's “Working Party for Quality” is to Quality What the “Democratic People's Republic of Korea” is to Democracy

    To maintain the perception (illusion) that the EPO still cares about patent quality — and in order to disseminate this lie to EPO staff — a puff piece with the above heading/photograph was distributed to thousands of examiners in glossy paper form



  16. Short: This Spring's Message From the EPO's President (Corrected)

    A corrected preface from the Liar in Chief, the EPO's notoriously crooked and dishonest President



  17. Short: Highly Misleading and Unscientific Graphics From the EPO for an Illusion of Growth

    A look at the brainwash that EPO management is distributing to staff and what's wrong with it



  18. Short: EPO Explains to Examiners Why They Should and Apparently Can Grant Software Patents (in Spite of EPC)

    Whether it calls it "CII" or "ICT" or "Industry 4.0" or "4IR", the EPO's management continues to grant software patents and attempts to justify this to itself (and to staff)



  19. Links 21/4/2018: Linux 4.9.95, FFmpeg 4.0, OpenBSD Foundation 2018 Fundraising Campaign

    Links for the day



  20. As USPTO Director, Andrei Iancu Gives Three Months for Public Comments on 35 U.S.C. § 101 (Software Patenting Impacted)

    Weeks after starting his job as head of the US patent office, to our regret but not to our surprise, Iancu asks whether to limit examiners' ability to reject abstract patent applications citing 35 U.S.C. § 101 (relates to Alice and Mayo)



  21. In Keith Raniere v Microsoft Both Sides Are Evil But for Different Reasons

    Billing for patent lawyers reveals an abusive strategy from Microsoft, which responded to abusive patent litigation (something which Microsoft too has done for well over a decade)



  22. Links 20/4/2018: Atom 1.26, MySQL 8.0

    Links for the day



  23. Links 19/4/2018: Mesa 17.3.9 and 18.0.1, Trisquel 8.0 LTS Flidas, Elections for openSUSE Board

    Links for the day



  24. The Patent Microcosm, Patent Trolls and Their Pressure Groups Incite a USPTO Director Against the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and Section 101/Alice

    As one might expect, the patent extremists continue their witch-hunt and constant manipulation of USPTO officials, whom they hope to compel to become patent extremists themselves (otherwise those officials are defamed, typically until they're fired or decide to resign)



  25. Microsoft's Lobbying for FRAND Pays Off as Microsoft-Connected Patent Troll Conversant (Formerly MOSAID) Goes After Android OEMs in Europe

    The FRAND (or SEP) lobby seems to have caused a lot of monopolistic patent lawsuits; this mostly affects Linux-powered platforms such as Android, Tizen and webOS and there are new legal actions from Microsoft-connected patent trolls



  26. To Understand Why People Say That Lawyers are Liars Look No Further Than Misleading Promotion of Software Patents

    Some of the latest misleading claims from the patent microcosm, which is only interested in lots and lots of patents (its bread and butter is monopolies after all) irrespective of their merit, quality, and desirability



  27. When News About the EPO is Dominated by Sponsored 'Reports' and Press Releases Because Publishers Are Afraid of (or Bribed by) the EPO

    The lack of curiosity and genuine journalism in Europe may mean that serious abuses (if not corruption) will go unreported



  28. The Boards of Appeal at the European Patent Organisation (EPO) Complain That They Are Understaffed, Not Just Lacking the Independence They Depend on

    The Boards of Appeal have released a report and once again they openly complain that they're unable to do their job properly, i.e. patent quality cannot be assured



  29. Links 18/4/2018: New Fedora 27 ISOs, Nextcloud Wins German Government Contract

    Links for the day



  30. Guest Post: Responding to Your Recent Posting “The European Patent Office Will Never Hold Its Destroyers Accountable”

    In France, where Battistelli does not enjoy diplomatic immunity, he can be held accountable like his "padrone" recently was


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts