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06.19.07

Mandriva Not Interested in Paying Protection Money

Posted in Deals, Formats, Free/Libre Software, FUD, GNU/Linux, Intellectual Monopoly, Interoperability, Linspire, Mandriva, Microsoft, OpenDocument, Patent Covenant, Patents, Red Hat, Ubuntu, Xandros at 1:56 pm by Shane Coyle

Matthew Aslett notes that, following Mark Shuttleworth’s posting that ruled out any Microsoft negotiations based on unspecified patent infringement claims, we also have word from another distribution oft-speculated as being "next" on Microsoft’s list: Mandriva.

So its 3-3 with Novell, Xandros and Linspire on one side and Red Hat, Ubuntu and Mandriva on the other (as noted here the deals with Samsung, Fuji Xerox and LG Electronics can be considered differently).

It’s not surprising that people were speculating about Mandriva being the next on Microsoft’s list given its financial position but CEO, Francois Bancilhon has ruled it out.

It should be noted that, the other day in one of our discussions it was pointed out that Mandriva’s finances may not be as dire as seems to be universally presumed.

Here is some of what CEO Bancilhon had to say regarding the Microsoft patent deals, referring to them as "protection money":

We also believe the best way to deal with interoperability is open standards, such as ODF which we support strongly and we are ready to cooperate with everyone on these topics.

As far as IP is concerned, we are, to say the least, not great fans of software patents and of the current patent system, which we consider as counter productive for the industry as a whole.

We also believe what we see, and up to now, there has been absolutely no hard evidence from any of the FUD propagators that Linux and open source applications are in breach of any patents. So we think that, as in any democracy, people are innocent unless proven guilty and we can continue working in good faith.

So we don’t believe it is necessary for us to get protection from Microsoft to do our job or to pay protection money to anyone.

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2 Comments

  1. SubSónica said,

    June 21, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    Gravatar

    Well, it is not 3-3, actually, you can count on a classical heavyweight such as Debian not selling out to The Vole, so at least is 3-4: the goodies are winning. I can think of many other distros -smaller as they could be- not falling in the trap: Gnewsense, Ututo, every Chinese-Asian Linux (TurboLinux, RedFlag…), and probably any other players with a sense of ethics like Slackware/Slax, Mepis, PcLinux, Knoppix… or any european based distro (very sensitive to the whole issue of software patents due to the years of scandal in the EU politicians being heavy-lobbied when not bribed into trying to introduce software patentability in the european market) are a no-way for Microsoft.

  2. random rader said,

    October 25, 2007 at 8:54 am

    Gravatar

    SubSonica,

    the thing is that any organizational unit in community-based distros, which presumably still constitute the majority, is not (at least alone) in a position to make such an agreement on behalf of their developers (and users). Nor are these the potential “targets” of Microsoft.

    For these reasons it is an impossibility for Debian or Gentoo to “sell-out” nor is there a “trap” for something that is developed solely voluntarily. (Once again cf.: openSuse is openSuse.)

    But I agree that the wording “3-3″ is misleading; either this implies that the author (Matthew Aslet) implicitly referred to the commercial distributions or it demonstrates that the mainstream media still does not understand what drives the open source (or free software or whatnot) movement.

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