Now it's getting scary...

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Now it's getting scary...

Postby Lavene » 2007-06-08 07:29

http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,13266 ... ticle.html

I wonder what they are really up to. One possible scenario I can think of is that these deals will be used as 'evidence' when they decides to strike. Why else would such agreements be signed if not for the fact that these vendors know that they are infringing MS patents and copyrights?

I'm really starting to get a bad feeling about it despite what Eben Moglen is saying. MS is up to something and that's rarely good news.

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Postby kinematic » 2007-06-08 08:00

I really hope MS will try to force every competitor of the market and build an even bigger monopoly.....they will get bitchslapped so hard by the EU.
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Re: Now it's getting scary...

Postby Telemachus » 2007-06-08 10:30

Lavene wrote:Why else would such agreements be signed if not for the fact that these vendors know that they are infringing MS patents and copyrights?

FUD. That is, I seriously doubt that any of MS's precious intellectual property has been violated. However, everyone on the planet knows that with their war chest, they can (if they choose) run nearly any small company into the ground with extended "discovery" and litigation. From a corporate point of view, I suppose that the easiest argument is "settle fast" regardless of the facts of the matter. (Principles are not the issue; profit is.) There are also rumors (I've read this around, but don't have a source right to hand - I think it was in a recent issue of Info Week) that MS is currently charging pennies, so to speak.

The master plan? Once they have, say, 10 or 20 companies who have signed on, they can go to a judge with those agreements and say, "See Redhat must owe us their collective first-born. Otherwise why would all these companies have signed these?"

I guess my point, Laverne, is don't believe the hype. They want people to think exactly what you say above, but it's a non-sequitur. (People signing agreements != MS patents have been violated.)
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Postby detly » 2007-06-08 11:23

Maybe this is only step one of their plan:

1. Sign agreements with other companies
2. ???
3. ???
4. ???
5. ???
6. ???
7. PROFIT!

...Or perhaps there's some as-yet-unknown factor they are anticipating which would make these tactics useful. Maybe the IP aspect is a red herring, and tucked away somewhere else in these agreements is some esoteric clause that will come to fruition after some left-field legislation is passed, allowing people whose initials are "BG" to acquire inordinate amounts of uranium yellowcake.

Just a theory.
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Postby AgenT » 2007-06-08 12:50

It may actually be as the poster above indicated. For example, a small clause that indicates that the companies signing the agreement are "guilty" of infringement, even though it also says that they cannot be sued for it. This would give Microsoft fodder against those companies and of course empty scare allegations against freedom software.

Remember, according to Microsoft, the Microsoft-Novell deal was a mistake. That is, it how the agreement was written was a mistake. That says a lot. It says that Microsoft did not word something properly in that agreement and are looking for some "catch".

I think this whole thing has to do with GPLv3 being finalized next month. I think this makes Microsoft scared big time and they are trying to "prepare".

Notice that the GPLv3 _will_ break these types of agreements. Maybe Microsoft is trying to use this to their advantage. For example, any company that signs with Microsoft is in deep trouble once software goes GPLv3 because singing the agreement is in total opposition to GPLv3 software. Thus if they use GPLv3 software, they break the agreement, which opens them up to major litigation. The only other option is not to use GPLv3 software which will either 1) curtail GPLv3 use or 2) destroy that business. #2 is definitely more likely as few developers are going to care about companies that make stupid pacts with Microsoft.

These are just wild speculations.
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Postby alleluia20 » 2007-06-08 16:08

Companies look for profit, and the easiest way could be to sign an agreement with Microsoft. This way, these Linux companies save time and money on lawyers.

But Debian could never pay to Microsoft. "Debian Inc." does not have the money :-D

So, the only possibility for Microsoft is to sue us. If so, they have to say which patents we are violating. And then, we amend this code, and that's all folks.

By the way, Novell lost a lot of money last year. Maybe it does not have anything to do with their agreement with Microsoft, maybe it does...
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Postby GMouse » 2007-06-08 16:14

You and I aren't fooled by them, but it's amazing what a little FUD can do for people who are skilled enough to be in decision-making roles, but not enough to fully understand the lay of the land. And they are legion.
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Postby hkoster1 » 2007-06-08 16:46

kinematic wrote:I really hope MS will try to force every competitor of the market and build an even bigger monopoly.....they will get bitchslapped so hard by the EU.
You could be right, because Neelie Kroes (the EU competition commissioner) is reported to aspire to a second term.
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Postby llivv » 2007-06-08 20:39

'
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Re: Now it's getting scary...

Postby e1even1 » 2007-06-09 06:11

Lavene wrote:I wonder what they are really up to.


here's the deal. when very large corporations started to balk at vista a couple of years ago, microsoft legal 'advised'(threatened) some of them that migrating desktops to linux could leave them liable to some patent infringements.

so now, there's demand in the marketplace for 'protection' from this threat. that alone explains the novel deal, lg and others. i dont think it will have much negative impact, if any, on linux overall. redhat as i recall and other distros have already told M$ to pound salt, and debian as installed is 'free'. i dont think M$ will go so far as to risk a jury judgement against them (unless they can stack the deck somewhere). they'll just try and squeeze as much hegemony as they can from the market without actually going to court.

it's just a corporate CYA game.
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Postby Simpatico » 2007-06-09 06:20

I'm not so crazy about Fedora since using Debian, but you have to admire Red Hat for telling MS to go pound sand.
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Postby AgenT » 2007-06-09 12:50

For those that are concerned about these issues should really get involved in the GPLv3 drafting processs. Right now is the last draft and GPLv3 will be released next month. There is a nice and open draft editing page where people can highlight text and give their comment to help the GPLv3 be as strong as possible.

You can help with anything from correcting vague language that a company like Microsoft may try to take advantage of in the future, to help decide how previous deals such as MS-Novell are dealt with. Right now, the GPLv3 will NOT break the current deals that happen. I would highly recommend anyone who does not agree to this to voice their opinion so that the final version WILL break any pacts such as the Microsoft-Novell/Xandros/LG.

Remember, no post done on this forum is going to make a difference in these or future deals, but the GPLv3 will.
http://gplv3.fsf.org/
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Postby llivv » 2007-06-10 21:04

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Postby AgenT » 2007-06-10 22:11

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privacy_International

It is really fascinating to read the Index. Notice what countries have the worst privacy scores. It is also intersting what countries have the highest.
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Postby patrick » 2007-06-12 02:22

MS is up to something and that's rarely good news.


here's the deal. when very large corporations started to balk at vista a couple of years ago, microsoft legal 'advised'(threatened) some of them that migrating desktops to linux could leave them liable to some patent infringements.


this is the same junk SCO pulled more or less. they seen there numbers drop so they say "quick we need to stop this how?" and out rolls the FUD and telling companies you need to pay up or get sued. i just watched The Untouchables the other day and i thought SCO, Microcrap, 1930's Gangsters all the same. all comes down to somebody trying to take away my freedom to choose.

so i say show it or shove it.
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