EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

06.28.07

Linspire Sells Us Linux FUD, Not GNU/Linux

Posted in FUD, GNU/Linux, GPL, Linspire, Microsoft at 8:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It looks as though Linspire’s CEO has joined the ‘Microsoft voice’. He made some tactless statements which might lead to further alienation. Groklaw serves him with some words of caution and advice.

Mr. Carmony [of Linspire] asked a question, will Linux split in two factions? The answer is no. Some Linux distros will limp along a while and then die off, because they misunderstood what folks want when they choose GNU/Linux and FOSS. You can see that already. Red Hat, which refused to sign any such deal, is flourishing, for example. It’s not about code that “just works”. Apple offers that already. It’s the freedom. And we’ve proven willing to put up with some temporary frustration in order to get it. In time, FOSS will win, and all those proprietary codecs and everything else will be made available on pleasanter terms, because market share does that.

The real purpose of this Groklaw writeup, however, was to herald the arrival of GPLv3, which has already being praised by some big names.

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) today commended the Free Software Foundation and the Software Freedom Law Center for their significant work in introducing Version 3 of the General Public License (GPL).

This is a a excellent example which shows that GPLv3 is quietly welcomed. Microsoft and its allies (including Kevin Carmony) can carry on littering the Web with anti-GPLv3 messages, but all this disinformation must be ignored.

The wording which Mr. Carmony used to spread smear some filth (implying that those who do not sign deals with Microsoft are pirates) will further lead to the suspicion that Carmoney’s (sic) monetary rewards from the Microsoft deal were substantial.

There is further commentary on this matter in eWeek, in case you wish to know more.

So, here we are: Microsoft is making Linux partners. Microsoft is making patent claims. Microsoft is trying to stir up controversy. But, as my grandpa might have put it, “Microsoft is still bringing cards to a horseshoes tournament.” No matter how Microsoft tries to stack this deck, Microsoft is not going to win.

Finally, here’s just a quick word to Kevin: repackaging and selling packages that were coded (for free) by Debian developers is easy. Just don’t call them “pirates”. It won’t make you popular.

Microsoft to OIN: No Membership, Thank You

Posted in Deals, Formats, Intellectual Monopoly, Linspire, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Xandros at 2:42 pm by Shane Coyle

This should not be shocking to many, but Microsoft has stated that they are not interested in joining the Open Invention Network (OIN). The OIN is a group that licenses their spurious software patents to anyone who pledges not to leverage their own spurious software patents against GNU/Linux, and Microsoft just is not willing to make that pledge at this time. Shocker.

“We are always evaluating licensing opportunities but don’t have anything specific to say about OIN. However, we remain committed to building bridges within the industry,” he said.

That response is a little more vague than that from a Microsoft spokesperson who told eWEEK previously that “while Microsoft actively participates in a wide variety of industry organizations, the company has no plans to join the OIN at this stage.”

Much more interesting, to me anyhow, were the aspects of the article concerning Microsoft’s licensing negotiations – in which it is revealed that Microsoft does indeed take the time to review individual allegedly infringed Microsoft software patents with prospective licensees, something they repeatedly have denied occurred in the Novell deal, and subsequently have declined responding to numerous public requests for specificity due to the prohibitive amount of paperwork (but they can produce a 6,000 page office document specification – go figure).

Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft’s vice resident of Intellectual Property and Licensing, countered that the software giant does disclose which patents are being infringed, but only during private licensing discussions with companies that are looking for good faith for ways of resolving the situation.

“We walk through a number of exemplary patents and go as deep as they want us to go. Our experience has been every time we’ve done that, it doesn’t take companies a long time to figure out that there is an issue here,” he said.

So how far into the 235 did Xandros and Linspire get before they capitulated, and why must these remain secret again? OIN CEO Jerry Rosenthal, who was also once vice president of IBM’s Intellectual Property and Licensing business, asserts that these meetings are usually not secret nor confidential, and I would tend to believe he would have some familiarity with the process.

Intellectual Property FUD Gets Fuelled by Old Red Hat News

Posted in FUD, Intellectual Monopoly, Microsoft, Patents at 5:14 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It’s all about the timing: GNU GPL’s big day, Red Hat’s profit surge

Jim Finkle, the man who loves to ‘miunderstand’ and ‘misinterpret’ all things that embody freedom, comes back with a new swing. We ask you to take this with a grain of salt, knowing where it comes from.

According to this article, about a year ago, Microsoft discussed issued that are related to software patents with Red Hat. The article contains an element of mystery. The article also bothers to mention an important point towards the end.

An update to that license, version 3, is about to be implemented. It will forbid companies from distributing Linux software if they enter into patent agreements like the ones that Microsoft signed with Novell.

Be aware that on many occasions Red Hat clarified that it would not negotiate IP deals and never accept interoperability that is based on ‘innovation/interoperability tax’.

Is somebody trying to keep the FUD candle ablaze on the day of GPLv3′s finalisation and official release? It seems like an old story that gets unleashed at the ‘perfect timing’ by a man with questionable history on these matters. Also remember that Red Hat reported a 42% rise in revenue. That was yesterday. Whether strings are being pulled here or not (never trust the commercial media), we shall let the readers decide.

06.27.07

Has Microsoft Been Blatantly Lying to National Standards Bodies? (Updatedx2)

Posted in Formats, ISO, Linspire, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, Standard, Xandros at 8:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The following short item from Bob Sutor simply cannot be ignored. As you may be aware, Microsoft uses its new ‘allies’ (namely Novell, Corel, Xandros, and Linspire) to show bogus support for formats that essentially lock rivals out of the market and secure Microsoft’s monoculture in operating systems and office suites. According to this, Microsoft is being extremely dishonest (again!).

I’m hearing reports that people in national standards bodies are being told blatantly false information about what they can and cannot discuss during the current JTC1 Fast Track process for OOXML. They are being told things, to paraphrase, like “the contradiction period decided that such and such was ok” or “we can’t consider that problem with OOXML because it was already dealt with in the Contradiction Period.”

Whatever is true here, whether lies were involved or not, please help resistance against a monopolist that endlessly uses dirty tricks. A lot of activity appears to be centered around noooxml.org where you can sign a petition. The site now recommends that people take another type of action. Letters can be sent to eliminate disinformation and politely express the true interest of the citizens.

A decision by each National Standardisation Body in each country will happen somewhere during the holidays of July or August. Written comments should be sent before the end of June in most countries.

The ODF Alliance has posted some new documents, which you can find listed here:

See the ‘DIS 29500 “Office Open XML” Fact Sheet’ and ‘The Technical Case Against DIS 29500/OOXML’.

These documents will hopefully help some people get past the misleading and self-serving statements mentioned above. The relentless manipulation of standards bodies must end. Pseudo support, acquired through paid-for deals with companies, is no indication of quality either, but Microsoft knows how to spend its money. When it comes to the Office franchise, there is simply too much at stake.

Update: the Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure has just joined the fight against this type of abuse and it even offers a monetary bounty.

The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII), said that it was putting up a 2,500 Euro prize in its fight against Microsoft’s attempt to gain international standardisation for its Office format.

Update #2: The Free Software Foundation (Europe) joins the fight by raising questions about OOXML. The six that are listed:

  • Application independence?
  • Supporting pre-existing Open Standards?
  • Backward compatibility for all vendors?
  • Proprietary extensions?
  • Dual standards?
  • Legally safe?

Patent Troll Attacks Another Patent Troll — Microsoft Sued Over Tilted Mouse

Posted in Courtroom, Hardware, Law, Microsoft, Patents at 8:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Here we have yet another example among several recent ones. Just have a look at this new scoop and watch the figures in the short article.

The writ, issued in a Texas district court two days back, alleges that Microsoft, a co-defendant with Designer Appliances Inc, breached patent number 5,576,733 called “Ergonomic Computer Mouse”.

Recall what Mr. Gates said in the nineties.

Microsoft sang a very different tune in 1991. In a memo to his senior executives, Bill Gates wrote, “If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today’s ideas were invented, and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete standstill today.” Mr. Gates worried that “some large company will patent some obvious thing” and use the patent to “take as much of our profits as they want.”

Of course, Microsoft’s stance on patents has changed completely when it become “some large company”. Not only does it try to punish, but it gets punished as well. This demonstrates the serious problems which are too inherent and deeply integrated into the current patent system.

Mark Shuttleworth Interview Coming, Request for Questions from Our Readers

Posted in Interview, Site News, Ubuntu at 7:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Dear readers,

As you may be aware, Ubuntu’s founder was among the first prominent figures to denounce the predatory deal with Novell and later on criticise Microsoft’s pursuit for further deals with other Linux distributors. This influenced my personal decision to move from SuSE to Ubuntu GNU/Linux.

I have just gotten a (vitual) handshake which promises an interview with Mr. Shuttleworth. We would like to ask our readers for input and collect some of our readers’ questions. Our intent is to focus on exclusionary deals and the integrity of Free software although any ‘lighter’ questions would be very suitable as well. Our controversial domain name aside, I worry that my direct questions intimidated Gunther Deschner (of Samba), who was willing to do an interview with us after his departure from Novell.

Please help us make this interview a comfortable one for Mr. Shuttleworth.

Thank you in advance for your participation. Remember that it is a community site which we hope to make more reader-driven, not editor-driven.

06.26.07

It’s a Fine Day for Free Software (Updated)

Posted in Dell, FSF, GNU/Linux, GPL, HP, Windows at 9:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

There is some encouraging news for GNU/Linux. Dell has expressed satisfaction with its Linux sales and decided to expand its Linux intitiative to new models. Meanwhile, Hewlett-Packard says that it hopes to offer preinstalled Linux on personal computers within a few weeks or months. The distribution of choice is unaffected by Microsoft deals (or ‘tax’).

Come Friday, the GPLv3 will be finalised and released. Novell, Microsoft, and the Linux Foundation declined to comment until everything is sealed, but the following article offers some encouraging perspectives.

“GPL version 3 does clean up a lot of things about the GPL that were sort of implicit in previous and become much more explicit here,” such as how the GPL interacts with other licenses, Spencer said.

Sun has expressed the possibility of offering its Solaris OS under the GPL 3. The Linux kernel has been offered under the GPL previously.

Richard Stallman seems to have just published an essay that reminds us why Freedom in software is so important. It is definitely worth quoting.

Many of us know that governments can threaten the human rights of software users through censorship and surveillance of the Internet. Many do not realize that the software they run on their home or work computers can be an even worse threat. Thinking of software as “just a tool”, they suppose that it obeys them, when in fact it often obeys others instead.

The software running in most computers is non-free, proprietary software: controlled by software companies, not by its users. Users can’t check what these programs do, nor prevent them from doing what they don’t want. Most people accept this because they have seen no other way, but it is simply wrong to give developers power over the users’ computer.

This unjust power, as usual, tempts its wielders to further misdeeds. If a computer talks to a network, and you don’t control the software in it, it can easily spy on you. Microsoft Windows spies on users; for instance, it reports what words a user searches for in her own files, and what other programs are installed.

Update: more good news has just come in. Another big name (this time it’s Epson) has begun preinstalling GNU/Linux on PCs

Just a Few Days Away from Microsoft Independence

Posted in Deals, GNU/Linux, GPL, Patents, SCO at 8:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

With just a couple of days left for predatory deals to be made, there is no major news to report or repeat. It all seems eerily peaceful and much to our relief, there have been no sudden storms.

There is little or no buzz around IP FUD in media, so there are no opportunities to rebut either. You might find the following thoughts on the GPL interesting, but be aware that they come from a GPLv3 doubter. These notes summarise and break apart the most recent developments.

If you’re thinking about attacking open source code, you might think twice before attacking this customer. The U.S. Navy has adopted a policy of requiring that open source code be considered in every software acquisition that the Navy makes, in an order signed by Navy CIO Robert J. Carey on June 5.

This certainly did not work so well for SCO, but quite surprisingly they nailed a large contract yesterday.

« Previous Page« Previous entries « Previous Page · Next Page » Next entries »Next Page »

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 Channels: Come and chat with us in real time

New to This Site? Here Are Some Introductory Resources

No

Mono

ODF

Samba logo






We support

End software patents

GPLv3

GNU project

BLAG

EFF bloggers

Comcast is Blocktastic? SavetheInternet.com



Recent Posts