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

12.18.09

SFLC Critics

Posted in FSF, GPL, Law at 5:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bradley Kuhn in 2008

Summary: Response to critics of those who are law sticklers, standing up for their right

THE SFLC’S LATEST batch of lawsuits is a simple case of compelling companies to obey the law. This is nothing to be ashamed of. Mark Radcliffe has just written about Palm’s GPL infringement, which he partly blames on the mixing of proprietary with free/libre.

This complaint may signal the beginning of a trend by commercial open source companies with ”dual licensing” models: the success of that model, which is used by most commercial open source companies, depends on the difference in the scope of rights available under an open source license and a commercial license as well as the value of the additional protections (performance warranties, support and indemnification) available under the commercial license.

An essay from Bruce Perens was taken slightly out of context and used by critics of the FSF/SFLC to daemonise them. Here is a clarification from the SFLC, which only came later, in the form of an update:

Update – When asked by The H about Perens comments, Aaron Williamson, SFLC Counsel, said “Bruce Perens is a very important figure in the free software community, but he is not our client. Many developers have contributed to the development of BusyBox and hold copyright in the program, including Bruce Perens. Whether, or to what extent, Mr. Perens holds copyright in any version of BusyBox is irrelevant to the lawsuits we have filed; a developer need not hold a “majority interest” of copyright in a program in order to bring a claim for infringement against a third party.”

Regarding the same subject, Ryan Paul showed his bias and Rainer Weikusat replied by saying:

Inaccuracies.

Bruce Perens is not ‘a former contributor of busybox’ but the original author. Judging from the linked-to code audit, he objected to nailing the license at GPLv2 instead of the original ‘GPLv2 or any later version’ and in response to this, his name has generally been deleted from all files it still appeared in based on the assertion that he wouldn’t really own any copyrights in the code anymore.

In reply, says another person: “Based on my (minimal) understanding of copyright law, at least in the U.S., both of those sound like murky areas that could be debated at length (and at great expense) by lawyers in court.

Eric Powell calls the whole thing “biased” and explains:

There is no bias here….no, no way!!!!
This is nothing but a hit piece on Bruce Perens. Characterizing his blog post as ‘whining’ is nothing but petty name calling. I found his posting to be reasonable and balanced.
A BALANCED article would have discussed both sides of the controversy without resorting to name-calling.
it is pathetic that journalism seems racing toward the bottom of the barrel.

Well, it could be worse. While the 451 Group makes a subtle attempt (whether deliberate or not so deliberate) to describe GPL as “anti-business”, longtime critic Jason Perlow, whose attacks on Stallman and the FSF are nothing new [1, 2], compares GPL enforcement to public hanging.

What else can be said? Standing up for justice typically gets the justice seeker daemonised [1, 2].

Here is IDG’s latest Free software FUD from what seems like guest writers. It is disguised under a seemingly friendly headline.

It sometimes seems like the corporations which take advantage of Free software (wrongly treating it like BSD-licensed) and those who make money through ill practices will always try to delegitimise the FSF. Broadly speaking, those companies represent the wallets/interests of some people, so these people — just like any people — can literally attack people who stand in their way. As Free software continues to expand, its very core will continue to receive more flak.

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

What Else is New


  1. Links 23/5/2018: DragonFlyBSD 5.2.1 and Kata Containers 1.0 Released

    Links for the day



  2. Masking Abstract Patents in the Age of Alice/§ 101 in the United States

    There are new examples and ample evidence of § 101-dodging strategies; the highest US court, however, wishes to limit patent scope and revert back to an era of patent sanity (as opposed to patent maximalism)



  3. PTAB's Latest Applications of 35 U.S.C. § 101 and Obviousness Tests to Void U.S. Patents

    Validity checks at PTAB continue to strike out patents, much to the fear of people who have made a living from patenting and lawsuits alone



  4. France is Irrelevant to Whether or Not UPC Ever Becomes a Reality, Moving/Outsourcing de Facto Patent Examination to European Courts Managed in/Presided by France

    Team UPC is still focusing on France as if it's up for France to decide the fate of the UPC, which EPO insiders say Battistelli wants to be the chief of (the chief, it has already been decided, would have to be a Frenchman)



  5. Saint-Germain's Poisonous Legacy of "Toxic Loans": The Emperor’s New Investment Guidelines

    Details about a secret vote to 'gamble' the EPO's budget on "a diversified portfolio managed by external experts"



  6. Saint-Germain's Poisonous Legacy of "Toxic Loans": Cautionary Tale for the EPO?

    Preface or background to a series of posts about Battistelli's French politics and why they can if not should alarm EPO workers



  7. Links 22/5/2018: Parrot 4.0, Spectre Number 4

    Links for the day



  8. Chamber of Commerce Lies About the United States Like It Lies About Other Countries for the Sole Purpose of Patent Maximalism

    When pressure groups that claim to be "US" actively bash and lie about the US one has to question their motivation; in the case of the Chamber of Commerce, it's just trying to perturb the law for the worse



  9. Links 21/5/2018: Linux 4.17 RC6, GIMP 2.10.2

    Links for the day



  10. The Attacks on the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Have Lost Momentum and the Patent Microcosm Begrudgingly Gives Up

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), reaffirmed by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) and now the Supreme Court as well, carries on preventing frivolous lawsuits; options for stopping PTAB have nearly been exhausted and it shows



  11. Software Patenting and Successful Litigation a Very Difficult Task Under 35 U.S.C. § 101

    Using loads of misleading terms or buzzwords such as "AI" the patent microcosm continues its software patents pursuits; but that's mostly failing, especially when courts come to assess pertinent claims made in the patents



  12. António Campinos Will Push Toward a France-Based Unified Patent Court (UPC)

    Frenchmen at EPO will try hard to bring momentum if not force to the Unified Patent Court; facts, however, aren't on their side (unlike Team UPC, which was always on Team Battistelli's side)



  13. In Apple v Samsung Patents That Should Never Have Been Granted May Result in a Billion Dollars in 'Damages'

    A roundup of news about Apple and its patent cases (especially Apple v Samsung), including Intel's role trying to intervene in Qualcomm v Apple



  14. Links 20/5/2018: KDevelop 5.2.2 and 5.2.3, FreeBSD 11.2 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  15. Aurélien Pétiaud's ILO Case (EPO Appeal) an Early Sign That ILO Protects Abusers and Power, Not Workers

    A famous EPO ‘disciplinary’ case is recalled; it’s another one of those EPO-leaning rulings from AT-ILO, which not only praises Battistelli amid very serious abuses but also lies on his behalf, leaving workers with no real access to justice but a mere illusion thereof



  16. LOT Network is a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

    Another reminder that the "LOT" is a whole lot more than it claims to be and in effect a reinforcer of the status quo



  17. 'Nokification' in Hong Kong and China (PRC)

    Chinese firms that are struggling resort to patent litigation, in effect repeating the same misguided trajectories which became so notorious in Western nations because they act as a form of taxation, discouraging actual innovation



  18. CIPU is Amplifying Misleading Propaganda From the Chamber of Commerce

    Another lobbying event is set up to alarm lawmakers and officials, telling them that the US dropped from first to twelfth using some dodgy yardstick which favours patent extremists



  19. Patent Law Firms That Profit From Software Patent Applications and Lawsuits Still 'Pull a Berkheimer' to Attract Business in Vain

    The Alice-inspired (Supreme Court) 35 U.S.C. § 101 remains unchanged, but the patent microcosm endlessly mentions a months-old decision from a lower court (than the Supreme Court) to 'sell' the impression that everything is changing and software patents have just found their 'teeth' again



  20. A Year After TC Heartland the Patent Microcosm is Trying to 'Dilute' This Supreme Court's Decision or Work Around It

    IAM, Patent Docs, Managing IP and Patently-O want more litigation (especially somewhere like the Eastern District of Texas), so in an effort to twist TC Heartland they latch onto ZTE and BigCommerce cases



  21. Microsoft Attacks the Vulnerable Using Software Patents in Order to Maintain Fear and Give the Perception of Microsoft 'Safety'

    The latest patent lawsuits from Microsoft and its patent trolls (which it financially backs); these are aimed at feeble and vulnerable rivals of Microsoft



  22. Links 19/5/2018: Mesa 18.0.4 and Vim 8.1

    Links for the day



  23. Système Battistelli (ENArque) at the EPO is Inspired by Système Lamy in Saint-Germain-en Laye

    Has the political culture of Battistelli's hometown in France contaminated the governance of the EPO?



  24. In Australia the Productivity Commission Decides/Guides Patent Law

    IP Australia, the patent office of Australia, considers abolishing "innovation patents" but has not done so yet (pending consultation)



  25. Fishy Things Noticed Ahead of the Passage of a Lot of EPO Budget (Applicants' Money) to Battistelli's Other (and Simultaneous) Employer

    Observations and odd facts regarding the affairs of the council in St Germain; it certainly looks like Battistelli as deputy mayor and the mayor (Arnaud Péricard) are attempting to hide something



  26. Links 18/5/2018: AsteroidOS 1.0 Released, More Snyk/Black Duck FUD

    Links for the day



  27. Today's EPO Financially Rewards Abuses and Violations of the Law

    Battistelli shredded the European Patent Convention (EPC) to pieces and he is being rewarded for it, perpetuating a pattern of abuses (and much worse) being rewarded by the European Patent Organisation



  28. So-Called 'System Battistelli' is Destroying the EPO, Warn Insiders

    Low-quality patent grants by the EPO are a road to nowhere but a litigious climate in Europe and an unattractive EPO



  29. Rise in Patent Trolls' Activity in Germany Noted Amid Declining Patent Quality at the EPO

    The UPC would turn Europe into some sort of litigation ‘super-state’ — one in which national patent laws are overridden by some central, immune-from-the-law bureaucracy like the EPO; but thankfully the UPC continues its slow collapse



  30. EPO's Battistelli Taking Days Off Work for Political 'Duties' (Parties) in His French Theatre Where He'll Bring Buckets of EPO Budget (EPO Stakeholders' Money)

    More tales from Saint-Germain-en-Laye...


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