EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

05.16.07

Speculation: Did Microsoft Try to Get Sun to Sue Linux? (Updated)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Minix, SUN, UNIX at 12:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We already know (or should know by now) that Microsoft funded SCO’s lawsuits against Linux users, at least in part. We also know that Microsoft tried to get the inventor and creator of Minix to sue Linus/Linux, essentially by persuading a writer to insert something into a book. Here is the gist of the story:

Andrew S Tanenbaum: A couple of years ago this guy called Ken Brown wrote a book saying that Linus stole Linux from me, from Minix, and therefore the intellectual property rights are unclear and therefore companies shouldn’t use Linux because I might sue them.

It later came out that Microsoft had paid him to do this — and I defended Linus. I wrote on my Web site saying that this guy Brown came through, visited me and I gave him the [correct] story.

This one story has a happy ending (except for Microsoft, which was caught red-handed).

Today, Pamela Jones (of Groklaw) has a little insight. Based on Jonathan Schwarz’s blog, she suspects that Microsoft may have tried to encourage Sun to sue Linux (the infamous ‘proxy manoeuvre’). Here is what Jonathan says…

Years back, Sun was under pressure in the market.

[...]

With business down and customers leaving, we had more than a few choices at our disposal. We were invited by one company to sue the beneficiaries of open source. We declined. We could join another and sue our customers. That seemed suicidal.

Notice that here you have the same dilemma that Microsoft (maybe even Novell) is now facing. Can they scrutinise their own customers? In any event, here is Pamela’s take, which relates to what got this impulsive post started.

PJ: This is interesting in its own right, but my paralegal hat on, I am also highlighting it for anyone thinking about an antitrust lawsuit someday. I’m wondering if Microsoft tried to get Sun to sue Linux end users. I don’t know if that is what he is alluding to here, but if I were in discovery, I’d surely investigate that possibility, as it could help show a pattern of using, or trying to use, surrogates to misuse litigation as an anticompetitive weapon.

Might Microsoft be pulling the same tricks in its fight against Google? It sure looks like it.

After a government- and monopoly-inspired period in which Microsoft had to pretend to be a gentle force for global good, the company is being forced to return to its ruthless roots. Ironically, it is doing this in part by decrying the unfair practices of a competitor and shamelessly sucking up to the Establishment.

As you may recall, Microsoft urged companies to sue Google over its YouTube content. Later on, Microsoft closed its YouTube equivalent (Soapbox) to subscribers because it had encountered and suffered from the same issues that earlier it decried. Need we even mention Microsoft’s attempt to shoot down the DoubleClick acquisition? Need we repeat Microsoft’s argument that Google is a monopoly? Where does hypocrisy begin and where does it end?

Update: The Register concurs and reaches similar speculations. It does not go quite so far however.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

7 Comments

  1. jbelkin said,

    May 16, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    Gravatar

    MS should be subpeonaed over the SCO issue also … and I’m sure MS has been in the last few years copying code fromtheir own apps and inserting into Linux so they can sue.

  2. shyboy said,

    May 16, 2007 at 2:10 pm

    Gravatar

    it’s a sad news to open source, but microsoft can’t Destroy Linux Community

  3. tom said,

    May 16, 2007 at 2:16 pm

    Gravatar

    Microsoft is still under scrutiny for the original ant-trust lawsuit: Complaints to:
    http://www.microsoft-antitrust.gov/

  4. Joe Polk said,

    May 16, 2007 at 2:43 pm

    Gravatar

    I’ve said time and again. Microsoft is inherently evil. Like kicking puppies!

  5. gpl1 said,

    May 16, 2007 at 5:23 pm

    Gravatar

    current antitrust remedies have not proven effective against the giant. Here’s to hoping that the EC and Neelie Kroes can do something more to return competition to marketplace since DoJ attorneys can’t even investigate anything for fear of getting fired by the executive branch/bush…

  6. Motorcycle Guy said,

    May 16, 2007 at 5:41 pm

    Gravatar

    truthfully I’m more scared of google than I ever was of microsoft. to me a wolf in sheeps clothing is worse than a wolf that looks like a wolf walks like a wolf and is a wolf.

  7. Allan said,

    May 16, 2007 at 7:13 pm

    Gravatar

    > truthfully I’m more scared of google than I ever
    > was of microsoft.

    You are not thinking rationally. You are putting more weight on Google’s potential evil than Microsoft’s demonstrated evil.

    That’s like renting a room next to your daughter’s to a creepy-looking man with no record rather than the clean-shaven fellow who happens to be on Meagan’s list.

What Else is New


  1. Links 28/5/2015: SourceForge Hijack, RIP Marco Pesenti Gritti

    Links for the day



  2. Censorship on Reddit Has Gotten (Condé) Nasty and Silent, Even Actively Silenced

    Condé Nast has turned Reddit into a platform of censorship after the acquisition



  3. The Supreme Court of the United States Helps Patent Trolls

    In an unforeseen kind of ruling, the same court which slapped down a lot of software patents last year is now legitimising the actions of a patent troll



  4. Patent Lawyers Fight Hard for the Future of Software Patents

    Media that is dominated by patent lawyers and targets an audience of patent lawyers refuses to accept the post-Alice reality



  5. Fortune Glorifies Patent Troll Jay Walker (Patent Utility)

    Jay Walker, a patent troll, creates a Web-based trolling/'licensing' service and the corporate media helps him



  6. Stealing Android's Thunder, Making It All About Apple and Microsoft During Google I/O

    Misleading articles and conjoined media/analyst attacks on Android coincide with Google's event where major Android announcements are being made



  7. British Government May be a Step Closer to GNU/Linux (on the Desktops, Not Just Servers)

    The British government stops paying the criminal company that blackmails its members, thereby increasing the possibility of complete escape from proprietary software



  8. Microsoft's Patent Allies LG and Sony Agree to Put Microsoft Inside Android

    LG and Sony (of Rockstar Consortium) follow Samsung and Dell in Microsoft's campaign to turn Android into 'Microsoft Android' using patents-induced pressure/leverage



  9. Yet Another Major Security Deficiency in UEFI

    UEFI is inherently insecure, more so than the alternatives which it strives to replace, including Free/libre ones



  10. Links 27/5/2015: Fedora 22 is Out, Mandriva Liquidated

    Links for the day



  11. Patent Scope at the EPO is Totally Out of Control, UPC Will Make Things Worse

    A look at the practical issues with the EPO, where patent scope and litigation scope have been vastly extended so as to benefit multinational corporations and possibly patent trolls



  12. Links 26/5/2015: Reviews of Kubuntu 15.04, Linux 4.1 RC5

    Links for the day



  13. Süddeutsche Zeitung Says Talking Helps While EPO Management Back-stabs Other Side of the Table

    German media gives the impression that there is peace and harmony now that Benoît Battistelli and his circle of power speaks to staff, but nothing is said about simultaneous (albeit covert) attacks against that staff



  14. Large Corporations Call the Shots in US Patent Reform

    A reminder of where we stand on the issue of patent 'reform' in the US and who is controlling or shaping it



  15. Microsoft Puts Proprietary Windows and Hyper-V Inside the Free Software-Centric OpenStack

    OpenStack, which celebrates rapid growth in this month's event in Canada, is facing a proprietarisation threat from Microsoft



  16. Microsoft's Secret Lobbying, Bullying, and the Long History of Blackmailing Politicians Around the World

    British media covers Microsoft's abuse in the UK, but there are many similar incidents, and not just in the UK



  17. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Benoît Battistelli and Four EPO Suicides

    German press article from April 2015 (with translations)



  18. Links 24/5/2015: CrossOver 14.1.3, NTFS-3G Vulnerability

    Links for the day



  19. Links 23/5/2015: Fedora 22 to May 26th, Netflix in SteamOS

    Links for the day



  20. The Patents Production 'Industry' (Patent Lawyers) Still Fights Hard to Salvage Software Patents

    A review of recent writings about software patents and patents on business methods in the United States, demonstrating that patent lawyers have gotten very vocal and sneaky (trying to evade the rules)



  21. Patents as a Marketing Strategy: USPTO Now Part of the Advertising Industry

    The existence of publicity patents, or patents whose sole purpose is to advertise some products, serves to discredit the US patent office, which was originally set up to promote science and technology



  22. Microsoft Blackmails and Extorts British Politicians Over Open Standards and Free Software-Leaning Policies

    Microsoft's digital imperialism in the UK getting defended using blackmail, reminding a lot of Brits that Microsoft is just as evil as ever before



  23. Microsoft Gives Another Bug a Name, This Time Logjam™

    The Microsoft crowd is good only at marketing, even when it comes to small bugs in software



  24. Links 22/5/2015: Fedora 22 Final Release is Near, Canonical IPO Considered

    Links for the day



  25. More Utter Shame Unveiled at Battistelli's EPO: Intimidation Tactics With Help From 'Control Risks'

    The unaccountable thugs who run the EPO have hired London-based spooks to help silence their opposition and their critics



  26. GNU/Linux Still Under Attack From Apple and Microsoft, Patents Remain the Weapon of Choice

    A timely reminder of the importance of patent matters, for they are being used to eliminate the zero-cost advantage of Free/libre software and make it more proprietary, privacy-infringing, and user-hostile (as a result of blackmail)



  27. Gartner Group and NASSCOM: Will Lie for FUD, on Behalf of Microsoft and Proprietary Software

    Some of the latest arguments against Free/libre software turn out to be arriving from couriers of Microsoft and its agenda



  28. Windows is a Franchise in Demise, Don't Believe the Hype

    Ongoing propaganda about Vista 10, 'cloud', and other buzzwords or brands are put in perspective



  29. Links 21/5/2015: Fedora 22 RC2, CERN Chooses OpenStack

    Links for the day



  30. Microsoft is Again Showing Its Hatred of Free/Open Source Software by Lobbying the Indian Government to Drop a Rational National Policy

    Microsoft decides to attack Free/Open Source software (FOSS) in India, where the corporate media is very much complicit in misleading the public


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts