Forum: Linux and Free Software
Topic: Microsoft patents
started by: u2musicmike
Posted by u2musicmike on May 15 2007,18:05Did you see this article on Computerworld?
< OpenOffice violates patents >
I am beginning to think that patents are useless and only large companies use them to kill any competition.
Posted by lucky13 on May 15 2007,20:21Patents can be and have always been useful. The question is, what can and can't be patented.
Anyway, I've been following this closely -- as well as some of the things MS people have been saying about Linux during their recent world tours.
< http://lucky13.blogsavy.com/2007....patents >
< http://lucky13.blogsavy.com/2007....sperate >
Posted by mikshaw on May 15 2007,21:32I disagree with patents in general. It's my belief that *any* type of patent, whether for software, hardware, or anything else, is merely a way to curb competition and to protect profits.
The inventor of a product becomes he who buys a patent, regardless of who had the original idea or product (think light bulbs).
I see nothing wrong with innovation on top of existing ideas, or the reverse engineering of existing technology in an attempt to make it cheaper and more widely available.
What I am opposed to, however, is doing the above while claiming it to be your original idea (not giving proper credit).
Posted by ^thehatsrule^ on May 15 2007,23:02INQ has some interesting articles: < http://theinquirer.net/default.aspx?article=39628 >
Posted by torp on May 16 2007,00:27this is like a cyclical thing with MS. they went after ODF two years ago and got slammed in court. most legal eagles say MS has no intention of going to court with this, but just wants to hurt linux after it's recent score with dell. as we all know sometimes it only takes mere accusation to ruin a reputation. i believe that is what MS is trying to do here.
Posted by john712 on May 16 2007,01:38My two cents...
I've been watching this MS patent thing and I'm concerned. I'm concerned that this will stifle creativity and innovation.
I simply don't know what to think about MS anymore. All this boils down to is money, period. And Just how much more money does MS need?
Competition is good, and Linux is very serious competition. Nobody appointed MS the sole provider of software to the world. I really really hope that this patent stunt back fires and hurts MS hard.
P.S. Did MS patent the blue screen of death?
Posted by mikshaw on May 16 2007,02:50The only thing I think this will stifle is Microsoft itself. It can't use its old tricks to consume the open source community, and now it's getting desperate.
I also don't think the reputation of the community will suffer much, if at all. If MS continues to simply make allegations as SCO has done, without specifics, this will become another joke and MS will be the one getting hurt.
Posted by lucky13 on May 16 2007,08:50http://lucky13.blogsavy.com/2007/05/16/linus-strikes-back/
Posted by jpeters on May 19 2007,21:12Kind of like requiring that I have to go through all of Microsoft's patents prior to writing a program. We also saw this with drug companies patenting natural herbs used for thousands of years. Given that the legal system is owned by corporate interests backed by lawyers, I would guess that criminalizing the development & distribution of software could easily become the norm. Linux and open source could be seen as a basic violation of the right of a few people to own the minds and purse-strings of the masses.
Posted by u2musicmike on May 20 2007,00:09Well it sounds like Micro$oft slacked off. They were saying they were misunderstond and wanted only to talk about licensing fees. I doubt Micro$oft patents would stand up in court anyway but who has deep pockets to fight that.
I am planning on writing my congresspersons because they are currently working on the patent laws.
Posted by buzzard on May 20 2007,00:40Sounds like MS to me.
My other concern on this is that MS will use its clout with all hardware manufacturers, forcing them them to create interfaces that will be copyrighted and licensed only to MS, as well as encrypted and the info provided only to MS, so as to prevent anyone from using any new hardware except through MS Windows.
Posted by humpty on May 21 2007,15:14i beg to differ somewhat. open or free software would do much better if it didn't look anything like M$. infact the more it looks like M$, the more it helps M$.
free software should use different formats, that way, people would have more incentive to use it instead of M$.
Posted by buzzard on May 22 2007,04:12
That wasn't quite what I was referring to...
I was referring to the possibility that in the future, once current hardware wears out, there won't be CPU to be found that isn't licenced exclusively for one of the big guys, M$, Apple, Sun, etc..
Maybe there'll be a few holdouts, companies who will still produce hardware that doesn't make it a crime to write open-source software for... hopefully...
what started my concern was the winmodem, and hearing about that guy in (norway, i think it was) who got sued for writing a driver that allowed linux users to mount a DVD.
If M$ and linux look vastly different, that is ok with me.
Posted by MakodFilu on May 22 2007,12:04If it contributes to ease your mind, pay a visit to < www.OpenCores.org >
Posted by lucky13 on May 22 2007,13:12
Sun?! They're in the process of open-sourcing most of their products, including (maybe) Solaris.
< http://lucky13.blogsavy.com/category/sun/ >
Posted by jpeters on May 22 2007,16:51In my opinion, it's a great blessing that many companies cater primarily to windows; it's like a guarantee that the masses of users will not be able to switch over. That means the rest of us get to use a great OS without viruses and all the worms, glut, etc., etc., that make using a computer a nightmare. As long as reading 3 or 4 sentences is a requirement for configuring a new app, or some piece of junk doesn't work with linux, the party we're all enjoying will continue a while longer.
Pity the poor suckers who are out buying Vista computers.
Posted by buzzard on May 24 2007,22:51
Intersting site there; it sounds like good news to me.
I clicked on that URL, but could only get a blank page. I'll try it again later, but if Sun is going opensource, then that is good news too, because it means a continued supply of usable hardware.
Either extreme seems bad; In one direction, we have nothing we can program. In the other, linux becomes another WinDoze. Here in the middle is where its at.
Posted by mikshaw on May 25 2007,02:11
It looks as though you're making the common assumption that a given operating system is prone to malware due to its popularity. While I think it's possible that an increase in Linux popularity may eventually see an increase in attacks, there seems to be no evidence to back this up. The increase in popularity seen so far in Linux has not resulted in any increase in this sort of nastiness.
Possibly an increase in "user friendliness" may contribute to attacks, but this would likely be if user friendly meant doing things like running as root by default, which is not likely to be the case for most distros. DSL itself has a questionable approach (in my opinion) to allowing root access, but at least it has the abilty to quickly recover from harm by booting a clean system when desired.
Personally I have neither an elitist nor a promotional view of mainstream linux. Don't really give a damn whether other people like it, and don't care if it becomes the most popular system ever. Given it's open source, it's pretty much guaranteed that Linux or some derivative will continue to be available as long as there are people who want to continue developing a great OS. Enforcing patents against Linux will just mean certain aspects of the operating system may need to be altered.