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10.09.08

BoycottNovell Goes Shopping for Mono Patent ‘Protection’

Posted in Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Patents at 8:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Readers or users who don’t trust Mono should ask for a patent licence from Microsoft. Yes, Microsoft does, for a verifiable fact, have a department dedicated specifically to that type of stuff. We made a start by asking for our protection as we might wish to install the GNOME desktop environment in the future and it’s already extremely hard to get it preinstalled without Mono these days. Here is the message we sent last night.

From: Roy Schestowitz
To: iplg at microsoft.com
Date: Wed, Oct 8, 2008
Subject: Request for a written license for ECMA 376 implementation

Dear Microsoft Licensing,

I would be interested to receive a licence for commercial distribution
of Mono, in accordance with your terms presented by Bob Muglia:
http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,2060750,00.asp

“There is a substantive effort in open source to bring such an
implementation of .Net to market, known as Mono and being driven by
Novell, and one of the attributes of the agreement we made with Novell
is that the intellectual property associated with that is available to
Novell customers.”

According to several legal analyses, Mono is not safe for those who are
not Novell customers to use. I would therefore like to purchase a licence.

Best regards,

Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft replied to the request very promptly. Here is the reply:

This is the Postfix program at host mail175-wa4-R.bigfish.com.

I’m sorry to have to inform you that your message could not
be delivered to one or more recipients. It’s attached below.

For further assistance, please send mail to <postmaster>

If you do so, please include this problem report. You can
delete your own text from the attached returned message.

The Postfix program

<iplg@microsoft.com>: host
winse-6216-mail1.customer.frontbridge.com[205.248.106.64] said: 550 5.7.1
<Your e-mail was rejected by an anti-spam content filter on gateway
(205.248.106.64). Reasons for rejection may be: obscene language, graphics,
or spam-like characteristics. Removing these may let the e-mail through the
filter.> (in reply to end of DATA command)

[...]

That’s some great service. Very helpful.

We’ve resent it from a different PC and a separate account to get past those dodgy filters. It has not bounced this time time around and we shall report back soon.

We have fallbacks too.

  • If we do not receive an answer within 10 days, we shall resend the E-mail.
  • If no news arrives after 30 days, we shall send or recommend a letter to Microsoft UK.
  • If no news from Microsoft is coming after 60 days, we shall send them a polite letter saying that we are going to complain in court.

Threats are cheap. Microsoft knows this.

Additionally, we have direct access to a Microsoft licensing guy, so we will pursue this as far as necessary.

For those who have missed it, ComputerWorld finally explains why Mono is a patent risk and a potential trap. Specifically, it distinguishes between Mono and a project like Samba — a favourite example that Mono enthusiasts like to use in their defence.

Samba grew out of a classic hacker’s itch. Its creator, Andrew Tridgell, wanted to connect his PC to a departmental Sun machine, and knocked up a bit of server code for the latter to make that possible. It was only later that he discovered – to his amazement – that his program also worked with PCs running Windows.

This meant that Samba, running on GNU/Linux, could function as a file and printer server for Windows users, which was why it became one of the first free software programs to find its way into enterprises, since it was effectively a drop-in replacement for more expensive Windows-based solutions. In other words, Samba is a free implementation of some protocols used by Windows, and was created so that free code could be used instead of Microsoft’s.

Now consider Mono. Like Samba, it aims to reproduce functionality available on the Windows platform, so that people can use free software instead: a laudable goal in itself. But the end-result, which depends on Microsoft’s work, is something that encourages developers to write *yet more* code that uses Microsoft’s approach. In benighted countries where software can be patented, this means that any patents that Microsoft has in the .NET framework are like to apply to any code developed with Mono. Like an infectious disease, the intellectual monopoly is spread wider.

[...]

This is what makes Mono so dangerous: developers that use this framework are, in fact, helping to disperse the poison of Microsoft’s intellectual monopolies across the free software ecosystem. I’m sure that’s not the aim of the Mono developers, who doubtless have the best of intentions, but sadly it is the inevitable result. And that is why developers and users need to be warned off Mono in a way that is not necessary for Samba.

Mono advocates (who are sometimes Novell employees) just ‘perfume’ it to themselves that all is well while attacking those who say the truth. We’ve seen prompt attacks on anyone who ‘dares’ to question Novell’s Mono. Some of these attacks seem to come from Microsoft employees, who are also seen openly lobbying for Mono in the mainstream press. Don’t believe the lies about Microsoft feeling concerned about Mono. Miguel de Icaza is singing this fairly tale, but evidence actually contradicts it. It’s posturing.

Mono is not a threat to Microsoft. It helps Microsoft. By association, it harms GNU/Linux, which Microsoft calls its #1 rival and actively attacks all the time (usually it’s less visible). So, Novell has people still adopt Microsoft technologies? Not bad for a company that openly threatens and says that it wants to claim money from Free software projects for patents it won’t disclose. Where does the trust come from?

Only a Microsoft enthusiast can refuse so stubbornly to see the problem with Mono and never admit that it’s selfish — for him, for Novell, and for .NET (Windows) developers who want to go cross-platform. Here is another new interview with Miguel de Icaza.

Q4. After Mono 2.0 was announced on Monday, I saw speculation in several Linux discussion sites that Mono is somehow a ‘trojan horse’ that, along with Novell’s alliance with Microsoft, will somehow give Microsoft patent leverage over the Linux desktop. Would you care to respond?

A4.[Pauses] I’m surprised people were able to figure out our evil plot.

(Attendant Novell press relations rep interjects: “He’s kidding! He’s kidding!!”)

The position of the Mono project has always been that we believe .Net includes a lot of innovation along with a good mix of well-known technology. So, if people found a patent infringement, we would take it out. If there’s prior art, though, the patent is invalid. This is the way it is done in the open source world. A good example is Freetype. They discovered that they could not use a byte code interpreter for fonts, so they invented a different approach.

If there is no known in infringement, why is Novell buying a licence (‘protection’) for its paying customers? They always dance around this question.

In a new interview with another Mono person (Joseph Hill), the following question comes up.

Sean: There is a certain amount of skepticism about Microsoft in the open source community; people are always wondering what they are “really up to.” I would imagine that people must ask you fairly frequently why they would develop under Mono for Linux, instead of using Java or Python or PHP.

It must not be neglected that Joseph Hill is — you’ve guessed it — also a Novell employee, just like Jeff Steadfast and other seemingly-independent fans of Mono [Correction: according to the discussion at the bottom, the affiliations are all obvious and publicly known, so this claim is challenged and we remove it with apologies to Jeff]. It often traces back to Novell. There is also the suspicion that they may be using fake accounts to promote this technology and dissolve resistance to it.

“In due course, we may wish to identify (and preferably also list) some patents that Mono violates and show them to Miguel, advising removal.”It must be mentioned that a lot of Novell’s revenue comes from Microsoft, so many Novell employees are essentially funded by Microsoft.

In due course, we may wish to identify (and preferably also list) some patents that Mono violates and show them to Miguel, advising removal. Would that be evil? Well, if he removes his code, then he might as well realise what position he willingly put himself in.

The same goes for Silverlight. Next up we will seek a patent licence also for Moonlight (at least to find out the cost) and all the codecs that goes with it. Let’s find out what sort of trap Novell is leading to before, not after, it becomes another bit of ammunition for Microsoft to intimidate with and to successfully use in secret extortions.

There is a timely lesson about this type of thing in today’s news about AMD. Companies are forced to pay their abusive, monopolistic and even criminal competitors for patents, simply because the system is pathetic but also because re-engineering of existing architectures of one’s rival is a bad idea from the get-go.

Intel’s lawyers launch probe into AMD’s spinoff plans

Intel’s lawyers are evaluating whether a new manufacturing business spun out of Advanced Micro Devices could end a long-standing cross-licensing agreement between the firms.

“Innovate, don’t imitate,” says an old mantra. What’s Mono really about? It begs for trouble from its fiercest rival, which has quite a history.

“At Microsoft I learned the truth about ActiveX and COM and I got very interested in it inmediately [sic].”

Miguel de Icaza

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46 Comments

  1. AlexH said,

    October 9, 2008 at 8:50 am

    Gravatar

    Glyn’s analysis leaves a fair bit to be desired. E.g.:

    But in fact, there are *no* patent issues, because last year Samba officially received from Microsoft the full protocol documentation

    This is illogical and wrong; knowing how a protocol operates doesn’t give you patent rights to it. In reality, what happens is that Samba try to avoid the patents that are listed against the tech. Same situation as Mono is in really; work to avoid patents in the first place, replace code as and when infringement is suspected.

    In benighted countries where software can be patented, this means that any patents that Microsoft has in the .NET framework are like to apply to any code developed with Mono.

    This claim is also incorrect. Assuming “like” is actually a typo for “likely”, it doesn’t follow at all. That’s the same as saying any Java program infringes Kodak’s patents; it’s just nonsense.

  2. Dan O'Brian said,

    October 9, 2008 at 9:00 am

    Gravatar

    Mono advocates (who are sometimes Novell employees) just ‘perfume’ it to themselves that all is well while attacking those who say the truth. We’ve seen prompt attacks on anyone who ‘dares’ to question Novell’s Mono.

    Mind showing us where Mono developers are attacking anyone? Because, frankly, I don’t see it.

    What I do see is you and other anti-Mono people attacking them, but afaict, they just ignore it.

  3. Needs Sunlight said,

    October 9, 2008 at 9:36 am

    Gravatar

    @AlexH: Please stop trying to confuse copyright with patents: “work to avoid patents in the first place, replace code as and when infringement is suspected.” Replacing code only works with copyright protection. Replacing code that does the same thing, still leaves it doing that thing which, if patented in the old code, is still patented in the new code, regardless of where the code comes from.

    The problem with Mono (aside from the technical problems) is the patent encumberance. Just use Java, Perl, or Ruby and leave the both the licensing and technical problems of Mono behind.

  4. David Gerard said,

    October 9, 2008 at 9:43 am

    Gravatar

    I must say, I’m enormously pleased to see a genuine free software Java included by default in all recent prominent GNU/Linux distros. I know a lot of devs who love Java because it makes developing very easy indeed; and there’s a lot of Java-based free software that can now be part of a fully free stack and get into distros where it couldn’t before.

    Mono and .NET are basically redundant technologies in the face of a free software Java that’s had over a decade’s real-world hardening. Also fabulously easy to develop for, but a substitute that’s no longer needed at all.

  5. Dan O'Brian said,

    October 9, 2008 at 9:46 am

    Gravatar

    Needs Sunlight: That’s not actually true. As Miguel was quoted in the article, FreeType worked around one of Apple’s patents by implementing a different hinting algorithm.

    It depends on the vagueness of the patent, but at least some can be worked around by using a different approach.

  6. AlexH said,

    October 9, 2008 at 9:51 am

    Gravatar

    @Needs sunlight: when you have infringed a patent, you need to replace the code. I’m not equating it to copyright; you’re reading something into what I said which isn’t there.

    “Just use Java” is fine, and I endorse that for those situations where Java is a good tool to use. But there’s nothing wrong with using Mono either.

  7. aeshna23 said,

    October 9, 2008 at 9:52 am

    Gravatar

    Calling the Mono bluff and asking for a patent license is an excellent idea! I’m eager to see the results of this effort. I hope that this will attract some attention from other Linux blogs and magazines. It should.

  8. AlexH said,

    October 9, 2008 at 9:58 am

    Gravatar

    @aeshna23: although, if we’re being scientific about this, he should also ask for licenses for OpenOffice.org, KDE, Linux, etc.

  9. aeshna23 said,

    October 9, 2008 at 10:03 am

    Gravatar

    response to AlexH:

    You do know that the licenses for OpenOffice.org, KDE, and the Linux kernel are matters of public record?

  10. Dan O'Brian said,

    October 9, 2008 at 10:12 am

    Gravatar

    I think AlexH’s point was that Microsoft have claimed to own patents that those products infringe.

    I could, however, be wrong.

  11. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 9, 2008 at 10:25 am

    Gravatar

    Let’s hear about Mono. Microsoft has been eerily silent on the matter.

  12. AlexH said,

    October 9, 2008 at 10:29 am

    Gravatar

    Well, my point is basically this: if you went to Microsoft and said, “I’m afraid my use of Linux might infringe your patents, would you be willing to sell me a licence?” their answer may well be “Yes, sure, €xxx please”.

    What does it prove? It proves that Microsoft are willing to sell you a patent license. It doesn’t prove there is any infringing IP that you need to pay for, because your original question already makes that assumption.

  13. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 9, 2008 at 10:47 am

    Gravatar

    No, you’re spinning this off topic. The point that I make in the request is totally isolated. Don’t try to turn this into a mishmash.

  14. AlexH said,

    October 9, 2008 at 11:03 am

    Gravatar

    Hang on. I’m talking about asking for patent licenses, and I’m “off topic” – is that because the topic is just bashing Mono?

    Or is it because I’ve exposed your little game?

    You know full well Microsoft aren’t going to write back to you and say “we hold no patents which Mono infringes, so go ahead and use it!” – even if that was what they thought, their legal counsel would never allow such advice.

    What will happen is that they will write back to you and probably advise you to buy Novell, or (unlikely) offer you a broad patent license. You will then tout this as “proof” that Mono is tainted somehow, when you begged the question by telling Microsoft you needed a license.

    If you tell them you need a license, they’re not going to disagree with you.

  15. Jeffrey Stedfast said,

    October 9, 2008 at 1:45 pm

    Gravatar

    Please stop trying to spead libel about me, Roy.

    Just an FYI: Miguel, Joseph, and I have never tried to portray ourselves as non-Novell employees. We also always use our real names – something that cannot be said of your anonymous supporters (who, as I understand it, are known to have more than 14 accounts???).

    When you learn to grow up, we can talk. Until then, I would appreciate it if you stopped spreading libel about me.

    Thanks.

  16. C.J. said,

    October 9, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    Gravatar

    Roy,

    If I may be so bold, I would recommend requesting interviews with the folks you cover in your articles. In my experience, they are approachable and willing (if not always happy) to discuss the topics you report on. I have already provided you the IRC server and channel where you can find the Free Software developers who are the subject of this article. I am happy to provide the information again, should you need it.

    In my experience, it is dangerous for journalists to make accusations (or, as you brought up yesterday, implications of accusations) about individuals’ intent. Consider how you would feel if claims purporting to be fact were made about your motives regarding the maintenance of and content posted on this site.

    Instead, I recommend that you ask a direct question on the record. Let your audience know that any comments you make about the recorded conversation are your interpretation, and that they should read the original to make their own determination on the matter. Failure to treat your subjects with the respect you would expect yourself will likely cause problems in both your readership and your relationships with current and future subjects.

    Sincerely,

    C.J.

  17. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 9, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    Gravatar

    Jeffrey Stedfast,

    Are you referring to my suggestion that you might be trying to promote Mono at Java’s expense? I still think so.

    I look at your blog, which says:

    http://www.blogger.com/profile/12271561115384429651

    “Jeffrey Stedfast

    About Me

    - A Software Engineer Seeking The Path Toward Enlightenment.
    My Blogs

    Team Members
    A Moment of Zen”

    Nothing about Novell. Same in the front page. It wasn’t until O’Brian said something (about a month ago) that I realised you work for Novell.

  18. AlexH said,

    October 9, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    Gravatar

    @Roy: as I’ve said before, the only reason you might not know this stuff is because you never do any actual research.

    It’s not wrong to separate your personal blog from your employer’s when you’re not speaking on their behalf. You do it, I do it, Jeff does it. You’re only drawing the link between the two because it’s convenient to you to attack Mono.

  19. Jeffrey Stedfast said,

    October 9, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    Gravatar

    Does your blog say who you work for? I don’t see it anywhere. Most people don’t put who they work for on their blogs.

    Everyone in the GNOME and Mono communities know who I am and who I work for (which are 2 of the 3 planets my blog is linked from, the third being planetsuse.com). It is no secret. I’ve been working for Helix Code -> Ximian -> Novell for 8 years.

    I also have a “Mono Contributor” icon on my blog, in case you didn’t notice. No one reading my blog should be surprised I work on Mono nor that I’m a Novell employee.

    And no, I’m talking about the attacks on this particular article. I wasn’t even aware of other articles, thanks for giving me more ammunition, though.

  20. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 9, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    Gravatar

    Believe me, Alex, I read for hours before posting here (usually stuff that’s also related to other things), but it’s natural to miss some things. Nothing is perfect, especially on a blog. Articles too sometimes. New case of point:

    http://beranger.org/index.php?page=diary&2008/10/09/15/25/07-bruce-are-you-stupid-

    I dare you never to make mistakes. It’s impossible. Some erroneous claims I also received by E-mail and I try to verify them before posting.

    I apologise if there were incorrect insinuations, none of which were intended (I don’t lie, but sometimes I am not sufficiently well informed).

  21. Jeffrey Stedfast said,

    October 9, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    Gravatar

    (I don’t lie, but sometimes I am not sufficiently well informed)

    The courts don’t make that distinction, Roy. I suggest you become sufficiently informed before making accusations in public.

  22. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 9, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    Gravatar

    Does your blog say who you work for? I don’t see it anywhere.

    If I worked for someone, it would say so. I’m a volunteer. You can also click on my name to find my personal site. I hide nothing (extrovert).

    No one reading my blog should be surprised I work on Mono nor that I’m a Novell employee.

    I apologise, but I can’t retract my suggestion that it’s not clear who you work for. The blog is personal (I totally understand that), but it’s not in a Novell domain yet it discusses your professional work at Novell.

    I guess it’s an issue with blogs in general. I have nothing personal.

  23. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 9, 2008 at 3:57 pm

    Gravatar

    The courts don’t make that distinction, Roy. I suggest you become sufficiently informed before making accusations in public.

    Are you hinting at lawsuits? Either way, where I am not sure I typically don’t state something as though it’s a fact. Please show me what you want corrected if you feel injustice was done.

  24. Jeffrey Stedfast said,

    October 9, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    Gravatar

    It must not be neglected that Joseph Hill is — you’ve guessed it — also a Novell employee, just like Jeff Steadfast and other seemingly-independent fans of Mono. It often traces back to Novell. There is also the suspicion that they may be using fake accounts to promote this technology and dissolve resistance to it.

    You can start by retracting that blurb, perhaps following up with a formal apology for even insinuating such things.

    No one with any clue thinks we are independent fans of Mono, I still don’t understand how you could possibly think so.

    Try reading the article:

    Sean Campbell: Joseph, would you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about Mono, Moonlight, and the kinds of stuff you work on?

    Joseph Hill: Certainly. I am the Product Manager for Mono at Novell,

    He comes right out and says that he is the PM for Mono at Novell, I don’t know how it could get any plainer than that.

  25. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 9, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    Gravatar

    Thanks, Jeff. I’ve added a correction with apologies to you.

  26. Ziggyfish said,

    October 9, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    Gravatar

    I think it will be interesting to see the response you get back from Microsoft. I feel It is something that needs to be done and should be done. I too fund it interesting that Novell is paying for patient licenses that it says are not in Mono.

  27. Dan O'Brian said,

    October 9, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    Gravatar

    The difference between Bruce Byfield’s mistake and your bountiful number of mistakes is that his isn’t trying to vilify anyone.

  28. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 9, 2008 at 6:15 pm

    Gravatar

    Really?

    http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=mozclient&num=50&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&q=site:boycottnovell.com+byfield

  29. Slashdot User said,

    October 9, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    Gravatar

    > who, as I understand it, are known to have more than 14 accounts???

    Beware of ‘twitter’, puppet master, nym extraordinaire and legendary Slashdot troll who hangs out on #boycottnovell and does righteous battle with the evil “M$”.

    http://slashdot.org/~willyhill/journal/205317

    With friends like these…

  30. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 9, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    Gravatar

    Attacks by associations are cheap and personal attacks are not welcome. Keep them in Slashdot where they belong, please.

  31. Slashdot User said,

    October 9, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    Gravatar

    @Roy -

    I apologize if that came across as a personal attack. It wasn’t intended as such at all. I know for a fact you do not remove comments, but if you want, please delete or blank out mine.

    I just think it’s a shame that the “Roy has friends that game websites with 14+ accounts” line has now become a sort of punch line for some people.

  32. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 9, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    Gravatar

    Their definition of friend is “site reader”, whose behaviour in Slashdot I’m strongly against. I’ve always loathed sock-puppeting.

  33. Slashdot User said,

    October 9, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    Gravatar

    I’m pretty sure that the definition is “whatever perception people get from the relationship”. You lose control of that when you allow people like that into your IRC channel and link to their websites.

    In all fairness though, and as some people here have commented, it’s difficult for you to counteract accusations of culpability by association, just as it is difficult to ask people not to rush to judgments based solely on perception, because you unfortunately do that a lot, too.

  34. Michael Zucchi said,

    October 9, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    Gravatar

    Hey Roy,

    Most people would not want to put who they work for on their personal `blog’ – for the express reason that it may imply some sort of official/company position. How you could claim that everyone would normally show their employer on their `blog’ is pretty strange. There is a difference between ‘I work for a company and get paid to blog to support their position in secret’, and ‘I work for a company and love my job and like to talk about all the great stuff I am/we are doing, as well as movies/food/friends/etc’.

    To claim that you didn’t know Jeff was an employee of Novell does suggest you should do some more research. Jeff has been involved in Ximian/Novell almost as long as Miguel has. And not only that, has likewise been very open and very public about it – posting thousands of e-mails on public lists over the last 8 years for example. I also know him personally and worked with him for several years and think he’s a pretty decent bloke who is I know is completely dedicated to free software, and I feel somewhat offended that you are attacking him (and others, such as Miguel – disagree yes, but why attack?).

    I, like others, know you do a lot of jumping to quick conclusions on often poorly researched facts, but tend to forgive you because also coalesce a lot of interesting links and opinion and seem to hold a position on a number of issues that I generally agree with. However, I do wish you’d stop these personal attacks – all they do is upset people who are more complex than you make them out to be. Groklaw has a habit of doing it too, although PJ has a much more annoying ‘holier than thou’ attitude which i’m fed up with. Such attacks don’t add any value to this otherwise useful site.

    It is nice to see you apologise, but certainly in this case it wouldn’t have taken much research to never have needed to in the first place.

    Michael Zucchi

  35. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 10, 2008 at 2:02 am

    Gravatar

    Slashdot User,

    If they didn’t use that to discredit the messenger, they would find something else. That’s their nature.

  36. AlexH said,

    October 10, 2008 at 2:18 am

    Gravatar

    @Roy:

    I think people would make less of your associations if you didn’t harp on about association constantly.

    As you say, it’s a cheap attack, so hopefully we won’t be seeing attacks by association in the future.

  37. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 10, 2008 at 2:33 am

    Gravatar

    That’s companies (corporate agenda), not individuals.

  38. stevetheFLY said,

    October 10, 2008 at 2:34 am

    Gravatar

    Gaaaawd. The utter stupidy of it! “hallloo, Microsoooft; I wanna buy your protectshion!” Yuk. And the headstrong willingness of Roy to write untruth against his better knowledge. It really makes you wann throw up.

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from an incarnation of a known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  39. AlexH said,

    October 10, 2008 at 2:47 am

    Gravatar

    @Roy: I don’t think that makes any real difference. The argument remains a cheap attack.

  40. Bill Gates said,

    October 10, 2008 at 5:39 am

    Gravatar

    Dear readers of this blog,

    I feel ever so embarassed that the smart people who run boycottnovell.com have unmasked my evil schemes and my henchmen. Please forgive me.

    As a token of my good will, I’d like to tell Roy that he is actually working for me, too. It hasn’t been on purpose, of course, poor Roy; you have been acting under the power of a post-hypnotic command. I am ever so sorry, Roy! Now, let me free you with a snip of my fingers… *snip!*

    And also Roy, you are, in reality, my illegitimate son.

  41. Bill Gates said,

    October 10, 2008 at 5:42 am

    Gravatar

    *please discuss why it is evident that Roy has been working for me all the time*

    Thank you

  42. Eldon said,

    October 10, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    Gravatar

    MS doesn’t need patents to go after Samba. Samba is reverse engineered which directly violates the MS EULA.

  43. Sum Yung Gai said,

    October 10, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Gravatar

    That provision of the MS EULA is not enforceable in the United States, and probably not in Australia either, where the Samba work was originally done. And even if it were enforceable, it didn’t apply. It applied to the *software*…NOT the protocol on the wire. Perhaps MS have changed that wording in recent years, but it’s still unenforceable.

  44. AlexH said,

    October 11, 2008 at 5:40 am

    Gravatar

    “Sum Yung Gai” is right; if the Samba people decompiled Windows or something they would be in trouble. As it stands, they sniff the wire protocol and that’s fine, because it’s outside the scope of the EULA.

  45. DugC said,

    October 12, 2008 at 9:36 am

    Gravatar

    For what it is worth, I was an .NET developer, got interested in Mono and moved to developing for Linux. Otherwise I wouldn’t have. I am not going to throw away the environment I know and jump ship to Java, so Mono was a great open door for me. I never paid a penny to use it either. i think that a lot of hard work has gone into it and there is no need to try to paint it as something evil. Raise concerns tactfully – ok; get personal about the developers – not on.

  46. Roy Schestowitz said,

    October 12, 2008 at 10:16 am

    Gravatar

    That’s the downside of criticism, but Microsoft tries to accommodate its intellectual monopolies in GNU/Linux so as to make it “not free”.

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  1. Links 12/12/2019: KDE Applications 19.12, Qt Creator 4.11, New VirtualBox

    Links for the day



  2. Brand Dilution in Action

    Microsoft's proprietary software which spies on people and businesses is getting a "free ride" on the "Linux" brand; and nobody seems to care, nobody seems to notice how perverse that it



  3. At the EPO Money -- Not Quality -- is King

    Financiers are ruining quality



  4. The EPO's Strategic Failure 2023

    Potemkin social dialogue



  5. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 11, 2019

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 11, 2019



  6. EPO Promoting Software Patents in Countries Where These Are Illegal

    The EPO's vision of 'unitary' software patents (patents on algorithms in countries that disallow such patents, as per their national laws) won't materialise, but in the meantime a lot of Invalid Patents (IPs) are granted in the form of European Patents (EPs) and this is wrong



  7. We Support GNU and the FSF But Remain Sceptical and Occasionally Worry About an RMS-less FSF

    Richard Stallman (RMS) is not in charge of the FSF anymore (it's Stallman who created the FSF) and there's risk the decisions will be made by people who don't share Stallman's ethics or the FSF's spirit



  8. Links 11/12/2019: Huawei Lobbied by Microsoft (Because of GNU/Linux) and Microsoft Still Googlebombs Linux to Promote 'Teams'

    Links for the day



  9. Links 11/12/2019: Edge Native Working Group, CrossOver 19.0 Released

    Links for the day



  10. Instead of Fixing Bug #1 Canonical/Ubuntu Contributes to Making the Bug Even More Severe (WSL/EEE)

    Following one seminal report about Canonical financially contributing to Microsoft's EEE efforts — celebrated openly by GNU/Linux opponentsclosing bug #1 Ubuntu basically decided not that it was fixed but that it would no longer attempt to fix it (“wontfix”)



  11. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, December 10, 2019

    IRC logs for Tuesday, December 10, 2019



  12. Today's Example of Microsoft's Faked 'Love'

    “On 7 September 2017, users began noticing a message that stated “Skype for Business is now Microsoft Teams”. This was confirmed on 25 September 2017, at Microsoft’s annual Ignite conference,” according to Wikipedia



  13. Links 10/12/2019: Kubernetes 1.17, Debian Init Systems GR

    Links for the day



  14. 'Cancel Culture' as 'Thoughtpolice' Creep

    Richard Stallman spoke about an important aspect of censorship more than 2 decades ago (before “Open Source” even existed); it was published in Datamation (“Censoring My Software”) 23 years before a campaign of defamation on the Internet was used to remove him from MIT and FSF (censoring or ‘canceling’ Stallman himself)



  15. Microsoft Still Hates GNU/Linux and Mark Shuttleworth Knows It (But He is Desperate for Money)

    We're supposed to believe that a PR or image management (reputation laundering) campaign alone can turn Microsoft from GNU/Linux foe into friend/ally



  16. Actions Against EPO Corruption and Unitary Patent (UPC) Injustice/Lobbying

    The EPO is apparently going on strike again and an action against the UPC is scheduled for later this week (protest in Brussels)



  17. “The Fifth Freedom as a Meme”

    The issue with systemd (or SystemD) has provoked or at least stimulated discussions about the limits of the famous Four Freedoms



  18. IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 09, 2019

    IRC logs for Monday, December 09, 2019



  19. Demonstration Against Unitary Software Patents, Thursday 12 Dec in Brussels

    FFII's call to demonstrate against the UPC



  20. Links 9/12/2019: China on GNU/Linux, Canonical Wants Help to Improve Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  21. Links 9/12/2019: Linux 5.5 RC1, EasyOS Buster 2.1.9

    Links for the day



  22. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 08, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 08, 2019



  23. Mandatory Education for Those Who Use and Misuse Buzzwords Would Go a Long Way

    In an age of substitution — where marketing terms replace meaningful words and concepts — it has gotten more difficult to have honest debates, for example about the scope of patents



  24. Once Upon a Time Banter Was Allowed on Mailing Lists

    Hours ago Torvalds announced RC1 of the next Linux (kernel) release; it has been a while since he last said something ‘controversial’ (following his month at the penalty box); free speech deficit can make us weaker, not stronger (advantage to those who work in the dark)



  25. Links 8/12/2019: Debian Init Systems GR, NomadBSD 1.3

    Links for the day



  26. Can We Quit Celebrating DRM in GNU/Linux?

    Over the past couple of days various news sites and "Linux" sites expressed great satisfaction [1-5] over the passive embrace of Disney's DRM ploy (Disney+), even when Disney itself rejects DRM, seeing the harms practically caused by it [6,7]



  27. You Know WSL is Bad for GNU/Linux Because Anti-Linux People, Microsoft and Its Propagandists, Want People to Use That

    Microsoft and its boosters (and media partners) haven’t grown tired of spreading falsehoods to stigmatise and take control of GNU/Linux by creating their own versions and traps for it



  28. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, December 07, 2019

    IRC logs for Saturday, December 07, 2019



  29. 5 Years Ago the Linux Foundation Turned Linux.com Into a Non-Linux Site

    One can leverage the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine to better understand how, over time, the Foundation called “Linux” deviated or diverged away from its mission statement for the sole purpose of raising corporate funds and selling influence to corporations (passing the community’s hard work to them — a form of tacit privatisation)



  30. Microsoft Redefining Ownership and Identity of GNU/Linux

    The idea that “Microsoft loves Linux” is as insane as it gets; but the lie which is “Microsoft loves Linux” is a powerful enabler of Microsoft entryism, e.g. if Greg steps down, does a Microsoft employee become the deputy of Linus Torvalds?


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