02.09.16

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Microsoft’s Copyrights- and Patents-Based Attacks on GNU/Linux Carry on

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Patents, SCO at 8:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Microsoft hardly needs an SCO source license. Its license payment to SCO is simply a good-looking way to pass along a bribe…”

Bruce Perens

Summary: The SCO case is still going on and Microsoft has just signed a patent deal with GoPro over its FOSS-based software, relating to “certain file storage and other system technologies”

THE ‘new’ Microsoft is not new. It’s the same old Microsoft — the company that committed crimes to get where it is today. The SCO case makes a return to some headlines, not just in FOSS sites but also in general (but technology-centric) news sites. Groklaw is still uploading new documents [PDF] and FOSS Force wrote: “Judge David Nuffer with the US District Court in Utah gave SCO another day in court last week and returned a judgement against the bankrupt company.”

“It’s the same old Microsoft — the company that committed crimes to get where it is today.”The Register wrote: “The SCO Group has suffered another reversal in its long-running attempt to squeeze some cash out of IBM for allegedly pinching its code and tossing it into Linux and maybe AIX too.”

Remember that this is a Microsoft-funded (in least in part) attack on Linux. It’s over a decade old. It’s nearly 13 years in the making. As Larry Goldfarb from BayStar, a key investor in SCO, once put it: “Microsoft wished to promote SCO and its pending lawsuit against IBM and the Linux operating system. But Microsoft did not want to be seen as attacking IBM or Linux.”

Yes, Microsoft loves to hide between or behind proxies, otherwise it might jeopardise the lie which is “Microsoft loves Linux.” It might make it harder for Microsoft to seduce fools into Azure for GNU/Linux hosting.

When it comes to patents too, there are Microsoft-connected FRAND lobbyists, as we last noted yesterday, on the same day that WIPR wrote: “Companies that own standard-essential patents (SEPs) must stick to their obligation of licensing them on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms, the EU commissioner for competition has said.”

“It might make it harder for Microsoft to seduce fools into Azure for GNU/Linux hosting.”The commissioner ought to have mentioned the problems that SEPs FRAND in its own right poses. It’s incompatible with Free/Open Source software (FOSS), and not by accident. There are standard-essential patents where interoperability between file systems is required. See the Samba case (in Europe, where Microsoft fought for file sharing monopoly) and then recall the Microsoft v. TomTom case, where Microsoft fought for a software patents tax in Europe (where such patents are not even legal), impacting Linux itself. FRAND is a vehicle for pushing software patents into Europe and Microsoft loves FRAND for this reason. Remember when Microsoft did this kind of FRAND lobbying with the BSA.

Right now, after Alice, Microsoft is still utilising software patents in an effort to tax everything, exploiting its monopoly to make the tax inescapable. The ‘new’ Microsoft is extorting Android and Linux using software patents on file systems, still (probably exFAT if not FAT also, as per the TomTom case). This new article from WIPR states: “Microsoft has signed a patent licensing deal with action camera maker GoPro.

“According to statement from Microsoft on Friday, February 5, the agreement covers “certain file storage and other system technologies”.

“And some people honestly believe that Microsoft has changed…”“The terms of the deal, in which Microsoft is the licensor, have been kept confidential.

GoPro, based on its own Web site, uses a lot of FOSS, Linux included (and Android is a key target platform). So what we see here is Microsoft engaging in patent extortion against FOSS, yet again.

And some people honestly believe that Microsoft has changed…

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