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07.23.09

Why Linux Did Not Need Microsoft’s Code Injection

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, GPL, Kernel, Microsoft, Windows at 6:31 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Plaster

Summary: The Novell-supported patch brings a software patents debate into Linux and also leverages Windows

Microsoft claims credit for writing a loadable module for Linux, conveniently characterising it as goodwill. Yesterday we wrote about Novell's role in this advancement of Windows [1, 2] (using the massive Linux program, which Novell has rights over). Going back to the roots of this module, it is almost as though Novell invited Microsoft to Linux. Unofficial Microsoft PR blogs seem to confirm Novell’s role.

Microsoft Introduces Linux to Software Patents (from the Inside)

Matt Aslett and Jay Lyman from the 451 Group write this Q&A, which concludes with:

Absent the company giving up on software patents altogether, we believe that in order to convince those FOSS advocates that it is serious about co-existence, Microsoft needs to find a way to publicly communicate details about those 200+ patents in such a way that is not seen as a threat and would enable open source developers to license, work around, or challenge them. We also believe that the company is aware of this, although finding a solution to the problem will not be easy. But then neither was contributing code to Linux under the GPLv2.

There is also a Q&A from RedMonk.

“Going back to the roots of this module, it is almost as though Novell invited Microsoft to Linux.”One reader has told us that Horacio Gutierrez, one of the key men behind the racketeering operation against Linux, is now writing about “The new world of patent licensing for Linux” in the company’s lobbying blog. “The article describes patent licensing and Linux development under the GPL as something that belongs together,” explains the reader, who quotes from the blog: “real-life proof of Microsoft’s desire to build new bridges among industry partners for the benefit of customers, relying on patent licensing agreements as a means of opening up collaboration opportunities by ensuring mutual respect of IP rights and the innovations they protect. This approach is not unique to Microsoft, but is instead the prevalent model for enabling open innovation in the technology world, consumer electronics being an excellent case in point. IP licensing will also continue to play a key role in facilitating the emergence of new categories of exciting devices that embody the convergence of previously disconnected technologies, such as new generations of mobile phones, mini computers like netbooks and smartbooks, and eBook readers.

Who said anything about patents?

As our reader Goblin puts it, what they are trying to say is that “It’s OK to claim IP rights… as long as you are open about it… it’s a no brainer, Microsoft needs to make money… the shareholders wouldn’t like it acting “for the love of computers”… and for the casual observer it may appear happy and fluffy… this changes nothing. It’s common sense that Microsoft would want to remove ANY competitor and any gestures made to the Open Source community IMO will be ones that benefit Microsoft. As I say, a proprietary firm doesn’t run on kind gestures. This article has just dressed up what we already know.”

At IDG, there is a bit of a chronology up for display, but it mostly praises Microsoft towards the end where the lawsuit against TomTom is conspicuously missing. It seemingly sells the impression that Microsoft improved over time.

Microsoft Monday made an historic move by submitting device drivers to the Linux kernel under a GPLv2 license. Microsoft has had a checkered past with both Linux and its open source GPL licensing structure, so the move was a jaw dropper. Here is a look at some of the milestones since Microsoft internal memos leaked in 1998 that attacked the open source Linux operating system as it began to pick up steam as an alternative to Windows.

It Was No “Donation”

Here is the opinion that “Microsoft code cannot taint Linux,” but the matter of fact is that code which promotes Windows becomes part of Linux and it remains impossible to reject.

Not for nothing do many people in the FOSS community regard any moves by Microsoft in their direction as suspicious. But in this case, there is one leveller – the General Public License.

This is the same license that has been described as viral by the friendly folk at Redmond. This is one of the reasons why Steve Ballmer has likened Linux to a cancer.

The following explains why Microsoft did not choose the GPL; it was obliged to have it chosen, so it was no donation.

So, if my reasoning is correct, and I am very happy to be corrected, this is what seems to be the order of events:

1. MS want Linux to run on its Hyper-V platform

2. They develop and release drivers that use some GPL code and link to static GPL binaries. I don’t know where that original GPL code came from but it sure would be interesting to find out.

3. These drivers are in breach of the GPL and a third party notices

4. MS are forced, nicely, to comply with the GPL, just like every other organisation whose GPL breaches have been seriously challenged.

So, whilst this is all good and marvallous, especially if you want to run Linux on Windows, keep this other factlet in mind. Microsoft has shaken money out of at least 500 organisations including Linux distributers, claiming IP rights over code they have not written because of patents they refuse to identify in public.

This is an interesting story, but not in the way it is being told. Celebrate because we can chalk it up as a success…to the GPL.

Microsoft was actually pressured to publish the code.

Microsoft was actually pushed by the Linux driver project team to make this week’s historic code submission to the Linux kernel.

It’s Business as Usual

More on Microsoft’s motives:

Microsoft will play nice with Linux for the time being if it helps Windows Server gain ground as a computing platform in the data center. But the company’s ambitious goals haven’t changed, and its long-term vision leaves little room for Linux and other open-source technologies.

As our reader Fewa puts it, “I have no problem with them releasing code under the GPL2, it’s not a bad thing. But it needs to be noticed that this code does not help Linux. Just like with Xen, it’s a method to exert some hardware-side control over Linux and also just to try to get a better position in virtualization.”

“Just like with Xen, it’s a method to exert some hardware-side control over Linux and also just to try to get a better position in virtualization.”
      –Fewa
Portraying this as generosity and goodwill is a huge stretch. Even Savio Rodrigues, who is sometimes sympathetic towards Microsoft, says that it “was a simple business decision,” leading to the possible suspicion that this patch — just like Mono and Moonlight for example — is what Novell does for Microsoft to saturate GNU/Linux with code that is favourable to Windows at a technical level (never mind legal implications).

It ought to be added that criticism is deserved by several companies that generally pose a threat to Freedom and work around Linux, but Microsoft is among the very few who try to prevent us from using our operating system of choice, just as it committed violations to deprive OS/2 users of that same privilege. The patch was just business as usual, but PR efforts were blinding to many.

“Microsoft is unique among proprietary software companies: they are the only ones who have actively tried to kill Open Source and Free Software. It’s not often someone wants to be your friend after trying to kill you for ten years, but such change is cause for suspicion.”

Bradley M. Kuhn (SFLC)

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32 Comments

  1. JohnD said,

    July 23, 2009 at 7:56 am

    Gravatar

    When did someone have to be “invited” to use Linux? Mine must have gotten lost in the mail.
    Once again you’re focusing on trying to determine what Microsoft’s motives MIGHT be instead of looking the opportunity they have presented the community.
    1. Their code is now GPL so everyone can inspect it to make sure there are no trojan horses in it (since you seem to favor that term).
    2. Improving the performance of a Linux VM helps LINUX not Windows. If a Linux VM running JBoss can get close to the performance of JBoss running on Windows natively – you’ve now pushed the question to cost instead of cost and performance.
    3. This removes one more barrier to adoption in corporations – which helps Linux, not Windows. This could entice more IT departments to try using Linux since they don’t have to worry about a huge performance hit. It shouldn’t take an intelligent IT staffer long to figure out that if they can support Linux in a VM, they can do it natively. Not long after that they will start questioning the “need” for a Windows host.
    A strong defense can help win some battles, but you’ll never win a war without going on the offensive.

    Jose_X Reply:

    1. If we are talking about patent horses, you can’t know by inspecting only the code (and there is no guarantee we’d find the relevant patent(s), even after a long expensive search). Of course, I don’t see patents being a problem, in general, when we are talking about a driver module that is a bridge to a Microsoft product.

    2. Linux is improved as a **guest**. This means more people are now likely to run Linux as a guest on Windows than was the case in the past. This is to Microsoft’s advantage. [Note, it was Microsoft that wrote this patch -- they aren't in the business of helping their competitors to hurt themselves.]

    3. A door got opened that makes it easier to have Linux on Windows, but this lowers the chances of seeing Linux running natively.

    Mostly this is a defensive, not offensive, move for Microsoft. It’s not so much what we lose (obviously we lose some potential here), but of great significance is what they avoid losing.

    I would love to have seen this patch have gotten rejected for mainline, given Microsoft’s position on patents. This might be a gift to Microsoft. Let’s see what Microsoft does about the patent question. One might say that the ball is now in their court.

    I hope Greg K-H is not the actual Trojan. [Btw, he might be a very nice fellow, I have no idea. I'm just pointing out some obvious relationships. He would most likely argue that he is helping to bring Microsoft along into playing fairly.]

    zatoichi Reply:

    I hope Greg K-H is not the actual Trojan. [Btw, he might be a very nice fellow, I have no idea. I'm just pointing out some obvious relationships. He would most likely argue that he is helping to bring Microsoft along into playing fairly.]

    Fabulous, thanks, Jose, that’s exactly what I was waiting for.

    Okay, so the thesis that Jose is concerned about here–”hoping” against hope, as it were–is that the guy who, single-handedly, has made it his personal crusade to shake down as many hardware companies as he can for wokring open-source-able drivers, to the point where he can accurately claim that “the Linux kernel supports more different hardware than any other operating system”, who’s been maintaining the driver tree for the better part of a decade, and who’s completely trusted to do so by Andrew Morton and Linus Torvalds, is a “Trojan”.

    Fabulous. Do you guys even listen to yourselves? Did you do any research on Greg before expressing senseless “hopes” like the one Jose just has?

    Greg has an entry in Wikipedia. Maybe you’d care to read it sometime.

    zatoichi Reply:

    I’m very much hoping that Linus might post an email message to the effect that he’s glad that Microsoft has finally figured out how to work with the kernel community, that he’s happy they contributed the drivers, and that he wonders, idly, whether something good might have come out of the Novell agreement in that Microsoft seems to have learned a few things.

    I’d very much enjoy the ensuing spectacle of knicker-twisting that would go on over here around that. I’d be thrilled to see Jose wondering whether Linus might be a “Trojan”. Only because he’s already about a millimeter’s distance from that already.

    zatoichi Reply:

    From my mouth to God’s ear, evidently.

    Whaddaya think of that, Roy?

    It’s clean living and telling the truth, that’s what it is.

    Linus did even better than I’d hoped. He said you folks have “a disease”. He said you’re “extremists”. He saind he won’t call what he does “free software” because of people like you, Roy.

    Roy, you drove Linus to abandon, and distance himself from, the use of the word “free”.

    How does that make you feel?

    Jose_X Reply:

    Hook, line, and sinker

    http://www.answers.com/trojan%20horse , “Trojan horse” was definitely too harsh of a word to have used. [He's not "into" software patents, I imagine.]

    I’m not foolish enough to think that I would not be influenced by those with/for whom I work. We all depend on things, and friendships aren’t insignificant.

    It is very true Greg could get paid well from many sources independent of Microsoft.

    But it is also true that he may like his Novell family and treatment very much.

    Until Greg stops being a human, having Greg on Novell’s roster improves Microsoft’s access.

    But enough about Greg…

    I wrote some stuff about patents here http://boycottnovell.com/2009/07/21/microsoft-linux-v-patch/comment-page-1/#comment-71129 .

    I’ll check out the *long* thread at some point later on (I want to slow down the pace).

    zatoichi Reply:

    Trojan horse” was definitely too harsh of a word to have used.

    Well, Jose, you probably shouldn’t have used it then, should you?

    Like your (multiply-eqivocated) claim that Stallman was being “targeted”. You probably shouldn’t have said that, either.

    What’s your opinion of the interview with Linus, Jose?

    zatoichi Reply:

    It’s OK to claim IP rights… as long as you are open about it…

    First off, who, precisely is “your reader Goblin” supposed to be? All I know about “Goblin” is he seems to enjoys little jokes such as that the reason that women shouldn’t be involved in technology is that it takes them out of the kitchen.

    What’s is “Goblin”‘s expertise in intellectual property law? What’s his general legal background? Does he have an solid understanding of what the GPL v2 means, and how would we know that?

    Let me point out that anyone who puts a copyright notice on code they’re submitting (i.e. pretty much everyone) is “claiming IP rights”. That’s what a copyright is: a claim of an intellectual property right inherent in the code.

    Things like this instill doubts in me regarding Mr. “Goblin”‘s relevant expertise in these areas. Perhaps Mr. “Goblin” would be willing to go over his expertise in, and understanding of, these issues, in the IRC channel?

    Jose_X Reply:

    Some people use “IP rights” in some contexts to mean exclusively patent rights. Maybe I’ll ask Goblin sometime if that is what he had in mind.

    zatoichi Reply:

    Some people use “IP rights” in some contexts to mean exclusively patent rights.

    As I think I’ve demonstrated, some people use “IP rights” when they have absolutely no idea what they’re talking about.

    And then some other folks use quotes of that as what seems to be support but isn’t for their own slanted and erroneous articles.

    I’m thinking Roy must be getting pretty depressed. This has not been his week. Or his month, for that matter.

    zatoichi Reply:

    Oh, just to get all the cards on the table for you folks, you may be interested in knowing that Greg K-H is on the payroll of Novell.

    You may proceed to lose your minds, now.

    jocaferro Reply:

    bla, bla, bla…

    Pigs are flying low

    zatoichi Reply:

    See my comments below. I’d also like to see you explain section 7 of the GPL v2 to us.

    Is Linus an enemy of free software now that he’s called you folks “extremists” and “diseased”? Is he a troll?

  2. zatoichi said,

    July 23, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Gravatar

    Sigh.

    Now, I’ve been asking–to a response much like the sound of crickets chirping in a dewy field, under a waxing moon–why, if Greg K-H, someone apparently totally unfamiliar to the folks here, doesn’t have a problem accepting these drivers into the kernel driver tree, you folks do.

    For those here who, in spite of their “passionate involvement” with FLOSS have no idea who maintains the many, many drivers which the Linux kernel supports, that would be Greg. He’s been doing this for a long time. He’s very good at it. He knows what he’s doing (although people here must apparently feel otherwise).

    Anyone writtento Greg? He’ll blow you off, since you’re justa bunch of backseat drivers who have no involvement in the actual project, and Greg isn’t too keen on getting demands out of left field from folks he’s never heard of, but I think–at least if you’re sincere, you’d have to give it a try.

    I’ll bet nobody has, though.

    So:

    Why is it that folks seem to think Roy (who seems pretty much nontechnical, who certainly has no legal understanding, and who’s never spoken to a kernel developer, much less a maintainer, in his life, as far as I know) knows better than Greg about these things?

    Why is Greg going to listen to any of you, given that none of you has any standing in the kernel project (i.e. no one from here’s ever been involved in the slightest way), that you’re telling him how to do his job, and that your complaints, rather than being driven by rational concerns, are clearly driven by an irrational hatred for Microsoft, right down to the 0′s and 1′s that make up a working Hyper-V driver?

    Your use of Bradley Kuhn’s quote in this context is disingenuous, I don’t think he’d agree with you here at all, but I bet you don’t know him, either, so I doubt you’ve asked. If Brad expressed a view other than, “At this point, the SFLC has no position on these drivers. If they’re OK with Greg, they’re OK with us”, I’d be here–Brad doesn’t second-guess Greg on these things without a clear reason to do so.

    I guess you guys must know something that neither Greg nor Bradley do.

    What, exactly, would that be? In arguing against this contribution, you folks are verging on something like clinical paranoia. You’re seeing Microsoft under the bed.

    I’m still waiting for someone to tell me that Greg K-H is a “Microsoft shill”.

    Jose_X Reply:

    It’s generally difficult to argue against the inclusion of a driver, but it can sure be done if the code comes from someone that is hostile (patents).

    Since this code helps Microsoft http://boycottnovell.com/2009/07/23/patent-injection-not-code-donation/comment-page-1/#comment-71131 , it would have been a great opportunity to have put some issues out on the table:

    “Say, I hear you are looking towards using patents as a lever against Linux….”

    Maybe next time.

    zatoichi Reply:

    Jose, have you read, and do you understand, section 7 of the GPL v2?

    zatoichi Reply:

    (And if, as I suspect, you don’t, why are you talking about things you don’t understand? I expect to see either your explanation of the section, in light of the comments in the preamble, or an admission that you’re just posting stuff that you don’t know is right or wrong for effect. Thank you for your cooperation.)

    jocaferro Reply:

    if Greg K-H, someone apparently totally unfamiliar to the folks here, doesn’t have a problem accepting these drivers into the kernel driver tree, you folks do.

    ooopppsss…

    Pigs are flying low. Hot air doesn’t help:

    Hemminger said he uncovered the apparent violation and contacted Linux Driver Project lead Greg Kroah-Hartman, a Novell programmer, to resolve the problem quietly with Microsoft. Hemminger apparently hoped to leverage Novell’s interoperability relationship with Microsoft.

    “Since Novell has a (too) close association with Microsoft, my expectation was that Greg could prod the right people to get the issue resolved,” Hemminger blogged.

    Nice…

    zatoichi Reply:

    Greg K-H is going to work to get them into the driver tree. That’s a true fact. Greg said so. No “oops” about it.

    As to the rest, they were in violation, and the knew it and they fixed it. I say “Good on them for fixing it and for getting it released and submitted the right way, and so does Greg. Makes no difference to you, they’re MIcrosoft, the Living Spawn of Satan, Mr. Hill’s parasite-bearing killer wasp queen. You people have an irrational hatred of Microsoft.

    Linus says you have “a disease”. He won’t call what he does “free” software (and as of today, I’m not going to do so, either) specifically because of people like you. Would you care to respond to that?

    jocaferro Reply:

    What, exactly, would that be? In arguing against this contribution, you folks are verging on something like clinical paranoia. You’re seeing Microsoft under the bed.

    Oh, no!

    “Microsoft opened Linux-driver code after ‘violating’ GPL!”

    More. This is great:
    “Hemminger made it clear in his own blog post that he didn’t approach Kroah-Hartman because he liked Microsoft’s drivers; he approached him because the way Microsoft was licensing them — by mixing open- and closed source components — was in violation of the GPL.

    I re-contacted Kroah-Hartman last night to verify this new piece of information. Here’s what he said, via e-mail:

    MJF: Hemminger is claiming Microsoft put the LIC code under the GPL because it was in violation of the GPL. Is this true? Did you have to suggest to (Microsoft Platform Strategy Chief Sam) Ramji & Co. that they were in violation in order to get them to agree to release the code under GPLv2?

    GKH: I didn’t have to “suggest” anything, I only had to merely point out the obviousness of the situation :)

    MJF: If this isn’t accurate, could you let me know how to interpret (Hemminger’s) comments on his blog.

    GKH: No, that sounds accurate.”

    Yes, clinical paranoia!

    Sometimes is better to remain silent…

    zatoichi Reply:

    Yes, you display some symptoms similar to clinical paranoia, it’s true.

    So: Microsoft has drivers which were in violation of GPL.

    Microsoft went to the community (remember us? We’re the folks you’ve been claiming to “advocate” to…) in the person of Greg K-H.

    Greg advises them that the only answer is to release the drivers under the GPL.

    And they do! They do the Right Thing!

    And as Greg points out, they also publicly state that the GPL v2 is a perfectly good license for anybody to release code under (not a virus, not communism), as well as the appropriate license to use when submitting code to the kernel tree.

    Greg’s happy. Linus is happy. I’m happy.

    But evidently this isn’t sufficient for jocaferro. What will it take for you? Steve Ballmer committing public seppuku? Shutting their doors and sending everyone home? Bill Gates, drawn and quartered? Burn HQ to the ground, with all the employees locked inside (as Mark FInk suggested here, almost exactly a year ago)? Putting Vista out under the GPL v3?

    You have to interpret this in terms of your unshakeable axiom that Microsoft == EVIL. Like everything else. That’s a hermetically closed system of thinking, i.e. clinical paranoia.

    jocaferro Reply:

    You have to interpret this in terms of your unshakeable axiom that Microsoft == EVIL. Like everything else. That’s a hermetically closed system of thinking, i.e. clinical paranoia.

    No, it isn’t clinical paranoia. Microsoft did a great job during the last 15 years!

    As a matter of fact this is sufficient for me:

    Hemminger apparently hoped to leverage Novell’s interoperability relationship with Microsoft.

    “Since Novell has a (too) close association with Microsoft,

    Despite your full blast of hot air I still don’t believe pigs can fly.

    Linus says you have “a disease”.

    Wow!
    Linus is talking to me!
    I’ll print that and put it in the wall.

    And, respond to what?
    To your own afirmations?
    Sorry. I can’t do this. Only you can.

    But I can answer this:
    The question here isn’t about the 20.000 lines in the Linux kernel but if you ask me I’ll answer that I agreed with Linus – freedom is also accepting the code from everyone. Since it’s good…
    My question here is that I do not believe in this sudden Microsoft kindness like so many other people around. So I think I was right.
    Also I don’t believe in words like “contribution”.

    zatoichi Reply:

    This is incredible. Roy, you’ve got two guys here who know what ought to be done with the kernel better than Linus does.

    Are you number three, Roy?

    Man, Roy. Heck of a month, huh? First Shane gives you the smackdown, and now Linus does.

    Well, it’s like we say here in Santa Cruz: “”Whoa, bad karma, dude!”

    I could design some “Linus say I’m a hater and an extremist and he’s wrong!” shirts for you if you like. Do ‘em up on Zazzle, you could keep the profits to help fund the site (and your defense, sorry, sorry).

    Tell you what. To make up for that, I can do a “Microsoft: A Wholly Owned Subsidiary of Hell*” thing on the back for, um, $1.50 a shirt, but the license is _only for the shirts_, you can’t use it anywhere else. How’s that sound?

    Seriously. Lemme know, ‘kay?

    On consideration, make that $1.65.

    * The phrase “A Wholly Owned Subsidiary of Hell” is © 2009, David “Lefty” Schlesinger. All rights reserved.

    zatoichi Reply:

    Yes, jocaferro, Linus is talking to you. And to Roy and WIlly and Jose and Goblin and desu and tacone and splosion magnificently appellated Diamond Wakazashi (僕はまじめなんだよ、君はそれすごく若い女の子が好きだね?なんて変態!) and the rest of the haters, griefers and trolls.

    He’s the guy that lets you run that open source Linux operating system. He made it possible, and now you’re dissing him? For what? It’s not as though he told a sexually charged joke during a big keynote or something.

    Respect, man. It’s about respect.

    I do not believe in this sudden Microsoft kindness…

    And I do not believe in the Easter Bunny, but neither of those has anything to do with whether or not this is a good thing. I’d’ve thought you guys would have been happy.

    You still don’t get it, do you? Wow. Jose said you guys “located trends” and “provided information” around here. There’s a trend that seems to have escaped your notice (but not Linus’, I think, and not Greg’s, and not mine.

    Microsoft caved in. Microsoft discovered that they were over a barrel. Greg told ‘em so. “Hey, you want to sell those Server 2008s that your customers like runnin’ all them teensy-weensy virtualized Ubunti on? I has a license. Let me show it to you.” Microsoft might’ve been in the way of getting one of those nice letters that Harald and Armijn get such a kick out of sending, suitable for framing. I bet they’d’ve loved to do that one, huh?

    Microsoft came with a nice white copy of the GPL (v2) on the end of a stick, waving it in surrender. But do you gloat? Do you chortle? Do you celebrate your victory?

    No. Not a bit.

    It’s an even bigger laugh that WIlly tried to tell me (while I was in Gran Canaria, yet!) that I ought to get away from the computer more and go out and make some friends, that he thought I was an unhappy person.

    Man. It’s true what they say: there really is no pleasing some people.

    Roy, maybe I ought to be editor around here.

  3. zatoichi said,

    July 23, 2009 at 9:32 am

    Gravatar

    Text of the GPL v2 relevant to software patents:

    From the Preamble: “Finally, any free program is threatened constantly by software patents. We wish to avoid the danger that redistributors of a free program will individually obtain patent licenses, in effect making the program proprietary. To prevent this, we have made it clear that any patent must be licensed for everyone’s free use or not licensed at all. ”

    From section 7: “7. If, as a consequence of a court judgment or allegation of patent infringement or for any other reason (not limited to patent issues), conditions are imposed on you (whether by court order, agreement or otherwise) that contradict the conditions of this License, they do not excuse you from the conditions of this License. If you cannot distribute so as to satisfy simultaneously your obligations under this License and any other pertinent obligations, then as a consequence you may not distribute the Program at all. For example, if a patent license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to refrain entirely from distribution of the Program.

    I understand what this means with respect to Microsoft’s submission of the Hyper-V drivers. Does Mr. “Goblin”? Would he come and explain his interpretation of this to the rest of us, and answer questions that arise from that interpretation?

    This seems only fair, as Roy has put him forward as an expert in these matters. I have some doubts about his expertise in these areas, but I could be wrong, certainly.

    Jose_X Reply:

    >> This seems only fair, as Roy has put him forward as an expert in these matters.

    I think you are confused about the role played by Goblin in this blog piece or about the audience that reads boycottnovell.

    Goblin was clearly identified as an (ordinary) boycottnovell reader and not as an IP expert. It is presumed he is not an IP expert.

    zatoichi Reply:

    Well, if he’s an ordinary reader with no intellectual property law expertise, Jose, why is he being quoted making statements about intellectual property? Does that add anything? It seems it just “sounded good” to Roy, but is actually content-free.

    zatoichi Reply:

    I mean seriously, Jose: Roy could’ve asked me for an opinion. At least I’ve got a clue what I’m talking about.

  4. Yuhong Bao said,

    July 23, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    Gravatar

    In fact, only hours after MS’s Linux patch, tridge posted a revised version of the MS FAT LFN patent workaround patch:
    http://lkml.org/lkml/2009/7/20/425

  5. Yuhong Bao said,

    July 24, 2009 at 1:15 am

    Gravatar

    And Linus’s opinion on the patch:
    http://www.linux-mag.com/id/7439/

    zatoichi Reply:

    “Does anybody complain when hardware companies write drivers for the hardware they produce? No. That would be crazy. Does anybody complain when IBM funds all the POWER development, and works on enterprise features because they sell into the enterprise? No. That would be insane.

    “So the people who complain about Microsoft writing drivers for their own virtualization model should take a long look in the mirror and ask themselves why they are being so hypocritical.”

  6. zatoichi said,

    July 24, 2009 at 4:57 am

    Gravatar

    I’ve gotten curious, has there ever been a woman on this site? I mean, if not, I could certainly understand why (especially if they happened to wander onto the IRC channel), but I was just wonderin’…

    Folks on the IRC channel mostly aren’t listening to Linus, especially MinceR… Here’s an annotated section that’s typical… Ng makes a valiant effort…

    Diablo-D3: I thought I could get through a day without hating microsoft Jul 23 23:36
    Diablo-D3: Thanks for ruining that, guys. Jul 23 23:36
    MinceR: once again, what is there not to hate about m$? Jul 23 23:36

    You know, it’s not even the sort of hate that you get to actually express to the person–and how can you actually “hate” a what “hate” seems different than significant dislike, doesn’t it?–you hate; all you do here is express it to one another, reinforcing it in yourselves.

    I bet the Taliban sit around talking about the US just this way, “Once again, what is there not to hate about the US?” Even though we sometimes speak that way, we don’t hate the way a particular shirt makes us look or Britney Spears’ newest bit of musical vomit-flavored cotton candy. Seems to me you pretty much just hate other people, if you hate at all…

    oiaohm: You may be able to change MS. Jul 23 23:36
    oiaohm: The problem is changing everyone else. Jul 23 23:36
    Ng: there’s no point hating a company, that’s just ridiculous Jul 23 23:36

    Ng shows good sense. The company won’t hate you back, and it won’t hear you telling it you hate it.

    oiaohm: who is also out for greed. Jul 23 23:36
    Ng: disagree with them, don’t use their products, but hate? Jul 23 23:36

    SRSLY. But MinceR is not to be so easily dissuaded from his strange cauldron of raw emotion.

    MinceR: yes, hate Jul 23 23:36
    MinceR: all their efforts are focused on destroying something i like Jul 23 23:36

    You have a strange way of dealing with “something you like”, MinceR. You seem to spend a lot more time talking, and I suppose thinking about what you hate.

    MinceR: simply because they can’t do anything useful Jul 23 23:37
    oiaohm: IBM and Orcale are out for money. Jul 23 23:37
    Ng: so ignore them :) Jul 23 23:37
    MinceR: they’re criminals Jul 23 23:37

    Again, Ng shows sense, but MinceR’s interest becomes clearer. He’s going to right the wrongs of the Gotham City, single-handedly. He is…the Bitman.

    oiaohm: Killing MS would be proftiable. Jul 23 23:37

    oiaohm, on the other hand, is only in it for the money.

    MinceR: criminals shouldn’t be ignored Jul 23 23:37
    MinceR: they should be stopped and punished Jul 23 23:37

    And MinceR is just the man to do it!

    Ng: they have been punished for some things Jul 23 23:37
    MinceR: not adequately Jul 23 23:37
    MinceR: they were fined some lunch money Jul 23 23:37
    MinceR: and they gleefully kept on doing the same thing Jul 23 23:38

    Why those…persons whose mothers were not married to their fathers! (Roy, any luck on that “what’s-a-’curse’-and-what-isn’t” list..?)

    oiaohm: Issue for IBM and Orcale they need a operational replcement. Jul 23 23:38
    MinceR: they should be gleefully punished for it. Jul 23 23:38

    Not just punished, but gleefully punished. What’s your proposal, MinceR, “register on Boycott Novell and receive a FREE Microsoft employee to flay alive and torture to death! (Implements of torture not included)”…? Chances of winning Steve Ballmer, approx. 1:40,000?

    Diablo-D3: this is why I was rich btw Jul 23 23:38
    Diablo-D3: I’d just buy microsoft Jul 23 23:38

    Presumably he means “…why if I was rich…” One wonders if he has any notion of how “rich” he’d have to be, and whether he couldn’t think of anything more positive and useful to do with that money…

    Ng: I want free software to win by being better and more popular, not because of revenge against nasty big microsoft Jul 23 23:38

    I’m with Ng here, except it’s “open source software”. Free software is largely better than Microsoft’s in a lot of cases, we’re not up to best-of-breed overall yet, though, lotta work to be done for those who don’t mind working as opposed to whining

    oiaohm: Once they have that MS is in big trouble. Jul 23 23:38
    MinceR: Ng: are you implying that free software isn’t better? Jul 23 23:38

    I’ll say it flat-out, and it’s non-controversial: free software is mostly not better (in quality, in user experience, in functionality) than proprietary software. The GIMP is not better than Photoshop, and Dave Neary, who led the project for a long time, was a member of the GNOME Foundation board for a few years, and is incredibly active in the community agrees. That and the tendency to only write code for ourselves and each other is something we talk about a lot and agree needs to be changed. Of course, you guys aren’t helping.

    oiaohm: Why will they keep on buying if they don’t need it. Jul 23 23:38
    Ng MinceR: in some areas it is better, in others it isn’t Jul 23 23:38

    Depends on the areas…

    oiaohm Remember orcale and IBM are both lining up to target MS big market Small business. Jul 23 23:38
    MinceR i don’t want to take revenge on m$, i want to take revenge on the criminals who lead it that way Jul 23 23:38

    Personally. With pliers and a blowtorch, one would have to think. MinceR, do you have trouble with your digestion? Headaches? Sleeping okay?

    MinceR and i want the others to lose their jobs Jul 23 23:39

    Right. Nothing vengeful about that.

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