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Florian Müller (born January 21, 1970 in Augsburg, Germany) is a German lobbyist, the writer of the blog FOSSPatents, and a consultant for Microsoft and Oracle. He blogs about patent and copyright issues on his blog, particularly those centering around Google. Early on, from 1985 to 1998, he was a computer magazine writer and consultant for companies, helping with collaborations between software companies. In 2004 he founded the NoSoftwarePatents campaign and in 2007 he provided some consultancy in relation to football policy.
Software industry and computer books
From 1987 to 1998, he specialized on publishing and distribution cooperations between US and European software companies. He initiated and managed such alliances in various market segments, including productivity software, utility software, educational software, and computer games. As a consultant to and representative of Blizzard Entertainment, Müller was involved in the marketing campaigns for WarCraft II, Diablo I and StarCraft I).
In 1996, he co-founded an online gaming service named Rival Network, which in early 2000 was acquired by the Telefónica group. From 2001 to 2004, Müller advised the CEO of MySQL AB, developer of the namesake open-source database management software product.
Campaign against EU software patents
In 2004, Müller received the support of corporate sponsors 1&1, Red Hat and MySQL for launching NoSoftwarePatents.com, which opposed the European Commission's proposed directive on the patentability of computer-implemented inventions. Following several years of intensive lobbying by many parties, this proposed directive was rejected by the European Parliament on July 6, 2005, with 648 out of 680 votes cast.
For his political activities, Müller received several awards in 2005. A leading publication for intellectual property lawyers, "Managing Intellectual Property", counted Müller – along with the Chinese vice premier Wu Yi – among the "top 50 most influential people in intellectual property" (renominated in 2006). IT-focused website Silicon.com listed him among the Silicon Agenda Setters. A jury of EU-focused weekly newspaper "European Voice" elected Müller as one of the "EV50 Europeans of the Year 2005", and handed him the "EU Campaigner of the Year 2005" award. Jointly with the FFII, Müller received the "CNET Networks UK Technology Award" in the "Outstanding Contribution to Software Development" category.
After more than 20 years in the IT industry, Müller became involved with football (soccer) politics in 2007. He advised the Spanish football club Real Madrid with respect to a European Union policy-making initiative concerning professional sports.
Oracle v. Google
In January 2011 Müller published an article suggesting that "evidence is mounting that different components of the Android mobile operating system may indeed violate copyrights of Sun Microsystems, a company Oracle acquired a year ago." and presented what he believed was copyright infringing material, an article which was heavily criticized by two technical bloggers. According to Ed Burnette, a ZDNet blogger, Google published those files on its web site to help developers debug and test their own code. ArsTechnica's Ryan Paul also said that these findings in the online codebase are also not evidence that copyright infringing code is distributed on Android handsets. Two days after his original assertions Müller claimed to have found the files in the official source availability packages of device makers Motorola, LG and Samsung. The lawsuit ended with both parties agreeing to zero dollars in statutory damages for a small amount of copied code, so that Oracle could appeal.
In April 2012, Müller said he had been hired by Oracle to consult on competition-related topics including FRAND licensing terms. In a court filing in the Oracle v. Google case, Oracle stated that it paid Florian Müller as a consultant. Müller said "In April, I proactively announced a broadly-focused consulting relationship with Oracle, six months after announcing a similar working relationship with Microsoft".
License violation accusation
Müller amplified a Huffington Post article by Edward Naughton, an intellectual property lawyer who has previously represented Microsoft, who suggested that Google likely violated the GPL by copying Linux header files. The accusation was dismissed by Linus Torvalds, the original author and chief architect of the Linux Kernel.
Microsoft and Oracle consulting
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- "Fútbol europeo: el papel del dinero", Deutsche Welle (article) (in Spanish) (DE).
- Florian Mueller (2011-01-21). "FOSS Patents: New evidence supports Oracle's case against Google". Fosspatents.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2012-08-04.
- Burnette, Ed (2011-01-21). "Oops: No copied Java code or weapons of mass destruction found in Android". ZDNet. Retrieved 2012-08-04.
- Cheng, Jacqui (2011-01-22). "New alleged evidence of Android infringement isn’t a smoking gun". Ars Technica. Retrieved 2012-08-04.
- Mueller, Florian (2011-01-23). "Android device makers distribute Oracle code online (Motorola, LG, Samsung)". FOSS Patents. Google. Retrieved 2012-08-04.
- Niccolai, James (June 20, 2012). "Oracle agrees to 'zero' damages in Google lawsuit, eyes appeal". Retrieved 2012-06-23.
- Mueller, Florian (2012-04-18). "FOSS Patents". Google. Retrieved 2012-08-04.
- Cooper, Charles (2012-08-17). "Oracle names bloggers, others it paid to comment on Google trial". CNet. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
- "Oracle confirms paying a blogger but Google names no-one", News (UK: BBC).
- Mueller, Florian (2011-03-17). "Google's Android faces a serious Linux copyright issue (potentially bigger than its Java problem)". FOSS Patents. Google. Retrieved 2012-08-04.
- Naughton, Edward J. "Google's Android Contains Legal Landmines for Developers and Device Manufacturers". The Huffington post. Retrieved 2012-08-04.
- "Open Source Report: Lawyer behind Android infringement claim has Microsoft ties". Network world. 2011-03-18. Retrieved 2012-08-04.
- "Naughton's Microsoft bona fides". Linux Weekly News. Retrieved 2012-08-04.
- Proffitt, Brian (2011-03-21). "Android: Sued by Microsoft, not by Linux". IT world. Retrieved 2012-08-04.
- Jones, Pamela. "Oracle and Google File Paid Writers Lists". Groklaw. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
- Cheng, Roger (2012-05-24). "Microsoft legal win over Google may signal ceasefire | Mobile - CNET News". News.cnet.com. Retrieved 2012-08-04.