11.04.15

Red Hat Sells Out With a Microsoft Patent Deal

Posted in Microsoft, Patents, Red Hat at 12:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Shame on Red Hat, the so-called ‘open’ organisation, for acting very foolish

Allchin

Summary: OpenShift deviates to patents-laden APIs of a patent aggressor, Microsoft, and Red Hat signs a patent deal with Microsoft

THERE is some disturbing news coming out of Red Hat this afternoon, only a day after announcing the release of Fedora 23.

Half a decade ago we complained about Red Hat’s dubious affair with software patents. The company isn’t serious about fighting them anymore. We have already covered it in articles such as:

“Half a decade ago we complained about Red Hat’s dubious affair with software patents.”Things are getting worse and today, based on Sean Kerner, there is a patent deal signed between Microsoft and Red Hat (the companies try hard to hide this, even the self-acclaimed ‘open’ organisation prefers not to talk about it). Why was this done? Maybe because at Red Hat money now matters more than freedom and ethics? Here is how they try to spin it: “Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq “MSFT”) and Red Hat Inc. (NYSE: RHT) on Wednesday announced a partnership that will help customers embrace hybrid cloud computing by providing greater choice and flexibility deploying Red Hat solutions on Microsoft Azure. As a key component of today’s announcement, Microsoft is offering Red Hat Enterprise Linux as the preferred choice for enterprise Linux workloads on Microsoft Azure. In addition, Microsoft and Red Hat are also working together to address common enterprise, ISV and developer needs for building, deploying and managing applications on Red Hat software across private and public clouds.” OpenShift is even helping .NET, which is a patent trap. But don’t worry, one might say, there is now a patent deal. Now you can use RHEL while you’re being spied on by the PRISM industry leader (first company in PRISM) and enjoy patent “peace of mind”, to use the ludicrous language previously used by Novell.

Sean Kerner covered this pretty fast and he is already quite vocal about it. In Twitter he said that the “patent part is … strange & very surprising IMHO [...] Here’s my original story from 2007 http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/3677506/Microsoft+Open+Source+Infringes+on+235+Patents.htm … <- back then @RedHatNews told me they’d never do a patent deal with Microsoft [...] In 2007 @Microsoft alleged that Open Source software infringed on 235 patent / 8 yrs later @RedHatNews now has a patent agreement with them [...] ‘Red Hat a& Microsoft have agreed to a limited patent arrangement in connection..’ <- never thought i’d see the day.”

“Maybe the management has been softened by the hiring of managers from Microsoft (as we covered at the time of it happening).”Responding to OpenShift and another person he wrote, “you do know that @Microsoft *still* claims that open-source software infringes on its patents right?”

For two NSA allies (NSA is a huge client of both) to join forces might make financial sense, but where does that leave Free/libre software? Red Hat is being quite a traitor here and @RedHatNews (Red Hat’s Twitter account) sounds rather excited about it, with tweets like: “Just in! Microsoft and #RedHat to deliver new standard for enterprise #cloud experiences http://red.ht/1HqRZrv”

Surely we are going to revisit this in the coming days, but in the mean time, shame on Red Hat. Maybe the management has been softened by the hiring of managers from Microsoft (as we covered at the time of it happening). Only weeks ago Red Hat liaised with somewhat of a Microsoft satellite and not too long ago it paid Microsoft patent trolls (secretly, again).

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