February 21, 2010

Intellectual Monopolies

Posted in Intellectual Property, Monopoly Abuse at 14:12 by frifan

I don’t believe in imaginary property and I don’t believe in software patents in general. How can anyone have any rights to your thoughts?! If you come up with an idea, all by yourself, how can someone you have never heard of claim ownership of that thought. Even if they have gone through the trouble of purchasing a patent for it. The problem is that patent applications always, as far as my experience goes, are written in very generalized language to try to cover uses that they couldn’t imagine at the time. This makes them difficult to understand and even harder to use for creating something based on the ideas inside. To me this make the whole point about patents moot, as they cannot help others, only penalize them and kill competition.

I recently found interesting studies on the subject and why it has to stop (highlights). See a patent attorney highlight, or a Venture Capitalist explain why it is so bad and what the US can do about it. Otherwise they will see even more evil practices and patent trolls. Here is a recent example of an Intellectual Venture, by the king of patent trolls. They do not sue themselves, instead it is being outsourced.

"The purpose of the patent system should be to create incentives to come up with something that is both new and non-obvious, which would not be created without that incentive. And, then, of course, the idea is to share that information with the world, via the patent. But here we have a case where this is an obvious next step advance. […] But now we have a case where one company may have the right to prevent others from doing what it makes perfect sense for them to do. That’s not what the patent system was designed to do at all. A patent like this should never have been approved at all, as it serves no useful purpose in "promoting the progress" and seems to go against everything that the patent system is supposed to do." — Mike Masnick

My greatest fear is that the software patent craziness in the US will spread to other parts of the world, which is something they are working hard for as they have accumulated quite a number of them. If they were enforced I could be dragged to court for the work I have done in the past two decades. It would certainly wipe out most of the software industry. Leaving only the biggest players to fight out their disputes in court with hordes of lawyers.

"The real reason the independent software industry emerged is that operating systems and APIs made it possible for independent software vendors to develop applications independently. They no longer had to ask permission of the hardware vendors. This same characteristic of permissionless innovation led to the explosion of independently created services on the internet. The rampant abuse of the patent system has created the opposite condition for the creators of software and web services today.
Not only is it becoming impossible to invent new services on the web without the permission of a patent holder who claims to own the intellectual property embodied in your invention, it is impossible to know who you need to ask permission of." — Brad Burnham in TechDirt

Another great source of stupid patents is Apple, here is some courtesy of Gizmodo.

My second greatest fear in already a fact. Just look at what the pharmaceutical cartel is up to and how they are murdering people. More on that another time…

References: Stop Software Patents

  1. TechDirt
  2. BoycottNovell: Intellectual Ventures, The Pharmaceutical Cartel
  3. Open Rights Group
  4. Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure e.V.
  5. GNU on "Intellectual Property"
  6. It’s The Execution That Matters, Not The Idea
  7. QuestionCopyright.org
  8. A Unified European Patent System – The Historical Perspective
  9. When You Try To Figure Out Who Owns Imaginary ‘Property,’ Things Get Confusing Fast
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February 5, 2010

The misconceptions of the music labels and their leaders

Posted in Internet Piracy, Monopoly Abuse at 14:10 by frifan

XKCD: How to make pirates out of your customers

The first rule of a successful business is to fulfill the needs of your customers, at least to some extent, but that of course requires that you understand what they want. Never before have I heard of any business that so totally disregards fair-use, regularly sues its customers, calls them pirates and try to push draconian limitation upon them while giving themselves unlimited unquestionable rights over them. All in the name of the artists, but that is is of course pure diversion. The studios even try to blame the Internet Service Providers for their own problems, luckily the don’t seem to succeed there either. Then they try to bend copyright law to serve their purposes, which it is not what the law is meant to do. They even attack the music critiques. Amidst all of this claimed piracy and music downloading, the music industry is growing!

Unfortunately the music business is based on monopolies and abusive practices, even towards the artists. They don’t even seem to be in it for the money. Forget about Digital Rights Management (DRM), it’s a dead end and embrace what technology can give you. Look at Spotify for a good example of how to use technology to your advantage. I am myself a premium subscriber. Some still don’t get it, though. It may be that selling songs is a dying business model, but there are alternative revenue streams that more than make up for it.

I used to like U2 and Bono, until a few weeks ago when Bono, the front-man of U2 showed his true beliefs. His misconceptions about the music consumers are profound and unfortunately shared by many of the influential people in the business, but there are some enlightened exceptions. Evolution is a part of life and while it can be slow sometimes you cannot fight it in the long run. People do pay for music and there are new ways of earning money without record labels, but change may be on the way.

Excellent recommended reading, by Cory Doctorow @ craphound.com:

Content: Selected Essays on Technology, Creativity, Copyright and the Future of the Future by Cory Doctorow

February 4, 2010

Microsoft – A history lesson

Posted in Breaking the law, Monopoly Abuse at 22:19 by frifan

Microsoft MISCONDUCT - Above the law

I believe a computer history lesson is in order, as most people have forgotten it [1]. It is a lesson in how one company has stifled innovation and progress in a whole industry by their cunning, deceit, unethical and illegal activities. They have managed to produce unprecedented poor quality software full of security holes, to a public who do not know better than to trust their lies. Their greatest feat is to form peoples perception into believing that poor quality is the norm.

There is plenty of evidence that has been produced in numerous courts of law, but most people are still unaware of the fact that Microsoft is a convicted felon and continue with their unlawful activities to this day. These are not just ramblings of a disgruntled Microsoft hater, but proven facts in a court of law! [2][3][4][5]

“Our products just aren’t engineered for security.”Brian Valentine, Microsoft executive

“Here’s the type of guy I want, I don’t care if he knows anything about computers. I need a guy who really understands branding.” Bill Gates

If asked, I believe that most people wouldn’t do business with convicted felons, but here we are. I guess not everybody realizes that Microsoft are convicted felons (monopoly abusers) in many countries around the world. That they have a whole arsenal of other evil business practices what they continue using despite some being illegal and all of them immoral and unethical[7][8]. You can find damning evidence below. They have been found guilty of lying and falsifying evidence in court. Note that these are facts that have been produced in a court of law![3][4][13]

“Microsoft is asking people to pay them for patents, but they won’t say which ones. If a guy walks into a shop and says: “It’s an unsafe neighbourhood, why don’t you pay me 20 bucks and I’ll make sure you’re okay,” that’s illegal. It’s racketeering.”Mark Shuttleworth

The founding father of Microsoft (and its practices), Bill Gates, is still active spreading evil in the world [8][9][10][11][16][17][19][20][21].

“Gates has created a huge blood-buying operation that only cares about money, not about people.”AIDS organisation manager, December 2009 (New York Times)

“But rather than a search engine or even a “decision engine”, Bing also appears to be a spin engine, in that it provides partisan answers to controversial topics, such as Steve Ballmer’s propensity to throw chairs to blow off stress.”Christian Einfeldt

Since 1999 I have mainly used Linux, both at home and at work. Even on my cellphone! I am a hardened Linux veteran and used to command-line wizardry, but I firmly believe that Linux is actually easier to install and use than Windows. Unfortunately very few people ever install their operating system, or even make a choice about which one to use, but they would find Linux a lot easier. Device drivers are bundled with Linux and fully automatic. Applications are installed from a nice package installer, where you can list or search all available application, and they are all free of charge!

“Linux is a cancer that attaches itself in an intellectual property sense to everything it touches.”Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO

“Ideally, use of the competing technology becomes associated with mental deficiency, as in, “he believes in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and OS/2.” Just keep rubbing it in, via the press, analysts, newsgroups, whatever. Make the complete failure of the competition’s technology part of the mythology of the computer industry.”Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

References:

  1. Microsoft’s history of anticompetitive behaviour and consumer harm (PDF document by European Committee for Interoperable Systems)
  2. Microsoft Litigation by GrokLaw
  3. Comes vs Microsoft by BoycottNovell
  4. Why Microsoft Suddenly Wanted to Be More Interoperable – Comes v. MS Exh. 7068 Tells Us
  5. Microsoft Critique: Resources
  6. What Microsoft’s Attack on GNU/Linux at HP Teaches Us
  7. Illuminating the elephant in the open source room
  8. The Nerve of Bill Gates
  9. Gates Foundation Critique
  10. Mainstream Press Misses Billions of Dollars Bill Gates Earns in Africa (Gates Foundation as Monsanto Front)
  11. The Pharmaceutical Cartel
  12. United States v. Microsoft: Findings of Fact
  13. Another Misdirected Response from the Government to the Company “Not Engineered for Security”
  14. Microsoft Shows Yet Again That It is Allergic to GNU/Linux
  15. What Microsoft’s Attack on GNU/Linux at HP Teaches Us
  16. Gates Foundation’s Influence Criticized by WHO | World Health Organization
  17. Frederick Kaufman on the Gates Foundation’s Monsanto Venture; 100,000 Indians to Protest by Fasting
  18. Canonical Gets New Chief Operating Officer Who Already Defends Microsoft’s Biased ‘Search’
  19. With Microsoft Monopoly in Check, Bill Gates Proceeds to Creating More Monopolies
  20. How the Gates Foundation Privatises Africa
  21. Bill Gates Slammed for Global Warming Debate Aversion, Conspiracy to Defraud Taxpayers
  22. Book Excerpt from “Barbarians Led by Bill Gates”

Many more links to come… As there seems to be an endless flood of articles (and abuses by Microsoft). They sure are busy doing evil in the world.