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Slashback Microsoft Novell Patents

Truth Behind the ClearType/OpenSUSE FUD 123

Kennon writes "Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols over at Linux Watch clears up the FUD around Tuesday's Slashdot discussion concerning OpenSUSE, ClearType, and patent deals with Microsoft."
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Truth Behind the ClearType/OpenSUSE FUD

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  • What a novel idea (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dattaway ( 3088 ) on Thursday April 12, 2007 @08:50AM (#18700919) Homepage Journal
    To come up with an idea, prevent others from working on it, and to claim all work in the area as their own property. And make claims of future work as well: "more patents to come." Sounds like pirating to me. Microsoft is raping and pillaging the software community.
  • by 10scjed ( 695280 ) on Thursday April 12, 2007 @08:51AM (#18700927) Homepage
    This change was last summer, pre-microvell, so the news actually would have been if OpenSUSE was enabling it and taking advantage of MS' patent covenant for Novell customers and OpenSUSE contributors while other distros couldn't.

    MS' plan to fragment the community is only effective if Novell has customers and developers supporting them, otherwise the covenant is irrelevant. Boycott Novell, the rest takes care of itself.
  • if Novell has customers and developers supporting them

    You reap what you sow. Novell exposed themself to any FUD by going to bed with MS. Now everything they do (whatever it will be FOSS friendly or commercial) will be taken into MS deal context. It will just get harder and harder to wash off mud thrown by others.

    Not that I think FUD is a weapon FOSS supporters should use. But a bit of paranoia is healthy. :-P

  • by michaelmalak ( 91262 ) <michael@michaelmalak.com> on Thursday April 12, 2007 @09:09AM (#18701117) Homepage
    Microsoft has come up with some outstanding products and inventions over the years:
    1. 1991: Word for Windows 2.0
    2. 1992: Excel 4.0
    3. 1993: Visual Basic 3.0
    4. 1996: Windows NT 4.0
    5. 2001: ClearType
    Notice any clustering of the dates? With hundreds of billions in revenue, all they can produce in over a decade is ClearType? Let them have it -- we'll live with seeing our font pixels.
  • by lilomar ( 1072448 ) <lilomar2525@gmail.com> on Thursday April 12, 2007 @09:34AM (#18701423) Homepage
    Since when is disagreeing with a companies business decisions not a good reason to stop using their products? That's kinda the only way for the public at large to keep corporations even remotely close to ethical (not that it always works). You may not agree that Novell has done anything worth boycotting them for, but isn't that up to their customers (in this case Linux users) to decide? You make your choice, and even try to make others see it your way, but don't knock the system. It may not be perfect, but it's all we got.
  • by bug1 ( 96678 ) on Thursday April 12, 2007 @09:55AM (#18701625)
    Not all countries recognise software patents, so i assume this patents doesnt apply in all countries.

    Why do we force software patents on people who live in non-software patent countries ?
  • by jeevesbond ( 1066726 ) on Thursday April 12, 2007 @09:57AM (#18701649) Homepage

    This all shows the wonderful practice of choosing systems based on gut reactions and petty politics.

    Petty politics or genuine concern that Microsoft and Novell are preparing to give the FLOSS community a good shafting? It's all in the semantics.

    If you switched, or spend appreciable time bashing or advocating a boycott of SuSE because of the Novell/MS deal, you are a moron. I'm sorry. You aren't making any sort of choice based on the merits of the system, just on politics and the fact that you dislike microsoft. The agreement is harmless to "the community." It's an indemnity agreement! That's about the most benign thing two companies could possibly sign.

    No. That agreement is tantamount to Novell saying: 'yes, GNU/Linux does infringe upon Microsoft patents.' It gives Ballmer evidence to extort money [slashdot.org] from GNU/Linux users, will probably be used in future lawsuits by Microsoft and has been the basis of much anti-GNU/Linux FUD.

    What is particularly bad for the community is the indemnity stops with the Novell customers, the development community is very much left out in the cold. I'm scared of releasing my code under a FLOSS license because of patent FUD. It might be an indemnity agreement, but it's a thinly veiled threat too.

    The bad part is that the reaction (as we saw here, sometimes humorously disinformed) is unfairly hurting a valid (some would say good) choice in the linux market (choice is good!)

    You speak of choice, yet the Microsoft/Novell deal has taken customers away from other distros [infoworld.com] (for all the wrong reasons). The whole point of the deal is to eliminate choice and leave Microsoft with just one competitor to deal with: Novell.

    If a company kills babies, I'm not going to buy their products. In fact I'll actively make others aware of their actions, this is not petty, I would consider it my moral duty. As a geek Novell and Microsoft have done something far worse: gone against the spirit (if not the letter) of the GPL. It is therefore my moral duty to boycott their products and advise everyone (who would know what I'm talking about) to do the same.

The shortest distance between two points is under construction. -- Noelie Alito