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

04.22.08

Bill Gates Ridicules the GPL While Novell Mops Up with Software Patents

Posted in Asia, Bill Gates, Europe, Finance, Free/Libre Software, FUD, GPL, Intellectual Monopoly, Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 8:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Movell and Nicrosoft

There is no substantial news here other than development of discussions, which seem to spread fairly fast from one blog to another blog and soon onto the press. To repeat criticisms from yesterday about Novell’s announcement on China [1, 2], Novell and Microsoft keep spreading software patents to all parts of the world (never mind the legality), using SUSE Linux (Ballnux).

As another article to consider, there is this one from The Boston Globe.

Because Linux software is available free of charge, many Chinese businesses use it without paying. These companies miss out on the service, support, and upgrades that companies like Novell can provide. By encouraging Chinese firms to pay for Linux, Microsoft is helping Novell tap a valuable revenue stream.

It should really say “Microsoft tap a valuable revenue stream.” Novell’s Linux is actually Microsoft Linux in the sense that it’s only a ‘surrogate’ that replaces Free Linuxes with one that Microsoft owns in the ‘intellectual’ sense. It’s a trap.

Meanwhile, returning to the discussion about Microsoft taxoperability program [1, 2, 3, 4], Centrify stirred up some discussion with this analysis of Microsoft software patents.

The motivation for this blog entry is that given that so much has been written about Microsoft and patents vis a vis Linux and vis a vis the European Commission decision, I found it interesting that it seems no one in the industry has actually rolled up their sleeves and analyzed and published how many patents Microsoft actually holds within their Windows server protocols and what functional areas these patents cover. I think this is key information to know in order to help address Gartner Group’s advice to open source developers to “not use Microsoft’s [protocol] documentation unless you have rigorous processes to keep track of applicable patents.” Having this supplementary information could also benefit commercial software developers by helping them better understand what Microsoft has to offer protocol-wise and what they potentially may need (or may not need) to license from Microsoft.

This soon got the attention of ZDNet’s Between the Lines and the Microsoft Blog. What we see here is probably increased pressure by staged introduction of clues. Microsoft hopes not only to replace all those ‘nasty’ Linuxes that Microsoft does not control and or make money from, but it also hopes to set legal traps for them.

Where does that leave Novell? On Microsoft’s side, of course, with a frontal assault on the Freedom of software (not the same as Linux).

Quite appalling are some of the things which Gates said just a couple of days ago about open source, Free software and the GPL.

One thing Gates won’t be leaving behind in retirement is his distaste for open source software. After one scientist asked if Gates would consider open source uses in health research, the man who built his $280 billion company on the power of intellectual property bristled.

“There’s free software and then there’s open source,” he suggested, noting that Microsoft gives away its software in developing countries. With open source software, on the other hand, “there is this thing called the GPL, which we disagree with.”

Open source, he said, creates a license “so that nobody can ever improve the software,” he claimed, bemoaning the squandered opportunity for jobs and business. (Yes, Linux fans, we’re aware of how distorted this definition is.) He went back to the analogy of pharmaceuticals: “I think if you invent drugs, you should be able to charge for them,” he said, adding with a shrug: “That may seem radical.”

it’s very revealing that Microsoft tries to separate Free software (it tries to characterise it as gratis, i.e. zero cost, cheap, shoddy) from open source. Open source is, to Microsoft, mainly about visibility, but it wants it to be subjected to the same rules, including software patents. Where are those geniuses who defended Microsoft’s seemingly-friendly approach towards the OSI?

“Other than Bill Gates, I don’t know of any high tech CEO that sits down to review the company’s IP portfolio.”

Marshall Phelps

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

4 Comments

  1. Logan said,

    April 22, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    Gravatar

    “Because Linux software is available free of charge, many Chinese businesses use it without paying.”

    This is the most funniest thing I’ve read in a long time.

    Despicable people, like Bill Gates, will continue to exist and be powerful as long other despicable people, like those commenting on the the article, continue to kiss his ass. Doesn’t these people have brains to think for themselves? Is that too much to ask from the average human being?

    Novell and Microsoft are selling some “moon property” to those unfortunate chinese citizens.

    There’s a fool born every second.

  2. SubSonica said,

    April 23, 2008 at 2:08 am

    Gravatar

    They started their strategy of wooing the Open Source side of FOSS in order to marginalise Free(dom) Software and find a way to marginalise the FSF and kill the GPL and GNU/Linux long ago. They tried first with Eric Raymond, who already knew better:

    “http://esr.ibiblio.org/index.php?p=208

    I had my serious, constructive converstation with Microsoft last year, when a midlevel exec named Steven Walli took me out to dinner at OSCON 2004 and asked, in so many words, “How can we not be evil?” And I told him — open up your file formats (including Word and multimedia), support open technical standards instead of sabotaging them, license your patents under royalty-free, paperwork-free terms.

    I believe Steve Walli went back to his bosses and told them that truth. He is no longer with Microsoft, and what little he’ll say about it hints that they canned him for trying to change their culture.

    This didn’t surprise me. Microsoft’s profit margins require a monopoly lock on the market; thus, they’re stuck with being predatory evil bastards. The moment they stop being predatory evil bastards, their stock price will tank and their options pyramid will crash and it will be all over.

    That being the case, negotiation is pointless. Microsoft is not reformable. Jeering at offers like this is actually the most constructive thing we can do.”

    There is a IMHO well-intentioned article on Freesoftwaremagazine stating how Microsoft wouldn’t lose with Free Software, notice it is full of “if”s , although the article starts completely wrong by assuming the divisive propaganda thesis of Microsoft that “there is some faction in the FOSS world who has an anti-Microsoft agenda”, while it is quite the opposite: It is Microsoft who has had an anti-Free Software, anti-Linux and anti-OpenSource agenda from the beginning, only they seem to be approaching what (for them) seem to be the lesser, easier to tame (with money) of these three “evils” in order to sidestep and defeat the other two: So I agree with ESR. that Microsoft will try to keep their monopoly lock-in at any cost, because it is the only thing that keeps their margins so high; which again, allows them to spend buckloads of money in their cover-ops throught lobbying as we have been witness with the FIASCOOXML and the SW Patents (which includes the Microvell pact) ongoing war.
    May be it would be appropriate for BN to write a well-elaborated rebuttal of that article at FSM, since they are encouraging readers to write a full article in reply if they feel like to.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    April 23, 2008 at 2:32 am

    Gravatar

    Interesting insights. It’s all very obvious to many of us, but not to everyone (the brainwashed media does not help). I’m writing an article for Datamation at the moment. It’s about Red Hat, but maybe we should indeed rebut in some way all those “Microsoft loves FOSS” articles that completely fall into Microsoft’s trap (it’s about empowering the Microsoft stack and APIs).

  4. John Wilson said,

    April 29, 2008 at 12:22 am

    Gravatar

    While I don’t find it at all hard to believe that MS is up to the tricks you’re alleging, for the reasons you state in this case I happen to think they’re being too clever by half with this one.

    First off the Chinese aren’t stupid. They’ve watched Microsoft for years and they’re well aware of the kind of tricks they pull. Beyond that they seem more in the mood to acquire others than to sell themselves off these days.

    You do business in China by their rules not by anyone elses.

    There’s also a bit of a chinese elephant in the room here in the form of Red Flag Linux which carries the blessing of the Communist Party of China who do, after all, still run the show. Playing this kind of game puts Novell and Microsoft in the position of pissing off the folks that run the place which just happens to be the largest emerging market in the world. Not at all smart.

    ttfn

    John

What Else is New


  1. Links 21/11/2017: LibreELEC (Krypton) v8.2.1 MR, Mesa 17.3.0 RC5

    Links for the day



  2. PTAB Inter Partes Reviews (“IPRs”) Are Essential in an Age When One Can Get Sued for Merely Mocking a Patent

    The battle over the right to criticise particular patents has gotten very real and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) fought it until the end; this is why we need granted patents to be criticised upon petitions too (and often invalidated as a result)



  3. Chinese Patent Policy Continues to Mimic All the Worst Elements of the American System

    China is becoming what the United States used to be in terms of patents, whereas the American system is adopting saner patent policies that foster real innovation whilst curtailing mass litigation



  4. Links 20/11/2017: Why GNU/Linux is Better Than Windows, Another Linus Torvalds Rant

    Links for the day



  5. “US Inventor” is a “Bucket of Deplorables” Not Worthy of Media Coverage

    Jan Wolfe of Reuters treats a fringe group called “US Inventor” as though it's a conservative voice rather than a bunch of patent extremists pretending to be inventors



  6. Team Battistelli's Attacks on the EPO Boards of Appeal Predate the Illegal Sanctions Against a Judge

    A walk back along memory lane reveals that Battistelli has, all along, suppressed and marginalised DG3 members, in order to cement total control over the entire Organisation, not just the Office



  7. PTAB is Safe, the Patent Extremists Just Try to Scandalise It Out of Sheer Desperation

    The Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA), which gave powers to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) through inter partes reviews (IPRs), has no imminent threats, not potent ones anyway



  8. Update on the EPO's Crackdown on the Boards of Appeal

    Demand of 35% increases from the boards serves to show that Battistelli now does to the 'independent' judges what he already did to examiners at the Office



  9. The Lobbyists Are Trying to Subvert US Law in Favour of Patent Predators

    Mingorance, Kappos, Underweiser and other lobbyists for the software patents agenda (paid by firms like Microsoft and IBM) keep trying to undo progress, notably the bans on software patents



  10. Patent Trolls Based in East Texas Are Affected Very Critically by TC Heartland

    The latest situation in Texas (United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in particular), which according to new analyses is the target of legal scrutiny for the 'loopholes' it provided to patent trolls in search of easy legal battles



  11. Alice Remains a Strong Precedential Decision and the Media Has Turned Against Software Patents

    The momentum against the scourge of software patents and the desperation among patent 'professionals' (people who don't create/develop/invent) is growing



  12. Harm Still Caused by Granted Software Patents

    A roundup of recent (past week's) announcements, including legal actions, contingent upon software patents in an age when software patents bear no real legitimacy



  13. Links 18/11/2017: Raspberry Digital Signage 10, New Nano

    Links for the day



  14. 23,000 Posts

    23,000 blog posts milestone reached in 11 years



  15. BlackBerry Cannot Sell Phones and Apple Looks Like the Next BlackBerry (a Pile of Patents)

    The lifecycle of mobile giants seems to typically end in patent shakedown, as Apple loses its business to Android just like Nokia and BlackBerry lost it to Apple



  16. EFF and CCIA Use Docket Navigator and Lex Machina to Identify 'Stupid Patents' (Usually Software Patents That Are Not Valid)

    In spite of threats and lawsuits from bogus 'inventors' whom they criticise, EFF staff continues the battle against patents that should never have been granted at all



  17. The Australian Productivity Commission Shows the Correct Approach to Setting Patent Laws and Scope

    Australia views patents on software as undesirable and acts accordingly, making nobody angry except a bunch of law firms that profited from litigation and patent maximalism



  18. EPO 'Business' From the United States Has Nosedived and UPC is on Its Death Throes

    Benoît Battistelli and Elodie Bergot further accelerate the ultimate demise of the EPO (getting rid of experienced and thus 'expensive' staff), for which there is no replacement because there is a monopoly (which means Europe will suffer severely)



  19. Links 17/11/2017: KDE Applications 17.12, Akademy 2018 Plans

    Links for the day



  20. Today's EPO and Team UPC Do Not Work for Europe But Actively Work Against Europe

    The tough reality that some Europeans actively work to undermine science and technology in Europe because they personally profit from it and how this relates to the Unitary Patent (UPC), which is still aggressively lobbied for, sometimes by bribing/manipulating the media, academia, and public servants



  21. Links 16/11/2017: WordPress 4.9 and GhostBSD 11.1 Released

    Links for the day



  22. The Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) is Rightly Upset If Not Shocked at What Battistelli and Bergot Are Doing to the Office

    The EPO's dictatorial management is destroying everything that's left (of value) at the Office while corrupting academia and censoring discussion by threatening those who publish comments (gagging its own staff even when that staff posts anonymously)



  23. EPO Continues to Disobey the Law on Software Patents in Europe

    Using the same old euphemisms, e.g. "computer-implemented inventions" (or "CII"), the EPO continues to grant patents which are clearly and strictly out of scope



  24. Links 16/11/2017: Tails 3.3, Deepin 15.5 Beta

    Links for the day



  25. Benoît Battistelli and Elodie Bergot Have Just Ensured That EPO Will Get Even More Corrupt

    Revolving door-type tactics will become more widespread at the EPO now that the management (Battistelli and his cronies) hires for low cost rather than skills/quality and minimises staff retention; this is yet another reason to dread anything like the UPC, which prioritises litigation over examination



  26. Australia is Banning Software Patents and Shelston IP is Complaining as Usual

    The Australian Productivity Commission, which defies copyright and patent bullies, is finally having policies put in place that better serve the interests of Australians, but the legal 'industry' is unhappy (as expected)



  27. Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Defended by Technology Giants, by Small Companies, by US Congress and by Judges, So Why Does USPTO Make It Less Accessible?

    In spite of the popularity of PTAB and the growing need/demand for it, the US patent system is apparently determined to help it discriminate against poor petitioners (who probably need PTAB the most)



  28. Declines in Patent Quality at the EPO and 'Independent' Judges Can No Longer Say a Thing

    The EPO's troubling race to the bottom (of patent quality) concerns the staff examiners and the judges, but they cannot speak about it without facing rather severe consequences



  29. The EPO is Now Corrupting Academia, Wasting Stakeholders' Money Lying to Stakeholders About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    The Unified Patent Court/Unitary Patent (UPC) is a dying project and the EPO, seeing that it is going nowhere fast, has resorted to new tactics and these tactics cost a lot of money (at the expense of those who are being lied to)



  30. Links 15/11/2017: Fedora 27 Released, Linux Mint Has New Betas

    Links for the day


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