10.28.07

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Might Europe Reverse Accidental Discrimination Against Samba?

Posted in Europe, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents, Protocol, Samba, Standard, Videos at 2:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

In order of relevance, see our previous coverage of reasons why the recent agreement in Europe is bad news for Free software [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11]. The agreement, of course, may be good as a whole, but given Europe’s win in this case, allowing somewhat of a defeat to be tolerated would be foolish.

Fortunately, it turns out that the European Commission has opened up its eyes to the issue. There is finally a Web page available to indicate this.

The changes mandated by the European Commission in Microsoft’s interoperability licences will continue to block Open Source developers, legal experts on this type of software say.

“The agreement is going to run foul of the GPL,” IT news site VNUNet quotes Mark Webbink, the director of the Software Freedom Law Center. The GNU General Public License is one of the most used Open Source licences.

Mind the source of this page (ec.europa.eu). Mark Webbink is used as a point of authority. As a reminder, the key issue here is patents because Microsoft strives to collect royalties merely for access to its protocols. This type of strategy pressures Samba and its users, who are naturally ‘allergic’ to software patents. Here is what Mark Webbink said about patents very recently.

Slashdot speaks about the deafening silence coming from the direction of those who once demanded a patent reform. They vowed to fight for a reform. Instead, nowadays, one of them in actually abusing the poor system and using it to his advantage.

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6 Comments

  1. SubSonica said,

    October 28, 2007 at 9:27 am

    Gravatar

    Please note that this is not an official point of view of the EC:

    “The views expressed are not an official position of the European
    Commission.”

    It’s just a kind of overview of the news in the press.

    So, while it is a positive development, lets not be over optimistic here: It is stll needed a clear correction of the conditions of the agreement imposed by the EU competition comission and it sohuld be reviewed first by the judges of the anti-trust case.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 28, 2007 at 9:48 am

    Gravatar

    True. It is nice to know, however, that it was successfully brought to the EC’s attention. I put a question mark in the title because it’s an expression of hope.

    I’ll be interviewing Jeremy Allison this week, but sadly it will be published in another Web site, which is perceived as less controversial (blunt and strong opinions).

  3. Dougman said,

    October 28, 2007 at 12:07 pm

    Gravatar

    Nice video…. thanks for sharing.

  4. Jim Powers said,

    October 28, 2007 at 7:11 pm

    Gravatar

    Roy: This site is not controversial, IMHO, it is refreshing, and revealing. Thanks for all your hard work! I find opendotdotdot.blogspot.com an excellent companion to this site.

    The conspiracy (mostly Microsoft lead, of course) against FLOSS is getting more and more sophisticated. Unfortunately, telling the story of how this conspiracy is being executed and how it will effect people is getting harder and harder.

    Unfortunately, the general public seems at best ambivalent to what is happening. I try (and continue to try) my best to educate people and help them understand FLOSS and why their decisions matter and how they can influence their vendors to be constructive to them and the general market, but the “message” is complicated.

    The content of this site goes a long way to help keep the issues clear. Thanks again.

  5. Eric Gearhart said,

    October 29, 2007 at 8:52 am

    Gravatar

    Roy: I know I have posted to some of your articles in a tone that sounds like I am being defensive. I apologize for that… but don’t you think that the tone this site takes is a little over the top? I think you would reach more people and get them to try to really dig into what Microsoft was doing if you weren’t as vehement in your posts. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar as the saying goes, and conversely you scare people off by screaming “Microsoft is evil” at the top of your lungs….

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 29, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    Gravatar

    Eric,

    Thanks for clarifying this. I think that the phrase ‘screaming “Microsoft is evil”’ is an exaggeration. I attempt to explain what is happening as I observe things. If someone bribes a person, I will call it what it is — “bribery”. If someone intends to destroy a competitor, there is no need to deny this either. There is just a need for compelling evidence to support this claim, which hopefully I provide.

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