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Techrights Recommends An Apple Boycott 542

walterbyrd writes with a quote from an article at Techrights: "Given the latest actions from Apple we cannot help recommending that people buy nothing from Apple. Boycott the company for being a threat to the IT landscape and also to common sense." More from the article: "...Apple has been working hard to embargo — not just sue — the competition. Apple disregards the notion of fair competition..."
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Techrights Recommends An Apple Boycott

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  • Give me a break (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bonch ( 38532 ) * on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @04:18AM (#38500658)

    Could this be any more biased? Why is Slashdot posting this crap?

    The article claims that "Apple fan sites celebrate Apple patents," but all he does is link to one site, Patently Apple. That site exists to track Apple patent applications "in search of future features and secrets," as the site puts it []. It's not celebrating patents; it's just reporting on them in hopes of predicting upcoming product plans.

    It also repeats the old troll meme about PARC, claiming that "Apple disregards the notion of fair competition, which takes a lot of nerve for a company that built itself on knockoffs (e.g. Xerox PARC)." Overlapping windows and pulldown menus did come from PARC, but Apple is the one who invented the File-Edit-View-Window-Help standard menu layout, the phrase "cut-and-paste," and several other common GUI paradigms that are taken for granted today. Not to mention that many of those Xerox PARC employees went on to work on the Macintosh project at Apple!

    If we're throwing around knock-off accusations, Android used to look like this [] until the iPhone came out, and then Android suddenly started looking and behaving a lot more like iOS, right down to the pinch-zoom gestures that originated with the iPhone. For crying out loud, Samsung outright stole Apple's icon artwork and used it in their stores []. TechRights, of course, ignores all this. It's no surprise at all that Apple is going to try to hinder competitors' efforts to ride the coattails of its design work. It went through this before with Windows in the 1980s and only lost its court case against Microsoft because of a previous licensing agreement.

    Obnoxious Android fanboyism has reached a fever pitch. Android fanboys are now officially more annoying than Apple fanboys. They've adopted this idea that they are freedom fighters and that their tribe is under threat from evil. It's embarrassing and is a resurrection of the worst elements of the desktop Linux movement from 10 years ago.

    Exploring the rest of the site, it calls itself "a progressive site which supports software freedom and advocates digital diversity through standardisation." Most of its stories are anti-Microsoft, pro-Linux, and present a one-sided view of tech news that's intended to rile up its readers (not unlike Slashdot, to be honest). It also claims to be against monopolies but says nothing about Google's monopoly in web advertising nor the fact it's using its monopoly revenues to pump a new market with a free product (Android), just like Microsoft did with Windows and Internet Explorer in the 1990s. For some reason, Android advocates

    For crying out loud, Techrights' Twitter account is called @boycottnovell. Boycott Novell is associated with Roy Schestowitz, an infamous Usenet troll who spams the advocacy newsgroups with pro-Linux news links and used to astroturf Slashdot with multiple accounts.

    If nerds on Tech Rights and Slashdot want to boycott Apple, go ahead. None of them were using Apple products anyway--they are Linux advocacy sites. Apple wouldn't even notice [].

    Can we get some actual tech news? Or is Slashdot forever lost to its current role of flamboyant baiting for ad views? Ugh.

  • Boycotts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by From A Far Away Land ( 930780 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @04:23AM (#38500672) Homepage Journal

    Are boycotts ever really effective anymore? There's too much clout huge companies carry with their flashy advertising to reach consumers that are willing to break principle. People are not principled enough to rigourously hold to boycotts. I tell people not to bother with them, and focus on positive buying instead of negative buying. Don't avoid buying what you don't want to support, try to actively spend your available spending money with people and companies who support your vision of the world.

  • Re:Give me a break (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bonch ( 38532 ) * on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @04:23AM (#38500676)

    For some reason, Android advocates

    Should be: "For some reason, Android advocates who trashed Microsoft for the same behavior ignore it when it comes from a multibillion dollar advertising company that happens to push Linux."

  • Apple not alone (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @04:23AM (#38500680) Journal

    What about the other patent/IP assholes, such as Microsoft, Sony, and Oracle? Why target just one?

  • In other words (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sir Holo ( 531007 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @04:27AM (#38500702)
    Apple is asserting its patent rights.

    This is how the system works. Ask T. Edison.
  • by symbolset ( 646467 ) * on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @04:34AM (#38500740) Journal
    The purpose for patents is not to protect the invention any more. It's to protect against ANY invention. And that's not what patents are for.
  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @04:37AM (#38500760)

    This article is 100% troll.

    Apple is as much a producer as anyone, and there are lots of arguments to be made that they are for more producers currently of innovations in hardware and software than many other companies.

    I find the patent activities Apple is engaging in absurd and evil also. But the whole industry is doing the same thing all over, Apple's actions just get elevated above others because it brings page views and Apple Haters push an anti-Apple agenda whenever possible.

    The solution is not to boycott Apple, for that helps no-one - the solution is to continue to battle absurd software patents however it is possible to do so.

  • Re:Give me a break (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ThorGod ( 456163 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @04:37AM (#38500762) Journal

    For some reason, Android advocates

    Should be: "For some reason, Android advocates who trashed Microsoft for the same behavior ignore it when it comes from a multibillion dollar advertising company that happens to push Linux."

    Wow, I'm sorry you and the above got modded down so much.

    Your comments aren't over rational and contain no foul language...yours, particularly, contains nothing remotely like a personal attack. (The GP does discuss one person directly, but in a brief and mostly objective way.)

  • Too many boycotts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @04:43AM (#38500778)

    I don't use apple products because I don't believe in their "walled garden" philosophy. I was a big fan of apple back in the old hypercard and basic days when apple wanted to bring their users CLOSER to the computing experience and really make their users more powerful.

    But apple has done a complete 180 on that and won't ever come back to it. so for that reason, I won't buy their products. It isn't a boycott.

    People need to stop thinking anyone gives a damn what they think about anything. Because the reality is that in the real world people just don't care. Corporations don't care. Politicians don't care. Your next door neighbor doesn't care. And they have every right to not care.

    That said, you have the same right. So rather then trying to get some frothy public action thing together with promises to buy again if they change their ways. Just quietly buy what you believe in and let the marketing people figure out why sales dropped. Nothing preachy or pretentious. Just buy what you believe.

    Apple products make lots of people happy. Good for them. They're welcome to it. I won't be one of them and wish one and all well.

  • Re:Give me a break (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LordLimecat ( 1103839 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @04:54AM (#38500832)

    but says nothing about Google's monopoly in web advertising nor the fact it's using its monopoly revenues to pump a new market with a free product (Android),

    I was with you till here. In what way is Google leveraging its search engine de-facto monopoly to push android? I am unaware of any way in which Android is unfairly pushed. You can get google apps for any of the major phone OSes, and they dont sell Android at

    You were on a roll, but thats just too much of a stretch.

  • Re:Counter-proof (Score:5, Insightful)

    by myurr ( 468709 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @04:54AM (#38500836)

    It's amusing that you think the "Haters" will just not let people use what they find suits them best, when that is precisely Apple's strategy (not letting people just use what they find suits them best) and the reason the majority of "Haters" exist.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @05:00AM (#38500862)

    Thats some fine fanboy bullshit blindness you got going on there.

    Give them credit where they deserve it. For creating a tech cult. Which is an amazing thing.
    Trendy pretty crap devices in a choice of primary colors for hipsters and the tech clueless.

    But unique products? Good products? Good quality? Good support? Fuck no. They've never had any of that.

    And every one of their lawsuits shows exactly what kind of company apple is as well.
    They can't compete on anything solid. And have to sue for 'look and feel' of a square fucking device with rounded edges.
    The most generic lawsuits ever from a fad company past their prime.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @05:10AM (#38500914)

    Joe Average will stop reading that article halfway the summary. It doesn't do a good job explain why an Apple boycott would be called for to a public that is immensely pro-Apple. Targeting non-Apple users with this is pointless since they won't buy Apple anyway, so your core audience is Apple users.
    And if an Apple user starts reading this at all (which is not a given - the title alone might scare him away) he will be going into it with "my Apple products all work, are easy to use and look nice; I don't want to use Windows / Android / &c.". The writer has a formidable uphill battle to fight and he doesn't even try. You won't get people to boycott a company they dearly love if you yourself apparently don't even care about the issue.
    This article teaches us some important lessons in article writing:
    1) Mind your audience.
    2) Write clearly.
    3) Get your argument in quickly.
    4) Hook the reader long enough to get the support for your conclusion in there.

  • Re:Wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @05:19AM (#38500948)

    Actually it is (check out Darwin sometime).

    Darwin != iOS. Please point me to build instructions so I can make a new ROM for an iDevice which does NOT contain the iCal application. Hm?

    Unlike Andorid the shell of a CarrierIQ system that shipped with iOS was never enabled, and did not contain ... (snip)

    How do you know? Were you legally able to investigate this? Or did Steve whisper this into your ears?

    FWIW, the cydia thing is totally uncomparable to the Android custom ROM scene. You obviously haven't looked into it and hence you are talking out of your buttocks.

    When you stop and think about it it's pretty dumb to have to install a custom ROM

    When you stop and think about it it's pretty dumb to make uninformed remarks about things you have demonstrated to have no knowledge on.

  • Re:Give me a break (Score:1, Insightful)

    by the_B0fh ( 208483 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @05:24AM (#38500976) Homepage

    You do realize that Google is giving it away for free, just like Microsoft used to do with IE, right?

    You do realize this is to support mobile search right?

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @05:27AM (#38500994)

    For the most part the vast majority of the mobile patent wars have been about extracting licensing agreements between vendors.

    That was true, but that pact was broken when vendors starting deciding RAND patents in various standards did not apply to Apple and they were allowed to shake down Apple for extra money above the payments the rest of the industry was making.

    So if we are truly going to try and nip problems with agreements forming, Apple is not the company to go after (remember in the Samsung suit they even offered to sell a license to Samsung for use of some the patents they had, which Samsung declined).

    By boycotting Apple you would send a message that this shit is not on

    Boycots against any company are foolish because it's a very poor way to send any message. The signal is lost in a vast sea of noise of purchases. As noted, Apple isn't even the most egregious player here....

    The real thing to do is to attack the power that patents have over foolish aspects of computing they should not. Even if you could succeed against Apple other companies would continue to abuse them the same way. It's not even like Apple is a company with pure patent troll play as we are seeing these days.

    Attack flaws in the patent system and you wipe out ALL bad abuses of patents across ALL companies.

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @05:34AM (#38501022)

    The ghost of the reality distortion is stronger in this one than any I have seen.

    Well all I am doing here is telling you what will actually help the problem.

    Talk about reality distortion - your solution to the Hydra is to cheerfully attack only one head while ignoring the others snaking towards your back.

    And yet, you would claim I am the one who is blind...

    Attack Apple exclusively and ignore the other blatant evils all around, yes I can see why that makes perfect sense... an Apple Hater. With patented Apple Hater Tunnel-Vision (tm)!

    The really funny thing is, the Apple Hyrda head will never even notice you are trying to hurt it. I mean, you could have at least had the intelligence to target a head that you could have made an impact.

    Sigh. So sad to see such a willful disregard for the industry as a whole! That is the real problem, people like you thinking a single company is an issue instead of a system that practically mandates abuse...

    I'll let you have the last response since I doubt any of your reply will make any more sense, and indeed I anticipate the froth level to be quite high.

  • Who cares? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by frank_adrian314159 ( 469671 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @05:36AM (#38501036) Homepage

    If you want to be a fanboi, at least become one about something that matters - maybe people in your life? But devoting energy to things like this article proposes is simply a waste of precious time. A computer is a computer; a phone is a phone. You get one and you use it. It's not like any of them are particularly special. I don't see anyone obsessing over their toaster like this...

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @05:48AM (#38501080)

    Download music from iTunes, and you can only play it on a limited number of computers (try it and you'll find out).

    Nope, been unencrptyted now for many years (and with iTunes Match Apple will even give you a nice 256kb DRM-free audio file of everything you ever ripped from a CD).

    So that was totally wrong.

    Locking hardware to software.

    This was a particularly amusing error because you almost had a point! If only you had reversed it.

    But in fact Apple does not lock hardware to software at all. Apple, for example, shipped bootcamp with the first Intel Mac.

    Pushing of proprietary standards.

    Like the industry standard HTML5?

    Or the industry standard video codec h.264?

    Or forcing the music industry to drop DRM?

    Apple has not pushed proprietary standards since AppleTalk.

    Being the middle-man.

    I can download music from anywhere and load it on an iPhone.

    Free apps pay nothing to Apple.

    I can put any number of PDF's on a iPhone, or read Kindle books with which not one cent went to Apple...

    "A" middle man? Sure. THE middle man? Not even close.

    Being secretive about developer revenues.

    Good good man, Apple is the only company that trumpets loudly how much they are paying developers! There is nothing secret about it whatsoever.

    Is it hard to find out how much any one developer makes? Yes, unless they tell you. You are claiming that I should simply be able to ask Apple exactly how much money every app made, and you are claiming that breathtaking invasion of MY privacy as an App developer is LESS EVIL?

    How about you tell us how much you make. Or are you being secretive?

    And, if you google around, I'm sure you'll find many other reasons to dislike Apple.

    Indeed you will, each of them more baseless than the last.

    The sad thing is there are perfectly valid reasons to be be upset with Apple, why can't people complain about them more often in a wider forum?

  • by nstlgc ( 945418 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @05:50AM (#38501088)
    You seem to have forgotten that Apple is only suing Samsung, not other tablet makers.
    How about HTC? Might not be tablet makers, but why limit yourself to tablet makers?

    You can always tell the haters by the way they distort reality in any way possible (or frankly impossible) to make Apple the worst in any given comparison.
    I wonder where the term Reality Distortion Field comes from.

    Apple was one of the big players heavily pushing HTML-5
    By banning Flash...

    shipped the very first Intel macs with Bootcamp
    While trying hard to make it impossible to run Mac OS X on any non-Apple device...
  • Re:In other words (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@wo[ ] ['rld' in gap]> on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @05:51AM (#38501094) Homepage Journal

    Actually Edison shamelessly ripped off other people's intellectual property all the time. The most famous example was "Le Voyage dans la lune", a French special effects laden film he stole and sold in the US with the original producers not seeing a penny.

    The idea of patents seems good but the reality is they are mostly used to stifle legitimate competition and leech license fees from things other people made themselves. When there are legitimate license fees they tend not to be based on patents anyway because patents expire, e.g. CDDA and Dolby certification.

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @05:59AM (#38501124)

    On the first point, since Android is open source and I can't download all of that source either I see no reason why the partial codebase of iOS does not qualify.

    Where can I download Moto-Blur?

    the second is at least a questionable claim, given that language preferences vary so much.

    That has nothing to do with it. The fact is Objective-C make code injection incredibly easy, which means it's much easier to hook into and modify specific parts of existing applications.

    It's not about language preference, it's about a specific side effect of iOS software being written in Objective-C.

  • Re:Boycotts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968@gm ... minus herbivore> on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @06:18AM (#38501194) Journal

    Uhhh...I think Since Google has their own mobile OS in the game that kind of stunt would probably get the feds showing up demanding records for an antitrust investigation. That would be like hearing "To support freedom Microsoft has announced they will support the boycott of Apple with an update that makes sure that Windows isn't done unless iTunes don't run". Yeah i don't really think that would fly.

    As for TFA, yeah that site might as well have a trollface icon and a tag that reads "U Mad Bro?" but lets cut through the bullshit and be honest okay? Apple has ALWAYS been dickish, its not like this is some amazing news, anymore than the revelation that the Ballmer monkey is a shitty CEO that goes through underarm deodorant like its going out of style, Gates plays the little nerd while being a truly vicious businessman, Larry Ellison IS a rich asshole, Torvalds cares more about itch scratching than stability and RMS is a militant. Seriously is there ANYONE who doesn't know these things? Its like saying Bozo the clown wears big shoes!

    Jobs was a control freak, Jobs wanted Google DOA. He like Gates was a truly vicious competitor, total A personality and had no problem letting his lawyers off the chain. Now the new guy is simply copying the Jobs playbook like Ballmer would love nothing more than to be Gates with a bigger BMI. why is any of this shocking? Did you think Apple was a bunch of granola eating hippies wearing Birkenstocks and petting kittens? As the CEO of Commodore put it in the early 80s "business is war" and Apple is gonna do everything they can to crush any and all competitors. if you look at the list of companies they went after pretty much all the $500 tablets they went after because they know the iPad isn't competing with some $150 POS from China. And while i personally don't buy Apple because I've never liked the whole "one size fits all" and all the fashion design layouts being surprised at Apple being nasty is like being surprised when the sun shines or rain falls down instead of up.

    I'm old enough to have actually been around for the birth of the PC (IBM 5150) and frankly Apple really wasn't any different back then, at least going back to when Woz left. I mean for the love of Pete way back then Jobs screwed Woz by lying to him on how much Atari gave them for a game and NOW you expect them to play nice? Sheesh.

  • by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <> on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @07:25AM (#38501474)

    Nothing, but it's also not wrong or illegal or morally wrong to point it out either.

    The gate swings both ways.

    Some of the Apple haters on here are just embarrassing, and are doing more to hurt their "cause" than help it. I mean, it's their choice to define themselves by hating a company, but much of the vitriol is getting silly. I may not be a personal fan of Android (although I have used some good Android handsets and can see why people like it) I'm not frothing about how Samsung and Google are some sort of Machiavellian evil for making things that people want to buy.

    I think a lot of it stems from a feeling of sour grapes, that in the era of declining Microsoft dominance they were sure that "their" time (of Linux! On the Desktop!) would come, and that instead of year on year growth for Linux desktop/laptop marketshare, the eroded Windows share went to Apple instead, and then the entry into the phone market (predicted to be a *massive failure*) and the re-ignition of the tablet market (again, predicted to be a massive flop) was just rubbing salt in the wounds.

    Certainly, Apple is no angel and has done some stupid things, but in the mind of an Apple Hater - defining themselves by their assured belief that Apple can Only Do Evil(tm), they forget many of the positive things Apple has done for the industry and consumers at large since its return from the brink of death.

  • Re:Give me a break (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Taagehornet ( 984739 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @07:32AM (#38501496)

    If we're throwing around knock-off accusations, Android used to look like this until the iPhone came out, and then Android suddenly started looking and behaving a lot more like iOS, right down to the pinch-zoom gestures that originated with the iPhone.

    Please stop perpetuating this myth. There was no mad rush to change Android after the iPhone was announced. [] Feel free to look up Dianne Hackborn yourself; her word should carry a lot more weight than a picture carefully crafted by some Apple apologist.

    It's no surprise at all that Apple is going to try to hinder competitors' efforts to ride the coattails of its design work.

    Oh God, please stop repeating Jobs tiring drivel. It serves no purpose, and only make you look like a tool. Let Apple do their own dirty marketing. Apple has no noble agenda, they're fighting increasingly dirty to protect their bottom-line, abusing the patent system to hinder competition, attempting to subvert the work of W3C [] threatening the very openness of the web.

    Their actions are hurting the industry. Yet, you can still find people on a technical forum like this feeling the need to support their actions, modded +5 Insightful no less. I'm appalled.

  • by UngodAus ( 198713 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @07:45AM (#38501544)
    This is exactly the tactics that Apple are using. The lawyers of nokia many many times tried to cross-licence with apple, as apple seems to be totally fine using others IP with a free hand. No ball, until it went to court. Many courts in many countries. When it's stupid and logical things like multi-touch, then this court-based stifling of innovation and usage is killing the industry slowly.
  • Re:Boycotts (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @07:55AM (#38501590)

    People are not principled enough to rigourously hold to boycotts.

    It might have something to do with people not agreeing with your boycott, rather than a general lack of principles.

  • Re:Boycotts (Score:3, Insightful)

    by moozey ( 2437812 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @08:37AM (#38501756)

    Sorry, but I know a number of people who have grown up using PCs (some of them even Apple haters), then moved on to a Mac for whatever reason (certain program they needed was only available through Apple, etc.) and now won't go back simply because their Macbook Pro makes that much more sense to them.

    So really, I'm sure that in a lot of cases people aren't using Apple products just because they look cool, hipster or no.

  • by garyebickford ( 222422 ) <> on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @09:12AM (#38501938)

    I think there is something to do with perception. In fact, if you look at most large highway signs (everywhere I've lived), the actual sign board is still the full rectangle; only the painted outline is rounded. And the rounded windows certainly look better.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @09:45AM (#38502174)

    When the definition of "copy", "look like" and "iOS-alike" is as broad as Apple's, then yes, it is literally the only way to design a tablet.

  • by Gadget_Guy ( 627405 ) * on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @10:07AM (#38502310)

    Interesting your choice of the word "ban" there. Not simply "refused to include in iOS on performance grounds".

    Well they certainly banned Flash [] for developing apps.

    They stated from the outset that Flash was a dog for performance, especially on mobile devices. Adobe belatedly agreed with them. Everyone's happy.

    Everybody's happy? I think not. Adobe did end up changing from Flash to HTML5 for mobiles, but this was because it is hard to push Flash as a platform for mobile applications when the elephant in the room is that it will not work on iOS. Adobe lost the war to Apple, plain and simple. And losers tend not to be all that happy.

  • Re:Give me a break (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dixie_Flatline ( 5077 ) <> on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @10:30AM (#38502460) Homepage

    I've got no beef against Ms. Hackborn in particular, but it's clear that she has a dog in this hunt. Take her words with as big a grain of salt as you would from someone that works at Apple.

    In any case, the fact that Samsung is copying design elements when making its tablet is unrelated to Android. Samsung's own lawyers couldn't differentiate the two devices in court at a distance of 3m. []

    But putting aside the practical matters (i.e., whether any boycott could even be reasonably mustered), would an Apple boycott really help matters? Let's consider that until Apple got into the iPod business, the music players were all pretty uninspiring. Apple made that a viable bit of industry. The iTunes music store brought us prices for mainstream music that were effectively unheard of previously, and for those of us that were interested in buying digital music instead of finding, er...alternate sources, it finally gave us a place to go.

    The iPhone is remarkable mainly in the power it wrested away from the telecoms. Now Samsung can show up and say, "This is the phone we designed. Take it or leave it." Previously, the specs would have been given to Samsung and they would have done the best they could with very little latitude of their own.

    Apple disrupts markets. Maybe they shouldn't be such dicks about it after they've wedged themselves into a space, but they're making markets that either don't exist or exist only as a poorly exploited niche.

  • by sydneyfong ( 410107 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @11:25AM (#38502998) Homepage Journal

    I think the audience is just right.

    That is, to supply confirmation bias to the Apple haters that they are doing The Right Thing.

    Flame on!

  • by steve_bryan ( 2671 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @11:33AM (#38503102)

    Someone really needs to mention that there is often an issue of FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) patents. Companies that hold patents that they want to have adopted by a standards organization will usually agree to FRAND licensing of those patents. However, it appears this system is fraying around the edges. Companies, like Nokia and Samsung, will offer terms to some companies and then when dealing with Apple insist on cross licensing with Apple's patents that are not encumbered by FRAND terms.

    Personally, I'm not convinced that patents have ever been an optimal idea for society going back as far as James Watt's steam engine. But given the reality of the legal system that is in place, I think it is rather dishonest for many of these companies to act as though they are victims when they are attempting to ignore that they had agreed to license in a non-discriminatory fashion.

    So if we are going to start down this road, I think companies holding FRAND patents who have clearly failed to honor the terms as they had agreed, should be stripped of those patents. Also, instead of extending patents to ever new areas (business method, software, design) those "innovations" should be rolled back in recognition of what disasters they have become.

  • by R3d M3rcury ( 871886 ) on Tuesday December 27, 2011 @11:24PM (#38511104) Journal

    That has already been used to determine a price which is available to other customers. The non-discriminatory part of the obligation means Samsung (in this case) is required to offer that same price to Apple, i.e. not discriminate depending on the customer.

    The people who are using these patents are all inside a particular group that share patents. So, as I said I above, if I want to use your patents, I have to let you use mine. All of the people using these patents agree this arrangement. All members of the group get value from using each others patents. There is no discrimination going on within the group.

    Apple is the company that doesn't want to join the group and share it's patents. Which is perfectly fine--Apple has that right. But they cannot claim that they should receive the same benefits as those who share their patents. Those patents from other people have value and those are part of the "fee" for using the patents. If Apple does not want to contribute their patents, then they should have to pay the equivalent cash value.

    For example, if I join the local supermarket's "grocery club," I give them something of value--namely information about me and my shopping habits. They, in return, give me a discount on the groceries that I buy. What you're saying is that you should be able to get the same discounts but you shouldn't have to join the "grocery club" and give them your personal information.

    The patents that are being shared are part of the value that Samsung is receiving for it's patents. If Apple doesn't want to share, then it falls to Samsung to come up with a cash equivalent.

He: Let's end it all, bequeathin' our brains to science. She: What?!? Science got enough trouble with their OWN brains. -- Walt Kelly