06.16.07

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Shuttleworth: No Microsoft Negotiations

Posted in Deals, Formats, Intellectual Monopoly, Interoperability, Linspire, Microsoft, Patents, Ubuntu at 11:39 am by Shane Coyle

Mark Shuttleworth has felt it necessary to respond to some of the speculation that Ubuntu, upon which Linspire is based, may be the next GNU/Linux distribution to make a deal with Microsoft under the pressure of unspecified patent infringement claims.

For the record, let me state my position, and I think this is also roughly the position of Canonical and the Ubuntu Community Council though I haven’t caucused with the CC on this specifically.

We have declined to discuss any agreement with Microsoft under the threat of unspecified patent infringements.

Allegations of “infringement of unspecified patents” carry no weight whatsoever. We don’t think they have any legal merit, and they are no incentive for us to work with Microsoft on any of the wonderful things we could do together. A promise by Microsoft not to sue for infringement of unspecified patents has no value at all and is not worth paying for. It does not protect users from the real risk of a patent suit from a pure-IP-holder (Microsoft itself is regularly found to violate such patents and regularly settles such suits). People who pay protection money for that promise are likely living in a false sense of security.

Shuttleworth also shows his disdain for Microsoft’s OOXML "standard" format and indicates that, like Red Hat, he is not opposed to the concept of working with Microsoft, just in "ways that further the cause of free software" and that "I don’t believe that the intent of the current round of agreements is supportive of free software…".

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A Single Comment

  1. Frantzy said,

    June 16, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    Gravatar

    Completely agreed.
    Those negotiations are not completely open to the public.
    Those sellout OSes don’t have any more the freedom that come with Linux because MS is at a
    certain degree in control of their product.The future?It’s bleak.
    DRM,Policy restrictions,spy software will be part of those OSes.Idid not leave windows and try linux to find myself in the same hole.
    To me it semms that MS is afraid of competition.
    Without competition there is no innovation.Just stagnation.
    Distroying free software is not the way to go.

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