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Author Topic: Software Alliance's FRAND proposes to have Free software outlawed in the EU?  (Read 5904 times)
IainB
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« on: February 22, 2012, 05:02:56 PM »

Looks like the Software Alliance is pushing to have Free and Open Source software outlawed in the EU.
Where next?
European Parliament To Exclude Free Software With FRAND
Quote
First time submitter jan.van.gent writes
"The European Parliament is on the verge of adopting a directive reforming standards, reform which would introduce FRAND patent licensing terms, an undefined term which has been seen as a direct attack on the fundamental principles of Free and Open Source software. The Business Software Alliance has been very active trying to get FRAND terms into the directive."
More of Renegade's "cockroaches"?
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Renegade
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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2012, 07:44:28 AM »


AAARRRGGGHHH!!!


I see red... Rivers of red...

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IainB
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« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2012, 07:29:54 AM »

The sad thing is that the EU bureaucrats making up this seemingly bonkers type of legislation form a body which - with very few exceptions - apparently consists largely of highly-paid unelected representatives appointed to sinecures with grandiose titles. There's even an unelected President been appointed for the EU now, it seems.
The decisions of these people seem to be able to take precedence over sovereign constitutions, rights and laws of member countries, having a kind of force majeure.

Meanwhile the EU populations lie down and passively allow this non-democracy (or reversal of democracy) to roll right over them.

Maybe they will soon have the appointment of an Emperor...it's what they probably deserve.
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2012, 10:40:28 AM »

Maybe they will soon have the appointment of an Emperor
Naked ambition?
 
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Chris
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« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2012, 11:37:51 AM »

Maybe they will soon have the appointment of an Emperor
Naked ambition?
Har-de-har-har. Very droll.       Wink
Transparent humour.
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EĆ³in
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« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2012, 12:26:57 PM »

EU bureaucrats making up this seemingly bonkers type of legislation

Care to elaborate?
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40hz
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« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2012, 01:29:35 PM »

EU bureaucrats making up this seemingly bonkers type of legislation

Care to elaborate?

It's difficult to elaborate on. Mainly because the drafters of the proposed legislation repeatedly refuse to define the terms they're using in the law - or to be pinned down on exactly what they mean.

It's almost like asking the EU to sign a contract that's 50% blank page, with the assurances "we'll fill in all those little details later."

 Cool
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EĆ³in
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« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2012, 03:48:04 PM »

So instead of trying to do the impossible and rigorously define ā€œReasonable And Non Discriminatoryā€ (RAND) for every possible corner case they are instead leaving it to judges to make the decisions on a case by case basis?
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40hz
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« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2012, 06:38:21 PM »

^Well...why do we have to act as if these are our only two choices here? Why not say "none of the above, thank you."

There's nothing stopping them from just walking away from FRAND because it's such a crappy piece of legislation. But it's crappy legislation certain well-funded parties are intent on pushing through no matter what so I doubt they'll drop it.

Still...instead of attempting to define the impossible - or having judges do a case by case - why not just draft a rational law that isn't so blatant about the dirty deal it's trying to pull off.

Oh, right! That's because that dirty deal is the entire point isn't it? Grin
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IainB
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« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2012, 07:23:30 PM »

EU bureaucrats making up this seemingly bonkers type of legislation
Care to elaborate?
I should probably thank @40hz for doing that much better than I probably could have done!    Thmbsup
At least he's on the right wavelength.
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Stephen66515
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« Reply #10 on: February 29, 2012, 08:55:42 AM »


AAARRRGGGHHH!!!


I see red... Rivers of red...



I see, Rivers of red
Skies of black
No hope of ever
Going back
And I think to myself
What a right f**ked up world
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EĆ³in
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« Reply #11 on: February 29, 2012, 09:28:45 AM »

I don't really knows whats happening with the political propaganda being spammed on DC recently. For example the title of this thread "proposes to have Free software outlawed in the EU?" is a lie. Nothing more, nothing less, just an outright lie.
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40hz
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« Reply #12 on: February 29, 2012, 10:23:39 AM »

@ EĆ³in - So nice to have fellow DC members comments and opinions labelled as political propaganda, spam, and lies.

If you disagree with something (even strongly) it's generally considered the courteous thing to give reasons and rebuttals rather than resorting to insults and name calling. Especially when at a place like DC. Severe breech of etiquette that is.

 Enjoy your life.  smiley
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EĆ³in
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« Reply #13 on: February 29, 2012, 11:10:00 AM »

This whole this controversy is about patented processes getting standardized recognition in the EU. A lot of people don't like that, me included. I'd much rather see only open standards being approved.

That said the EU have at least stepped in and insisted that if you want your patented process to be accepted you must agree to not abuse your ownership of the patent afterwards. For example Motorola wanted to have all Apple products using some 3g patent banned EU wide. This was a retaliatory act by Motorola against Apple alone. The courts stepped in a said that since Motorola's technology was standardized and subject to FRAND the they couldn't suddenly discriminate against Apple using it (see here for eg).

This still bothers the Free software people, who don't want to have to buy a license at all, be it at a fair price or not. Again I'm inclined to agree with them. Importantly though, nowhere is free software being outlawed.

As for rebuttals and name calling. Well it's difficult to rebut a lie, in any place of sane conversation it would be upon the lier to defend their remarks. In this case, nowhere in any of the links provided by Iain is there anything about outlawing free software. If someone cares to actually elaborate on the remarks and explain the outlawing then awesome, in the mean time everything that has been linked suggests that no outlawing is taking place and so the remark to that effect is a lie.

As for name calling, remarks such as

Meanwhile the EU populations lie down and passively allow this non-democracy (or reversal of democracy) to roll right over them.

Maybe they will soon have the appointment of an Emperor...it's what they probably deserve.

Is blatant anti-EU racism, something which is becoming depressingly more common on DC.
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« Reply #14 on: February 29, 2012, 11:21:49 AM »

Guys and gals please take a deep breath.. especially long time members.. this is not the DC way -- we are supposed to go to extreme lengths to not insult and attack each other, and not to name call.  Please for the benefit of setting a good example try to be kinder to one another.  You can disagree without being personal.
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40hz
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« Reply #15 on: February 29, 2012, 12:26:47 PM »

Is blatant anti-EU racism, something which is becoming depressingly more common on DC.

Point one: Funny. I've often felt the same way about what I consider US bashing on the part of DC members who live in the EU. But I don't dismiss what's said by them out of hand as nothing other than propaganda, spam, or lies.

Point two: I'm not sure the charge of racism is at all accurate since the EU does not constitute what's generally considered a racial group. The EU (like the rest of the world's nation states) consist of many different races and ethnic groups. So to speak of the EU (or the USA for that matter) as a monoculture is ludicrous.

When people criticize a nation, what they're really criticizing is its political rulers and institutions. Not the people residing within its borders.

In that most "representative" governments found in the western world are now anything but - it's an important distinction to keep in mind. Especially in an era when "national security" is becoming increasingly equated with hiding what's embarrassing to the current government's executive branch.

So to my mind, characterizing criticism of portions of the EU's political system as "anti-EU racism" is really a bit of a stretch. Feel free to disagree if you're so inclined.

Point three: As far as the FOSS people go, there's a bit more to their objection than you're giving it. Their objection is to the entire underlying argument for FRAND - because there really isn't any - other than to get everybody to accept a licensing scheme that very obviously favors commercial interests and interpretations of the notion of intellectual property.

I think the FOSS people quite frankly recognize FRAND for what it is: an attempt to let the proverbial camel get its head in their tent. Because once you accept such an interpretation and accept the need for such a license (any such license) the rest follows quite naturally. Microsoft is pulling this same thing with their assertion that Linux is infringing on their patent portfolio. Microsoft doesn't want to go to court and possibly (or likely) have many of those patents invalidated. What they prefer to do is target companies and distros one by one and twist their arms to sign licensing deals which acknowledge Microsoft's patents.

What Microsoft hopes to eventually do is assert its patent portfolio against any remaining holdouts once they believe they have a sufficient number of businesses signed up to claim they have established de facto acknowledgement of the validity of their patents. Once they have that, they will likely go to court and seek to enforce them against whoever still hasn't signed. The argument will go something like this:

 "Your Honor! If our patents are invalid as some here are saying, how do they explain the fact that so many major Linux based businesses - who also have the technical expertise to understand what the patents in question were granted for - have agreed both in principle and in fact to their validity? Why would they - being engineers and computer experts - seen fit to license from us - and furthermore to have paid the requested licensing fees - if they believed there was no merit to our claims?"


So when it comes to the free software crowd, it's not really so much they're objecting to the cost of getting a license. What they're objecting to is the argument such a license is needed to begin with. And that license is something the FRAND advocates have tried to position as a given rather than as a subject for further debate and clarification.

What FRAND is doing with this is very similar to the old sales trick of showing you something, and then handing you a pen and contract and saying "Would you prefer it in red or in blue?" before you even said you decided to buy it. It's called the "close on assumption" ploy. And it's one of a dozen sleazy techniques popular with less than ethical salesmen. You'd think the people involved in drafting far reaching legislation would be above such chicanery. But on the other hand...maybe not.

And the only rational adult response to such manipulative attempts is to step outside the frame the idiots are trying to put you in and say "None of the above."

FRAND asks how to best to implement a license they've already decided on. FOSS asks why is it necessary to go with such a license at all?

The real answer is because it would force FOSS to yield on all their objections about our current intellectual property laws and the problems with our patent and copyright system. In for a penny, in for a pound, as the saying goes. Once they accept such a license, FOSS and everything it stands for is effectively dead. FOSS knows that. And even more importantly, so do the proponents of FRAND. Which is why the FOSS world is not going to concede an inch on this without a fight. Nor is FOSS going to passively sit back and allow the FRAND advocates to define all the terms or frame the debate.

One of the first things an entrenched business does when it runs into outside innovation is to try to get the new thing declared illegal. Or failing that, to burden it with as many complex and costly regulations as possible. Because they know that size is an advantage when it comes to government regulatory requirements. They constitute a barrier to entry into a market since new and small companies often can't afford the business infrastructure needed to comply. Besides, stifling innovation and slowing change is much easier and safer than competing on merits anyway.

That's what FRAND is setting the stage to do. And I'm sorry of it's pissing some people off that the FOSS world isn't falling for it.

So be it.

Onward! Thmbsup
« Last Edit: February 29, 2012, 12:35:28 PM by 40hz » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: February 29, 2012, 12:40:59 PM »

You can disagree without being personal.

Agree.  Thmbsup

As a friend of mine so aptly put it: You can be passionate about something without having to get angry over it. So share your passions. And try not to give in too easily to the pleasure of self-righteous anger,

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« Reply #17 on: February 29, 2012, 12:54:30 PM »

I don't really knows whats happening with the political propaganda being spammed on DC recently.

I wouldnt phrase it that way myself, but there has been a bit of a "bandwagon" lately here...
Info is often presented in a senstational and/or biased fashion, everyone agrees, and it can feel like a closed shop.
As mouser said earlier today:

...the real issues are [often] a little more nuanced than our first reactions.
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« Reply #18 on: February 29, 2012, 01:37:05 PM »

there has been a bit of a "bandwagon" lately here...

???



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tomos
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« Reply #19 on: February 29, 2012, 02:14:39 PM »

there has been a bit of a "bandwagon" lately here...

???

yeah, sorry, stupid word, but I was at a loss. I think the post reads ok if you just leave out that clause - if not just read mouser's quote :-)
it sums up what I wanted to express...
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Tom
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« Reply #20 on: February 29, 2012, 11:11:03 PM »

I don't really knows whats happening with the political propaganda being spammed on DC recently.

This is kind of off-topic, but I think it's an important point that you raise.

Many of us here make our living in the IT world, be that as software authors, network admins, or in some other capacity.

The practical upshot is that IT topics are central to our lives, and indeed, our abilities to feed ourselves even.

The fallout comes when there are attacks on core principles that we hold dear, such as freedom of speech, which in itself is fundamental to "information" technology.

Any attack on FOSS is ultimately going to be an attack on freedom of speech in one form or another. Any time you say, "You have freedom of speech, but...", that is a limitation of freedom of speech, which is NOT freedom.

Now, someone may point out various hate laws... and yes... I still do not believe that we should ban people from being idiots. You can't legislate intelligence. I'm somewhat radical in that way. Meh... I'm sure many disagree with me. That's fine.

Allow me to cite an example of utter, complete, pure evil that I cannot possibly express my disgust for, but that I do not believe should be censored or banned:

http://jme.bmj.com/conten...hics-2011-100411.abstract

Quote
Abstract
Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus' health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ā€˜after-birth abortionā€™ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled

Yes. They advocate killing newborn babies. It's difficult to imagine anything more callous or evil.


Now, let's just examine a bit about what I've DONE above...

I've gone from a core IT issue, censorship/freedom of speech/freedom of information, to an example, to killing babies.

This is the core problem: The values we hold in the software/IT community are generic and held in other areas, so inevitably, these "webs of values" lead us into non-IT/software topics, which are invariably of a political/religious/principled nature (because the attacks are in themselves political/religious/principled).

I think we generally do a decent job of limiting ourselves to staying as close as possible to software/IT, but it is inevitable that we'll wander.

e.g. Patent insanity in software... insert slippery slope here... patent insanity elsewhere.


The recent frequency of attacks has skyrocketed, so when you say, "I don't really knows whats happening with the political propaganda being spammed on DC recently.", I think that it's really just that - increasing frequency of attacks on fundamental principles that many people at DC hold, e.g. freedom of information/speech, etc.

Quite honestly, I'm rather glad. For a very long time I've simply shut up about these things (saw them coming a long time ago), and it's refreshing to see that I'm not alone now and that other people out there actually care about things like not being thrown in prison because you happen to believe something different.


Guys and gals please take a deep breath.. especially long time members.. this is not the DC way -- we are supposed to go to extreme lengths to not insult and attack each other, and not to name call.  Please for the benefit of setting a good example try to be kinder to one another.  You can disagree without being personal.


+1

I know that I've flown off the handle before (I hope Phil doesn't hate me for that), and it can be tough not to sometimes.

It's easier to do when focusing on the ISSUES though, instead of looking at the person. Ad hominem and pro hominem attacks/arguments do have a place, but they are somewhat rare. Ad hominem has no place in any kind of forum like this, while pro hominem does have a place, e.g. "Try the ACME program. 40hz uses it and he knows what he's doing." etc. etc. 




Now, let's all just be happy that I don't say what I really think~! tongue Grin (Couldn't resist that one!)


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IainB
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« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2012, 07:06:47 AM »

Allow me to cite an example of utter, complete, pure evil that I cannot possibly express my disgust for, but that I do not believe should be censored or banned:
http://jme.bmj.com/conten...hics-2011-100411.abstract
Quote
Abstract
Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus' health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ā€˜after-birth abortionā€™ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.
Yes. They advocate killing newborn babies. It's difficult to imagine anything more callous or evil.

Sorry to chip in here, and I presume you weren't really requiring a response, but, even though it was an off-topic comment, I felt I should suggest that since the context of the paper you link to is:
Quote
J Med Ethics doi:10.1136/medethics-2011-100411
Law, ethics and medicine
Paper
After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?
- then it would seem eminently reasonable to present the argument in that paper, since it would seem to formalise a logical and structured conclusion that could be drawn from the apparent mess of contradictory/conflicting ethical and moral perspectives that collectively seem to currently allow killing a foetus.

The argument being put forward is that:
Quote
...the authors argue that what we call ā€˜after-birth abortionā€™ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion ...is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.
There was nothing in the paper (that I could see, anyway) that specifically suggests that the authors of the paper:
Quote
...advocate killing newborn babies.

The author affiliations are given as:
Quote
Author Affiliations
    1. Department of Philosophy, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
    2. Centre for Human Bioethics, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    3. Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    4. Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, Oxford University, Oxford, UK

In the paper, just before the Conclusions, it says:
Quote
We are not suggesting that these are definitive reasons against adoption as a valid alternative to after-birth abortion. Much depends on circumstances and psychological reactions. What we are suggesting is that, if interests of actual people should prevail, then after-birth abortion should be considered a permissible option for women who would be damaged by giving up their newborns for adoption.
- and the start of the Conclusions says:
Quote
Conclusions
If criteria such as the costs (social, psychological, economic) for the potential parents are good enough reasons for having an abortion even when the fetus is healthy, if the moral status of the newborn is the same as that of the infant and if neither has any moral value by virtue of being a potential person, then the same reasons which justify abortion should also justify the killing of the potential person when it is at the stage of a newborn...

The paper appears to be making a rational argument.
From it, it could be reasonably supposed that the paper might simply be a serious challenge to the status quo to sort out the arguably compromised ethics/morals that surround the act of so-called legalised abortion. The paper would seem to be smack-bang in the right context and forum for that, at any rate.

I would like to see what (if any) the outcomes of the paper are in the medical profession. It can't be easy being obliged by society to try and play God.
If we are being observed by space aliens - as some have suggested - then I hate to think what they might think of our "civilization".
For example, we do such strange things, including wholesale chopping up of living foetuses in women's wombs and vacuuming the bits out (QED). This could seem a somewhat strange and barbaric thing for a species to do to itself, whatever the given justification may be. But this could arguably seem no more strange than deliberately killing the foetus after birth - which we also do (QED) - whatever the given justification may be.
So, if you can justify as legal doing the first one, then why not the second?

Hmm...tricky.

Prior posts in DCF of potential relevance:
Top 10 most depressing quotes from Orwell's 1984:
([url=https://www.donationcoder.com/forum/index.php?topic=12641.msg105535#msg105535]see attachment in previous post)[/i][/url]
"We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent there will be no need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But alwaysā€”do not forget this Winstonā€”always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler....

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40hz
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« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2012, 07:24:48 AM »

I want IainB to start a blog, that once a week dissects (as is his wont) some late breaking web issue. The mind boggles... Grin

P.S. I hope they never abolish orgasm. It's still the cheapest form of entertainment going.  Wink
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TaoPhoenix
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« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2012, 07:33:15 AM »

I want IainB to start a blog, that once a week dissects (as is his wont) some late breaking web issue. The mind boggles... Grin

P.S. I hope they never abolish orgasm. It's still the cheapest form of entertainment going.  Wink

They're trying. From the next story over:
http://www.donationcoder....m/index.php?topic=30130.0
Summary: PayPal has forced its merchants that publish and distribute e-books to censor erotic literature.

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« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2012, 08:52:58 AM »

I didn't mean for baby killing to really enter in here... It was merely meant as a radical example. Please forgive the diversion...

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