Bonum Certa Men Certa

More Legal Trouble for a Microsoft Patent Partner (Fraud); Google Stumbles

One of Microsoft's lesser-known partners, which also signed a software patent deal involving Linux, is Samsung. We wrote about Samsung's corruption allegations just a fortnight ago and also provided many contextual links for background about this deal.

The New York Times has more information at the moment. It is suggesting that the chairman of the company is personally involved and also charged. This looks bad for this gigantic company as a whole.

The chairman of the Samsung Group, Lee Kun-hee, has been indicted on charges of evading taxes on billions of dollars that he hid in stock accounts under the names of his aides, a special prosecutor announced on Thursday.


The weaker and less credible Microsoft's partners become, the better it is for freedom of software. The abuse of the GPL must end and the GPLv3 is one possible solution to these deals.

While on the subject of GPLv3, some readers are likely to recall the AGPL-Google kerkuffle [1, 2, 3] because it led to a few discussions in this Web site. As it turns out, Google's AGPLv3 snub is no accident and there's more to it.

Chris [DiBona]:

Actually, we think that creating individual pools of software that cannot be shared amongst other licenses is less open, which is why we are against license proliferation.

SoC isn't much about recruiting, but more about creating more open source code and developers.

mtg [Milking The Gnu]:

So the argument is that of compatibility? (e.g. creating less 'pools') but then by the same token you could have only the X/MIT license ...

It raises another issue though: does it mean Google doesn't really trust the OSI?

What if OSI starts delivering say an "Open Choice Repository" label to those repositories offering all OSI-approved licenses; does Google code want to end-up next to Microsoft CodePlex which denies hosting to GPLv3 projects?


Bear in mind that Chris DiBona used to be a very active participant in the OSI. We corresponded on several occasions. In this blog post (correspondence), DiBona says that he likes beer and wine. Well, it's time to sober up.

The AGPLv3 is a reality and it's extremely important to defend it. If Google disregards even the OSI's approval (never mind the FSF's principles), then Google will further complicate status issues amongst some developers. Time to face reality, Google. Your shareholders need the faith of the geeks.

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