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03.04.08

Microsoft Uses Pressure, Lawmakers, Precedence (Novell) to ‘Illegalise’ Free Linux

Posted in DRM, Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 12:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Maginalisation using law, not technical merits

onsider this a gentle reminder of the great damage Novell has been doing to Free software because of its relationship with Microsoft. Digital Majority’s pick from this interview addresses a key issue:

Those who were successful using legacy methods [e.g. Microsoft] are not being phased out without a fight. Rather than trying to claim publicly that FLOSS is “a Cancer”, they have now set their sights largely at policy makers. The push has been to confuse governments around things such as DRM and software patents. These are policies which have nothing to do with protecting innovation and creativity, and everything to do with protecting incumbent software manufacturing vendors from FLOSS competitors.

In case you want some concrete examples, consider what has happened in Europe (including blackmail by Bill Gates in Denmark, for software patents). Also appended below are some older stories that are worth keeping in mind:

1. DRM – a big win for Microsoft

Recently I came to conclusion that Microsoft is the company, which profits most from the Digital Rights Management. I don’t know the numbers, but I guess that DRM is little or no success for the recording industry. To say it stopped pirating films and music would be a joke.

Microsoft people must have known that the protection would be broken very soon. So why they are implementing it after all?

2. Bill Gates Downloads Copyright

A source that deals with the company said unofficially that Gates proposed Microsoft’s Digital Rights Management technology as a national standard to fight piracy at the governmental level.

3. Microsoft Tells Apple To Stop Complaining About DRM

4. Years of deadlock on EU patent bring some new thinking

When Bill Gates visits Brussels on Thursday to speak with government officials, software developers and customers, he plans to wade into one of Europe’s longest-running, most fruitless debates: the pursuit of a unified patent system. Gates, chairman of Microsoft, wants a simple system that will allow the world’s largest software maker and other companies to protect their intellectual property in the European Union – and profit from licensing their patents.

5. Leaked letter warns of open source ‘threat to eco-system’

leaked letter to the European Commission has revealed the extent of lobbying by proprietary software groups to prevent the widespread adoption of open-source software.

Sent in response to a recent report on the role of open-source software in the European economy, Microsoft-funded pressure group, the Initiative for Software Choice (ISC) warned of potentially dire effects if too much encouragement was given to open source software development.

It has been more than clear over the past year that Microsoft uses Novell as justification for software patent payments. It can pressure lawmakers and other companies using the ‘\Novell card’. By refusing to accept Novell (alienation), this message from Microsoft can be suppressed.

BSoD for Novell

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