05.14.07

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Microsoft Says It Will Not Sue GNU/Linux Users, But There’s a Snag (Updated)

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, Intellectual Monopoly, Interoperability, Law, Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 8:26 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

According to the latest developments, Microsoft’s threats are an attempt to strike more Novell-type deals, not prepare for any lawsuits.

…Microsoft said it wants to create more arrangements that mirror the company’s deal with Linux distributor Novell.

Back when we ran a different poll on this site, the large majority (roughly 80-90%, among hundreds) said that other distributors should not engage with Microsoft in a Novell-like deal.

SJVN weighs in on the matter. He does not really buy Microsoft’s argument, according to his latest analysis (do not mind a few inaccuracies, which I pointed out to him).

While Microsoft professes a preference to license rather than litigate, its record indicates otherwise. On Feb. 22, 2007, a jury awarded a $1.52 billion patent judgment in favor of Alcatel-Lucent against Microsoft over the Redmond, Wash., company’s use of MP3 codices. This was the largest patent award in history. In the Eolas case, Microsoft was also found guilty in a $521 million patent infringement ruling over how Internet Explorer handled embedded content.

So, might we expect Microsoft to be putting on a poker face?

Update: it is worth adding SJVN’s argument that this move from Microsoft is just a deja vu, going back to 2004.

With that comment, Microsoft declared war against Linux and open source yesterday…Oh wait. My mistake, Ballmer made that attack in November 2004 .

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2 Comments

  1. gpl1 said,

    May 14, 2007 at 9:39 pm

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    Ah, yes, this “love letter” to Red Hat.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/05/14/microsoft_fortune_redhat/

    “Let’s be clear here. Microsoft has no intention of suing its customers. It’s already tortured users enough with product delays and under achievement. Only pure insanity would drive Microsoft to mimic the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) by clogging US courts with lawsuits. We don’t think Microsoft is insane….

    As we read it, Microsoft wanted nothing more than to remind Red Hat that it will need to go ahead and strike a deal like Novell. -”

    Too bad about that darned GPLv3, making such Microvell deals irrelevant and extending to all distributors, too..

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 14, 2007 at 10:00 pm

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    Thanks, gpl1, for bringing this article to my attention. I’ll post something about it shortly.

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