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09.21.11

‘Linux’ Patent Deals Might be FAT, an Abuse Through FUD

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents, TomTom at 11:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Fat walrus

Summary: Further discussion about the Casio extortion and what it might really be about

YESTERDAY we alluded to the 'deal' with Casio and unfortunately it’s mostly Microsoft boosters who cover it, so they do it in a shallow way that is not critical at all. Articles like this one do a disservice to justice. They are more like PR and not investigative journalism. This other coverage makes it seem like Casio is on equal footing and the most trollish article (article at The Register) plays along with Linux FUD, stating: “In the last four years, the software giant has been quietly threatening legal action for any Linux-using company that refuses to sign patent deals with it. Amazon, Novell, Linspire, TurboLinux and Xandros have all put their X on the dotted line. Others, like satnav maker TomTom, ended up in court, but eventually settled.”

And what exactly was TomTom sued over? That’s right, FAT. That’s hardly Linux at all and recently we learned from the OIN that some of those deals Microsoft called “Linux deal” are in fact just FAT deals. So caution is required, Microsoft is lying.

On USENET, the distinction between FAT and Linux is already being brought up. More people ought to start pressuring Microsoft to disclose what patents it claims to be involved. How many of them actually relate to Linux (if any at all)?

“More people ought to start pressuring Microsoft to disclose what patents it claims to be involved.”It is not just companies that need to be concerned about the lack of disclosure of patents. Customers are all paying the price for these extortions (cascading down to price tags and ending up in bank accounts of Microsoft billionaires), so antitrust regulators must really wake up and do their work on behalf of those customers. “Microsoft faces fresh antitrust probes in Ireland and Spain” according to another headline from The Register and this relates to what we mentioned yesterday. Both are about “licensing” and illegal tactics that somehow escape scrutiny.

“Microsoft is facing more antitrust scrutiny as Spanish competition authorities announced an 18-month review of Redmond’s licensing practices in Spain and Ireland,” says the article.

A translation from the complaint goes as follows: “This case originated in a complaint filed by Elegant Business SC for a possible breach of competition law.”

What are the European laws that may apply to Microsoft’s secret extortion racket? There would probably be a RICO Act equivalent and someone really needs to look into it. US regulators fail to do their job.

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