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. Microsoft-Funded Attacks on Android Security and Patent/Copyright

    A look back at examples of people who smear Android and are receiving (or received) money from Microsoft



  2. Blowback in Chile and Munich After Microsoft Intervention

    Microsoft's attacks on the digital sovereignty of countries involves lobbying, corruption, an attack on standards (e.g. ODF), an attack on FOSS policies, and even an attack on accurate reporting (truth itself)



  3. The End of Microsoft is Nigh

    A look back at a tough year for Microsoft and a not-so-promising future



  4. Links 22/8/2014: Linux Foundation LFCS, LFCE

    Links for the day



  5. UPS Burned by Microsoft Windows, Gives Away Massive Number of Credit Card Details

    UPS is the latest victim of Microsoft's shoddy back door with software on top of it (Windows); attempts to blame FOSS for data compromise actually divert attention from the real culprit, which is proprietary software



  6. Microsoft's Funding of ALEC and Other Systemic Corruption

    Microsoft role in writing of laws by proxy, via groups such as ALEC



  7. Microsoft is Still Preying on British Taxpayers, Playing Politics

    Some news from the UK showing how Microsoft uses politics to extract money out of taxpayers, irrespective of their preferences



  8. Microsoft's Patent Troll Intellectual Ventures is Collapsing as 20% of Staff Laid Off

    More good news regarding the demise of patents as Microsoft's leading patent proxy is collapsing more rapidly than anyone ever imagined and software patents too are collectively doubted



  9. Links 21/8/2014: Conferences of Linux Foundation, Elephone Emerges

    Links for the day



  10. Links 20/8/2014: Linux Event, GNOME Milestone

    Links for the day



  11. Corruption Watch: Microsoft Lobbying Designed to Kill Chile's Free Software Policy and Promote Microsoft With Subsidies, More Dirty Tricks Emerge in Munich

    icrosoft is systematically attacking migrations to GNU, Linux and Free software, using dirty tricks, as always



  12. Vista 8 Such a Disaster That Even Microsoft Cannot Cope With It, Vapourware Tactics Start Early

    Microsoft's Windows-powered services are failing and Windows gets bricked by Microsoft patches, whereupon we are seeing yet more of Microsoft's vapourware tactics (focusing in imaginary, non-existent versions of Windows)



  13. On BlackBerry and Other Patent Trolls

    A roundup regarding patent trolls, starting with the bigger and latest joiner, BlackBerry's new patents apparatus



  14. Links 19/8/2014: Humble Jumbo Bundle 2 Betrayal, Mercedes-Benz Runs GNU/Linux

    Links for the day



  15. BlackBerry -- Like Microsoft Nokia -- Could be the Next Patent Proxy Troll

    BlackBerry is restructuring for patent assertion (i.e. trolling) in the wake of some alliances with Microsoft



  16. After Microsoft's Soft Bribe Some Non-Technical Deputy Does Not Like Free Software, Microsoft-Linked Media Responds to This Non-News by Making Bogus Claims of Munich Leaving GNU/Linux (Updated)

    The subversive forces that have secretly been attacking Munich over its migration to GNU/Linux (Microsoft press, Gartner, and even HP) are back to doing it while China and Russia follow Munich's lead



  17. Gates Foundation CFO Quits and Debate About Revolving Doors Recalled Amid Systematic and Shrewd Bribery of Public Officials

    More officials step out of the Gates Foundation and their destination is not known yet; Gates continues to corrupt the public sector with his money so as to increase personal gain at taxpayers' expense



  18. Links 19/8/2014: GNU/Linux Raves and Alternative to Proprietary Voice Chat

    Links for the day



  19. Links 18/8/2014: Linux 3.17 RC1, Escalation in Ferguson

    Links for the day



  20. Gartner Group Advocates Using Defective Software With Back Doors

    Despite strong evidence that Microsoft has been complicit in illegal surveillance, Gartner continues to recommend the use of Windows and other espionage-ready Microsoft software



  21. The Microsoft Patent Trolls: Android Extortion, Vringo Versus Google, and Intellectual Ventures

    Roundup of news about patent aggression by Microsoft and some of its proxies



  22. Links 16/8/2014: Microsoft Linux, US Government Turns to Free Software

    Links for the day



  23. Links 15/8/2014: Reiser4 in Headlines Again, GNOME and KDE Events Finish

    Links for the day



  24. Links 14/8/2014: Kernel Summit Coming, KMix on KDE Frameworks 5

    Links for the day



  25. Shameless Microsoft Spin is Blaming China for Microsoft's Misconduct and Back Doors While Justifying Massive Losses in Hardware (Made in China)

    A new look at how Microsoft-friendly media takes negative Microsoft news and turns that news into some kind of scandals where Microsoft is the victim



  26. Microsoft Spin in the Media Evokes 'New Microsoft' and New Back Doors

    Some new examples of Microsoft boosters rewriting history, characterising Microsoft as a FOSS champion, and generally weak/shallow reporting on Microsoft's audio/video surveillance software



  27. Links 13/8/2014: GNU/Linux as Winner, New Snowden Interview

    Links for the day



  28. Reader's Article: Skype Spying Reaches New Levels of Blatant

    Forced 'upgrades' of Skype give useds [sic.] of Skype more than they asked for



  29. The Problem is Software Patents (and Scope), Not Patent Trolls Who Abuse Them Just Like Large Corporations

    Reminder of the dangers of losing sight of the real patent problem, which is the patents themselves, not necessarily those who use them



  30. Fraud in the USPTO and CAFC Helped Apple Launch Frivolous Patent Lawsuits Against Linux/Android, Based on New Withdrawals

    Inherent corruption in the US system has aided Apple's assault on east Asian electronics giants that use Linux at the core of their products


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