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06.14.07

No Longer Vaporware: SueMe Linux

Posted in Action, Deals, FUD, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Linspire, Microsoft, OpenOffice, Patents, Samba, SueMe at 9:23 am by Shane Coyle

It’s like "Sue Me First, Microsoft", but you get a Word Processor too.

Well, as I had quipped earlier, my ruthless attempt to be the Microsoft of tech boycotts has continued thanks to the spineless acts of Linspire: so, please welcome BoycottLinspire.com to the fold.

In preparing to create a new EDU-Nix Dual Mode CD for the upcoming school year, I’ve been playing around with the latest generation of the Linux-Live scripts, and decided that our SueMe Linux distribution would be a fun diversion for testing with. What I want to do is include many of the Free Software projects that Microsoft has been disparaging with patent infringement allegations, along with as much anti-FUD information as possible.

One of the running jokes within SueMe will be "disclosing your balance sheet liabilities", and I want to maintain a table on the SueMe homepage that indicates exactly what vague and intimidating allegations Microsoft has made against various components of SueMe:

Included Software Alleged MS Patents Infringed
Linux Kernel 42
K Desktop Environment (GUI) 65
OpenOffice.org 45
Email 15
Wine, Samba, Others 68

What we need are suggestions and submissions for articles and artwork in order to make SueMe the Anti-FUD distro, as well as any other suggestions or improvements that we can think of. There is a barely functional alpha version of the CD available now, and the sources and such are FTP-ing up to the site now, all in the download folder.

So, feel free to grab it all and hack away. And, if you want, feel Free to make a donation to the FSF or EFF in lieu of an interoperability tax. Hopefully, we can convince Microsoft to either abandon their FUD campaign or finally state with specificity the alleged infringements so that we may assess and address them on a case-by-case basis.

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12 Comments

  1. Stephen said,

    June 14, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    Gravatar

    Dude, you might want to consider setting up a paypal link to support your various boycottXXX sites! I’d hate to see you file for bankruptcy.

  2. akf said,

    June 15, 2007 at 5:56 am

    Gravatar

    Hey, aren’t you from Great Britain?
    I mean software-patents are afaik not valid in Europe anyway.
    So it cannot work…
    Or am I missing something?

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 15, 2007 at 6:22 am

    Gravatar

    @akf: Shane is from the US (New York), I’m from Great Britain. Still, momentum for adoption depends on the States and the ISO is making a statement.

  4. Shane Coyle said,

    June 15, 2007 at 8:25 am

    Gravatar

    Software patents aren’t valid here in the States either, you just would never know it due to the way U.S. corporations abuse the system.

  5. akf said,

    June 15, 2007 at 8:55 am

    Gravatar

    Well, I still think, it is dangerous.
    You should at least get in contact with the SFLC.
    http://www.softwarefreedom.org/about/contact/

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 15, 2007 at 9:30 am

    Gravatar

    > you just would never know it due
    > to the way U.S. corporations abuse the system.

    Well, I believe these have been tested in court. Sadly, there is precedence.

  7. Shane Coyle said,

    June 15, 2007 at 9:48 am

    Gravatar

    At one point, there were legal precedents here that stated that if someone were ‘black’ they hadn’t equal rights to those who were ‘white’, those didn’t hold up to scrutiny either.

    Basically, nothing is legal until the Supreme Court specifically says it is, and they haven’t been posed the question straight-on – are software patents legal? I have a feeling I know how Scalia feels, at least.

    Anyhow, as I have said, it’s not about willful infringement – when/if MS approaches me with a list of alleged patents, I will pull the ISO and immediately post the listing so that all may assess and address these issues, either by attacking the patent, working around it, licensing or (if necessary) refraining from use.

    Just stop the FUD, I can deal with the truth – no matter how ugly it is.

  8. akf said,

    June 15, 2007 at 10:26 am

    Gravatar

    I didn’t want to spread FUD. Even if you are sure to win in court, you still need a legal council if you want to go to court!

    And probably the SFLC can give you more information / texts or other material for your distribution… They know that matter better than anyone else…

  9. Shane Coyle said,

    June 15, 2007 at 10:31 am

    Gravatar

    True, and it should be noted that really SueMe contains no code that isn’t in many or most other distros, so there isn’t any greater risk of incurring the wrath of Microsoft than any other of the distros out there (except for the obnoxious name, which I suppose may draw attention from MS, but hey what I want is a fact-based, open dialog here).

    MS, let us Get the Facts.

  10. akf said,

    June 15, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    Gravatar

    Okay, I just thought you wanted to challange them in court.
    But obviously I misunderstood that.

  11. Roy Schestowitz said,

    June 15, 2007 at 6:04 pm

    Gravatar

    @akf: based on what the Linux Foundation said in their summit at Google’s headquarters, a challenge might be possible. The series of deals simply must end.

  12. shane coyle said,

    June 15, 2007 at 8:14 pm

    Gravatar

    Okay, I just thought you wanted to challange[sic] them in court.
    But obviously I misunderstood that.

    I just hope MS doesn’t too, I like my house – it’s coming out well, I must say. When I bought it, it was near-condemnable and in 3 years I’ve transformed it into a real fixer-upper. One day, it may be "nice".

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