12.04.06

Gemini version available ♊︎

More Shuttleworth on Novell-Microsoft

Posted in Intellectual Monopoly, Ubuntu at 1:06 am by Shane Coyle

The chat log from the Ask Mark IRC session has been posted on the OpenWeek Wiki, and a few questions touched on the significance of the deal between Novell and Microsoft. Interestingly, there were no questions about the OpenSUSE developer invitation and reaction.

In all, there were 3 questions on the Novell-Microsoft topic, relating to the Microsoft threat level, Canonical’s own patent policies, and what actions are planned in case of an infringement claim. I reproduce the three questions and Mr Shuttleworth’s responses in their entirety:

< Admiral_Chicago > Is Ubuntu considering revisitng[sic] their own patent license or how they approach licensing in the wake of Novell / MS?

We are certainly looking at ways to strengthen our stand against software patents. We are entirely opposed to them, and its possible we can actively help to prevent their spread, beyond the advocacy we already do. Whether or not the Novell executives who negotiated the recent Novell-MS deal were aware of what was going on, it’s entirely obvious that MS is working to establish an IP framework that limits the spread of free Linux.

It was obvious to many of us the moment the deal was announced that “virtualisation interop” was far less interesting to MS than the patent implications. MS paid Novell a lot of money to stand up on stage and validate their theories about patent licensing and MS will expect a return on their investment :-) So, i was not surprised when Ballmer came out with the statement that “anybody running any Linux other than SUSE has an undisclosed balance sheet liability.”

What that means, in english, is that anybody who uses any version of Linux other than those that pay MS, are liable to get sued by MS that includes Debian, Gentoo, Ubuntu, Fedora etc. Make no mistake about it, this is a major assault on the key things that have driven the success of Linux. This is why i think its so important to protest the deal and why I think we should find ways to take a stronger public position on patents within Ubuntu.

< ailean > How threatened do you feel by Microsoft? Do they actually have any claim on Ubuntu’s code, will any legal threat fail, or does money talk?

Interesting question. MS have done some wonderful things for the world. They made software cheap, which is great. They made it standard. They have produced some excellent software and some not-so-excellent software. I think, now that we have the internet, that the free software process is a fundamentally better way of producing software, though.

I think that free software platforms will innovate faster than proprietary ones. So at a deep level, I think its them that should feel threatened. That said, history shows that a big organisation that can’t change fast enough to adapt to changes in its environment and ALWAYS tries to lock the environment down.

Look at the RIAA, the members there cannot see a way forward that preserves their profitability, so they are suing their own customers to try to preserve a 70′s era analog business model. I think MS is prepared, if worst comes to worst, to sue their own customers in order to protect an 80′s era business model, of software licensing. That’s dangerous.

They are of course also trying to innovate out of the corner, Windows Live is interesting, so is the X-Box, and the Zune. They are all attempts to shift to subscription-based revenues, relationship-based revenues. If they can be successful there, they are less likely to go nuclear, but if not… That’s why we can’t legitimise their IP dogma now. Why the Novell deal is so treacherous.

< Spec > Pending legal action, would Ubuntu redirect all of their efforts in extracting “patented” code from the OS?

We would certainly do our bit. If anything that Canonical has created infringes someone’s patents, we hope they will let us know so we can fix that, or that they will licence the patents for free use with free software. We would also of course coordinate with upstreams working on their part. I do not actually believe that a nuclear patent option will stop linux at all. IBM and others have made it very clear they will use the muscle in their patent portfolios to stop big IT companies from trying that and as for small patent trolls, we can work around any patents they might come up with. While at the same time, the Linux vote is getting stronger and stronger. If we had 50 million users in the USA, we could certainly block dangerous patent legislation.

Of course there are other topics in the *buntu world that are covered in the chat, including requests for more Kubuntu staff, the controversy over proprietary driver inclusion, and if there is anything to the Googlebuntu distribution rumors. Head over to the entire log of the chat for more information and insight on all things Ubuntu.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. Links 29/11/2021: NuTyX 21.10.5 and CrossOver 21.1.0

    Links for the day



  2. This Apt Has Super Dumbass Powers. Linus Sebastian and Pop_OS!

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  3. [Meme] Trying to Appease Provocateurs and Borderline Trolls

    GNU/Linux isn’t just a clone of Microsoft Windows and it oughtn’t be a clone of Microsoft Windows, either; some people set themselves up for failure, maybe by intention



  4. Centralised Git Hosting Has a Business Model Which is Hostile Towards Developers' Interests (in Microsoft's Case, It's an Attack on Reciprocal Licensing and Persistent Manipulation)

    Spying, censoring, and abusing projects/developers/users are among the perks Microsoft found in GitHub; the E.E.E.-styled takeover is being misused for perception manipulation and even racism, so projects really need to take control of their hosting (outsourcing is risky and very expensive in the long run)



  5. Links 29/11/2021: FWUPD's 'Best Known Configuration' and Glimpse at OpenZFS 3.0

    Links for the day



  6. President Biden Wants to Put Microsofter in Charge of the Patent Office, Soon to Penalise Patent Applicants Who Don't Use Microsoft's Proprietary Formats

    The tradition of GAFAM or GIAFAM inside the USPTO carries on (e.g. Kappos and Lee; Kappos lobbies for Microsoft and IBM, whereas Lee now works for Amazon/Bezos after a career at Google); it's hard to believe anymore that the USPTO exists to serve innovators rather than aggressive monopolists, shielding their territory by patent threats (lawsuits or worse aggression) and cross-licensing that's akin to a cartel



  7. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part VIII — Mr. Graveley's Long Career Serving Microsoft's Agenda (Before Hiring by Microsoft to Work on GitHub's GPL Violations Machine)

    Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley was promoting .NET (or Mono) since his young days; his current job at Microsoft is consistent with past harms to GNU/Linux, basically pushing undesirable (except to Microsoft) things to GNU/Linux users; Tomboy used to be the main reason for distro ISOs to include Mono



  8. Dr. Andy Farnell on Teaching Cybersecurity in an Age of 'Fake Security'

    By Dr. Andy Farnell



  9. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 28, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, November 28, 2021



  10. Links 29/11/2021: Linux 5.16 RC3 and Lots of Patent Catch-up

    Links for the day



  11. By 2022 0% of 'News' Coverage About Patents Will Be Actual Journalism (Patent Litigation Sector Has Hijacked the World Wide Web to Disseminate Self-Promotional Misinformation)

    Finding news about the EPO is almost impossible because today’s so-called ‘news’ sites are in the pockets of Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos, and their cohorts who turned the EPO into a hub of litigation, not science; this is part of an international (worldwide) problem because financial resources for journalism have run out, and so the vacuum is filled/replaced almost entirely by Public Relations (PR) and marketing



  12. Trying to Appease Those Who Never Liked Free Software or Those Who Blindly Loved All Patent Monopolies to Begin With

    It’s crystal clear that trying to appease everyone, all the time, is impossible; in the case of the EPO, for example, we hope that exposing Team Battistelli/Campinos helps raise awareness of the harms of patent maximalism, and when speaking about Free software — whilst occasionally bashing the alternatives (proprietary) — we hope to convince more people to join the “Good Fight”



  13. Links 28/11/2021: Laravel 8.73 Released, GitHub Offline for Hours

    Links for the day



  14. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, November 27, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, November 27, 2021



  15. Links 27/11/2021: Nvidia’s DLSS Hype and Why GNU/Linux Matters

    Links for the day



  16. [Meme] Linus Gabriel Sebastian Takes GNU/Linux for a (Tail)'Spin'

    If you’re trying to prove that GNU/Linux is NOT Windows, then “haha! Well done…”



  17. GNU/Linux is for Freedom and It'll Gain Many Users When (or Where) People Understand What Software (or Computing) Freedom Means

    Software that respects people's freedom (and by extension privacy as well) is an alluring proposition; those who choose to try GNU/Linux for the wrong reasons are likely the wrong target audience for advocates



  18. Amid Reports of Microsoft's Competition Crimes in Europe...

    European companies are complaining, but they seem to overlook the principal aspect of an imperialistic system with bottomless pockets (almost 30 trillion dollars in debt already; US national debt soared again last month); Microsoft is shielded by a political system with military (“defence”) as bailout budget to help cushion international expansion for data grab and technical leverage, as we've seen in the case of EPO (this is all political, not technical, and should thus be treated as a political/corruption issue)



  19. Is Linus Trolling the GNU/Linux Community?

    This new video responds to what many sites have been provoked into amplifying



  20. Links 27/11/2021: Tux Paint 0.9.27 and SeaMonkey 1.1.19 in EasyOS

    Links for the day



  21. [Meme] Keeping Our Distance From Microsoft

    The OSI is the dagger, the Linux Foundation is the knife, and many others are the sword by which Microsoft tries to get into the very heart of GNU/Linux and extinguish the Free software movement



  22. Microsoft Edge Encourages Indebted Americans to Guilt-spend Just in Time for Christmas

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission



  23. IRC Proceedings: Friday, November 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, November 26, 2021



  24. 38+ Years of GNU and 19+ Years of FSF Associate Membership

    “On November 25, 2002,” Wikipedia notes, “the FSF launched the FSF Associate Membership program for individuals.” As the above video points out, it all started almost 40 years ago.



  25. Gemini as a Platform for Gamers

    Contrary to what people often assume (or are led to assume), even without client-side scripting Gemini can accomplish a great deal; early adopters, many of whom are technical, test the limits of the very minimalistic (by design and intention) specification



  26. Improved Workflows: Achievement Unlocked

    Today we've completed a bunch of small projects that can make us more efficient (e.g. more Daily Links per day, more articles); the above video was recorded many hours ago to accompany the outline below



  27. Links 26/11/2021: New Complaint About Microsoft Competition Crimes in Europe, EuroLinux 8.5, GhostBSD 21.11.24, and Kiwi TCMS 10.5 Released

    Links for the day



  28. Links 26/11/2021: F35 Elections, Whonix 16.0.3.7, OSMC's November Refresh With Kodi 19.3

    Links for the day



  29. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, November 25, 2021



  30. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, November 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, November 24, 2021


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

Recent Posts