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08.30.11

Microsoft in Embargo War Against Linux

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Google, Microsoft at 8:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Old ship

Summary: Microsoft takes the Apple approach to pushing Java/Linux aside while Nokia gets more litigious as well

POOR Microsoft and poor Apple. They just do not know how to stop Linux anymore, so they join forces and attack en masse with help from patent trolls. Pay attention to what the Microsoft-led Nokia is doing right now. To quote: “Nokia (the Claimant) filed a claim with the Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court (the Court) against Shanghai Huaqin Communication Technology Co., Ltd. (the Defendant) for RMB10 million in damages on the ground that the Defendant had infringed the Claimant’s rights of a patented product, which was a telecommunications device equipped with a camera.”

More patent aggression against phones. Not to mention Apple's appalling behaviour, which ended up in embargo after pathetic lawsuits. Apple ignored all prior art and tried to stifle the presence of competition (“Galaxy Tab delayed Down Under” says one news report).

Apple’s embargo culture is not paying off because the dispute that Apple has started results in Samsung not helping Apple in manufacturing anymore. It was reported last week that Apple already suffers shortages as a result. But guess who else has just embarked on the embargo ship? Yes, it’s Microsoft. The target is Google’s Android, making it the first time that Microsoft uses this level of sanctions against Linux, having tried it against hardware several years ago (mice from Asia). This embargo attempt was covered by Edward Qualtrough, among others. To quote:

Microsoft have joined the major technology corporation suing party and launched a suit to prevent the sale of Motorola mobiles in the US.

With each technology giant seemingly suing each other in a Royal Rumble-style lawsuit, Microsoft believe their latest action will ban a number of Google-owned Motorola phones in America, which Microsoft claim infringe upon seven patents. These include ways to synchronise calendars and contacts, as well as notifying applications of changes to signal strength.

Motorola phones are made overseas, despite Motorola being an American company, and the International Trade Commission could prevent the products reaching the States. This could pave the way for Microsoft to then argue their case in other markets.

This just shows how miserable Microsoft has become. We really need to get rid of those parent monopolies. The USPTO+ITC are out of control.

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4 Comments

  1. Michael Glasser said,

    August 30, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Gravatar

    I responded to this post here: http://trw.gallopinginsanity.com/2011/08/30/stopping-linux

  2. Michael Glasser said,

    August 31, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Gravatar

    Your “summary” mentions Java and Apple – but you never talk about Java in the article. That is odd.

    What do you mean by Apple shoving Java aside? Sure, they no longer include it preinstalled, but given that OS X now gets Java directly from the source, this means it will likely get better on OS X. Why do you put this down? And many desktop Linux distros do not have Java pre-installed either. Do you claim they are pushing Java to the side as well?

    Also: you claim Microsoft and Apple want to stop Linux, but you offer no support of this. You recently wrote about how Microsoft has ties to SUSE, even helping to fund it – but now you claim they want Linux to “stop”. If they are benefitting from Linux (as you claim), why would they want it to stop?

    You speak of Apple’s “appalling behavior” and claimed their lawsuits are “pathetic”. Two ways of looking at this. One way is to say that companies who sue for patent infringement are doing so because they are evil or want to compete unfairly. The other take on it is that companies have every right to protect their own work. I cannot buy a copy of the latest Stephen King novel, change the names and some other details and then sell it as my own. Even though authors base their work on what they have read before, their work is their own and I have no such rights to it.

    It does not take complex laws to understand this point. I have young children at home I read to; I recently finished a Romona and Beezus book where the concept was discussed in the context of a first grade classroom:

    In first grade, Susan copies Ramona’s paper bag owl. The
    teacher holds up Susan’s owl to show the class how pleased
    she is with her work. Ramona is so angry with Susan for
    copying and getting all the credit that she crumples up
    Susan’s owl. She gets in trouble for that, too, and is forced
    to apologize to Susan in front of the entire class the
    following day.

    While the term is never used, Susan copies Romona’s IP – and this is seen as being wrong by the main characters and it is assumed, without any sign of question, that the reader will get this. This is a book for kids. Yes, kids get the concept that taking someone else’s idea is wrong.

    In the open source ecosystem developers tend to have much less attachment to their work – they do not mind when it is used by others. Even then, though, the GPL makes it clear that there are limits on how IP can be used; if those conditions are not held to the owners of the IP have the right to insist – in court if needed – that those who use their code follow their wishes.

    When the shoe is on the other foot, and you think Apple is going against the IP rules of open source developers, you demonize Apple for breaking IP rules:

    SINCE the end of May we have been posting about half a dozen
    items about Apple’s hostility towards the GPL, which it
    excluded/removed rather than comply with.

    Another example of you complaining about Apple not complying with IP rules:

    Now that Apple is under fire for GPL violations (as stated by
    the FSF, which wishes to prevent Apple from illegally using
    GNU code against GNU itself), one ought to (re)think about
    Apple’s role in Free/Open Source software — code which worked
    pretty well for Apple, as long it ‘consumed’ and gave little
    or nothing in return.

    So when Apple does not respect someone else’s IP and, according to you, they are forced to comply it is Apple in the wrong. But when someone does not respect Apple’s IP and Apple works to force them to comply, then Apple is still in the wrong. This is an extreme double standard on your part.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    I didn’t ask you to start pasting entire blog posts into the comments section. That’s just abuse of the system. If you leave a comment, leave a comment, don’t produce mirrors here.

    Michael Glasser Reply:

    How about responding to some of the content?

    Why the attack on Apple for doing what many Linux distros do and no longer providing Java by default?

    Why do you sometimes say Microsoft wants to benefit from Linux by funding a “pet” distro, but other times say they want to stop Linux?

    Why do you focus on Apple and MS when the whole industry has this craze with suing each other (as shown at http://blog.thomsonreuters.com/index.php/mobile-patent-suits-graphic-of-the-day/ and http://www.forbes.com/sites/elizabethwoyke/2011/08/24/the-next-tech-patent-powerhouses)?

    Why do you assume Apple is wrong when they say others are abusing their IP but then assume OSS developers are right when they say Apple is abusing their IP (as detailed above)? My view is Apple and others should not unfairly use others IP. As to who is right or wrong – it should be taken on a case-by-case basis and not by just doing as you do and assume the companies you loath are always wrong, no matter which side of the claim they are on.

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