Gemini version available ♊︎

Microsoft Talks to Open Source “Community Members” About Patent Royalties

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GPL, Microsoft, Novell, Patents at 8:44 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“I’ve heard from Novell sales representatives that Microsoft sales executives have started calling the Suse Linux Enterprise Server coupons “royalty payments””

Matt Asay, April 21st, 2008

Here is just a quick shot from the hip.

Watch this smug new article closely enough and you will see just what vision Microsoft has for Free software, which it implicitly considers as separate from its own provisional idea of Open Source (self-serving of course).

And Microsoft is in “on-going dialog” with community members over making it easier to find the royalties in its documents.

Microsoft wants open source software to accept software patents globally and also pay for the privilege of using mathematics. Thank you, Novell.

No Patents in Linux

Say No to Novell

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

Decor ᶃ Gemini Space

Below is a Web proxy. We recommend getting a Gemini client/browser.

Black/white/grey bullet button This post is also available in Gemini over at this address (requires a Gemini client/browser to open).

Decor ✐ Cross-references

Black/white/grey bullet button Pages that cross-reference this one, if any exist, are listed below or will be listed below over time.

Decor ▢ Respond and Discuss

Black/white/grey bullet button If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.


  1. AlexH said,

    May 19, 2008 at 10:21 am


    Sigh. I realise that you want to read everything in the most negative light, but…

    … pointing out the royalty-bearing areas of a document is actually a good thing. For the CIFS documentation, they handed over to Samba a document and listed the patents that they said applied to the standard. With that list, the Samba team can now actively avoid those patents to ensure that they’re not infringing them.

    Yes, software patents are bad, but surely it’s better to have a map of the landmines than to try and find them manually?

  2. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 19, 2008 at 10:31 am


    Would you like to scan through thousands of patents just before you start programming? Need Microsoft openly restrict access to protocols that should have been a commodity and became a necessity sometimes through sheer market abuse? What about Microsoft’s appeal in the EU?

  3. AlexH said,

    May 19, 2008 at 11:03 am


    The whole EU process is exactly why Samba got this list of patents:

    “Under the agreement, Microsoft is required to make available and keep current a list of patent numbers it believes are related to the Microsoft implementation of the workgroup server protocols, without granting an implicit patent license to any Free Software implementation.”


    Samba don’t have to scan through thousands of patents; that’s precisely the point. You’re arguing against yourself again: the alternative to being provided a list of patents is that projects like Samba absolutely have to go through thousands of patents or (more likely) ignore patents and try to deal with issues when they arise.

  4. Miles said,

    May 19, 2008 at 12:23 pm


    I wonder if Roy will ever pluck his head from the sand he hides it in.

  5. AlexH said,

    May 19, 2008 at 12:41 pm



    The sad thing is, it’s not like Roy’s position on this issue is wrong. Software patents are terrible, and do direct measurable harm to free software.

    But we live in a world where a number of major places – the US, Japan – have them, and you have to live with that. If Microsoft, and everyone else, *explicitly* said what patents they believe they have, that would actually help enormously. Agreements like http://www.protocolfreedom.org/ are actually a good thing in this context.

    By coming out against things like this, without thinking them through, we risk further damage on top of the existing damage of software patents.

  6. Miles said,

    May 19, 2008 at 1:05 pm


    No, I wholeheartedly agree that software patents are bad – I don’t think you’ll find anyone who truly disagrees there (or at least, I’ve never met anyone who disagrees – online or otherwise).

    My point is that Roy doesn’t acknowledge any evidence that doesn’t match his own perception of reality and simply hides his head in the sand when any is presented.

    He doesn’t ever read the articles he links to (as I’m sure you’ve discovered) and never bothers to think things through logically, and so only serves to mislead himself and others who don’t bother to read said articles (or do any thinking of their own).

    He jumps to conclusions all the time without knowing all of the facts and just assumes the worst about the people and groups he doesn’t like.

    “I don’t like group XYZ, so whenever XYZ does anything… it must be fore some evil purpose.”

    That’s classic “Roy logic”.

  7. Rui Miguel Silva Seabra said,

    May 19, 2008 at 4:41 pm


    Knowing a specific patent is by no means a way to circunvent it. Specially if it involves around document formats, file systems or network protocols.

    How could you work around RSA? You couldn’t.
    When did RSA become widespread? After the patent expired.
    What was the result?

    20 years delay of introducing encryption to computer users on a massively spread form.

    HOW on earth can anyone be so naïve as to even think patents are circunventable if known…

  8. Xanadu said,

    May 19, 2008 at 4:52 pm


    Miles: You sound like you have some hard time convincing yourself that this blog is lying that you have to repeat that theory like a parrot over and over and over. It sounds fun that the generalization you posted about Roy always ignoring evidence comes with zero evidence altogether. I actually think you were trying to convince yourself more than anyone else there.

  9. Dan O'Brian said,

    May 19, 2008 at 5:54 pm


    One need look no further than this thread (AlexH’s proof) or today’s anti-Mono FUD to see what Miles is referring to.

    So Xanadu, sounds more like you are the one trying to convince yourself that this whole site isn’t a sham.

  10. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 19, 2008 at 5:57 pm


    The whole EU process is exactly why Samba got this list of patents:

    Samba was the exception and by no means the norm and it came after like a decade of fighting in vain.

  11. ZiggyFish said,

    May 19, 2008 at 7:18 pm


    Dan O’Brian, Miles and AlexH (and any other name you call your self):

    Firstly, get a life.

    Secondly, you seem to forget the point of this site. The site is call BoycottNovel for a reason.

    Thirdly, you never back up your statements.

    Fourthly, you seem to have ignored Rui Miguel Silva Seabra’s comment.

    And Fifthly you won’t reply to this comment because you know I’m right.

  12. ZiggyFish said,

    May 19, 2008 at 7:21 pm


    Roy Schestowitz:

    And even then it was only the EU lawsuit that they were forced to give Samba the docs needed.

  13. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 19, 2008 at 7:28 pm


    Carlo Piana could tell you about the hell they had to go through merely to get access to /protocols/ and for Microsoft to stop “F**cking with Samba” (Jeremy Allison’s own words on technical sabotage rumours).

  14. AlexH said,

    May 20, 2008 at 2:21 am


    @Rui: obviously, if there is no way around a patent, you’re screwed. Is it better to know that a patent you can’t get past exists? I would argue it is.

    If you have to deal with a jurisdiction where software patents exist, it’s better to know what you’re dealing with. I don’t see why this is such a difficult concept.

    @ZiggyFish: I actually always back up my statements with references and citations. I know you don’t come here for a balanced point of view, but if you have a factual problem with anything I say, then challenge me on it.

  15. plh said,

    May 20, 2008 at 5:16 am


    “Microsoft wants open source software to accept software patents globally and also pay for the privilege of using mathematics.”

    And pay for the privilege of using inventions which Microsoft has stolen from them or others with parachronistic patents like its extended clipboard formats, RSS subscription, and Enlightenment-style pager patents.

  16. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 20, 2008 at 7:20 am


    …and Enlightenment-style pager patents.

    Well, for that type of job (legal attack over virtual desktops) they have proxies like Acacia, with former Microsoft employees [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10].

  17. Sally said,

    May 20, 2008 at 4:11 pm


    “But we live in a world where a number of major places – the US, Japan – have them, and you have to live with that. ”

    Just like unjust marijuana laws, no, we don’t have to live with that. Just because a law is passed doesn’t make it moral or correct, wealthy men pass unjust laws while fooling the people with lies. Whether patents may or may not have been a good thing at one time is debatable, but right now they are evil and the law must be changed. In America most of the people are dumb and fat, so expect them not to care about patents as a whole, but in countries where the people aren’t so complacent and stupid, they care enough to protest against them.

    We live on a rock, bound by gravity, we will never get off and anywhere if we continue the corrupt, wealthy elite to control us and stifle innovation. The U.S. space program is one example of wasted potential which needs to open up in order for us to progress as a people.

  18. ZiggyFish said,

    May 20, 2008 at 5:40 pm


    @Rui: obviously, if there is no way around a patent, you’re screwed. Is it better to know that a patent you can’t get past exists? I would argue it is.

    But in that case it’s better of no one knowing (which is what the situation with option source). If no one knows about it, no one can sue (btw, which is also another fundamental problem with patents)

    If you have to deal with a jurisdiction where software patents exist, it’s better to know what you’re dealing with. I don’t see why this is such a difficult concept.

    The problem isn’t software makers, it’s the software patents. If you deal with the software (the actual software that infringes on the patents) it’s self, your only dealing with the symptom of the problem and NOT solving or preventing the problem from occurring again.

    Murphy’s Law states:

    It is found that anything that can go wrong at sea generally does go wrong sooner or later.

    Software patents are anti-competitive in there nature (there are companies that are founded around software patents.), But you can still protect your products though copy write laws which is non anti-competitive.

    So after I’ve said that. Tell me AlexH, why should software patents exist (here’s your chance to prove me wrong about you in my previous post)?

  19. Roy Schestowitz said,

    May 20, 2008 at 8:38 pm


    I agree there’s a sense of defeatism here. Alex, were apartheid, sexism, slavery and oppression just to be accepted and coped with? Or did some countries end up defeating those because people demanded justice?

    Just as there’s nothing fair or ethical about apartheid, sexism, slavery and oppression, there’s no legitimacy to software patents.

DecorWhat Else is New

  1. EPO Staff Committee Compares the Tactics of António Campinos to Benoît Battistelli's

    The Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO talks about EPO President António Campinos, arguing that “he seems to subscribe to the Manichean view, introduced by Mr Battistelli…”

  2. Prof. Thomas Jaeger in GRUR: Unified Patent Court (UPC) “Incompatible With EU Law“

    The truth remains unquestionable and the law remains unchanged; Team UPC is living in another universe, unable to accept that what it is scheming will inevitably face high-level legal challenges (shall that become necessary) and it will lose because the facts are all stlll the same

  3. Links 1/12/2021: LibrePlanet CFS Extended to December 15th and DB Comparer for PostgreSQL Reaches 5.0

    Links for the day

  4. EPO Cannot and Will Not Self-Regulate

    The term financialisation helps describe some of the activities of the EPO in recent years; see Wikipedia on financialisation below

  5. [Meme] Germany's Licence to Break the Law

    Remember that the young Campinos asked dad for his immunity after he had gotten drunk and crashed the car; maybe the EPO should stop giving diplomatic immunity to people, seeing what criminals (e.g. Benoît Battistelli) this attracts; the German government is destroying its image (and the EU’s) by fostering such corruption, wrongly believing that it’s worth it because of Eurozone domination for patents/litigation

  6. EPO Dislikes Science and Scientists

    The EPO's management has become like a corrupt political party with blind faith in money and monopolies (or monopoly money); it has lost sight of its original goals and at this moment it serves to exacerbate an awful pandemic, as the video above explains

  7. Links 1/12/2021: LibreOffice 7.3 Beta, Krita 5.0, Julia 1.7

    Links for the day

  8. Links 1/12/2021: NixOS 21.11 Released

    Links for the day

  9. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 30, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, November 30, 2021

  10. Links 1/12/2021: Tux Paint 0.9.27 and WordPress 5.9 Beta

    Links for the day

  11. [Meme] EPO Administrative Council Believing EPO-Bribed 'Media' (IAM Still Shilling and Lying for Cash)

    IAM continues to do what brings money from EPO management and Team UPC, never mind if it is being disputed by the patent examiners themselves

  12. The EPO's Mythical “Gap” Has Been Found and It's Bonuses for People Who Use Pure Fiction to Steal From Patent Examiners

    The phony president who has the audacity to claim there's a budget gap is issuing millions of euros for his enablers to enjoy; weeks ahead of the next meeting of national delegates the Central Staff Committee (CSC) tells them: "Events show that the delegations’ concerns about functional allowances have materialised. The lack of transparency and inflation of the budget envelope gives rise to the suspicion that high management is pursuing a policy of self-service at the expense of EPO staff, which is difficult to reconcile with the Office’s claimed cost-saving policy, and to the detriment of the whole Organisation."

  13. Video: Making the Internet a Better Place for People, Not Megacorporations

    Following that earlier list of suggested improvements for a freedom-respecting Internet, here's a video and outline

  14. Links 30/11/2021: KDE Plasma 5.23.4, 4MLinux 38.0, Long GitHub Downtime, and Microsoft's CEO Selling Away Shares

    Links for the day

  15. A Concise Manifesto For Freedom-Respecting Internet

    An informal list of considerations to make when reshaping the Internet to better serve people, not a few corporations that are mostly military contractors subsidised by the American taxpayers

  16. Freenode.net Becomes a 'Reddit Clone' and Freenode IRC is Back to Old Configurations After Flushing Down Decades' Worth of User/Channel Data and Locking/Shutting Out Longtime Users

    Freenode is having another go; after “chits” and “jobs” (among many other ideas) have clearly failed, and following the change of daemon (resulting in massive loss of data and even security issues associated with impersonation) as well as pointless rebrand as “Joseon”, the domain Freenode.net becomes something completely different and the IRC network reopens to all

  17. Jack Dorsey's Decision is a Wake-up Call: Social Control Media is Just a Toxic Bubble

    The state of the World Wide Web (reliability, preservation, accessibility, compatibility etc.) was worsened a lot more than a decade ago; with social control media that’s nowadays just a pile of JavaScript programs we’re basically seeing the Web gradually turning into another Adobe Flash (but this time they tell us it’s a “standard”), exacerbating an already-oversized ‘bubble economy’ where companies operate at a loss while claiming to be worth hundreds of billions (USD) and generally serve imperialistic objectives by means of manipulation like surveillance, selective curation, and censorship

  18. IRC Proceedings: Monday, November 29, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, November 29, 2021

  19. Links 29/11/2021: NuTyX 21.10.5 and CrossOver 21.1.0

    Links for the day

  20. This Apt Has Super Dumbass Powers. Linus Sebastian and Pop_OS!

    Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission

  21. [Meme] Trying to Appease Provocateurs and Borderline Trolls

    GNU/Linux isn’t just a clone of Microsoft Windows and it oughtn’t be a clone of Microsoft Windows, either; some people set themselves up for failure, maybe by intention

  22. Centralised Git Hosting Has a Business Model Which is Hostile Towards Developers' Interests (in Microsoft's Case, It's an Attack on Reciprocal Licensing and Persistent Manipulation)

    Spying, censoring, and abusing projects/developers/users are among the perks Microsoft found in GitHub; the E.E.E.-styled takeover is being misused for perception manipulation and even racism, so projects really need to take control of their hosting (outsourcing is risky and very expensive in the long run)

  23. Links 29/11/2021: FWUPD's 'Best Known Configuration' and Glimpse at OpenZFS 3.0

    Links for the day

  24. President Biden Wants to Put Microsofter in Charge of the Patent Office, Soon to Penalise Patent Applicants Who Don't Use Microsoft's Proprietary Formats

    The tradition of GAFAM or GIAFAM inside the USPTO carries on (e.g. Kappos and Lee; Kappos lobbies for Microsoft and IBM, whereas Lee now works for Amazon/Bezos after a career at Google); it's hard to believe anymore that the USPTO exists to serve innovators rather than aggressive monopolists, shielding their territory by patent threats (lawsuits or worse aggression) and cross-licensing that's akin to a cartel

  25. Microsoft GitHub Exposé — Part VIII — Mr. Graveley's Long Career Serving Microsoft's Agenda (Before Hiring by Microsoft to Work on GitHub's GPL Violations Machine)

    Balabhadra (Alex) Graveley was promoting .NET (or Mono) since his young days; his current job at Microsoft is consistent with past harms to GNU/Linux, basically pushing undesirable (except to Microsoft) things to GNU/Linux users; Tomboy used to be the main reason for distro ISOs to include Mono

  26. Dr. Andy Farnell on Teaching Cybersecurity in an Age of 'Fake Security'

    By Dr. Andy Farnell

  27. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, November 28, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, November 28, 2021

  28. Links 29/11/2021: Linux 5.16 RC3 and Lots of Patent Catch-up

    Links for the day

  29. By 2022 0% of 'News' Coverage About Patents Will Be Actual Journalism (Patent Litigation Sector Has Hijacked the World Wide Web to Disseminate Self-Promotional Misinformation)

    Finding news about the EPO is almost impossible because today’s so-called ‘news’ sites are in the pockets of Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos, and their cohorts who turned the EPO into a hub of litigation, not science; this is part of an international (worldwide) problem because financial resources for journalism have run out, and so the vacuum is filled/replaced almost entirely by Public Relations (PR) and marketing

  30. Trying to Appease Those Who Never Liked Free Software or Those Who Blindly Loved All Patent Monopolies to Begin With

    It’s crystal clear that trying to appease everyone, all the time, is impossible; in the case of the EPO, for example, we hope that exposing Team Battistelli/Campinos helps raise awareness of the harms of patent maximalism, and when speaking about Free software — whilst occasionally bashing the alternatives (proprietary) — we hope to convince more people to join the “Good Fight”

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