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11.15.06

MS: Patent Promise Missed the Mark

Posted in Action, Intellectual Monopoly, Law, Microsoft, Patent Covenant, Patents at 1:10 pm by Shane Coyle

Here is an article that PJ is also covering at Groklaw:

Microsoft Corp has admitted execution flaws with its promise not to sue open source software developers and invited the wider community to tell the software firm how it can get it right.

Apparently, Miguel De Icaza and Nat Friedman had expressed some displeasure or reservations about the covenant as it stood. MS isn’t completely backing off though:

Our design goal is to get language in place that allows individual developers to keep developing. We are not interested in providing carte blanche clearance on patents to any commercial activity – that is a separate discussion to be had on a per-instance basis

Still unacceptable, but MS is apparently willing to listen.

Interview- Justin Steinman of Novell

Posted in Deals, Intellectual Monopoly, Patent Covenant at 2:05 am by Shane Coyle

Here is an interview on linuxinterviews.com with Justin Steinman, Director of Marketing for Linux & Open Platform Solutions for Novell.

From the Interview:

LinuxInterviews.com: Microsoft will not attack open-source developers as long as they are not connected with commercial software. However, this agreement does not cover other Linux vendors. Do you think Microsoft will exercise it’s rights may there be the case?

Justin Steinman: Microsoft and Novell felt it was important to establish a precedent for the individual, non-commercial open source developer community that potential patent litigation need not be a concern. Microsoft is excited to more actively participate in the open source community and Novell is, and will continue to be, an important enabler for this bridge. For these reasons, both Novell and Microsoft felt it was appropriate to make the pledge for Microsoft not to assert its patents against the non-commercial community. Microsoft can and has spoken for itself regarding other Linux vendors, and we refer you to those public statements.

Of course, the term Non-Commercial has already been analyzed, and declared worse than useless.

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