Coffeehouse Thread

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Get Ready to Pay Up, Red Hat Users

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  • User profile image
    palladium

    Microsoft Aims For Red Hat

    vnunet wrote:
    Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer has warned users of Red Hat Linux that they will have to pay Microsoft for its intellectual property.

    "People who use Red Hat, at least with respect to our intellectual property, in a sense have an obligation to compensate us," Ballmer said last week at a company event in London discussing online services in the UK.
    Wow! I wonder what is coming next?

  • User profile image
    fdisk

    I don't use Red Hat, but if I did, I'd call FUD on this one. Sad

  • User profile image
    wkempf

    I rarely agree with the OpenSource Zealots, but in this case, Microsoft in general and Balmer in specific needs to put up or shut up.  This is FUD at it's worst.  If there's proof of violations, then reveal them.

  • User profile image
    Ray6

    wkempf wrote:
    I rarely agree with the OpenSource Zealots, but in this case, Microsoft in general and Balmer in specific needs to put up or shut up.  This is FUD at it's worst.  If there's proof of violations, then reveal them.


    Indeed.

    Always worry about the state of a company when it decides to litigate rather than innovate. 

  • User profile image
    wkempf

    Ray6 wrote:
    
    wkempf wrote:
    I rarely agree with the OpenSource Zealots, but in this case, Microsoft in general and Balmer in specific needs to put up or shut up.  This is FUD at it's worst.  If there's proof of violations, then reveal them.


    Indeed.

    Always worry about the state of a company when it decides to litigate rather than innovate. 



    I can't go that far.  First, as far as I'm concerned, Microsoft is doing a lot of innovative stuff.  WPF is just one example.  Second, if someone is guilty, litigation is appropriate.  What's not appropriate is a multi-month FUD campaign where you make vague accusations with no concrete examples, much less evidence.

    "Don't do business with them.  They broke the law."

    "What law?"

    "..."  (crickets chirping)

  • User profile image
    fdisk

    wkempf wrote:
    
    Ray6 wrote:
    
    wkempf wrote:
    I rarely agree with the OpenSource Zealots, but in this case, Microsoft in general and Balmer in specific needs to put up or shut up.  This is FUD at it's worst.  If there's proof of violations, then reveal them.


    Indeed.

    Always worry about the state of a company when it decides to litigate rather than innovate. 


    I can't go that far.  First, as far as I'm concerned, Microsoft is doing a lot of innovative stuff.  WPF is just one example.  Second, if someone is guilty, litigation is appropriate.  What's not appropriate is a multi-month FUD campaign where you make vague accusations with no concrete examples, much less evidence.

    "Don't do business with them.  They broke the law."

    "What law?"

    "..."  (crickets chirping)
    And the other day I read an old interview from 2000 with Anders here...and it was a pretty good discussion of how the CLR, C#, and various other things operated at that point...it was built from a mixture of innovative concepts, old techniques, and the rethinking of current ideas.

    But I think we can all do without the vague accusations as you state. Then again...Halloween is just around the corner and maybe some more infamous "Halloween documents" are on the way. [6]

  • User profile image
    rjdohnert

    Oh would you guys just be quiet.  Microsoft has not litigated anything yet and if RH uses Microsoft IP illegally then sorry, RH and RH users need to pay up.  Just because Open Source is represented by an image of being good and being good for man does not allow them the right to STEAL.  Sorry, with Microsoft on this one

  • User profile image
    Bas

    rjdohnert wrote:
    Sorry, with Microsoft on this one


    I'm with Microsoft on this one as soon as I know exactly what IP is being used. Innocent until proven guilty and all that.

  • User profile image
    wkempf

    rjdohnert wrote:
    Oh would you guys just be quiet.  Microsoft has not litigated anything yet and if RH uses Microsoft IP illegally then sorry, RH and RH users need to pay up.  Just because Open Source is represented by an image of being good and being good for man does not allow them the right to STEAL.  Sorry, with Microsoft on this one


    You miss the point.  Microsoft is spreading FUD.  They claim RH is using Microsoft IP illegally, but they don't say what IP.  They haven't litigated, all they've done is run a prolonged smear campaign with no actual facts.

    If and when Microsoft releases information about what IP is infringing and/or litigates, then we can have a different discussion.  Things won't be cut and dried at first, mind you... SCO made the same sort of claims and couldn't prove anything, after all.  But I'll be much more likely to side with Microsoft then.  Until then, this is a bad PR campaign, and Microsoft/Balmer should be ashamed.

  • User profile image
    Xaero_​Vincent

    Umm... just a sec here.

    1) FOSS probably does violate patents. Most software of any significant size violate patents. Why? Because there are so many patents that its nearly impossible to develop without infringing--especially when no patent information is explicitly released to the imposing party. It is completely unrealistic to expect developers to search thru millions of software patents before programming.

    2) Why RedHat? There are only 500+ other Linux distributors to pick on. Oh and lets not forget BSD, Solaris, Minix, OS X, etc... all which support the same software in one form or another.

    3) Microsoft doesn't wish to release the patent data because they know the FOSS community will attempt code around the patents and stand behind OIN for patents that cannot be worked around without significant loss of functionality.

  • User profile image
    Xaero_​Vincent

    wkempf wrote:
    SCO made the same sort of claims and couldn't prove anything, after all.


    SCO made claims of copyright infringement. Thats a bit different than patent violations, which are a far more more likely scenerio for any piece of software.

  • User profile image
    alastar

    Xaero_Vincent wrote:
    
    wkempf wrote:
    SCO made the same sort of claims and couldn't prove anything, after all.


    SCO made claims of copyright infringement. Thats a bit different than patent violations, which are a far more more likely scenerio for any piece of software.


    yeah keep in mind in Europe software patents aren't valid, they only work in good ol' usa, the baston of freedom and a governmental model for all nations

    great country to be a lawyer, those are the real winners in a lawsuit

  • User profile image
    Xaero_​Vincent

    alastar wrote:
    yeah keep in mind in Europe software patents aren't valid, they only work in good ol' usa, the baston of freedom and a governmental model for all nations

    great country to be a lawyer, those are the real winners in a lawsuit


    Lawyers are among the biggest things ruining our great country and for many reasons. But I will save this discussion for another forum.

  • User profile image
    PaoloM

    alastar wrote:
    yeah keep in mind in Europe software patents aren't valid

    I am not sure that is true...

  • User profile image
    Ray6

    wkempf wrote:
    

    You miss the point.  Microsoft is spreading FUD.  They claim RH is using Microsoft IP illegally, but they don't say what IP.  They haven't litigated, all they've done is run a prolonged smear campaign with no actual facts.


    Although I am against the whole litigation thing, I think it is only fair to make one small point.

    Since before it was released, the FOSS community has been engaged in exactly the same sort of FUD tactics against Microsoft.

    Badvista.org
    Picketing retail outlets and harassing the general public.
    Backing 'scientific' claims from sources, who by their own admission, have not even installed Vista.

    So, yes, I am concerned that this patent rubbish points to a company that may be in the early stages of a SCO-like future (however far off that may be), but all this 'poor me' whining from the FOSS community is a bit rich considering the campaign they have been running for the past five years.

  • User profile image
    blowdart

    PaoloM wrote:
    
    alastar wrote:
    yeah keep in mind in Europe software patents aren't valid

    I am not sure that is true...


    Nope, despite heavy lobbying on Microsoft's behalf (and it must be said Oracle's, IBM's et al.) and attempts to railroad it through by MEPs in the pockets of industry software patents have not made it into the EU. In fact it was plucky Poland that kept stoping it.

  • User profile image
    wkempf

    Xaero_Vincent wrote:
    Umm... just a sec here.

    1) FOSS probably does violate patents. Most software of any significant size violate patents. Why? Because there are so many patents that its nearly impossible to develop without infringing--especially when no patent information is explicitly released to the imposing party. It is completely unrealistic to expect developers to search thru millions of software patents before programming.


    "Probably" is not enough, IMO.  Besides, you're pointing out a severe flaw in the patent system here, which isn't doing Microsoft any favors in this case.

    Xaero_Vincent wrote:

    2) Why RedHat? There are only 500+ other Linux distributors to pick on. Oh and lets not forget BSD, Solaris, Minix, OS X, etc... all which support the same software in one form or another.


    Very good question... and once again it doesn't do Microsoft any favors to have this pointed out.  It's just further evidence that they are resorting to dirty tactics in this case.

    Xaero_Vincent wrote:

    3) Microsoft doesn't wish to release the patent data because they know the FOSS community will attempt code around the patents and stand behind OIN for patents that cannot be worked around without significant loss of functionality.


    That's even more damning, IMHO.  It means they aren't interested in protecting their IP, but are instead interested in profit through what amounts to extortion.  So if this hypothetical is true, you've just painted Microsoft in a much worse light than I was willing to do.

    Again, this campaign is nasty, and Microsoft should put up or shut up immediately.  Rarely do I agree with the the Open Source folks, because I believe in capitalism and the rule of law, both which are counter to their utopian view points, IMHO.  But in this instance, Microsoft's behavior is something I find dispicable.

  • User profile image
    wkempf

    Ray6 wrote:
    
    wkempf wrote:
    

    You miss the point.  Microsoft is spreading FUD.  They claim RH is using Microsoft IP illegally, but they don't say what IP.  They haven't litigated, all they've done is run a prolonged smear campaign with no actual facts.


    Although I am against the whole litigation thing, I think it is only fair to make one small point.

    Since before it was released, the FOSS community has been engaged in exactly the same sort of FUD tactics against Microsoft.

    Badvista.org
    Picketing retail outlets and harassing the general public.
    Backing 'scientific' claims from sources, who by their own admission, have not even installed Vista.

    So, yes, I am concerned that this patent rubbish points to a company that may be in the early stages of a SCO-like future (however far off that may be), but all this 'poor me' whining from the FOSS community is a bit rich considering the campaign they have been running for the past five years.



    And I criticize them just as much (probably more) for their actions as I'm criticizing Microsoft and Ballmer in this case.  But two wrongs do not make a right.  I'm not going to forgive Microsoft for this smear campaign just because they've been abused for years.

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