Microsoft in Embargo War Against Linux


Roy starts with this rather odd “summary:

Summary: Microsoft takes the Apple approach to pushing Java/Linux aside while Nokia gets more litigious as well

This is odd given how he never mentions Java again in the article. Just what does he think he is summarizing? And what does he mean by Apple shoving Java aside? Sure, they no longer include it preinstalled, but given that OS X now gets Java directly from the source, this means it will likely get better on OS X. Why put this down? And many desktop Linux distros do not have Java pre-installed either. Roy does not claim they are pushing Java to the side. It is just an odd and biased claim that has nothing to do with the article he says he is summarizing.

POOR Microsoft and poor Apple. They just do not know how to stop Linux anymore, so they join forces and attack en masse with help from patent trolls.

While each competes with Linux, has either said they want to “stop Linux”? Just yesterday Roy referred to SUSE as “Microsoft Linux” and claimed “It is probably worth emphasising yet again that SUSE is funded by Microsoft and it pays Microsoft for GNU/Linux. If SUSE gets preloaded on a machine, that’s a victory for Microsoft“. Ah, maybe Roy thinks Microsoft if trying to stop Linux by helping to fund, support and profit from a Linux distro. His claims are self-contradictory. 

More patent aggression against phones. Not to mention Apple’s appalling behaviour, which ended up in embargo after pathetic lawsuits. Apple ignored all prior art and tried to stifle the presence of competition

Once again, Roy is pretending like Apple and Microsoft are the only ones suing companies over alleged patent infringements. As noted yesterday, this is simply not true, as discussed by Thomas Reuters and by Forbes. Roy has a very hard time being honest on these matters.

Two ways of looking at this. One way is to say that companies who sue for patent infringement are doing so because they are evil or want to compete unfairly. The other take on it is that companies have every right to protect their own work. I cannot buy a copy of the latest Stephen King novel, change the names and some other details and then sell it as my own. Even though authors base their work on what they have read before, their work is their own and I have no such rights to it.

It does not take complex laws to understand this point. I have young children at home I read to; I recently finished a Romona and Beezus book where the concept was discussed in the context of a first grade classroom:

In first grade, Susan copies Ramona’s paper bag owl. The teacher holds up Susan’s owl to show the class how pleased she is with her work. Ramona is so angry with Susan for copying and getting all the credit that she crumples up Susan’s owl. She gets in trouble for that, too, and is forced to apologize to Susan in front of the entire class the following day.

While the term is never used, Susan copies Ramona’s IP – and this is seen as being wrong by the main characters and it is assumed, without any sign of question, that the reader will get this. This is a book for kids. Yes, kids get the concept that taking someone else’s idea is wrong.

In the open source ecosystem developers tend to have much less attachment to their work – they do not mind when it is used by others. Even then, though, the GPL makes it clear that there are limits on how IP can be used; if those conditions are not held to the owners of the IP have the right to insist – in court if needed – that those who use their code follow their wishes.

When the shoe is on the other foot, and Roy thinks Apple is going against the IP rules of open source developers, he demonizes Apple for breaking IP rules:

SINCE the end of May we have been posting about half a dozen items about Apple’s hostility towards the GPL, which it excluded/removed rather than comply with.

Another example of Roy complaining about Apple not complying with IP rules:

Now that Apple is under fire for GPL violations (as stated by the FSF, which wishes to prevent Apple from illegally using GNU code against GNU itself), one ought to (re)think about Apple’s role in Free/Open Source software — code which worked pretty well for Apple, as long it ‘consumed’ and gave little or nothing in return.

So when Apple does not respect someone else’s IP and, according to Roy, they are forced to comply it is Apple in the wrong. But when someone does not respect Apple’s IP and Apple works to force them to comply, then Apple is still in the wrong. This is an extreme double standard on his part.

When Apple uses someone else’s code or ideas, they should comply with the IP rules that surround it. The same, however, is true for those who use Apple’s ideas and code.

This does not imply, of course, that there are not examples of Apple and others who could be said to be trying to push this idea of enforcement to rather absurd levels. Apple has done this. If Roy wanted to make that argument he might be able to make a case. He does not even try and prefers people to just accept his hypocrisy as truth.

This entry was posted in ResponseToTechFUD and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply