EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

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
  • Slashdot

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 25/9/2020: PostgreSQL 13, DragonFly 5.8.2 and Python 3.8.6

    Links for the day



  2. Code of Ethics Versus Code of Conduct in Action

    Reprinted from Daniel Pocock's Web site



  3. Linux Foundation: “Transformation Through Open Source” is Proprietary Software That Rejects Linux

    The Linux Foundation, run by proprietary software companies that don’t really care about Linux, is still a lot more about openwashing (perception management techniques) than about “Open Source” or even Linux (which most of the Foundation rejects)



  4. Links 24/9/2020: KaOS 2020.09, Arch Conf 2020 Coming, IBM Z Day 2020 Ends

    Links for the day



  5. At ZDNet, in 2020, “Linux” Means Microsoft and Windows

    The incredible charade of ZDNet carries on; the site whose parent company went bust last December isn’t even trying to hide its true agenda



  6. Red Hat is Spamming People in Order to Promote Its Sites and Its Products, Subscribing People to Mass-Marketing Lists Without the Recipients' Consent

    "Engagements" from Red Hat; have the IBM-led marketing people gone overboard, subscribing lots of people to marketing spam without bothering to ask for consent?



  7. “If I'm the Father of Open Source, It Was Done by Artificial Insemination With Stolen Sperm”

    The father of the Free software movement, Richard Stallman, is being wrongly compared to some patron of an “open source” ‘movement’ (an early effort to cancel Stallman and the FSF), which is basically a hostile corporations-led ploy these days



  8. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, September 23, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, September 23, 2020



  9. The Second Wave (of Free/Libre Software)

    Despite some major setbacks and new threats to digital freedom (autonomy is perhaps a more suitable term), progress is being made and activism must adapt to tackle newer trends



  10. Exploring the Relationship Between Red Hat and Microsoft: They're Barely Even Rivals Anymore

    The ‘older Microsoft’ (serial monopolist IBM) bought Red Hat, but evidence shows that one would be wrong to assume Red Hat really competes against Microsoft (any more than Novell did; there’s a strong relationship)



  11. Microsoft Lost More Than 15 Million Web Domains in One Month!

    Microsoft's presence on the Web is being reduced to ridiculously low levels; sooner or later Microsoft will turn from 'king' of parked (unused) domains to master of nothing



  12. Links 23/9/2020: Lenovo's Deeper GNU/Linux Dive and Tor Browser 10/Tails 4.10

    Links for the day



  13. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, September 22, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, September 22, 2020



  14. The Latest Greenwashing Campaign by the EPO is Just 'Chinese Propaganda'

    When the EPO speaks of “innovation” and “clean energy transition” it means nothing but patents on batteries, in effect monopolies being granted in Europe (to a lot of Asian — not European — companies)



  15. Links 23/9/2020: Librem 14 Shipping in December, Linux Journal Returns, Istio 1.6.10 Released, Release Candidate 3 of LLVM 11.0

    Links for the day



  16. Welcome Back, Linux Journal!

    Linux Journal is coming back under the ownership/umbrella of Slashdot folks, who are sadly preoccupied and obsessed with Microsoft talking points and PR campaigns



  17. What the Efforts to Remove Dr. Stallman Reveal About the Agenda of Large Corporations (Looking to Absorb the Competition, Remove Freedom, Spread Proprietary Software in 'Open' Clothing)

    Richard Stallman's (RMS) positions and foresight are usually correct; at the moment we're losing access to key people whose leadership positions are essential for the independence of cornerstone projects



  18. Links 22/9/2020: Tails 4.11, Linux Lite 5.2 RC1

    Links for the day



  19. Minimalism for Maximisation of Productivity and Clutter Mitigation

    Unfortunately, GNU/Linux (especially the latter, Linux) embraces bloat and anti-features in pursuit of sales (appeasing large corporations, not users’ needs), reducing the modularity, reliability and productivity of computer systems in the name of helping “dumb” users (they keep telling us people are very dumb and those who disagree are “elitist” and “extremist” or even “neckbeards” — in effect insulting every person out there)



  20. IRC Proceedings: Monday, September 21, 2020

    IRC logs for Monday, September 21, 2020



  21. Post-Coronavirus Linux.com Became Nothing But a SPAM Site

    As per the Linux Foundation‘s very own brochure, scripted and fake ‘interviews’ are to be produced and then edited/negotiated (before publication) with the sponsor… in Linux.com as the platform. This is corruption (or marketing, one might call them de facto ads presented as fake ‘articles’).



  22. Erosion of Free Speech and Tolerance of Opposing Viewpoints in Free Software Communities

    The concept of free speech is being reinvented by oversensitive people who nowadays expand the list of exclusions/exemptions (from scope of 'permissible' speech) to politics and criticism of large and highly abusive corporations



  23. Links 21/9/2020: PlasmaShell With Vulkan, Plasma Beta Review Day, OpenMediaVault 5.5.11

    Links for the day



  24. Guest Post: The Worrying State of Political Judgement in Free Software Communities

    A look at what Mozilla has become and what that teaches us about the Web and about software



  25. Links 21/9/2020: KTechLab 0.50.0, Linux 5.9 RC6

    Links for the day



  26. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, September 20, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, September 20, 2020



  27. Git is Free Software, GitHub is Proprietary Trap

    More and more people all around the world understand that putting their fruit of labour in Microsoft's proprietary (but 'free') prison is misguided; the only vault they have is for human beings, not code



  28. Daniel Pocock on Codes of Conduct and Their Potential Dangers in Practice

    In Debian we’ve already witnessed several examples where Codes of Conduct, if put in the wrong hands (in the Linux Foundation it’s corporate hands), can achieve the very opposite of their intended goal and its a true shame as well as a travesty for legitimate victims of real abuse



  29. Links 20/9/2020: Flameshot Screenshot Tool 0.8, Okular Improvements and More

    Links for the day



  30. Reminder: Vice Chair of the Linux Foundation's Board is an Oracle Executive Who Used to Work for Microsoft

    The Linux Foundation issued statements to the effect of opposing Donald Trump, but its current leadership (people from companies like Oracle, Microsoft and IBM) is a strong proponent of doing as much business as possible with Trump (even in violation of international law)


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