View Full Version : MS claims that Open Source violates 235 or more patents
05-16-2007, 03:18 PM
Check out this article from Zdnet.com , they say that MS has announced that open source programming might violate 235 patents, and a private company who was studying the risk management of using open source software says that Linux may violate as many as 283 patents as of 2004.
Wow, they sound pretty pissed off. I haven't installed any Linux yet, waiting for more hardware to be able to do that and try it out. I have however bought six more Win 9X licenses in addition to the 5 to 8 I already have, I like 98SE quite a bit, it's a nice OS. I was a little worried about it a few weeks ago though when I had reinstalled 98SE and 98 on my computers and the Windows Update page said that my PC's were actually Macs and locked me out of the Windows Update page for 98, 98SE, and I've heard also ME. (My ME computer is perfect right now, running FS2000 exclusively, so I don't take it on the internet ever as I don't want to risk any kind of malware infections of any kind, so I didn't check ME on the Windows Update page at that time.) The Windows Update page did after some time, week or more, let me back onto the Windows Update page, I don't know what the problem was (btw I was using IE6 so it wasn't due to outdated IE). When I wrote to MS about this they just said that 98, SE and ME are no longer supported; other techies said that it was just an inadvertant glitch and no biggie, but one advanced tech person said that he had been expecting that, in that case, I'm relieved that perhaps MS might have reconsdered and decided to continue to allow 98, SE, and ME to access the Windows Update page. I hope it was just no biggie, they had me really worried there for a while.
By the way, what does this mean for Apple's OSX? I've heard that OSX actually originates from a specific distro of Linux. which Apple greatly built up to the awesome OS that it is. I'm very interested in getting a Mac eventually. And it's not just because of their hilarious commercials! I love the one on bloatware, and the one where PC says it's "going to calculate how much time you've wasted!"
Any way, check out this article. It seems a little bracing:
05-17-2007, 04:59 AM
M$ likes to claim alot of things. If they're ignorant enough to pursue this, though, one of the first things that will come of it is everyone in America finding out that Windows (the original) was nothing but a blatant copy of the Apple OS of that time. Then, there's the fact that most software was originally written in languages that were open source or already had some sort of copyright protection (like C, C++, Cobol, Fortran, etc.) MS and MOST other software companies should have never been able to secure patents on software packages written in programming languages that weren't their property in the first place.
I'd love to see them try to pursue it, though.:-) It would probably be fairly fun, for us at least.
05-17-2007, 06:44 AM
Anything to fill Mr. Gates's pockets....
Perhaps he's taking it on the chin from Vista and needs to find the cash elsewhere?
I know one thing.....if I buy a new system, Vista goes bye-bye and XP gets reinstalled!
05-17-2007, 06:47 AM
"I'd love to see them try to pursue it, though It would probably be fairly fun, for us at least."
I'd rather not see that, you would think that truth and justice reigns in court, but a few years ago I was the victim of complete idiots who outright lied in court, then when I quoted the law to the judge, the judge told me to shut up about the law, that she knew the law, then proceeded to ignore every aspect of the relevant laws and sided with the lying idiots who actually violated several laws against me on top of everything else.
Steve Ballmer says he wants what's fair. If patents were violated I think that needs to be examined and cleaned up, but it's possible MS could have also borrowed liberally from others.
But what's really upsetting is that basically there's only two OS's, Windows, and Linux (OSX originates from Linux), and MS claims that Linux has violated 235 of MS's patents, so if a person were to go way out of their way to remain law abiding, it almost seems like the only choice is Windows.
I think you have a point, Vista is full of big brother programming that almost seems absurd. Eventually I might like to get Vista just for DX10 and to run FSX and FS11 optimally. But I think that's the only thing I'd want to use it for. Even w/ XP, they have intended to make the Windows Genuine Advantage program much more aggressive with shut down powers, so with that future WGA, you have to install it and if you don't then they will shut down your XP whether it is legit or not. According to MS support, last year they stated they were going to issue that WGA last Fall. Luckily apparently it was never released as yet.
05-17-2007, 07:39 PM
Biggest reason I want to stick with XP is because my older games, like Nascar 2003 Season, and Haulin, WILL NOT RUN with Vista.......
Just a minor note but Mac OS X is most certainly not based off of Linux. It came from NeXT, which was based on the BSD series of Unix related systems. They used much of the core of the FreeBSD and many of the same open source tools that virtually all Unix, and Unix like, systems use.
The difference between Linux and BSD is that with Linux you must make your source code available if you build off of it. With BSD you don't need to release the code and only need to keep the credit for the original author in the code comments.
As for the patents MS claims Linux is violating, read up on the history of SCO vs IBM and SCO vs Novell to see what can happen if someone makes false claims. Until they actually provide some solid detail, they're just trying to spread FUD in my books.
Although the US patent system could use a thorough revamping to bring it into the 21st century. There are far too many obvious and overly broad ideas being patented.
05-17-2007, 11:33 PM
I don't know what I'd do without your advice and info. It's encouraging that OSX is not Linux, perhaps several of the guys on one of the other tech forums were not accurate, several of them some time ago stated that OSX was based off of a specific Linux distro. I appreciate the clarification, that's encouraging. By the way, can OSX run Linux programs as is directly?
Guess what, one of my OSX 10.4 friends has MS Office for Macs, I was guestimating that he had Office 2003 as he got his Mac in 2005 and got Office right after. He said all he had to do was enter the product key, but did not have to activate it online. I think that PC's are required to activate Office 2003 online. So I wonder if Apple negotiated w/ MS to avoid all that online activation bologna? I'm just guessing I only had 5 minutes to talk to him about it. Macs are nice.
I like pc's because in many cases I can throw together a good performing pc for next to nothing, the only caveat is that depending on the version of MS products you have, you have to jump through various levels of MS hoops for activation. There's an idea for a video game! But Macs would be a really nice break and alternative.
As I am a law abiding citizen, because I prefer to live my life that way, I try as hard as I can to adhere to the rules strictly. It's a little unsettling that open source products and Linux may have 235 to 285 or more patent violations in it, so that if you're using it as an individual, the legitimacy of that might questionable.
You're right patent issuance is out of control, early on, many years ago, there was quite a controversy about putting patents on Mother Nature when the field of recombinant DNA, and genetic engineering started up. That was an area I studied at the 4th year level, but my only focus was on trying to go to med school and then if I made it that far specialize in cardiovascular surgery. I had numerous financial hardships at that time so couldn't afford to apply, if I had gotten in, there would have been no limit to student loans. I'm thinking about trying to become a commercial pilot, I like the hours, and have an open mind about meeting an overwhelming number of extremely HOT CHICK flight attendants--hee hee haa haa!
Any way, what is even scarier is what happened with blue laser technology. This was an area of applied physics, and very academic, to physicists this improvement in lasers for data applications was a no brainer, it was an obvious improvement just using ordinary physics. As soon as it became commercial however, it was bracing how fast and furious corporate management and lawyers moved in, including MS and all their resources to engineer the very last word in Digital Rights Management. If I had an applied physics idea for commercial use, I think I'd be careful with it now, for one thing if I did I could be trampled by a stampede of management and lawyers and get absolutely nothing out of it. I wonder if the original designer of DOS has a Ferrari or not?
There was another interesting article I haven't read yet, I hope you're bear with me if I mention it in a while.
It's weird that in order to enjoy old games that you have to hold onto XP or older OS's. (There are sound problems also with older games on Vista, but there's an emulator you can download to fix that.) That doesn't bother me too much though because I have a collection of older OS's and older flight sims. If I get a little more hardware I might be able to install an old Star Trek game, I've never installed it, maybe it might be fun. Except for chess (freeware DOS ONLY Rebel Decade chess) I've basically only installed flight sims. Did try Duke Nuke'em 3D for about 10 minutes before uninstalling it. "That's gotta hurt!"
05-18-2007, 02:32 AM
"There was another interesting article I haven't read yet, I hope you're bear with me if I mention it in a while."
Never mind, just command prompts for Mac OSX.
05-20-2007, 10:08 AM
Yes..well..Just remember who invented "the mouse" and who thought up the idea of using windows for showing info.
If MS pushes this any further, they are in for a heap of pain. They ,indeed, "borrowed" freely. I wonder what will happen if all people that had "idea`s" that MS nicked, stood up and started court-cases.
IMHO it`s all scare mongering from a company that is about to get it`s behind kicked bad in a bunch of Kartel-courtcases in Europe.
They want to make sure no one else gets any ideas. They have their hands full enough as it is.
Shame, MS has been run too long by guys in suits that only use a PC for Excell-sheets with profit-margin formula`s. Nothng wrong with profit, but don`t come crying if someone sees through your little scam..
Tank God there are still MS departments like ACES, with people that DO care about the hobby-aspect of PC`s.
I say: Power to the people, kick the excell suits out!!!!:7
Oh, and by the way. MS is all too aware of the fact that several governmental institutions over here in Europe (Germany f.i.)Are steering away from MS and are starting to use all sorts of open-source and home written software, especially because of all the unpleasant back-doors and snooping holes that MS has implemented under pressure of all kind of shady national security bureaus...
MS sees money and power slipping through their fingers, so they want to stop this...It`s never fun for a company in a monopoly position, to lose that same monopoly.
"Just remember who invented "the mouse""
You mean the Stanford Research Institute circa 1964 and Xerox PARC cicra 1972? ;)
"...who thought up the idea of using windows for showing info."
Again, I take it you were thinking of Xerox PARC? ;)
True, Apple was the first to actually bring these to the masses, but even Apple borrowed ideas from elsewhere.
05-20-2007, 07:33 PM
The Simpsons' cartoon tv show (if you haven't seen it, see it, it's hilarious) parodied MS's biz methods where they would have big guys in black suits and sunglasses force Homer to sell his business to them so that he would no longer compete against MS. That was so funny.
I have maybe five slightly out of date Linux distros from the library, I think I better just haul some hardware to a broadband connection and download the latest stuff. I did however burn Xandros 302 just for jollies, and I might burn Knoppix 4.0 just because it's here. But I'm definitely going to get the newer up to date stuff.
Wow, this outdated Mandriva is about 2 gb's of compressed files!!! WWWWWOW!!! I haven't checked the size of the least outdated Ubuntu I have. I think I'm going to download the latest online Kubuntu as it is supposed to make more sense to a Winders user.
I believe there was a Prof who wrote a small application that some people find handy, and he intended to give it for free to MS, but they grabbed it and incorporated into Windows without even asking him, I think that is the way things went. He was a little taken aback by that.
Hollywood steals ideas all the time, they're like used car dealers with cameras. Several years beforehand, I wrote a filmscript that seemed very similar to the movie "Peacemaker" with George Clooney, made me wonder a bit if my script got leaked or ideas from it were taken, but I dismissed it because the general theme was so common.
I believe that the courts in the recent past have found copyright infringements in MS's products, but at least MS was diligent to take them out of their software, after being ordered to by the court.
Yyyyep, the people over in Europe are pretty pissed off. One of the guys on the forum here said that because he uses Windows and Flight Simulator at home, that his coworkers who all use Linux are openly hostile to him.
It's kinda strange that MS also works hard to alienate their own loyal customers with bracing DRM, WGA, and activation programming, and on top of it their clerks are often accusatory to professional users of their products, who are just doing their jobs and in the process for example reinstalling Windows to complete their critical computer application jobs.
If there are in fact copyright infringements in Linux and opensource products, that's not right, but those allegations need to be proved. I'm certainly not the one to do it, I have about as much programming expertise as Homer Simpson. Although I'm way out of practice, I could possibly do a fair job of interpreting an electrocardiogram readout, but when it comes to programming, those programs might as well be written in c+++ and a half because it's all Swahili to me!
Apple says, give the people what they want, they are a lot more friendly.
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