Patents, FSF Europe criticizes Microsoft
The tensions between the open source community and Microsoft generated by the analysis released by the big Redmond according to which Linux violates hundreds of patents have also resulted in a position taken by the Free Software Foundation Europe in the past few hours.
In a note, FSF Europe speaks of “hitherto unproven claims” with which “Microsoft seeks to monetize the work of all companies and developers who make a living from Free Software”.
“Microsoft has built an empire where it benefits from every transaction. He can support or destroy businesses as he pleases, and every inhabitant of this world must pay a pledge of their obedience at regular intervals, ”explains Georg Greve, president of the FSFE. “Now that they are losing market share in a free economy based on Free Software, they are trying to impose their own tariff on the work of others.”
“This is a good example of the impact of software patents. The main effect of these patents is not innovation, but monopolization and the establishment of a “license to sue”, or at least to slander, ”comments Shane Coughlan, coordinator of legal activities at FSFE. “Unfortunately, Novell has given false credibility to these ridiculous claims by entering into a deal with Microsoft and agreeing to pay it in exchange for its promise not to sue Novell customers.”
FSFE attorney Carlo Piana continues: “I understand why Microsoft insists on the agreement with Novell, but it is not a reliable example. If you look at the recent history of the deals between the two companies, Microsoft doesn’t seem to be on the side of who’s selling something. Two years ago, Microsoft persuaded Novell to withdraw its support for the European Commission’s antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft in exchange for monetary compensation. In the most recent deal, the money apparently went in the same direction: paying nearly a billion dollars over two years to those who violate their patents is a rather strange way of showing reliability in their patent portfolio ”.
According to Greve: “The corporate clients that choose Novell on the basis of this agreement are wasting their shareholders’ money. There is no substance behind the patents claimed, and there is no need to pay Microsoft anything to use a system that Microsoft has never had anything to do with. ”
“If there is a lesson to be learned from this story, it is that Microsoft is desperate and does not know how to cope with Free Software with innovation,” continues Greve. “This is a good demonstration of the commercial success of Free Software, which is not only extremely stable from a technological point of view, but also from a legal one. For smart financial analysts, this is the time to invest in Free Software ”.