Re: [FSUG-Bangalore] Microsoft's secret plan behind the TomTom suit?
2009-03-07 23:09:07 GMT
Microsoft can't compete technically with Free Software, and they knew it years ago. Their answer was spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt about Free Software. Now they realise it is not working. So they took the next option they got, patents. It is a tactic of picking the weakest one for a fight and scaring others for a deal.
On Mar 7, 2009 6:42 AM, "OpenSpace" <use.info <at> gmail.com> wrote:
Please can someone explain this to me in plain english please?
Microsoft's secret plan behind the TomTom suit?
A very interesting analysis of the Microsoft versus TomTom suit has
appeared on veteran journo Glyn Moody's blog.
Having established that Microsoft's "it's not about Linux" schtick is
transparently wrong - the area covered by the FAT patents is pure
Linux, unchanged by TomTom, so any Linux distro with FAT compatibility
would qualify - we then get a post from Jeremy Allison, who's well
versed in Microsoft's approach to open source.
You must read the whole thing yourself - but in brief, he says that
Microsoft has been putting all its IP deals under NDA because the
cross-licensing of patents is disallowed under Section 7 of GPL 2.
Thus, anyone who signs is disallowed from distributing any of the
Linux kernel - so Microsoft has them over a barrel.
This explains the secrecy behind all the deals - which, lest we
forget, Microsoft is promoting as examples of open sharing - and is
building up to a situation where Microsoft can detonate a huge
improvised explosive device under Linux.
What might save things is if TomTom prevails, negating the relevant
patents - and there are good reasons to think it would, if it can
afford to fight. If it can't afford to fight, then things get just
that little nastier. As Allison says:
"Tom Tom are the first company to publicly refuse to engage in this
ugly little protection racket, and so they got sued. Had Tom Tom
silently agreed to violate the GPL, as so many others have, then we'd
only hear about a vague "patent cross licensing deal" just like the
ones Microsoft announces with other companies.
Make no mistake, this is intended to force Tom Tom to violate the GPL,
or change to Microsoft embedded software."
Rupert Goodwins' blog was originally posted on ZDNet.co.uk.
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