[TriLUG] LG Joins Microsoft's Open Source Protection Club

Tim Jowers timjowers at gmail.com
Tue Jun 19 12:04:23 EDT 2007


  "Be Evil". IMO Microsoft's patents show a willing effort to manipulate the
US Patent system by patenting technologies that are already well-knowna an d
well-established (e.g. file splitting, is-not, etc). I believe Bill Gates is
a brilliant strategist but not a visionary. His bait has been taken by these
companies but I don't think he sees/cares about the long term effect it will
have on his company. The first lesson in sales is to get a "yes". Then start
the real selling. Likewise, M$FT is probably getting low-cost commitments
and then will start to turn up the heat.

  The only solutions I can see are
1) USA falls behind technically. Progress stops in the USA.
2) Open Source patent site becomes offensive and gives Microsoft a taste of
their own bogus patents. The US Patent System greatly favors well-funded
applicants so money money would have to be put at risk for this strategy.
But long term it is the same as what the Japanese did in the 1990's and
Microsoft is doing now: it prevents at least one company from changing their
products. This patent war/trade is exactly what large corporations do
already. Gates is just attempting to scare the small companies who are not
already involved in this type of business.
3) Open Source as prior art and other efforts convince the USPTO to annul
patents which should have never been granted in the first place.
4) Bill Gates keeps his lock on the prime resource of the consumer OS.
Wealth is created by cornering a market on a commodity. The OS in this case.

   I'm eager to hear other opinions on this and would like to investigate
exactly what Linux technology infringes on Microsoft patents. I know an
argument is made about Trutype fonts but don't think that is part of Linux
per se. What else?

   In case you haven't notice, we live in a Corporate Aristrocracy not a
Capitalistic Democracy. The government exists to serve the corporate titans.
Americans are not empowered to be successful.

   I'd like to know what you think we should do.  I don't think the "Linux
is bad" message is believable but know the "Linux is illegal" message would
be heard. That's the one Gates is seeking to establish.

   For years Microsoft made great products either through acquisition or
implementation. It's sad to see them focused on stopping progress rather
than competing technically. Today the Linux desktop is on par or better than
Windows and OSX (flamebait for your favorite app here :-) and the market
buys the best product. Simply put, "Linux is good". It's hard for any
technology professional to justify not using Linux as their main computer
OS. Gates has to take this tactic because he wants to keep making billions
and can only do so if some law is enacted to make competition illegal. This
exact same circumstance was done by the state of NY WRT biodiesel/vege oil
from what I was told by a consumer. The company purified and sold
biodiesel/vege oil for about $1 per gallon last year and then the State of
NY shut it down on anti-trust law saying it legally had to sell within 10
cents of the fixed price of diesel. The guy told me he had been saving over
$100 per month in each of his garbage trucks. If Gates can establish that
Linux is illegal then he can retain his monopoly on the OS. (FreeBSD?

   In the end the USA MUST compete with other countries. Until China et al
pay for software the US will not be competitive if it continues to shell out
$100's of billions for software. As I said, the US government is more
focused on helping their minions make profits than the future of our
country. Fighting this Open Source battle is the same battle as fighting for
freedom in the USA in my belief.

  Bill Gates is not acting to progress technology but simply to enlarge his
pocket book.


On 6/19/07, Marc <linuxr at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi,
> I originally posted this quite a few days ago but it has for some
> reason not made it through to be posted to the list.  Let's hope this
> one makes it --Marc
> See link
> http://www.technewsworld.com/story/57736.html
> LG Electronics is the latest company to join Microsoft's open source
> protection plan. The consumer electronics manufacturer agreed to give
> the software giant access to its intellectual property in exchange for
> the chance to use embedded open source technology -- which may
> technically violate Microsoft patents -- in its products without the
> threat of litigation.
> ************************************************************************************************************************************************
> This is getting to be a real world case of The Emperor's New Clothes.
> It is time for some unity within this movement.  For linux and other
> OSS to survive we must not let *Microsoft* define open source software
> as dangerous.
> I guess the other insight is that despite how the situation is NOW
> (with just a few companies announced) - if several dozen companies
> band together like this, the battle will be more and more uphill.  At
> some point, regardless of how solid a legal case is --- if lots of
> businesses agree that (unless you pay the mob boss) linux is dangerous
> and bad, then what?
> Marc
> --
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