02.05.09

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Boycott Brother Industries

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Patents at 7:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Bad Brother

ANOTHER COMPANY decided to pay Microsoft for unspecified patents that Microsoft claims are infringed on in Linux.

Agreement will cover intellectual property contained in printers and multifunctional products, including certain Linux-based technologies.

[...]

Through this agreement, Brother Industries will gain access to Microsoft’s patents for Brother’s current and future product lines, including multifunction products (MFPs), printers and certain Linux-based embedded devices.

There is more information here. This one is similar to the deals with LG, Fuji Xerox, Samsung, and Kyocera Mita.

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9 Comments

  1. aeshna23 said,

    February 5, 2009 at 7:57 pm

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    Isn’t what is happening is that the firm pays Microsoft for some more legally recognized intellectual property and Microsoft throws in for free the Linux “intellectual property”? It’s really hard to stop this type of BS, because it’s like Microsoft is also giving them a shiny pebble worth nothing. Why would you say no, unless you know that the shiny pebble has sinister magic? Most people just don’t understand the ways of Microsoft.

  2. Jose_X said,

    February 5, 2009 at 8:37 pm

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    This reminds me, the faster Linux market share grows, the sooner “boycott X” can be more effective. A lot of people might sympathize with companies that play cleanly with FOSS among a mixed bag of clean and dirty players, but only if people use and (learn to) feel strongly about FOSS freedoms.

    All of these patent threats, whenever exercised effectively against FOSS, take away from what people might otherwise have. Users can see and touch FOSS and acquire it and modify it free on their terms. There is a real sense of ownership there.

    So the more users that use and exploit Linux+FOSS, the more likely fair patent laws will be passed. Similarly, the more users can create their own content and share it under FOSS-y licenses, the more likely fair copyright laws will be passed. And the more users that care about these things because they have something at stake they can see and touch, the more likely hardware companies and others will want to cater to those users and will be able to buck trends.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 5, 2009 at 8:43 pm

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    If you have suggestions as to how to effectively spread the message, then please, let’s hear it.

    The goal/means is less to do with boycotts and more to do with prevention. This is the first such patent deal in about a year.

  4. aeshna23 said,

    February 5, 2009 at 8:53 pm

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    “If you have suggestions as to how to effectively spread the message, then please, let’s hear it.

    The goal/means is less to do with boycotts and more to do with prevention. This is the first such patent deal in about a year. ”

    A strategic response to these deals is clearly something we need to think about. I have no idea what to do yet, but it something we should all ponder. Of course, one idea is that we needn’t worry about them, since no contract is patent law. I just don’t know.

  5. Jose_X said,

    February 5, 2009 at 9:31 pm

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    [Roy Schestowitz] >> If you have suggestions as to how to effectively spread the message, then please, let’s hear it.

    What I am saying is that it’s important to grow the Linux user base. This increases every members leverage, including, with attempts to do things like a “boycott” or get laws changed.

    This is one thing I hope to start soon. http://www.linuxtoday.com/news_story.php3?ltsn=2009-02-03-015-35-IN-KN-0000

    There’s also a lot of material on thetuxproject.com

    Growing the base means growing our (everyone’s) leverage.

    [aeshna23] >> I have no idea what to do yet, but it something we should all ponder. Of course, one idea is that we needn’t worry about them, since no contract is patent law.

    I think this more or less covers my personal approach to avoiding patents as a dev http://boycottnovell.com/2009/02/05/novell-layoffs-rumour/#comment-59432 . A key point is to stay away from high risk situations.

  6. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 5, 2009 at 9:36 pm

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    I suppose that exploration of Comes exhibits will enable people to make a strong case against selling out to Microsoft, maybe even prosecuting them (via other companies).

  7. Mike Brown said,

    February 5, 2009 at 9:42 pm

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    Brother used to sponsor Manchester City, so I’ve been boycotting them for years!

    Cheers,

    - Mike

  8. Roy Schestowitz said,

    February 5, 2009 at 9:45 pm

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    O Brother.

  9. Arthur Marsh said,

    February 6, 2009 at 12:46 am

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    Come on, Bdale, put some Tux (and Tuz) stickers on the HP printer boxes!

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