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Microsoft wants royalties from Linux and OpenOffice

Microsoft wants royalties from users and distributors of open-source software which it claims violates 235 of its patents reports Fortune magazine. As an example it says the Linux kernel infringes on 42 patents, while its user interface and design elements infringe on a further 65.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer says its open-source competitors need to "play by the same rules as the rest of the business" and that "what's fair is fair."

Rather than going to court though, Microsoft seems to be employing a cunning plan which involves "encouraging" large tech companies that depend on Linux to ink patent deals with them. It seems that it'll only be a matter of time before Microsoft starts getting "nasty" with those companies who don't come around to their way of thinking.

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money.cnn.com
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nice_cuppa3640d ago

same rules should apply to all !

if microsoft has to pay for these sort of things as has been reported here before !

then others should have to when its microsoft with the patents !

QuackPot3639d ago

If they had a case they would be taking all the major Linux distributions(Redhat, Suse, Ubuntu, Debian, Mandriva) to court and finally put an end to LINUX.

We know they have the money....so why don't they do it?

Or is it all just Pi$$ and wind.

Note: IBM is now selling machines with Linux. Yes, that's IBM....one of the biggest tech patent holders in the world. Are they worried about M$ scaremongering. Nope. Now that would be a court case worth watching...IBM vs Micro$oft. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm?

JDW3639d ago

Why should anyone bother to develop new code and products then when they know that anybody can use the research they spent many years and lots of money developing. That is what will happen if you cannot patent new codes that are written.....the business will slow down and development will be slower.

-_-_-_-_-_-_-3640d ago

This is wrong. Knowledge and life should not be patentable.
Yet you can do it in America with software and genetically modified organisms (see the movie "The future of food"). What happened to that once progressive and humanist country? It's starting to look like an evil empire, a Germany just before the WWII.

No way the rest of the world will agree to pay for software code. It's the basic functioning of mathematics that exists in the universe and gets discovered, not a creative piece like a song, work of literature or a movie. It's so silly as if Gauss had patented his algorithms and you had to pay royalties to some company every time you solve an equation (I meant those multiple equations with multiple unknowns, bah I don't know how you call it in English). The whole software is another thing, of course a whole program like MS Word is an IP. But a piece of code?! No way!

Also the rest of the world will not agree to pay for having genetically modified organisms on its soil that got there by roaming freely in the environment. Plant seeds do not know borders, they just get carried by the wind. Something is fundamentally wrong with a patent system and it seems those large corporations will go as far as they can. And thanks to the bad laws, they obviously can go too far.

And you, nice_cuppa are going to be very sorry when you wake up in 30 years from now and realize you live in a World far worse than the one that George Orwell described in "1984".

To all Europeans out there, defend your homeland while there's still some hope:

http://www.nosoftwarepatent...

http://petition.eurolinux.o...

WilliamRLBaker3640d ago

Cause if you believe the ideal that if you take 1000 monkies typing for 1 million years then you'll eventually get all the great works...well you get the idea. I dont believe it because in the essence of random typing which they are trying to use, It doesn't matter how many monkies and how many years you got, It will still be just random typing so your never gonna get more then random typing.

And while I agree that microsoft shouldn't be doing this, and I personally dont believe they are till I get a court saying so, I all so believe in the patent process, and its not just america that uses it, If linux and open office at using patents they dont own the rights too then microsoft should take it to court....

But then again it seems as of late that with all the court problems, the courts will be biased agaienst microsoft...

-_-_-_-_-_-_-3640d ago (Edited 3640d ago )

Nope man, "Ana Karenina" does not exist in the Universe by its own. It didn't get discovered by Tolstoy. It's a product of his imagination. As for mathematics and equations, you just discover them and they would exist in the Universe even if there would be no intelligent life to do it. Put it this way: if we ever encountered intelligent aliens, they would clearly know that 1+1=2, but I doubt they would have the same movies and books as we do.

As for patents, of course we should all have patent laws, and of course we should believe in patent process, but these laws must have common sense, logical limitations. What if there were a law that allowed me to patent a particular soundwave, you wold have to pay royalties to me every time you speak. Would you blindly believe in such a patent system?

And i know it's not only America that uses bad patent laws, but this particular patent-law-problem originated in America and they're trying to force that bad laws to other nations which is wrong.

As for Europe, see: http://www.nosoftwarepatent...

PS I really don't like Microsoft but I'm not blaming them now. A company does what it can to grow. It's laws that let them do "evil" things that are flawed.

WilliamRLBaker3639d ago

I was agreeing with you on the fact that mathmatics...ect are naturally there just waiting to be found, which is why i was saying that i dont believe in the concept that if you get the monkies typing randomly...ect you get me now?

I was agreeing but I was giving a counterpoint to where you said a mathmatics equaition geting discovered is not the same as a writing a book,song or movie...

If you go by that ideal then every thing can be patented by the person that discovered it.

ben hates you3640d ago

i'm mean microsoft gives large amounts of its money back in charity, bill & melinda foundation rocks

nice_cuppa3640d ago

i hate patents like this !

all im saying is is microsoft have to pay so should others have to pay microsoft !

with any luck this will blow up big time and the patent laws will be changed !

-_-_-_-_-_-_-3639d ago

Well, I hope so too. Patent laws seem like they can't catch up with fast development. If no change happens in the USA, at least I'm hoping they just build some large wall around and mind their own business without forcing bad laws to the rest of the World.

Oh, and a pipe system that vents all the American CO2 into space so it doesn't stay in our atmosphere.

Oh and a wall so high and electrified so that genetically modified organisms don't spread all around the world causing havoc in our ecosystem.

Rooted_Dust3639d ago

Is it even possible to claim royalties on something that is free?

BIadestarX3639d ago

Even worst... the value can be calculated + damages cause by a company selling it for free... So, even if linux is free... the company distributing the software can be held accountable for loses, and would have to pay the money and/or pull the product of the market.

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