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[News] RMS Warns About DRM and Software Patents

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"Pay attention to your freedom instead of self-serving forecasts" - Richard M
Stallman speaks with Poornam Media

,----[ Quote ]
| Kichu Mubarak: What according to you are the largest challenges faced by Free 
| software movement? 
| RMS says: "The biggest threat comes from laws that prohibit distribution of 
| certain free software. Some countries have laws prohibiting software that 
| enables users to overcome Digital Restrictions Management. Some countries 
| allow software techniques and structures to be patented. Both of those laws 
| have the effect of censoring free software.     


After Microsoft reportedly blackmailed in Denmark for software patents, it
needs to be watched. Bill and the Microsoft Fundation [sic] can still be used
to make the necessary 'transactions'.


[ffii] McCreevy wants to legalise Software Patents via a US-EU patent treaty

,----[ Quote ]
| Brussels, 13 May 2008 -- European Commissioner McCreevy is pushing for a
| bilateral patent treaty with the United States. This Tuesday 13 May in
| Brussels, White House and European representatives will try to adopt a
| tight roadmap for the signature of a EU-US patent treaty by the end of
| the year. Parts of the proposed treaty will contain provision on
| software patents, and could legalise them on both sides of the Atlantic.
| "TEC talks are the current push for software patents. The US want to
| eliminate the higher standards of the European Patent Convention. The
| bilateral agenda is dictated by multinationals gathered in the
| Transatlantic Economic Business Dialogue (TABD). When you have a look
| who is in the Executive Board of the TABD, you find not a single
| European SME in there", says Benjamin Henrion, a Brussels based patent
| policy specialist.
| The Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC) which comprises EU and US high
| level representatives put a substantive harmonisation of patent law on
| its agenda. Substantive patent law covers what is patentable or not. The
| attempt to impose the low US standards on Europe via the Substantive
| Patent Law Treaty (SPLT) process utterly failed at the World
| Intellectual Property Organisation. Also progress in the WIPO B+
| subgroup (without development nations) could not be reached.


The ghost of software patents is back!

,----[ Quote ]
| Life is never easy for an open source evangelist. The OOXML drama came to a
| close on 2nd April 2008 and we were on to our next issue -- software patents.
| The Draft Patent Manual might end up bringing software patents through the
| back door. this would be surprising because the Indian parliament explicitly
| rejected software patents in the Patent Amendment Act 2005. In this blog, I
| am including extracts from a letter that I sent to the Patent Office on 11th
| April 2008. The deadline for comments was 15th April 2008.


Europe's not finished with Microsoft

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft's troubles in Europe are far from over, as Neelie Kroes, The EU 
| competition commissioner, has warned. We review the past and future options 
| for Microsoft and the European Commission.  
| [...]
| During the US anti-trust trials, Steven McGeady, a vice president of Intel, 
| testified against Microsoft, Intel's most important trading partner, 
| asserting that Microsoft intended to "embrace, extend and extinguish" 
| competition by substituting open standards with proprietary protocols, and 
| claimed that Intel had been warned to cease development of its Native Signal 
| Processing audio and video technology, which promised to vastly improve user 
| experience of the desktop - or else Microsoft would bypass Intel and develop 
| Windows exclusively for AMD and National Semiconductor chips. "It was clear 
| to us that if this chip did not run Windows it would be useless in the 
| marketplace," McGeady testified. "The threat was both credible and 
| terrifying."           

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