Monday, May 14

Geek

SCO Writ Large

Microsoft wakes up and smells the coffee, and it smells like doom:
So Microsoft took the third choice, which was to begin licensing its patents to other companies in exchange for either royalties or access to their patents (a "cross-licensing" deal). In December 2003, Microsoft's new licensing unit opened for business, and soon the company had signed cross-licensing pacts with such tech firms as Sun, Toshiba, SAP and Siemens.

At the same time, Smith was having Microsoft's lawyers figure out how many of its patents were being infringed by free and open-source software. Gutierrez refuses to identify specific patents or explain how they're being infringed, lest FOSS advocates start filing challenges to them.

(My italics.)



They're screwed, and they know it.  And like the even more thoroughly screwed SCO, they're going after soft targets:
Since the GPL covered only distributors of Linux, nothing stopped Smith from seeking royalties directly from end users - many of which are Fortune 500 companies. He would have to proceed carefully, however, because most of those users were also major Microsoft customers.

"It was a conversation that one needed to have in a thoughtful way," says Smith, with obvious understatement. In 2004, Microsoft began having those conversations, and Smith claims they were cordial. "Companies are very sensitive to the importance of protecting intellectual property," he says, "because ultimately they know that their own businesses similarly turn on [such] protection."

Indeed.  It's a protection racket.

That's illegal, guys.

Expect to see the lawsuits start flying, and soon.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 12:08 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
Post contains 249 words, total size 2 kb.

1

I too think this could backfire, because to sue, Microsofteds to claim specific infringements on specific patents. Then the Slashdot hordes are going to go looking for prior art and other methods to invalidate those patents. From what I've seen, many of these software patents are pretty shakey; the big companies don't care, because they just cross-liscence their entire patent libraries and thus have no incentive to challenge each other. But Joe Slashdot is certainly motivated to destroy as many software patents as possible.

Posted by: Boviate at Monday, May 14 2007 07:24 PM (ojRwJ)

2 aces is freezing at comments for the last ten.  I don't think it is me, cuz the error is almost immediate.

Posted by: Wickedpinto at Tuesday, May 15 2007 11:08 AM (QTv8u)

3

he's back, it might have been a simultaneous thing.

Okay, I'm VERY sorry pixy.  You are too available, and too interactive, I will start to excercise discipline again.

Posted by: Wickedpinto at Tuesday, May 15 2007 11:30 AM (QTv8u)

4 smile

It's gotta be something to do with the backups, since it's happening at the same time every day.  The backups shouldn't be taking that long though, so maybe something's wrong there.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Tuesday, May 15 2007 12:50 PM (PiXy!)

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