Do you think Microsoft will make Linux illegal?

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LordoftheMonkeys
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30 Jun 2010, 5:20 am

Microsoft has been trying to kill Linux ever since Steve Ballmer became CEO. They claimed a bunch of patents for ideas that they didn't come up with and that used to be in the public domain so that they could have intellectual property for Linux to infringe on, thereby making it and other alternative software illegal. They paid SCO to sue IBM for producing Linux a few years ago, but this resulted in SCO going bankrupt. But it's possible that they will carry out another concentrated campaign of lawsuits to try to outlaw Linux and probably Unix in general, making Windows the only OS and forcing just about every company and organization to pay thousands of dollars to restructure their servers, money that will most likely go into Steve Ballmer's already bloated pocket. What do you think will happen?


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Last edited by LordoftheMonkeys on 30 Jun 2010, 5:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

Asp-Z
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30 Jun 2010, 5:22 am

Surely, if Linux started using something before Microsoft patented it, they would have a hard time trying to use that patent in court against the Linux guys?

Either way, Microsoft is clutching at straws because it's going down. I hope they fail and Ballmer goes back to his cage at the zoo.

And no, there's no way they'll claim ownership of UNIX, ever.



demeus
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30 Jun 2010, 7:50 am

I think SCO was a patsy of MS to see what would happen if one did try to go after Linux in the courts. The problem is that the patent issue was never solved because SCO did not have the rights to SYSV Unix in the first place.

I think an MS fight to get Linux banned would be a long drawn out fight where only the lawyers win and a ton of cash is drained. The problem is that IBM has a ton of patents on things like the cursor and as such, they can invoke their patents anytime they wish. However, since Linux is a Unix variant, most patents would be public domain by now.

Will MS try, possibly. Will they win. I do not think so.



Northeastern292
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30 Jun 2010, 8:21 am

Ballmer is a Nazi. End of story. The man is NUTS. Sorry if the word "Nazi" is too strong to describe Ballmer, but in reality he sort of is.

Ditto for Steve Jobs over at what used to be Apple Computer, as it used to be a proud underdog but is now run by a jerk.



cyberscan
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30 Jun 2010, 10:52 am

I don't think it will ever happen. Even if Micro$oft manages to purchase adverse patent rulings, it would not affect Linux. Linux users (at least end users) will continue to use Linux products in the U.S. and international users will carry on business as usual simply because they will be out of reach of the U.S. court system. Besides, Micro$oft will not have to money to come up against the tens of thousands of companies and millions of users that currently depend upon Linux.. Too many of these companies also happen to be Fortune 500 outfits as well. There are limits to Microsoft's clutches.


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Last edited by cyberscan on 30 Jun 2010, 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

Orwell
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30 Jun 2010, 10:55 am

MS would not succeed. For one, too much research and industry depends on Linux, and Microsoft has no viable alternative for all the servers out there. MS will not be permitted to win such a fight.


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Jono
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30 Jun 2010, 2:28 pm

LordoftheMonkeys wrote:
Microsoft has been trying to kill Linux ever since Steve Ballmer became CEO. They claimed a bunch of patents for ideas that they didn't come up with and that used to be in the public domain so that they could have intellectual property for Linux to infringe on, thereby making it and other alternative software illegal. They paid SCO to sue IBM for producing Linux a few years ago, but this resulted in SCO going bankrupt. But it's possible that they will carry out another concentrated campaign of lawsuits to try to outlaw Linux and probably Unix in general, making Windows the only OS and forcing just about every company and organization to pay thousands of dollars to restructure their servers, money that will most likely go into Steve Ballmer's already bloated pocket. What do you think will happen?


The problem is that Microsoft hasn't told anyone which patents Linux supposedly infringes on and are too scared to because they know that the Linux community can potentially code their way around any prospective patents. However, in order to file any lawsuit of any kind, they have to release which patents are being infringed upon.



Last edited by Jono on 30 Jun 2010, 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kc8ufv
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30 Jun 2010, 2:35 pm

There is one other reason Microsoft would want Linux to stay around -- it keeps them out of another anti-trust suit, as MS can point to it and say it is competition. (Anti-trust regulations only apply to monopolies) So, even though they may not like Linux, they need it to stay around, or at least have something else out there to "compete" with Windows, or else their practices may land them back in court.



LordoftheMonkeys
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30 Jun 2010, 5:41 pm

Northeastern292 wrote:
Ballmer is a Nazi. End of story. The man is NUTS. Sorry if the word "Nazi" is too strong to describe Ballmer, but in reality he sort of is.


He's a megalomaniac to the point of being psychotic, that's what he is.


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Jookia
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30 Jun 2010, 5:59 pm

Right now Microsoft is going 'Linux infringes patents of ours!' without releasing the patents. There's a word for that, but I can't remember it. Anyway, it's illegal.

The worst they're doing is scaring Novell to pay them a tax.



kc8ufv
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30 Jun 2010, 7:50 pm

Jookia wrote:
Right now Microsoft is going 'Linux infringes patents of ours!' without releasing the patents. There's a word for that, but I can't remember it. Anyway, it's illegal.


Are you thinking of the word "slander"?



TOGGI3
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30 Jun 2010, 10:31 pm

I doubt they have any patents worth anything that linux (the kernel) or the base GNU system actually 'violates'...

Its probably really vague patents that aren't possible to enforce due to them either being covered by prior art, being unoriginal and/or obvious and thus not patentable, or not their proprety to begin with. I bet if these patents were *really* something to be proud of, microsoft would have released something detailing which patents specifically to the public by now.

Microsoft is using mafia tactics. This is threatening people for protection money, pure and simple.

It's effectively telling people "We may or may not have a hammer behind our backs, we aren't going to tell you, but if you pay us money and sign a contract we promise not to hit you with said hammer..."

Its extortion supported by false allegations is what it is.



Jookia
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01 Jul 2010, 12:26 am

kc8ufv wrote:
Are you thinking of the word "slander"?

TOGGI3 wrote:
extortion


It's one or probably both of these words.



Ichinin
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01 Jul 2010, 12:41 am

I remember when parts of the source for Win2K was leaked and people found GNU licensed code in it...

Software patents are basically a bad idea that needs to be wiped from the face of the planet. It does nothing to help protect companies IP, it is just used by large corporations to sue eachother when they get irritated on the others success and to keep (parasitic) lawyers employed. Programmers are afraid to write code and it goes against everything that says free market economy.

If someone would say "Hey, you cannot use that hammer and a saw that way, i got a patent on that combination of tool-use", people would laugh at them.


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01 Jul 2010, 4:53 am

Ichinin wrote:
I remember when parts of the source for Win2K was leaked and people found GNU licensed code in it...

Right, MS has been caught using stolen code before, which is unambiguously illegal and in violation of the GPL. GNU/Linux on the other hand has never been demonstrated to be using MS code, even though the source for GNU/Linux is freely available and so it would presumably be easier to find out if they were using stolen code.


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