07.24.09

Red Hat Asks Microsoft to Stop the Patent Racketeering

Posted in GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Novell at 5:45 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Microsoft is asking people to pay them for patents, but they won’t say which ones. If a guy walks into a shop and says: “It’s an unsafe neighbourhood, why don’t you pay me 20 bucks and I’ll make sure you’re okay,” that’s illegal. It’s racketeering.”

Mark Shuttleworth

Summary: Had Microsoft been up to any good, it would rescind the patent threats too, implicitly claims Red Hat

WHEN Microsoft gave its self-serving patch to Linux [1, 2, 3], it pretended to have done something generous, but as the next post will show, Microsoft merely violated the GPL and decided to correct this.

Microsoft’s patent racketeering against Linux was last seen over a week ago, so Red Hat uses this opportunity to tell Microsoft that it must end.

“To win the respect and trust of the Linux community, Microsoft should unequivocally disavow such conduct and pledge that its patents will never be used against Linux or other open source developers and users,” Red Hat stated.

Microsoft however has a different opinion. Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel at Microsoft, has blogged his own response to Red Hat’s call.

Asay wrote about this too:

Red Hat’s legal team has given a half-hearted pat on the back to Microsoft’s open sourcing of Linux device drivers this week.

The observation of the Bible’s James came to mind: “Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing.”

[...]

The spirit of Red Hat’s comment–compete on the basis of technology and execution, not patent threats–is absolutely correct. But the course of action suggested by Red Hat’s legal team for Microsoft is a double standard that no company or individual should follow.

From IDG:

While applauding Microsoft’s contribution of code to the Linux community this week, Red Hat nonetheless urged its rival to pledge that it will never use its patents against Linux.

The funny thing is that Microsoft knows it merely complied with the GPL, but this never prevented the company from pretending to have done something owing to niceties. Dishonesty rather.

Now that Sun Microsystems is sold to Oracle, many will say that Red Hat is the largest or at least most prominent among open source companies. So it is sad that the following Register Webcast, which is about “open source”, is speaking to Novell and Microsoft; they don’t describe themselves as open source companies.

Experts from The Register, Novell, Freeform Dynamics and Microsoft will provide their opinions, practical advice and answers to attendee questions throughout this hour-long event. Topics include:

# What are organisations adopting when it comes to Open Source and Proprietary software?

[...]

# Virtualization and flexible operations
# Novell and Microsoft working together

Why is a show which purports to be about open source so overly focused on Microsoft on Novell? Those two companies are mixing code and using software patents. That’s not open source.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

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

4 Comments

  1. zatoichi said,

    July 24, 2009 at 5:58 am

    Gravatar

    “Implictly claims”? I think it’s more like “Based on what Red Hat said, Roy claims…”

    And no one is imputing Mother Teresa-like motives to Microsoft in this. As I’ve pointed out, they released the Hyper-V drivers because they had no alternative to doing so, that’s clear.

    However what all of you seem to be missing–even after I told you–is that open source (I don’t think Greg is a “free software” guy, either) backed Microsoft into a corner and made it say “Uncle!” (Metaphorically speaking, of course; I’m not anthropomorphizing here, as people are very prone to doing on this site. Don’t get confused.)

    And there are stories about Mother Teresa, too.

  2. Nemesis said,

    July 24, 2009 at 6:48 am

    Gravatar

    “Microsoft is asking people to pay them for patents, but they won’t say which ones. If a guy walks into a shop and says: “It’s an unsafe neighbourhood, why don’t you pay me 20 bucks and I’ll make sure you’re okay,” that’s illegal. It’s racketeering.”

    Mark S said that, but im very very sure the PEOPLE MS are getting to pay for the patents (they are using to make money with because of what it does).. THEY WOULD KNOW.

    You think MS goes to a company and says “we have some patents so give up some money”. You really think the world works like that.

    Mark, and anyone else have to work out thats its NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS, you are not the company doing deals with MS, you are not signing any cheques to them. They dont have to tell you SQUAT.

    So to whine constantly about what businesses do (conducting business) all the time does not help your cause.

    It’s like you saying “oh dear, MS is selling software!!” . Yes, they are it’s what they do. No one is holding a gun to your head to use MS, or its products, and no one expects MS to walk up and down your street yelling out loud, “just so you know we did some business deals today”.

    If you lose credibility from this level of ‘reporting’ no one will take any notice of you when you actually have something of value to report.

    As for their “goodwill to obey the law” im sure MS could have re-written the offending code as opposed to release it. Again, reporting non-report worthy subjects greatly limits your influence.

    7000 posts of rubbish not worth anything if they are false and misleading.

    7 accurate, well researched, factual reports would be far better.

  3. Needs Sunlight said,

    July 24, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Gravatar

    The OEM racketeering needs to be dealt with as well, as does the astroturfing.

  4. Yuhong Bao said,

    July 24, 2009 at 1:18 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

What Else is New


  1. Links 29/11/2020: Genode OS Framework 20.11, Linux 5.11 Kernel Changes, and Latest in KDE Itinerary

    Links for the day



  2. Sincere Thoughts About Outreachy

    Outreachy's role in the Free software community and inclusion in the FSF's High Priority Projects, as seen from the eyes of a female coder from a minority group; she used to work for the Free Software Foundation (FSF) and she expresses concerns about what Outreachy has become



  3. Free Software Under Tyranny of Codes of Conduct as the Western Equivalent of Blasphemy Law (Corporations as the New Religion/Sponsors as Deities)

    The free speech crisis in Free software communities has enabled expulsion of opinionated people whose opinions truly matter; in their place we now have companies that bomb people, sometimes even kidnapping children and sterilising women because nothing says “Ethics” like naked fascism and corporate domination everywhere



  4. Release: 4 More Documents and Letters About the Financial Siege at Europe's Second-Largest Institution

    Documents disputing the accuracy of the "hoax" from António Campinos and the Mercers



  5. One Year Ago: The Last EPO Demonstration Before COVID-19

    About a year ago staff of the EPO apparently had its last protest (in front of the Isar building) before staff got ‘herded’ into homes, where workers became more isolated and even illegally spied on



  6. [Meme] Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) is an Attack on Europe and the European Businesses That Don't Do Litigation

    Litigation lawyers and patent zealots want to set Europe ablaze with legislation that they themselves crafted; thankfully, however, they face constitutional obstacles, no matter how many politicians they bamboozle and buy



  7. Reasons EPO Staff Decided to Go on Strike This Year (Before or Until Coronavirus Prevented It)

    An year-old letter from the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) to the President of the EPO; 7 reasons for going on strike are enumerated



  8. EPO Can Save Money by “Dropping Events Like the Inventor of the Year, Reducing the Number of Managers, Throwing Less Money at Consultants or Bringing the Boards of Appeal Back into Office Buildings.”

    Constructive suggestions from EPO staff, made just over a year ago and assembled into a letter to their EPO colleagues



  9. The Real Fate of the UPC 'Stunt' in Germany Will be Known Next Month (or Next Year) and There Are Substantial Constitutional Barriers in the Way

    Contrary to what Team UPC wants people to think, UPC(A) isn’t a “done deal” in Germany; they never actually addressed the substance of complaints and with help from Benoît Battistelli‘s friends in the Commission they’re just attempting a blatant coup



  10. Microsoft Removes Free Software From GitHub Again, This Time for Motion Picture Association (MPA)

    GitHub is proving to be more of a censorship site than a code-sharing site; with the GitHub takeover Microsoft became a 'censorship police' or force of occupation against its ideological competition; just weeks after the YouTube-DL debacle and further take-downs seeking to 'protect' broken DRM schemes (by banning code) we can see that Microsoft isn't defending developers at all; it's just protecting the interests of MPA, RIAA and other Biden circles from the interests of the general population, which sometimes circumvents perfectly circumventable 'DRM' schemes



  11. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, November 28, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, November 28, 2020



  12. Help Make Techrights (and Other Technology-Centric Sites) More Robust to Censorship by Setting Up More IPFS Nodes

    We’re trying to improve the site’s availability (ensuring it can never be offline) and make it more censorship-resistant; people who adopt IPFS can make that happen while tackling the “bloated Web” and “centralised Internet” issues — all at the same time



  13. Microsoft Loves Linux and Android Apps Running on Windows Instead of GNU/Linux and Android Devices

    Microsoft loves Linux, they say; but as Microsoft's former VP James Allchin put it: "If you're going to kill someone there isn't much reason to get all worked up about it and angry -- you just pull the trigger [...] We need to smile at Novell while we pull the trigger."



  14. Links 28/11/2020: RenderDoc 1.11, GNOME 40 Scrolling Horizontally

    Links for the day



  15. Nine Documents About the Financial Siege Against EPO Staff (Past, Present, and Future)

    Today we release dozens of pages of letters and documents (internal to Europe's second-largest institution); they all focus on the betrayal and skulduggery, crushing staff in spite of what was originally promised (and what workers actually signed up for)



  16. EPO Senior Management (Cabal) “Essentially Deaf to the Proposals From Staff Representatives.”

    Representatives of EPO staff feel like the management of the EPO is "deaf" and uncaring; there's hardly any meaningful progress (or none whatsoever) when it comes to truly honest dialogue with real participation



  17. EPO Management, Led by António Campinos, Attempted to Stifle or Prevent Staff From Being Surveyed

    Battistelli's cabal, which covers up a lot of fraud and corruption, is attempting to prevent the staff from expressing an opinion (for insiders and perhaps outsiders to assess) because things are really bad and autocratic measures are seen as necessary to keep the lid on issues/abuses



  18. The European Patent Office's Central Staff Committee: Office Cannot Recruit Fit-for-Purpose Patent Examiners Anymore

    One third of EPO recruits are 'locals' (Germans), 0.2% are Swiss, 1% Scandinavian; the EPO as an employer became unattractive and it's unable to attract the staff it needs (as was projected and planned when the EPC was agreed upon)



  19. IRC Proceedings: Friday, November 27, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, November 27, 2020



  20. Links 27/11/2020: Jolla is 7, Diffoscope 162, MNT Reform Production

    Links for the day



  21. The Time Coronavirus Helped EPO Management Prevent Staff From Protesting and Going on Strike (March 26th)

    "In view of the spreading of the New Corona Virus, the planned General Assemblies have to be cancelled," the Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) wrote in the wake of the crisis across Europe back in March (weeks ahead of a planned strike)



  22. Guarding Your Privacy With E2EE: Primer

    "As with all security, there is assumed risk no matter how careful you are. There are no security guarantees but that doesn't mean you shouldn't try."



  23. Links 27/11/2020: Systemd 247 and Cockpit 233

    Links for the day



  24. A Free Speech Deficit Harms Software Freedom

    Free software and Software Freedom cannot possibly succeed if we keep accepting or even just tolerating systematic censorship of opinionated people in our community; failing to speak out on this matter (for fear of supposedly offending someone, risking expulsion) is part of the problem — complicity by passivity



  25. Perception of Difficulty

    New poem by figosdev



  26. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, November 26, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, November 26, 2020



  27. Cartoon: After Gambling With Workers' Savings the EPO Can Do Real Estate

    New EPO cartoon from EPO insiders (the one on the right certainly looks a lot like António Campinos and the one on the left can be his EUIPO ‘import’ or Benoît Battistelli‘s INPI ‘import’)



  28. Free as in Freedom Should Not be Associated With Cost

    It's important to remind people that so-called 'free' services (Clown Computing, centralised spaces that 'farm' their so-called 'users') aren't really free; we need to advocate freedom or free-as-in-freedom alternatives



  29. [Meme] UPC's Pyrrhic Victory

    Contrary to what Team UPC says, what happened earlier today is hardly a breakthrough



  30. Many Thanks to Free Software, the Demise of Software Patents (in Europe and the US), and So Much More

    On a positive note we're heading into the end of November, one month before Boxing Day; we take stock of patent affairs that impact software developers


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

Recent Posts