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Hiltonizer
19th November 2004, 08:53 PM
looks like microshaft is getting desperate:

http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/biztech/11/19/tech.microsoft.linux3.reut/index.html

Finalzone
19th November 2004, 09:14 PM
Linux violates more than 228 patents, according to a recent report from a research group, Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said at the company's Asian Government Leaders Forum in Singapore.

Unlike closed software such as Microsoft Windows, open source developers can look, find and remove the infringed codes from the source and replace them by another.

The Open Source Risk Management Group said earlier this year that potential intellectual property claims against Linux could expose users to unexpected claims that might result in lawsuits.

Like SCO is suing its own users. The result is most of them left.


Software developer SCO Group Inc., which claims that Linux is based on its Unix software, is suing companies including International Business Machines Corp.

That sentence is enough to discredit the lawsuit because SCO is still unable to prove their claim.

"We think our software is far more secure than open-source software. It is more secure because we stand behind it, we fixed it, because we built it. Nobody ever knows who built open-source software," he added.

Pure marketing, Ballmer. You deliberately avoid to mention it is the people (developers and users) who build open source softwares. Read again, open source is meant to give the control back to the people. With open source available to the public, people are free to hack the code, submit a new idea. Try that with closed source.

s_reynisson
19th November 2004, 09:23 PM
Looks like M$ will also take the patent way a la SCO, but, using the WTO to rid them selfs of any bad press - film at 11;)
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/11/19/microsoft_wto_winning_without_firing/

Shadow Skill
19th November 2004, 11:10 PM
Do they honestly think they can pull this off, the rest of the world as I understand it laughs at the US patent system, so how erxactly do they expect to break the back of multination corporations and actual governments. I for one have no intention of not using Fedora or any other good Linux distrobution. Besides if they take out Linux [fat chance.] I think I know enough to move over to Unix or FreeBSD all the software will just get ported and BSD will end up forking out like Linux has. [Which is both good and bad.] Isn't it already true that much of Linux software can be used without issue on BSD systems?

bunsen
19th November 2004, 11:59 PM
first they ignore you. then they laugh at you. then they fight you. then you win.
-ghandi-

Jman
20th November 2004, 12:09 AM
I don't see any lawsuits coming, just more Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. Balmer wants to keep the Asian market, so of course he says Microsoft stands behind their products, and will pay their way through such issues.

As to no one knowing where open source came from, the changelogs are public (http://kernel.org/). I don't know what Microsoft put in it's products, so how am I to know that Microsoft didn't violate any patents?

The idea of software patents being silly is common on slashdot (http://slashdot.org/) but not elsewhere (business, etc.) where they belive in "intellectual property". Microsoft in particular believes in software patents.

Let's analyze this number of 228 patents Linux with this article (http://www.internetnews.com/ent-news/article.php/3389071) (the article actually said 283, let's assume this higher number). Half of these are generally thrown out in court. A third of these are from "Linux friendly" companies. This leaves us with 94 or so. If you assume 228 it is 76. Microsoft holds 27 of the total, but they have not been court tested.

I don't like software patents. They seem to stifle innovation while increasing lawyer costs (which apparently can be a couple million US$ per case).

Tru
20th November 2004, 12:30 AM
Sorry I know this is off the subject but I see people with registered linux user and I want to know how and where I can go to do that to.

bunsen
20th November 2004, 12:59 AM
register your linux box here: http://counter.li.org/

sailor
20th November 2004, 03:23 AM
Sorry I know this is off the subject but I see people with registered linux user and I want to know how and where I can go to do that to.

you aren't that far off topic, that is exactly what MS is afraid of and why they are doing this...:p

Tru
20th November 2004, 05:01 AM
Cool, thank you.

Tru
20th November 2004, 09:19 PM
Ok, Im a registered linux user now. Die windows :mad: j/k LOL

pbtpu40
21st November 2004, 10:00 AM
The fact that Microsoft is closed source and publishing so called "patent infringements" brings about an interesting point. Microsoft is closed source, as in us the public have no ability to see or reference their source. Yet they can easily go out and download open source projects and use portions of source in their own products, and no one would be able to know. Linux has been growing for a long time, and Microsoft has ignored them, and I also wouldn't doubt used them. The hardest problem is they need to prove they published the source code before the open source equivalent, fat chance.

Also one is dealing with software, how does one patent a problem to be solved, with software there are hundreds if not thousands of ways to solve a problem. If two programs solve the same problem and one of those problems sources can be found, the other programmer can use the published source as a reference. As the open source community cannot see or reference said source for an example, only the opposite is possible, the closed source company using the open source program to make their own [closed source].

That being said, what is to prevent a company patenting a problem, and then waiting for someone else to come up with the solution. Thats pretty cheap to use someone else to do your work for you. Looking at the way many companies do business today it is no surprise. I know that some of the code that I have written for my current job was being used in ways that it was never intended. This code was in fact copyrighted, it wasn't as if they were using the synthesized VHDL, it was the full blown VHDL code. [The code is distributed as a reference for creating your own designs. They were building directly on top of it.] The most interesting thing is though, the problem that code solved is a very common problem, that someone could patent, it produced the timing and signals to talk to an LCD using an FPGA. No patent has been filed on that interface, but what would happen if someone did? Would all of us who needed that interface, and designed it on our own have to pay the patent holder. I look at this as money hungry MBA's, lawyers, and CEO's looking to engineers to make a quick buck, and leave the engineers in the dust.

--Note the above paragraph was edited after I confused copyright and patents at 1 in the morning. :o Thank you to crackers for point out that I confused the two, and that MS has not actually filed suit.

I will say this though, these actions are also going to be detrimental to their own user base. If one treats their user base like crap, their users will leave and go else where. I think this is Microsoft trying to kill something that they now realize is a real, and big threat. Mozilla Firefox is gaining a larger chunk of the browser usage daily. Its not 50% but its certainly climbing.

But here's an interesting thought. If said violation is true, how did the source end up in the Linux system to begin with. Someone had to write it, if they worked for Microsoft one signs a no disclosure agreement for a reason, said person would be in violation and would be responsible, and Linux would be left with the task of rewriting conflicting source.

There are so many options of what the truth is one cannot tell whats going on, there are two sides to every story, and frankly I think Microsoft is trying to scare users back and make a buck. I have never backed down from a confrontation like this, and I wont let any bully like [Microsoft] say that I'm breaking the law because I found something better.

Note:
Thats just my two cents, you may agree you may not, make your own decision, this is just my feelings on it.
Free thought and the ability to think for one's self is what makes us human, exercise it, even if you think someone may disagree, to think for yourself is the best thing one can do for him/herself.

crackers
21st November 2004, 07:30 PM
The fact that Microsoft is closed source and trying to file "patent infringements" brings about an interesting point.
Microsoft has not filed any infringement suits against FOSS - they've basically said that FOSS "violates 200+ patents" - while missing a very crucial word: potentially. There are potentially 283 patent infringments, but none have ever been challenged in the court system, so they just remain as "potential." Of note, very few patent infringement suits are that successful.

On the other hand, look at how many infringement suits Microsoft has settled on... :D


Also one is dealing with software, how does one patent a problem to be solved
That's the fundamental issue with software patents and why there's a lot of press surrounding the issue.


That being said, how does the GPL protect writers from not being caught by something like this.
You're mixing up copyright with patents - the two are not the same. The GPL protects copyrights, which (in software terms) is the source-code.


Frankly, I don't think its gonna do anything more than scare people.
Exactly - FUD.

Psquared
21st November 2004, 09:22 PM
Microsoft manipulates the patent system. They rarely sue over patent infringement, but they get sued a lot. They take software code, incorporate into their closed-source and hope they don't get caught. If they get sued they fight the suit and drag it out in court until the other company goes out of business or settles for a nominal sum.

Examples: Netscape and Novell.

bob
21st November 2004, 10:06 PM
Damn money-hundgry bastards! Well, if they don't back off, I'm not going to download any more of their products off Kazaa!

crackers
21st November 2004, 10:07 PM
Every company attempts to manipulate the patent system - I know this for a fact since I'm involved in two patent applications myself (for my company - not my idea). Most of the time, the patents are filed for protection from others (kinda sorta). The only reason it's become a big deal is because some small companies that did have patents but crappy products figured that's the only way they'll ever make money - or some suit-happy, lawyer-driven "IP company" figures that's an easy way to make a buck without actually having to do any software development: just make everyone else pay.

Feh.

pbtpu40
21st November 2004, 10:52 PM
Eweek has posted an article (http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1729908,00.asp?kc=EWRSS03119TX1K0000594) on this subject. The author states that Ballmer got it all wrong. Its an interesting look at patents across all systems, and the fact that there is nothing that really seperates open source patents from closed source. You can have patent infringements on both.

This article was posted this morning on slashdot (http://slashdot.org) and felt it relevent to post here.

Prometheus
22nd November 2004, 12:42 AM
Damn money-hundgry bastards! Well, if they don't back off, I'm not going to download any more of their products off Kazaa!

Well that was good for a laugh, coming from a judge and all, lol.

Psquared
22nd November 2004, 12:50 AM
Damn money-hundgry bastards! Well, if they don't back off, I'm not going to download any more of their products off Kazaa!

yeah, that'll teach'm

:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

Sniffer
22nd November 2004, 12:53 AM
Linux forever

Lopov
22nd November 2004, 04:41 AM
I just have to laugh at microcrap, they keep reaching but just can't touch anything.

crackers
22nd November 2004, 05:30 AM
The thing that i find entertaining about this whole thing is that Microsoft's origins are from ripping off Macintosh. Gates and his buddies basically got a copy of Mac's OS, and reverse engineered it to work on DOS
Er, no, they didn't. That is so incorrect it's not even funny.

pbtpu40
22nd November 2004, 07:12 AM
Crackers you're right, that is so wrong its not even funny. If you're gonna talk about software they did steal, at least use the proper titles. And if you really want to get technical on that stuff, XEROX started the whole GUI thing. Apple sold stock to XEROX to get a look at the insides to create their own. I dont remember how windows came to be, but I do remember they didn't steal it. There were patent problems with version 1.0, but these were taken care of later with licence agreements. Microsoft did not steal windows though.

Jman
22nd November 2004, 07:44 AM
Also one is dealing with software, how does one patent a problem to be solved, with software there are hundreds if not thousands of ways to solve a problem.
Yes but there are a limited number of good, efficient solutions. I can come up with a sort algorithm that's not very efficient at all. If the best code is patented then the options are really limited.

imdeemvp
22nd November 2004, 09:24 AM
M$ is probably trying to get back so of the money they were sued for. The monopoly they had with IE did not last long and were taken to court and paid large sums of money. Now they wanna get back.

pbtpu40
22nd November 2004, 11:12 AM
Yes but there are a limited number of good, efficient solutions. I can come up with a sort algorithm that's not very efficient at all. If the best code is patented then the options are really limited.
The number of "good solutions" may be limited, but what is truthfully limited is the type of a structure. One can program logarithms in varying ways. There are numerous ways to implement a bubble sort for example, some good some bad. If one develops the better algorithm on their own without outside help, the question becomes did they violate patent law. One can write software on their own and it is obviously their own, efficiency will be slightly different because of different styles. But if one comes up with an algorithm on their own, without outside help, and unknown to them is a previous algorithm that is patented, are they in violation. I truthfully don't think so, and to say that someone is, only provides a way to make money off of someone else's work, and frankly I view that as communism and counter productive to humanity. I am not going to college to learn how to write software to make money for someone else who already patented it and is too lazy to write it, nor design hardware for the same purpose. If one writes a solution to a problem, that follows a logarithm of their own design, it is their intellectual property, not the property of someone else who saw the problem and view it as an opportunity to make money off of it.

This is greed at its worst. Let me ask this, have any of you written a program that preforms a common remedial task. A task so common that you can find other programs on the net that do this same task, but found it easier to just write it yourself? God knows I have, it provides me better flexibility and customizibility, but does this give the right to someone else that solved this same problem to claim my solution that I developed independently, no it does not. Copyrighting something like an algorithm is stupid, mainly due to the fact that said algorithm can be implemented multiple ways, and if you really know what you're doing, you can even match efficiency. Why go look for solutions when they are patented? Instead come up with it on your own, it's why we have a brain isn't it?

Dog-One
22nd November 2004, 03:37 PM
What would be nice is if Microsoft were to pursue Ballmer's sound bites. I say this because the so-called patents would have to be challenged in court and they would likely be disclosed along with a bunch of other items that Microsoft would like to keep proprietary. It would tickle me to see Microsoft in violation of the GPL should some of their code actually be cut-n-paste Linux code. I'm not saying that its true by no means, but if it were proven to be true, I would take great enjoyment watching the tech reporters chasing Microsoft with its tail between in its legs.

Morals are a good thing. I just love morals. And the moral to this story is, "when you're walking on egg shells, don't hop."

sailor
22nd November 2004, 04:24 PM
This is greed at its worst. Let me ask this, have any of you written a program that preforms a common remedial task. A task so common that you can find other programs on the net that do this same task, but found it easier to just write it yourself?


Since software developers use similar tools and methods, I think that would be true. I read somewhere about "parrallel discovery" or something like that in regards to Nobel science prize(both were given awards)...so couldn't the same be true of software?

crackers
22nd November 2004, 07:32 PM
It would tickle me to see Microsoft in violation of the GPL
They've already been "dinged" over the use of BSD's TCP/IP stack and not giving proper credit. That was fun to watch...


Let me ask this, have any of you written a program that preforms a common remedial task. A task so common that you can find other programs on the net that do this same task, but found it easier to just write it yourself?
These are called "patterns" (Google for "Gang Of Four") - but what people are trying to patent are ideas and concepts, not implementations. Implementations are the "infringements" of patents.

Take something that is now considered "normal" for a web browser: the back button. Pretty trivial, huh? Actually, in practice, it's not quite that easy to implement, as it introduces a new "idea" that probably could have been patented: the "history" of a browsing session. Fortunately, there's plenty of prior art in case anyone's stupid enough to patent it and then try to enforce the patent.

The other thing to consider is that a lot of the media reports will boil a patent application (especially "sensational" ones) down to it's finest implementation (e.g. "back button on a web browser") to get the sound-bytes across. There are no one-page patent applications - they typically run well into the 100's of pages.

kf6kmx
22nd November 2004, 10:10 PM
As to no one knowing where open source came from, the changelogs are public (http://kernel.org/). I don't know what Microsoft put in it's products, so how am I to know that Microsoft didn't violate any patents?

One of my main reasons for prefering open source.. You can plainly look aright at the source code and SEE EXACTLY what the software is doing.. Very difficult, if not impossible, to hide malicious code (spyware, data harvesting, etc).. M$ on the other hand not only closely guards their 'secret code' but enforeces so may confidentiality agreements that the few people who have found anything that is (I dont say 'may be', because from their past track record, there IS what I consider malicious code: ex, harvesting email addresses, spyware, etc) in M$ products cant say anything about it.
I know past versions of some M$ products have 'harvested' for data (email addresses.. and it wasnt coming from the service provider, as some of the addresses used in the program were never sent an email, JUST put into the program.. then ended up getting spam anyway (a firm I used to work in the IT department of did an expirement. We created a couple email addresses, NOT on yahoo or hotmail, on a private server, placed their addresses in different places (forms, letters, ADDRESS BOOKS) but NEVER sent email in or out from the addresses.. They would be NO record of those addreses EXCEPT in the locations we placed it. we tried different addresses for each expirement location, so it wouldnt be a delayed result from a previous location.. We got hit EVERY time we put it in Outlook/Outlook Express address book. we also got hit on a machine we has XP on.. it was an OEM XP, the one that doesnt require activation.. we let it send in a error report, and started getting back emails into the dummy account we created for that machine.. that was the only record of that email account, anywhere..

Call me paranoid, but I dont believe for one second that 'report this error, nothing identifying is sent' msg in XP.. For the so called debugging to do any good they would have to have some details about the computer/user (memory size/ processor/ bios/ OS version/ OTHER SOFTWARE installed on the machine, windows is so dependant on DLL and every program you install on htere adds/deletes/changes a DLL.. try uninstalling something sometime and watch how many times it warns you that something THAT program installed is needed by another program now and cant be deleted). And for the report to come in, it automatically will have an IP attached to it.. no big stretch to figure on them logging that IP/date/time.

M$ wouldnt 'violate' a patent?!?! :eek: (yeah, right).. they just buy everything, add a confidentiality agreement on it, repatent it on their name, and wont let anyone else use it...
I'll make a predition, if M$ ever won a suit to kill of Linux (not happening), the next version of windows would amazingly being using a familiar looking kernel system :rolleyes:

Jman
23rd November 2004, 12:14 AM
Some examples of software patents. (http://www.base.com/software-patents/examples.html)

Parallel discovery doesn't really happen in patents, unless the groups we working together. Scientists share discoveries but businesses generally don't share patents. If two organizations claimed a patent the search would be on for prior art.

crackers
23rd November 2004, 01:32 AM
Some examples of software patents. (http://www.base.com/software-patents/examples.html)
...
If two organizations claimed a patent the search would be on for prior art.
I never said a lot of sofware- or computer-related patents were not silly. The question is one of enforcement. That's also when a lot of digging for prior art occurs.

A lot patents of this nature are filed, but never enforced - until recently. As I said before, these suits usually come from smallish companies who've basically been put out of business by Microsoft's usual tactics, smallish companies that can't get their software to market or sold (usually thanks to Microsoft's lock on the desktop), or litigation-happy "IP collectors."

yr2alex
24th November 2004, 07:05 PM
[QUOTE=pbtpu40]There are so many options of what the truth is one cannot tell whats going on, there are two sides to every story, and frankly I think Microsoft is trying to scare users back and make a buck. I have never backed down from a confrontation like this, and I wont let any bully like [Microsoft] say that I'm breaking the law because I found something better.


I completely agree, nevertheless, history has repeated itself by revealing a simple truth: desperate people- desperate measures...

there is nothing new under the sun. In my humble estimation most of us would probably agree that in living in a free and capitalistic society, people like entre-manure Billy boy Gates should be allowed to take full advantage of selling a product for the sole purpose of gaining revenue even if it means eliminating competition at all cost (sarcasm). The problem with Billy boy is that he wants to completely circumvent the "FREE" more specifically the "freedom of choice philosophy" that governs our democratic society. To make matters worse he intends on using the very Justice system in place to protect us from capitalistic cockroaches to perpetuate his system of injustice by encroaching on our basic right- to make the choice of whether or not to install freely distributable software or proprietary software.

In short I'll end on this note, Billy boy, I as well as the rest of my Linux comrades sincerely hope that you have dug up two graves...

yr2alex
24th November 2004, 07:07 PM
There are so many options of what the truth is one cannot tell whats going on, there are two sides to every story, and frankly I think Microsoft is trying to scare users back and make a buck. I have never backed down from a confrontation like this, and I wont let any bully like [Microsoft] say that I'm breaking the law because I found something better.


I completely agree, nevertheless, history has repeated itself by revealing a simple truth: desperate people- desperate measures...

there is nothing new under the sun. In my humble estimation most of us would probably agree that in living in a free and capitalistic society, people like entre-manure Billy boy Gates should be allowed to take full advantage of selling a product for the sole purpose of gaining revenue even if it means eliminating competition at all cost (sarcasm). The problem with Billy boy is that he wants to completely circumvent the "FREE" more specifically the "freedom of choice philosophy" that governs our democratic society. To make matters worse he intends on using the very Justice system in place to protect us from capitalistic cockroaches to perpetuate his system of injustice by encroaching on our basic right- to make the choice of whether or not to install freely distributable software or proprietary software.

In short I'll end on this note, Billy boy, I as well as the rest of my Linux comrades sincerely hope that you have dug up two graves...