Developers Urging Boycott Of Apple & Google Until They 'Deal With' Patent Trolls

from the might-be-the-wrong-target dept

Some developers are trying to organize a developer boycott of iOS and Android offerings, getting them to pull their apps from the official marketplaces from both Apple and Google. At issue is that they feel Apple and Google haven't done enough to fight on their behalf against patent trolls Lodsys and Macrosolve. To be honest, I doubt this will be effective, nor does it seem properly targeted. Apple, for example, has been quite aggressive on Lodsys, seeking to intervene in Lodsys's lawsuits. And while Google was a bit slow and a bit more limited, it has also intervened. So I'm not entirely clear what more these developers want -- and I'm wondering how many developers will actually cut off their two biggest sources of distribution over this. These patent trolls are certainly a problem and it would be nice to see a strong and swift response from companies like Apple and Google, but it's not like the two have washed their hands of the situation and left developers totally hung out to dry.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    DannyB (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 6:07am

    Maybe first they should lead by example

    Maybe Apple should stop being a patent troll before they do something about patent trolls.

    Google: partner with everyone, sue no one.
    Apple: partner with no one, sue everyone.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 6:17am

    I don't know those "devs" that one brings shame to the game.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 6:24am

    Re: Maybe first they should lead by example

    They're suing Apple by proxy. Much like Microsoft likes to do.

     

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  4.  
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    Designerfx (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 6:42am

    this is very suspicious

    a wordpress blog with no posts with content other than one saying boycott apple and google? That sounds very microsoft-ish, actually.

     

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  5.  
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    Designerfx (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 7:00am

    confirmed

    first link on the site is to FOSSPATENTS aka florian mueller.

    This is not an article, this is a press release by Microsoft against their competitors.

     

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  6.  
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    freak (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 7:06am

    Re: confirmed

    Okay, google search tells me that Florian Mueller is a "No Software Patents" guy, who seems upright, but he has ties to microsoft, and occasionally comes out across google on copyright & patent issues.

    http://techrights.org/2010/04/11/florian-mueller-and-erika-mann/


    (I didn't know Florian was a microsoft crony from the first google search on his name, before you said he was connected. I figured some others wouldn't either)

     

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  7.  
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    freak (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 7:08am

    Re: Re: confirmed

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    DannyB (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 7:11am

    Re: Re: Maybe first they should lead by example

    I don't agree, but I could be convinced by a good example of Google suing Apple by proxy.


    Apple is suing Google's partners. Google's partners are countersuing Apple. Google is just now beginning to assist their partners who were too focused on innovation instead of being focused on hoarding patents. I don't consider that latter action to be Google suing Apple by proxy.

     

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  9.  
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    DannyB (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 7:12am

    Re: confirmed

    > first link on the site is to FOSSPATENTS aka florian mueller.

    I think you mean Florian Microsoft.

     

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  10.  
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    Designerfx (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 7:13am

    same person

    Just like how microsoft is proclaimed to have changed, florian is proclaimed to "not be a part of microsoft". It's incredibly entertaining to me.

     

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  11.  
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    DannyB (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 7:13am

    Re: Re: confirmed

    > and occasionally comes out across google on copyright & patent issues.


    Occasionally? Occasionally?

    Can you provide an example of when he doesn't?

     

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  12.  
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    freak (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 7:21am

    Re: Re: Re: confirmed

    That's what it looked like from the first google search I did, when I found his twitter on the article and had no context, or reason to dig deeper.

    I had no clue who he was before.

    Forgive me my initial, clueless positon :p

     

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  13.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 7:25am

    Motive

    So, if nobody's buying Android or iOS devices, who stands to benefit?

    freak said it previously--Microsoft.

    This is cruft. Nothing more than a lame "you should go with Microsoft" bit of mis-advertisement.

     

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  14.  
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    freak (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 7:48am

    Re: Motive

    I'm not sure I was the one who said that, although now that it has been said, it does sound pretty cogent. :p

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 7:50am

    I suspect it will be just like the members of the Tardian nation here and their stands against the MPAA. They will curse them and call them stupid and say their product is shit, and then spend hours trying to figure out where they can download a pre-release copy of the content.

    Developers will make noise, and then keep developing. It's what they do.

     

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  16.  
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    Dave (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 8:00am

    Boycotting the wrong party

    They ought to boycott the US Congress that makes it possible for the patent trolls to thrive. It's hardly the fault of Apple or Google.

    Oh - wait - Apple and Google have _competitors_, so they're subject to pressure. While the Congress...

     

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  17.  
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    rubberpants, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 8:15am

    Re:

    You've turned self-parody into an art form.

     

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  18.  
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    RobShaver (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 8:20am

    I'm doing my part ...

    by not buying any smart phone. I have a $12 feature-phone with prepaid minutes that cost $100/year. I'm limiting my support of the monopolistic, customer-hostile US phone companies and avoiding Apple products, good as they are, because of their reprehensible business practices.

     

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  19.  
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    Lord Binky, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 8:23am

    They have the right target, just not enough of them

    Apple and Google have major lobbying funds for political manipulation in place already, which is far greater than what the developers could create. Sounds like they know who to talk to get shit done. Don't talk to the worker, talk to the boss.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 8:28am

    Re: Boycotting the wrong party

    So we should set up a competing government and let the free market decide? Hell, where do I sign up?

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 8:34am

    Re:

    I like that, Tardian nation--where the iptards live, work, and play!

     

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  22.  
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    Jan Bilek (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 8:51am

    Just get out of US jurisdiction

    There are many countries with much reasonable patent law - why don't we just get out of US jurisdiction? In EU software is not even patentable and I am not talking about China yet - why don't we set up our patent-free app market there and just make sure that all the money is channeled out of the reach of US jurisdiction?

    The Valley has traditionally been the place to go for startups and is still seen as such. But it seems to me that during last 5 yeas Americans managed to create the most innovation-hostile legal environment in the world... which kind of renders all those wonderful things they can offer to creative and productive people moot. Maybe it's time to use their screw ups as an opportunity and take the kingdom out of their hands. The society which managed to monopolize basic ideas and made creating useful things illegal and racketing legal is doomed anyway.

    Lets brainstorm a little and try to imagine how global system able to transfer money to those who create things from those who find those things cool and useful without ever going through anything controlled by American law could look like.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:00am

    Re: I'm doing my part ...

    That'll show 'em.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
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    Jan Bilek (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 9:06am

    Re: Re: Boycotting the wrong party

    I can imagine that one day (some part of) the Internet declares independence and becomes self-governing entity where US or any other law cannot be effectively enforced.

    Actually now that I think about it... we just need some distributed alternative to DNS, transparent end to end encryption and some independent money system and we are all set.

     

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  25.  
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    Stephan Kinsella (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 10:06am

    Plus, Apple is aggressive...

    Apple is not only aggressive on Lodsys, it's aggressive on its competitors--using patents to try to shut down competing products. If people want to boycott trolls, or, indirectly, companies who are not doing enough to fight trolls, there's even more reason to boycott Apple for its own patent aggression. Apple's aggressive use of patents is WORSE than the trolls: the trolls simply want money. They are just another tax added onto an already over-taxed business enterprise. But Apple seeks to use patents not to extract money from its competitors, but to use a court granted patent injunction to stop them from offering competing products. This is of course far worse than just trying to extort money.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 10:28am

    Yet patents allegedly encourage innovation, but here they are only stifling it. Here we have patents stopping developers which will only harm the innovative development of anything, all for the sake of helping out a bunch of worthless patent trolls that contribute nothing.

     

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  27.  
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    Berenerd (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 10:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: confirmed

    he can't, I have patented forgiveness...

     

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  28.  
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    RobShaver (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 10:44am

    Re: Re: I'm doing my part ...

    You got that right!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
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    freak (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 10:52am

    Re: Re: Motive

    The more I think about this, the more I think it highly unlikely your were referring to me.

    What/who were you referring to?

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 12:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Boycotting the wrong party

    we just need some distributed alternative to DNS
    Doable.

    transparent end to end encryption
    Also doable.

    and some independent money system and we are all set
    I fucking hate bitcoin. Can we get some sort of bitbullion or something to replace it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
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    aikiwolfie (profile), Sep 15th, 2011 @ 3:45pm

    Maybe they should move?

    I think maybe all these little developers should move to a country where copyright is considered sufficient to protect original software works. Maybe then the US and other countries where software patents are problematic will get a clue.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
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    Anon, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 6:04pm

    Author is asking pulling apps from all markets

    The article speaks about pulling the apps from all markets and seems to be requesting the help of Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Blackberry. I don't think the author is targeting or favoring any company in particular. I believe the boycott is only for 5 days. This patent stuff is interesting.

    Lodsys won't allow you to even post up a weblink of your other apps or app upgrade in your own app.

    Macrosolve won't let you use any online form on a mobile device.

    Both of their patents are so outrageous and yet it was passed by the US Patent Office, which is causing a mess in the developer community.

     

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  33.  
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    astralknight, Sep 15th, 2011 @ 7:59pm

    Re: Re: confirmed

    Techrights has been thoroughly debunked as a total bs conspiracy theorist site. The guy that runs it is a proven liar.

     

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  34.  
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    staff, Sep 16th, 2011 @ 7:28am

    another biased article

    “Patent troll”

    Call it what you will...patent hoarder, patent troll, non-practicing entity, etc. It all means one thing: “we’re using your invention and we’re not going to pay”. This is just dissembling by large infringers to kill any inventor support system. It is purely about legalizing theft.

    Prior to eBay v Mercexchange, small entities had a viable chance at commercializing their inventions. If the defendant was found guilty, an injunction was most always issued. Then the inventor small entity could enjoy the exclusive use of his invention in commercializing it. Unfortunately, injunctions are often no longer available to small entity inventors because of the Supreme Court decision so we have no fair chance to compete with much larger entities who are now free to use our inventions. Essentially, large infringers now have your gun and all the bullets. Worse yet, inability to commercialize means those same small entities will not be hiring new employees to roll out their products and services. And now some of those same parties who killed injunctions for small entities and thus blocked their chance at commercializing now complain that small entity inventors are not commercializing. They created the problem and now they want to blame small entities for it. What dissembling! If you don’t like this state of affairs (your unemployment is running out), tell your Congress member. Then maybe we can get some sense back in the patent system with injunctions fully enforceable on all infringers by all inventors, large and small.

    For the truth about trolls, please see http://truereform.piausa.org/default.html#pt.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 17th, 2011 @ 12:25pm

    Re: another biased article

    Laugh, wonder what staff's salary is (about $4?), report as spam, move along.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
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    Omar, Oct 19th, 2011 @ 6:48am

    A boycott probably seems a bit far off…it’s really a networked effort that needs to deal with these issues first, an integrated developer’s forum. Because dealing with these folks won’t really disrupt anything for them, albeit for the developer community. Omar -blog.vopium.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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