EU forces Microsoft to cage open source patent dogs

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| Under terms of the ruling, Microsoft will publish an irrevocable pledge not
| to assert any patents it may have over the interoperability information
| against non-commercial open source software development projects.


Microsoft formally withdraws remaining EU appeals

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| Microsoft said on Wednesday it had formally withdrawn two remaining appeals
| before the European Union's Court of First Instance against European
| Commission antitrust decisions. *

Microsoft's EU patent pledge incompatible with GPL

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| Linux vendors will be unable to license Microsoft's interoperability patents
| under the terms that were mandated by the European Commission, open source
| legal experts argue. *
| It is claimed that the the terms are incompatible with the General Public
| Licence (GPL), the licence that governs the Linux operating system.

Is Microsoft’s Europe agreement a big deal?

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| If open source developers find greater protection for their work and its
| results in Europe than in America that’s where they will gravitate. That’s
| the kind of regime the EU is trying to create. We ignore that and dismiss
| that at our peril. *

Half A Loaf

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| Yes, open source will have access to the interoperability information
| on "reasonable" terms (ask independent open source developers how many can
| afford to cough up the $15,000 such access will cost), but nothing in this
| statement indicates the Commission has overcome Microsoft's "refusa[al] to *
| make the [patent] licence compatible with the open source business model." In
| fact, we can expect that nothing about that patent license will be compatible
| with the most widely used open source license, the GNU General Public
| License. * * *


EU tells open source to start paying MS patent tax

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| EU Commissioner Kroes' deal with Microsoft creates real dangers to Europe's
| growing open source economy, warns the FFII. Using patent licenses that
| exclude businesses, the software monopolist has turned the EU competition
| ruling into a victory, and now gets implicit support from the Commission to
| proceed aggressively against its competitors. * *

Late night baseball games, Microsoft concessions evoke big yawns at open source
water cooler

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| It will benefit purveyors of proprietary software but not open source
| developers, agreed Michael Goulde, analyst of open source strategy at
| Forrester Research, Cambridge, Mass. “Some open source developers believe
| that Microsoft should make its protocols available for use royalty free. In
| some cases, there are open source license restrictions that make it not
| possible for the software to include Microsoft licensed code – because you
| can’t downstream the license. So, unless Microsoft goes way beyond what it
| has agreed with the EU to do, only a subset of open source developers will
| have much interest. They’ll continue reverse engineering Microsoft protocols
| and doing the best they can." * * * *

Let's Make a Deal - The MS-EU Settlement

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| The patent part is terrible. Worse than terrible. They are not blocked from
| offering patent deals, only constrained as to how much to charge for a
| license, which is not and never was the issue. So they'll beef up those
| initiatives, I'm sure. However, the good part is that they were compelled to
| separate the patent license offer out and make it optional. Thanks, but no
| thanks. * *
| [...]
| I'm guessing Microsoft lawyers are high fiving each other, having snatched an
| important victory from utter and total defeat. The rest is excellent, of
| course, and in no way do I mean to detract from the hard work and persistence
| that the EU Commission has shown. However, I don't think they understand how
| seriously broken the US patent system is currently, and how easy it is to *
| abuse it, or they don't feel it's their job to fix the US problems, or how
| central patents are to Microsoft's current strategy against FOSS. * *