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03.13.08

SFLC: No Microsoft Tax for Us, Thank You Very Much….

Posted in Apple, Deception, Free/Libre Software, FSF, GNU/Linux, GPL, Interoperability, Marketing, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patent Covenant, Patents at 12:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Many affected companies and organisations have already responded to Microsoft’s ‘kind’ taxoperability offer and their angle was similar. The same goes for OOXML’s ‘kind’ promise, which ‘coincidentally’ or ‘accidentally’ excludes Microsoft's #1 threat. The SFLC finally steps up and articulates the problem in a formal announcement.

There has been much discussion in the free software community and in the press about the inadequacy of Microsoft’s Office Open XML (OOXML) as a standard, including good analysis of some of the shortcomings of Microsoft’s Open Specification Promise (OSP), a promise that is supposed to protect projects from patent risk. Nonetheless, following the close of the ISO-BRM meeting in Geneva, SFLC’s clients and colleagues have continued to express uncertainty as to whether the OSP would adequately apply to implementations licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). In response to these requests for clarification, we publicly conclude that the OSP provides no assurance to GPL developers and that it is unsafe to rely upon the OSP for any free software implementation, whether under the GPL or another free software license.

“The whole thing is orchestrated as to deceive as much as possible, earning Microsoft trust while promising the least possible.”Of course, by this stage (time of the response to the announcements), the press had already been ‘poisoned’ by various articles which praise Microsoft for ‘openness’ and fair play. This type of publicity stunt, which includes previous promises of a “big announcement” to come, are no coincidence. The whole thing is orchestrated as to deceive as much as possible, earning Microsoft trust while promising the least possible.

It becomes very clear that Microsoft, which would be in debt if it acquired Yahoo], resorts to the only weapon it has left and available — software patents. Only hours ago we showed how vile this whole arena of software suits had become. Here comes another brand-new report about Apple getting sued by a patent troll.

Apple sued over iTunes technology

[...]

Atlanta-based ZapMedia Services Inc. sued Apple in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, accusing the Cupertino-based company of violating two ZapMedia patents.

It is time to step up and:

  1. Fight software patents
  2. Call Microsoft’s ‘promises’ what they are. They are patent poison pills.

Other urgent matters might be the eradication of time bombs Microsoft and Novell are happily planting while taking cover in an undergroud shelter (patent deal). For all it seems, Novell and Microsoft are working together against common rivals and this happens to include all Linux vendors other than Novell. How long before this jilted Microsoft partner (Novell’s own description of the relationship, as seen also here and elaborated on here) truly just becomes Microsoft’s ‘Linux department’? It’s already taking orders from Redmond.

Novell and Microsoft piss on GNU/Linux codebase

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