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Microsft claims Linux is 'anti-commercial'

 
 
Philip
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      11-26-2005
Feast your eyes on this:

http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/lin...9238443,00.htm

and weep for the poor, hard-done-by, would-be monopolist that sees these
awful people that don't think making more money for big corporations is
the most important thing in their lives and are raining on the Microsoft
parade.

Now watch as Microsoft tries to manipulate lawmakers to regulate open
source software out of contest for public use - see how they've behaved
in Massachusetts over the state's decision to use Open Document format
for the public archive.

They'll be at it here soon, if past experience is anything to go by.
After all, why should a government use a public, open and free format
for documents that leaves open the choice of software product for
reading and writing software, when they could commit to a regular
programme of costly annual licensing for a proprietary product that
deliberately differs in one tiny but awfully important detail from
everything else - and that detail has been patented and is a Great Big
Secret.

And how long before they latch on to some demented Orrin Hatch of a US
Congressman to try to get Open Source outlawed as a threat to the
American way of life?

And how long before a future NZ government, pursuing the bubble of a
free trade agreement with the USA, agrees to change our patent and
copyright laws to be closer to the dreadful American model - just like
the Australians have done?

Linux isn't actually 'anti-commercial' but it is part of a different
approach to provision of software product that liberates users from
dependence on a single supplier.

Microsoft has built its business model first on ubiquity - the original
IBM PC deal meant a Microsoft OS was what came with the box - and second
on trying to own the protocols by talking public but acting private.
Look at the mess that is Internet Explorer, look at Active-X, look at
Windows Media - all of them closed, proprietary and patented and
designed to lock out any competition.

Look at the horrors of Windows Vista and the built-in DRM that will stop
you enjoying content you've legally bought and paid for if you commit
the heinous crime of buying it in the wrong country - and may well
refuse to show it anyway on your choice of screen that you've legally
bought.

How much ownership should any one company be allowed to have?

Looks like time to defenestrate - as fast as we can.

Philip







 
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steve
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      11-26-2005
Philip wrote:

> Feast your eyes on this:
>
> http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/lin...9238443,00.htm
>
> and weep for the poor, hard-done-by, would-be monopolist that sees these
> awful people that don't think making more money for big corporations**is
> the most important thing in their lives and are raining on the Microsoft
> parade.
>


Yeah,.....but in the US, if you're "anti-commercial", you're a defacto
communist.

Worth bearing in mind should they begin passing laws effectively outlawing
things like the GPL.


 
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brianM
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      11-26-2005
On Sat, 26 Nov 2005 14:40:15 +1000, steve wrote:

> Philip wrote:
>
>> Feast your eyes on this:
>>
>> http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/lin...9238443,00.htm
>>
>> and weep for the poor, hard-done-by, would-be monopolist that sees
>> these awful people that don't think making more money for big
>> corporations**is the most important thing in their lives and are
>> raining on the Microsoft parade.
>>
>>

> Yeah,.....but in the US, if you're "anti-commercial", you're a defacto
> communist.
>
> Worth bearing in mind should they begin passing laws effectively
> outlawing things like the GPL.


Keep in perspective that the U.S. is one country, albeit a rich and
powerful one, and there is a lot of Europe and Asia out there.
IBM could put all of Microsoft's assets into it's cafeteria fund, and
they are not putting all their eggs into the proprietary basket.

cheers
BrianM
 
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Impossible
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Posts: n/a
 
      11-26-2005
"brianM" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news(E-Mail Removed) o.nx...
the GPL.
>
> Keep in perspective that the U.S. is one country, albeit a rich and
> powerful one, and there is a lot of Europe and Asia out there.
> IBM could put all of Microsoft's assets into it's cafeteria fund,
> and
> they are not putting all their eggs into the proprietary basket.
>


Just to clarify -- A service contract is proprietary in exactly the
same sense that a license is. For the life of that contract (or
license), no party has options. So, for instance, when IBM contracts
with Company X to develop and maintain some software, all other
developers are excluded from the project and Company X is obliged to
respect that. Any open-source code that's written will be freely
available, but it's just code. You're free to fiddle with it if you
want. But the real information you need to do anything useful --
knowledge of Company X's business processes and how those pieces of
open-source code fit together with all the proprietary code in the
system -- is locked up in the contract. You can't get it and Company X
can't give it out to you.


 
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Peter
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      11-26-2005
steve wrote:

> Philip wrote:
>
>> Feast your eyes on this:
>>
>> http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/lin...9238443,00.htm
>>
>> and weep for the poor, hard-done-by, would-be monopolist that sees these
>> awful people that don't think making more money for big corporations**is
>> the most important thing in their lives and are raining on the Microsoft
>> parade.
>>

>
> Yeah,.....but in the US, if you're "anti-commercial", you're a defacto
> communist.
>
> Worth bearing in mind should they begin passing laws effectively outlawing
> things like the GPL.


In the New Zealand context any such law could very badly backfire on
commercial interests. The law needs to state its purpose and the Courts
are obliged to interpret legislation "in the light of its purpose". It
could also backfire on authors, artists, composers etc, the principal
people whom copyright law is supposed to protect.

At face value, an anti GPL law would also most probably allow that British
security company to use a tattooed Maori person's face in its
advertisements.

 
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Matthew Poole
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      11-27-2005
On Sat, 26 Nov 2005 08:37:21 -0500, someone purporting to be Impossible
didst scrawl:

> "brianM" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news(E-Mail Removed) o.nx...
> the GPL.

*SNIP*
> the project and Company X is obliged to respect that. Any open-source code
> that's written will be freely available, but it's just code. You're free
> to fiddle with it if you want. But the real information you need to do
> anything useful -- knowledge of Company X's business processes and how
> those pieces of open-source code fit together with all the proprietary
> code in the system -- is locked up in the contract. You can't get it and
> Company X can't give it out to you.


It's only locked up if that's how the contract is written. There is no
requirement that service contracts or contracts to write code result in a
closed, inviolable system that neither party can open.
A growing number of companies that make their money from supporting OSS
have clauses in their contracts that force all code to be released under
the GPL or another "free" licence. Those requirements are in effect the
moment the code is written not just when copyright expires (which will
currently be never in the US) and the code passes into the public domain.

--
Matthew Poole
"Don't use force. Get a bigger hammer."

 
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Impossible
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Posts: n/a
 
      11-27-2005
"Matthew Poole" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news(E-Mail Removed)...
> On Sat, 26 Nov 2005 08:37:21 -0500, someone purporting to be
> Impossible
> didst scrawl:
>
>> "brianM" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>> news(E-Mail Removed) o.nx...
>> the GPL.

> *SNIP*
>> the project and Company X is obliged to respect that. Any
>> open-source code
>> that's written will be freely available, but it's just code. You're
>> free
>> to fiddle with it if you want. But the real information you need to
>> do
>> anything useful -- knowledge of Company X's business processes and
>> how
>> those pieces of open-source code fit together with all the
>> proprietary
>> code in the system -- is locked up in the contract. You can't get
>> it and
>> Company X can't give it out to you.

>
> It's only locked up if that's how the contract is written. There is
> no
> requirement that service contracts or contracts to write code result
> in a
> closed, inviolable system that neither party can open.


What required in any contract is a function of the business
relationship, and in part that depends on which party is stronger. So
yes, if Company X is the stronger partner, it could demand a very
open-ended contract in the which the developer carries most of the
risk. However, if IBM is the developer, then that sort of relationship
is very unlikely. IBM will almost certainly close every loophole in
order to ensure that it retains exclusive control of the
development/maintainence process. It might choose to out-source some
development work to others, but that too would be on terms most
favorable to IBM.

> A growing number of companies that make their money from supporting
> OSS
> have clauses in their contracts that force all code to be released
> under
> the GPL or another "free" licence. Those requirements are in effect
> the
> moment the code is written not just when copyright expires (which
> will
> currently be never in the US) and the code passes into the public
> domain.
>


Releasing code under the GPL doesn't eliminate the issue of
proprietary ownership. Code is just code. You might read it and think,
"That's a clever idea I can use elsewhere", or "I can do this better",
or whatever. But as I said, what makes a service contract valuable is
not the code itself (most of which is probably stock-standard,
borrowed from someone else, and not very interesting at all) but
knowledge about the business process and all the proprietary and
non-proprietary software linkages involved. If this weren't the case,
there would be no future for any OSS developer.

My point is simply this -- whether you trade in service contracts or
software licenses, you are trading in proprietary rights. I fail to
see the distinction in terms of "fairness' that is sometimes attached
to one or the other.




 
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thing2
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Posts: n/a
 
      11-28-2005
Peter wrote:
> steve wrote:
>
>
>>Philip wrote:
>>
>>
>>>Feast your eyes on this:
>>>
>>>http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/lin...9238443,00.htm
>>>
>>>and weep for the poor, hard-done-by, would-be monopolist that sees these
>>>awful people that don't think making more money for big corporations is
>>>the most important thing in their lives and are raining on the Microsoft
>>>parade.
>>>

>>
>>Yeah,.....but in the US, if you're "anti-commercial", you're a defacto
>>communist.
>>
>>Worth bearing in mind should they begin passing laws effectively outlawing
>>things like the GPL.

>
>
> In the New Zealand context any such law could very badly backfire on
> commercial interests. The law needs to state its purpose and the Courts
> are obliged to interpret legislation "in the light of its purpose". It
> could also backfire on authors, artists, composers etc, the principal
> people whom copyright law is supposed to protect.
>
> At face value, an anti GPL law would also most probably allow that British
> security company to use a tattooed Maori person's face in its
> advertisements.
>


I dont know how they can overturn the GPL, because in effect its
copyright....so having one piece of software un-copyrightable but
another copyrightable is plain silly...mind you that wont stop the beast
from trying.....US Senators have deep pockets and MS is prepared to fill
them, once passed in the US such laws have a habit of suffusing
abroad....Lets not forget that a "free trade" agreement with the USA
means they can rape us as much as they want but we still have to say
please....

I dont think the big battle will be the GPL but the "open standards" and
"open formats" MS is fighting this tooth and nail....

Good thing about the Internet is it is a pretty public fight, in PR
terms it is doing itself huge damage IMHO.

regards

Thing



















 
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Mr Undeniably Sluttish
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Posts: n/a
 
      11-28-2005
On Sun, 27 Nov 2005 00:33:02 -0500, Impossible wrote:

> What required in any contract is a function of the business
> relationship, and in part that depends on which party is stronger. So
> yes, if Company X is the stronger partner, it could demand a very
> open-ended contract in the which the developer carries most of the
> risk. However, if IBM is the developer, then that sort of relationship
> is very unlikely. IBM will almost certainly close every loophole in
> order to ensure that it retains exclusive control of the
> development/maintainence process. It might choose to out-source some
> development work to others, but that too would be on terms most
> favorable to IBM.


I thought that the GPL was designed to prevent lock-in like you've
described above.

All software based on any other GPL'd software, must be released under the
same GPL, and the source code must be supplied and made available.


Undeniably Sluttish

--
Free software on every PC on every desk.

 
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Mr Undeniably Sluttish
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Posts: n/a
 
      11-28-2005
On Sun, 27 Nov 2005 00:33:02 -0500, Impossible wrote:

> My point is simply this -- whether you trade in service contracts or
> software licenses, you are trading in proprietary rights.


What is proprietary about a service contract to clean/maintain toilets for
a client?

And how would that differ from a service contract to maintain software for
a client?

Surely, in both cases the client is the one calling the shots. If the
client wanted to take their business to another contractor, then they are
perfectly free and able to do so.

And surely the contractor would not be free to use any information given
by the client to the contractor, in order for the contractor to meet their
contracted obligations, for any other lawful or legitimate purpose.


Undeniably Sluttish

--
"I'd hate to be furniture in Ballmer's office."

 
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