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GNOME Foundation is Being Sued Because of Shotwell Photo Manager

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The GNOME Foundation is facing a lawsuit from Rothschild Patent Imaging, LLC. Patent troll Rothschild allege that Shotwell photo manager infringes its patent.
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By Joey Sneddon

  • GNOME Will “Vigorously Defend” Shotwell in Lawsuit

    Shotwell, the free, open source photo management app, has allegedly fallen foul of a patent held by Rothschild Patent Imaging, LLC.

    In an (understandably) short statement GNOME explain the situation as thus:

    “The GNOME Foundation has been made aware of a lawsuit from Rothschild Patent Imaging, LLC over patent 9,936,086. Rothschild allege that Shotwell, a free and open source personal photo manager infringes this patent.”

    You can view the (rather broad) patent in question on Google Patents.

    Now i’m not a patent expert (I majored in Spice Girls trivia) but the crux of the issue seems to concern Shotwell’s ability to get photos off of a connected device (a feature that’s pretty standard across most photo management software).

    Neil McGovern, who’s the Executive Director for the GNOME Foundation, says the organisation “intend vigorously defend against this baseless suit”.

LWN coverage by Corbet

  • A patent lawsuit against GNOME

    A company called Rothschild Patent Imaging LLC has filed a lawsuit [PDF] against the GNOME Foundation, alleging that the Shotwell photo manager violates patent 9,936,086. Stay tuned, more details will surely emerge.

Lawsuit Against GNU/Linux (GNOME) is Connected to Microsoft

Fairytale for 2019: GNOME to battle a patent troll in court

  • Fairytale for 2019: GNOME to battle a patent troll in court

    The GNOME Foundation, maker of the eponymous Linux desktop, has been hit with a sueball over how its Shotwell photo manager, er, manages photos.

    The plaintiff, Rothschild Patent Imaging LLC, has alleged in a complaint filed at the United States District Court Northern California that defendant, GNOME Foundation, has infringed its patent for a "Wireless image distribution system and method".

    The patent, 9,936,086, filed at the US Patent and Trademark Office on 2 June 2017, is dated 3 April 2018 and, in a nutshell, is concerned with flinging digital photos from one device to another wirelessly.

    Rothschild, which has a virtual office in Texas, has been busy with its new toy and has also slapped Magix with a complaint regarding the same patent. In Magix's case, it is the company's Photo Manager that has attracted the ire of Rothschild's lawyers.

GNOME faces 'baseless' patent lawsuit for organising images

  • GNOME faces 'baseless' patent lawsuit for organising images

    GNOME Foundation has been issued with a lawsuit from Rothschild Patent Imaging (RPI) for allegedly infringing a patent regarding the wireless distribution of images.

    According to the legal complaint, GNOME's Shotwell platform allegedly infringes the patent in question as it used an image capturing device to perform various functions.

    Shotwell is a free, open source, image organiser designed to provide personal photo management for the GNOME desktop environment.

    "The product imports and filters photographic images from cameras, allowing users to organise the photos and share them on social media," is one example of the alleged infringement, according to the complaint.

Leave GNOME alone: This patent troll is asking for trouble

  • Leave GNOME alone: This patent troll is asking for trouble

    You might ask how is being able to import photos and organize them patentable? Or at least be patentable in a patent dating from 2008? I believe Xerox PARC's Superpaint was importing images in 1973, and in the 35 years between those dates, there were just a few photo programs (Photoshop in 1988 comes to mind) that could import and sort images. If it's the wirelessly transmitting images that's the sticking point, it sure looks like Nikon was the first in 2005, with the Coolpix P1 and P2.

    But the ways of the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) are strange and wondrous to behold when it comes to researching prior art.

    Be that as it may, this is far from the first time Rothchild, in true patent troll fashion, has sued companies for misusing its eponymous patent. Indeed, according to a 2015 RPX Corp report, Leigh Rothchild, the patent's creator, had filed the single largest number of lawsuits as non-practicing entities (NPEs) -- companies that don't produce products but profit purely from patent lawsuits -- with lawsuits against 141 defendants.

Mythical Troll Attacks GNOME

  • Mythical Troll Attacks GNOME

    This week, RPIL filed a lawsuit against the GNOME Foundation, claiming the Shotwell photo manager infringes its patent. Here’s what Rothschild claims to have invented in 2008:

    4. A method performed by an image-capturing mobile device, comprising:

    receiving a plurality of photographic images;

    filtering the plurality of photographic images using a transfer criteria wherein the transfer criteria is a subject identification of a respective photographic image within the plurality of photographic images, wherein the subject identification is based on a topic, theme or individual shown in the respective photographic image; and

    transmitting, via a wireless transmitter and to a second image capturing device, the filtered plurality of photographic images.

    That’s right. Rothschild thinks he was the first to come up with receiving a bunch of photos on a phone, filtering them based on a topic or theme, and transmitting them wirelessly to someone else’s mobile device.

    That’s probably not patentable subject matter under the Alice § 101 test. It’s probably not even valid under § 102 or § 103—I was doing exactly this on my MacBook using Lightroom when it was released in 2007, more than a year before the filing of the RPIL patent. A MacBook is an image-capturing mobile device, but even if it isn’t, porting that kind of software from a laptop to a smartphone is obvious. This is a clear example of the kind of patent that never should have been granted that IPR was designed to deal with.

By Graeme Burton at www.computing.co.uk

Bad Voltage

  • Stuart Langridge: 2×58: Fat For Purpose

    [00:30:50] Gnome are being sued over a software patent (“a method that involves capturing a bunch of images, filtering them based on a topic, theme or individual, and wirelessly transmitting the filtered images to another device”) which Shotwell allegedly violates

More Microsoft Connections

"Patent Attacks Against Open Source Intensify!"

  • Patent Attacks Against Open Source Intensify!

    We previously reported on how popular open source has been under attack from patent assertion entities. The attacks continue. The GNOME Foundation recently acknowledged that it was sued for patent infringement by Rothschild Patent Imaging LLC. The allegedly infringing product is Shotwell, a free and open source personal photo manager. Neil McGovern, Executive Director for the GNOME Foundation says “We have retained legal counsel and intend to vigorously defend against this baseless suit.” The suit alleges infringement of a single patent 9,936,086 titled “Wireless Image Distribution System and Method.”

    This suit is noteworthy in that it is not targeted at users of the open source product, but rather the entity that oversees the development. In the prior lawsuits we reported, the targets were typically companies using the open source.

    One of the potentially interesting issues that could be addressed if the case goes the distance is the request for injunctive relief. Rothschild seeks as part of its relief: “an Order Enjoining Defendant, its agents, officers, servants, employees, attorneys, and all persons in active concert or participation with Defendant who receive notice of the order from further infringement of United States Patent No. 9,936,086.” Shotwell is licensed under GNU Lesser General Public License version 2.1 (LPGL). This license permits licensees to copy and redistribute Shotwell to others. If somehow Rothschild obtains an injunction, will it apply just to the GNOME Foundation or downstream users as well? One of the novel underlying legal questions that would need to be addressed is whether licensees who redistribute an open source program are “in active concert or participation with Defendant.”

GNOME sends message to 'patent trolls' and files defence

  • GNOME sends message to 'patent trolls' and files defence against lawsuit

    The GNOME Foundation has filed a defence against the patent lawsuit it received a month ago, saying it wants to "send a message to all software patent trolls out there".

    The alleged "patent troll" in question, Rothschild Patent Imaging (RPI), sued the GNOME Foundation in September, making claims that the Linux desktop provider had infringed a patent related to the wireless distribution of images.

    In its original legal complaint, RPI said GNOME's Shotwell program infringed upon its patent as the platform wirelessly shared photos to social media, imported camera photos onto Shotwell, and filtered various photographic images by topics such as events or groups.

    In response to the patent lawsuit, the Linux desktop provider has filed three legal defences -- a motion to dismiss the case outright, an answer to the claim, and a counterclaim.

GNOME files defense against patent troll

  • GNOME files defense against patent troll

    A month ago, GNOME was hit by a patent troll for developing the Shotwell image management application. It’s the first time a free software project has been targeted in this way, but we worry it won’t be the last. Rothschild Patent Imaging, LLC offered to let us settle for a high five figure amount, for which they would drop the case and give us a licence to carry on developing Shotwell. This would have been simple to do so; it would have caused less work, cost less money, and provided the Foundation a lot less stress. But it also would be wrong. Agreeing to this would leave this patent live, and allow this to be used as a weapon against countless others. We will stand firm against this baseless attack, not just for GNOME and Shotwell, but for all free and open source software projects.

    For these reasons, GNOME Foundation Executive Director Neil McGovern instructed our legal counsel at Shearman & Sterling to file three papers with the court in California.

GNOME People and LWN cite the above

  • Molly de Blanc: Join GNOME in our fight against a patent troll

    A month ago, GNOME was hit by a patent troll for developing the Shotwell image management application. It’s the first time a free software project has been targeted in this way, but we worry it won’t be the last. Rothschild Patent Imaging, LLC offered to let us settle for a high five figure amount, for which they would drop the case and give us a license to carry on developing Shotwell. This would have been simple to do so; it would have caused less work, cost less money, and provided the Foundation a lot less stress. But it also would be wrong. Agreeing to this would leave this patent live, and allow this to be used as a weapon against countless others. We will stand firm against this baseless attack, not just for GNOME and Shotwell, but for all free and open source software projects.

    For these reasons, GNOME Foundation Executive Director Neil McGovern instructed our legal counsel at Shearman & Sterling to file three papers with the court in California.

    First, a motion to dismiss the case outright. We don’t believe that this is a valid patent, or that software can or should be able to be patented in this way. We want to make sure that this patent isn’t used against anyone else, ever.

  • Richard Hughes: GNOME, and Free Software Is Under Attack

    A month ago, GNOME was hit by a patent troll. We’re fighting, but need some money to fund the legal defense, and counterclaim. I just donated, and if you use or develop free software you should too.

  • GNOME's patent-troll counterattack

    Rothschild Patent Imaging LLC filed a patent suit against the GNOME Foundation in September, asserting a violation in the Shotwell photo manager. GNOME has now gone on the counterattack, questioning the validity of the patent and whether it applies to Shotwell at all. There is also an unspecified counterclaim to strike back against Rothschild. "We want to send a message to all software patent trolls out there — we will fight your suit, we will win, and we will have your patent invalidated. To do this, we need your help."

Hell hath GNOME fury: Linux desktop org swings ax

  • Hell hath GNOME fury: Linux desktop org swings ax at patent troll's infringement claim

    After being hit with a patent-infringement lawsuit last month, the GNOME Foundation has fired back with a counterclaim – and urged the courts to dismiss the case.

    In a memo this week, the non-profit org said Rothschild Patent Imaging (RPI) – a patent assertion entity (PAE) it characterizes as a "patent troll" – had filed an infringement claim regarding the foundation's Shotwell image management application in a US district court in California.

    "It’s the first time a free software project has been targeted in this way, but we worry it won’t be the last," the GNOME Foundation said.

    "Rothschild Patent Imaging, LLC offered to let us settle for a high five figure amount, for which they would drop the case and give us a license to carry on developing Shotwell. This would have been simple to do so; it would have caused less work, cost less money, and provided the Foundation a lot less stress. But it also would be wrong."

    Said offered settlement appears to be about 20 times less than the typical cost of dealing with a patent claim. The median cost of patent litigation, when the potential penalty falls in the range of $1m to $10m, came to $1.5m in 2019, according to the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s "2019 Report of the Economic Survey."

The Debian Project stands with the GNOME Foundation

  • The Debian Project stands with the GNOME Foundation in defense against patent trolls

    In 2012, the Debian Project published our Position on Software Patents, stating the threat that patents pose to Free Software.

    The GNOME Foundation has announced recently that they are fighting a lawsuit alleging that Shotwell, a free and Open Source personal photo manager, infringes a patent.

    The Debian Project firmly stands with the GNOME Foundation in their efforts to show the world that we in the Free Software communities will vigorously defend ourselves against any abuses of the patent system.

Sriram Ramkrishna: Let’s fight back against patent trolls

  • Sriram Ramkrishna: Let’s fight back against patent trolls

    The GNOME Foundation has taken the extraordinary step of not just defending itself against a patent troll but to aggressively go after them. This is an important battle. Let’s me explain.

    The initial reason for Rothschild to come after us they clearly believe that the GNOME Foundation has money and that they can shake us down and get some easy money with their portfolio of patents.

    If we had lost or given them the money, it would have made us a mark to not just Rothschild, but to every other patent troll who are probably watching this unfold. Worse, it means that all the other non-profits would be fair game . We do not want to set that precedent. We need to set a strong message that if they attack us they attack us all.

    The GNOME Foundation manages infrastructure around the GNOME Project which consists of an incredible amount of software over a nearly 23 year period. This software is used in everything from medical devices, to consumer devices like the Amazon Kindle and Smart TVs, and of course the GNOME desktop.

Understanding the Rotschild vs GNOME case in 12 minutes

The Document Foundation supports GNOME Foundation

  • The Document Foundation supports GNOME Foundation fight against a patent troll

    The Document Foundation is always opposed to the use of patents to curtail Free Software development and use. The GNOME Foundation, a member of our Advisory Board, is now the target of patent troll Rothschild Patent Imaging LLC, for maintaining and shipping Shotwell, a Free Open Source personal photo manager for the GNOME desktop environment.

    The GNOME Foundation has declined to settle, and has filed three different papers with the court: a motion to dismiss the case, an answer to the claim, and a counterclaim against the troll, with the aim of invalidating their patent. We fully support GNOME Foundation’s decision to fight the patent troll so that no other users or developers are in danger of being sued by this and similar organizations.

GNOME Foundation steps up its open source patent defense

  • GNOME Foundation steps up its open source patent defense

    Patent lawsuits against open source projects are reportedly on the rise. The question is why. Yes, open source has never been more pervasive or popular, but at least some of the patent suits don't make much sense.

    Take, for example, Rothschild Patent Imaging (RPI) LLC's lawsuit against the GNOME Foundation. It's unclear what substantial value Rothschild hopes to gain by the action. When Rothschild Connected Devices Innovations, LLC sued Garmin (eventually dropping the suit), it targeted a cash-rich corporation. Here RPI is going after an open source foundation--GNOME reported just over $1 million in income in 2018 (up from around $250,000 in 2017). According to the GNOME Foundation, RPI offered to settle for a "high five figure amount," but the GNOME Foundation is fighting, not flinching.

    [...]

    RPI, in other words, doesn't appear to have a particular axe to grind against open source. It's not a SCO that sued IBM for $1 billion way back when, then hiked that number to $3 billion (and sprayed pay-or-be-sued letters across every known user of Linux). This is not to suggest that RPI's actions won't have an impact on open source. They could have a very negative impact on open source, generally, and Shotwell users, particularly, as GNOME Foundation executive director Neil McGovern told me.

Debian Donates to Support GNOME Patent Defense

  • Debian Donates to Support GNOME Patent Defense

    Today, the Debian Project pledges to donate $5,000 to the GNOME Foundation in support of their ongoing patent defense. On October 23, we wrote to express our support for GNOME in an issue that affects the entire free software community. Today we make that support tangible.

    "This is bigger than GNOME," said Debian Project Leader Sam Hartman. "By banding together and demonstrating that the entire free software community is behind GNOME, we can send a strong message to non-practicing entities (patent trolls). When you target anyone in the free software community, you target all of us. We will fight, and we will fight to invalidate your patent. For us, this is more than money. This is about our freedom to build and distribute our software."

Open Invention Network comes to GNOME's aid in patent troll...

  • Open Invention Network comes to GNOME's aid in patent troll fight

    Rothschild Patent Imaging (RPI) is suing the GNOME Foundation for violating its "wireless image distribution system and method patent" (US Patent No. 9,936,086)." It's just another day at the office for Rothschild, a Non-Practicing Entity (aka a patent troll), which has filed 714 lawsuits over the past six years. But for the non-profit GNOME Foundation, this lawsuit is a real threat. Fortunately, GNOME has friends. One of them, the Open Invention Network (OIN), a pro-Linux patent non-aggression consortium, is coming to GNOME's defense.

    In a surprise announcement at Open Source Summit Europe in Lyon, France, Keith Bergelt, OIN's CEO, announced that OIN has sicced its legal team in finding prior art that can be used to show that RPI's patent should be ruled invalid.

Open Invention Network Backs Gnome Project against Patent Troll

  • Open Invention Network Backs Gnome Project against Patent Troll

    The Gnome Project was recently sued by a company called Rothschild Patent Imaging for a patent related to the Shotwell photo manager. The Gnome community has just announced that it is counter-suing Rothschild, which they refer to as a patent troll.

    Keith Bergelt, OIN’s CEO, said in his keynote at Open Source Summit, Europe, “Rothschild is a bad company. This is an entity that’s antithetical to the goals of innovation. It will sue foundations. It will sue not for profits. It will sue individuals. It will sue corporations. Their playbook is to establish a pattern of wins through relatively modest settlements,” which can get other businesses to pay up without a fight.

Pro-Linux IP consortium Open Invention Network will 'pivot'...

  • Pro-Linux IP consortium Open Invention Network will 'pivot' to take on patent trolls

    Keith Bergelt, CEO of the Open Invention Network (OIN), says the organisation is "pivoting to focus on" risks from "non-practising entit[ies]" also known as patent trolls.

    The OIN was founded in 2005 by IBM, Suse, Philips, Red Hat and Sony, its purpose being to cross-license patents, royalty-free, subject to a non-aggression agreement, where the licensee agrees not to assert the patents against the Linux community.

Molly de Blanc: GNOME Patent Troll Defense Fund...

  • Molly de Blanc: GNOME Patent Troll Defense Fund reaches nearly 4,000 donors!

    A lot has happened since our announcement that Rothschild Imaging Ltd was alleging that GNOME is violating one of their patents. We wanted to provide you with a brief update of what has been happening over the past few weeks.

    Legal cases can be expensive, and the cost of a patent case can easily reach over a million dollars. As a small non-profit, we decided to reach out to our community and ask for financial support towards our efforts to keep patent trolls out of open source. More than 3,800 of you have stepped up and contributed to the GNOME Patent Troll Legal Defense Fund. We’d like to sincerely thank everyone who has donated. If you need any additional documentation for an employer match, please contact us.

Software Patents Proponents 'Against' Trolls

  • Open Invention Network teams up with IBM, Linux Foundation, and Microsoft to protect open-source software from patent trolls

    Open-source software -- heck, all software -- has been plagued by patent trolls for decades. The Open Invention Network (OIN), the largest patent non-aggression community in history, is now expanding protection of open-source and Linux by partnering with IBM, the Linux Foundation, and Microsoft to further protect it from Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs), aka patent trolls. This new consortium is doing this by supporting Unified Patents' Open Source Zone with a substantial annual subscription.

    Unified Patents is an international organization of over 200 businesses. Unified Patents takes an aggressive stance against trolls. The name of its game is deterring trolls from attacking its members by making it too expensive for the troll to win. The group does this by examining troll patents and their activities in various technology sectors (Zones). The Open Source Zone is the newest of these Zones.

    United Patents does this in a variety of ways. For example, it runs a public bounty program, where it seeks prior art for troll patents. According to Kevin Jakel, Unified Patents CEO, in a recent interview, "The prize money offered can be as much as $10,000 for anyone that is able to find prior patents on the one being questioned. For example, we recently announced a $10,000 bounty for any prior art relating to network monitoring and sequence integrity."

    In practice, their method works. For instance, with Unified Patent's aid, the ride-sharing company Lyft recently beat a patent troll. In the case, a troll claimed essentially he has created all ride-sharing software. US District Judge Jon S Tigar ruled against the troll, saying, "Given the lack of an algorithm for allocation, RideApp 'has in effect claimed everything that [performs the task] under the sun."

  • SUSE welcomes cooperation of Open Invention Network, Linux Foundation, IBM and Microsoft in co-funding Unified Patent’s new Open Source Zone

    An eternal truth is that everything has its opposite for good and evil. Patents are no exception. In fact, even the simple word ‘Patent’ evokes much positive and negative emotion in today’s software world – particularly as news continues to circulate around baseless patent lawsuits by non-practicing entities (NPEs).
    But in news this week there is a bit of positive for a change. The positive news is the announcement of the efforts by Unified Patents to reduce NPE assertion of invalid patents in the open source software zone.

Open Invention Network Joins Forces With IBM, Linux Foundation

  • Open Invention Network Joins Forces With IBM, Linux Foundation And Microsoft

    Open Invention Network (OIN) is teaming up with IBM, the Linux Foundation and Microsoft to further protect open source software (OSS) from Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs) leveraging low quality patents, also called patent trolls.

    The group will support Unified Patents’ Open Source Zone with a substantial annual subscription. This expands OIN’s and its partners’ patent non-aggression activities by deterring PAEs from targeting Linux and adjacent OSS technologies relied on by developers, distributors and users.

IBM and Microsoft and Linux Foundation to fight patent trolls

  • IBM and Microsoft and Linux Foundation to fight patent trolls with 'multi-million' scheme

    IBM, Microsoft and the Linux Foundation have partnered with the Open Invention Network, a company formed to protect Linux from patent threats, to take on "Patent Assertion Entities", also known as patent trolls.

    Specifically, the group will help fund the Open Source Zone of Unified Patents, an organisation which provides legal services to deter "unsubstantiated or invalid patent assertions."

    The move had already been flagged, at the Open Source Summit in Lyon last month, but the identity of the participating companies was not then known. OIN CEO Keith Bergelt spoke to The Register about the announcement. Although we have had a Linux-friendly Microsoft for a few years now, Bergelt, a veteran of patent battles against Microsoft, is by the sound of it still coming to terms with how things have changed.

From The INQUIRER

  • IBM, Microsoft and Linux plan to send patent trolls back under the rickety bridge

    THREE OF Big Tech's biggest are joining forces to fight the scourge of the patent troll.

    IBM, Microsoft and The Linux Foundation have agreed to become fully paid up members of the Open Invention Network (OIN), which has been battling the trolls for years now on behalf of its 200 member organisations and the community at large.

    What this means in real terms is that the big three are bankrolling the OIN's work, giving it far more teeth as it fights against those who try to get rich through nuisance intellectual property (IP) lawsuits.

Microsoft- and IBM-sponsored site repeats their PR

"OIN, IBM, Microsoft and the Linux Foundation team up"

  • OIN, IBM, Microsoft and the Linux Foundation team up against open-source patent trolls

    The Open Invention Network (OIN) is strengthening its fight against patent trolls. The organization has announced it is partnering up with IBM, Microsoft and the Linux Foundation to protect open-source software from Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs), or patent trolls.

    The OIN was created to provide patent non-aggression cross-license in the “Linux System.”

Press release also

  • Open Invention Network Teams with IBM, Linux Foundation and Microsoft to Further Protect Open Source from Patent Trolls [Ed: OIN even issued a paid (by OIN members like Microsoft and IBM) press release to portray Microsoft as "fighting trolls" when in fact it's arming them, as does IBM]

    Open Invention Network (OIN), the largest patent non-aggression community in history, announced today it is partnering with IBM, the Linux Foundation and Microsoft to further protect open source software (OSS) from Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs) leveraging low quality patents, also called patent trolls. The group will support Unified Patents’ Open Source Zone with a substantial annual subscription. This expands OIN’s and its partners’ patent non-aggression activities by deterring PAEs from targeting Linux and adjacent OSS technologies relied on by developers, distributors and users.

Big tech firms join the Open Invention Network

  • Big tech firms join the Open Invention Network to fight against patent trolls

    IBM Corp., Microsoft Corp. and the Linux Foundation are teaming up with the Open Invention Network to help protect open-source software projects from so-called patent assertion entities, more colloquially called “patent trolls.”

    The OIN is a “patent non-aggression community” that cross-licenses patents to its members on a royalty-free basis. It also has its own patents, which are licensed royalty-free to any organization, so long as they agree not to assert their own patents against its members.

    “Open-source development continues to expand into new products and markets, delivering unrivaled innovation,” OIN Chief Executive Officer Keith Bergelt said today. “Its use continues to spread, and patent trolls increasingly look to leverage questionable patents against open source.”

EFF covers this late

  • How a Patent on Sorting Photos Got Used to Sue a Free Software Group

    Taking and sharing pictures with wireless devices has become a common practice. It’s hardly a recent development: the distinction between computers and cameras has shrunk, especially since 2007 when smartphone cameras became standard. Even though devices that can take and share photos wirelessly have become ubiquitous over a period spanning more than a decade, the Patent Office granted a patent on an “image-capturing device” in 2018.

    A patent on something so commonplace might be comical, but unfortunately, U.S. Patent No. 9,936,086 is already doing damage to software innovation. It’s creating litigation costs for real developers. The creator of this patent is Rothschild Patent Imaging LLC, or RPI, a company linked to a network of notorious patent trolls connected to inventor Leigh Rothschild. We've written about two of them before: Rothschild Connected Devices Innovations, and Rothschild Broadcast Distribution Systems. Now, RPI has used the ’086 patent to sue the Gnome Foundation, a non-profit that makes free software.

Open source case prompts patent troll litigation fears

  • Open source case prompts patent troll litigation fears

    The Gnome Foundation, an organisation that aims to develop a desktop platform based on free software, announced in October that it was being sued by NPE Rothschild Patent Imaging (RPI) for developing the Shotwell, an application for managing images.

    RPI filed its action in the Northern District of California over US patent number 9,936,086, which is allegedly infringed by Gnome’s product that, among other things, uses an image-capturing device to perform a method.

    Mike Dolan, vice president of strategic programmes at the Linux Foundation, tells Patent Strategy that open software is becoming a larger component of most software projects and is growing every year.

    Recent open source activity such as RPI suing Gnome over an open source project, he says, points to the level of indifference inherent in the litigious NPE business model.

$5,000 Cash Prize for Prior Art on Rothschild "Photo Transfer"

  • $5,000 Cash Prize for Prior Art on Rothschild "Photo Transfer" Patent

    Unified is offering a $5,000 cash prize for the best prior art submission for US 9,936,086. The '086 patent, generally directed to a system and method for the wireless transfer of photos between mobile devices is owned by Rothschild Patent Imaging, LLC (an NPE) and has been widely asserted in district court. As previously reported, one of these lawsuits targets the GNOME Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides completely free, open-source software solutions for the public. To protect innovation and deter future frivolous assertions, Unified is offering a $5,000 cash prize for the best prior art on this patent.

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    The Iowa caucuses were thrown into disarray as reports surfaced an opaque app used to tabulate the results and report them to Democratic Party officials was reporting only part of the required data. Although the app had been developed to improve efficiency in communicating the final caucus tallies, it ended up causing significant delays. According to security experts, the incident served to highlight the risks of relying on digital systems and the centralization of information, and a lack of transparency regarding these systems.

  • How to Vet the Engineering Chops of Your Software Vendors

    After witnessing the debacle in Iowa, campaign decision-makers across the country are wondering just how good is the engineering behind the software they purchase for their campaigns? And for good reason: the stakes couldn’t be higher.

  • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: OWASP SAMM

    The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) has announced version 2 of the Software Assurance Maturity Model (SAMM). SAMM is an open-source framework that enables teams and developers to assess, formulate and implement better security strategies that can be integrated into the software development life cycle.

  • Austin Alexander Burridge of Rosemount Compares Open-Source and Proprietary Software Security

    When open-source software developers are made aware of a specific security vulnerability or bug in their software products, they often publish the vulnerability to the community. If there's a developer who wants to offer a fix, he can build one and publish it as a particular version. If there's no funding to develop an upgrade, an IT professional is still aware of the problem so that he can create a custom workaround for his company's unique system until an updated version of the software becomes available.

  • Robust security crucial for adoption of open source

    New Delhi [India], Feb 11 (ANI/NewsVoir): While speaking at the inaugural session of the "3rd Open Source Summit 2020" recently in New Delhi, Vivek Banzal, Director (CFA), Bharat Sachar Nigam Limited (BSNL) said that it is a challenge to keep pace with the technology, more so when security of data has to be quite robust. [...] "The Government of India has encouraged the adoption of this technology in the Digital India initiative and this has further encouraged the CIO's of enterprises and other government organizations to make a move towards Open source technology. The rise of digital transformation in India has pushed the adoption of open source both by enterprises and government," said Sunil Kumar, Deputy Director-General, National Informatics Centre (NIC), while commenting on the adoption of Open source by the Government to India.

  • Leaders share how agencies bring agility into application development

    Additionally, tapping into open source development communities allows them to overcome some of chronic IT skills gaps many agencies continue to face. [...] Open source is being used both in civilian and defense agencies. Even though open source code is used for unclassified applications, it does not mean it’s unsecure, assures Michael Kanaan, co-chair of artificial intelligence and machine learning for the U.S. Air Force.

  • The Top 13 Free and Open Source RPA Tools

    Searching for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) software can be a daunting (and expensive) process, one that requires long hours of research and deep pockets. The most popular RPA tools often provide more than what’s necessary for non-enterprise organizations, with advanced functionality relevant to only the most technically savvy users. Thankfully, there are a number of free and open source RPA tools out there. Some of these solutions are offered by vendors looking to eventually sell you on their enterprise product, and others are maintained and operated by a community of developers looking to democratize robotic process automation. In this article, we will examine free and open source RPA tools, first by providing a brief overview of what to expect and also with short blurbs of the options currently available in the space. This is the most complete and up-to-date directory on the web.

  • The Two Faces of Open Source: ECT News Roundtable, Episode 5

    The open source software movement has evolved dramatically over the past two decades. Many businesses that once considered open source a threat now recognize its value. On the other hand, in spite of increased enthusiasm among enterprises, consumer interest by and large has not materialized. With large companies increasingly embracing open source, what does it mean to be a part of the free and open source software, or FOSS, "community"?

  • Pimcore’s free, open source digital experience platform - a rock tossed into the CX pond?

    The retail and eCommerce landscapes have changed dramatically over the past decade as customer experience has risen to the forefront of enterprise marketing priorities. Marketers have turned their focus away from price as the key driver of sales to their ability to deliver the most convenient, streamlined and personalized experiences across channels whether online, in-store, or on mobile phones. [...] Their solution Pimcore, introduced in 2013, is a free open source software platform for managing digital data and customer experiences for any channel, device, or industry.

  • Chef Serves Up Partner Program to Push Open DevOps Model

    Aims to help channel sell 100% open-source portfolio

  • Chef Introduces New Global Partner Program Purpose-Built for 100 Percent Open Source Software

    Chef, the leader in DevOps, today announced a new channel program specifically designed to ensure that partners and customers are able to take maximum advantage of Chef’s 100 percent open source business model. The Chef Partner Program (CPP) creates three tiers of partners -- Principal, Senior and Junior -- with the highest benefits and incentives applied to those who drive the strongest results for themselves and their mutual enterprise customers using Chef Enterprise Automation Stack.

  • CableLabs, Altran team to take open source to the edge

    Altran and CableLabs have teamed up on "Project Adrenaline," an open source initiative that aims to help the cable industry build and manage edge networks and smooth the path for apps that can run on them. And while Adrenaline is initially focused on cable, the broader aim is to apply the resulting open source platform to multiple industries while still staying aligned with Kubernetes.

  • Building even more of LibreOffice with Meson, now with graphics

    Note that this contains only the main deliverables, i.e. the shared libraries and executables. Unit tests and the like are not converted apart from a few sample tests. It was mentioned in an earlier blog post that platform abstraction layers are the trickiest ones to build. This turns out to be the case here also. LO has at least three such frameworks (depending on how you count them). SAL is the very basic layer, UNO is a component model used to, for example, expose functionality to Java. Finally VCL is the GUI toolkit abstraction layer. Now that we have the GUI toolkit and its GTK plugin built we can build a VCL sample application and launch it. It looks like this:

  • XSS vulnerability patched in TinyMCE

    A security update has been released for the popular open source text editor TinyMCE after a researcher discovered a a cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability impacting three of its plugins.

  • Should You Opt For An Open-Source LMS [Ed: The proprietary software LMS vendors badmouthing Free software as if that means "no support" (which is exactly the opposite of what's true, the support of the lifeline of the developers)]

    In the modern world, organizations are increasingly using learning management systems (LMS) for corporate training. However, with the availability of both open-source LMS and commercial LMS, choosing the more appropriate one for your organization can be challenging. Although leading open-source industry pioneers such as Moodle has dominated eLearning over the past few years, many organizations still prefer proprietary LMS over open-source LMS. In this article, we have assessed both these options and jotted down the factors you must consider before making a decision.

  • Open Source Community Responds to Rapid Adoption of Tech in Financial Services as FINOS Announces New Fintech Members

    The companies include: EPAM Systems, Inc., a product development, digital platform engineering, and digital and product design agency; NearForm, an open source solutions design and delivery company; and CloudBees, a provider of DevOps solutions.

  • Finos welcomes new members

    Finos (Fintech Open Source Foundation), a nonprofit whose mission is to foster adoption of open source, open standards, and collaborative software development practices in financial services, today announces the addition of three established fintechs to its already growing membership roster of prestigious financial institutions, technology companies and global consultancies.

  • Open source licence series - Cockroach Labs: Scaling a sustainable open source business model

    Big cloud vendors have preyed upon open source R&D by providing open source software (OSS) software as-a-service to edge out small competitors. Combine that with the platform benefits of economies of scale and greater opportunities for integration… and you can see how the big cloud providers can drown open source startups. That said, companies eclipsing growth-stage and legacy companies looking to store mission-critical data in the cloud are becoming wary of big vendors not investing in their R&D.

  • Open source licence series - OpenStack Foundation: Protecting open source freedoms

    Reduced to its essence, free and open source software is defining a set of freedoms, encoded into software licences. The Open Source Initiative (OSI) maintains an open source definition and a list of compatible licences, with the double goal of guaranteeing those essential freedoms and rights… and facilitating adoption by limiting licence proliferation.

  • Open source energy modelling tool shows how to decarbonise Australia

    The future of Australia’s energy mix has spawned innumerable heated arguments over how to balance secure electricity supply with economic and environmental needs, prompting energy consultants ITP to launch an open source modelling tool to settle arguments and provide clarity. Inspired by similar open source models in Europe and North America, ITP launched the openCEM model as a free, transparent tool to cut through the complexity of Australia’s energy mix and how it can securely transition away from carbon. “ITP felt, as many have felt, that public discussions around renewables were fraught with many assumptions and made with few facts and little expertise,” ITP strategy group manager Oliver Woldring said. [..] Once openCEM is being used widely by policy makers and investors across Australia, ITP and ThoughtWorks aims to engage other markets across APAC and further afield, about creating tools to model uptakes of renewables into the grids of other countries.

  • Self-driving car dataset missing labels for pedestrians, cyclists

    A popular self-driving car dataset for training machine-learning systems – one that’s used by thousands of students to build an open-source self-driving car – contains critical errors and omissions, including missing labels for hundreds of images of bicyclists and pedestrians. Machine learning models are only as good as the data on which they’re trained. But when researchers at Roboflow, a firm that writes boilerplate computer vision code, hand-checked the 15,000 images in Udacity Dataset 2, they found problems with 4,986 – that’s 33% – of those images.

  • New Project Eyes an Open Platform for Data From mHealth Wearables

    A Massachusetts-based partnership aims to create a common workplace for healthcare providers and researchers using mHealth sensors in wearables and other devices. The Open Wearables Initiative (OWEAR), launched last September by Nextbridge Health, Shimmer Research and Dr. Vincent van Hees, announced that it is now “actively soliciting” open-source software and datasets from wearable sensors and other connected health technologies. The group wants to create a platform from which researchers and care providers can share digital health source codes and algorithms.

  • Monash Uni, Red Cross & Red Crescent team up on open-source video program

    Monash University’s Faculty of Information Technology (IT), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have announced that they have developed an innovative approach to empower communities around the world through development of a special video program. According to a joint statement from Monash, the Red Cross and Red Crescent some of the world’s most isolated and remote communities will now have the ability to share their stories and raise public awareness of the local issues they’re facing “through a unique open-source video program developed by Monash”.

Openwashing Leftovers

Security/Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering

  • HackIllinois 2020 introduces new software, workshops

    This hackathon has grown to become one of the largest and most well-regarded in the country, with attendees from around the country traveling to Illinois to test and build their hacking skills. According to Opensource.com, open-source software is “software with source code that anyone can inspect, modify and enhance,” thereby allowing participants to focus on open exchange and collaboration during the one-of-a-kind event.

  • Hacking Group Outlaw Upgrades Malware for Illicit Income Sources: Report

    Cybersecurity firm Trend Micro has detected that hacking group Outlaw has been updating its toolkit for stealing enterprises’ data for nearly half a year at this point. Outlaw — who had ostensibly been silent since last June — became active again in December, with upgrades on their kits’ capabilities, which now target more systems, according to an analysis from Trend Micro published on Feb. 10. The kits in question are designed to steal data from the automotive and finance industries.

  • What happens when all the tiny satellites we’re shooting into space get hacked?
  • Hackers Could Shut Down Satellites—or Turn Them into Weapons

    Last month, SpaceX became the operator of the world’s largest active satellite constellation. As of the end of January, the company had 242 satellites orbiting the planet with plans to launch 42,000 over the next decade. This is part of its ambitious project to provide internet access across the globe. The race to put satellites in space is on, with Amazon, U.K.-based OneWeb and other companies chomping at the bit to place thousands of satellites in orbit in the coming months.

  • DevOps Alert: 12,000 Jenkins Servers Exposed to DoS Attacks [Ed: The ‘logic’ of this clickbait headline? Same as “1,000 MILLION browser users exposed to x, y, z…”]

    Security researchers are warning that 12,000 cloud automation servers around the world could be hijacked to launch denial of service (DoS) attacks.