04.20.08

Microsoft Has a Reasonably Discriminatory Plan to Illegalise FOSS

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GPL, Law, Microsoft, Mono, Novell, Open XML, Patents at 8:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“We should dedicate a cross-group team to come up with ways to leverage Windows technically more.”

Jim Allchin, Microsoft

A few days ago we wrote about Microsoft's defense of RAND (and a bit of its latest slime against Groklaw). Do not be mistaken or deliberately misled to the point of believing that this RAND gotcha only applies to OOXML. It also applies to Mono and — by association — to Moonlight, which Microsoft hopes to infect the World Wide Web with. Put differently, Microsoft’s ambition is to create a Web where everyone needs to pay Microsoft some “reasonable” (by Microsoft’s own definition and judgment) patent tax merely to view XAML-built Web pages.

This post’s focus should not, however, be Mono, which Miguel has been happily bragging about and promoting for the past couple of days in his blog. Here we look at RAND in general because Microsoft is likely to repeat its dirty OSP routine over and over again in order to sidelines Free software.

Unable to compete based on technical merits, Microsoft will try to just employ good lawyers and write predatory licences that shrewdly exclude its #1 rival. In addition, Microsoft will rattle sabers, play 'politics', bully its opposers and exposers and, well… you hopefully get the point. Whether it’s about the shareholders or something more than that probably remains a mystery. But it’s time to fight back at attempts to change laws as means of defeating risk.

Here is how Digital Majority puts it. (highlights in red added by us)

Reasonable and non-discriminatory in patent licensing means “we apply a uniform fee”. However with respect to Microsoft’s legacy OOXML format, one party controls the standard and the associated patents. All market players need to license except the patent owner. For dominant standards it is a tax on the market. It seems highly unreasonable that such standards should become international standards, mandatory for government users.

You may find it unreasonable for an ubiquitous standard. But there is a more insidious aspect. RAND patent licensing conditions are a tool to ban Free Software, which is entirely incompatible with RAND licensing conditions. Now one side of the debate blames it on the patent licensing conditions, the other side on the software licensing conditions.

It is safe to say that Microsoft is reasonably dishonest.

“[If I ask you who is Microsoft's biggest competitor now, who would it be?] Open…Linux. I don’t want to say open source. Linux, certainly have to go with that.”

Steve Ballmer (Microsoft’s CEO), February 28th, 2008

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2008/04/20/rand-versus-foss/

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

A Single Comment

  1. Liviu-Theodor said,

    September 4, 2008 at 2:58 am

    Gravatar

    I believe the patent movement is very dangerous indeed. The promotors are mainly multinational corporations, who wants only their products on the market (monopoly). It is dangerous even for programmers who do not distribute their programs (ie software for in-house needs). I made a program fo reading DBF files in C (for Windows), for my work needs. I didn’t distribute the program. But if one company have patents for DBF files, they surely will want me to pay them a lot of money, even I do not use a single piece of code from them. This is how dangerous are patents: one could not program even for his/her own needs.

What Else is New


  1. Update on Gemini, IPFS, and IRC

    "The video which was supposed to be a few minutes long ended up taking a lot longer, but it does cover a broad range of topics that are relevant and very recent (based on recent developments)."



  2. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, June 12, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, June 12, 2021



  3. Virtual Injustice -- Part 5: Benoît's “Friends” in Budapest

    "Battistelli went to considerable lengths to secure the support of the Hungarian delegation."



  4. Links 13/6/2021: KDE Frameworks 5.83.0 and helloSystem 0.5

    Links for the day



  5. The Story of Techrights, in Banners...

    A look back at site banners from 2006-2021; they help illuminate or show our changing focus over the years



  6. With KDE Plasma 5.22 Having Just Been Released It's Time to Give KDE a Try (or Move to GNU/Linux, Leveraging the Best Features of Any Operating System Out There)

    A quick recommendation of KDE based on a reasonably recent (but not latest) build; there's this myth about KDE being difficult and flaky, but for a number of decades it has been the most advanced desktop (on any operating system) and its developers managed to hide the complexity while offering users all the power they may want/need



  7. Open Letter to the FSF About Taking Control of the FSF's (and GNU's) IRC Channels

    The FSF should have seized the opportunity, in light of self-harming IRC infighting (instability and unpredictability), to create its own IRC network and then help this new (or "GNU") network flourish



  8. EU Already Captured by -- and Lying for -- Corrupt EPO Officials, Team UPC, and Lobbyists of Multinational Corporations

    12 pages of lies; is the European Parliament reduced to a mere marionette of corrupt officials who run the EPO into the ground?



  9. [Meme] Virtual Code of Conduct (ViCoC)

    Cheapening of basic concepts and principles like "right to be heard" or "access to justice" is an international trend; we need to push back in the direction of justice, not fake 'innovation' or 'tech' (where it clearly does not belong)



  10. IRC Proceedings: Friday, June 11, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, June 11, 2021



  11. Virtual Injustice -- Part 4: Mihály Ficsor, the EPO's Hungarian “Fixer”

    One key operative of António Campinos, who is fiercely in favour of software patents, has quite a colourful past and background



  12. Conversation With Richard Stallman in Brazil, May 31st 2021

    At the end of last month Richard Stallman had a 2-hour (and beyond, considering some of the afterthoughts) conversation, which is now available online



  13. Links 11/6/2021: Nginx Rising and SteamPal Rumours

    Links for the day



  14. New Introduction at Gemini

    As part of ongoing improvements to our capsule we have a new introductory text, reproduced below



  15. Links 11/6/2021: A Torvalds COVID Rant and RISC-V Risk of Takeover

    Links for the day



  16. Petition Against Richard Stallman Continues Losing Signatures, Open Letter of Support Reaches 6,750 Signatures

    The latest (if not last) person to garden the anti-RMS petition is an IBM employee. As has been the case for months. Another removal. IBM has a grudge against GNU's founder and by extension the FSF (they want the FSF to be a slave of IBM, just like the Linux Foundation is; we last covered this a day ago). “An open letter in support of Richard Matthew Stallman being reinstated by the Free Software Foundation” has meanwhile reached 6,750 signatures and that number grows by about 50 every 3-4 weeks, so it’s reasonable to expect 7,000 by year’s end. The anti-RMS petition may fall below 3,000.



  17. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, June 10, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, June 10, 2021



  18. Virtual Injustice -- Part 3: All the President's Men…

    Benoît Battistelli‘s army of minions, combined with former colleagues of António Campinos, team up to participate in the legal fudge of the EPO



  19. EPO ‘ViCo’ Prior Art (or ViCo Going Back to the 1980s)

    A previous post (video from yesterday) gave examples of prior art from the early/ier 1990s, debunking the EPO’s foolish and irrational embrace of this notion that so-called ‘ViCo’ is so absolutely incredible (we’ve kept talking, e.g. in many prior videos, about how the only real ‘innovation’ was connection speeds); MinceR recalls that “when UMTS (“3G”) was new, video calls on mobile was the feature that was supposed to sell the technology” and in the mid-80s you could already see who you spoke to (almost) in real time



  20. The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) Needs to Get Its Act Together on the EPO's GDPR Violations

    EU authorities aren't keeping abreast of EPO abuses; as a result, people's basic rights and fundamental sense of dignity erode, with impunity resulting in passage of massive piles of data to foreign corporations and governments that engage in industrial and political espionage



  21. Links 10/6/2021: Raspberry Digital Signage 15.0, NVIDIA Driver 470

    Links for the day



  22. EPO 'ViCo' Prior Art (~30 Years Ago): Barely Innovative at All

    Debunking the EPO‘s Big Lie that ViCo is some sort of incredible and innovative thing that must therefore be embraced fully; the missing ingredient was fast network connections, so there’s no excuse for EPO claiming that we must embrace such stuff irrespective of the law, constitutions etc.



  23. Improvements in the Techrights Gemini Capsule

    Further improvements are being made to our Gemini capsule, which contains all the latest stories sans the graphics; it now has a total of 35,820 pages



  24. Linux Foundation is a Foundation of Mass Surveillance

    Whatever the so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation touches turns to dust; they’re already killed the site known as Linux.com and now they scatter the “Linux” brand to the wind (in pursuit of misbranding cash)



  25. [Meme] Lord Justice Sir

    Inspired by an old Internet joke, we present the state of EPO 'justice'



  26. The EPO's Lack of Objective Legal System is No Laughing Matter

    The array of abuses committed by António Campinos and his EPO minions (people who meddle in legal affairs) is mentioned in this new video; we focus on what was shown this morning, i.e. in Part 2 of an ongoing series (to last two more weeks)



  27. Virtual Injustice -- Part 2: The ViCo Oral Proceedings of 28 May 2021

    More than half a day of theatrics and stonewalling by the EBA may have done a damage so enormous to the EBA's credibility that irrespective of the final outcome the case is already seen as compromised



  28. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, June 09, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, June 09, 2021



  29. Links 10/6/2021: KDE Gear 21.08 Schedule, Librem 5 USA Supply Chain Security

    Links for the day



  30. Linux: Bugs Welcome

    With UEFI ‘secure boot’ (aka ‘wontboot’ [1, 2]) and bad BIOS, are we just accepting malicious ‘features’ and inherently bad design?


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

Recent Posts