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

01.21.10

Microsoft Attacks Linux-powered Devices with Patents Once Again, Unprovoked

Posted in Courtroom, Deception, GNU/Linux, Kernel, Microsoft, Mono at 7:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

TiVo

Summary: TiVo is preemptively sued by Microsoft for alleged patent violation and Microsoft’s PR puts together some lies to disguise the real cause

Microsoft publicly insisted that it’s not suing anyone with patents, unless that someone happens to sue Microsoft first. Microsoft lied however; we know this because of cases such as Primax [1, 2, 3] and even TomTom, where Microsoft took a direct hit to intimidate Linux distributors.

Now, to be fair, TiVo is a patent aggressor which has been suing with software patents [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], but still, Microsoft was never targeted by TiVo. Nevertheless, Microsoft is suing TiVo, though it has nothing to do with Linux* based on Groklaw’a quick and detailed analysis. To quote portions:

That’s, in my view, Microsoft spin, that it’s doing this to help out AT&T. I would describe it more like this: remember when SCO sued AutoZone for using Linux in its business? AutoZone didn’t write Linux. It just used it. So SCO sued an end user. Similarly, TiVo is suing AT&T. But AT&T didn’t write Microsoft Mediaroom, the implicated software. Microsoft did. So naturally, AT&T has demanded that Microsoft indemnify AT&T, and so here comes Microsoft, essentially defending itself, because if AT&T loses, it’s Microsoft who has to shell out the bucks.

[...]

In short, the PR version is that Microsoft is defending AT&T as a Good Samaritan. The reality as I read this is the Microsoft is defending itself, because if AT&T loses, Microsoft faces having to pay yet another pile of bucks for having infringed someone’s patent, just like what just happened to it in the i4i v. Microsoft patent case Microsoft lost and is appealing. That is what is at stake in this picture. You can see that very clearly in footnote 1 on that same page:

1 If TiVo is willing to state on the record that it is not accusing and will not accuse the software used in the U-verse product and/or service, including any aspect of Microsoft Mediaroom, of infringing the TiVo patents, intervention by Microsoft would be unnecessary.

[...]

So, this isn’t about helping out a friend. This is about Microsoft selling software that someone is claiming is patent infringing. Again. AT&T is just using Microsoft Mediaroom. That’s why when it got sued, it called up Microsoft. So Microsoft is defending itself. You have to hand it to its PR people, though. They get their spin in print.

[...]

In short, friends, this story has absolutely nothing to do with Linux. I knew you’d wonder, because that was my first thought, too, that maybe this was another TomTom. It’s not. And as for TiVo, TiVo may use Linux in its business, but it has not shown any inclination to adopt FOSS values. Linux folks don’t sue people over patents. Some of us remember the GPLv3 discussions, and I’d say we nailed it.

It doesn’t matter if Microsoft lies about the motives; the press blindly believes anything that PR departments are saying, so reality is suddenly an illusion and “war is peace”, as the famous line goes. Almost everyone — including The Register, Joseph Tartakoff and the business press — repeats the same Microsoft talking points:

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is suing TiVo Inc. (TIVO) as part of a broader attempt to provide legal cover for partner AT&T Inc. (T).

Microsoft late Tuesday filed a suit against TiVo in a San Francisco federal court, claiming that the Alviso, Calif., maker of digital video recorders illegally uses technology related to purchasing and delivering video and the ability to display programming information. Both are seen as an attempt to counter an earlier suit filed by TiVo against AT&T, which uses Microsoft’s technology in its television service. Microsoft on Friday requested to intervene in the case on AT&T’s behalf.

Microsoft is standing up for AT&T because the telecommunications company is the largest, and most influential, customer of its Internet video platform. When AT&T chose to go with an Internet-based TV service, it opted to work with Microsoft, which powers the video delivery platform, as well as the digital video recording technology. As a result, it feels the need to shoulder the legal burden for AT&T.

Here is Slashdot discussing this, as well as Microsoft sites:

Microsoft has filed a patent-infringement case against TiVo in one federal court and asked to intervene in a dispute between TiVo and AT&T in another federal court — setting the stage for a legal battle over some of the most popular features used to watch television on digital video recorders.

But they are wrong. That’s just Microsoft’s excuse, for the reasons given above.

In any event, as Microsoft goes patent lawsuits-happy, it is possibly repeating the mistakes of old Apple. TechDirt has a short new essay about it, titled “When Declining To Enforce Your Intellectual Property Rights Strengthens Your Market Position”

Over the years we’ve shown many examples of times when it makes much more business sense not to enforce your intellectual property rights, but reader Jerry Leichter sends in another example.

The fact that Microsoft is suing everyone with patents confirms what Jeremy Allison has just said; Microsoft is in trouble, and like any cornered animal in this type of situation, it is attacking. Only a Microsoft MVP [1, 2, 3] would trust Microsoft at this stage.
_____
* This causes damage to Linux only indirectly, as without TiVo there would be less Linux use. According to Comes vs Microsoft exhibits, Microsoft wants to plant .NET/Mono in devices like TiVo (because of software patent royalties).

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

What Else is New


  1. Links 15/4/2014: Lots of PCLinuxOS Releases, Ukraine Updates

    Links for the day



  2. Apple and Microsoft Actively Lobbying Against Patent Reform in the US

    Apple and Microsoft are reportedly intervening/interfering with US law in order to ensure that the law is Free/libre software-hostile



  3. Lawsuit by Microsoft Shareholder Targets Fine for Crimes Rather Than the Crimes Themselves

    A new lawsuit by a Microsoft shareholder shows everything that's wrong with today's model of accountability, where those who are responsible for crimes are accused of not avoiding fines rather than committing the crimes



  4. Public Institutions Must Dump PRISM-Associated Software

    Another reminder that taxpayers-subsidised services should refuse, as a matter of principle, to pay anything for -- let alone deploy -- proprietary software with back doors



  5. GNU/Linux News: The Opportunities Amid XP EOL

    Links for the day



  6. Microsoft Gets Its Money's Worth From Xamarin: PlayStation 4 Now Polluted by Microsoft

    The Trojan horse of Microsoft, Xamarin, is pushing .NET into Microsoft's console competitor



  7. After Brendan Eich Comes Chris Beard

    Having removed Brendan Eich using bullying and blackmail tactics, his foes inside Mozilla achieved too little as we have yet another man (coming from inside Mozilla) acting as CEO



  8. Healthcare News: Free Software in Health, Humanitarian Causes

    Links for the day



  9. Links 14/4/2014: MakuluLinux, Many Games, More Privacy News and Pulitzer Prize for NSA Revelations

    Links for the day



  10. TechBytes Episode 87: Catching up With Surveillance (NSA, GCHQ et al.)

    The first audio episode in a very long time covers some of the latest happenings when it comes to privacy and, contrariwise, mass surveillance



  11. Server News: KVM, ElasticHosts, Other GNU/Linux Items, and Open Network Linux

    Links for the day



  12. Hardware News: Freedom, Modding, Hackability on the Rise

    Links for the day



  13. Distributions News: GNU/Linux Distros

    Links for the day



  14. GNOME News: Financial Issues, Mutter-Wayland, West Coast Summit, Community Participation

    Links for the day



  15. KDE News: Kubuntu at the Centre Again KDE Applications Updated

    Links for the day



  16. Techrights Rising

    Effective immediately, Techrights will do what it takes to bring back old volume and pace of publishing



  17. Links: Surveillance, Intervention, Torture and Drones

    Links for the day



  18. Mobile Linux Not Just Android: Jolla, WebOS, and Firefox OS News

    Links for the day



  19. Google's Linux Revolution: New Gains for Android, Chrome OS (GNU/Linux)

    Links for the day



  20. Free/Libre Databases News: MongoDB, NoSQL, and MySQL Branches/Forks

    Links for the day



  21. Open Access on the Rise: Textbooks, Journals, Etc.

    Links for the day



  22. Finance Watch (Watching What's Not Being Watched): Economic Warfare/Class Injustice

    Links for the day



  23. Climate and Ecology Watch: News About a World Being Destroyed

    Links for the day



  24. Copyright News: DRM, Censorship, Megaupload, Hypocrisy, and Impact on the Internet

    Links for the day



  25. Sharing Works: Latest News Stories About Crowd-sourcing, Sharing, Transparency

    Links for the day



  26. Links 12/4/2014: Games

    Links for the day



  27. Links 12/4/2014: Applications

    Links for the day



  28. Links 12/4/2014: Instructionals

    Links for the day



  29. Political News: Protests Face a Ban, Covert Actions Continue, Cold War Era Imperialism, Privacy, and War on Justice

    Links for the day



  30. Ubuntu News: Themes, Unity 8, Meizu Phone, Ubuntu Touch, and Elementary OS

    Links for the day


CoPilotCo

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

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts