Bonum Certa Men Certa

Microsoft Tax in Televisions, Thanks to Ballnux

TV restrictions



Summary: More new televisions run Linux, but not the type which is free because Microsoft unjustifiably gets paid

THE KOREAN televisions industry is still at it. Both LG and Samsung pay Microsoft for Linux, also in their televisions. LG claims to be running "open source" right now ("Open source Plex media center to run on LG TVs") and Samsung uses Android in HDTVs, based on this news article which says nothing about the Microsoft tax.



HDTVs are the next consumer electronic battlefield and Samsung is apparently testing out Android on its sets in order to step up their offering in response to the latest from Sony, Apple and others. Currently, Samsung is the world’s leader in HDTVs sold but there’s a shake-up looming and Samsung no doubt wants to retain its title. Android may or may not be the answer.


Many television sets of Sony runs Linux, but these do not pay Microsoft for 'permission' to do so. Samsung is only starting to learn about complying with Free software licences (new code release [1, 2, 3]), but it never learned about Free software being incompatible with patents, simply based on practices. Pressuring Samsung regarding GPL violations proved fruitful (they formally published code because a Techrights member pressed them), so Samsung ought to be pressured to also stop paying Microsoft for Linux (Microsoft presented no evidence to justify it). This cause and this goal can be achieved, but customers need to pressure them.

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