Bonum Certa Men Certa

More Shuttleworth on Novell-Microsoft

The chat log from the Ask Mark IRC session has been posted on the OpenWeek Wiki, and a few questions touched on the significance of the deal between Novell and Microsoft. Interestingly, there were no questions about the OpenSUSE developer invitation and reaction.

In all, there were 3 questions on the Novell-Microsoft topic, relating to the Microsoft threat level, Canonical's own patent policies, and what actions are planned in case of an infringement claim. I reproduce the three questions and Mr Shuttleworth's responses in their entirety:

< Admiral_Chicago > Is Ubuntu considering revisitng[sic] their own patent license or how they approach licensing in the wake of Novell / MS?

We are certainly looking at ways to strengthen our stand against software patents. We are entirely opposed to them, and its possible we can actively help to prevent their spread, beyond the advocacy we already do. Whether or not the Novell executives who negotiated the recent Novell-MS deal were aware of what was going on, it's entirely obvious that MS is working to establish an IP framework that limits the spread of free Linux.

It was obvious to many of us the moment the deal was announced that "virtualisation interop" was far less interesting to MS than the patent implications. MS paid Novell a lot of money to stand up on stage and validate their theories about patent licensing and MS will expect a return on their investment :-) So, i was not surprised when Ballmer came out with the statement that "anybody running any Linux other than SUSE has an undisclosed balance sheet liability."

What that means, in english, is that anybody who uses any version of Linux other than those that pay MS, are liable to get sued by MS that includes Debian, Gentoo, Ubuntu, Fedora etc. Make no mistake about it, this is a major assault on the key things that have driven the success of Linux. This is why i think its so important to protest the deal and why I think we should find ways to take a stronger public position on patents within Ubuntu.

< ailean > How threatened do you feel by Microsoft? Do they actually have any claim on Ubuntu's code, will any legal threat fail, or does money talk?

Interesting question. MS have done some wonderful things for the world. They made software cheap, which is great. They made it standard. They have produced some excellent software and some not-so-excellent software. I think, now that we have the internet, that the free software process is a fundamentally better way of producing software, though.

I think that free software platforms will innovate faster than proprietary ones. So at a deep level, I think its them that should feel threatened. That said, history shows that a big organisation that can't change fast enough to adapt to changes in its environment and ALWAYS tries to lock the environment down.

Look at the RIAA, the members there cannot see a way forward that preserves their profitability, so they are suing their own customers to try to preserve a 70's era analog business model. I think MS is prepared, if worst comes to worst, to sue their own customers in order to protect an 80's era business model, of software licensing. That's dangerous.

They are of course also trying to innovate out of the corner, Windows Live is interesting, so is the X-Box, and the Zune. They are all attempts to shift to subscription-based revenues, relationship-based revenues. If they can be successful there, they are less likely to go nuclear, but if not... That's why we can't legitimise their IP dogma now. Why the Novell deal is so treacherous.

< Spec > Pending legal action, would Ubuntu redirect all of their efforts in extracting "patented" code from the OS?

We would certainly do our bit. If anything that Canonical has created infringes someone's patents, we hope they will let us know so we can fix that, or that they will licence the patents for free use with free software. We would also of course coordinate with upstreams working on their part. I do not actually believe that a nuclear patent option will stop linux at all. IBM and others have made it very clear they will use the muscle in their patent portfolios to stop big IT companies from trying that and as for small patent trolls, we can work around any patents they might come up with. While at the same time, the Linux vote is getting stronger and stronger. If we had 50 million users in the USA, we could certainly block dangerous patent legislation.

Of course there are other topics in the *buntu world that are covered in the chat, including requests for more Kubuntu staff, the controversy over proprietary driver inclusion, and if there is anything to the Googlebuntu distribution rumors. Head over to the entire log of the chat for more information and insight on all things Ubuntu.

Recent Techrights' Posts

Brittany Day, Plagiarist in Chief (Chatbot Slinger)
3 articles in the front page of LXer.com right now are chatbot spew
Guardian Digital, Inc (linuxsecurity.com) Has Resorted to Plagiarism by Chatbots, Flooding the World Wide Web With Fake 'Articles' Wrongly Attributed to Brittany Day
busted
Microsoft-Connected Sites Trying to Shift Attention Away From Microsoft's Megabreach Only Days Before Important If Not Unprecedented Grilling by the US Government?
Why does the mainstream media not entertain the possibility a lot of these talking points are directed out of Redmond?
 
Peter Eckersley, Laura Smyth & the rushed closure of dial-up Internet in Australian universities
Reprinted with permission from Daniel Pocock
[Meme] Bullying the Victims
IBM: crybully of the year 2024
Ian.Community Should be Safer From Trademark Censorship
We wish to discuss this matter very quickly
Microsoft and Its Vicious Attack Dogs (Attacking Women or Wives in Particular)
Sad, pathetic, destructive people
Upcoming Series About the Campaign to 'Disappear' the Father of GNU/Linux
Today we have Julian Assange's fate to focus on
A Month From Now Gemini Protocol Turns 5
June 20
Colombia: From Less Than 0.5% to Nearly 4% for GNU/Linux
it's not limited to this one country
Rumour: Well Overdue Red Hat Layoffs to be Announced in About 3 Days
we know they've planned the layoffs for a while
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 19, 2024
IRC logs for Sunday, May 19, 2024
Gemini Links 20/05/2024: Updated Noto Fontpacks and gemfeed2atom
Links for the day
GNU/Linux in Georgia: Looking Good
Windows down from 99% to less than 33%
Tomorrow is a Historic Day for Press Freedom in the UK
Take note of the Julian Assange case
Hiding in a Forest Without a Phone and Hiding Behind the First Amendment in the United States (US)
some serial defamer is trying to invert the narrative
Links 19/05/2024: Iran's President Lost in Helicopter Crash, WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange Awaits Decisions in Less Than a Day
Links for the day
Links 19/05/2024: Microsoft Investigated in Europe
Links for the day
4 Old Articles About Microsoft/IBM SystemD
old but still relevant
Firefox Has Fallen to 2% in New Zealand
At around 2%, at least in the US (2% or below this threshold), there's no longer an obligation to test sites for any Gecko-based browser
Winning Streak
Free software prevalence
Links 19/05/2024: Conflicts, The Press, and Spotify Lawsuit
Links for the day
GNU/Linux+ChromeOS at Over 7% in New Zealand
It's also the home of several prominent GNU/Linux advocates
libera.chat (Libera Chat) Turns 3 Today
Freenode in the meantime continues to disintegrate
[Teaser] Freenode NDA Expires in a Few Weeks (What Really Happened 3 Years Ago)
get ready
GNU/Linux is Already Mainstream, But Microsoft is Still Trying to Sabotage That With Illegal Activities and Malicious Campaigns of Lies
To help GNU/Linux grow we'll need to tackle tough issues and recognise Microsoft is a vicious obstacle
Slovenia's Adoption of GNU/Linux in 2024
Whatever the factor/s may be, if these figures are true, then it's something to keep an eye on in the future
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Saturday, May 18, 2024
IRC logs for Saturday, May 18, 2024
Links 19/05/2024: Profectus Beta 1.2
Links for the day
Site Archives (Not WordPress)
We've finally finished the work
[Meme] The EPO Delusion
on New Ways of Working
EPO Representatives Outline Latest Attacks on Staff
Not much has happened recently in terms of industrial action
Links 18/05/2024: Revisiting the Harms of Patent Trolls, Google Tries to Bypass (or Plagiarise) Sites Under the Guise of "AI"
Links for the day
Links 18/05/2024: BASIC Story, Site Feeds, and New in Geminispace
Links for the day
GNU/Linux in Kyrgyzstan: From 0.5% to 5% in Eight Years
the country is almost the size of the UK
Justice for Victims of Online Abuse
The claims asserted or pushed forth by the harasser are categorically denied
[Meme] Senior Software Engineer for Windows
This is becoming like another Novell
Links 18/05/2024: Deterioration of the Net, North Korean IT Workers in the US
Links for the day
Windows in Lebanon: Down to 12%?
latest from statCounter
[Video] 'Late Stage Capitalism': Microsoft as an Elaborate Ponzi Scheme (Faking 'Demand' While Portraying the Fraud as an Act of Generosity and Demanding Bailouts)
Being able to express or explain the facts isn't easy because of the buzzwords
Links 18/05/2024: Caledonia Emergency Powers, "UK Prosecutor's Office Went Too Far in the Assange Case"
Links for the day
Microsoft ("a Dying Megacorporation that Does Not Create") and IBM: An Era of Dying Giants With Leadership Deficits and Corporate Bailouts (Subsidies From Taxpayers)
Microsoft seems to be resorting to lots of bribes and chasing of bailouts (i.e. money from taxpayers worldwide)
US Patent and Trademark Office Sends Out a Warning to People Who Do Not Use Microsoft's Proprietary Formats
They're punishing people who wish to use open formats
Links 18/05/2024: Fury in Microsoft Over Studio Shutdowns, More Gaming Layoffs
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Friday, May 17, 2024
IRC logs for Friday, May 17, 2024
Links 18/05/2024: KOReader, Benben v0.5.0 Progress Update, and More
Links for the day