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

07.28.09

Microsoft Wants to Give RAND Terms to Free Software

Posted in Antitrust, Europe, Interoperability, Microsoft, Office Suites, OpenDocument, OpenOffice, RAND, Standard at 2:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Rand Tower, downtown Minneapolis
The Rand Tower, downtown Minneapolis

Summary: Microsoft’s promise of so-called ‘interoperability’ leaves much to be desired

Microsoft very well understands that RAND terms are incompatible with Free software, but in its latest overture with the European Commission Microsoft offers exactly that. Andy Updegrove looks at the general details and provides cursory background.

If you’ve been reading the reams of articles that have been written since then, you may have noticed that the vast majority of the virtual ink spent on the story has been directed at the terms relating to browser choice. Typically, and as an afterthought, most of these stories have added a brief mention that a settlement has also been provisionally reached relating to “another” dispute, this one relating to interoperability.

And indeed, when it comes to “interoperability” (not the same as open standards), Microsoft has the usual gotchas. As Glyn Moody notes:

Now, as I’ve noted several times before, such “reasonable and non-discriminatory” terms aren’t necessarily much use to free software, since they can be both and still incompatible with major licences like the GNU GPL.

[...]

This seems to mean that free software projects will be able to pay a relatively small upfront fee, with no per copy licensing – necessary to allow copies to be made and passed on without worrying about such fees.

Heise’s coverage of this references Moody.

Moody believes that, given the detail of these proposals, Microsoft already had these plans in place before they made the original proposal and that it was “being as awkward as possible”. Despite the commitment to ODF as a document format, there are still issues over interoperability with Microsoft applications and other applications which produce and consume ODF documents.

This is a subject that we wrote about in [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. Microsoft is harming rival office suites, aided by hypocrites.

Essentially, the news are about Microsoft discussing OpenOffice.org as a competitor. That’s interesting, usually Microsoft does not like to speak about competitors coming from the Free Software Community, except when it’s about patents on code it allegedly infringes.

Patents too are a last resort to Microsoft (against OpenOffice.org).

“In one piece of mail people were suggesting that Office had to work equally well with all browsers and that we shouldn’t force Office users to use our browser. This Is wrong and I wanted to correct this.”

Bill Gates [PDF]

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

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

2 Comments

  1. Arun SAG said,

    July 28, 2009 at 3:56 am

    Gravatar

    Nasscom used RAND in its subverted “draft policy on open standards” http://fosscomm.in/OpenStandards?action=AttachFile&do=get&target=Policy_On_Open_Standards_V2.pdf (section 6)

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Yes, Red Hat recently criticised Nasscom for that.

What Else is New


  1. EPO: Goodbye to the Rule of Law and Hey Hi, AI!

    The EPO’s embrace of buzzwords — no longer a unique EPO strategy (it has already spread elsewhere) — puts examiners in a very bad position and they’re grappling with nerve- and mind-racking dilemmas (risk of unemployment for truly upholding the EPC)



  2. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, January 26, 2020

    IRC logs for Sunday, January 26, 2020



  3. Links 26/1/2020: MuseScore 3.4 Released, New Kate Icon and Solus 4.1 Fortitude Available

    Links for the day



  4. MIT and Microsoft Have Done Nothing to Actually Tackle Pedophilia and Ephebophilia

    MIT never actually resolved the issue that caused Joi Ito, Richard Stallman and others to be ejected; Microsoft meanwhile continues to profit from life-changing abuse (while seeding puff pieces in friendly media, just to pretend otherwise)



  5. Opinion: If You Advocate Population Control and You Are Yourself Doubling in One Single Generation, Then You Might be Hypocritical

    People with 3-5 children (each) tell us that the world has an overpopulation problem; while the growth of the population certainly poses a risk, these people lack the moral authority to lecture us about that (unless they adopt a eugenicist worldview, wherein only particular people are permitted to reproduce)



  6. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, January 25, 2020

    IRC logs for Saturday, January 25, 2020



  7. Nothing Has Truly Changed Since Netscape and Antitrust

    The same old crimes persist, as well as the blatantly anticompetitive behaviour



  8. When the Monopolists and the Patent Litigation Industry Hijack the News They Control the Narrative

    Money buys perception and litigation firms have certainly 'bought' the media coverage, which fails to convey the issue at stake and instead paints a rational court decision as tragedy for "innovation" (by "innovation" they mean monopolies on nature and on life)



  9. Links 25/1/2020: OPNsense 20.1 RC1 and DXVK 1.5.2

    Links for the day



  10. The Linux Kernel is No Longer Free Software?

    Gardiner Bryant, the creator of The Linux Gamer as well as The Off Topical Podcast, reacts to our articles about DRM in Linux (he even pronounced my name correctly)



  11. Sometimes Proprietary Software is Proprietary (Secret) Simply Because It is Not Good and Obfuscation Helps Hide Just How Ugly It Is

    Why nonfree (or proprietary) software generally fails to catch up with Free/libre software — at least on technical grounds — and then makes up for it with marketing and FUD offensives (discrediting perfectly-functioning things, based on their perceived cost)



  12. IRC Proceedings: Friday, January 24, 2020

    IRC logs for Friday, January 24, 2020



  13. Links 24/1/2020: GNU/Linux in Russia and More New Openings

    Links for the day



  14. When EPO Press Coverage Boils Down to Lobbying, Press Releases, EPO Lies, and Bribery

    Any attempts to properly assess and explain what happens in Europe's patent landscape are being drowned out by EPO-bribed and law firms-connected media; to make matters worse, the EPO's bribes have expanded to academia, so even scholarly work in this domain is corrupted by money of special interest groups



  15. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, January 23, 2020

    IRC logs for Thursday, January 23, 2020



  16. Links 23/1/2020: Qubes OS 4.0.3, EasyOS 2.2.5, GhostBSD 20.01

    Links for the day



  17. Passion of the Microsoft

    A rough timeline of Microsoft’s interactions with Linux and the Linux Foundation since 2015



  18. The Patent Microcosm is Really Panicking as European Patents on Life and Other Spurious Junk (Invalid Patents) Are Successfully Rejected

    European Patents (EPs) may be revoked en masse if what we're seeing is the gradual emergence of 'European Mayo' (and maybe soon 'European Alice')



  19. Distractions From Microsoft's Gigantic Tax Evasion and Contribution to Denial of Climate Science

    Microsoft (connected to oil companies) wants us to think of it as a "green" company; not only does it contribute to climate denial but it also evades tax, which is a serious crime that costs tens of billions of dollars (the public pays this money instead)



  20. Confirmation: System1/Startpage Offered Pay to People Who Pushed for (Re)Listing in Privacy Directories

    The debate is now settled; those arguing in favour of listing Startpage as privacy-respecting are in fact secretly 'compensated' by Startpage (in other words, they're Startpage 'shills')



  21. Vandana Shiva: “Bill Gates is Continuing the Work of Monsanto”

    A recent interview on what Bill Gates is really up to in that sham ‘charity’ of his



  22. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, January 22, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, January 22, 2020



  23. Extending Linux With DRM, Azure and exFAT

    An insufficiently 'conservative' Linux ceases to be freedom-respecting



  24. Linux Foundation (LF) Now Dominated by Lots of Microsoft People and LF Chiefs Join Microsoft in Smearing GPL/Copyleft

    We continue to see additional evidence which serves towards reinforcing our view that the so-called 'Linux' Foundation is actually hostile towards many things that are associated with Linux (unlike those looking to exploit/hijack Linux for proprietary ends)



  25. Links 22/1/2020: Wayland 1.18 Alpha, ODF 1.3 Approved

    Links for the day



  26. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, January 21, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, January 21, 2020



  27. Poor Excuses for Granting Poor (and Often Illegal/Invalid) Patents

    A quick look at some of the latest examples of software patents advocacy (not by actual software professionals, obviously) and why it's deeply misguided (or guided solely by greedy law firms)



  28. A Simple Plan For a Universal Free Software Community

    "For software to be free as in freedom, we need more people to care personally about software freedom."



  29. Links 21/1/2020: Wine 5.0 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2 Beta

    Links for the day



  30. Startpage/System1 Almost Definitely Pay for People to Lie About Their Surveillance

    A longterm investigation suggests that there are forces in the debate that aren't objective and are being super evasive and dodgy; this typically happens only when somebody has much to hide


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