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

02.23.10

Boycott Amazon

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents, Servers at 3:34 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“That’s extortion and we should call it what it is. To say, as Ballmer did, that there is undisclosed balance sheet liability, that’s just extortion and we should refuse to get drawn into that game.”

Mark Shuttleworth

Ballmer on patents

Summary: Not so long after getting a lot of Microsoft executives working for Amazon, the company decides to pay Microsoft for GNU/Linux

Amazon has just become a partner of Microsoft’s racketeering against GNU/Linux [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]. In the words of Microsoft Emil:

While Microsoft wouldn’t say which of its products and technologies Amazon is interested in, Microsoft did mention that Amazon’s Kindle, which employs open source and proprietary software components, as well as Amazon’s use of Linux-based servers are covered.

[...]

It’s possible that Amazon agreed to signing the deal to avoid patent-infringement lawsuits from Microsoft. The mention of Kindle and Linux is not likely to be coincidental: the software giant has put extensive work into tablets and e-readers of various form factors and has previously claimed that Linux infringes on its patented technologies, although it has never specified which patents it believes the Linux stack and kernel violate (the software giant did sue GPS maker TomTom over the FAT file format).

It is not exactly shocking that Amazon is doing this. Amazon was mentioned here yesterday for helping Microsoft and Amazon’s disgusting patent policy (1-click shopping being the most infamous example that we last mentioned yesterday) is a sign that Bezos and his boys (and girls) are interested in monopoly, not in software. But more importantly, this isn’t too surprising because of the corporate takeover through staff — one that leads to inevitable Microsoft influence in the board and in the management. Over the past two years we have covered many examples of high-level Microsoft employees joining the management of Amazon, so the deal above is likely to be signed by existing and some former Microsoft employees. The latest major example of a manager from Microsoft entering Amazon (Kindle to be precise) is Mike Nash, so DRM and takedowns (remote deletions) are likely to only be justified. Giving up on Amazon would have little negative effect at all (on Free software); their contribution to Linux is very scarce and even source code is something that they rarely give.

“This is a huge growth area for Linux, so Microsoft wants to steal its revenue and also make it less appealing from a cost perspective.”Microsoft did not invent Linux (it hardly ever invented anything) and it does not own Linux using imaginary software patents. Almost all E-readers run Linux, so Microsoft is trying to create precedence for extorting all of them and profiting from Linux devices, as Allison warned last month in LCA [1, 2]. This is a huge growth area for Linux, so Microsoft wants to steal its revenue and also make it less appealing from a cost perspective.

Microsoft is also going deeper into the patent racketeering business, with its investment in entities that it helped create, such as Intellectual Ventures which continues to receive flak:

If there is one thing you read today, go read Brad Burnham at Union Square Ventures excellent essay titled Software patents are the problem not the answer.

Several years ago when I first started saying things like “software patents are invalid constructs” or “software shouldn’t be able to be patented” or “software patents are a huge drag on innovation”, I was told by many people (lawyers, journalists, patent trolls, and other VCs) that while I might be right, no other venture capitalist would agree with me or support this position.

Software patents are not legal (except in a few countries), let alone patents that Microsoft refuses to name. Buying a Kindle or server space at Amazon is paying Microsoft for GNU/Linux. That’s not an acceptable practice to support. Boycott Amazon and let them know how you feel.

Kindle

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. NotZed said,

    February 23, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    Gravatar

    Hmm, although this rubs me up the wrong way something terrible, I didn’t write any code inside linux, and so I guess I shouldn’t get upset. And It’s really no different from Google paying for patents on video codecs behind the back of the people who wrote them in places they don’t even apply.

    If these projects refuse to embrace the GPL3 that (I presume) gives projections against such behaviour, then I guess they shouldn’t get upset either. They have had ample opportunity and warnings about this.

    The whole patent concept is a broken one, not just software patents. But it is just another symptom of a world which is descending step by step into oligarchy and corpocracy in a seemingly unstoppable fashion. And given that even bigger issues facing our future freedoms and prosperity are falling on deaf ears, I think things are going to get a lot worse before they get better.

    But I suppose it’s just `pragmatic’ to go along with the flow, rather than fight to maintain hard-won freedoms like some `religious zealot’.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Amazon did not have to involve Linux in this.

What Else is New


  1. Links 26/4/2015: Debian 8, OpenMandriva Lx 3 Alpha, Mageia 5 RC

    Links for the day



  2. Links 25/4/2015: Debian LTS Plans, Turing Phone Runs Linux

    Links for the day



  3. Who Kills Yahoo? It's Microsoft, Not Yahoo!

    The media should blame Microsoft, not Marissa Mayer, for what's going on (and has been going on for 7 years) at Yahoo!



  4. EPO Management is Trying Hard to Appease Its Critics While Pushing Forth Unitary Patent Agenda

    The European Patent Office and European Commission promote the agenda of large multinational corporations (at the expense or European citizens) and critics are being kept at bay



  5. Real Patent Reform Will Not Come From Biggest Backers of GNU/Linux, Not Even Google

    A look at the 'new' Google, the company which is hoarding patents (2,566 last year alone) instead of fighting for reform



  6. Microsoft's Troll Intellectual Ventures Loses Software Patents

    Intellectual Ventures is bluffing with software patents, but this time around it doesn't get its way



  7. Links 24/4/2015: Ubuntu and Variants in the News, Red Hat Developer Toolset 3.1

    Links for the day



  8. Links 23/4/2015: Ubuntu 15.04 is Out, Debian 8.0 Out Very Soon

    Links for the day



  9. Links 22/4/2015: Fedora 22 Beta, Atlassian Acquires BlueJimp

    Links for the day



  10. The Dying Debate Over Patent Scope (Including Software Patents) Replaced by 'Trolls' (But Not the Biggest Ones)

    The corporate media and Web sites or people who are funded by large corporations have essentially suppressed any debate about issues in the patent granting process, thereby guarding software patents and preventing criticism of large corporations' power grab



  11. The Patents Gold Rush Continues

    The morbid obsession with monopolising mere ideas still dominates the media, even increasingly in China



  12. 9 Millionth US Patent Tells a Story of Failure and USPTO Misconduct

    The USPTO, much like FISA (notorious court for surveillance/espionage authorisation), has become a rubber-stamping operation rather than a patents examination centre, as new evidence and old evidence serve to show



  13. HBO Helps Shift Debate Over Patents to 'Trolls' (Scale), Not Scope

    More of that awkward shifting of the patent debate towards small actors who are misusing patents, not large conglomerates like Apple and Microsoft which use patents to destroy competitors, crush startups, drive up prices, and so on



  14. Software Patents Are Still Menacing to Free Software: OIN Expands Scope, HEVC Adds to MPEG-LA Burden/Tax, Google and Facebook Give in on Patents

    A look at recent news about software patents and especially Free/libre software, which is inherently incompatible with them



  15. The Latest Developments Around Microsoft's Clever Attack on Android/Linux

    Microsoft's campaign of destruction, extortion, etc. against the most widely used Linux-powered operating system is revisited in light of new reports



  16. The Microsoft 'Community' is Maligning the Free Software Community

    Dishonest generalisations and baseless deductions portray the Free/Open Source software communities as a nasty place that leads to poverty and despair



  17. Googlebombing 'Microsoft Open Source' Even When Microsoft Shuts Down Its 'Open Source' Proxy

    A massive failure by the press to cover the most basic news, which is Microsoft putting an end to a supposedly 'Open Source' effort



  18. Links 22/4/2015: Calculate Linux 14.16, SparkyLinux 4.0 RC KDE

    Links for the day



  19. Links 21/4/2015: Project Photon, Ubuntu Touch Buzz

    Links for the day



  20. Embrace, Extend, Extinguish: How Microsoft Plans to Get Rid of Linux/Android

    Microsoft's sheer abuse against Android is laying bare for everyone to see now that Microsoft has paralysed Google's legal department with potential antitrust action in Europe



  21. Yahoo's Current CEO (Mayer, Formerly of Google) is Trying to End Yahoo! Status as Microsoft Proxy

    There are signs of relinquishing Microsoft's control over Yahoo! after Marissa Mayer worked to end the company's suicidal/abusive relationship with Steve Ballmer's Microsoft



  22. Repeating Microsoft's Lies Without Any Journalistic Assessment

    Poor fact-checking by relatively large media/news sites results in Microsoft's patently false claims being repeated uncritically



  23. Links 19/4/2015: New KaOS (2015.04), Manjaro Linux 0.8.13 Pre1

    Links for the day



  24. Links 18/4/2015: ExTiX 15.2, RaspArch

    Links for the day



  25. Microsoft Tired of Pretending to be Nice to Free/Open Source Software (FOSS), Microsoft 'Open' Technologies Dumped

    Microsoft dumps its proxy (misleadingly named 'Open Tech') and other attacks on Free software persist from the inside, often through so-called 'experts' whose agenda is to sell proprietary software



  26. More Translations of French Article About the EPO

    German and Dutch translations of the Le Monde article are now available



  27. Links 17/4/2015: Wipro and the Netherlands Want FOSS

    Links for the day



  28. Microsoft's Multi-Dimensional Assault on Android/Linux: Extortion, Lobbying of Regulators, and Bribes

    Microsoft's vicious war on Linux (and Android in its current incarnation) takes more sophisticated -- albeit illegal (as per the RICO Act) -- forms



  29. Microsoft's Plot to Associate Windows with 'Open Source' is Proving Effective, Despite Being Just a Big Lie

    A look at the latest headlines which can lead to a false perception that Microsoft is now in bed with 'Open Source'



  30. Microsoft Windows Remotely Crashed, Remotely Hijacked, But Still No Logo and No Branding for the Bugs

    Windows maintains its reputation as a back doors haven, but the media is still not highlighting the severity of this issue, instead focusing on accidental bugs in Free software, even very old (and already fixed) bugs


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