Blackboard Patent Celebrity Death Match

Michael Feldstein, Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, Dec 11, 2006
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Michael Feldstein opines about the recent debate between Blackboard's Matthew Small and the Free Software Foundation's Eben Moglen's (see the coverage from Seb Schmoller about the Blackboard patent and lawsuit. Feldstein is unhappy. "Some audience members were offended by Moglen," he writes, "describing him variously as 'a bully', 'a pimple', and 'our side's version of Rush Limbaugh'." Maybe so. But when you launch a war you need to expect to sometimes be attacked. And make no mistake about it, Blackboard launched a war. Mattyhew Small may be good at making people like Michael Feldstein feel sorry for him, but it's all tactic, not reality. The reality is that his company is trying to destroy Desire2Learn and that it is pandering to a court's basest sentiments to do it. As Alfred Essa summarizes, Blackboard is saying in court "We want an injunction (i.e. death) against an illegitimate and criminal foreign competitor." So, why is it we should be polite again?
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