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03.28.08

Microsoft’s OSBC As a Showcase of Battles Against GNU/Linux

Posted in Courtroom, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, Patents, Red Hat, SUN at 5:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Whose conference is it anyway?

As we showed a few hours ago, Microsoft puts a tremendous amount of weight behind OSBC, so its presence there is not surprising. It’s probably even a prerequisite, making it mandatory. In other words, it’s a good platform for Microsoft to present its own views on ‘open source’ and speak face-to-face with its rivals, whom it want to befriend for defection of will or submission to will.

Over at Digital Majority, a short item was published to show how Microsoft’s case at OSBC was yet another gentle demand for software patent royalties. It hasn’t been long since the last time (video).

Brad Smith continues its FUD spreading, wants to tax RedHat. The only solution for Microsoft to tax linux is software patents. Microsoft wants to render GPL free software non-free. The message is clear.

[...]

Microsoft needs to be sued more often, because in their current position they still believe too much in a patent system where no software developer has ever used a patent to write a computer program.

Matt Asay is talking about Microsoft’s attempt to pollute FOSS with software patent — a task for which Microsoft has already recruited 4 Linux vendors including Novell.

To work within the open-source community, which Microsoft will absolutely have to do if it wants to remain relevant in the 21st century of the Web, Microsoft must stop polluting the downstream with patent encumbrances. Period. Full stop. Microsoft is not alone in being threatened by open source. Everyone is to a greater or lesser extent, including open-source companies. MySQL’s biggest competitor is not Oracle. It is fee-free use of MySQL. Ditto for other open-source companies.

Matt mentions MySQL, which was acquired. It ought to be added yet again that Sun Microsystems’ ambivalent view on software patents does not help all that much. Watch the language in the following news report about Sun’s counter-strike against NetApp:

But perhaps the harshest accusation Sun leveled against NetApp in its latest filing came in the opening paragraph of the suit. Chiding NetApp for only spending about $390 million on research and development last year and for holding “only approximately 200″ patents, Sun declared: “Indeed, rather than innovate, NetApp builds on the innovation of others” and “NetApp … uses extensive amounts of open source code developed by others, without contributing any innovation of its own.”

“Innovation this” and “innovation that”. Sun, are you listening to yourself at all? Are you still pursuing Free software companies with a stance like this which blames and accuses all by the giants for ‘stealing’ ideas?

Patents != Innovation. For a summary (a list links) of the Sun-NetApp case, start here. Sun should really address the problem at the core, not by embracing what it considers defensive software patents. Not everyone can buy patents, especially not Free software developers. It’s wasteful.

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