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Microsoft Open Source Patents

Microsoft's Patent Pledge "Worse Than Useless" 140

Posted by Zonk
from the infinity-bad dept.
munchola writes "The Software Freedom Law Center has declared that Microsoft's patent pledge to open source developers is 'worse than useless'. SFLC chief technology officer, Bradley Kuhn, has written to FOSS developers warning them that 'developers are no safer from Microsoft patents now than they were before'. According to Kuhn: 'The patent covenant only applies to software that you develop at home and keep for yourself; the promises don't extend to others when you distribute. You cannot pass the rights to your downstream recipients, even to the maintainers of larger projects on which your contribution is built.'"
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Microsoft's Patent Pledge "Worse Than Useless"

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  • Did you expected a different result?
  • Surprised? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by insecuritiez (606865)
    I doubt anyone here is actually surprised by this. Since when has Microsoft ever done anything truly for the good of OSS?
    • by Kadin2048 (468275)
      Unfortunately, a whole lot of people have been writing code and assigning copyright over to Novell, which is now basically no better than writing and assigning copyright over to Microsoft...
      • by Knuckles (8964)
        Unfortunately, a whole lot of people have been writing code and assigning copyright over to Novell

        Who, how much, for which projects? Not saying you are wrong, just curious.
      • Re:Surprised? (Score:4, Informative)

        by ClickOnThis (137803) on Friday November 10, 2006 @05:37PM (#16799018) Journal
        Unfortunately, a whole lot of people have been writing code and assigning copyright over to Novell, which is now basically no better than writing and assigning copyright over to Microsoft...

        But if Novell released said code under the GPL, then the genie is out of the bottle. Stick with the code that pre-dates the agreement between MS and Novell, and I think you're okay.

        Oh, and stop contributing code to Novell.
        • I wanna see Novell's reaction when people stop giving them code.

          Microsoft will rape them and then they will be excluded by everyone else.
          A very quick and messy death for Novell.
        • by badfish99 (826052)
          I tried to give some code to Novell once. I found a small bug in a Suse program (it was one Suse had written themselves, not a 3rd-party product they were including in their distribution) and I sent them a patch.

          I got back an email saying they wouldn't give me any support unless I proved that I'd paid for their product. I tried telling them that I was trying to support them, but to no avail: all my emails just got returned with the same message. I pretty soon gave up.

          A distributor like Debian or Slack
      • by eric76 (679787)
        Can you provide details?

        Or are you talkig about Novell's employees?
    • Re:Surprised? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by thebdj (768618) on Friday November 10, 2006 @04:43PM (#16798354) Journal
      I doubt anyone here is actually surprised by this. Since when has Microsoft ever done anything truly for the good of OSS?

      They created ME and Vista. I would consider the users that left Windows because of ME or the ones who might leave because of Vista, something truly good for OSS.
      • if they didn't create windows at all, it would have been better for FOSS (AND for the people, because they wouldn't have been dragged into this crappy os in the first place)
        • by dangitman (862676)
          Unlikely. Without Windows being around, there would likely be a much better proprietary OS in dominance, and a lot more competition in the commercial OS market. So, Linux wouldn't have had as great a chance to get a foothold, without the dominant OS being so crappy.
      • by Monsuco (998964)
        I doubt anyone here is actually surprised by this. Since when has Microsoft ever done anything truly for the good of OSS?
        The have done something that accedentally ended up good for OSS. If they had become a Hardware/Software company such as Amiga or Apple, Linux could never have had a standardized processor to evolve on.
    • All 'evil empire' stuff aside, why should they even want to be nice to OSS? They are out to make money and any competition stands in the way.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by 7Prime (871679)
        Ya know, believe it or not, the "we're just out to make money" mentality, is not one shared by all businesses in all countries of the world. There are many countries in which a business's first priority is to their employees, then their community, and only thirdly to themselves (many businesses in Japan, for instance). Unfortunately, American's have convinced themselves that the only way to survive in the business world is to forsake all ethicality... and so they've made that true. It's very sad.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by nurb432 (527695)
          The difference is here in america the goal is not to just 'survive' its to obliterate the competition.
    • by jamstar7 (694492)
      Besides looting it?
  • Because we all know how Microsoft treats those it writes contracts with... I seriously have to wonder why Novel thought that was a good idea. Are they so lacking in cash that they felt it was worth dealing with Bill G.?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Seriously...if, as CEO of a major company, Microsoft were to offer me $400 million ...I would take it. If I didn't my shareholders would lynch me.
      The long term consequences don't matter here... all that matters is that for the next couple of years, profits go up
      Welcome to corporation-think
      This has nothing to do with feel-good, Microsoft is teh EVIL, I hug bunnies world.
      A corporation exists to make money for its owners
      period
      too bad about SuSE Linux... it will be seen as a victim of collateral damage
      • by radarsat1 (786772)
        A corporation exists to make money for its owners
        period


        Agreed. But there is a difference between short-term money and long-term money.
        One doesn't guarantee the other, and it takes a good CEO to tell the difference.
        It also takes intelligent shareholders to avoid lynching him in the meantime.
        I think in a lot of cases, bad business decisions can be attributed to shareholders will very short-term vision.
        • by Ash Vince (602485)
          Agreed. But there is a difference between short-term money and long-term money.

          Not as far as most fund managers are concerned, and they have the most power in real investment world.
          They want short term ROI, or they sell.
      • by 7Prime (871679)
        This is why I'm a fan of businesses going private, which, thankfully, seems to be an increasing trend these days. Even ClearChannel (Oooh, they are Teh Evil!) is trying to find buyers in order to go private. I can understand the stock market being good for some things, but in some ways, it's been the worst thing to happen to the free market ecconomy... it encourages all investments to be made for short term gains, and forsakes long term planning. Many companies have lost their way after going public. I'm re
    • by causality (777677)
      What's the saying? "If you get in bed with Microsoft, you're going to get fucked."
  • by audj (980103)
    duh. in fact, double duh. because if microsoft can make money by making up patents for things everyone uses and sneaking it by our USPO, they will.
    • duh. in fact, double duh.

      Do you think that's enough? I think this is at least a triple duh. I might even go so far as to skip right over quadruple duh and put it into the pentupal duh category.

      I wouldn't call it a sextuple duh, though. That's just being silly.
  • Boycott Novell (Score:2, Interesting)

    by 10scjed (695280)
    http://edu-nix.org/shanecoyle/?p=8 [edu-nix.org] / www.boycottnovell.com
    • Re:Boycott Novell (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Kennon (683628) on Friday November 10, 2006 @05:40PM (#16799052) Homepage
      This is some amazing shit. No one has any idea what the ramifications, if ANY are going to be from this deal and everyone is so quick to run and lynch a company who has dedicated millions of lines of code to open source projects that they make zero dollars from. This is the same Novell who along with IBM took a stand AGAINST SCO and cost those bastards millions in legal fees. This is the same Novell who is activly sueing M$ for patent violations in the MSOffice product. Shane, how many lines of code have you contributed to any open source projects? What have you done for the community that can come close to comparing to even a little of what Novell has done for Linux in the last few years. Is it really so boring up there in New York that you have nothing better to do other than sit around and stew about some shit that none of us will probably ever even be affected by? All of you armchair lawyers need to STFU and wait until something bad actually happens to the community before you start trying to crucify a fairly benevolent company, relatively speaking, who dedicates themselves daily to the Linux community. WHEN/IF something like that does happen I will be more than happy to join in the ripping of Novell's spine from their body and showing it to them, but until then can we please move on?
      • by Znork (31774)
        On the other hand, most positive contributions can be ascribed to the previous management. Hovsepian, the guy behind the deal, is the CEO now. The current 'Novell' may not at all be the same as the last one.

        And with Novells long, proprietary, history it has quite some legacy to overcome.
      • Novell is aready telling their customers that their product is 'safe from litigation'. That is enough to boycott them.

        Now, it they start behaving nicely again, we can change our mind latter... There is just no reason to wait.

  • Ok... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Exsam (768226) on Friday November 10, 2006 @04:29PM (#16798170)
    Now, people who keep tagging every article "itsatrap" This would be a proper usage of that tag.
    • There is no proper usage of the itsatrap tag. Just as there is no proper usage of the yes, no, fud, and !fud tags. They don't describe the story content, but rather serve as a summary of the all the Slashdot comments -- a waste of the advantages of the tagging system.
      • by Telvin_3d (855514)
        Yeah, well, if there was any real intent of having the tags be descriptive of the story content they would support more than one word tags. When you are restricted to one word it is hard to place anything useful other than a minor comment such as 'FUD' or "itsatrap'. Somehow I doubt anyone is ever going to search the tags for 'awellthoughtoutarticalonmicrosoftspatentpledge'.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Headcase88 (828620)
        I disagree. I enjoy reading tags that don't really help categorize the article because it's kind of like looking into the general /. consensus of the issue without diving into the comments, and they're occasionally funny as well.

        Besides, it's not like the "yes" tag could ever be used to categorize an article, so it's not really "wasting" any of the tagging system's potential, if you search for, say, "Halo" articles, the "no" tag applied to "Was Halo 2 Great?" isn't going to stop it from showing up in your
    • by cptgrudge (177113)
      From a cynic's point of view, "itsatrap" is proper for more situations than you might think. Any story even somewhat related to a government action, social program, corporation's product, or "press release" by anyone could get the "itsatrap" tag. That covers a lot of stories.
  • by Foofoobar (318279)
    ...and snow is white and Tom Cruise is a closeted homosexual. Tell us something we don't know.
  • Not the Novell Deal (Score:5, Informative)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Friday November 10, 2006 @04:32PM (#16798194)

    Note, this article is not talking about the deal with Novell as almost every post thus far has assumed. It mentions that deal, as something still being researched. This is about MS's recent promise/contract to not sue hobbyists for patent violations.

    • by hurfy (735314) on Friday November 10, 2006 @05:44PM (#16799102)
      "The patent covenant only applies to software that you develop at home and keep for yourself;"

      Meaning the stuff they would never know about to sue for in the first place. Gee they won't sue you for stuff they don't know you did, how generous ;)
    • by AVee (557523)
      Note, this article is not talking about the deal with Novell as almost every post thus far has assumed. It mentions that deal, as something still being researched. This is about MS's recent promise/contract to not sue hobbyists for patent violations.

      Who cares, we are all way to busy bashing MS and Novell to stop and read properly. Geez, next thing you know you'll be asking us to think before we post...
  • I'm starting to think Microoft might not have my best interest at heart?
  • Enough (Score:1, Troll)

    This is getting worse than Zune news.

    No one writing about this knows any more of the details than what was released to the press. At best all of this is blind supposition and wasted mental bandwidth.

    If all of the effort that went into these various prognostications of impending doom had been spent on coding we'd all be a lot better off.
    • Re:Enough (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Friday November 10, 2006 @04:42PM (#16798340)

      This is getting worse than Zune news. No one writing about this knows any more of the details than what was released to the press.

      I know it is not normal to RTFA, but if you did you'd see it was a press release about the license MS released with regard to their promise not to sue open source hobbyists over patent violations. It is not about the Novell deal, despite the fact that every comment thus far (except my previous one) seems to be assuming otherwise. So people do know more than was published in the press release, just not about what you seem to have thought this article was about.

      • See, I'm right, we are getting so much of this crap it is all muddled up in my head.

        Actually I did attempt to read the article but saw the word Novell in the first sentence and decided that I'd had my fill of reading about the sky falling.

        But maybe I'll go read it now. Or maybe I'll just wait a few minutes for the next actual "Microsoft/Novell Deal" submission to pop up and recycle my original comment.
      • by foobsr (693224)
        I know it is not normal to RTFA

        Who cares? This is normal as well.

        CC.
      • In this case, R(ing)TFA may have been a mistake, as I can see where you could get your misunderstanding from it. If you go to the source [softwarefreedom.org], though, you'll see this is part of the Novell deal. The actual letter starts:

        Last Thursday, Novell and Microsoft announced a new collaborative effort involving both licensing and technology. The Software Freedom Law Center has been following the situation, and as its CTO, I've held a particular interest in how it will impact Free Software developers. One result of the

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 10, 2006 @04:41PM (#16798316)
    It's called 'dedicating' it. No restrictions.

    It shows people people that your patent was only filed to prevent other people from patenting the idea and causing trouble. People tend to look very favorably on dedications.
    • See, if they dedicate the patent then they can't sue ANYONE over it. That's not very Microsoft-like. Pass up on the peanuts (hobbyists), and sue the cash cows (like the hobbyists that manage to make a successful product and make money). Besides, the next few years will either make or break Microsoft. They'd be fools not to know that. If things go rocky, they'll do what all the other failed tech companies do: fire off their developers, hire lawyers, and just squat on their patents. If they dedicate the
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 10, 2006 @04:41PM (#16798320)
    From the Bradley M. Kuhn's Letter [softwarefreedom.org]:

    Microsoft has used this patent pledge to indicate that, in their view, the only good Free Software developer is an isolated, uncompensated, unimportant Free Software developer.

    Groklaw also raised questions about Novell's deal [groklaw.net]:

    Novell here is stepping outside the line of fire and agreeing with Microsoft that *end users* are the ones that you must go after in any patent infringement dispute. Shades of SCOsource. Thanks for nothing, Novell. More questions: When were Novell SUSE customers asked if they wished Novell to negotiate a agreement with Microsoft on their behalf? When were Novell SUSE customers asked about the terms of said agreement? What consideration does Microsoft get from Novell's customers? Does negotiating this agreement on Novell's customers' behalf indicate that Novell assumed Power of Attorney for their customers in this matter? Did Novell truly represent the best interest of their customers using Power of Attorney? Can Novell legally assume Power of Attorney for their customers without a written grant? Do Novell customers have the ability to "opt-out" of this agreement? Is this agreement binding on customers?

    • Can Novell legally assume Power of Attorney for their customers without a written grant? Do Novell customers have the ability to "opt-out" of this agreement? Is this agreement binding on customers?

      To be fair, these are all stupid questions. The answers are obviously no, irrelevant, and no. A contract is not binding on you if any of the following are true:

      • you do not receive any benefits ("consideration") from it
      • you were not able to negotiate the terms in it
      • you never agreed to it
    • Microsoft has used this patent pledge to indicate that, in their view, the only good Free Software developer is an isolated, uncompensated, unimportant Free Software developer.

      Obviously. Especially if said developer is just writing stuff for use on his own machine. Utilities & apps that don't make it into the wild are no threat, and thus, unimportant from a cash flow point of view, and won't be sued. People only sue when there are monetary & tactical advantages to sue. If there's no money invo

  • I found that this blog [technet.com] was kind of interesting in the sense that it clears up a bunch of things that people are worried about. However, I think that at the same time, there are a lot of people going 'where the heck is the PROOF of the patients!?' I'd like to have SM give some of the patients that they claim are being infringed upon and then I might be willing to loosen up on the whole idea. At the same time however, I think that there is something that people have to realize, and that is, like it or not, t
    • by Shados (741919)
      there is going to be some changes in Novell, and I know that people are going to think that that would then mean that they are in Microsoft's pocket
      Yeah. Once upon a time people said the same about Macs though, in the pre-OSX days... It took a while, but look at what Apple did after that. I'm not a Mac user myself, but from the little I know, it looks like they did pretty well. Maybe thats what will happen here too.
  • here's some other information on MS patents http://www.s5h.net/linux_news_reader_article_5505. html [s5h.net]. MS seem to be getting patents in huge swarms right now. it's quite sickening. i think there should be new ammendments to prevent ms from applying for more patents. they are taking the piss, literally.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by kie (30381)
      > they are taking the piss, literally

      no they are not literally taking the piss,
      they are however patenting methods and means of urine extraction.

      ignore all comments above, i should be sleeping
    • by foobsr (693224)
      from the link: "and the United States has made more leaps forward in information technology and biology [bushorchimp.com] because of a strong patent regime that rewarded ideas"

      Yes, retrofitting. Dear poor relatives!

      CC-
  • by IflyRC (956454)
    Can we mod down tags? This is getting ridiculous.
  • by vojtech (565680) <vojtech@suse.cz> on Friday November 10, 2006 @05:12PM (#16798702)
    I, too, have been reading through the pledges at the Microsoft website, to figure out the exact wording and implications.

    The "Microsoft's Patent Pledge for Non-Compensated Developers" is indeed rather useless, because it only covers creation and local use, and specifically excludes distribution.

    The "Microsoft's Patent Pledge for Individual Contributors to openSUSE.org" is also not interesting, since it covers the transfer of code from an author to SUSE, and only that and nothing else.

    The "Microsoft's Patent Pledge for Hobbyist Contributors" is referenced from the above one. This should be the one that is covering the community distribution part. But is missing on the Microsoft website: Either it doesn't exist at all and the reference is a mistake, or there is a reason why it was left out from the web.

    Has anyone managed to find it? Why Bradley Kuhn doesn't mention it?

    • Haven't the fanbois here continually told us that MS would never sue anybody for patents and that they patents were for defensive purposes only? Where are those shills and astro turfers now?
    • "The "Microsoft's Patent Pledge for Non-Compensated Developers" is indeed rather useless, because it only covers creation and local use, and specifically excludes distribution."

      True. Even worse, they're pledging not to do something that they can't do anyway! The grant of the patent was done in exchange for teaching me how to implement and use the invention. They cannot prevent me from learning it, they can only prevent me from using the knowledge in a manner that infringes on their granted rights.
  • Is there a leper colony available to send bad/sick/naughty Linux companies to?

    People need to vote with their pocketbook and put Novell out of business, ASAFP.
    • Is there a leper colony available to send bad/sick/naughty Linux companies to?
      How about your parents' basement? Or will that cramp your style?
  • ...does Microsoft determine if YOU are allowed to code at home/bedroom/cellar/tent/train ~ whatever and decide that what you code is theirs to make a judgement on and assume ownership?

    What terrible arrogance.
  • This seems rather much ado about nothing, from my uneducated glances over the wording.

    Basically, this agreement is saying that Microsoft won't wield patents against those contributing software to OpenSuSE until after the Microsoft-Novell deal runs out or you try to wield patents against MS themselves.

    But, really, what was the situation before? Either you wrote software that DIDN'T violate MS patents, or you DID and just hoped like hell that they wouldn't use their patents to sue you. There is a false s
  • If M$ wanted to help, they would deregister the patents. You will get sued, period.
  • Please name one company, group, organization, or institution which has partnered with Microsoft which did not end up getting screwed. Among the losers, IBM, Stac and Sybase come immediately to mind.
  • According to Kuhn: 'The patent covenant only applies to software that you develop at home and keep for yourself; the promises don't extend to others when you distribute.

    You know, I can build anything damn thing I want to with my Craftsman tool set and sell it. Sears has never had to promise that they won't sue me. I can even build, sell, and distribute competing products as long as its done under a different brand name.

    Microsoft seems to be forgetting all those nice shareware programs built for Windows th
  • by Colin Smith (2679) on Friday November 10, 2006 @07:15PM (#16800090)
    Why now, at this point in time are Linux developers being threatened in this way? Why not last year? Why not two, five years ago?

    I reckon they are terrified about Vista... They're terrified it'll be a dead loss with millions jumping ship to Linux. They're trying to fence of Linux from their ex-customers in advance of it's release.

     
    • MS is terrified for a long time now... Vista must be VERY BAD for MS being even more afraid now, that they are releasing it than when they where delaying the release.

      Or maybe they know something we don't.

  • I know MS lawyers have claimed that Microsoft has never sued someone over Patent infringement unless it was a counter suit. In other words, I believe it is MS policy to use patents as a defense. The only reason they even need to use it as a defense is they are a huge target due to their large bank accounts. This is not to say they don't license patents if someone wishes to license them, and it's not to say their policy will never change. In fact Bill Gates however has spoken out for patent reform to red
  • My understanding is that private use of software isn't considered a cause of action for a patent suit.

    Even if it was legally possible, how is MS going to find out about me violating their retroactive patent on sudo (oops, loose lips!) in order to sue me, if I'm not allowed to distribute the result?

    For somebody who claims that it is possible to sue someone for private use, can you point me to a case where such a case was successfully prosecuted?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Miseph (979059)
      The point is that whether it has ever been successfully prosecuted or not is unimportant. Technically, you can be sued for infringing patents even if you never distribute the infringing item(s).

      From Wikipedia: "In United States law, an infringement may occur where the defendant has made, used, sold, offered to sell, or imported an infringing invention or its equivalent." Making and/or using an infringing product is infringement. It may be unlikely that you will ever be sued for it (since it is so unli
  • I'm still not sure why people are scared about this Novell/M$ deal. I'm a nub to the Linux (SuSe) community and I'm excited about this deal. A lot of end users like M$ products and this will make it easier for IT to give them what they want from a Linux back end. If M$ then sues said IT for using compatibality software to allow MS/Linux integration, said IT will then just return to previously used Open Source solutions/applications. M$ would be shooting theselves in the foot by said lawsuit and only cau
    • by jamstar7 (694492)

      A lot of end users like M$ products and this will make it easier for IT to give them what they want from a Linux back end.

      Only if they use SuSE for a back end. Anybody else, call your l*wy*rs.

      If M$ then sues said IT for using compatibality software to allow MS/Linux integration, said IT will then just return to previously used Open Source solutions/applications.

      No, they'll be broke, bankrupt, and out of business, with a friendly MS sales rep more than happy to step in and have a MS Partner come in to 'fi

    • by Aim Here (765712)
      What makes you think that Microsoft is going to only go after people who use Microsoft software for part of their business?
      People who've never used Microsoft software, referred to it, or looked at it are just as likely to be sued for patent infringement as those who do - that's part of what's wrong with software patents. Given that, is there any reason why Linux users in general shouldn't be scared? If they don't use SuSE, then Microsoft has started lifting the barriers (i.e. antitrust) to being able to sue
  • It seems to me that what their "pledge" is saying is that if I develop any software on a Novell system and distribute it (by giving it away or selling it), Microsoft will prosecute me. My only defense is to make sure that I haven't had access to any Microsoft stuff. So obviously I should just refuse to develop anything on a Novell system. I should just stick to systems for which the OS and libraries are all GPL'd.

    Is this the basic import of this story?

    If so, it seems that Novell has just signed their own
  • Qualifier: I work for a company that has dealings with Novell. However, I'm near the bottom, so it's not like Novell going completely under would kill me or anything. My company could eventually migrate away from SuSe Linux without "too" much pain.

    Now, that being said, let me get to the point (and please don't mod this as flame bait because I'm just trying to give my honest opinion.

    I'm excited about this Novell/M$ deal. I'm excited about it because it will allow IT departments to give their end users the
  • by petrus4 (213815) on Saturday November 11, 2006 @05:44AM (#16803738) Homepage Journal
    Instead, Microsoft has used this patent pledge to indicate that, in their view, the only good Free Software developer is an isolated, uncompensated, unimportant Free Software developer.

    This from the man who believes [omnipotent.net] that the GPL is the only FOSS license with the right to exist.

    Mr. Kuhn, you are every bit as much a part of the problem as Microsoft are themselves. In fact, you are moreso. At least Microsoft do not try and pretend to be anything other than what they are. You are not one micron less a fascist...merely from a different direction.

    You can take your warped, cultic distortion of the word "freedom," and cram it where you feel most appropriate. You and Richard Stallman are open source's answer to David Miscavige and L. Ron. Hubbard, respectively. You are the proverbial scorpion on Linux's back.

    Some who use Linux with the total inability to think for themselves may delude themselves that they need to use your brain and Stallman's in leiu of their own. I am not among such people, and I defy, reject, and repudiate both you, Stallman, and the entirely *false* freedom which the FSF stands for. You would have us reject Microsoft as our masters, only to install yourselves in their place.

    You do not speak for everyone who uses open source. You most certainly do not speak for me.
    • "You are not one micron less a fascist...merely from a different direction"

      When did he ever threaten MS with litigation for having FOSS intellectual property in Windows.

      was Re:Evil on one side, evil on the other
      • by dfghjk (711126)
        "When did he ever threaten MS with litigation for having FOSS intellectual property in Windows."

        Why assume he wouldn't if he could? That isn't the sole measure.

        I think the "fascism" shoe fits pretty well. http://www.answers.com/fascism&r=67 [answers.com]
    • by dfghjk (711126)
      Very well said. Regarding the quote you provided:

      "Instead, Microsoft has used this patent pledge to indicate that, in their view, the only good Free Software developer is an isolated, uncompensated, unimportant Free Software developer."

      I would add that Microsoft has indicated nothing of the sort. The patent pledge is something Microsoft has offered out of their own business interests/strategies and says nothing of the value they place on any developer. Instead, the statement was offered merely to further
      • by petrus4 (213815)
        Indeed. An even greater irony is the fact that, as I commented on here [slashdot.org], there is evidence to suggest that Stallman no longer believes that programmers should be able to make a living programming at all. So what Bradley Kuhn is really doing here is projecting.

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