Bonum Certa Men Certa

Coverage of Microsoft's Pathetic Patent Attacks on GNU/Linux

The art of attacking Linux while denying aggressive behaviour

Firey chili
Gentle bluntness

Summary: Microsoft's legal department -- not technical departments -- takes on the company's #1 threat


DG HAS JUST provided another reason to bury software patents. A Boston University professor argues that software patents are a recipe for litigation, not friendly compliance, maybe because it's impossible to know whose program intersects with which ones. It is very different from parallel/identical revelations in the natural sciences. Here is the relevant portion caught by Digital Majority:

For all that, patents are weak protection. "Software patents are four times more likely to be litigated than patents covering an industry for which patents work relatively well, chemical processes," says Michael Meurer, professor of law at Boston University.

But it's not just a problem for the software vendors. IT professionals have felt the FUD created by patent squabbles between IT vendors. Microsoft caused quite a stir two years ago with its patent-based threats against users of Linux (albeit no lawsuits ever materialized).

This neglects to mention Microsoft's lawsuit against TomTom, which is currently being discussed in a SFLC audiocast:

Bradley and Karen discuss the settlement of the Microsoft/TomTom law suit and the implications for the software freedom community.


This show was released on Tuesday 14 April 2009; its running time is 00:34:36.


# Bradley and Karen were in San Francisco attending the Linux Foundation's Collaboration Summit (00:46) # “Producer Dan” is Dan Lynch of half baked media. (01:10) # Bradley mentioned Nehru jackets, notably worn by Ricardo Montalbán as Khan in Star Trek. (01:23) # On 30 March 2009, Microsoft and TomTom settled their patent dispute. (2:30) # Bradley mentioned two articles on 29 December 2008 and on 29 January 2009 in SD Times where he and Sam Ramji debated Microsoft's policies toward the FLOSS community. (04:20) # Karen and Bradley talk about Microsoft's historic patent threats against Linux. Bradley refers to Microsoft's assertions just 16 months before its aggression with TomTom. (4:29) # Bradley mentions that many agree that Microsoft's FAT file patent should not be considered a valid patent. (6:30)

In light of all this bullying from Microsoft comes another analysis of Microsoft's Linux Foundation invasion.

Most of the pummeling sent Microsoft's way amounts to two complaints levied against them constantly in the past: 1) you can't talk out of both sides of your mouth about open source and open standards, and 2) stop using patents as a cudgel to keep other people in line.


Complaint #2 keeps coming back into the limelight, pretty much whenever the words "Microsoft", "patent" or "intellectual property" (pick any two) are breathed in the same sentence. My feelings about software patents have been deeply mixed for a long time, trending towards negative. The more I see of how little protection they actually afford, and how much of a hassle they end up being for everyone involved -- including the very people who are supposed to benefit from them -- the less I'm convinced they need to be defended so aggressively. They create more problems than they solve, even though in the short run it looks like you're winning.

There is some further discussion in OS News.

Recent Techrights' Posts

GNU/Linux in Kyrgyzstan: From 0.5% to 5% in Eight Years
the country is almost the size of the UK
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?
[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
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) 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
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
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
[Meme] UEFI 'Secure' Boot Boiling Frog
UEFI 'Secure' Boot: You can just ignore it. You can just turn it off. You can hack on it as a workaround. Just use Windows dammit!
The Market Wants to Delete Windows and Install GNU/Linux, UEFI 'Secure' Boot Must Go!
To be very clear, this has nothing to do with security and those who insist that it is have absolutely no credentials
In the United States Of America the Estimated Share of Google Search Grew After Microsoft's Chatbot Hype (Which Coincided With Mass Layoffs at Bing)
Microsoft's chatbot hype started in late 2022
Techrights Will Categorically Object to Any Attempts to Deny Its Right to Publish Informative, Factual Material
we'll continue to publish about 20 pages per day while challenging censorship attempts
Links 17/05/2024: Microsoft Masks Layoffs With Return-to-office (RTO) Mandates, More YouTube Censorship
Links for the day
YouTube Progresses to the Next Level
YouTube is a ticking time bomb
Journalists and Human Rights Groups Back Julian Assange Ahead of Monday's Likely Very Final Decision
From the past 24 hours...
[Meme] George Washington and the Bill of Rights
Centuries have passed since the days of George Washington, but the principles are still the same
Daniel Pocock: "I've Gone to Some Lengths to Demonstrate How Corporate Bad Actors Have Used Amateur-hour Codes of Conduct to Push Volunteers Into Modern Slavery"
"As David explains, the Codes of Conduct should work the other way around to regulate the poor behavior of corporations who have been far too close to the Debian Suicide Cluster."
Video of Richard Stallman's Talk From Four Weeks Ago
2-hour video of Richard Stallman speaking less than a month ago
statCounter Says Twitter/X Share in Russia Fell From 23% to 2.3% in 3 Years
it seems like YouTube gained a lot
Journalist Who Won Awards for His Coverage of the Julian Assange Ordeals Excluded and Denied Access to Final Hearing
One can speculate about the true reason/s
Richard Stallman's Talk, Scheduled for Two Days Ago, Was Not Canceled But Really Delayed
American in Paris
3 More Weeks for Daniel Pocock's Campaign to Win a Seat in European Parliament Elections
Friday 3 weeks from now is polling day
Microsoft Should Have Been Fined and Sanctioned Over UEFI 'Lockout' (Locking GNU/Linux Out of New PCs)
Why did that not happen?
Gemini Links 16/05/2024: Microsoft Masks Layoffs With Return-to-office (RTO) Mandates, Cash Issues
Links for the day
Over at Tux Machines...
GNU/Linux news for the past day
IRC Proceedings: Thursday, May 16, 2024
IRC logs for Thursday, May 16, 2024
Ex-Red Hat CEO Paul Cormier Did Not Retire, He Just Left IBM/Red Hat a Month Ago (Ahead of Layoff Speculations)
Rather than retire he took a similar position at another company Made Its First 'Article' in Over and Month, It Was 10 Words in Total, and It's Not About Linux
play some 'webapp' and maybe get some digital 'certificate' for a meme like 'clown computing'