ECT, LinuxInsider.com, Technewsworld.com and Software Patents
The website LinuxInsider.com, closely associated with Technewsworld.com and Macnewsworld.com, has for a long time been an object of complaints. Writers at Groklaw et al treat it as a "Linux FUD site". Recently it published lots of pro-software-patent commentaries, alongside with "neutral" news reports in which the anti-swpat-arguments are invented by the writer (no sources given) and of poor quality, whereas the pro arguments consist of extensive quotes from lawyers who usually have the last word.
News & Chronology
2006-07-11 EU Macnewsworld.com: Free Software Advocates Gear Up for EU Patent Policy Battle (calls nososftwarepatents.com and FFII "free software advocates")
2005-05-04 CA LinuxInsider Meeker: Chicken Little and Age-Appropriate Explanations (A lawyer's view on "why open source does not often get litigated over patents")
2005-04-08 EU Lenz blog: Didn't get the memo
2005-03-16 EU Hartmut Pilch writes once more to the editors via the web form, mail remains unanswered as previous ones
2005-03-02 EU Tech News World: European Commission refuses CIID rewrite (-> Commission refusal)
2005-02-23 EU Heather J. Meeker (Linux Insider): The Fuzzy Software Patent Debate Rages On (Meeker cites no sources, presents her own failure to catch up with the debate as "fuzziness" of her opponents)
2003-04-00 EU Open Forum Europe lobbying for software patents in the name of the "opensource community" -- OFE is probably not related to Linux-Inside, but the incident is so far the most successful attempt of megacorp patent lobbyists to use their opensource connections in order to fabricate their own OSS community or the impression of a split therein
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General Observations, Comments
It is assumed by many people that Linux-Insider is an attempt of large corporations to create "their" FOSS community for themselves and to have a platform for spreading FUD in the name of this community. While this allegation sounds plausible, we have not seen any proof for it so far.
It is obvious that the Linux Insider website has interests in spreading false news about the fear of patents, but their articles are hoppefully clueless. Those articles are probably written by professionnal IP lawyers, who have all interests to see the scope of patentability extended. They fight also for their profession.
I have not looked closely at the question if that Linux Insider website is an astroturf site run for the purpose of spreading propaganda against Open Source software while masquerading as part of the Open Source movement.
If so, it might be of interest whether their use of the Linux trademark is illegal or not.