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Microsoft/Samsung Ink Patent Deal 131

Posted by Zonk
from the so-happy-together dept.
An anonymous reader wrote with an article at ZDNet, discussing further implications of their patent cross-licensing initiative. With options already in place with Fuji Xerox, the company is now signed up with Samsung as well. From Samsung's perspective, it is simple: these deals ensure it can sell products using Linux without facing a suit from the Redmond-based corporation. "The notion that customers and businesses need Microsoft's legal go-ahead to run Linux has been controversial for some time, with the issue rising to the surface last November after Microsoft reached an accord with Linux vendor Novell. Novell has since taken issue with Microsoft's assertion that the deal represents an acknowledgment that Linux infringes on Microsoft patents."
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Microsoft/Samsung Ink Patent Deal

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  • by Trigun (685027) <evil AT evilempire DOT ath DOT cx> on Friday April 20, 2007 @11:06AM (#18812677)
    Where I tell people that if they give me money, I won't sue them. What a concept!
    • by kebes (861706) on Friday April 20, 2007 @11:23AM (#18812901) Journal
      I don't understand what the companies signing these deals are thinking. It seems like suicide to me. You sign the deal, and MS agrees not to sue you for awhile. But eventually you have to re-sign the deal, and MS can dictate whatever terms they want... because if you don't sign the deal, you won't be able to distribute Linux anymore?

      After all, MS can argue in court that your acceptance of the prior deal was basically an admission that you wouldn't have been allowed to distribute Linux without their blessing. So as soon as you sign the deal, you are forever controlled by MS (at least with regard to Linux distribution). Why would a company purposefully agree to have one of their business plans depend upon the whims of another company?

      I typically don't like conspiracy theories, but it is almost as if Microsoft is creating these deals (using shady behind-the-scenes payoffs?) in order to create a climate where they can, eventually, either crush Linux through patents, or at least make money off of every Linux sale.
      • by alienw (585907)
        Um, because otherwise there is a very good risk of being sued by Microsoft? If it costs them next to nothing, then why not? At the end, they will be in the same position as they started out with.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by kebes (861706)

          If it costs them next to nothing, then why not?

          I guess my point was that it may not cost much right now, but you're basically locking yourself into paying these fees, and have no control over how big those fees might be in the future (it's not like you can buy this "patent protection" from a competitor at a lower price). Being at the mercy of another company seems unsafe.

          As to the "very good risk of being sued", I guess that's the very core of the debate. It's really unclear whether Microsoft could win

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Haeleth (414428)

          Um, because otherwise there is a very good risk of being sued by Microsoft?

          That's very debatable. I can't think of a single occasion where Microsoft has sued anyone for violating software patents, and in the case of Linux they haven't even identified any patents they allege it violates. All they've said is basically "something that good must violate our patents, and if we ever work out how we might possibly sue someone".

          The time to start getting worried is when Microsoft actually points to a specific pate

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by lumber_13 (937323)

          Dont you know how Mafia works ??


          BOSS : Pay me the money, I will give you protection (from myself)

          Shop owner : Here 100 $ per month


          Next month ....

          BOSS : Pay me the money ......

      • After all, MS can argue in court that your acceptance of the prior deal was basically an admission that you wouldn't have been allowed to distribute Linux without their blessing. So as soon as you sign the deal, you are forever controlled by MS...

        Sounds reasonable at first, but no court will even consider that argument. The problem ( from the court's point of view ) is that if company A makes a deal with MS and the court rules that company A's actions constitute an interpretation of the law, then that sets a precedent for company B. ( and C, D, etc )
        In other words, if such things were admitted, MS could hire a shill company to do something stupid, and the stupidity becomes precedent which is binding on everybody who does business with MS. This

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dosquatch (924618)

          In other words, if such things were admitted, MS could hire a shill company to do something stupid, and the stupidity becomes precedent which is binding on everybody who does business with MS.

          *Ahem*SCO*cough*Novell

      • It's the same reasons why countless Roman Catholics purchased indulgences: fear, a misguided belief system, and blind trust in a powerful group behaving as an authority.
      • After all, MS can argue in court that your acceptance of the prior deal was basically an admission that you wouldn't have been allowed to distribute Linux without their blessing.

        It'd be interesting to see Microsoft try and sue anyone without actually citing an infringing patent, on the basis of "you must have thought you were infringing or you wouldn't have signed that contract". I suspect that the courts require more specific evidence than that.

        If Microsoft isn't actually suing anyone over Linux, it's prob

        • Probably the reason for these deals and comments about Linux is the one suggested in the article: not because it will help in any future lawsuit, but as a FUD tactic to create the impression that Linux may have patent problems without having to supply hard evidence, and so dissuade other companies from using it.

          Otherwise known as "doing the SCO."
      • ...and ready for Samsung's most lucrative products by the time the deal expires. Ta-da, embedded Linux has shrinking market-share.

        Don't worry, MS will make sure that Samsung has software for use in their products.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by kripkenstein (913150)

        I don't understand what the companies signing these deals are thinking. It seems like suicide to me. You sign the deal, and MS agrees not to sue you for awhile. But eventually you have to re-sign the deal, and MS can dictate whatever terms they want... because if you don't sign the deal, you won't be able to distribute Linux anymore?

        If that is suicidal, then Microsoft is suicidal as well. Remember, the Microsoft-Novell deal is symmetrical (I am less sure about the Microsoft-Samsung deal) - the covenant i

      • by Locutus (9039)
        This is all part of Microsoft's plan IMO. Here's how it plays out:

        Customers are asking OEMs for Linux systems but the OEMs are REALLY getting nervous about selling Linux based systems because of what Microsoft would do to their existing/future contracts and marketing $$$ related to Microsoft Windows. We all know that Microsoft has told its sales force to tell OEMs they can support Linux but must not "lead with Linux". This means OEM's can't promote Linux and therefore they can't compete with others by marke
        • Well, novell has the better patents on Active directory.. from 15+ years ago. Sun is about to GPL Java... even better would be to submit it to ISO. At that point perhaps we can get the Mono guys to drop it already. It's a great idea to try to 'hijack' C# from Microsoft, but it's just playing into Microsoft's hands and wasting valuable OSS resources.
    • by Tmack (593755)

      Where I tell people that if they give me money, I won't sue them. What a concept!

      Sorry, I already have a patent on that... but if you still want to proceed, I will gladly collect royalties

      tm

    • by Lumpy (12016)
      It's called extortion.

      and it seems that only rich companies can legally get away with extortion.

      Gotta love it when the US govt stands back and allows organized crime behavior from corperations.
      • by Rukie (930506)
        It is extortion, but the US govt is too dumb. Look at our FAA and FCC. All of our political leaders need some regular people to inform them of their pettiness.
      • ...with trade lawsuits lately. They came after that spat where S. Korea took MS to court over monopoly abuses. Even the US State Dept. got involved as I recall, interfering in a Korean court case.
    • by mulvane (692631)
      I'm gonna apply for a patent to do this. Trying to think of what I could best do. I know, I'll setup a '1-Click' interface for people to apply funds into the anti-sue fund, and they can sign up for companies they most feel being sued by.
    • The word you're looking for is extortion. Microsoft is an old company, it needs new revenue streams people.
    • Lawyers do it. RIAA does it. Nothing new here. Move along.

    • Where I tell people that if they give me money, I won't sue them. What a concept!

      There is something familiar with these "cross-licensing" contracts MS has been aggressively pursuing recently. To me, it signals a move by MS towards a business model conceived in Sicily and perfected some years later in Chicago.

      Hmmm...what was the code name for the project at MS to develop Win95 again? I sense that such a move has been in the cards at MS for quite some time now...
  • Got Permission? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by netrarc (1083207) on Friday April 20, 2007 @11:09AM (#18812715) Homepage

    these deals ensure it can sell products using Linux
    So nice of Microsoft to give organizations permission to use Linux. Do I need to check with them before I use my electric toothbrush, as well?
  • -Patent the obvious.
    -Push for MS-Favorable patent laws
    -Cross-license patents as ONE revenu stream
    -Sue into oblivion companies that create real products, as the other revenu stream.

    FYI: MS bought out NTP to avoid a patent suit in 2010 and fired all their programers and support people in 2016.
    • -Patent the obvious.
      -Push for MS-Favorable patent laws
      -Cross-license patents as ONE revenu[e] stream
      -Sue into oblivion companies that create real products, as the other revenu[e] stream.
      You forgot two: -??? -Profit! Fixed that for ya.
    • by jbo5112 (154963)
      Google Summer of Code 2009:
      1) Find the most ridiculous and common aspects of computer programming to sneak past the US patent office.
      2) Sue Microsoft into oblivion.
  • by Bloke down the pub (861787) on Friday April 20, 2007 @11:11AM (#18812745)

    Microsoft/Samsung Ink Patent Deal
    They're conniving to make us pay licensing fees for "a solution or suspension of some or other pigment that [800 pages snipped for brevity] dries leaving a visible mark on paper or some similar or different substance"?

    I call shenanigans, it was invented years ago. There is, quite literally, prior art!
  • by pembo13 (770295) on Friday April 20, 2007 @11:14AM (#18812763) Homepage
    Thank you Novel for pioneering the future where MS doesn't even have to use or code for Linux to profit off of it. Thank you for the future where we essentially need MS's permission to run software.
    • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday April 20, 2007 @11:24AM (#18812919) Homepage Journal
      Well, do the right thing and don't buy any Novell or Samsung products and this will all blow over and go away eventually. Not buying Novell products will be easy :) but Samsung is harder as a lot of their memory and many of their hard drives go into various OEM computers. Of course, you have to avoid Microsoft products too, but if you care about this, you are already doing that.
      • by killjoe (766577)
        Why not go straight to the source. Boycott MS products.

        Anybody who uses Linux or likes linux should make a promise right now to never buy or use another MS product again. Not even a mouse.
        • by pembo13 (770295)
          Already doing this, despite the fact that there are some nice looking peripherals that happen to be Microsoft branded.
  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Friday April 20, 2007 @11:18AM (#18812817) Homepage Journal
    This "patent indemnity" system is turning patent monopolies into patent cartels as protection rackets. They are all so clearly anticompetitive that they should not be allowed whatsoever.

    I've been part of some negotiations to sell some new applications that include GPL software to some established service providers to be deployed in their networks. They're all freaked out about "patent indemnity": how will a little company offer patent indemnity along with the apps they deliver? When the little company tells them "we abide by the GPL, so we're safe from license problems, and we wrote the new code ourselves", that's not good enough. The big companies now love to say "what if something happens to you like how Verizon is shutting down Vonage on patents, how will we cope with losing your services?" Even though Vonage has deep pockets, and there's nothing GPL about their conflict with Verizon.

    Not only are the patents monopolizing innovations, and way too broadly. The entire racket has big, risk-averse companies avoiding business with the source of most innovation and economic growth: little companies. We are heading for a total freezeup of real innovation and growth. And these bogus patents, used like a weapon, are killing it.
    • by dmeranda (120061)

      And these bogus patents, used like a weapon, ...

      How else would they be used? There's no such thing as a defensive-only patent. Just holding a patent is enough to cause damage to others, you don't even have to actively go around suing to be using it as a weapon. This sort of cross-licensing economy should not be making that more obvious. The only true defense against patents that the law provides is publication, and unfortunately its not balanced, sort of like leather armor in the days of gunpowder. An

    • When the little company tells them "we abide by the GPL, so we're safe from license problems, and we wrote the new code ourselves", that's not good enough.

      No, and it never has been. The patent indemnity agreements formed recently have not changed anything - except perhaps to raise the general awareness of this problem.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    The notion that customers and businesses need Microsoft's legal go-ahead to run Linux has been controversial for some time, with the issue rising to the surface last November after Microsoft reached an accord with Linux vendor Novell.

    Regarding of whether the patent system is messed up, needs reform, etc, etc, there are still patents. Microsoft should be afforded the same right to protect their patents just like any other company. Now what exact patents that Linux might be infringing on remains to be seen.
    • by Jerry (6400)
      Now what exact patents that Linux might be infringing on remains to be seen.

      No, it doesn't "remain to be seen". Microsoft and any other proprietary software house has had since 1992 to view the Linux source and determine if any of their "IP" was incorporated.

      Microsoft claimed as long as TWO YEARS ago that Linux IS violating one or more of its "IP". IF that is true then they have a responsibility to INFORM the Linux kernel crew of the EXACT violations in order to mitigate the damages. They are not allowe

    • SCO's attempt to use phony IP claims was financially backed by MS via Bayster. . . one would think that everyone would have noticed.

      I've heard that there are indeed legitmate Linux-related IP claims, and that they're based on IP MS has "borrowed". I think it's time to look into this.
  • To quote Jack Nicholson as the joker in the first Batman: 'You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?'. This is what you get when you sell your soul for a few bucks. Evil only triumphs when good men do nothing, and I intend to never pay for another piece of MS garbage ever again. LONG LIVE OPEN SOURCE! LONG LIVE INNOVATION!
  • by headkase (533448) on Friday April 20, 2007 @11:24AM (#18812931)
    Any cross-licensing is a good thing for now. It enables business' to sell and support Linux with reduced risk. They are not going to get sued. For sure. If or when the issues of unlicensed patents comes to a head then go to court but, in the meantime Linux gains more of a foothold. All Linux has to do is reach a critical-mass. Once theres enough people using Linux then more support will exist. More support leads to more users and the cycle feedbacks onto itself.

    I'm waiting for the day when in a last-ditch effort Microsoft Open Sources Windows to remain relevant :^)
  • by PatentMagus (1083289) on Friday April 20, 2007 @11:30AM (#18812989)
    With open source there's always the question of who to sue for patent infringement. M$, and others, have decided to threaten the customers. Nothing new here. It's always fun to threaten someones customers - it really saps their business.

    That is where I think most open source licenses suffer. If the license gave everyone standing to sue on the open software's behalf, then it would pay to sue M$ and others for infringing on open source. Then M$ can try to shake someone down for protection money and the person can respond by shaking down M$ for protection money. Currently, M$ holds all the guns.

    • by kebes (861706)

      If the license gave everyone standing to sue on the open software's behalf

      The annoying this is that the situation is not symmetric. With copyright, the FLOSS camp use the GPL to protect their interests. This allows them to put pressure on (or sue) people who break the GPL.

      But with patents, there is no reciprocity of control between proprietary and open-source groups. The proprietary guys patent everything they can think of, and then they agree not to sue each other. But no one in the open-source softwa

      • All Open Source has to do is PUBLISH first. I've often thought that sourceforge should open up an idea warehouse for small code snippets or ideas for connecting existing projects. All it takes is One person to put the idea together and put it out there on a public forum and it can't be patented. If it was tied to something like Slashdot (hint, hint) where lots of people could comment then the group running the idea could tidy it all up. Once there is no more "secret period" then prior art also takes aff
  • So does anyone have any idea exactly what this intellectual property is that Samsung are paying for, and what Linux based systems actually infringe on? If Samsung haven't asked for specifics then they're yet another weak minded company who's been badgered by Microsoft into doing something stupid.
  • by Locutus (9039) on Friday April 20, 2007 @11:40AM (#18813119)
    There is over 20 years of Microsoft's lawyers striking up 'deals' with 'partners' only to find out that what the 'partner' thought the contract/license/deal/scam ment was something entirely different from what Microsoft planned all along. In 1996 I was shocked that Sun Microsystems could even THINK that Microsoft would work with Java and play the good Java citizen but their lawyers thought they trust Microsoft even then and once again, we know what the result was. And that was 1996. Here we are over 10 years later and Novell lawyers and executives are surprised that what they thought they signed is different from what Microsoft knows it signed? Somebody is REALLY flunking law school or maybe their just too 'full' of themselves to realized Microsoft is not a trustworthy partner. Either way, these people have not learned a single thing from over two decades of Microsoft double-speak. IMO.

    LoB
  • by xBOISEx (1089557)
    Maybe RMS should teach them a lesson with his new [xkcd.com] katana [xkcd.com]
  • summary from Groklaw (Score:4, Informative)

    by jamienk (62492) on Friday April 20, 2007 @11:47AM (#18813225)
    MS's Patent Deal Covers "Certain Linux-Based Products" [informationweek.com]

    Microsoft and Samsung Electronics have agreed to a broad, cross-licensing patent agreement that apparently includes a controversial clause that protects against any legal claims Microsoft may have on technology used in Linux....

    Within the joint press release announcing the deal, however, the companies said, "Samsung and its distributors and customers may utilize Microsoft's patents in Samsung's products with proprietary software, and Samsung will also obtain coverage from Microsoft for its customers' use of certain Linux-based products ."[PJ:Emphasis added. So it isn't Linux itself, I gather, rather stuff that runs on it, perchance things like Mono, OpenOffice.org, etc.]
    • by AJWM (19027)
      I think PJ's interpretation is incorrect. Mono, OpenOffice.org, etc are not "Linux-based products", they're open source products that happen to run on Linux -- and on (for OOo anyway, not sure about Mono) BSD and Windows.

      To me a "Linux-based product" sounds more like some gizmo with Linux embedded. Given that Samsung is in the business of making gizmos rather than distributing software, this seems the more likely interpretation.
  • Ridiculous (Score:1, Redundant)

    by ihavnoid (749312)
    How in world did Zonk 'imagine' that Samsung signed patent cross-licensing because of Linux? Remember that Samsung is a fairly large company, and I remember that most of the software code Samsung uses isn't based on open-source anyway.

    Come on. They are simiply trying to minimize business risk, not trying to bash/crush/destroy Linux. Nothing else.

    Yes, this is Slashdot, so anybody who does anything with Microsoft will be evil. Oh. I see. Never mind.

    (btw, I believe that both parties would be interested in
    • by hachete (473378)
      Duh, it's in the article. You havn't read the article? Ah, you *can't be new here.
  • Novell is a weak company - they inked a deal with M$ because it suited both parties who feel threatened in this space.

    But following links in TFA, and back beyond them:

    1. The M$ Balmer FUD bullshit:

    "...and because open-source Linux does not come from a company -- Linux comes from the community -- the fact that that product uses our patented intellectual property is a problem for our shareholders..."

    i.e. we can't threaten to sue *everyone*, so we picked-off the weakest member of the flock...

    "But to the degree
    • by nuzak (959558)
      > This from the company that INVENTED FUD - they should know... And RH?

      Ahem: "FUD" was coined by Gene Amdahl to describe the tactics that IBM deployed against his company.
  • We have to start filling out overwhly broad stupid patents just so we can finally make that matter public.

    How about something along the lines of "using 1's and 0's in order to do automated tasks and/or store data via branching and/or decoding processes." Of course that's ANY digital device (CPU, GPU, software, hardware, etc). But inflate that simple sentence into the usual 500-pages patent application, keeping it as broad and inclusive as possible, then send the news everywhere that you've just been able to
    • Good idea - forget it. Unless you're rich, and can face down M$, IBM and their hordes of lawyers. Maybe we should start a fund? I use OS software, but don't have the time, (and probably no longer the skills - stopped doing 'real' programming a long time ago, (on an IBM System 3 with a card reader - like I said, a LONG time ago...), to contribute technically. But if everytime I downloaded something for my use, or to give to a friend, client etc. I'd be happy to click on a 'donate $10 to our legal fund' b
  • GPL? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by PPH (736903)
    From the GPL (v2):

    You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Program
    except as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt
    otherwise to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Program is
    void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License.

    So, isn't what MicroSCOft doing in essence sublicensing the Program? And it appears to me (not being a Lawyer or subspecies thereof) that they have just lost there rights under this license.

    • by mgiuca (1040724)
      Well there's a lot of talk as to wether MS/Novell violated GPLv2. Eben Moglen (The Free Software Foundation lawyer) went over it and determined that it was not in violation. I don't really understand how it isn't, but there you go.

      It'll be irrelevant soon when GPLv3 comes out, MS/Novell will certainly be in violation of that and Novell will have no choice but to somehow get out of this deal, or stick with only GPLv2 software (which will be not a lot). I assume this all applies to Samsung too, though I haven
  • of something like this before? Wasn't there some company threatening to sue companies who use linux if they didn't license their IP? And weren't there people who came forward to say that it was Microsoft's idea and money financing the whole thing? I must be mistaken.
  • If they can't sell them Microsoft products, they'll sell them "Legal Action Insurance" instead. Either way, Microtheft gets their money. This is ridiculous. I'm disappointed in all of the companies that are that's buying into their lies.
  • by IGnatius T Foobar (4328) on Friday April 20, 2007 @12:15PM (#18813603) Homepage Journal
    It is clear that what Microsoft is now trying to establish, is a Linux "patent pool" similar to the one in place for MPEG. If you're in the pool, you're fine; if not, you have to pay a per-unit royalty to the pool members in order to use it.

    This, of course, is so infuriating that it makes most of us want to commit actual acts of homicide against the people pushing it.
    • ...and it will dry up the Linux 'eco-system' because no small-medium shops will be able to indemnify their customers.

      Then when Samsung's contract runs out, MS will have a Windows Embedded fitted especially for Samsung's most lucrative products... and suddenly Linux marketshare starts plummeting even among large vendors.
  • If the Novell-Microsoft pact has taught us anything, it's that these agreements aren't a "company pays Microsoft millions of dollars to run Linux" sort of trade. The Novell agreement was more of a "Microsoft pays company hundreds of millions of dollars to cast legal FUD on Linux" deal. Until I hear some dollar figures (including the direction of the payments), I think it's ridiculous to guess what "Samsung's perspective" really is.
  • ...I'd really started to like Samsung stuff. Well, there's plenty of other parts available.
  • These "oh, and you can run Linux, too" are Microsoft marketing gimmicks that are thrown into the deal. It's easy to tack these onto "oh, we give you $300M and we give you our patents, too" or "let's cross-license, and, oh, that means you can use Linux, too".

    Microsoft is trying to create the false impression that there is a significant patent risk when there actually isn't: first of all, any patent infringement that Microsoft were to sue over would be removed immediately, and secondly, the damage from such
  • From Samsung's perspective, it is simple: these deals ensure it can sell products using Linux without facing a suit from the Redmond-based corporation.

    Yeah, but what's the upside? First, there's no evidence that MS has any property in Linux, so this changes nothing for Samsung, they could have easily sold products using Linux before (so did others, such as the Cowon A2, or the Tivo DVR, and MS never complained... I bet they'd love to have a few bucks any time someone used a Tivo, especially since it co
  • There are now three Open Source companies with Microsoft software patent deals, Fuji, Novell, and Samsung. Appearantly these companies choose to give in to Microsoft's threats rather than go to the expense of fighting a software patent war with Microsoft. Having money makes the commercial Open Source members vunerable to Microsoft's threats. In Novell's case you could also argue that Novell was bribed by Microsoft to join in the attack on Open Source.

    Rather than allowing Microsoft to pick off Open Source co
    • by stebbo (757730)
      I have to disagree, though reluctantly, cause I'm sure that what you want is the same as what many open source advocates want.

      I don't think that software should be patentable. So any software patent agreement with any company (including Microsoft) is a step on to the slippery slope.

      I think the most desirable solution is that companies just ignore this kind of threat, for that's what it is. As others have said, if there were an ounce of truth in any claims that Linux violated any patents then Microsoft (in
    • 1. Microsoft will not sue any Open Source developer, distributor, or user over software patents.
      2.Open Source will not sue Microsoft or any Microsoft customer over software patents.
      3. No money will change hands in either direction.

      a sort of 3 laws rewrite of this could be
      1 Open Source Software (and related hardware devices) shall be considered a patent DMZ (patents do not exist inside the FLOSS community)
      2 No Patent lawsuit shall be allowed that singles out any member of the "Software Community" (if you get
  • Knowing one organization that suffered through a software audit, we moved our company almost entirely to Linux several months ago (one exception - my dual boot laptop I'm using now, but it doesn't belong to the company).

    Part of our motivation was the BSA. If for some reason they ever showed up at OUR door with their Government enforcers we'd easily waive our Linux systems in their face and be done with it.

    Perhaps... not anymore.

    The problem now is that the BSA could still, in theory, come to our business an
    • You still have two huge advantages against the BSA:
      First, you have no legal relationship with any of their clients. That means they have no good excuse to knock on your door at all.
      Second, you have a Linux distributor who will have to help defend you - if you can be targeted by patent crap, then any of their users can be targeted, and that's not good for their business. This doesn't apply if you're using an unknown/completely non-commercial distro - but even for Ubuntu there's Canonical to help you.

  • Dear Free Software Foundation,

    As you are aware, Microsoft is selling a dubious protection racket to certain organizations -- notably, Novell and Samsung. Without actually claiming any infringement or offering even the barest shred of evidence of wrongdoing, Microsoft is selling patent indemnity to these companies. Microsoft "promises" not to sue them should patent violations in GPL software come to light.

    This "service" is highly dubious, as there is little if any case law suggesting that, if unlicense

    • by statusbar (314703)
      This is a fantastic idea!!

      Since microsoft and others have closed sources, they very may well have violated the GPL by utilizing GPL'd source code in their closed source offering. It doesn't matter if it was on purpose or if it was done inadvertently.

      If they have violated the GPL, then they are in violation of the copyright laws and "Intellectual Property" of the copyright holders in question. How would this copyright violation affect Microsoft customers?

      Imagine if MSVCRT.DLL or some other 'redistributable'
  • I've been using it for decades, and my grandfather used it for decades before that. So I don't see how they can possibly get a valid ink patent.

  • consumer electronics lately. Looks like I'm going to have to rethink this.
  • ... class action fraud suit against Microsoft?

    Where are the open source legal forces? EFF??
  • Microsoft tax now shifted to Linux? Any which way you put it, you'll pay MS.

    Sigh...

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