EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

08.09.08

Dangerous by Association

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNOME, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft, Windows at 6:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bad company leads to conflicts of interests and liability. This is why Novell, for instance, cannot be trusted anymore. It lives in an untrusted neighbourhood with foreign goals. People’s innate tendency is to be forgiving and let time heal the wounds, yet the business objectives of a company do not necessarily have this notion of mercy and apologism.

Some recent posts [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] have demonstrated why Microsoft must not be dealt with as though it has changed its way. The same goes for Novell. It is rather unfortunate that only a week ago, Microsoft needed to tell its investors how it really feels about Free software.Thist was revealing. It’s funny that companies like IBM and SAP do not share that sentiment. They can live alongside GNU/Linux (they even use it extensively) and it does not usually harm their cash cows.

For Microsoft to state that open source is a risk to their business is perfectly valid. Heck, as an investor, I’d be weary if Microsoft’s MD&A section didn’t say anything about open source as a risk. It’s perfectly valid for Michael to suggest that Microsoft should include a discussion on how they intend to leverage open source.

“Leverage” is the right word.

Free Software Magazine has just concurred with previous analyses of the Apache/Microsoft situation. Unlike the press, which is sometimes just a corporate tool, the writer addresses the real issues at hand.

That recognition perhaps brings us to the kernel (no pun intended) of Microsoft’s motives. It has a vested interest in improving interoperability between PHP and Windows as this would help it reduce the drift of PHP to GNU/Linux platforms. Coughing up $100,000 would be a minuscule price to pay for stopping that drift but it is also an admission than Apache has beaten Microsoft’s IIS (Internet Information Services). Or perhaps it will only be a Pyrrhic victory of sorts. Microsoft are now free to take Apache source code and proceed to amend, tweak or customise it to the point of what Bruce Perens has called “engineered incompatibility” At that point Microsoft could repeat the successful disaster of bundling Internet Explorer with Windows, only this time it would be Apache and with all the attendant broken web standards that tormented web developers—but this time on the server instead of the desktop.

Regarding this article, which opines that Microsoft may be “trying to kill Apache,” Pamela Jones wrote: “In my view, they are trying to kill Linux, so that everything runs on Windows instead, and some who are not Linux will help them.” This is true. It’s not FOSS projects that Microsoft tries to eliminate. It’s that thing at the bottom of the stack, which is incompatible — (by Microsoft’s own design and choice — with Microsoft’s crown jewels at its middle and top layers.

“Microsoft will try to use Apache to its own advantage.”The monopoly worries a lot more about feeding its cash cows by ensuring that FOSS is tightly dependent on pricey proprietary software. As the patent deal with Novell demonstrates, it has a dual effect: It makes FOSS more expensive and scale of deployment dependent on payments to Microsoft (where would Google be without GNU?). This means that proprietary counterparts then seem more affordable and can compete more easily against FOSS, which also becomes a Microsoft revenue stream.

In the case above, it’s only natural to think about Zend. Microsoft will try to use Apache to its own advantage. It wants something in return for the financial help and that something is not just positive publicity, as in a stunt. Speaking of publicity stunts , this post about CompTIA has developed into quite a long conversations. It was mentioned here yesterday and I’ve since then posted some references to back my arguments. The blog’s moderator is not showing them yet. Is he blocking them because they disagree with his assessment? It’s definitely worth seeing the comments.

Another source of influence that boggles the mind may have some effect on GMOME. There are some valid reasons for concern or at least prudence when it comes to OpenLogic (in addition to H-P/Microsoft links) and its place in GNOME [1, 2]. Carla Schroder has just shared another cause for a brow to be raised.

The Pitfalls of Open Source Litigation ran a couple of days ago. It painted a picture of Open Source software as being a minefield of grumpy litigious geeks who want to cash in with fat lawsuits, and no clear guidance for how to stay out of trouble. Oddly, this all seemed to come from a most unlikely source, the director of the Gnome Foundation, Stormy Peters. Even unlikelier, it was from her talk at LinuxWorld, which hardly seems a good venue for spreading misinformation of any kind, let alone old moldy misinformation.

Peters comes from H-P, which believes in the sound bite which is “intellectual property” (as opposed to trademarks, copyrights and patents separately). She also sells services around these things. It would be a shame if GNOME’s leadership carried such messages. It’s almost as though it’s being taken over by its detractors. It’s an issue that we covered it before and last covered yesterday. Now comes this article about Microsoft employees occupying positions at Google.

Microsoft and Google battled over a noncompete clause in 2005, when Google hired Kai-Fu Lee, an expert in speech recognition technology, even though he had signed a noncompete agreement at Microsoft. Google unsuccessfully worked to move the case from Washington to California, in hopes that the noncompete clause would be ruled invalid. The case was eventually settled outside of court.

The California law has been in existence since 1872, forbidding “noncompete clauses” that restrict management employees’ options in their next job or business

There are quite a few people out there whose membership is dangerous by association, due to affiliation. We shalll continue keeping an eye on them in order to better comprehend ‘underground activity’. it’s typically more complex than it seems in the surface.

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Donald Trump Gives New Hope to Patent Aggressors and Patent Trolls

    Pessimism about the prospects of patent progress or patent reform in an age of staunchly pro-business Conservatives and glorification of protectionism



  2. More Fake News About the Unified Patent Court (UPC) Based on Lobbying Tactics From Bristows UPC and the Preparatory Committee

    Unified Patent Court (UPC) lobbying has gotten so bad that it now infiltrates general media outlets, where people are asked to just blindly assume that the UPC is coming and is inevitable, even though it's clearly in a limbo and is unlikely to see the light of day



  3. EPO Totally Silent for a Month, But Deep Inside There Are Serious Cracks

    The situation at the EPO seems to be pretty grim, even at the top-level management, and the EPO has gone into permanent silence mode



  4. Links 16/1/2017: Linux 4.10 RC4, Linux Mint 18.1 'Serena' KDE Edition Beta

    Links for the day



  5. 'Financial Director' Publishes Fake News About the Unitary Patent (UPC)

    Response to some of the latest UPC propaganda, which strives to misinform Financial Directors so as to enrich the author and his firm



  6. Independent and Untainted Web Sites About Patents Are Still Few and Rare

    Commentary about news sources that we rely on, as well as the known pitfalls or the vested interests deeply ingrained in them



  7. The 20% Rule: Patent Trolling Suffers Double-Digit Declines and Patent Troll Technicolor is Collapsing

    Significant demise or total catastrophe for the modus operandi (method) of going after companies with a pile of patents and threats of litigation



  8. US Supreme Court Did Not End Apple's Patent Disputes Over Android (Linux), More Cases Imminent

    An overview of some very recent news regarding the highest court in the United States, which has been dealing with cases that can determine the fate of Free/Open Source software in an age of patent uncertainty and patent thickets surrounding mobility



  9. Links 15/1/2017: Switching From OS X to GNU/Linux, Debian 8.7 Released

    Links for the day



  10. Number of New Patent Cases in the US Fell 25% Last Year, Thanks in Part to the Demise of Software Patent Trolls

    Litigation and prosecutions that rely on patents (failure to resolve disputes, e.g. by sharing ideas, out of court) is down very sharply, in part because firms that make nothing at all (just threaten and/or litigate) have been sinking after much-needed reform



  11. America Invents Act Improved Patent Quality, But Right Wingers Threaten to Make It Worse Again

    The past half a decade saw gradual improvement in assessment of patents in the United States, but there is a growing threat and pressure from the patent microcosm to restore patent maximalism and chaos



  12. PTAB -- Not Deterred by Courts -- Continues to Invalidate a Lot of Software Patents

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) continues to make progress reforming the patent system by eliminating a lot of patents and setting an example (or new standards) for what is patent-eligible after Alice



  13. EPO Abuses Come Under Fire From Politicians in Luxembourg

    Luxembourg is the latest nation in which concerns about the EPO's serious abuses are brought up not only by the media but also by politicians



  14. Constitutionality as a Barrier and Brexit Barriers to UPC Keep the Whole Pipe Dream Deadlocked

    The UPC is still going nowhere fast, but the demise (or death) of the UPC as we know it must not be taken for granted



  15. Links 14/1/2017: Wine 2.0 RC5 and AryaLinux 2017 Released

    Links for the day



  16. Links 13/1/2017: Linux 4.9.3 and Linux 4.4.42

    Links for the day



  17. Brexit Means No UPC (Unified Patent Court)

    Now that Jo Johnson, Boris Johnson's brother, is officially declared the new minister for intellectual property in the UK everything that Lucy Neville-Rolfe wrote is as solid as paper bag on a rainy London day



  18. Patent Trolls and Software Patents: CloudTrade, Patent Practitioners Density, and Via Licensing

    Software patents armament from a British company, charted concentration of the patent microcosm in the United States, and US-leaning patent trolls that prey on China



  19. Patent Maximalism -- Like Copyright Maximalism -- Relies on Misconceptions and Mass Deception

    The latest examples of discussions about patent scope, courtesy of those looking to benefit financially by pushing such monopolies to the max



  20. Software Patents Still Promoted by IBM and Its Lobbyist (and Former Employee) David Kappos, in Defiance of Much-Needed US Patent Reform

    While the corporate media celebrates IBM as though it's some kind of 'champion' for hoarding patents that it then uses to attack companies which actually grow



  21. Brexit/Trump Effect: Patent Systems With Institutional Corruption and Nepotism

    Rumours about Britain's head of patents (and copyrights etc.) being the brother of the Brexit campaigner and Foreign Minister; meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, rumours suggest that the corrupt judge Rader might be the next head of patents in the United States



  22. Links 11/1/2017: X.Org Server 1.19.1, GitHub's Atom 1.13

    Links for the day



  23. The Patent Microcosm is Already Sucking up to Donald Trump in an Effort to Enrich Itself at Everyone's Expense

    Four new examples of patent maximalists embracing/adopting the pseudo-populist slogan to advance their goals of increasing litigation (which they profit from) and undermining PTAB (which made patents great in the quality sense)



  24. Patent Quality in the United States Can Only be Assessed at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) and the Courts

    The travesty of patent offices in the US and China, where the goal or the accomplishment is measured in terms of the number of patents rather than their quality



  25. Gradual Collapse of Microsoft's Extensive (and External) Patent Trolling Operations

    The President of Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC (patent troll) leaves and the founder of Intellectual Ventures, Microsoft's largest peripheral patent troll, joins Sherpa Technology



  26. No End to Battistelli's Witch-hunts Against the Media, Against Staff, and Against Politicians

    Rumours about the fate of people who are (or have been) criticising Battistelli's reign of terror at the EPO



  27. Links 10/1/2017: Synfig 1.2, Kodachi Linux 3.7

    Links for the day



  28. With Help From the US Supreme Court (Key Cases), Patent Trolls Are Going Away

    The demise of patent trolls in the United States, a trend partly attributable to Alice and other Supreme Court decisions, will likely accelerate soon (later this year) as the future of the Eastern District of Texas courts is at stake



  29. Patent Maximalism on Display: Patent Aggressor IBM Celebrated in the Media

    The patent lust at IBM, which is suing if not just shaking down companies using software patents, earns plenty of puff pieces from the corporate media



  30. FFPE-EPO, the EPO Management's Pet/Yellow Union, Helps Union-Busting (Against SUEPO) in Letter to Notorious Vice-President

    In a letter to Elodie Bergot (as CC) and Željko Topić, who faces many criminal investigations, FFPE-EPO ringleaders reveal their allegiance not to EPO staff but to those who perpetually attack the staff


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts