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IBM Patents Your Rights Online

Open Source Complaint Against IBM Gets Support 250

FlorianMueller writes "ZDNet blogger Dana Blankenhorn reports that '[t]he efforts by open source TurboHercules to break IBM's mainframe monopoly through the European Commission got some proprietary support this week when NEON Enterprise Software LLC of Austin, Texas, filed an EU complaint alongside a US antitrust lawsuit.' NEON's founder co-founded BMC, so the company is well-funded for this fight. In comments given to the IDG News Service, IBM claims that NEON's product, which saves mainframe customers money by optimizing the use of coprocessors, 'offers no innovation,' and accuses the 'copycat' of violating IBM's intellectual property. That's basically what IBM also said about the Hercules emulator. The European Commission is expected to take a decision on an investigation in a matter of months. Since IBM lobbies the EC over the Open Document Format, it's now accused of double standards."
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Open Source Complaint Against IBM Gets Support

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  • by jdgeorge ( 18767 ) on Friday June 25, 2010 @11:06AM (#32691016)

    Sorry, the last sentence lost me. How does the OpenDocument Format relate to mainframe software?

  • I don't even think its double standards - taking action against one project, whether its open source or proprietary, does not mean taking action against an entire ethos and it does not conflict with supporting an open standard elsewhere. To try and spin this as a double standard seems very much like someone is trying to market it as a negative toward IBM as a whole.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 25, 2010 @11:53AM (#32691574)

    The EU also imposed requirements on Microsoft that restricted the way they could use their intellectual property rights and required them to make certain components available separately ("untying"). On that same basis, IBM may soon be required under competition law to make z/OS available on a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory basis without tying its use to IBM hardware.

    You're making a simple logical fallacy here. A implies B does not mean that B implies A. My understanding is that the EU restricted Microsoft from shipping Windows with IE, etc without presenting users with the other available options. They did not state that Microsoft's programs must be allowed to run on any platform.

    Therefore, the precedent in the EU case is that a platform cannot prefer one sub-component over a competitor's, but that says nothing about a component requiring a particular platform. In fact, all of the cases with Apple and OS/X requiring Apple hardware would suggest that there's plenty of precedent that opposes your argument.

    IANAL, but what you're claiming seems to be a distortion of reality.

  • Re:oh jeez (Score:2, Insightful)

    by redbeard55 ( 1002526 ) on Friday June 25, 2010 @11:57AM (#32691636)

    Hey Mueller you seem to think IBM has to allow more choice on the use of their products. So, I think I deserve more choice also when it comes to the use money. I want the choice to take money out of your bank account to use in a way I see fit. Is that OK with you? Please forward the appropriate info to me so I can do that, OK?

    The anti-trust issue has nothing to do with this. Even if IBM WAS convicted of abusing a monopoly position in the mainframe area they would not be required to give away (license) their product to whoever asked, and in the manor the requester wanted. Was MS required to give away their products after they were convicted of abusing their OS monopoly?

    If IBM doesn't want to make z/OS available for use on non-IBM hardware they are under no legal or moral requirement to do so. You are talking non-sense or have other agenda you wish to pursue.

  • by idontgno ( 624372 ) on Friday June 25, 2010 @12:02PM (#32691704) Journal

    This seems structurally comparable to the legal and moral frou-frou over running MacOS on non-Apple hardware.


  • Re:oh jeez (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tim99 ( 984437 ) on Friday June 25, 2010 @12:04PM (#32691720)
    Florian, You know that the issue is licencing - It has nothing to do with FOSS and virtual machines. You can't run z/OS on non IBM hardware, learn to live with it. Similarly you can't run AIX on generic hardware. It is a proprietary software licence.

    Why would IBM change their licencing to some BSD derived open system? Just so that someone else can use it to set up a competing business without paying a significant licence fee to IBM? Alternatively, someone could set up a business supporting a GNU/Linux or BSD derived OS on vanilla hardware that has the same level of support for "continuous, high-volume operation with high security and stability" - But that would cost multi-millions to develop. Instead, why not agitate for changes in legislation to get access to this technology? That might only cost a million or so. If, in some alternative universe, you were successful; any business that you had built would be quickly destroyed by an even lower cost operator...
  • by redbeard55 ( 1002526 ) on Friday June 25, 2010 @02:12PM (#32693954)

    What is clear is that you have an agenda against IBM.

    In this case, the law has yet to step in and say that IBM is abusing a monopoly position, even though you continue to imply that they are abusing a monopoly position.

    " Would you want to pay 60 times as much for your telephone charges as you do now, just because someone exploits a monopoly so shamelessly?"

    Again, it is your position that abuse is going on NOT the "laws". I know when I purchase enterprise class equipment (not mainframe level btw) I pay a lot more for it than I would for equipment I would use at home, but I also expect a lot more from it.

    IBM didn't get to own a significant portion of the mainframe business because they were the only game in town. They earned their position and even at your claimed 80% of the market, I am not sure that they can get away with too much abuse because the "law" would be brought to bear pretty quickly. Mainframes are the in realms of the big boys for the most part due to the expense of their operation. The big boys have the resources and the influence to go after IBM if they are truly being abused.

    I understand the complexes of moving a code.

    "Since there isn't any competition anymore for IBM in the mainframe market, there are antitrust issues."

    So %20 doesn't represent any competition? Other options are available and economics will determine what a company with a lot of legacy code will do. However, a lot of companies know the value of using IBM for mission critical computing.

    Yes there are potential anti-trust issues but the "law" has yet to identity any abuse to this point.

    Oh god! you link to as a reference and worse yet to Maureen O'Gara is the author. Well that says it all I WILL NO LONG REPLY TO YOU

  • by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <barbara.hudson@b ... u d s o n . c om> on Friday June 25, 2010 @07:49PM (#32698380) Journal

    You're so full of shit it's amazing you can stand.

    We're talking about a Groklaw crowd that uses its moderator rights etc. here on slashdot to suppress the truth that Groklaw claims to be digging for. Groklaw sent its crowd over by way of a link in its news pick column. And some of the postings look a lot like written by people who if they're not IBM employees are at least very close to IBM and very much informed.

    Look at my user ID. I was here before groklaw ever existed. Nobody "sent" me here. I have never worked for IBM. I don't need anyone else to tell me you're a jerk - your posts speak for themselves.

    Go cry a river somewhere else, because the old-timers here aren't going to buy it.

Houston, Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed. -- Neil Armstrong