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07.16.09

Boycott Melco

Posted in Deals, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Patents at 2:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Microsoft again claims to be ‘owning’ Linux and Melco says “yes”

Microsoft’s patent racket has just hit another company, which sold out to Microsoft without a fight, just like Novell. It pays Microsoft for Linux products. From Reuters:

Microsoft Corp. and Melco Holdings Inc., parent company of Buffalo Inc. and Buffalo Group (Melco Group), announced that they have entered into an agreement that will provide Melco Group’s customers with patent coverage for their use of technologies running Linux and other related open source software. Specifically, the patent covenants apply to Buffalo-branded Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices, which run Linux, and Buffalo-branded routers, which also run Linux. Although the contents of the agreement have not been disclosed, the parties indicate that the only financial consideration in this agreement is royalties paid by Melco Group to Microsoft.

This is about Microsoft being anti-competitive (see ECIS complaint [PDF] and full text), this time using software patents. It is safe to guess that Microsoft did not even name any patents. This is a form of extortion, so Microsoft has not changed one bit.

“Do you feel like you’re screwing a porcupine and you’re one prick against thousands?” the OSCON audience member asked Ramji. Ramji politely replied: “It takes time to change and I knew that I’d be unpopular when I took this job…”

Microsoft: Not worried about open source patents

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10 Comments

  1. Eruaran said,

    July 16, 2009 at 3:38 am

    Gravatar

    This is a most blatant extortion racket.

    Seldom have I been more disgusted that this corporation is not dragged into court and at the very least its CEO & top executives are made to feel the full force of the law in relation to such acts of extortion.

    People are supposed to go to jail for extortion. But as long as you have corrupt cliques that like to wear labels like, “Department of Justice”, it doesn’t happen.

    And what GNU/Linux using company will Microsoft seek to extort next ? Maybe Netgear ?

    I wouldn’t be surprised.

  2. Michael said,

    July 16, 2009 at 9:20 am

    Gravatar

    Is this really any different from Google paying for the licensing rights for the codecs used in ffmpeg (e.g. for chrome, apparently) …

    It’s done without any input (presumably) from the original authors of the code itself, and some of the money might even end up in m$’s pocket for that matter.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Codecs are not Linux.

    twitter Reply:

    The only thing these two have in common is that software patents are always an injustice. Google’s licensing of a video codec is a lot different from M$ selectively shaking down small companies with never revealed patents. I have small and incomplete history of M$’s patent extortion and my own write up of this outrage in particular. Roy’s summary is very good, M$ is asserting ownership of all GNU/Linux.

  3. DiamondWakizashi said,

    July 16, 2009 at 10:39 am

    Gravatar

    Here is more info about the nasty Melco Holdings Inc.:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Melco

    Products Manufactured by Melco:

    * Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Connector
    * Buffalo network-attached storage series
    * External hard drive
    * HD DVD Computer Drive
    * AirStation (Residential gateway)
    * AOSS
    * Memory – SO-DIMM and DIMM
    * USB flash drive
    * UPnP Media Rendering Hardware

    BOYCOTT MELCO !!!

  4. DiamondWakizashi said,

    July 16, 2009 at 11:47 am

    Gravatar

    There should be a list of companies that must be boycotted and the products they make.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Anyone can create such a page in our Wiki.

  5. eet said,

    July 16, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Gravatar

    Don’t forget to boycott all the machinery in hospitals that runs with unfree software or uses patented technology. Oh, wait, it keeps people alive…

    eet Reply:

    Whenever a hospital chooses to make use of machines with non-free software is their own problem. They cannot have freedom with that choice and they are content with this. The only thing we can do for this situation is to educate about freedom and appeal to them to value their own freedom.

  6. Dario said,

    July 17, 2009 at 10:01 am

    Gravatar

    i’d start boycotting trolls so they disapear

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