From Red Herring:
Few, if any, companies can hold all the pieces of R&D in their own hands,” he said. “The days of go-it-alone R&D labs are over.”…
Likewise, contrary to the “myth” that Microsoft uses patents to bludgeon competitors, Mr. Phelps, deputy general counsel for intellectual property, said the company is seeking to use intellectual property to form alliances….
Though licensing accounts for only .0025 percent of the company’s annual revenue, “as a vehicle for cooperation with other firms, it’s worth its weight in gold.”
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The big news at the moment are not exactly news. Red Hat is taking interoperability with Microsoft, but patents are definitely not part of this spiel. To quote:
Patent agreements, however, won’t be on the table, as far as Red Hat is concerned.
Red Hat wants interoperability. It said so a long time ago. It will not involve any acknowledgment of patent infringements and it probably won’t (mustn’t) touch on anything that helps Microsoft’s fight against OpenDocument format. We shall see.
Afterthought/update: Remember that Red Hat understands how Free software works. Unlike Linspire and Xandros, which lost access to GPLv3-licensed code, Red Har understands what it happening. The FSF has just prevented Linux companies from making patent deals. It does not pay off. Novell benefits from an exemption because its deal predates March 28th (owing to the grandfather clause, I think, but IANAL). It was a one-of-a-kind deal (and probably also the last one of this type). Something tells me that the media will blow things out of proportion tomorrow.
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Last month we mentioned the “Show Us the Code” project, which returned to the limelight in the form of a video. The blog has been fairly dormant, but that project seemed supportive towards our causes.
It has just come to my attention that the founder’s job had come under threat simply because he demanded the truth. His freedom of speech is jeopardy. Have a look:
The following day at the place of my employment though was an odd one. My manager called me into a closed door meeting between myself and him. His managers and in fact the CIO of the company I was employed at had it brought to their attention that I had an “anti-microsoft” site. It was also brought to my attention the Fortune 1000 company I worked for was a direct partner with Microsoft.
THE LONG ARM OF THE Vole [Microsoft] silenced a popular “Show Us the Code” campaign started by a blogger.
This sounds like Groklaw-type harassments. Watch this space as I shall be posting updates to this item.
Update: I have had the chance to read and study the details more carefully. It’s easier to digest now. This story and its consequences may not be as severe as it initially sounded.
One of the more recent items on this topic can be found here. It refers to early attempts to discourage and intercept bloggers who are after the truth (not slander). Having been involved in Groklaw for over a year (mainly behind the scenes), I am disgusted to see how multi-mil/billion-dollar companies are allowed to engage in such unethical behaviour. Provided that a person expresses his/her modest opinions outside working hours, it is a simply case where freedom of speech sees daylight. Suppression of criticism should not be tolerated because it undermines the foundation of a democratic and free society. If this Web site ever comes under similar pressure, then we truly hope that our readers will offer their support.
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I would like to abstain from using the term “The Big Lie”, which is a propaganda technique that’s usually associated with the Nazis. So, let’s just say that Microsoft adopts the “newspeak” technique, as the news article (quoted below) calls it.
Congratulations, Microsoft; you’ve got everyone believing the big lie that Open XML is an open standard.
One of the most chilling concepts of George Orwell’s novel “1984 is “Newspeak.” In Newspeak, the language is constantly being cropped of words that might lead to “thoughtcrimes.” If you control the language, the logic goes, you control what people think.
Microsoft is doing exactly this with its “Open XML.” It’s meant to remind you of open source—a term which is now fighting to maintain its integrity—and, in particular, of open standards.
You might already be aware of the OSI‘s tiffs with companies that ‘corrupt’ the meaning of the term “Open Source”. This is very recent news. Microsoft does the same thing to “Open Source”. Sometimes the press calls Shared Source-licensed software “Open Source” instead. Sometimes you see the most unbelievable of things. “Look but don’t touch” licenses are suddenly being thrown onto the same pile as Free (as in “freedom”) software. This is done intentionally by those who are threatened by legitimate open source software. It changes perception and it helps in sustaining the lie that some rigid and restricted software is actually what OSI calls “Open Source”. It ‘dilutes’ the term and eliminates the distinguishing factor (added value).
The openness of OOXML, however, is not the only lie to be considered. Patents are another. Recall what Linus Torvalds said in an interview that got published over the weekend. Patents violations in Linux are a lie as well. If the press repeats it again and again (dramatic licence and obedience to the advertiser play a role too), then people begin to believe whatever message is most paid for. They absorb disinformation.
Another new article uses a lie as its headline, which is disappointing. The headline states, ““Microsoft patent deals are about sharing says Microsoft”.
Call Microsoft crazy, call them greedy, or call them evil there is one thing you can say. With Phelps onboard as deputy council for Microsoft, they know patents. Phelps worked for IBM for over twenty years before coming to Redmond, Washington, based Microsoft to spread panic over patent litigation.
Microsoft talks about “sharing”, but Xandros and Linspire don’t have patents. What do they share? These gaps should be very telling.
The article at least bothers to attribute this statement to Microsoft rather than drop the part about possible bias altogether. But that happens too.
Last week, a lot of sloppy press turned an internal report on Windows Vista’s security into some form of justification for statements such as “Vista more secure than Linux”. The study was invalid, according to independent security experts, but reporters cling onto to the wrong sources and deliver yet another lie — this time about platform security. How about the “Get the Facts” crusade, which sadly enough, we still find in so many Linux sites around the Web? It is again a form of brainwash, a form of propaganda fueled by money and projected through endless repetition.
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