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05.06.08

Microsoft’s Continued Crusade to Make Free Software Not Free

Posted in Asia, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Interoperability, Law, Microsoft, Novell at 2:25 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Intellectual Monopoly Propaganda (IMP) World Tour reaches the Philippines

Steve Ballmer license

Image from Wikimedia

The following snippets from a news article contain propaganda terms such as “piracy” and “IPR”. The article also comes from a publication that typically published pro-Microsoft agenda. The intention here is to show you just how Microsoft overrides local laws and pushes software patents onto those who must not accept them. Mind the use of the word “patents” (never “software patents”), which is never accidental for the same reason that patents are lumped in with 'harder' laws such as trademarks when Microsoft speaks of “intellectual monopoly [sic].”

Despite recent strides made by the government and the private sector in combating piracy, the Philippines remains an intellectual property rights (IPR) hotspot in the region especially in terms of “optical media” and software.

[...]

[Microsoft's] Smith explained the decision to promote software inter-operability does not mean that the company has gone totally soft on the value it places on its proprietary software, on which it spends billions of dollars.

[...]

“But then if open-source software is distributed commercially, for example by a company or used commercially by a company, then we would expect people to think about our patent rights,” Smith said. “And if they need a patent license, they could come and get one from us.”

Aside from the fact that Microsoft is trying to extract money from Free software which it does not own or contributes to (its sole contribution to it being smears and intimidation), Microsoft knows that software patents hold no water in this country, so it’s still trying hard to sell ‘snake oil’ or FUD, just as Novell recently did in China.

“Microsoft knows that software patents hold no water in this country, so it’s still trying hard to sell ‘snake oil’ or FUD, just as Novell recently did in China.”Unfortunately, Microsoft and Novell work together to quietly make the patent systems more universal, harmonised, i.e. assimilated to the broken system in the United States. And that’s just bad news. Groklaw too has commented on the article above. To quote Pamela’s questions in full: “in countries that don’t recognize software patents as being legitimate, like the Philippines, why does Microsoft offer a patent license? Also, note that this is confirmation that the new interoperability deal from Microsoft is only for noncommercial use, which in FOSS means nothing, since it’s pretty much all both noncommercial and commercial. Finally, Microsoft is pushing the concept that without patent protection, there will be no innovation, but Microsoft built its monopoly without patent protection, a fairly new thing in the US. So were they not innovating?

We addressed that last point quite recently. Microsoft wants walled gardens now that it's deep inside, mooching off the entire industry.

To those who believe this whole charade is acceptable, it’s worth reminding and bearing in mind that, as the India Daily pointed out recently, we develop a generation where cyber-slaves in developing countries actually replace programmers in a competitive and truly innovative market. One emperer maintains the exclusive right to develop proprietary (suppressing custom-made) software while an army of exploited technical support people do the rest. This is middle-age-esque tyranny, as opposed to a true capitalistic market. And if you think that’s bad, just watch what Bank of America is currently patenting.

Bank of America seeks to patent abandoning America

Bank of America believes Americans to be overloaded with “a high salary, good benefits, a good work environment, vacation time, and other job-related perks.” For shame!

But have no fear, Bank of America has submitted a patent application that will help companies find places to get work done where such pesky things as nice salaries, good benefits, good work environments, and vacation time are abandoned.

Also in the Financial Times:

Investment banks turn off IT recruitment

The financial crisis is starting to take its toll on the jobs market for IT staff, with investment banks cutting back on recruitment as the credit crunch forces them to reduce costs.

Speaking of other patent evils, watch this RAND-like cunning plan to further abuse the market, courtesy of Nortel.

Nortel has shunned an industry initiative designed to ensure that intellectual property disputes and licensing fees do not hamper the introduction of future mobile technology, but has come out with a licence fee for its own intellectual property that it says is competitive.

Who gets to define “competitive”, which is another propaganda term (turning a negative to a positive), just like “reasonable” or “fair”? This is completely incompatible with Free software and letting mobile communication rely on proprietary technology is akin to charging people for fetching a Web page (paying just one company for imaginary intellect) — something that’s close to being a reality if Novell and Microsoft successfully infect the Web with Silverblight [sic].

“Since when has the world of computer software design been about what people want? This is a simple question of evolution. The day is quickly coming when every knee will bow down to a silicon fist, and you will all beg your binary gods for mercy.”

Bill Gates

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A Single Comment

  1. Logan said,

    May 6, 2008 at 11:08 am

    Gravatar

    Microsoft finally got it! Let those idiots develop their applications for free, then take it from them and sell it. Why pay developers when you can get the same thing for free. R&D costs, what’s that!?

    Microsoft wants to be the World Government of Software, and like any government it wants to tax everything. Game, set and match.

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