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

02.27.08

Michael Tiemann’s Rebuttal to Torvalds’ Response to Taxoperability

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, OSI at 12:39 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Who ‘gets’ it?

There is a bunch of reports out there about Linus Torvalds cautiously welcoming Microsoft’s Taxoperability Program, but there is the possibility that he misses a broader picture. To repeat a response to Asay from yesterday, consider the following comment from Michael Tiemann, President of the Open Source Initiative (OSI).

In my opinion, anything that Microsoft does that falls short of the published open source minimums is…sub-minimal. Torvalds is happy because his standards are lower–he cares more about himself than his community. But other people have higher standards–we also care about the community at least as much as we care for ourselves.

The words here are a little strong and Tiemann, who is most notably behind “Open Source”, seems to be embracing a Richard Stallman-like (GNU/FSF) stance, caring to ensure that software remains free and secure from software patents.

Torvalds’ view was somewhat surprising because he does in fact worry about software patents. Might he be missing the conditions secretly embedded in the Taxoperability Program (put more bluntly here) which pertain to patents. Moreover, is the OSI beginning to realise what Microsoft intends to do to open source? Watch this new pick from Groklaw:

Patent Pledge for Open Source Developers

07:52PM February 02/26/08, 2008

[PJ: Microsoft has come up with its own proprietary definition, if I may call it that, of Open Source projects. Here it is, found on the new Patent Pledge for Open Source Developers page of its website:

"To benefit from this promise, You must be a natural or legal person participating in the creation of software code for an open source project. An "open source project" is a software development project the resulting source code of which is freely distributed, modified, or copied pursuant to an open source license and is not commercially distributed by its participants. If You engage in the commercial distribution or importation of software derived from an open source project or if You make or use such software outside the scope of creating such software code, You do not benefit from this promise for such distribution or for these other activities."

Blech.] – Microsoft

Gatchev.info adds some personal analysis, calling it a “Divide and Conquer” Promise. [via LinuxToday]

here is a lot of discussion around the new Microsoft premise to offer freely documentation about its protocols and interfaces, and to not sue developers who use it to create code for non-commercial goals, even if they violate Microsoft patents. Some people think that this is done to avoid further pressure from the European Commission. It could be so – but there could be also a different rationale for it.

[...]

I would. Fair is fair… If only it wasn’t for one small detail: this way, they destroy the FOSS essence. Every FOSS license gives you the right to use and distribute the software in any way you like, commercial or not. If you are limited to non-commercial distribution only, this is not freedom anymore. And this is going to damage the positions of FOSS not only among the freedom pundits, but also (and maybe even more) among the ordinary users. That is – to marginalize FOSS.

It is possible that Linus Torvalds has not learned the full extent of Microsoft’s latest announcement. His response to this might be damaging to perception. Neither Red Hat nor the EU cared for Microsoft's promise, so why should the Linux kernel?

Steve Ballmer license

Image from Wikimedia

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

3 Comments

  1. LonelyBoy said,

    February 27, 2008 at 4:34 am

    Gravatar

    –An “open source project” is a software development project the resulting source code of which is freely distributed, modified, or copied pursuant to an open source license and is not commercially distributed by its participants.–

    “freely distributed, modified, or copied” and “is not commercially distributed” How can this be not contradictory?

    None of the approved Open Source Licenses prohibits commercial distribution. Not even Microsoft’s open source licenses.

    So, There isn’t any open source license that can benefit from this “Patent Pledge for Open Source Developers”.

    It’s useless! And I can’t believe anyone, besides Novell and Miguel de Icaza, be stupid enough or irresponsible enough to accept that pledge. Put further restrictions on how can we redistribute invalidates that licenses. Then we see how a open source license is useless, unless it specifically addresses Patents. That’s is why saying Mono/Moonlight is open source is meaningless. If we have to seek patent protection from a specific company (a third company) to use and distribute, then the Freedoms that license provides us don’t mean anything. That’s why GPL3 is so important!

    Ask yourself, why is that none of Mono/Moonlight software is release as GPL3. Why is that the core Mono software is released as MIT license? Why is so little C# open source based software is released as GPL?

    Why is that Icaza is so ambiguous about licensing matters surrounding Mono/Moonlight? Saying that the software is “Free Software” and at the same time saying that people wanting to use and distribute it should either/or get it from Novell or get a patent protection from Microsoft? Perhaps he should called “Fee Software”.

    Why is that Icaza says one the advantages of Moonlight/Silverlight over Flash is that is Open Source and then to use it we have get the CODECs from Microsoft? Video without the CODECs to play it is useless. So what’s the point? Is there really any improvement over Flash?

    Microsoft is reframing what is and what is not “Free Software”/”Open Source” and Miguel de Icaza and his followers (someone compares this to a religion; I’m starting to see it that way too) is helping them achieve that. It’s disgraceful.

    What is the point of having something called Open Source if we don’t have any of the Freedoms associated with that?

    Food for thought.

    Thank you.

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 27, 2008 at 4:56 am

    Gravatar

    I had a chuckle at “Fee software”. Mind if I borrow the term?

  3. LonelyBoy said,

    February 27, 2008 at 5:17 am

    Gravatar

    Go ahead.

What Else is New


  1. The Quality of Patents is Connected to the Quality of Life of Patent Examiners

    EPO staff is not happy (a new President has not changed things) and the problems associated with low quality of patents become more visible in courtrooms



  2. American Patent Courts Keep Narrowing Patent Scope, No Matter What Few Politicians Are Doing on Behalf of Litigation Firms and Patent Trolls

    Acts of desperation in the patent microcosm of the United States, where judges now overwhelmingly reject software patents at all levels (tribunals, lower courts, higher courts)



  3. Links 25/4/2019: Rancher Labs Releases Slim OS, OpenBSD 6.5 is Ready

    Links for the day



  4. Links 24/4/2019: Chrome 74, QEMU 4.0 Released

    Links for the day



  5. Supreme Court of the UK, Which Habitually Throws Out European Patents, May Overturn Troublesome Unwired Planet v Huawei Decision

    A lot of European Patents are facing growing scrutiny from courts (Team UPC, including Bristows, publicly complains about it this month) and "greenwashing" of the Office won't be enough to paint/frame these patents as "ethical"



  6. German Federal Patent Court Curbs the Patent Maximalism of the EPO, Which Promotes Patents on Nature and/or Maths Every Single Day

    European courts are restraining the EPO, which has been trying to bypass or replace such courts (with the UPC); it certainly seems as though European Patents rapidly lose their legitimacy or much-needed presumption of validity



  7. Any 'Linux' Foundation Needs to Be Managed by Geeks, Not Politicians and PR People

    Linux bureaucracy has put profits way ahead of technical merits and this poses a growing threat or constitutes risk to the direction of the project, not to mention its ownership



  8. Links 23/4/2019: Kodi 'Leia' 18.2 and DeX Everywhere

    Links for the day



  9. Code of Coercion

    Entryism is visible for all to see, but pointing it out is becoming a risky gambit because of the "be nice!" (or "be polite!") crowd, which shields the perpetrators of a slow and gradual corporate takeover



  10. António Campinos Would Not Refer to the EPO's Enlarged Board of Appeal If He Did Not Control the Outcomes

    António Campinos and his ilk aren’t interested in patent quality because his former ‘boss’, who publicly denied there were issues and vainly rejected patent quality concerns as illegitimate, is now controlled by him (reversal of roles) and many new appointees at the top are "yes men" (or women) of Campinos, former colleagues whom he bossed at EUIPO (as expected)



  11. Links 22/4/2019: Linux 5.1 RC6, New Release of Netrunner and End of Scientific Linux

    Links for the day



  12. USPTO and EPO Both Slammed for Abandoning Patent Quality and Violating the Law/Caselaw in Order to Grant Illegitimate Patents on Life/Nature and Mathematics

    Mr. Iancu, the ‘American Battistelli’ (appointed owing to nepotism), mirrors the ‘Battistelli operandi’, which boils down to treating judges like they’re stooges and justices like an ignorable nuisance — all this in the name of litigation profits, which necessitate constant wars over illegitimate patents (it is expensive to prove their illegitimacy)



  13. IRC Proceedings: January 27th, 2019 – March 24th, 2019

    Many IRC logs



  14. IRC Proceedings: December 2nd, 2018 – January 26th, 2019

    Many IRC logs



  15. Links 21/4/2019: SuperTuxKart's 1.0 Release, Sam Hartman Is Debian’s Newest Project Leader (DPL)

    Links for the day



  16. The EPO's Use of Phrases Like “High-Quality Patent Services” Means They Know High-Quality European Patents Are 'Bygones'

    The EPO does a really poor job hiding the fact that its last remaining objective is to grant as many European Patents as possible (and as fast as possible), conveniently conflating quality with pace



  17. A Reader's Suggestion: Directions for Techrights

    Guest post by figosdev



  18. Links 20/4/2019: Weblate 3.6 and Pop!_OS 19.04

    Links for the day



  19. The Likes of Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA), Team Campinos and Team UPC Don't Represent Europe But Hurt Europe

    The abject disinterest in patent quality and patent validity (as judged by courts) threatens Europe but not to the detriment of those who are in the 'business' of suing and printing lots of worthless patents



  20. The Linux Foundation Needs to Change Course Before GNU/Linux (as a Free Operating System) is Dead

    The issues associated with the Linux Foundation are not entirely new; but Linux now incorporates so many restrictions and contains so many binary blobs that one begins to wonder what "Linux" even means



  21. Largest Patent Offices Try to Leave Courts in a State of Disarray to Enable the Granting of Fake Patents in the US and Europe

    Like a monarchy that effectively runs all branches of government the management of the EPO is trying to work around the judiciary; the same is increasingly happening (or at least attempted) in the United States



  22. Links 19/4/2019: PyPy 7.1.1, LabPlot 2.6, Kipi Plugins 5.9.1 Released

    Links for the day



  23. Links 18/4/2019: Ubuntu and Derivatives Have Releases, digiKam 6.1.0, OpenSSH 8.0 and LibreOffice 6.2.3

    Links for the day



  24. Freedom is Not a Business and Those Who Make 'Business' by Giving it Away Deserve Naming

    Free software is being parceled and sold to private monopolisers; those who facilitate the process enrich themselves and pose a growing threat to freedom in general — a subject we intend to tackle in the near future



  25. Concluding the Linux Foundation (LF) “Putting the CON in Conference!” (Part 3)

    Conferences constructed or put together based on payments rather than merit pose a risk to the freedom of free software; we conclude our series about events set up by the largest of culprits, which profits from this erosion of freedom



  26. “Mention the War” (of Microsoft Against GNU/Linux)

    The GNU/Linux desktop (or laptops) seems to be languishing or deteriorating, making way for proprietary takeover in the form of Vista 10 and Chrome OS and “web apps” (surveillance); nobody seems too bothered — certainly not the Linux Foundation — by the fact that GNU/Linux itself is being relegated or demoted to a mere “app” on these surveillance platforms (WSL, Croûton and so on)



  27. The European Patent Office Does Not Care About the Law, Today's Management Constantly Attempts to Bypass the Law

    Many EPs (European Patents) are actually "IPs" (invalid patents); the EPO doesn't seem to care and it is again paying for corrupt scholars to toe the party line



  28. The US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Once Again Pours Cold Water on Patent Maximalists

    Any hopes of a rebound or turnaround have just been shattered because a bizarre attack on the appeal process (misusing tribal immunity) fell on deaf ears and software patents definitely don't interest the highest court, which already deemed them invalid half a decade ago



  29. Links 17/4/2019: Qt 5.12.3 Released, Ola Bini Arrested (Political Stunts)

    Links for the day



  30. Links 16/4/2019: CentOS Turns 15, Qt Creator 4.9.0 Released

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

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 Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts