11.04.15

Gemini version available ♊︎

Red Hat’s Deal With Microsoft Resurrects Fears of Software Patents Against GNU/Linux and Introduces ‘Triple-Dipping’ of Fees

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Red Hat at 3:39 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Microsoft’s vision of patent/usage tax on GNU/Linux is becoming a reality

Red Hat and Microsoft

Summary: Microsoft can charge GNU/Linux for alleged patent violations, for server resources (per CPU or per day), and additionally make money from spying on users’ data and passing it around

RED HAT’S terrible deal with Microsoft ruins what started as a quiet and relatively happy day. It also poses a threat to every GNU/Linux vendor other than Red Hat (and maybe SUSE too, as it signed a Microsoft patent deal a very long time ago). Microsoft Peter does not mention the part about the patents, nor do the puff pieces and press releases. There is also nothing about the severe privacy implications.

This is how the Wall Street Journal covered the deal, merely stating that “Red Hat’s version of the Linux operating system to be available to users of Microsoft Azure cloud service” (for Microsoft to spy on and to tax using patents). Inside Microsoft’s Azure, RHEL has something even worse than back doors. It has built-in file-by-file surveillance, so any claims of security are simply not applicable. Remember that Microsoft already admits (quite openly) that in its so-called ‘cloud’ every single file is being scanned. Pedophilia is a common pretext for doing this. This isn’t hosting but spying. Where does that leave software freedom?

Microsoft is quickly finding that there’s no money in proprietary software like Windows (see Vista 10 pricing and force-feeding), so it sells people’s private data and now adds infuriating charges to that (breaking a promise). As pointed out here before — and even earlier todayit all comes down to patents (also recall the two articles from the day beforehand, i.e. yesterday) and paid-for surveillance. It’s an attack on general-purpose computing, on privacy, and many other things. It’s an abomination.

Even a Microsoft booster, Tim Anderson, admits that there’s trouble ahead and says: “Most people have at least 30GB of free OneDrive storage: 15GB as standard, and an additional 15GB bonus easily obtained by setting the camera roll on a mobile device to use OneDrive for image backup. An additional 100GB was available for $1.99 per month.”

“In this age when software patents are a dying breed in the US we now have the largest GNU/Linux vendor basically giving Microsoft’s patent war on GNU/Linux legitimacy.”Microsoft now wishes to tax GNU/Linux twofold. It will charge patent fees and at the same time charge GNU/Linux for server space and capacity. On top of it, Microsoft will subject these GNU/Linux instances to the usual surveillance, which Microsoft can of course monetise, as it already does (we covered this on several occasions before).

Since our site is primarily focused on the impact of patents on Free software, what bothers us is that Red Hat, despite the Alice case, is agreeing to a software patents deal with Microsoft. This is inexcusable and it doesn’t take an absolutist on this matter to see what’s wrong with that. Steve Ballmer once said that “people that use Red Hat, at least with respect to our intellectual property, in a sense have an obligation to compensate us.” Ballmer’s wishes may have just come true. The Alice case has already served to prove that software patents hold little weight in the US, yet Red Hat goes right into this trap. Incidentally, Web sites of patent lawyers continue to only ever write about software patents and Alice in the rare occasion of them surviving (the exception, not the form). Here is the latest example which concludes with: “Unfortunately, the court did not expand on its reasoning for finding the invention to be patent eligible. The two sentences above show the court presumably agreed with the arguments presented by Versata, but that hardly means any invention that solves a problem is eligible for patent protection. Versata stressed the technical components of the invention – that it was directed to a “technical objective” within “the more limited display screen of a mobile phone, pager, PDA, or similar mobile device.” It is therefore possible that the court was persuaded that the invention was drawn to a more technical, and less abstract, invention.”

In this age when software patents are a dying breed in the US we now have the largest GNU/Linux vendor basically giving Microsoft’s patent war on GNU/Linux legitimacy. Only time will tell the magnitude of this mistake and its impact on other players such as Debian.

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.

DecorWhat Else is New


  1. No More Twitter, Mastodon, and Diaspora for Tux Machines (Goodbye to Social Control Media)

    People would benefit from mass abandonment of such pseudo-social pseudo-media.



  2. Links 28/05/2023: New Wine and More

    Links for the day



  3. Links 27/05/2023: Plans Made for GNU's 40th Anniversary

    Links for the day



  4. Social Control Media Needs to be Purged and We Need to Convince Others to Quit It Too (to Protect Ourselves as Individuals and as a Society)

    With the Tux Machines anniversary (19 years) just days away we seriously consider abandoning all social control media accounts of that site, including Mastodon and Diaspora; social control networks do far more harm than good and they’ve gotten a lot worse over time



  5. Anonymously Travelling: Still Feasible?

    The short story is that in the UK it's still possible to travel anonymously by bus, tram, and train (even with shades, hat and mask/s on), but how long for? Or how much longer have we got before this too gets banned under the false guise of "protecting us" (or "smart"/"modern")?



  6. With EUIPO in Focus, and Even an EU Kangaroo Tribunal, EPO Corruption (and Cross-Pollination With This EU Agency) Becomes a Major Liability/Risk to the EU

    With the UPC days away (an illegal and unconstitutional kangaroo court system, tied to the European Union in spite of critical deficiencies) it’s curious to see EPO scandals of corruption spilling over to the European Union already



  7. European Patent Office (EPO) Management Not Supported by the EPO's Applicants, So Why Is It Still There?

    This third translation in the batch is an article similar to the prior one, but the text is a bit different (“Patente ohne Wert”)



  8. EPO Applicants Complain That Patent Quality Sank and EPO Management Isn't Listening (Nor Caring)

    SUEPO has just released 3 translations of new articles in German (here is the first of the batch); the following is the second of the three (“Kritik am Europäischen Patentamt – Patente ohne Wert?”)



  9. German Media About Industry Patent Quality Charter (IPQC) and the European Patent Office (EPO)

    SUEPO has just released 3 translations of new articles in German; this is the first of the three (“Industrie kritisiert Europäisches Patentamt”)



  10. Geminispace Continues to Grow Even If (or When) Stéphane Bortzmeyer Stops Measuring Its Growth

    A Gemini crawler called Lupa (Free/libre software) has been used for years by Stéphane Bortzmeyer to study Gemini and report on how the community was evolving, especially from a technical perspective; but his own instance of Lupa has produced no up-to-date results for several weeks



  11. Links 27/05/2023: Goodbyes to Tina Turner

    Links for the day



  12. HMRC: You Can Click and Type to Report Crime, But No Feedback or Reference Number Given

    The crimes of Sirius ‘Open Source’ were reported 7 days ago to HMRC (equivalent to the IRS in the US, more or less); but there has been no visible progress and no tracking reference is given to identify the report



  13. IRC Proceedings: Friday, May 26, 2023

    IRC logs for Friday, May 26, 2023



  14. One Week After Sirius Open Source Was Reported to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for Tax Fraud: No Response, No Action, Nothing...

    One week ago we reported tax abuses of Sirius ‘Open Source’ to HMRC; we still wait for any actual signs that HMRC is doing anything at all about the matter (Sirius has British government clients, so maybe they’d rather not look into that, in which case HMRC might be reported to the Ombudsman for malpractice)



  15. Links 26/05/2023: Weston 12.0 Highlights and US Debt Limit Panic

    Links for the day



  16. Gemini Links 26/05/2023: New People in Gemini

    Links for the day



  17. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, May 25, 2023

    IRC logs for Thursday, May 25, 2023



  18. Links 26/05/2023: Qt 6.5.1 and Subsystems in GNUnet

    Links for the day



  19. Links 25/05/2023: Mesa 23.1.1 and Debian Reunion

    Links for the day



  20. Links 25/05/2023: IBM as Leading Wayland Pusher

    Links for the day



  21. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, May 24, 2023

    IRC logs for Wednesday, May 24, 2023



  22. Links 25/05/2023: Istio 1.16.5 and Curl 8.1.1

    Links for the day



  23. Gemini Links 25/05/2023: On Profit and Desire for Gemini

    Links for the day



  24. SiliconANGLE: Sponsored by Microsoft and Red Hat to Conduct the Marriage Ceremony

    SiliconANGLE insists that paying SiliconANGLE money for coverage does not lead to bias, but every sane person who keeps abreast of SiliconANGLE — and I read their entire feed every day — knows that it’s a ludicrous lie (Red Hat/IBM and the Linux Foundation also buy puff pieces and “event coverage” from SiliconANGLE, so it’s marketing disguised as “journalism”



  25. Links 24/05/2023: Podman Desktop 1.0, BSDCan 2024, and More

    Links for the day



  26. Gemini Links 24/05/2023: Razors, Profit, and More

    Links for the day



  27. [Meme] When the Patent Office Controls Kangaroo Patent Courts and Judges

    The EPO has been hijacked by industry and its lobbyists; now the same is happening to EU patent courts, even though it is illegal and unconstitutional



  28. The Illegally 'Revised' Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) is Disgracing the Perception of Law and Order in the European Union

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) isn’t legal, the Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) is being altered on the fly (by a person patently ineligible to do so), and so it generally looks like even patent courts across Europe might soon become as corrupt as the European Patent Office, which has no basis in the Rule of the Law and is basically just a front for large corporations (most of them aren’t even European)



  29. Sirius 'Open Source', With High-Level Political Clients, Reported to Politicians

    The crimes of Sirius ‘Open Source’ are of interest to the British public sector; we’ve begun contacting relevant people



  30. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, May 23, 2023

    IRC logs for Tuesday, May 23, 2023


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