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Linspire: Deep in Lawsuits Despite (or Because of) Deal with Microsoft

Posted in Boycott Novell, Courtroom, GNU/Linux, Law, Linspire, Microsoft, Patents, Xandros at 9:49 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Linspire Illusion of safety in peace deals involving software patents

IN OUR most recent post about the demise of Linspire [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11] and death of the "Linspire" brand, we did bother to reiterate the argument that the deal with Microsoft had a lot to do with it. It made Linspire seem like a sore loser among the community which it had betrayed, so it no longer received recommendations from the people who have impact on key decisions. Linspire was, in essence, passed over.

Several lawsuits are now looming over for Linspire’s founder (Robertson) to deal with, the latest of which comes from Kevin Carmony and folks. SJVN, who has several friends at what was once known as Linspire (or Lindows), reports:

Now, on October 15th, Carmony continues his war against his Robertson. Carmony reports in his blog that “Robertson and [Larry] Kettler [Linspire's CEO before its sale to Xandros] finally responded to the suit, and I got a copy of their response. From what I could see, what they produced did not provide any meaningful data on the missing cash.” So it is that Carmony still wants to know “What happened with the millions of dollars in missing cash and other Linspire assets?”

While the lawsuit seems unlikely to dissolve the acquisition of Linspire by Xandros, the battle over exactly how and why Linspire disappeared and what happened to its assets seems destined to be settled in a California court-room.

EMI has been chasing Robertson as well and here is one of the latest reports about it.

EMI’s lawsuit against Robertson’s website, however, will proceed. Sideload.com, launched in early 2006, allows users to store MP3 files in applications that make them playable with PCs, consoles, DVRs, Internet radios, and cell phones.

“I look forward to explaining to the court how MP3tunes is making it possible for more than 150,000 people to listen to their music everywhere, including some EMI person nel who have personally complimented me on our system.…

Robertson’s MP3.com was sued in 2000 by record labels and music publishers, resulting in a settlement of over $100 million. His AnywhereCD venture was shut down after being sued by Warner Brothers, and Robertson was sued for trademark infringement by Microsoft for calling another venture Lindows. He was forced to rename it Linspire.

Some people applaud Robertson, but if he proudly disregards the intellectual monopolies system, why did Linspire sign a horrible software patent deal with Microsoft? Did it fear being sued? Well, it got sued anyway (from the inside).

“Even those who were born yesterday could see Microsoft’s latest attack on GNU/Linux.”This comes to show how foolish deals with Microsoft can be. Novell too was sued just over a year ago by a patent troll which accommodates (former) Microsoft managers [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11]. Peace with Microsoft is short-lived, a farce, and therefore totally moot. Microsoft is constantly attacking GNU/Linux, so only those who were born yesterday can expect real peace. Even those who were born yesterday could see Microsoft’s latest attack on GNU/Linux.

By the way, Freespire, which is now under the ownership of Xandros, may look nice to some people (screenshot below), but it’s Poisonware and therefore it should not be touched. It’s just a Debian/Ubuntu ripoff (customised base distribution) anyway. Well, plus the unnecessary liabilities.


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