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

12.18.09

Microsoft Gave Moonlight “Blessings” in 2007

Posted in FSF, GNOME, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents at 6:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Every line of code that is written to our standards is a small victory; every line of code that is written to any other standard, is a small defeat.”

James Plamondon, Microsoft Technical Evangelist. From Exhibit 3096; Comes v. Microsoft litigation [PDF]

Summary: Analysis and deconstruction of the latest Moonlight PR; more about Mono and the GNU/GNOME kerkuffle

SOME people have begun responding to news regarding Moonlight. The following article uses an amusing headline which says that “Moonlight 2.0 Gets Microsoft’s Blessing”

Considering the fact that it’s a Microsoft project as much as it is a Novell project (the Novell/Microsoft Web site calls it "Microsoft Moonlight"), why would it need any additional “blessings”? Microsoft has blessed the project since its inception.

In 2006, Novell and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) entered into a joint patent and interoperability agreement, giving Novell users the OK to use open source technologies on which the software giant has said it may have intellectual property claims.

As a result of today’s expansion of that deal, Moonlight users will enjoy protection under the patent covenant regardless of whether they’re using Novell’s (NASDAQ: NOVL) Linux distro or another distributor’s.

Here is how Miguel de Icaza put it:

Culturally, we started on two opposite ends of the software licensing spectrum. The covenant not to sue that was issued for Moonlight 1 and 2 covered every user that used Moonlight, but only as long as the user obtained Moonlight from Novell. This is a model similar to how Flash is distributed: there is a well-known location where you get your plugin.

The open source world does not work that way though. In the open source world, the idea is to release source code and have distributions play the role of editors and curators and distribute their own versions of the software.

Microsoft’s intention was to expand the reach of Silverlight, but the original covenant was not a good cultural fit. We worked with the team at Microsoft (Brian Goldfarb and Bob Muglia’s teams) to make sure that the covenant would cover the other Linux distributions.

Microsoft’s intention is still “to expand the reach of Silverlight,” which it totally controls, unlike HTML for example. The biggest issue — as we have argued for years — is one of control. Patents are another issue, but not the main one. Moonlight (like Mono) gives Microsoft the sceptre and crown with which to rule and watch over FOSS developers. If they use Microsoft as their reference, then it not only helps Microsoft’s fight against Web standards but also against LAMP and Java, among a lot of other software. It’s mono-culture.

The Source (same author as Mono-Nono) has responded to the above announcement and made some predictions.

Here are my predictions, based on the last similar situation when Mono fell under the “promise” from Microsoft:

1. The new covenant will not be as comprehensive as Mr. de Icaza states. I do think he isn’t overselling this one near as much as the last one, which I think points to a lesson learned.
2. Team Mono will rail on and on about how this is a win for them and should “silence the critics”, never noting the incovenient fact that they promoted Moonlight just as hard without the “proper” coverage, and there are still remaining issues.
3. There will still be at least 3 obvious problems with the “Covenant” and a half-dozen subtle and complicated problems.

Our reader Oiaohm says that “the Moonlight agreement still sucks. It expires September 1, 2011.”

In other news, one reader told us that Storm OS is adding Mono software that falls outside the Microsoft Community Promise and thus makes it sensitive to Microsoft’s threats and lawsuits (both deterrents).

Here is something I’ve been working on for a little while, getting Mono to work properly. Properly = with dbus so you actually runs some apps with it. Banshee, F-Spot, Gnome-do and Monodevelop appear to be working with very few changes

According to Microsoft’s own words (no speculation), this is trouble. Longtime proponents of Mono (like Ryan Paul and others who still give it coverage) should pay more attention to the issues and bring light to them. The latest episode from Linux Outlaws (recommended show) is titled “Reverse Mono Trojan Horse”

Another proponent of Mono, Thom Holwerda (mentioned a few days ago in the same context), writes a little more about GNOME and GNU [1, 2, 3]. So does Bruce Byfield (whose words we unfortunately misinterpreted the other day, so we sincerely apologise to him). The latest from Byfield is a good writeup which concludes with:

Staying within the GNU Project may have very little practical effect on GNOME. However, making any formal decision under these circumstances might. At the very least, any vote might be delayed six months so that people have a chance to consider the idea on its merits and not on the emotions stored up over the last six months.

Genuine critics of GNU do exist (Lasse Havelund for example), but some of the more proactive and vocal critics appear to be doing this for other reasons. Someone quoting Upton Sinclair says that “It’s hard get a man to understand something, when he’s being paid not to understand it.”

“It’s probably better to keep funding and decision-making separate. Decide who gets to make decisions based on merit, not money.”
      –MinceR
He adds: “perfectly nails all these corporate swine trying to defame RMS and ruin Free Software.”

Our reader Brandon says: “some idiot keeps going around saying FSF accepts corporate funding as well, however GNOME is set up in a way where if you fund them via businesses, you get onto the “advisory board” which makes suggestions to the executives. this is exactly like the congress – lobbying connection – whereas, in other projects such as Apache, they will take your funding but won’t let you dictate [anything]. Apache has funding from MSFT, but they’ve publicly said that doesn’t mean crap because they still make all the decisions. GNOME on the other hand, with the advisory board at least has to listen to these suggestions. They don’t have to act upon them, but they gotta listen still.”

“It’s probably better to keep funding and decision-making separate. Decide who gets to make decisions based on merit, not money,” says MinceR in response.

Brandon adds: “I can’t find an equivalent in FSF for a corporately paid subsection which gets to tell board members suggestions based on them paying tens of thousands of dollars. I don’t mind if an organization takes funding, but funding/decisions should be separate. The “advisory board” is just a euphemism for “lobbying board”, I can’t see how its different. They pay tens of thousands of dollars, and get to make suggestions. Lobbyists pay congresspeople tens of thousands of dollars, and get to make suggestions.”

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. Links 16/12/2014: Google and ODF, Civilization: Beyond Earth Comes to GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  2. Bill Gates' Pet Troll Intellectual Ventures is Collapsing as Founder Quits

    Intellectual Ventures founder leaves after an exceptionally large round of layoffs, despite [cref 77299 recent subsidies from Sony and Microsoft]



  3. Keeping Software Patents Out of Europe Following the Demise of Software Patents in the US

    Instability in the EPO seemingly prevents further expansion of patent scope, which is the subject of scrutiny of EPO staff



  4. Links 15/12/2014: OSI 2014 Annual Report, GPLv2 Court Test

    Links for the day



  5. Links 14/12/2014: Calligra 2.9 Beta, Krita 2.9 Beta

    Links for the day



  6. Software Patents Are Dying in the US, But Patent Lawyers Refuse to Admit It

    Patent lawyers continue to distort the reality of software patents' demise in the United States



  7. Links 13/12/2014: Android Wear “Lollipop”, European Commission and FOSS

    Links for the day



  8. Time to Take Microsoft Out of British Aviation Before Planes Crash Into Buildings

    London's mighty Heathrow Airport among those affected by a Microsoft-reliant air traffic control system which is not being able to properly recover from an outage, and not for the first time either



  9. News From France and Germany: Battistelli Under Fire, But Not Fired Yet, Just Firing His Opposition

    The régime headed by Benoît Battistelli and his criminal deputy continues to overthrow or pressure out everyone who is not 'loyal' to the régime



  10. Links 12/12/2014: Linux++, KDE Frameworks 5.5.0, Calligra 2.8.7

    Links for the day



  11. The USPTO is Broken: New Evidence Presented

    The scope of patents, as evidenced by some statistical figures and individual patents, shows that the USPTO is broken and must be reformed or dismantled



  12. US Patent Reform (on Trolls Only) More or Less Buried or Ineffective

    An update on efforts to reform the patent system in the United States, including the possibly imminent appointment of Michelle Lee to USPTO leadership role



  13. Software Patents in Canada Not Dead Yet

    Canada's patent status quo increasingly like that of the United States and Canadian giants like BlackBerry now pose a threat to software developers



  14. Dreaming of a Just Christmas: When a Third of EPO Walks Out to Revolt and European Judges Attack the EPO Over Abuses

    Information about the abuses of Battistelli et al. at the EPO are finally receiving wider coverage and increasing the strain on Battistelli's authoritarian reign



  15. Links 11/12/2014: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 Beta, Firefox 35 Plans

    Links for the day



  16. Ubuntu Core Announcement is Not About Microsoft and Hosting Ubuntu on Azure is Worse Than Stupid

    The power of media spin makes the idea of hosting Free software under the control of an NSA PRISM and back doors partner seem alluring



  17. France Gets Involved in Battistelli's Abuses in the EPO - Part XII (Updated)

    The EPO scandal has officially spilled over to France, where a French Senator got involved and starts asking serious questions



  18. Rolling of Heads Likely Imminent at EPO

    The European patent system is shaking as management breaks the rules, staff is protesting against the management every week, and charges of corruption resurface



  19. Links 11/12/2014: systemd 218, Empire Total War

    Links for the day



  20. Links 10/12/2014: Fedora 21, Ubuntu Core

    Links for the day



  21. Links 9/12/2014: Fedora 21 and Torture Report Are Out

    Links for the day



  22. Exclusive: The Enlarged Board of Appeal Complains About Battistelli's Corrupt Management to the Administrative Council (Updated)

    Text of the complaint from the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBoA) reaches Techrights, demonstrating just how rampant the abuse in Battistelli's EPO has become



  23. Protests Against EPO Corruption Approach 1,000 in Attendance

    EPO staff at all levels is revolting against the management of the EPO, whose dismissal seems to be only a matter of time



  24. Links 9/12/2014: Greg Kroah-Hartman Interview, Fedora 21 Imminent

    Links for the day



  25. EPO Staff Protests Today and Protested Last Week, Targeting Corruption in the Institution

    PO staff is demonstrating against abuse by the management of the EPO, today we well as in prior days



  26. Links 7/12/2014: New Linux Release, Marines and Prisoners on GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  27. EPO Scandal: Benoît Battistelli's Arrogance Recognised by European Delegations

    Battistelli’s Nixon moment and the evasive nature of his approach towards external delegations that are troubled by his behaviour



  28. CBS Brushing Aside and Away Microsoft's History of Blackmail and Bribes Against Linux

    Putting in context some of the poor reporting (or whitewash) regarding Microsoft's bribe (disguised as "partnership") to Barnes & Noble



  29. Links 7/12/2014: Typhoon Hagupit, AURORAGOLD

    Links for the day



  30. EPO Imploding: Battistelli Throws a Fit at EPO's Investigation Unit

    Patent institution of Europe is showing signs of tear as protests intensify and suppression of these protests -- as well as suppression of investigation -- intensifies as well


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