Big Bytes

Department of War and IBM Among Top Clients of Richard Stallman’s Alleged Ouster

Richard Stallman (RMS) is down but not out; if we pick up the pieces and chronicle the media campaign that led to his resignation we find a leaker to the media who chose a dishonest site funded by a close friend of Bill Gates.

As the names in the comments help show, my wife and I found nearly 100 unique blog posts and articles about it. Sometimes these were official statements, e.g. Stallman’s apology, call for his ousting, then his resignation, then further defamation (deliberate distortion of what he had actually said).

Our detailed list of coverage helps reveal the ‘anatomy’ of what some dubbed “witch hunt” or “lynch mob”. The whole thing started when a person connected to the Department of War (it renamed to Department of Defense after the Second World War) decided to work with the media to “remove Stallman”; the choice of media in itself was rather curious. We’ve been hearing this whisper/murmur campaign for a while, but it’s better to wait for actual proof. One reader told us that Vice had been sponsored by Rupert Murdoch; a quick fact-check reveals this to be correct. There’s also a link to IBM (days ago we explained why IBM is no friend of Software Freedom).

We mentioned IBM in our previous post because of its controversial response — through Red Hat — to Stallman’s departure. It would be better if IBM/Red Hat had said nothing at all. They say Stallman would be wise to say nothing at all (about his deceased friend being accused posthumously), but the same can be said about IBM/Red Hat. The IBM/Red Hat statement has been blasted by a lot of people, especially for the ending sentence about diversity.

Zillow is the latest target of IBM’s patent extortion. It’s software patents again and IAM wrote about it a few days ago (behind paywall). IAM’s status has seemingly collapsed; it’s hardly mentioned by anybody any longer, but this one pick was interesting. Meanwhile we’ve learned that Iancu shows his real face again, just like the USPTO Director before his predecessor (he had come from IBM). Now that James Nurton (the Battistelli ‘softball questions’ guy) works for Watchtroll he’s citing a propaganda piece for Iancu — a piece from his former employer, Managing IP (another patent zealots’ site). It helps show a lot of what’s going wrong — something that IBM has long lobbied for, sometimes in guest articles at Watchtroll. IBM cannot possibly like RMS and his message. We saw high-profile Red Hat employees calling for action against RMS, but they piggybacked someone else’s call.

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