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Microsoft Open Policy Faces Scrutiny

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| Likewise, Microsoft promotes its efforts to sign cross-licensing deals, such
| as the one with Novell, as a way to encourage interoperability. But along
| with those pacts came Microsoft's threat of legal action against companies
| that don't have a deal in place. In 2007, Microsoft said that Linux infringes
| on 235 of its patents.
| Open-source products are subject to patent litigation if they infringe on
| Microsoft patents, just as proprietary products face legal action for
| infringement, said Gutierrez. "There's no reason why the same laws of nature
| shouldn't apply to them as they apply to any other proprietary vendor," he
| said.
| [...]
| Curiously, Microsoft declines to specify which of its patents are relevant to
| Linux. "We do discuss the details of our technologies and patents with
| companies that are engaged in good-faith licensing dialog," said
| Gutierrez. "That's the proper context in which to have it, that's the way
| it's handled in the industry."
| But others think there's probably another reason that Microsoft won't specify
| which of its patents are relevant. "As soon as you declare patents you
| believe are infringed, they become the subject of re-examination," Rosoff
| noted.
| Rosoff doesn't think that Microsoft actually intends to sue anyone using
| Linux. "This is part of a campaign to cast uncertainty over the IP heritage
| of open-source software," he said.


"Hey, Steve, just because you broke into Xerox’s store before I did and took
the TV doesn’t mean I can’t go in later and steal the stereo."

--Bill Gates, Microsoft


Litigating against innovation: Legal attacks on Linux

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| Patents and how they're controlled are damaging the way technology is
| developed - and the Linux case is a key example of this.
| [...]
| Litigation as a mode of business is fashionable in the current climate, but
| offers little or nothing of benefit to users or developers. Authorial
| copyrights in the US have been extended to 70 years after the author's death.
| The law that made this possible, the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act,
| was passed in 1998. Patent law, meanwhile, increasingly protects the
| interests of the powerful, encroaches upon notions of innovation and freedom
| to operate, and is used to inhibit competition. Both are in critical need of
| reform.


Memo to Microsoft: Put up or shut up on patent claims

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| They have signed innumerable contracts based on the claims, contracts which
| assume the truth of the claims, and caused the production of products whose
| chief *selling point is that their makers admit the legitimacy of the claims.
| Microsoft seems in no hurry to change the status quo. They are not going to
| put up, in the form of a lawsuit. They are not going to shut up, either,
| given the commercial advantages they have created.


'PatentGate,' one year later: Microsoft against the open-source world

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| "Claiming you have IP that folks are infringing isn't the same thing as
| proving it," wrote Pamela Jones, author of the open-source legal blog
| Groklaw.net, in an e-mail. "I think they [Microsoft] are in a weaker position
| *because* they did the [cross-licensing] deals. It makes them look needy,
| like they can't make it any more without Linux."
| "The [legal] threat [to open-source] is no greater" today than a year ago,
| wrote Mark Radcliffe, a lawyer with DLA Piper's Silicon Valley office and the
| general counsel of the Open Source Initiative, which oversees the approval of
| open-source software licenses, in an e-mail.
| Take Redmond's attempts to persuade vendors to sign cross-licensing deals
| that include protection from potential open-source patent lawsuits by
| Microsoft.


Feeling the heat at Microsoft

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| If I ask you who is Microsoft's biggest competitor now, who would it be?
| Ballmer: Open...Linux.



Sun exec accuses Microsoft of 'patent terrorism'

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| The efforts of Microsoft to pressure the Linux community over alleged and
| unspecified patents is akin to "patent terrorism", according to a local
| executive for Sun Microsystems.


Microsoft, the art of Corporate Terrorism.

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| Microsoft, no longer the technological leader in the Computer Desktop
| market, is taking on a terrorist role in its attempt remain in power
| at all costs. (see the link to the CNN story below)
| The tactic is intended to frighten current, and would be, free
| software users away from products that Microsoft just can't compete
| with. It's not a new tactic, but for the first time desperation is
| beginning to show.


Convicted Monopolist Terrorizes Software Industry

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| That headline is designed to grab your attention. Sensationalistic as
| it may be, it also happens to be true, if what you mean by 'terrorize'
| is to provoke fear.
| If you've been following the presidential race in the United States,
| you know the present crop of candidates have been exploiting the fear
| of the American people as they never have before in the history of
| the country.

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