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

02.01.11

FSF to Challenge Software Patents While Microsoft Uses Them to Extort GNU/Linux

Posted in FSF, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents at 4:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Fuel

Summary: Microsoft’s products are running on empty, so the company is using patents as a form of tax imposed on the competition which is winning

TECHRIGHTS covers patents more than just about any site which focuses on Free/open source software. The issue of software patents ought to be widely recognised as the #1 barrier to adoption of GNU/Linux and the many patent lawsuits against Android — including several from Microsoft and its allies — should provide concrete evidence of this. The FSF will soon take part in a patents-focused discussion of the Churchill Club (which recently held a Wikileaks debate). The FSF’s Web site informs followers about this event:

FSF operations mananger John Sullivan and license compliance engineer Brett Smith will be on a Churchill Club panel discussion to argue against software patents.

For those who view software patents only as a prospective threat, one ought to serve a reminder about Microsoft profiting from Linux through companies like Novell, LG, Samsung, and others. When one buys Linux from these companies, Microsoft will be paid for it. This is rapidly becoming more of a cash cow to the monopolist and as Tim suggests, it may increasingly compete with Microsoft Office as the #1 ‘product’ of the company:

Today I’m looking at figures produced which allegedly show the amount of money Microsoft is losing online and ask the question based on those figures, is it only Office and patents which are keeping Microsoft alive?

We brought up the subject on the TechBytes show, so I thought it would be nice to elaborate on some of the sources I used for that particular section.

[...]

In my opinion, Microsoft has very little to offer. They have grown so large, that sustaining themselves with the products they do make returns on is no longer viable. For me it comes as no surprise that Microsoft would seek to get revenue from patent maneuvers. In the past I’ve made predictions, one of which being Ballmer will be gone come mid 2011, I also said that whilst Microsoft will not simply shut up shop, I think the Microsoft of the future will be far smaller and humble than the bloated monster it is today. What worries me are the products/companies it will bring down with it as it desperately tries to keep its position of power.

One way for Microsoft to further spread its patents and push them into GNU/Linux devices/distributions would be Mono, which is still intruding Ubuntu, including parts of Mono that Microsoft deemed uncovered by the "Community Promise". To quote a news item from a site that's apathetic towards Mono issues (part of the so-called “Mono lobby”: “The Sound Menu of Ubuntu 11.04 Alpha sees the return of play list support – an easy way to access your favourite track line-ups in Banshee without needing to open the app itself.”

This is Mono intrusion which may be going into panels in Ubuntu. The distinct problems associated with Novell’s Banshee were previously covered in :

Mono is partly developed by Microsoft now. It contains Microsoft code, licensed under Microsoft licences. This is not a “gift” — no more than the Greek bearing gifts. Watch out for new spin from the ‘Microsoft press’, courtesy of the company’s longtime booster, Kurt Mackie. It is just yet more deception and misdirection — some propaganda about “interoperability” and not open standards, where interoperability may also involve patent agreements like Novell’s. Microsoft executives are trying to spread some Trojan horses like Mono (.NET) and OOXML because they failed to embrace the community of Free software and failed to make their proprietary formats the ‘standard’ (OOXML, for example, is very scarcely used at all). Unless or until software patents are vapourised, Microsoft APIs are unsafe and are better off avoided (unless approached passively, e.g. Wine).

“The patent danger to Mono comes from patents we know Microsoft has, on libraries which are outside the C# spec and thus not covered by any promise not to sue. In effect, Microsoft has designed in boobytraps for us.”

Richard Stallman

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 25/10/2014: KDE Mockups, Update on GNOME Outreach Program for Women

    Links for the day



  2. After Infecting Unity -- Successfully -- Microsoft's Partner Xamarin Wants to Infect Unreal Engine With .NET

    Xamarin continues to spread dependence on Microsoft to more gaming frameworks, not just platforms such as GNU/Linux, Android, and even permanent-state devices



  3. Taking Microsoft Windows Off the Grid for Damage to Businesses, the Internet, and Banking Systems

    Microsoft's insecure-by-design software is causing massive damages ([cref 27802 possibly trillions] of [cref 13992 dollars in damages to date]) and yet the corporate press does not ask the right questions, let alone suggest a ban on Microsoft software



  4. City of Berlin Does Not Abandon Free Software, It's Only Tax Authorities

    A Softpedia report that says the City of Berlin is moving to Microsoft Office is flawed and may be based on a poor translation



  5. Nadella a Liar in Chief at Microsoft, Pretending That His Anti-Competitive Practices Are Unfortunately Imposed on Microsoft

    The nastiness of Microsoft knows no bounds as even its assault on GNU/Linux and dirty tricks against Free software adoption are characterised as the fault of 'pirates'



  6. Reuters Writes About the Demise of Software Patents, But Focuses on 'Trolls' and Quotes Lawyers

    How the corporate media chooses to cover the invalidity of many software patents and the effect of that



  7. Links 24/10/2014: Microsoft Tax Axed in Italy, Google's Linux (ChromeOS/Android) Leader Promoted

    Links for the day



  8. Links 24/10/2014: GNU/Linux History, Fedora Delay

    Links for the day



  9. Links 23/10/2014: New *buntu, Benchmarks

    Links for the day



  10. Links 22/10/2014: Chromebooks Surge, NSA Android Endorsement

    Links for the day



  11. Links 21/10/2014: Debian Fork Debate, New GNU IceCat

    Links for the day



  12. Criminal Microsoft is Censoring the Web and Breaks Laws to Do So; the Web Should Censor (Remove) Microsoft

    Microsoft is still breaking the Internet using completely bogus takedown requests (an abuse of DMCA) and why Microsoft Windows, which contains weaponised back doors (shared with the NSA), should be banned from the Internet, not just from the Web



  13. Microsoft 'Loving' GNU/Linux and Other Corporate Media Fiction

    Microsoft has bullied or cleverly bribed enough technology-centric media sites to have them characterise Microsoft as a friend of Free/Open Source software (FOSS) that also "loves Linux"



  14. India May be Taking Bill Gates to Court for Misusing His So-called 'Charity' to Conduct Clinical Trials Without Consent on Behalf of Companies He Invests in

    Bill Gates may finally be pulled into the courtroom again, having been identified for large-scale abuses that he commits in the name of profit (not "charity")



  15. The Problems With Legal Workarounds, Patent Scope, and Expansion of Patent Trolls to the East

    Patent trolls are in the news again and it's rather important, albeit for various different reasons, more relevant than the ones covered here in the past



  16. Links 20/10/2014: Cloudera and Red Hat, Debian 7.7, and Vivid Vervet

    Links for the day



  17. Links 20/10/2014: 10 Years Since First Ubuntu Release

    Links for the day



  18. How Patent Lawyers Analyze Alice v. CLS Bank

    Breaking down a patent lawyer's analysis of a Supreme Court's decision that seemingly invalidated hundreds of thousands of software patents



  19. Is It Google's Turn to Head the USPTO Corporation?

    The industry-led USPTO continues to be coordinated by some of its biggest clients, despite issues associated with conflicting interests



  20. The EPO's Public Relations Disaster Amid Distrust From Within (and EPO Communications Chief Leaves): Part VII

    Amid unrest and suspicion of misconduct in the EPO's management (ongoing for months if not years), Transparency International steps in, but the EPO's management completely ignores Transparency International, refusing to collaborate; the PR chief of the EPO is apparently being pushed out in the mean time



  21. Links 18/10/2014: Debian Plans for Init Systems, Tails 1.2

    Links for the day



  22. Links 18/10/2014: New ELive, Android Expansion

    Links for the day



  23. Another Fresh Blow to Software Patents (and With Them Patent Trolls)

    Another new development shows that more burden of proof is to be put on the litigant, thus discouraging the most infamous serial patent aggressors and reducing the incentive to settle with a payment out of court



  24. Links 16/10/2014: New Android, SSL 3.0 Flaw

    Links for the day



  25. How the Corporate Press Deceives and Sells Microsoft Agenda

    Various new examples of media propaganda that distorts or makes up the facts (bias/lies by omission/selection) and where this is all coming from



  26. Vista 10 is Still Vapourware, But We Already Know It Will Increase Surveillance on Its Users and Contain Malicious Back Doors

    The villainous company which makes insecure-by-design operating systems will continue to do so, but in the mean time the corporate press covers only bugs in FOSS, not back doors in proprietary software



  27. Links 15/10/2014: KDE Plasma 5.1 is Out, GOG Reaches 100-Title Mark

    Links for the day



  28. With .NET Foundation Affiliation Xamarin is Another Step Closer to Being Absorbed by Microsoft

    Xamarin is not even trying to pretend that separation exists between Microsoft and its work; yet another collaboration is announced



  29. The EPO's Protection Triangle of Battistelli, Kongstad, and Topić: Part VI

    Jesper Kongstad, Benoît Battistelli, and Zeljko Topić are uncomfortably close personally and professionally, so suspicions arise that nepotism and protectionism play a negative role that negatively affects the European public



  30. Corporate Media Confirms the Demise of Software Patents in the United States; Will India and Europe Follow?

    It has become increasingly official that software patents are being weakened in the United States' USPTO as well as the courts; will software leaders such as India and Europe stop trying to imitate the old USPTO?


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