Summary: What Amazon does not want to tell us about software patents in its recent deal with Microsoft; more reasons to suspect that Dell pays Microsoft for Ubuntu GNU/Linux
ONE of our readers, who goes by the name of “Mad Hatter”, has just explained why he will not link to Amazon anymore. As some people may recall, we called for an Amazon boycott* [1, 2, 3] not just because what Amazon does to the patent system but also because it joined Microsoft’s anti-GNU/Linux racket after hiring many executives from Microsoft (entryism). Here is the explanation about reasons to avoid Amazon:
By signing a deal with Microsoft, for technology that the Free and Open Source Community developed, Amazon has shown a lack of respect for the ‘Intellectual Property’ of the Free and Open Source Software Community. Amazon’s action is an attack on the community. It can also be considered an attack on the Constitution of the United States of America, which states
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
The wording above makes mention only of the Authors and Inventors. The drafters of the U.S. Constitution clearly meant that only the Author or Inventor of a work or invention can speak for that work or invention. Therefore if there are issues with a work or invention, the party who has the issues must approach the Author or Inventor, not a third party such as Amazon. In simple terms, Amazon has no right to admit that the Linux Kernel infringes on Microsoft’s patents, only the Authors or Inventors of the Kernel have that right. By making an admission that they have no right to make, Amazon has engaged in what is known as ‘Slander of Title.’
As he put it in a previous post:
So if you are considering a lawsuit against a competitor who uses Free and Open Source Software in the product you claim infringes on your patents or copyrights, don’t expect the community to like what you are doing, and do expect them to do something about it.
In other news, Dell appears to be lying about GNU/Linux, Vista 7, and maybe software patents (Dell announced in 2007 that it had joined the Microsoft/Novell deal).
On many occasions before we explained and showed why we suspect that Dell pays Microsoft for so-called “Linux patents”. The potential evidence comes from many places, including videos from Dell. And now we find this disappointing report showing up in the news, shortly after it turned out that Dell sells machines with Ubuntu at a higher price than equivalent machines with Vista 7.
Dell bars Win 7 refunds from Linux lovers
Dell has told a Linux-loving Reg reader that he can’t receive a refund on the copy of Windows 7 that shipped with his new Dell netbook because it was bundled with the machine for “free”.
In October, another Reg reader succeeded in gaining a $115 (£70.34) refund from the computer maker after he rejected the licence for Microsoft’s OS and installed Linux instead. Microsoft’s EULA, you see, provides for such a refund.
One of our readers asks, “If it’s ‘free’ then how does MS factor in the revenue into its accounts? If it’s not ‘free’ then who enthused DELL to not pay the refund?” █
* Boycott as an action to correct a corporation’s behaviour, not to ostracise.