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EU tells open source to start paying MS patent tax

"EU Commissioner Kroes' deal with Microsoft creates real dangers to Europe's growing open source economy, warns the FFII. Using patent licenses that exclude businesses, the software monopolist has turned the EU competition ruling into a victory, and now gets implicit support from the Commission to proceed aggressively against its competitors.

Neelie Kroes European Commissioner for Competition and Microsoft agreed that the royalties payable for the interoperability information will be 10,000 Euros, and that Microsoft can use its EPO software patents to charge 0.4 percent of all the sales of its competitors. The FFII says that these conditions effectively exclude open source competitors and add costs for all who wish to communicate with Microsoft products. This is a new transaction cost for all society, its the opposite of an open Internet." -- Read more

We now know that news of Microsoft "conceding" is actually false, because who actually conceded is the EU, not Microsoft. I've commented that this concession was good news, but apparently I've been had. Just goes to show how much trust we should allow ourselves for Microsoft: less than nothing.

What FFII basically reveals is that Microsoft essentially found a way to use the unenforced European patent system to enforce it for its own patents. They may reveal their technologies, but at a price which may be too high for most Free Software developers to pay. In essence, what we first heard was a "concession" turns out to be a deal which allows Microsoft to collect a tax from the whole European software industry based on the rotten patent portfolio they have registered in an otherwise unenforced software patents system.

Yet another low and devious blow by Microsoft.

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Comments

FU, EU

 
libervisco wrote:

Just goes to show how much trust we should allow ourselves for Microsoft: less than nothing.

My trust in Microsoft has increased: one can always trust them to turn anything into more money for them. I'd buy shares if doing that wasn't about as unethical as investing in a meth lab.

But my trust in the EU... some time before the "concession" I was beginning to think that maybe, in a decade or two, it could become what it is supposed to: a fair and transparent cooperation of countries, making them more or less like a single country, which would (somehow?) be better for all inhabitants. But no, it's just another case of politics for the sake of politics.

And me... I'm euro-skeptic again, more so than ever before. And can be trusted to stay that for quite a while.

What a sickener. neelie

 

What a sickener.

neelie wrote:

Dear Bill,

As Microsoft has broken the law in order to gain dominance, we now require that you loosen your stranglehold on the market.
If you comply you may then use the other hand to grip it by the nuts.

Best Regards,
Neelie Kroes

We need to buy an island from some poor country, design our postage stamp, join the UN and establish a legal protectorate for free software. Hail Freedonia!

Considering the ideas that

Considering the ideas that we've been discussing with Kevin Dean about separatism, government as an agreement that will benefit all people who are in agreement, not just a "majority" of it I think all three of us are quite hardly going to be embracing what European Union is. It is too big and especially if its leaders don't really give a damn about the ideals that are supposed to enshrine it, just a very bad idea.. Hmm so.. the meme of the day: Euro-skepticism ftw!

Indeed Taco, FU EU. Indeed Democrates, if we only could "F" all of them off and start over on our own... If we only could..

snail mail

 
democrates wrote:

We need to buy an island from some poor country, design our postage stamp, join the UN and establish a legal protectorate for free software. Hail Freedonia!

I'm a bit worried about the availability of internet connections on an island bought from a poor country... I guess we are going to need those postage stamps Laughing out loud .

Great. I knew there was

 

Great. I knew there was something I forgot about. Maybe we could tap in on a passing undersea cable, how long can monkey butlers hold their breath?

Isn't it that if we buy an

 

Isn't it that if we buy an island from a poor country that this island still belongs to the territory of that country? This would probably be enough reason for countries not to accept our island as a state of it's own; pretty much like sealand, which is only granted state-status by very few countries.

In order to make sure we have our own country we'd need to either find an island that really doesn't belong to any country, which might be pretty hard, and that probably would be a very very small island, like "the back of a turtle"-small for example. Or we'd need to create our own island in the middle of the ocean, many many kilometers away from all shores.

A third option would be an invasion. But I don't think a bunch of FOSS-freaks have a big chance of success on that... ;-)

reptiler wrote: A third

reptiler wrote:

A third option would be an invasion. But I don't think a bunch of FOSS-freaks have a big chance of success on that... Eye

Unless we simulate an alien invasion of some sort and make our bunch appear as too powerful to resist. Invasion without a bullet being shot - just the way we like it. Eye

Well I'm ready to go

 

Well I'm ready to go cannibal, I have goals.

But yes that's excellent Sun Tzu thinking there, hack into norad and scare them into hiding in the bunkers with simulated telemetry of a nuclear holocaust, and throw in swarms of giant flesh-eating mutie cockroaches for apt measure.

Sure it might all be sorted when AI research produces a singularity, assuming it's covered by GPLv3 that is.

lizard offer

 
libervisco wrote:

Unless we simulate an alien invasion of some sort and make our bunch appear as too powerful to resist. Invasion without a bullet being shot - just the way we like it. Eye

Greetings, earthling. Giant vampire lizards for hire!

(For those who don't get that joke: just search put "lizard" in the search box)

But seriously, this kind of news makes me wonder if some day I will have to ask for political asylum someplace outside the EU. When those who are supposed to protect a free and fair market sell out to get a paper victory, it's not hard to imagine one day those who are supposed to protect freedom and equality will also sell out just to look good to the uninformed. It's not like anything like that has never happened before, is it?

I try to do my little bit of work for honesty and the information heritage of the world - for everyone. It's not much but I will keep doing it and doing it in the place from where my work would be most effective. The island buying ideas are nice, but I think it would become easier to ignore us if we all move to a far away place. So I'll stay where I am, and I'm not going anywhere unless I really have to (eg because of a patent attack on my works).

Geez, that reads as if I'm Jesus or something. Not intended that way - I'm just this guy, you know?

Of course, most

Of course, most realistically buying an island doesn't seem likely and might not even be the best option for the reasons you state. So what we're left with is.. well trying to do what we can I suppose.

You're in a situation not much different than any other Free Software programmer out there actually, so not alone.

Sometimes I think we could try to come up with some sort of a devious brilliant plan on our own, that is actually more realistic than buying an island, but with similar effect on its participants - shielding ourselves from the stupidity of the states we're in. But there are greater minds at work...

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