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07.22.10

OpenSUSE 11.3 Users Sensitive to Microsoft Lawsuit Due to Banshee Bundling

Posted in GNOME, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, OpenSUSE, Patents, SLES/SLED at 4:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Banshee

Summary: OpenSUSE 11.3 has Banshee and the Novell/Microsoft patent deal does not extend to OpenSUSE, so there is a potential problem ahead

A YEAR ago Microsoft made a promise which explicitly excluded Banshee from mitigation of threat of patent litigation (see links below for more details). OpenBallnux 11.3 is out and according to reports of what’s new, Banshee is included. In fact, Microsoft’s MVP Miguel de Icaza brags about it in his blog right now (he also brags about Mono, which will incorporate Microsoft code in the next release) and Novell staff announces a new release of Banshee. “Opensuse 11.3 showing the way,” says this new review, but which way is it? Hopefully not the way for Ubuntu and others to follow. Banshee is the exception because it depends on specific libraries that infringe on Microsoft patents that Microsoft excluded from the MCP. It doesn't take the genius of Richard Stallman to comprehend such issues.

Related posts:

‘We had some painful experiences with C and C++, and when Microsoft came out with .NET, we said, “Yes! That is what we want.”‘

Miguel de Icaza

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A Single Comment

  1. Jose_X said,

    July 23, 2010 at 6:17 am

    Gravatar

    Given Microsoft’s known efforts to develop patent leverage over FOSS and the threat FOSS posses their high margin software business, I suspect they are writing code that will help fulfill a large part of numerous of their patent claims (but not all of the components of the claims) and which also is difficult to remove later on without having to do a significant redesign. This way, regardless of GPL or any other license, Microsoft will not technically create the infringing code but it will be difficult for others to avoid implementing many Microsoft patent claims afterward as other developers try to advance the applications. To use the minefield analogy, if you are led (safely) deep into a minefield, you have signed your tush goodbye.

    A related possibility that may also bypass the GPL and similar license and is less subtle could be for them to add enough code to have the patents be implemented with that code, but since not all of the code was contributed by a single patent owner, they might (perhaps legitimately) claim this bypasses the GPL and similar licenses. As an example, let’s say the ladder is patented. One person might build out the connecting steps and a different person might build out the supporting uprights. The result is that the patent owner did not add in the patented technology (as the GPL tried to defend against), but the fact remains that the patented item was created and passed on to many others thanks to efforts from the patent owner (eg, they might be paying the salaries of those that build out the separate finishing components).

    I have a very simple rule with regards to Microsoft, avoid them. They aren’t happy and living out their goals if any of their monopolies and strengths are being weakened. And their mindset is to do whatever is necessary to change things to their side. Always maximizing profits to them comes before ethics, quality technology, good service, etc.

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