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

04.19.08

Why Again is the Novell/Microsoft Deal So Darn Ugly?

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Google, GPL, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Oracle, Patent Covenant, Patents, Red Hat, Steve Ballmer, Windows at 2:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Steve Ballmer license

Image from Wikimedia

Matt Asay has just weighed in on this debate that was mentioned here before. It’s centered around the mixing of Free software and software patents. His post is long, he has many insightful things to share rant about and here is just a fragment.

Dual-licensing with patents: It’s bound to happen

[...]

The problem with this sort of distinction (which we and virtually every open-source company of which I’m familiar espouses, in terms of a “community” and “professional” version) is how easily patent protection could creep into the one but not the other. When the open-source world starts selling the same FUD that the proprietary world does we have lost.

I care far less about hybrid models that depend on a mixture of proprietary extensions and an open-source core, as MySQL is contemplating, than I do about hybrid models that are a blend of “open source and very risky!” and “proprietary and oh so safe!”. If we slip into this sort of a model, open source loses its potency. It loses its character. It loses its integrity.

The downstreaming problem which he speaks of is represented by Novell's Moonlight. Novell already steps further than this, e.g. by separating Mono into 'chunks' depending on Microsoft’s R(seanable)AND, which is only as unreasonable as it wants and needs it to be. If you wish to witness Microsoft’s mis-comprehension of ‘open source’ (or “open minus source”, i.e. open-source), then take a look at Ozzie’s remarks which we intentionally only alluded to earlier but never took seriously. The ‘news’ was so insignificant that it was hardly comment-worthy. Microsoft is still all “patents, patents, patents!”

The concessions Microsoft makes are merely a case of public image — saving face on the face of it. If you need another more contemporary glimpse at Microsoft’s attitude, get a load of this latest analysis from the 451 Group.

There was general agreement that large IT vendors, including software giants such as Google, Oracle and even Microsoft, all see a need for involvement in open source. What also emerged as a common theme during our panel was that no big vendor could afford not to be in open source in some way or another. Basically, it’s been competitive necessity and cost effectiveness that has led vendors to open source, and this helps explain why we see open source all over the place. There was also a recognition that we were not talking about what vendors might be doing or when they might be making moves around open source. We were talking about the things these vendors are doing today and where they are looking next to push the ideas and advantages of open source further.

As you know, Google and Oracle just adore Free software. Yes, they love using it. They love receiving updates. They love the fact that Red Hat builds a platform for them and in the case of Oracle, lots of support money can be extracted at the developers’ expense. What’s not to love when you’re a freeloader?

“Microsoft’s legacy assets (secret code) become increasingly redundant as equivalent and often superior Free software is made available…”As for Microsoft, it wishes to believe that open source as a whole will become yet another Windows ISV that brings profits to Microsoft. In many other cases, it’s a tad unfortunate to find how they turned Free software into just visibility of source code as a marketing distinguisher if not a self-serving ploy.

Microsoft’s legacy assets (secret code) become increasingly redundant as equivalent and often superior Free software is made available for download, use, and redistribution. Microsoft knows all of this. What can it brag about? Probably just piles of papers, fueled by the very same laws it aggressively lobbies for. It shapes market rules to suppress emerging threats, to hinder natural progression, sometimes perceived as “disruption”. In response, we, as Free software supporters, must protest to keep the law in tact or restore it to a state of sanity. Digital slavery and a modern-age feudal system is good for nobody.

Oh look! The press is buzzing about another Microsoft intellectual monopoly. Watch carefully what you do with your hands now.

Right and left mouse buttons are placed on the side in a thumb-accessible position, and the design is unobtrusive enough to allow for easy typing when it’s on. We’d love to get a hand-on with the mouse if it ever comes out. It looks great and the ability to surf the internet without keeping our hand close to the computer is very conducive to our leisure time activities.

The gist of it all: a combination of prior art fitted onto A4-sized white paper sheets. Can’t have too many of these though! Word on the street is that Microsoft has run out of paper, so it can’t let Linux know what it’s allegedly infringing on.

“Most people who are familiar with patents know it’s not standard operating procedure to list the patents… The response of that would be administratively impossible to keep up with.”

Jim Markwith, Microsoft patents attorney
(after saber-rattling against Linux)

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

What Else is New


  1. Željko Topić, Benoît Battistelli, and the European Patent Office (EPO): Part II

    Part II of our look into the EPO appointment of Željko Topić and other matters showing the dubious integrity of the EPO



  2. Links 14/9/2014: Android-based Watches Earn Optimism

    Links for the day



  3. Links 14/9/2014: Eucalyptus Devoured

    Links for the day



  4. Links 11/9/2014: Linux Toilet Project, Linux-Based Wheelchair Project

    Links for the day



  5. Links 10/9/2014: Brian Stevens in Google, Ubuntu 14.10 Expectations

    Links for the day



  6. Links 9/9/2014: Hating/Loving Linux, Android Aplenty

    Links for the day



  7. Links 8/9/2014: Linux 3.17 RC 4, Switzerland Welcoming Snowden

    Links for the day



  8. Suspicion of High-Level Corruption at the European Patent Office (EPO): Part I

    The European Patent Office (EPO) Vice-President has a background of corruption and his appointment to the EPO too is believed to be reliant on systemic corruption



  9. Links 6/9/2014: Core OS at DigitalOcean, Women in Xorg

    Links for the day



  10. Software Patents 'Quality' Debated in Courts, Microsoft's Biggest Patent Troll Still a Chronic Liar

    Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft's and Bill Gates' largest patent proxy, continues to spread lies about its motivations, claiming that patent assessment is among the goals when in fact only the courts and patent offices do this



  11. New Article Explains How Bill Gates Prevents Schools From Moving to GNU/Linux and Free Software

    A new article from Al Jazeera provides details about the role of so-called 'charities' of billionaires inside school systems



  12. Microsoft Sued for Large-scale Copyright Abuses

    Microsoft reveals its disregard for copyright law which it loves so much to wield as a weapon against its competition and clients



  13. Links 5/9/2014: New WordPress, Systemd Debate Continues

    Links for the day



  14. 'Embrace and Extend' at Microsoft: The New Generation

    Some of the latest examples of Microsoft's predatory acts against Free software and against competition in general, disguised as acts of friendliness



  15. Bill Gates' God Complex: Common Core a One-Man Campaign of Greed and Control

    The push for Common Core is overwhelmingly dominated by Bill Gates, who intimidates and even resorts to retribution against critics while bribing those who help him accomplish the goal of privatised (for his private profit) indoctrination in US schools



  16. Bill Gates Investments Harm the World, Not Improve the World, Based on New Exclusive Piece of Investigative Journalism at The Nation

    The Gates Foundation's profiteering efforts and lack of ethics outlined in a new report that many sites around the Web find fascinating and mostly irrefutable



  17. Links 3/9/2014: Android Gadgets, New Tails OS

    Links for the day



  18. Linus Torvalds DebConf Talk

    Torvalds' latest talk which got media attention earlier this month



  19. Microsoft Should Not be Considered Too Big to Jail

    Microsoft continues to use dumping as a strategy which revolves around starving the competition, not beating the competition



  20. Pro-Software Patents Voices Finally Acknowledge the Demise of Software Patents in the United States

    A milestone is reached as even the most zealous supporters of patents on algorithms (or computer-implemented inventions, or software patents) are admitting that the era of software patents may be over



  21. New Lies About Microsoft 'Privacy' and New FUD Against the GPL Comes From 'Former' Microsoft Staff at Black Duck

    More AstroTurfing by sites that are run by Microsoft MVPs and firms which were created by people from Microsoft



  22. Links 2/9/2014: GNU/Linux in BBC, Calls Against systemd

    Links for the day



  23. Links 1/9/2014: Poettering on systemd, ITNews on DBMSs

    Links for the day



  24. Moving Away From Windows to GNU/Linux and the Abandonment of Windows as the Modest Proposal These Days

    Morale of GNU/Linux and an embrace of GNU/Linux is very high, despite recent propaganda from Microsoft MVPs and boosters (primarily security-themed and Munich-themed FUD)



  25. Korean Press Slams Microsoft Over Patent Extortion Against Linux/Android as New Abuses Resurface

    Harsh words from the national press of South Korea as Nokia's role in Microsoft's anti-Linux tactics becomes more apparent



  26. More Good News About Patents and Their Demise in the United States

    A roundup of news about software patents and patent trolls in the land where these thrive



  27. Links 31/8/2014: Linux 3.12.27, Akademy 2014

    Links for the day



  28. Links 30/8/2014: Jailhouse 0.1, *buntu 14.10 Beta

    Links for the day



  29. Links 28/8/2014: Many New Games, CTO of Red Hat Steps Down

    Links for the day



  30. We Are Gradually Winning the Battle Against Software Patents

    The once-elusive war on software patents is finally leading to some breakthrough and even the Federal Circuit reinforces the trend of software patents' demise


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