Linspire Fuels Microsoft’s IP FUD by Signing Deal (Updated)

Posted in Deals, FUD, Linspire, Microsoft, Patents at 10:21 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Oh, well. We saw that coming. Not much to be said. Same rubbish, different day.

Linspire Inc. on June 14 will announce an agreement to license VoIP, Windows Media, and TrueType font technology from Microsoft for use in its Linux distribution. Additionally, the deal includes protection for Linspire customers against possible violations of Microsoft patents by Linux, and other cooperative measures.

So, Linspire folks, how much did Microsoft pay you to join the ‘protection racket’ club? A Linspire tag has been added to the site and Shane might register an aptly-named domain. Lindows has just joined hands with Windows.

Addendum (20/06/2007):

It is worth adding Groklaw’s find from last night.

Linspire Admits No Patents Licensed to MS

“This is the same conceptual structure of a patent covenant for end users as found in the Novell and Xandros deals, and the design principle is respect for all of the licenses that are at play, including the GPL [GNU General Public License],” Kaefer said. “These patent covenants are foundational elements that allow us all to move forward.”.

However, Linspire did not provide any of its patent rights to Microsoft under the deal, given that it held very few such rights, he said, noting that Microsoft would happily talk to the company about such a license if that situation changes.
[PJ: Of course the GPL remark is poppycock. Respect for the GPL is certainly not a noticeable component of any of these deals, except perhaps by its absence.] – Peter Galli, Devsource

It’s all right here.

Not Just Customers – Novell Pays Royalty for MS Patent License

Posted in Boycott Novell, Deals, Deception, FSF, GPL, Microsoft, Novell, Patent Covenant at 12:05 pm by Shane Coyle

In Novell’s recent 10-Q filing, which contains a very lucid explanation of the overall scope of the Microvell deal, it is mentioned that Novell does indeed get released from liability for patent infringement prior to the deal (with "certain exceptions"), and that Novell agrees to pay royalties – a minimum of $40M – on their open source software shipped under the agreement going forward in exchange for that release.

Under the Patent Cooperation Agreement, Microsoft agreed to covenant with our customers not to assert its patents against our customers for their use of our products and services for which we receive revenue directly or indirectly, with certain exceptions, while we agreed to covenant with Microsoft’s customers not to assert our patents against Microsoft’s customers for their use of Microsoft products and services for which Microsoft receives revenue directly or indirectly, with certain exceptions. In addition, we and Microsoft each irrevocably released the other party, and its customers, from any liability for patent infringement arising prior to November 2, 2006, with certain exceptions. Both we and Microsoft have payment obligations under the Patent Cooperation Agreement. Microsoft made an up-front net balancing payment to us of $108 million, and we will make ongoing payments to Microsoft totaling a minimum of $40 million over the five year term of the agreement based on a percentage of our Open Platform Solutions and Open Enterprise Server revenues.

Everyone dust off their GPLv2 and turn to Section 7…

Malaysia Wants a Truly Open Document Format and So Does New York State

Posted in America, Asia, Formats, IBM, ISO, Microsoft, Novell, Open XML, OpenDocument, Xandros at 9:07 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

OpenDocument format (ODF) is going strong. There is some encouraging news that contrasts some recent setbacks. In Malaysia, for example, people seem to have taken a careful look at Sam Hiser’s excellent analysis which — to put it one way — explains why Xandors and Novell committed themselves to a route leading to insanity.

Mr. Alan Bryden said that ISO will not approve two standards in the same area and ISO has its own “consensus” process to ensure that. Into this consensus process, Malaysia should give input that ODF is the single standard Malaysia needs and the single standard ISO needs.

Recall what Malaysian representative/witnesses had to say several weeks ago.

In New York, the first steps have just been taken towards adoption of ODF. IBM has strong presence in this state, so let’s keep our fingers crossed.

The New York state politician backing a bill that would order the state to examine a switch to open document formats for official business said Friday that she is optimistic her bill will escape the fate of similar bills in five other states.

Is GPLv3 Becoming an Distant-yet-inevitable Destination for Linux?

Posted in GNU/Linux, GPL, SUN at 8:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

It appears as though, partly due to Sun’s increased pressure, Linus Torvalds might (just might) one day consider a dual-licensed Linux kernel. Have a look at this article.

One solution to the debate about whether the Linux kernel should migrate to the almost-complete GPL version 3 (define) is to have the Linux kernel dual-licensed under GPL versions 2 and 3.

There’s more on this topic in the following thread:

[Linus:] “So they [Sun] want to use Linux resources (_especially_ drivers), but they do *not* want to give anything back especially ZFS, which seems to be one of their very very few bright spots)…”

The gist of it all is that OpenSolaris puts pressure on Linus. Jonathan Schwartz has just posted an open letter in his blog. He invites Linus over for dinner.

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