“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.”
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.
“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.
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. █