Summary: News about controversial patents on genes, life-saving drugs, and TRIPS in ACTA
THIS post presents some news where patents are a matter of life and death.
• US Government Argues in Court that Isolated Genes are Unpatentable (patents on genes were also covered in [1, 2])
In March, 2010, District Court Judge Robert Sweet held Myriad’s gene patent claims invalid for failing to satisfy the subject matter eligibility requirements of 35 U.S.C. 101. The ruling was directed toward claims that cover particular isolated DNA molecules (genes) and processes of detecting and screening for those genes, but was written broadly enough to essentially invalidate all patents covering genes that were isolated from an organism.
Thus, the patent laws embrace gene replacement therapies, engineered biologic drugs, methods of modifying the properties of plants or generating biofuels, and similar advanced applications of biotechnology. Crossing the threshold of section 101, however, requires something more than identifying and isolating what has always existed in nature, no matter how difficult or useful that discovery may be.
• Big Pharma Stranglehold: Thwarting India As Independent Maker Of Blockbuster HIV Drugs? (“neocolonialism kills AIDS,” remarks Dr. Glyn Moody)
Until recently, the pharmaceutical giants were little interested in the developing world, while looking almost exclusively to the profitable United States and European markets. But now, their momentum is substantially slowing down there mainly due to stiff costs to renew product pipelines, generic competition, recent economic downturn and cost-conscious government and commercial payers. Additionally, over the next five years, drug companies will lose patent protection of products worth US$140 billion in yearly sales . As a result, the brand industry is increasingly looking to the emerging markets of fast-growing middle-income countries (including India, China, Venezuela, Brazil, South Africa, South Korea, Indonesia, Colombia, Egypt, Vietnam and Turkey) where a number of well-off elites, who can afford out-of-pocket spending (about 300 million people in India, at least 800 million in China), now live. Expanding middle classes in such countries are not only spending more on healthcare, but their rising wealth is contributing to increased rates of chronic diseases once limited to the western markets. Without counting that, sales of prescription drugs are forecast to wane in the United States as an effect of new health-care legislation that could lower the price of medicines. This is adding pressure on drug makers’ US businesses.
Cheap brand and branded generics to rural India
Now that big pharma industry is pushing forward its breakthrough in India, the acquisitions of local firms, as just mentioned, have resulted in a multi-pronged, deeply profitable strategy wherein the impact of lower prices applied to end products is offset by taking advantage of the lower manufacturing, distribution and marketing costs in the country.
Until recently, the brand companies doing drug business in emerging economies have focused mostly on the wealthy and middle class. Now, they are turning also to the “bottom of the pyramid” and are conducting an exercise in how to cut prices down to seduce poorer customers and rural villagers in India while still turning a profit. To this aim, nearly all companies have boosted their sales forces (as an example, Abbott now employs approximately 10,000 people across all of its country businesses) . Reportedly, these pitchmen are fanning out in rural India, where they train doctors and patients also hoping to capitalise on a $19.5 billion Indian public healthcare programme for 742 million villagers .
In short, the multinational companies are selling some branded treatments to Indian customers at lower-than-Western prices, while licensing cheap therapies from local firms (the so-called branded generics) to build portfolios of low-cost medicines . Through the branded generics (90 percent of drug sales), the multinationals are deeply involved in the current rise of India’s pharmaceutical market . It comes as no surprise that in countries where generic drugs may frequently be substandard or fake, selling generics under the brand of a leading enterprise can look to doctors and patients as a more trustworthy and reliable option. The branded generics market is generating nearly $8 billion in pharmaceutical sales this year, a figure that is expected to more than double by 2015 .
• USTR positions in China WTO TRIPS dispute at odds with talking points on ACTA flexibility (“ACTA: Brazil, Ecuador and India made interventions on ACTA at WTO TRIPS Council,” summarises ThiruGeneva in this first part of Knowledge Ecology International coverage on ACTA in USTR, Brazil, and India)
In a dispute between the United States and Canada over the enforcement of intellectual property rights, Article 1.1 of the TRIPS played an important role. See: WTO DISPUTE DS362, China — Measures Affecting the Protection and Enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights.
In the US/China WTO dispute, the USTR took the position that parties have an obligation to “give effect to the provisions of the Agreement,” and that “Article 1.1 deals with the method by which a Member implements TRIPS Agreement obligations, not whether or to what extent a Member should implement them in the first place.”
One United States pleading in this dispute mentioned Article 1.1 of the TRIPS 15 times…
• Extracts of India’s Intervention to the WTO TRIPS Council: ACTA (bricking BRIC)
On Wednesday, 27 October 2010, the WTO TRIPS Council held its annual review of the Paragraph 6 System. IP-Watch has a link to the detailed program of the annual review. This annual review of the Paragraph 6 system lasted till around 8 PM Geneva time. More details of this closed door meeting will be provided in due course. Sources close to the negotiations indicate that Canada provided a comprehensive overview of its implementation of the Paragraph 6 system, Canada’s Access to Medicines Regime (CAMR). Rwanda was not present at this review; neither was Ghana, a country which has tried unsuccessfully to make use of Paragraph 6. After 8 PM, the TRIPS Council resumed and certain Members took the floor to discuss ACTA. Here are some key extracts from the intervention made by India yesterday concerning ACTA.
ACTA “completely bypasses the existing multilateral processes provided in particular by the WTO and WIPO” as well as providing for much higher level enforcement than called for under TRIPS, India said in prepared remarks. It is already doing so with a “startling” decision to overturn a decision of the WTO dispute settlement on a US-China dispute over counterfeiting and copyright piracy (IPW, WTO/TRIPS, 26 January 2010), India said. ACTA reinterprets the definition of “commercial scale” to mean “any activity carried out for a direct or indirect economic or commercial advantage” while the WTO recently determined that it meant a particular level of activity, the statement said.
As “ACTA members account for about 70% of world trade,” there is a risk the agreement will “undermine trade liberalisation when there already are several threats to the multilateral trading system in the form of trade protectionist measures in wake the of the economic crisis and a simmering currency issue,” India added. For this reason, India requested that “Enforcement Trends” be discussed at this TRIPS Council meeting, despite having a position in the past that enforcement should not be a permanent TRIPS agenda item, they said.
A WTO source said ACTA parties largely argued the agreement “does not affect TRIPS and that action is needed to tackle the real dangers arising from counterfeit products such as medicines and spare parts.”
Drugs counterfeiting prevention has had ACTA misused to push for draconian copyright law, under the guise of saving lives. █
Summary: Another patent lawsuit is filed by Apple against the Linux-powered Android (now at Motorola) and Microsoft’s attempt to ‘tax’ Android everywhere is slammed even by boosters among Microsoft sympathisers
HAVING already sued HTC for its Linux-powered phones, Apple proceeds to using Motorola with similar allegations of software patents violations:
Another day, another patent lawsuit. And this time around it’s Apple suing Motorola over multitouch on nearly all its Android phones — basically everything up to and including the Droid X.
This improved lawsuits map (see above) ought to be updated to include this lawsuit. We found it as part of today’s exchange between the FFII and a Red Hat employee. FFII also wrote about this “consultation on IPR enforcement in third countries” and someone else shared this new patent cartoon from Nina Paley. Yes, the good news is that patents unrest is growing (not just when it comes to software patents as we’ll show in the next post).
“Microsoft can’t compete with free, and as such, needs to jack up the perceived price of an Android installation.”
–Thom Holwerda, OS NewsDespite usually promoting Microsoft’s side and products, Thom Holwerda from OS News is now criticising Microsoft for using software patents against Android. He writes: “Microsoft does have a different angle, though. Microsoft can’t compete with free, and as such, needs to jack up the perceived price of an Android installation. They do this by dredging up some software patents, and by using the utterly broken US patent system, they mafia manufacturers into paying protection money for every Android device sold, thereby levelling the price difference between Android and Windows Phone 7.”
“Redmond threat level: bright orange,” summarises Canonical COO Matt Asay, who says that “Microsoft holds Androids hostage in open source wars” and provides a good explanation starting as follows:
For years Microsoft has raged — and whined — against the open source machine, once going so far as to castigate open source as being “un-American”. Something must be wrong with a development model, as Microsoft Distinguished Engineer Jim Gray once lamented, that evaporates the possibility of profit in software sales.
And yet open source has marched on, eventually claiming mainstream acceptance as it helped highly capitalistic companies such as Google create hugely profitable businesses. While these companies thrive, however, Microsoft remains cautious, as evidenced in its product strategy and in its hiring patterns.
Click here to find out more!
As Microsoft has watched the open source world pass it by, it has had two main responses:
1. Threaten open-source developers with lawsuits.
2. Adopt open source within its own product lines.
Microsoft has been earnest but uneven in its open-source adoption, but sadly consistent in its threats — and the Microsoft-against-open-source threat level moved to bright orange this week with news that Redmond is trying to hold Acer and Asustek hostage by levying patent royalties on them in reponse to those device manufacturers’ use of Google’s open source mobile platform, Android.
TechDirt too has a couple of relevant new posts on this subject area. The first reminds us that OIN (and the likes of it) is not the answer:
We recently wrote about the incredible patent thicket in the smartphone space. For some reason, in the course of a few days, about ten different publications all created a very similar graphic about “who was suing whom” in the smartphone space for patent infringement.
Are patent pools better than the legal jumble of lawsuits from the graphic above? Maybe. But are they the best solution out there? Absolutely not. Instead, a better solution would be to just let the market compete on the merits of the products and let the market decide, rather than focusing on any monopoly rights that will exclude innovators.
Someone, who prefers to remain anonymous, sent over the news that a company named Everglades Interactive has sued basically all of the big “social gaming” providers for patent infringement. Among those sued are EA, Playdom, Disney (which just bought Playdom), Zynga, Playfish, Rockyou and Crowdstar. The patent in question? It’s patent 6,656,050, for an “odds accelerator for promotional type sweepstakes, games, and contests.” If you read the details, it seems like the pretty standard process of taking various sweepstakes involving matching pieces (bottle caps, peel off stickers, etc.) to get certain prizes but moving it online. Of course, once you move such a physical process online, you can do slightly different things since you’re not limited by geography and physical distribution. But all that seems like it should be obvious. Not to the patent examiners of course, who judged it patent worthy.
The bottom line is, software patents ought to go. They not only harm Linux but they also occasionally harm large companies (which resort to using them when they can’t compete); the main winners are patent trolls and patent lawyers, who are sometimes the same. The vast majority (or Digital Majority) remains unhappy. █
Summary: Microsoft gives up on Silver Lie, but it stays around in one form or another because of Vista Phony 7 [sic] which depends on it. Bad design decisions continue to demonstrate the chain/domino effect in Microsoft’s stack collapse.
oon Lie” is a pet name of the Mono-based Moonlight, which endangers the Web as it puts a Microsoft dependency in it. What will be next for Moon Lie now that Microsoft drops Silver Lie for most practical purposes? Yes, Microsoft is calling a lot of it off because it failed badly, but the company starts spinning this as goodwill and commitment to web standards. Beware the PR and spin exercise, which amongst other things gets used to promote Internet Explorer 9 [1, 2, 3, 4].
It was not so long ago that Microsoft insiders spoke about the death of WPF, whose apparent death was bound to have a negative effect on Silver Lie [1, 2]. It appears as though we were right all along when claiming that Silver Lie was dying [1, 2, 3, 4]*, at least based on this new report which says Silverlight is nearly dead for most purposes, so they redefine it in a way (rather than throw in the towel):
At Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference (PDC) this week, the future of Silverlight is one topic that has gotten short shrift. There have been no sessions about Silverlight 5 and only one mention of Silverlight in the kick-off keynote.
But there were plenty of mentions of HTML 5 and Microsoft’s commitment to that technology, not only in the next version of its Internet Explorer browser, but also as the glue “facilitating a level of independence and innovation between the back end and the front end” (as CEO Steve Ballmer said during an October 28 keynote address at the PDC).
There is a chain reaction here and it is one that we explained weeks ago. Microsoft’s Vista Phony 7 [sic] may become the next “KIN” because the death of Silver Lie may mean end of Vista Phony 7 development; yes, with Silver Lie losing its main reason for R&D investments, Microsoft’s mobile ambitions too are likely to suffer. Vista Phony 7 is dependent on it. Our reader Sternreise has just said: “better investigate status of moonlight as well (are they going to proceed with the implementation, etc)”; Our administrator Tracy has argued that “MS will never succeed in mobile. Apple/Google have them totally beat there.Windows as a platform is dying. They’ll never recover from that”; Sternreise carries on by saying (in IRC): “well, ms dumping Iron* and drawing SL to their proprietary development alone tells something about Microsoft abandoning .net as “world domination” technology and focusing on keeping it as proprietary implementation tech… I guess it’s good news for both MS and the rest of the world as well, i.e. MS can drive the technology according to their proprietary needs, instead of maintaining a pretense of being a “neutral” technology” (expect it to get more aggressive with software patents and lawsuits as it’s the only way to possibly ‘compete’ now).
Glyn Moody, writing in Identi.ca, agrees that Silver Lie is going “gravewards, evidently” and Joab Jackson from IDG writes in Identi.ca that “Microsoft shifts Silverlight to being a Windows Phone development platform only”; he also links to Joe Wilcox’ article that asks, “Why is Microsoft suddenly so hot for HTML5?”
Microsoft has quite aggressively touted HTML5 during PDC 2010, which wraps up today. It’s seemingly inconsistent with Microsoft’s revamped cloud strategy, which is very much about taking propriety software to the cloud. How then does Microsoft’s platform-independent HTML5 approach reconcile with extending the proprietary Office-Windows-Windows Server applications stack into the cloud?
“Maybe because Silverblights sucks,” is the reason our reader gnufreex gave for the failure of Silver Lie (in response to the above headline), but the huge blow to Vista Phony 7 [sic] is what we care about a lot more because Microsoft’s future depends on adaptability as such. “Microsoft Giving Up On Silverlight, Joining HTML5 Party,” says the headline from GigaOM which plays along with the spin that Microsoft shifts and drifts away from Silverlight because of HTML 5 and not due to its defeat in the face of Adobe Trash (Flash) ubiquity .
We now have further confirmation that Microsoft is giving up on its Silverlight rich Internet application platform. Bob Muglia, Microsoft’s president in charge of server and tools, told ZDNet that the company is “shifting away” from Silverlight as a cross-platform development framework, and pushing the HTML5 web standard instead.
Simon Phipps writes:
Very smart move (also covered at GigaOm) – Microsoft are trying to lead the race to the bottom with HTML 5, presumably in the hope of killing Adobe, rather than cascading money faster and faster into Silverlight in an attempt to fight the old way. They only place Silverlight is still strategic is on mobile, and honestly they probably realise HTML 5 is the future there too.
This suggests Microsoft are finally awakening to the power of community. Instead of trying to fight their competitors alone, they are teaming up with open standards – and increasingly open source – to achieve that effect. You can tell where they think they are strong – those are the places they are still fighting with communities and consequently about to lose their lead…
Ray Ozzie’s departure [1, 2] could relate to this and some products like the Web version of Office were once envisioned as incorporating Silver Lie. All those puff piece about Ozzie’s Azure (e.g. [1, 2]) bear no real substance and since Vista Phony 7 has only been money down the drain, new predictions of an "end" of today's Microsoft do make a lot of sense. Just watch this extensive list of dead Microsoft products. Silver Lie is candidate for addition now. █
* Months ago Techrights was cited by many sites as saying Silver Lie was nearly dead and we were attacked for showing early evidential proof.
Summary: Even one of the more Microsoft-sympathetic publications foresees the end of Microsoft, whose struggle against advancement Ray Ozzie warned about earlier this month as he quit
IN one of our later posts we are going to go through Microsoft’s results and explain (yet again) why Microsoft is not telling the full story. Today, just days after Microsoft results which it wants people to believe are wonderful, InformationWeek Global CIO says that “Microsoft [is] Looking Like An End-Stage Company” and expands as follows:
I believe that Microsoft as we know it may not be around in another decade–maybe not even in five years. There’s hardly a single tech industry trend line pointing in Redmond’s favor right now, and some of those curves are about to get a lot steeper, real fast.
We have actually heard from people who predict the Enronisation of Microsoft within a few years. As this one new post (amongst others that cite us this week) put it, “Enron was a cash maven too, till nearly the very end” and Microsoft’s “moves are not a marker of a company with coffers full of cash.”
We wrote repeatedly about Microsoft’s growing debt and other oddities (there is a recorded history of financial fraud at Microsoft). Mini-Microsoft, an anonymous employee of Microsoft, wrote about the company’s latest results, and s/he argues that Microsoft should lay off another 15,000 workers:
I still believe we need to chuck about 15,000 positions (and half of our super-ballooned contingent staff) rather than continue the slow squeeze around the company that’s making this an ordinary job with some extraordinary wonderful people who just haven’t given up on the company. Yet. I hope that the analysts realize that continued, consistent bloodletting because a negative for hiring, and (allow me to be pro-hiring for a moment) if we can’t bring in deep-talented new blood to replace the departed dead wood, our future is doomed to mediocrity.
The blog of Mini-Microsoft is the source of rumoured layoffs that we wrote about recently. Layoffs are usually announced a week or two after results are announced and if the layoffs are slow (or involve offshoring) they may never be formally announced. Either way, be not afraid of Microsoft. Increasingly it will be companies like Apple that find Free software to be a thorn in their behind. Apple is already suing Linux/Android because it’s losing to it. Microsoft may be gone sooner or later (not altogether), but the demise of Microsoft is not necessarily the arrival of software freedom Utopia. The struggle or at least the vigilance will be perpetual because, as Dr. Richard Stallman once put it, “value your freedom or you will lose it, teaches history.” █
Miserable Moves Again: Microsoft Tries to ‘Embrace’ the Winning Side (Free Software), Cannot Help Attacking Upon Failure
Summary: Analysis of Microsoft’s latest interactions with the free/open source software community
HOW CAN one tell that a particular team loses? That team envies the opposing team and amid defeat tries to simply become that opposing team. Microsoft’s OuterCurve [1, 2, 3] and its Windows vision of “open source” (still PR driven) reminds us that Microsoft can no longer ignore or just laugh at “open source”. In order to remain part of the future Microsoft must try to co-opt “open source”, but it has not succeeded for years (it tried repeatedly under different names, e.g. “Shared Source” and “CodePlex”). The following new post helps remind us that Microsoft is not a friend of “open source”, it’s simply trying to exploit and hurt it:
Yesterday, I finished the analysis of a survey I passed for one of my courses.
I used tables, pie graphs, bar graphs, and many of those features people love to see when data analysis is presented.
Oh…I also used Open Office to build the whole thing.
That reminded me of the video bashing Open Office that Microsoft launched, I presume, as part of their “We LOVE Open Source” campaign.
The video, which some view as a desperate rant by the Redmond giant while others see it as an implicit warning of the dangers a hasty migration may cause, called my attention when it mentioned the academic sphere…
Can the use of Open Office actually cause students to get lower grades? Tricky question.
OpenOffice.org (or LibreOffice) is often the first step taken before abandoning Windows and moving to GNU/Linux. Microsoft knows that. Well, Microsoft Office requires operating systems that are not secure and it is also insecure on its own, as this new post reminds us as well:
Why do people accept faulty operating systems?
Sure they will throw the same tantrums with a physical computer fault however, on the software side of things they will accept without a murmur and actually request to install the most bug ridden, virus infected and unstable operating systems in the history of computing. They will use these systems and not care that it is sending spam to the four corners of the world (why do people say that? The world is round) or some fifty odd viruses are siphoning off their passwords, credit card numbers and personal details for sale on the black market.
Russia is said to be preparing for a nationwide move to GNU/Linux and the following article author wonders how Microsoft will respond.
Will Russia’s Move to GNU/Linux Prompt Microsoft to Repair Its Image?
The Russian government recently made a surprising decision: to create a national operating system based on GNU/Linux. The motivation for this development is crystal clear: escaping the Microsoft Windows monopoly. Russia will gain two other huge advantages due to the shift: lower software expenditures and full access to the operating system’s source code. The source code access will allow any discovered security flaws to be quickly fixed. Russia appears to be following China’s lead. A few years ago, China also decided to shift to a Linux-based operating system known as Red Flag Linux. In this article, I will discuss some of the underlying issues that are causing countries, institutions, individuals, and governments to defect to GNU/Linux.
We wrote about it days ago in relation to Microsoft Office. The bottom line is that it’s Free software (OpenOffice.org/LibreOffice and GNU/Linux) that gives Microsoft a major headache. Apple is very different in nature on the desktop (where Microsoft Office runs natively too). █
“I think he [Bill Gates] has a Napoleonic concept of himself and his company, an arrogance that derives from power and unalloyed success, with no leavening hard experience, no reverses [...] They don’t act like grown-ups!”
–Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson
Summary: The world’s richest person (on and off) is trying to portray himself as the person who fights against rich people and greed; A look at other PR-imposed inversions
SOME truly unbelievable spin has come out of the Gates Foundation recently. For those who read this site regularly it ought to be known that the foundation pays many journalists to worship Gates’ agenda in the press. No wonder a lot of people are unable to critically assess this agenda, which revolves around patents, publicity, control, and monopolisation. But today’s post is about a different type of spin we have covered here before [1, 2, 3, 4]. It is basically the spin which would have the gullible believe that the world’s richest man is in fact the enemy of rich people and the only one who can help fair distribution of wealth. Yes, no kidding, that’s what readers are occasionally begged to believe. A good example of this storyline is those recent trips to China’s rich men, who are far less wealthy than Bill and Warren who daemonise and pressure them (Bill and Warren have a shared tax haven). But wait, it gets worse.
This newer bits of spin dissociates Microsoft’s greed (which is how Gates made all his fortune) from Gates himself. Are people truly expected to absorb the spin that “Microsoft Hates Bill Gates’ Rich People Tax” (as the headline puts it)?
That’s just not the story at all. The main story is that this “Rich People Tax” has loopholes which Gates exploited because it does not apply to him. The father of Bill (with identical name) is lumped in even though he too appears to be enjoying those same tax exemptions. Well, the corporate press cannot possibly miss those simple facts, maybe it is just not interested in investigating and reporting accurately. It’s really quite striking. See a related and very informal discussion in IRC where Facebook’s actions are shown to be similar. Therein too there is the schools PR (“think about the children!”) and as Dr. Ravitch has warned [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6], danger lurks as it’s a strategic move. Gates continues to exploit the government for education that’s actually his indoctrination and based on this new report, Steve Jobs wants a piece of the pie too:
The White House says President Barack Obama has discussed American competitiveness and education with Apple Co. co-founder Steve Jobs.
It helps show that fortune holders continue to act as somewhat of a shadow government and we wrote about it a week ago.
Apple and education don’t mix. It’s quite an oxymoron to them. In fact, Apple encourages ignorance in some ways.
A day or so ago we also noticed that the Gates PR team is busy advertising the “Bill Gates” brand in some articles regarding action against global warming. It is problematic when Gates talks about climate danger while his own advancement of patents and investments in large oil-producing companies not just make matters worse emissions-wise; it gives money to sponsor global warming denial, which two firms Gates gives money to are confirmed to be doing.
Most people know about Gates only what PR agents are telling them (or paying journalists to recite). █
“As we sat down in our Menlo Park conference room, Bill skipped the small talk, and went straight to the point, “Microsoft owns the office productivity market, and our patents read all over OpenOffice.””
Canonical Probably to Put in Next Ubuntu GNU/Linux Mono Parts Which Microsoft Disallows Free of Lawsuits/Charge
Summary: Bar/excepting disc space constraints, Canonical intends to replace Rhythmbox in the next version of the very ubiquitous “Ubuntu” distribution, adding to it components that are explicitly excluded from Microsoft’s Community Promise
THE ROCKY LOVE affair of Banshee and Ubuntu goes a long way back and we wrote about it in posts such as:
- Ubuntu Users Plead to Keep Novell’s Banshee Out (and Other Miscellaneous Mono News)
- Microsoft-funded Media Player to Become Ubuntu’s Default?
- Mono Warning: Fresh Attempts to Inject Banshee Into Ubuntu Netbook Edition 10.10
- Novell/Microsoft Mono Poison (Banshee) Put in Ubuntu 10.10 NBE by Default
- Patent Threat Banshee Gets Hooks Into Ubuntu 10.10
- Banshee is Novell, Mono, and ‘Forbidden’ Microsoft Software Patents
- OpenSUSE 11.3 Users Sensitive to Microsoft Lawsuit Due to Banshee Bundling
- Fedora 13 Replaces F-Spot (Mono) With Shotwell (Vala), MeeGo Still Mono Encumbered
OMG!Ubuntu asks: “Which would you choose as default: Banshee or Rhythmbox?”
“So much for the vote they had yesterday,” wrote gnubie in our main IRC channel as s/he pointed to this news from the same site which says that “Banshee becomes Ubuntu 11.04 default music player” (the comments talk about Mono).
The news headline cannot be confirmed by Webupd8, which is another popular information resource that’s focused on Ubuntu and says:
- Banshee might be included by default in Ubuntu 11.04 (and thus replace Rhythmbox) if it can be slimmed down to fit on the CD
Compare this to the statement from OMG!Ubuntu, which says: “Banshee is to be the default music player in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal – providing issues with disc space can be overcome.”
By making Mono unavailable by default in Ubuntu a lot of disc space would be saved. But there are other issues or noteworthy factors here, notably the Microsoft APIs and the fact that Banshee contains parts of Mono that we know for a fact based on the Microsoft Community Promise (MCP) to be a patent trap.
Why does Canonical add software which Novell totally controls and Microsoft has power over? There are still some people out there who thank Novell for such gifts and even call Mono “great”:
I know Mono isn’t the most popular project in the open source community but working in the real world mono is one of the most important project Novell backs. The need to have C# programs work across multiple platforms has become very important. It finally blurs what operating system you need to run a program and given the choice of SUSE with Mono vs Microsoft Server with .Net from a cost prospective SUSE is the best route. Porting .NET applications to Mono isn’t that hard and any new applications written in Mono will work perfectly on Windows so there really is no reason not to use Mono to develop your .NET applications
The main goal here is to develop with Microsoft’s API what could otherwise be achieved with Java for example. Mono is not a GNU/Linux project (it is about .NET) and it’s risky. Now that the SCO-esque Microsoft sues many companies without prior provocation, Canonical would be wise to stay with Rhythmbox. █
“I saw that internally inside Microsoft many times when I was told to stay away from supporting Mono in public. They reserve the right to sue”