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06.23.08

Red Hat’s CEO Never Talked to Microsoft About Software Patents

Posted in America, Europe, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Law, Microsoft, Patents, Red Hat at 8:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Since the very beginning of this affair. we have been slightly concerned about Red Hat's appointment of a new CEO. Fortunately, Jim Whitehurst understands the issues at play. He also addressed the key question before.

GNOME WMVThe news is not about his disdain for Microsoft's intimidation, but it’s actually in the fact that he never communicated these matters, unlike his predecessor, Matthew Szulik. Here is a portion from a new interview.

Does the patent settlement you announced recently [with FireStar Software] that is consistent with the GPL mean that you are in a better position to be able to settle your patent dispute with Microsoft?

[Jim Whitehurst:] The problem is that we don’t know what the Microsoft [patent threat] is. They have said in the past that 235 patents [are infringed by Linux] and we have yet to see what any of them are. Conceptually, it should be possible but, again, we don’t know what we are talking about there.

When was the last time you spoke to Microsoft regarding patents?

[Jim Whitehurst:] I am sure, as a company, we have an ongoing dialogue on a lot of things. I have had dialogue at a senior level, but it has been more on how we can work better on interoperability for customers; I haven’t had any direct conversations around the patent issue.

Elimination of software patents seems ever more crucial. For the time being, Digital Majority makes an urgent call for American people to oppose software patents in Europe (via so-called 'harmonisation' back door).

Tell The United States Patent and Trademark Office that software and business method patents should not be part of the EU-US patent treaty.

Fight against software patents. They are an insult to science and competition [1, 2].

“People are trying to cause a rift in the open source community. I see people using words like “zealots” for disagreeing with proprietary technologies. This is the same mentality the neo-cons use when you criticize American government. You are “unpatriotic,” “extremist” or “terrorist sympathizer.” It’s a disgusting form of ad hominem argument.”

Source

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