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odd article - Software Patents: Microsoft's Fatal Error

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User offline. Last seen 11 years 20 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-08-23

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/ZDM/story?id=649785

I wonder what to think about this article, it gives me a FUDdy misinformationy feeling.

Sure, microsoft is an attractive target because it has lots of money, but on the other hand it has so much money it will allways win.
I remember microsoft won the eolas case, one of the rare times I hoped microsoft would win a lawsuit. If software patents will destroy microsoft, that does not make them good. I'm not anti-microsoft, I'm pro-freedom, and I believe most FOSS folks are.

So, shall we put this in FUDZilla or simply dismiss it as weird and stupid?

User offline. Last seen 12 years 37 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-09-18
Re: odd article - Software Patents: Microsoft's Fatal Error

The article indeed is strange, but I have read many columns written by John C. Dvorak for PC Magazine (one local magazine had a contract with PCMag so that it could take/translate texts from PCMag) and he was always full of strange ideas and views.

So, I wouldn't put this in FUDZilla because it isn't misinformation, just a strange prediction of the end of MS. After all, Dvorak could be right here (I certainly hope so - go ahead, Eastern Europe coders :-)). The possibility is very small, but still ...

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User offline. Last seen 11 hours 41 min ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12
Re: odd article - Software Patents: Microsoft

Oh my!

I can understand why you might see this as FUD because, in some minds, it could actually spur the wish that software patents get through just because it will kill our worst enemy: Microsoft.

However, i somehow don't believe that was an intention of this article which makes me either cleverly fooled by it or right in seeing the real point. Well, let me take that risk and say how i understood it:

I *think* that Dvorak here has a very good point (so good that we can't even grasp it suspecting disinformation). Why is that so?

Because software patents are getting through *against* the wishes of majority, masses of small people, but also small to medium and possibly even some larger companies that support Free Software and GNU/Linux. BUT! They are just a part of the story.

There are other big corporations such as Novell, Apple, Sun and most importantly IBM that ARE for patents, but are ALSO supporters of Free Software and GNU/Linux which makes them *direct* competitors to Microsoft and are therefore surely to use their patent portfolios to actually *defend* their newfounded business model in Free Software and shoot down the giant.

This is what we probably talk about (even without realizing it) when we say things like "Free Software is too big and it came too far to be stopped by patents so easily". Of course it has become so big when even big corporations stand in defense of it because they found it satisfying some of their interests.

Before this article, one would think of the current situation as absurd. Think about this:

Why would Novell, Sun, Apple, IBM, HP, CA and many others still support Free Software despite the fact that software patents are so much threatening it? What do you think?

Here is the answer: Because THEY have patents, THEY can use it AGAINST the patent threat and FOR GNU/Linux and Free Software.

That said, here is my message to MS: Better whatch out where you're going, you might well end in the dark not seeing obstacles before your giant footsteps and fall over them greatly!

Now, if this really is some kind of FUD, here is a reassurance that i DIDN'T fall for it: I will always oppose patents, even if they kill MS, because patent-clean story is still much better than a patent-full story. It's simply because less fighting and less noise might be produced if Free Software "conquers the world" without patent swords then with them. :-)

These are some amazing thoughts indeed.

Thank you

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User offline. Last seen 11 years 20 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-08-23
Re: odd article - Software Patents: Microsoft

I think the thing that gives me a bad feeling about this article is that it seems to say IBM, apple and other FOSS-liking companies will not just use patents to defend themselves and FOSS, but to attack and destroy microsoft using nonsense software patents. If that were true, it would alienate the movement from these allies.

memenode's picture
User offline. Last seen 11 hours 41 min ago. Offline
Joined: 2004-07-12
Re: odd article - Software Patents: Microsoft

Yes, you're right there..

Associating ourselves with those who would use patents to wage war on MS while at the same time being against patents is indeed a bad idea.

That is however why despite all the bad chances that MS get's harmed (which many would admittely like) by patents, we still must oppose them and no matter how much IBM and other patent holders liked us.

It is, so to say, just a "convinient" possibility that even if patents get there will not be able to harm us *that* much as we were afraid it could - because of the defense of patent holders who deal with FOSS.

And then again, it is not those corporations only who built Free Software world, it is mainly the community without which, such presumed defense would never exist. It is therefore neccessery to stay faithful to that community and its principles instead of going too far by associating ourselves with corporations.

Thanks

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